Quinoa salad with broccoli, sweet potatoes and tomatoes on a rustic wooden table. Three-color quinoa salad
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Foolproof Fluffy Quinoa Recipe

This recipe will give you fluffy quinoa that is neither too mushy nor too dry. You can make this into a salad, a meal bowl, or a pilau. 
Servings: 3 cups


  • 1 cup quinoa red, black, or golden
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste


  • Wash the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under running water. Wash the grains thoroughly, rubbing and rinsing it. This is important to take away the slight bitterness in the grains. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a deep pan under medium-heat till just hot, but not too hot. Tip the washed quinoa and keep stirring till the water has evaporated and you have lovely toasty grains. 
  • Add the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add salt and lower the heat. Cover the pan and let the grains cook for 15 minutes. 
  • At the end of 15 minutes, the water should be completely absorbed. Remove the pan from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. 
  • After 5 minutes have passed, open the lid and use a fork to fluff the quinoa. The grains should separate and fluff up easily. You can serve it hot or cold as per your liking. 
    A bowl of cooked quinoa in a white bowl with white background


  • Washing the quinoa thoroughly is key to ensuring that there is no hint of bitterness later. 
  • You can use vegetable or chicken broth in place of water for added flavor. 
  • We have used slightly less than the usual proportion of water in our recipe. If you find it too dry, bring it up to 2 cups. But keep in mind that keeping the pan covered is very important in ensuring that the water is completely absorbed and has the time to fluff up.