Quinoa - cooking methods. How to cook porridge without bitterness?

In my last article, I told you a little about chia seeds, and now it’s the turn of another superfood - quinoa.

Probably, many of you have already come across this unusual product in stores, but didn’t buy it because you didn’t know how to cook it or what to do with it.

  • What is quinoa
  • Why is quinoa good for you?
  • Where can I buy
  • How to cook


  • Quinoa with pumpkin and spinach
  • Asian style meatballs with quinoa
  • Hawaiian-style shrimp with quinoa
  • Quinoa salad
  • Breakfast dessert with quinoa

What is quinoa

Quinoa is a small seed, slightly larger than a poppy seed. There are white, red, cream, nut - depending on the variety.

The original name is quinoa. When this product first appeared in our country, there were very different spelling options: quinoa, quinoa, quinua... Now they use the first option. Quinoa, what about chia, a crop that has been cultivated for a very long time. But it gained worldwide fame only recently. The Andes are considered the homeland of quinoa; 3,000 years ago the Incas, who were the indigenous population, carefully cultivated these plants and considered the grains themselves sacred.

And now quinoa is grown in the same regions, the main world exporters are Peru and Bolivia.

These grains are not real cereals, surprisingly, but the fruits themselves are fruits, and the cereal that is obtained from them is considered a pseudo-cereal.

Features of storage and preparation

So you bought quinoa, but don’t know how to store it. Everything here is also very simple. It is better to do this in a closed package or container. Place the cereal in a dry, dark and preferably cool place. Be sure to ensure that you consume the cereal before the expiration date. And it is stored for about six months to a year.

Before cooking quinoa, be sure to rinse it well. It’s just that substances called saponins collect on the grains. They are designed to protect quinoa from birds and insects. Therefore, if saponins are not removed, the cereal will have a bitter taste and will not have a very good effect on the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Getting rid of the natural substance is simple: rinse the quinoa in a sieve for 5 minutes under running water. Typically the cereal has a sweet taste. To enhance the nutty flavor, fry the cereal in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes. By the way, to prevent quinoa from becoming bitter, it is recommended to soak it for some time.

How to cook quinoa

  1. Rinse the quinoa, then pour it into the pan. Pour cold water over the cereal in the following ratio: there should be twice as much liquid (it turns out 1:2). Then you need to wait until the water boils. Don't forget to salt the quinoa.
  2. Cook the cereal over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Depending on the variety, cooking time may vary. As for the lid, you can cook without it - it doesn’t matter here. Stir the quinoa occasionally.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooked, leave the dish covered for about 5 minutes.

You can cook quinoa not only in a saucepan, but also in a slow cooker, for example. The water ratio should be the same: liquid is twice as much as cereal. As for the mode, most often they choose “Cooking” or “Stewing”, but here you need to look at the instructions.


If you want to add flavor, take note of this recipe. Prepare the saucepan. Fry the onion in it over medium heat, adding a little oil. Then add garlic, spices, bit by bit, and fry for another minute. And only then can you pour the quinoa into the container and cook it, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Then fill the dish with water in a ratio of 1:2.

What are the benefits of quinoa

I already wrote that I don’t expect any special miracles from superfoods, but I buy them and add them to my food, because the whole world is going crazy for a reason.

Now that we are inundated with processed foods (extruded, highly processed foods, high in starches and containing almost no fiber or vitamins in their natural form), of course, the attention of health-conscious people is increasingly focused on those foods that are the source of useful substances in concentrated form.

Quinoa is just one such product.

These grains, firstly, are grown in mountainous areas where there are no harmful industries. Secondly, they have an amazing composition.

Quinoa has more protein than any other grain. from 14 to 20% depending on the variety. And this protein contains almost all the essential acids, and in its scor (an indicator of the biological value of proteins in the composition) is close to milk. Therefore, vegetarians and those who want to increase their protein intake should include quinoa in their diet.

In addition, quinoa contains fiber, vitamins and minerals (the high iron content is especially valuable), and healthy oils.

Quinoa is gluten-free and does not cause allergies.

Calorie content: approximately 370 kcal per 100 g.

At its 66th session, the UN General Assembly declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa in recognition of how indigenous Andean peoples, through traditional knowledge and skills of living in harmony with nature, have preserved quinoa for present and future generations.

From Wikipedia

Quinoa salad with shrimp and green peas

A snack with fresh fruits looks bright and festive. The tropical fruit is a source of powerful antioxidants. It lowers cholesterol levels, contains minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids important for the body.

For brightness, I add tomatoes or citrus fruits. They give the taste richness and the missing sourness.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • Boiled quinoa - 0.5 tbsp.
  • Avocado.
  • Cherry tomatoes - not a full glass.
  • Greenery.
  • Milk thistle oil – a tablespoon.

How to cook:

  1. Peel the avocado and remove the pit.
  2. Cut into slices.
  3. Wash the tomatoes, cut into halves.
  4. Mix the products in a deep plate, lightly salt.

