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Easy Quinoa Recipe

Easy Quinoa

This Easy Quinoa recipe will show you how to perfect your quinoa so you can make this delicious healthy alternative anytime you need.

In a culture where white rice is king we want to take a minute and introduce you to quinoa. It’s a great alternative to rice to introduce to your diet, in case you are getting tired of salads or vegetables.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is the seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant. Quinoa is widely regarded as a “superfood” due to its high nutritional content. Just one cup has a ton of vitamins we need like iron, zinc, vitamin B and magnesium. It’s low on calories and high on protein. Not only is it high in fiber, it’s also a gluten free grain. This means people with celiac disease, wheat allergies or those who avoid gluten can consume it. (find more about Quinoa’s Health Benefits HERE. It is not just a superfood it is a magical unicorn of superfood.

Easy Quinoa Recipe
Easy Quinoa Recipe

Why Should You Add This Recipe to Your Life

You might be asking, “what would abuela say about quinoa?” While it’s true, Abuela would have always picked the rice, our abuelas were all about the carbs so they may have been on board. The key would be to make the quinoa irresistible, which we have covered below.

 It’s the perfect base to any dish because it’s filling and absorbs whatever flavoring and ingredient is around it. This ancient grain, hailing from Peru, is a good carb. It’s a great source of protein, fiber and known to be anti-inflammatory.  

Quinoa is mainly available in three colors: white, red and black. Each color has varying nutritional value. We like to use the tricolor quinoa. It’s more beautiful than just using the classic pale colored quinoa, and has a little more texture because the red quinoa has a slightly crunch to it. Use whatever quinoa you like, it will not affect the cooking process, all colors cook the same.  

Our Tips for Making Our Easy Quinoa

Quinoa is a whole grain with a slightly nutty flavor. A big key to bringing out that flavor and getting the right texture, is to lightly toast our quinoa in oil then gently steam it in water. We put the fluffy grain in almost everything. We add it to salads for some more heft or as a side dish to replace rice. 

  • One of the most important steps in making quinoa is toasting it in oil. It won’t say it on the package but trust us, it makes all difference. It really opens up the flavor and allows the quinoa to cook properly once it has been toasted.  
  • Make sure you fluff it with a fork
  • Quinoa and rice are interchangeable in almost every recipe. So feel free to pair it with anything you would normally serve with rice. We love it over our black beans, with picadillo and even our sheet pan white fish to stick to stick with a lighter and healthier theme. 
  • It will keep for a few days in the fridge.
  • Afraid your family won’t love it? We get it. It has a very particular texture that kids may not love. The first few times you serve quinoa mix it into rice. That way they taste something new and unfamiliar with something they already love.  

Our Favorite Way to Use This Easy Quinoa Recipe

Our absolute favorite way to use this recipe is in a Healthy Cuban Veggie Bowl. This bowl has a quinoa base, and loaded with Air Fryer Spinach, Roasted Mini Peppers, Black Beans, other delicious veggies like Brocolini and a little avocado. Then we eat it is as is or top it with any protein we have on hand maybe our

Easy Quinoa

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: SidesCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup of Quinoa  

  • 1 ¼ cup of water

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of avocado oil

  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  • Rinse quinoa in a bowl or a very fine sieve. 
  • In a medium size pot add the quinoa and the oil. Set the heat to medium high. Toast  the quinoa for about 2 minutes. 
  • Raise the heat to high and add the water and salt. 
  • Allow it to come to a boil without the top on. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Once the water is bubbling place the lid on the top. 
  • Keep the heat on high for 1 minute then turn the heat down to low. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork. The quinoa will open up but still have a nice texture. 
  • Taste for salt and add more if needed.