How To Cook Quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa

What is Quinoa?

Although quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is prepared like other grains, it is actually the seed of a plant whose relatives include spinach, beetroot, and chard. Quinoa is a hearty plant with an uncanny ability to adapt to all types of harsh environments like drought and flooding. This has made it an easy dietary staple for its native indigenous communities of South America. Traditionally, seeds are prepared like rice, and leaves eaten like spinach.

Quinoa is gluten free, high in omega 3 fatty acids and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is high in fibre and comes in a variety of colours. The most common type of quinoa is white quinoa, and many times you will find tri-coloured quinoa. At Indigo Herbs we offer both, as well as the red and black varieties on their own.  

Quinoa has a nutty flavour and can be used as a substitute for rice, or any other grain. White or royal quinoa has the mildest flavour of the three. Quinoa can also be eaten in its whole form or in a flaked form as a porridge for breakfast.

Below you will find instructions on how to steam quinoa, which we find to be the easiest, no fuss way to prepare it.

And, in case you’re interested, we carry the following quinoa products:

Organic Royal QuinoaOrganic Tricolour QuinoaOrganic Red QuinoaOrganic Black QuinoaOrganic Quinoa FlakesOrganic Puffed QuinoaOrganic Quinoa Flour, as well as two types of quinoa pasta.

What you will need
  • A mesh sieve
  • A medium pad with lid
  • 200g quinoa
  • 400ml water


  • Seasonings (such as salt, ground pepper, mixed dried herbs, or fresh chopped herbs)
  • Try using ground cinnamon or nutmeg if cooking for breakfast
  • Other tasty additions include olive or coconut oil, or butter
  1. First rinse and drain quinoa a few times using a mesh sieve. Quinoa is very buoyant and tends to float to the surface of water at first. Draining it through a mesh sieve prevents any from escaping down the drain, making it easier to rinse properly.
  2. Add rinsed quinoa to a pan with water. We suggest a 1 to 2 ratio of quinoa to water. Place pan over medium-high heat, and feel free to add any seasonings now.
  3. Bring water to a boil, allow to cook for a few minutes, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  4. When done, quinoa will be soft and fluffy, and its outer fibres will open and spiral out. If you prefer it drier, use slightly less water, and if you prefer a softer, mushier texture (for porridge for example) add a bit more!
More Information

Have you tried quinoa? What are you favourite ways to enjoy it! Let us know by reaching out to us on Instagram at @indigo_herbs, we want to hear from you.