If you have sweetie or grapefruit, disassemble it into slices, remove the films and divide into parts. Read about how to do this correctly and quickly here. Add citrus fruits to the mixture instead of tomatoes. This option seemed even more interesting to me.

A hearty and mega-healthy snack. Prepares in 20 minutes and eats in an instant! What it requires is clear from the name. The proportions are arbitrary. For 5 large shrimp, I took a glass of sunflower seeds (50 grams) and 100 g of frozen peas. Add lime, lemon or orange juice to this.

How to cook:

  1. Boil the shrimp. The duration depends on the variety and size. I take raw Argentine ones. They are larger than usual, cook for 7-8 minutes, but remain soft.
  2. Place the peas in salted boiling water.
  3. Bring to readiness, cool.
  4. Combine with pre-cooked cereal.
  5. Season with citrus juice.

How to cook quinoa

This grain is very easy to prepare. If you have minimal culinary skills and can cook buckwheat or rice, then you can also cope with quinoa without any difficulty.

For 1 glass of cereal you need 2 glasses of water.

First, you need to rinse the grains well, then add water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 13-15 minutes.

When boiled, the grains become translucent and increase in size.

I will skip the process of preparing quinoa in future recipes, because it is simple and repeated everywhere. Unless otherwise indicated, then cook according to the basic recipe: water to cereal 2:1 and cook for 13-15 minutes. If the recipe specifies “semi-cooked cereal,” then you need a little less water, 1.5 cups, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Many people do not buy quinoa because they consider it tasteless. I won't lie to you, the taste is really not outstanding. I can’t say that it’s unpleasant: the first time I wasn’t at all impressed, but then I tried it, and now I rather like it. These grains are almost tasteless, with a faint herbal-nutty taste and the same smell. But they do not interrupt the taste of other products and easily fit into a variety of recipes.

Basic quinoa porridge recipes

Secrets of cooking delicious dishes

  1. The first thing that will surprise you is the formation of spirals during cooking, since this is a natural stage of cooking.
  2. Secondly, it is similar to couscous, thanks to its nutty notes and the pleasant smell of freshly cut grass.
  3. The third essential point is that this product should not be subjected to prolonged heat treatment. It is better to steam it in a thermos for two or three hours, adding water or broth in a ratio of one to two.

Quinoa can be added after roasting, boiled, or made into drinks by mixing water with sugar.

Standard cooking method

  1. Rinse the required amount of cereal under running water to remove bitterness and clean the grains.
  2. Place the cereal in a colander to drain the water.
  3. Wait twenty to thirty minutes until the grains are thoroughly dry.
  4. Transfer the cereal to the pan and fry. The fire should be slow. The readiness of the grains can be indicated by a pleasant smell and color change.
  5. Afterwards, the porridge is cooked in a saucepan. To do this, you need to boil water in a ratio of one to one and a half and salt it.
  6. It is necessary to pour roasted grains into the water that has boiled and boil over low heat until all the water boils away.
  7. After cooking, let it sit for another ten minutes.

There is also a recipe for quinoa porridge prepared in broth. To do this, you need to cook the porridge in broth and after cooking the cereal, stir it so that there are no grains stuck together. Average cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes.

Quinoa with pumpkin and spinach


  • small cup quinoa
  • 150 g pumpkin
  • handful of spinach
  • tbsp grated hard cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper, vegetable oil

This is a very easy recipe and very tasty at the same time. If you're new to quinoa, give this one a try. It is suitable both as a side dish and as a main dish.

Prepare quinoa according to the basic recipe. While the cereal is cooking, cut the pumpkin, lightly fry it and cook under the lid until cooked. I don’t cut the garlic and herbs, I just put them in a frying pan and then remove them: this way they add flavor without overpowering the taste.

Pepper the pumpkin; you can add other spices if desired. Stir with quinoa, pour over lemon juice (or orange juice, it’s also great in this recipe and emphasizes the sweetish taste of pumpkin).

Cut or tear the spinach with your hands, and chop the cheese with a grater or knife.

The spinach should be added before serving, and the cheese should be sprinkled on the plate.

If you want to make it even tastier, add a tablespoon of olive oil and increase the amount of cheese, adding some before mixing the quinoa and pumpkin.

Quinoa risotto

If you simplify the cooking technique, then this is ordinary pilaf. It’s just that instead of rice, another grain is taken here. You need to know how to cook quinoa correctly in order to add enough water and not end up with a mess:

  • Rinse the seeds and let the water drain.
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add garlic and carrots, bell peppers and celery pieces. The mixture is no longer fried, but simmered for 3 minutes.
  • Pour in a glass of quinoa. Remember that if you don’t like the natural taste of the grains (they have a slight bitterness), then it is better to pre-soak them for several hours.
  • Add two glasses of water. After about 10 minutes, check the amount of liquid. At the same time, you can add parsley and cilantro. Stir the risotto and simmer for another 5-10 minutes over low heat.

The dish turns out to be original and interesting. I must say that classic pilaf cannot be replaced; you need to get used to it. But it can be great as a side dish. Try serving this appetizer at a party; it will fly away within just a few minutes.

