Recipes > Side > Fluffy Quinoa Base Recipe

Fluffy Quinoa Base Recipe

Quinoa is a popular and nutritious whole grain that can be used in a variety of ways. This fluffy quinoa base recipes is simple & delicious!
fluffy quinoa base recipe

This is one of the base recipes featured in Part 2 of our Whole Life Meal Plan. Quinoa is a popular, nutritious, and delicious whole grain that can be used in a variety of ways. Cooking quinoa is more about the technique than the recipe, so be sure to read the article rather than just jumping to the recipe so that you can make tasty, fluffy quinoa every time!

Learn How to Make the Base Recipe

Must Know Cooking Skills

Culinary Tips for Perfect Quinoa

Did you know that quinoa cooks in the same amount of time as white rice?? It’s true – just ~15 minutes! Swap your white rice with quinoa for an increase in fiber, phytonutrients, and plant-based protein (more on this in the nutrition section).

Either rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to help remove the bitter outer coating or dry toast it in the pan (2-3 minutes) before adding the liquid.

Follow the quinoa ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water or broth. Many recipes suggest a 1:2 ratio, but we find that our ratio creates a better final texture. If you want to cook more than 1 cup of quinoa, use this ratio to determine how much liquid you will need.

Add more flavor by using low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or stock instead of water. Check the sodium content of the broth or stock before adding salt. If higher than 140 mg, consider eliminating or adding just a tiny pinch.

Cook the quinoa until the water is just absorbed and a white ring pops out around the grain. If liquid remains after 15 minutes, just re-cover the pan and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Once done, keep the lid on and allow the quinoa to rest for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Quinoa: use any color – white, red, black, or multi-colored.
  • Water or Broth: if using water, skip the tap and use purified from your refrigerator. Use vegetable or chicken broth or stock, homemade or store-bought. If using store bought, select low-sodium or no-added-salt varieties.

Base Recipe Variations

Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! Keep it simple or spice it up!

Use these additional ingredients for even more flavorful quinoa.

  • Fresh Herbs: add hearty or dried herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme at the beginning of cooking. Add delicate herbs such as parsley, basil, dill, or cilantro after cooking.
  • Spices: use chili powder, paprika, cumin, turmeric, or your favorite spice blend. Stir into the pot at the beginning of cooking for best flavor distribution.
  • Lemon or Lime Juice: fresh tastes best, but the bottled kind can work too! For an extra pop of flavor, add some lemon or lime zest.

Equipment Recommendations

For guaranteed recipe success, use the following pieces of equipment:

Why is quinoa good for you?

Quinoa is technically a pseudo cereal grain, but because it is nutritionally comparable to whole grains, we group it alongside brown rice, farro, millet, etc. Quinoa is a unique plant food because it is a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids we need to get from food. Further, quinoa has a higher protein-to-carbohydrate ratio compared to other grains. 

Whole grains such as quinoa are good sources of fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Phytonutrients work as antioxidants to help fight off diseases and keep us well. 

Serving Suggestions

Serve quinoa instead of brown rice (or white rice!) at almost any meal. Fluffy quinoa goes great with our easy coconut curry, vegetable stir-fry, or as part of our best quinoa salad recipes.

How long is cooked quinoa good for?

Cool quinoa completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to one week. To reheat, transfer to a microwave-safe dish and heat through in the microwave. Leftover quinoa is also great cold.

You can also freeze cooked quinoa. Cool completely, then store in a freezer-safe container in bulk or single servings.

Looking for more quinoa recipes?

Try out these delicious and nutritious recipes!

One Pan Mexican Quinoa Skillet

Pesto Quinoa Salad

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips

fluffy quinoa base recipe

Fluffy Quinoa Base Recipe

This is one of the base recipes featured in our Whole Life Meal Plan. Quinoa is a popular, nutritious, and delicious whole grain that can be used in a variety of ways. Cooking quinoa is more about the technique than the recipe, so be sure to scroll up and read the article so that you can make tasty, fluffy quinoa every time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side
Servings 3 cups

Ingredients
  

Base Recipe

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water or low-sodium broth or stock
  • Kosher salt to taste

Additions to YOUR taste

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
  • ½-1 teaspoon spice(s)
  • Sprinkle lemon or lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Using a fine-mesh strainer, rinse and drain quinoa. Add to a small (~1 ½ quart) saucepan. Alternatively, dry toast the quinoa in the saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add water or broth, a pinch of salt, and optional hearty herbs and/or spices. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (~15 minutes). Look for a white ring that pops out when the quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork. Garnish with fresh herbs and/or citrus to taste. Enjoy!

Notes

Check the sodium content of the broth or stock before adding salt. If higher than 140 mg, consider eliminating or adding just a tiny pinch!
Keyword Fluffy Quinoa

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tallon E.

    I love having quinoa prepared in the fridge for meals throughout the week. Thank you for creating this simple recipe & article!

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment above and share a picture on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #totasterecipes! And don’t forget to share it with all of your friends and family!

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and Share-a-Sale affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on those links and make a purchase, we will earn a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you. 

Hey guys! We are To Taste – a team of registered dietitians/chefs.

We want to teach you how to cook confidently, simplify nutrition, and feel better (no BS)!

Our Recipe Promise

Healthy eating shouldn't be complicated. Period.

Meet the only meal plan you'll ever need.

Improve your kitchen efficiency! Learn how to slice, dice, and chop 20 common ingredients

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Never miss a beet! Sign up for updates, recipes, and course offerings!

Is your kitchen set up for success?

Find all of our go-to kitchen tools, books, and accessories here!

Need some recipe guidance?

Learn how to cook confidently to your taste using our base recipe concept.

Want to know which ingredients to buy?

Download our free ingredient guide for helpful tips on which ingredients are best.

Latest Recipes

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter so that you never miss a beet!

Healthy eating shouldn't be complicated.

Learn how to cook and eat well for your whole life in our new book, To Your Taste.