Cooking Quinoa in Your Rice Cooker

by Maria on February 19, 2013

How to cook quinoa in your rice cookerThe first time I heard about quinoa was six years ago. I saw a recipe at a health fair that called for it. I was like, “What in the world is kin-o-a?” I actually just recently started pronouncing it correctly, keen-wa. I was intimidated by Quinoa for years, but in the last year I have started using it regularly in meals and recipes for my family. It is delicious and best of all, quinoa can easily be prepared in your rice cooker.

When I found out about quinoa all those years ago, I did a little research. I found out it is a grain, its high in fiber and also high in protein. I was super excited to try it. I couldn’t find quinoa in the stores near me, but when I went to visit my sister in New York State that summer, I found some in an Amish Market. I couldn’t wait to try it but the bag didn’t come with cooking instructions. Guess how long that quinoa stayed (unused) in my pantry. Three Years. Really! I was so intimidated by it that I didn’t even try it.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Quinoa is delicous and versitle enough to be used in many different types of recipes. I have found the easiest way for me to prepare it is in my rice cooker. If you do not have a rice cooker. You can cook it on the stove top in the same manner you would if you were cooking rice. Most quinoa packages have cooking instructions on the back.

Quinoa is much tastier if you add flavor, during cooking. Adding salt or some type of broth or stock will make a big difference. One of my favorite recipes that calls for quinoa is Quinoa Chicken Fajita Casserole. Here is how I cook quinoa in my rice cooker.

Cooking Quinoa in Your Rice Cooker

1 part quinoa

2 parts water, stock or broth

(if using plain water add salt to your liking)

  • Pour quinoa and liquid into rice cooker
  • add salt if desired
  • On my rice cooker I flip the switch to cook. If your rice cooker has different setting, just make sure you put it on the same setting you would use if you were cooking regular rice.
  • Wait for quinoa to finish cooking and serve or use in recipe as desired.

Easy Peasy! I can’t believe I was so afraid of cooking quinoa for so many years. It is so easy! Don’t make the same mistake I did. Go get yourself some quinoa and cook it up today. You will be glad you did.

You got this!


*If you do not have a rice cooker and want to get one. I love mine. It is a Livart. We have had it for ten years. I Love it. Did I mention I love it. No, this is not a paid advertisement. I love it because it cooks the rice and quinoa perfectly and it is super easy to clean.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendi February 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

How did I never think of cooking quinoa in my rice cooker? Thanks! On a side note, the quinoa we eat is actually the seed so technically not a grain, it’s closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. Yum! Tmbleweeds :-)


Maria February 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

It makes cooking quinoa so easy. I am much more likely to use it in recipes if I just throw some in the rice cooker at some point during my day. And who knew there is such controversy over quinoa and its status as a seed or a grain. Thanks for the heads up.


JS February 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

Do you rinse your quinoa? Ive used some that say they are pre-rinsed. I always rinse mine because I find even if they say that its still bitter if I dont.


Dan March 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

Rinsing helps with the bitterness but I have found that toasting helps even more. Spread the dry grain/seed/whatever thin on a couple of cookie sheets, preheat the oven to 215 F and toast for 1-2 hours.

I read this somewhere I do not remember, it really helps. Especially if you are grinding the grain for flour.


Alyssa February 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Apparently I still say Quinoa completly wrong… I will have to retrain myself. :)


Destri February 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Me too Alyssa!


Maria February 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Lol, you are in good company. I still slip up occasionally. :)


Sheila @ Sheila's Potpourri February 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I never thought of cooking quinoa in the rice cooker! That’s genius! I wonder if farro would do well in there too…? I’ll have to give it a try! I *love* my rice cooker too! My friend turned me on to it and I’m in love! Mine’s a Zojirushi.


best rice cooker June 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

Nice instruction and tips for cooking quinoa. Thanks for sharing


Debbie August 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Thank you so much! I am making quinoa taboule (yummy) and I went blank on the correct setting on my rice maker. You saved me! I am making a BBQ and salads for forty family members. I am still somewhat sane!

Alyssa – Keen-wah. It took me awhile as well.


Carla September 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I wish I had seen this a week ago before I bought an Aroma rice cooker to replace the older model I had for over a decade (it did still work, but the pot was losing the coating- yuck). Yours is way cuter! I’ll hope for this one to break so I can get one like yours now.


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