Asian style quinoa meatballs


  • For the meatballs:
  • 500 g minced turkey or chicken
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • green onions
  • 2 tsp ginger (fresh or dried)
  • salt pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 5 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. l sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Sahara
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1.5 tsp corn starch
  • 2-3 tbsp water for diluting starch

This recipe has a lot of ingredients and will take some time to prepare, but it's worth it! It's very tasty and unusual. Meatballs, or in our opinion meatballs or meatballs, are a very popular topic now; they can be made with any additives, served both as a main course and as an appetizer. They are small in size, easy to eat, and enjoyed by both children and adults.

Finely chop the onion, crush the garlic with a garlic press or knife, prepare the quinoa in advance according to the basic recipe. Mix with minced meat, add egg, ginger, salt and pepper.

Make small meatballs from the minced meat and fry them in a frying pan; if you want a lower-calorie option, you can bake them in the oven.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients except starch in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves.

When you mix everything well, taste the sauce, I did not indicate the addition of salt in the recipe, because soy sauce, as a rule, is already very salty, but they are different, perhaps yours will be different.

The sauce should be kept on low heat for 10 minutes. Mix the starch with water at room temperature and carefully pour into the sauce, remembering to stir. Keep on the heat for another 3-4 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Add half of the sauce to the meatballs to make them glossy and juicy, and serve the other half separately.

This recipe is not spicy at all, but with a distinctive Asian twist. If you like this kind of cuisine, then try it, I promise you will like it ;).

Quinoa with mushrooms

Kitchen appliances and utensils: stove, frying pan with lid, bowl, knife, cutting board, spoon, plate for serving food.

Quinoa soup

Quinoa (cereal)1 glass
Champignon150 g
Water1 glass

Step-by-step preparation

Using a step-by-step recipe with photos, you can prepare a delicious side dish of quinoa with mushrooms:

  1. Wash the champignons, peel them, cut them into slices. Place the frying pan on the fire and add the mushrooms. We do not add oil.
  2. Cover with a lid to let the mushrooms release their juice and keep on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, rinse 1 cup of quinoa. Pour it into the frying pan with the mushrooms and mix everything well. Fry for 2 minutes to get rid of the bitter taste. At the same time, stir constantly so that nothing burns.
  3. Add water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes until done. At the same time, do not forget to stir. Place the finished dish on a plate and serve. This side dish goes well with vegetables, meat or fish dishes.

Bon appetit!

Hawaiian Quinoa with Shrimp


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • a few slices of pineapple
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 cup fresh, canned or frozen corn
  • celery greens
  • 400 g peeled shrimp
  • half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup of any tropical fruit juice (I used J7 mango-passionfruit-orange)
  • spices for seafood
  • salt, pepper, hot pepper

I in no way claim the authenticity of the recipe. We know very little about Hawaiian cuisine (frozen Hawaiian mixture hardly has anything to do with these islands). These are rather my fantasies on the topic. Sometimes I come across recipes for “Hawaiian fried rice” - Hawaiian-style fried rice, usually with pineapples. I decided to do something similar, but replace the rice with quinoa.

Cut pineapple, pepper and celery into cubes.

Prepare quinoa according to the basic recipe, but use a little less water and cook for 5 minutes less.

Lightly fry the vegetables, corn and pineapple, add semi-cooked quinoa to them, pour in the juice, salt, add pepper and a small pinch of hot pepper (chili or some other) and, stirring, cook over low heat until the juice is completely absorbed.

Quickly fry the shrimp over high heat with spices. Finally, sprinkle with lemon juice.

A sweet-spicy mixture of quinoa and vegetables/fruits, plus shrimp, is an interesting and tasty combination. The only thing missing is a beautiful view of the ocean and a tropical cocktail.

How to cook quinoa

Remember that during the cooking process the cereal increases approximately three times. So choose the right size utensils.

The finished quinoa should be left covered for another 5 minutes, and then stir with a fork. This will make it more "fluffy".

How to cook quinoa in a saucepan on the stove

Place the cereal in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add salt and stir. Wait for it to boil over medium heat. Then reduce it and simmer the quinoa, covered, for 15 minutes until it absorbs the water.


How to cook quinoa in the oven

Place the cereal in a heatproof container. Add cold water and salt, stir and cover with a lid or foil. Place in an oven preheated to 190°C for 25 minutes.

Quinoa salad


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small avocado or half a large one
  • cherry tomatoes 10-15 pieces
  • greenery
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp seeds or nuts (I used flaxseed)
  • salt pepper

This is one of the simplest recipes; you can easily change the ingredients, take any greens or seeds.

Prepare quinoa according to the basic recipe, cut the vegetables, chop the greens finely with a knife, add seeds or nuts.

Stir, season with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper.

This salad is good because, firstly, it is quick and easy to prepare, secondly, it is nutritious and can be used independently as a light lunch, thirdly, it is healthy: seeds and unrefined oil are a source of healthy fats, vegetables and herbs are vitamins and fiber, and quinoa contains both, plus a large amount of protein.

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