Love quinoa and want to make it perfect every time? Learn to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker? It is easy, fool-proof, and perfect for meal prep. Here is how!
As the author of two quinoa cookbooks, I get asked a lot of questions about cooking quinoa. One of the most common questions is what method for cooking quinoa is the easiest.
For years I cooked quinoa on the stove top, and I still believe that is an excellent way to cook quinoa. (You can see this post on how to cook quinoa on the stove top for the two different methods that I use.)
The first time someone asked me how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker, I had to confess that I’d never tried.
Obviously, that had to change!
I gave it a try and have been hooked ever since. Cooking quinoa in a rice cooker has become my go-to method.
How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker
- Rinse quinoa in a fine metal strainer.
- Spray the bottom of the cooker with oil. (This is optional but I find it helpful to avoid sticking.)
- Add the quinoa and liquid to the rice cooker. You will use two parts liquid and one part quinoa.
- If your cooker allows you to add in herbs and spices, you should go ahead and do that now. Quinoa is great at absorbing the flavors that it is cooked with!
- Once you turn your rice cooker on, it will take between 15 and 25 minutes for your quinoa to cook. Times will vary depending on the rice cooker and the color of quinoa you are cooking.
- Allow a bit of additional time when cooking red quinoa. (See my note below about soaking red quinoa. If you do soak, it will reduce the needed cooking time.)
- Every rice cooker is a little different, so you will need to experiment with your cooker. Generally speaking though, you will want to use your white rice setting. The first time you try it, I would cook red quinoa for 25 minutes and white quinoa for 15. You can make adjustments from there.
Tips and Trick for Cooking Quinoa in a Rice Cooker
- Don’t forget to rinse your quinoa before you cook it! You will want to rise it in a fine mesh strainer under a steady stream of water for three to five minutes, or until the water runs clear. It is possible to buy quinoa that is pre-rinsed – it will explicitly say so on the packaging. In this case, you may elect to skip rinsing. Quinoa bought in bulk bins should always be well rinsed.
- You may want to soak quinoa before cooking it. Many people find that soaking helps to make it more digestible. To soak quinoa, rinse it well and then cover it with water and 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 12 hours, and then rinse again. If you are going to cook red quinoa in a rice cooker, I recommend soaking it since it tends to be firmer than white quinoa.
Frequently Asked Questions for Cooking Quinoa in a Rice Cooker:
How Can You Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker?
- Cooking quinoa in a rice cooker is very simple! Just put rinsed quinoa and your desired rice cooker and cook for 15 minutes. If your rice cooker has an automatically timed rice cooker function, you can use this setting as well. Please note that every rice cooker performs a little differently, so it may take some tweaking the first couple of times – but once you figure out how your cooker works you can expect perfect quinoa every time.
Is Quinoa better for you than Rice?
- While both quinoa and rice (especially brown rice) can both be parts of a healthy diet, quinoa has the edge nutritionally. It contains more protein, and the protein quality is superior to that of rice. This is because quinoa is one of the rare plant-based foods that contains all of the amino acids we need for health.
How Much Quinoa is 1 cup Cooked?
- Quinoa cooks up in a 1:3 ratio. This means if you need one cup of cooked quinoa, you will need to cook 1/3 a cup of quinoa. If you cook one cup of dry quinoa, it will yield approximately three cups of cooked quinoa.
Why Do You Need to Rinse Quinoa Before Cooking?
- Quinoa is covered in a bitter substance called saponin. In nature, saponin protects the seeds from pests and birds. Because it has a very bitter flavor and can lead to gastrointestinal distress, quinoa must be well-rinsed before serving. Alternatively, you may by pre-rinsed quinoa. (Though I usually still rinse it.)
Tools Used To Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker:
How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker
Want perfect quinoa in less than 30 minutes? Your rice cooker is about to become your new favorite kitchen appliance. It is a game changer for cooking quinoa. Here is how to cook perfect quinoa in a rice cooker every time!
- 1 cup quinoa
- Olive Oil Spray or a spoon of coconut oil
- 2 cups liquid chicken broth, vegetable broth, juice or water
Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for three to five minutes, until the water runs clear.
- Spray the bottom of the rice cooker with olive oil.
- Place the quinoa in the rice cooker.
Add 2 cups of liquid.
- Turn the rice cooker on and cook for 15 minutes. (Use the white rice setting if you have one.)
Unplug the rice cooker and allow to sit for 5 to 10 more minutes.
- Fluff and serve.
Tip: I often buy pre-rinsed quinoa but I still rinse it. Whether you do or not is a personal choice, but I find well-rinsed quinoa easier to digest.
If You Like How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker You May Also Like:
- How to Cook Red Quinoa
- Spicy Red Quinoa Pesto Bites
- Vegan Black Bean Soup
- Quinoa Mac and Cheese
- 17 Surprising Ways to Use a Rice Cooker By Greatist
- Rice Cooker Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya by Let’s Dish Recipes