Quinoa is a super-nutritious, versatile grain that cooks up in no time and makes a great alternative to rice and couscous.

How To Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa is a firm-textured grain with a subtle nutty flavor that cooks up fluffy and light. It can be used in place of rice or couscous in many recipes and it’s quick and easy to prepare.

Once a staple food of the ancient Incas, quinoa, a highly nutritious grain native to South America, is finding its way onto American tables with increasing frequency.

Because it contains eight essential amino acids, quinoa is considered to be a complete protein. It’s also lower in carbohydrates than most other grains, gluten-free and a good source of iron and fiber.

How To Prepare Quinoa

Basic Quinoa Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water (or stock, broth)


  1. The first step is to thoroughly rinse the quinoa with cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. This removes a somewhat bitter, soap-like coating of a naturally occurring substance called saponin.
  2. Saponin is thought to be quinoa’s natural protection against insects, birds, and fungus and most of it is removed during processing, but rinsing is still a good idea for best results.
  3. Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed about 12 minutes.
  4. Quinoa turns translucent when fully cooked. Fluff with a fork, add seasonings or combine with other ingredients as you would rice or couscous.
Spice Breaded Chicken Tenders

Easy Quinoa with Scallions

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This is a recipe for a quick side that we serve with our Spice Breaded Chicken Tenderloins, but it would make a great accompaniment for just about any grilled, roasted or pan-seared meat.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, using a fine-mesh strainer. Set aside to drain.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  5. Stir in the butter and sliced scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 3 minutes before serving.

More Quinoa Recipes