Love quinoa, but the longer cook time holding you back? Cook quinoa in the microwave in just 8 minutes instead! All you need is quinoa, water, a microwave-safe bowl and a lid, and you’ll have perfectly cooked microwave quinoa!
Microwave Quinoa = EASIEST Method Ever
Ahhhhhhhhh if only I would have known this trick in college, my dorm room life would have been complete! I could have steamed my veggies and had it over quinoa :P. But seriously, cooking quinoa in the microwave will save your life during busy weeks! It is the EASIEST and (least messy!) way to cook quinoa.
Like I mentioned, this recipe is SUPER SIMPLE. You don’t have to be a magnificent chef to get PERFECTLY cooked quinoa every time. Heck, you don’t even need a stove top to enjoy perfectly cooked quinoa!
There’s nothing worse than spending the time to cook quinoa in your rice cooker or on the stove top only to have a mushy mess at the end. Cooking quinoa in the microwave is our fool-proof, works 100% of the time method.
What you Need for Microwave Quinoa:
- Uncooked quinoa (any color!)
- Microwave-safe bowl (I like using Pyrex nesting bowls)
- Microwave-safe top / dish (I used an upside down plate!)
Pro Tip: cover your bowl with something that will create a relative seal. This is why we like using an upside down plate! The weight of the plate prevents the quinoa from spilling over while cooking.
Then, all you need to do is microwave (covered), stir, microwave more, and let steam! It’s seriously that simple.
What is the ratio of quinoa to water for cooking? The standard quinoa to water ratio is 1:2. This ratio can be used regardless of the amount of quinoa you’re cooking. But be careful to not overfill your bowl before cooking in the microwave to avoid it spilling over while cooking!
What color quinoa works for this recipe? Any kind! You’ll keep the same water to quinoa ratio. White quinoa has the most mild taste, whereas tri-color quinoa or red quinoa packs more of a bite.
How do you know when quinoa is done cooking? You know your quinoa is done cooking when the little seeds of quinoa sprout open, and all of your liquid has absorbed.
Is quinoa better for you than rice? Nutritionally, yes, quinoa is better for you than white rice. Quinoa is a complete protein, so when looking at protein/serving, quinoa packs in 6g protein/1 cup cooked quinoa compared to 4g protein/1 cup cooked white rice.
How long does cooked quinoa last in the fridge? Cooked quinoa will last in the fridge for around 5 days, making it great for meal prep. Make sure to keep it in a glass, airtight container for best results.
Can you freeze cooked quinoa? Yes! Freezing cooked quinoa is easy. First, let quinoa cool completely. This part is important for preventing freezer burn. Then, transfer into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag or glass container. Remove as much air as possible and seal. It will last up to 3 months.
More Ways to Cook Quinoa
Recipes with Quinoa
- Best Quinoa Salad Recipes
- 10 Healthy Quinoa Recipes
- Chicken Quinoa Soup
- Roasted Garlic Black Bean Quinoa Burger
How to Cook Quinoa in the Microwave
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa any color, rinsed
- 2 cups water or broth for a more savory option
- First, begin by rinsing your quinoa under warm water to remove residue.
- Then, place quinoa in a microwave-safe bowl or container and add in 2 cups of water. Cover with a lid (I used a plate) and microwave on high for 6 minutes.
- Remove and stir. At this point, more than half the water should be absorbed. Place back in the microwave, covered, for about 2 more minutes on high. Then, let sit covered for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
Tips & Notes
- Quantity: you can make as much or as little quinoa as you want. Just make sure you use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water.
A little tip for those wondering about making this without spillage, adjust your microwave’s power setting. I make this all the time with my nuke set at 70% power and it works great every time.
Thanks so much for the tip!
I used a Corelle bowl that was 6 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches deep. Unfortunately, 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa ran over onto the (Corelle!) plate that I placed the bowl on as well as out from under the (Corelle!) plate that I placed over the bowl. So it didn’t go all over my microwave but I did have to scrape all the water and the quinoa back into the bowl. FYI: I also used the dark quinoa (not the red as pictured and certainly not white), and it took 12 minutes for all the water to be absorbed. But it was perfectly edible and now I know for the next time I cook quinoa in the microcooker.
