Basic Soaked and Cooked Quinoa

For those of you unfamiliar with quinoa, or soaking grains, here is a quick recipe that brings the already-short cooking time down to just about 5 minutes.  Helpful if your kitchen is overheating your house…I like to have cooked quinoa in my fridge for whatever recipe I feel like making, so I keep the seasoning to a minimum.  But, if you have a recipe in mind or are in the mood for a specific taste, by all means, spice it up!

Soaking initiates the sprouting process, thus making the quinoa more digestible.  I also really like the texture of grains that are soaked before cooking.  I find the quinoa is has a little more body and a chewier texture when prepared this way.  Don’t be surprised if the quinoa starts to sprout a bit in the soaking water, especially if it’s warm in the kitchen.  If it’s too warm, though, or you aren’t ready to cook it after 8-12 hours, just stick it in the fridge until cooking time. 

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • water for soaking


  • 1/2 cup water
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Soak quinoa in plenty of fresh water (to cover by at least a couple inches) for 8-12 hours.  In the morning, heat 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan.  While it’s coming to a boil, pour the soaked quinoa into a colander and rinse until the water no longer looks soapy (saponins are what create those soapy-looking bubbles and they can make the quinoa taste bitter).  When the water comes to a boil, add a little olive oil and sea salt, then add the quinoa.  Cover and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes, stirring around about halfway through the time.  Stir again, then leave covered for another 5-10 minutes.  Enjoy plain with a little additional salt and some pepper, or saute with shallots or scallions and greens for a quick side dish.  Really the possibilities are endless!

1 Comment »

  1. […] 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (start with 1 cup […]

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