How to Cook Quinoa in a Microwave

Quinoa is one superfood whose reputation is well known. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 the ‘International Year of Quinoa.

Today, quinoa is still popular due to its proven fantastic health benefits. Additionally, it is versatile because it can be cooked whole or crushed into powder to make porridge. If you choose to prepare it whole, a quick and easy way is to use a microwave.

How to Cook Quinoa in a Microwave

What is the process of cooking quinoa in a microwave?

Measure out the quinoa and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Please select an appropriate microwave-safe bowl and mix quinoa and water or broth in a ratio of 1:2 (quinoa to water/broth). Cover with an upside-down plate and microwave for 6 minutes. Remove and stir, then microwave for two more minutes. Then let it sit for 3 minutes before uncovering, or until all the water is absorbed.

This article will take a deep dive into how to cook quinoa in a microwave. I will briefly share some facts about quinoa and then detail the step-by-step process of cooking quinoa in a microwave. I will also share tips you need to know to get the best results, then address some of the commonly asked questions about cooking quinoa in a microwave.

Why is Quinoa so Popular Anyway?

How to Cook Quinoa in a MicrowaveQuinoa is most famous for its nutritional benefits. The seeds may be tiny, but they are jam-packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It is also classified as a whole-grain carbohydrate, making it the kind of carbohydrate good for your body.

There are many ways to incorporate quinoa into your diet. You can add quinoa straight into your salad, yogurt, pancakes, guacamole, and eggs, to name a few. Pastries are also a good and subtle way to introduce quinoa to your diet. Add them to muffins, cookies, brownies, and cakes. For the sweet tooth, desserts like quinoa chocolate drops, quinoa chocolate chip cookies, and dark chocolate quinoa truffles are worth trying out.

More so, quinoa is gluten-free and suitable for people who have celiac disease. Low in calories, it aids in weight loss and is suitable for diabetics on a low-sugar diet. Due to its high fiber content, quinoa improves digestion and eases constipation.

It is also one of the few sources of plant proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids.

Now that you know how good quinoa is for you let me guide you on how to cook it in a microwave.


A Guide to Cooking Quinoa in a Microwave

Cooking quinoa in a microwave needs expertise and caution because there are many ways it could go wrong. To avoid disappointment, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Measure out your quinoa

You can expect to get two and a half to three cups of cooked quinoa for every raw cup of d quinoa. It would help to keep this in mind when choosing the bowl to cook the quinoa so that there is no spill or overflow.

Step 2 – Rinse the quinoa thoroughly with cold water

Put our quinoa seeds in a strainer, and rinse under a tap with cold water. Keep rinsing until the water turns from milky to clear. If you are using a bowl, start by soaking the quinoa for 5 minutes and then rinse under a tap with cold water until the water becomes clear. The rinsing process should take around 45 seconds. Rinsing the quinoa before cooking removes the unpleasant bitter taste caused by saponins present in the quinoa.

Step 3 – Choose an appropriate microwave-safe bowl

When selecting the bowl to use, pick one that can accommodate at leastthree3 times the volume of your uncooked quinoa seeds. It also needs to be microwave safe and able to hold water or both since this will be an essential ingredient.

Step 4 – Add hot water/broth to the quinoa in a 2:1 ratio

Add twice the hot water or broth as the quinoa into the bowl. You can also use stock in place of water or broth. Mix the ingredients to combine. At this stage, you can add a little salt and seasoning if you intend to serve the quinoa plain.

Step 5 – Cover with a plate

Cover the bowl with an upside-down plate before putting it in the microwave. This will prevent spills and overflows while cooking and seal in the moisture, which is needed for the quinoa to cook properly

Step 6 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes, then let it sit

Let the quinoa cook for about six minutes on high, then remove from the microwave and stir well. Replace the covered quinoa bowl in the microwave for two more minutes. The quinoa should be cooked by this time, but don’t uncover it yet. Let it sit for three minutes while absorbing the water, then uncover. If there is still water in the bowl, cover and let it continue to absorb.

Tips for Cooking Quinoa in a Microwave

To make the perfect quinoa every time, you need to apply the following tips:

  • Use twice as much water. Ensure that you measure the quinoa beforehand to measure twice the amount of water accurately. The perfect quinoa to water ratio is 1:2. Also, allow the quinoa to absorb all the water for the best results. You can substitute water with broth or stock, without affecting the outcome.
  • Don’t skip the rinsing step. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. Some experts recommend soaking quinoa for five minutes before washing it to remove the soapy coating completely. However, soaking quinoa before cooking could make it soggy. Not rinsing quinoa at all will leave you with bitter and unappetizing quinoa.
  • Use hot water/broth to cook quinoa. The water or broth you use to cook quinoa should be hot enough but not boiling. Using hot water helps cook the quinoa properly without being mushy or soggy. It also speeds up the cooking process.
  • Cover the quinoa while it cooks. Covering quinoa while it cooks seals in the moisture and prevents it from evaporating. The bowl should remain covered until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Covering will also prevent spills and any overflow.
  • Take a moment to stir the quinoa. At around the six-minute mark, take the quinoa out and stir it. Mixing it up this way will allow the cooler quinoa to mix with the hotter quinoa and distribute the water or broth throughout the quinoa in the bowl. Since microwaves often have hot and cold spots, stirring the quinoa will ensure even heat distribution within the cooking bowl.
  • Choose an appropriately sized microwave-safe bowl. Remember that quinoa puffs up when cooked, and for every cup of uncooked quinoa, you will get up to three times that amount. Therefore, the bowl you use needs to be both wide and high enough to accommodate the increase in volume. It is also crucial that you check whether the bowl is microwave-safe and that it can withstand the high temperatures inside the microwave. You can confirm this by checking the bottom side of the bowl.
  • Try different recipes. There are more than fifty different recipes that you can make using quinoa. Do not limit your taste buds by eating the same plain quinoa every day. Switching it up helps you appreciate the versatility of quinoa, and enjoy it a little bit more each time.

Faqs On How to Cook Quinoa in a Microwave

How do you cook quinoa in a microwave?

How to Cook Quinoa in a MicrowaveBegin by measuring out the quinoa. For every 1 cup of raw quinoa, you should expect up to 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Then, rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water turns from murky to clear.

Put the clean quinoa in a microwave-safe bowl and add water or broth in a ratio of 1:2 (quinoa to water). Cover with an upside-down plate and microwave on high for six minutes. Remove the bowl and mix the quinoa well, then microwave it again for two minutes. Allow the quinoa to sit for three minutes before uncovering. If the water is completely absorbed, then the quinoa is well done. If not, cover again and allow it to absorb all the water.

Is quinoa good in the microwave?

Cooking quinoa in a microwave is a fast and efficient way to prepare it. With a microwave, you can get the same results as cooking the quinoa in a rice cooker or on a stovetop, with much less ease.

Once you set the temperature and timer, you can wait for the microwave to do the work, and you only need to take it out once to stir the quinoa. It’s the best alternative when you are running out of time.

What is the trick to cooking quinoa?

Your best bet to making the perfect quinoa is perfecting your measurements. Put in just twice the amount of water or broth, and cover it while it cooks. Remember to use hot water/broth when cooking the quinoa. Do not overcook it, as this will make it mushy and undesirable.

Additionally, do not uncover the quinoa for a minimum of 3 minutes after taking it out of the microwave or stovetop.

How do you cook one cup of quinoa?

To cook a cup of quinoa, you will need two cups of hot water or broth. Prepare the quinoa by rinsing thoroughly under cold water, then combining it with the water or broth in a microwave-safe bowl. Choose a big bowl to hold three cups of cooked quinoa, as it swells up when cooked. Microwave for six minutes on high, remove and stir, then microwave for another 2 minutes. Let it sit uncovered for an extra three minutes.

Is Quinoa Healthier than rice?

How to Cook Quinoa in a MicrowaveQuinoa is a healthier alternative to white rice. It is higher in protein and fiber content and lowers in calories and carbohydrates.

There is also more potassium, iron, calcium, and manganese in quinoa than rice. People with diabetes would also benefit more from quinoa due to its lower glycemic index than white rice.

Is Quinoa good for weight loss?

Quinoa can help with weight loss because of its low caloric content. It is also rich in insoluble fiber, which reduces appetite by helping you stay full for a longer time. Your metabolism also gets a boost from eating quinoa, which is beneficial to weight loss.

Since quinoa has a low glycemic index, it contributes to weight loss by stabilizing your blood sugar. Consistently eating foods with a low glycemic index makes weight loss more sustainable in the long run and reduces your risk for diabetes.

Why do you rinse the quinoa?

Rinsing quinoa removes saponins that coat the quinoa seeds and give the quinoa a bitter taste. Saponins are to blame for the soapy water you see upon rinsing quinoa. Although saponins are not highly toxic, they do contain compounds that could cause allergic reactions in some people. Washing quinoa also activates the enzymes, making it easier to digest and more nutritious.

Is quinoa or brown rice better for weight loss?

Quinoa is better than brown rice for weight loss because it is higher in amino acids and protein. It is also richer in fiber, vitamins and minerals such as calcium and folate. It is to note that quinoa has slightly higher calories than brown rice, but is overall more nutritious.

How do you cook quinoa without a stove?

A microwave and a rice cooker are just as good for cooking quinoa as a stovetop. Both will give you well cooker quinoa, as long as you use the right measurements and follow the recommended procedures for using them.


Cooking quinoa in the microwave will save you time and energy. The process is easy to follow, and as long as you stick to the right measurements and timings, you will get perfect results every time. Resist any temptation to overcook quinoa.

Quinoa is versatile, and you can incorporate it into many dishes, salads, pastries and desserts. Famous for its nutritional value and health benefits, quinoa certainly ranks high on the list of superfoods.

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