Mine did not sprout. I even cooked it a few minutes longer and let it sit for five minutes. Nothing. Tasted a little on the chewy side, too. 🙁
That is so weird! We suggest using white quinoa for best results and making sure it’s fresh, is important too!
It came out good add some turmeric and seasoning. I did add about 3 more minutes in microwave to get rid of some water that was left still. No boiled over. I used a 2 Quarter pyrex bowl with lid.
The measurements are not good, results in soupy quinoa. I’ll try with less water next time…
The concept of this is good but the ingredient measurements are off. Try using 1/2 cup Quinoa and 3/4 cup of Water. Cook 6 minutes, stir, then cook an additional 2-3 minutes at 80%. Let sit for a few minutes then fluff with a fork.
Boiled over in microwave
Hey Gillian! Wondering what size bowl you used! It’s important you use a large bowl for this so this does not happen!
It came out good add some turmeric and seasoning. I did add about 4 more minutes in microwave. No boiled over.
I use a Tupperware pizza/giant cookie dish. I put the bowl of pasta, quinoa, anything with bowl over potential inside this large flat circular Tupper Ware. It catches any overflow. No problems anymore.
After 8 mins, 2cups of water is still there!😡 i added 6mins more and it was good.😒 i should have read d reviews before cooking. I woukd have save myself frm disappointment.🤦🏻♀️
I just made 1 gigantic cup of quinoa mess with your instructions. I’m going to suggest you add 10 minutes to the prep time to clean up the destroyed microwave from the boil over? It mostly cooked the quinoa though…
Oh, yes, I’ve burned quinoa when cooking it on the stove top. I learned to turn the heat off while you can still see water within – not above – the level of quinoa, leave a cover on the pan and let it sit while you fix the rest of your meal. It will finish beautifully. As for the microwave, I had a mess and quickly determined my microwave must be much more powerful than the one you used. I will try again after having reduced the power.
Epic fail, just boiled over and made a mess in the microwave
I love this! Quick question – how many watts does your microwave have? I’m just concerned I may need to adjust the timing since my microwave has 1200 watts.
How do you adjust the ratio to make ¼ cup quinoa? I struggle with this on the stove too- it always ends up undercooked and I don’t understand why! I tried the microwave method with ¼ cup and got the same undercooked results. Do I need to add more water? less water? It would be really nice to be able to make one serving and cook it well for once haha
Hiyah! The ratio for quinoa is 1 to 2. So just double the amount of water you use for quinoa!
I tried this as well. Same result. 1/4 Cup quinoa, 1/2 cup water. 2 minutes, stir, 2 more, add 1/4 water because water gone but no sprouting, 2 more minutes, 1/4 Cup more water because water gone and no sprouting, 2 minutes, stir, 2 more, water gone and no sprouting, 1/2 cup water and 3 minutes, stir, 3 more, stir, eat oatmeal and dump quinoa in the trash.
Hi I was just wondering if you could do the same method for cous cous thanks !
This recipe did not work at all, I halved the recipe and put it in the same size container as you and it still boiled over a ton!
I am totally afraid of microwave boil overs.? I learned to reduce the power by about 1/3. No more problems, make sure the food begins in the very bottom of a high sided dish.
I also pre heat the water for a few minutes…
o0o GENIUS!! Thanks for the tips.
I recently moved to an apartment with an electric oven and had literally stopped trying to make quinoa because it ALWAYS boiled over because the temperature is so inconsistent.
I tried this microwave trick with low expectations and am blown away! I used a 1.5qt Pyrex bowl + lid and it worked perfectly and the quinoa is fluffier than I’ve ever gotten it on any stove (electric or gas). Thanks for this!!
YEAH!!!! That makes me so happy! Yes, electric stoves can be super tricky. I am so glad my microwave trick worked!
Just wanted to let you know your primary image to “pin” says “mircrowave” – great tip though, thanks!
Ahhhhh, thanks for letting me know Jada! FIXED!
Amazing tip! I have all this quinoa that I was too lazy to cook and now I just pop it in the microwave! Thanx!
Thanks! Great way to make a quick lunch for one, I think I’ll go have some right now 🙂