How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

QuinoaIn this article we’ll look at how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker and get perfect results every time. Quinoa’s naturally gluten free, completely vegan, absolutely delicious and a complete form of protein. You can’t ask for much more than that!

The first thing you’ll need is some quality organic quinoa. I prefer organic because I don’t like putting unnecessary chemicals into my body and I believe it’s much healthier to eat organic whenever possible.

Organic quinoa


So, if you haven’t already got any in your cupboard, have a look on Amazon for some great organic quinoa.

You can choose between white, red or black quinoa. The white is the mildest flavour and the softest texture; the red is slightly more resistant and nutty and the black is the strongest of the three.

Their cooking times can vary a little too, with the white cooking the fastest and absorbing the least amount of water and the black being the opposite.

My favourite is the red, but you can choose your quinoa to suit your recipe and also for the colour. I’ve made loads of delicious curries with white quinoa.

How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker – Perfectly

Quinoa’s really easy to cook once you get the hang of it, but there are a few tips you should know before cooking it. 

The most important thing to remember about quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is that it’s covered in a bitter coating called Saponin. Quinoa’s a seed and the Saponin helps to discourage birds from eating the seed, so it’s an evolutionary accomplishment.

Before I had a rice cooker, I didn’t really see the point in getting one. But now that I’ve got one I can’t believe I didn’t buy it sooner. It takes the hassle out of cooking rice or quinoa and gives you perfect results each time.

You don’t need to spend a lot and a simple rice cooker can do a great job, or alternatively you can go for a rice cooker with slow cooker all in one.

The first thing to do is to measure the dry quinoa using the cup from the rice cooker and put those cupfuls into a pan. Top up the pan with cold water.

Red quinoa

When you first rinse the quinoa, you’ll most probably see the water beautifully clear, and you might think that it doesn’t need much washing. You’d be wrong; it just takes a bit of time for the water to go cloudy.

Rub the quinoa between your hands until the water begins to turn cloudy. Then change the water and repeat several times. When you think you’ve got rid of the cloudiness, put the wet quinoa in a sieve and run the tap over it just to be sure.

Wash the quinoa

I normally rinse it in the pan about 3-4 times and then run water over it and squosh it about a bit more.

Transfer the clean, wet quinoa to the rice cooker and pour on water. For red quinoa you can use the same amount of water as for rice, so fill the water up to the rice marker. For white quinoa a little less water is needed as it doesn’t absorb as much. Add a pinch of salt to the water unless you’re on a low sodium diet.

When the rice cooker turns off, you’ll have perfect quinoa which you can store in the fridge for other recipes like stuffed red peppers, or for eating on your salads, accompanying spicy caulifloweror having for breakfast.

Perfectly cooked quinoa

2 Replies to “How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker”

  1. I found this article post extremely interesting and useful, I have a rice cooker of my own which I do use to cook rice several times per week, but I never knew you could cook quinoa in a rice cooker. Would i be able to cook my pasta's in my rice cooker as well, this would make cooking pasta so much easier for me and many other people I am sure
    1. Hi Jeffrey, Thanks for visiting the site and for your comment. I don't recommend using the rice cooker for your pasta because pasta needs to be boiled in plenty of water and drained at the end of cooking, whereas when you cook something in a rice cooker it's cooked by the absorption method - so only a little water's used and all of it's absorbed during cooking. Best to stick to a traditional pan for your pasta. 

      Do try the quinoa in your rice cooker though - I promise you you'll be impressed by the results!

      All the best,


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