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How to Cook Quinoa in Microwave

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From breakfast to dinner, quinoa is a super grain that is loaded with both fiber and protein, making it incomparably better than white rice due to containing double the protein and fiber. 

To cook one or more cups of quinoa can be intimidating when it comes to using stove top. Not only is microwaving the quick and easy solution to cook quinoa, it turns out perfect every time.

How do you cook quinoa in the microwave? Rinse the quinoa with cold running water to remove residue, and place it in a microwave safe bowl. 1 cup of quinoa needs 2 cups of water, and add a pinch of salt, olive oil or butter for more flavor.

Stir to combine and ensure the quinoa is fully submerged in water, cover the bowl with microwave safe plate or lid, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes. Stir well, and continue to microwave 1 minute at a time or until desired fluffiness is achieved.

Remove from microwave and let it sit on the counter for 2 minutes so it can absorb any remaining water at bottom of the bowl. Fluff with a fork and enjoy.

Cooking quinoa in microwave is quite simple and straightforward. It makes fluffy and earthy tasting whole grain that are no different from the stove top method, just quicker and with less hassle.

In this article, we are going to review proper cooking time and short cut tips to cook quinoa in the microwave. Answered below are frequently asked questions about microwaving quinoa so you can enjoy in breakfast bowl or serve on a dinner plate.

Is microwave quinoa good for you?

Yes, microwaved quinoa is good for you. Quinoa itself is so nutritious and high in fiber that does not get destroyed when cooked or heated up in the microwave. 

In addition, it take just minutes compared to stove top cooking that generally takes more than 10 minutes.

Even though you are microwaving quinoa, it is recommended to rinse quinoa with cold or lukewarm running water. By doing so, it helps to get rid of the saponin and strong bitter tastes.

Consider soaking quinoa before cooking to remove phytic acid to improve digestion and also speed cooking time. 

How long does quinoa take in the microwave?

Typically, to cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, it takes about 6 minutes to cook to make fluffy. 

Depending on the serving size and appliance wattage, the microwave time varies.

  • ¼ cup: 4 minutes 
  • ½ cup: 5 minutes
  • 1 cup: 6 minutes

After cooking time is finished, regardless of amount of quinoa, it is recommended to let it sit for 2 to 4 minutes with lid closed for the grains to fully absorb the remaining water and fully fluff up. 

Can you microwave cooked quinoa?

Yes, you can microwave already cooked quinoa. In fact, microwave is quick and safe way to reheat grains without altering its texture and flavor.

To reheat quinoa in the microwave, place it in a microwave safe container with lid on. Add a splash of water if the cooked quinoa looks dry and needs additional moisture, plus the steam will really help to reheat the grain quickly.

Adjust the appliance to medium 50% power and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Check to see if the quinoa is warmed through to an internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the quinoa is fully reheated, carefully remove the lid to prevent burning from any steam build-up. Fluff with a fork and serve with your favorite dishes. 

Tips to cook quinoa in microwave

Cooking quinoa on the stovetop can be a headache because the timing is never consistent and the risk of burning the bottom is high. 

Microwaving helps to control the cooking time and temperature to prevent overcooking that results in a mushy flavorless mess. 

Use these helpful tips to cook quinoa in the microwave to get fluffy and delicious results: 

  • Quinoa to water ratio is 1:2 or low as 1:1½ to hit the sweet spot for a light and fluffy texture.
  • Throughly rinse the quinoa with running water to remove any residue and eliminate the bitter taste.
  • Ensure the quinoa is fully submerged.
  • Use microwave-safe container that has lid to cover with to cook quinoa in microwave. 
  • Tricolor quinoa takes longer to cook, therefore add 1 minute increments until all the quinoa seeds are fully popped open. 
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa yields about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Best way to cook quinoa in microwave

The best way to cook quinoa in the microwave is get the water and quinoa ratio correct, and monitor the microwave time to get the best results. 

The proper steps and details can result fluffy texture while preventing a mushy mouthfeel that ultimately alters the overall taste.

Prepare quinoa by rinsing thoroughly with cold running water or even soak an hour before cooking to help to digest well and speed up the cooking process.

Transfer the one cup of quinoa into a microwave safe bowl and add two cups of water, or use stock for more flavor. Close the lid or cover the bowl to keep the steam intact.

Microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes and carefully open the lid to stir well and evenly distribute heat amongst the grain.

Close the lid and continue to cook 1 minute increments until the quinoa is fully cooked.

When fully cooked, allow the bowl to stand for 2 minutes before opening the lid so the quinoa can absorb any remaining liquid. Use a fork to fluff and serve with your favorite dish.

Quinoa in microwave

Microwaving Quinoa: Conclusion

Quinoa is healthy and nutritious grain that can be used in many different dishes to offer fiber and plant based protein. The whole grains are versatile and easy-to-prepare, making it quick and easy to cook in the microwave.

While cooking or even reheating cooked quinoa in the microwave, the fiber and protein won’t be destroyed. Instead, the microwaves will trigger the water molecule to cook the grains from the inside out. 

To eliminate bitter taste or residue, consider rinsing or soaking for an hour before cooking.

Add salt, oil, and butter for in-depth flavor. Place the seasoned quinoa into a microwave-safe bowl and stir well to mix. 

The quinoa to water ratio is 1:2, so pour double the water compared to the amount of quinoa so the grain is fully submerged.

Run the microwave for 4 to 6 minutes on high with the lid closed. Slowly remove the lid and stir thoroughly.  

Continue to nuke for 1 minute at a time until the quinoa is fully cooked. The total cooking time may range from 4 to 6 minutes depending on the amount of quinoa you are cooking and the microwave wattage

Before serving, leave the lid closes and sit for couple of minutes to allow the moisture is be fully absorbed into quinoa. Carefully open the lid and fluff with fork before serving.