I had a few kitchen fails this week. There was one thing that definitely turned into a paste and we don’t have to discuss it further. But there is one thing that works like a dream every time – cooking quinoa in the rice cooker. So I decided it was about time to share the knowledge in it’s own post. Here’s how to cook quinoa in the rice cooker.
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We get our quinoa at Costco because we eat a lot of quinoa. It probably saves us $100 or more a year. Okay – I thought about that jokingly but it could really be true. First, I was buying Ancient Grains from the grocery store. It was great – no quinoa complaints, but just a little expensive ($7.99 for 12 ounces). And I was buying it more a little than once a week. So it was a great day when I realized Costco sells 4.5 POUNDS of quinoa for $11.99!! That’s incredible savings (I actually compared the quinoa prices and a few other things in a separate post about things from Costco that make meal prep better).
When you cook quinoa in the rice cooker, use one cup of white quinoa, though any color would work. I also rarely rinse the quinoa, but that’s completely a personal preference. I’ve done a little research, and it doesn’t really seem to matter. If you choose not to rinse your quinoa (like me), it keeps a tiny bit more of the nuttiness flavor, which I barely even notice. It doesn’t seem to affect the cooking or texture in my opinion. Rinse by your own will.
Ultimately, it comes down to two main choices: water or broth. You can totally use water, and that’s fine. Your quinoa will be perfectly quinoa-y and ready for use. But using chicken broth is my number one recommendation. I’ve heard people say quinoa doesn’t have any flavor. I think those people probably ate plain quinoa cooked in water. So yeah, they were probably right. Using broth (you can also use veggie broth of course) provides a flavor profile. It gives the quinoa a starting place. A foundation for the remaining flavors of your chosen quinoa dish.
Most of the time, people use the ratio of 2 parts liquid to 1 part dry quinoa. So for one cup of quinoa, you need two cups of liquid. I quickly learned that one 14.5 ounce can of chicken broth is just short of 2 cups of liquid. I tried it anyway, and it worked perfectly. So just remember – 1 cup dry quinoa, 1-14.5 ounce can broth. PS: Also conveniently sold at Costco. I love saving $$.
The Rice Cooker
I was introduced to the Aroma Rice Cooker around when I met my husband. He used it to cook rice. And then I did too, for a while (after we joined forces). Then I started making quinoa in the old thing. Like every week at least. We’ve even used it for steaming veggies a few times (I like them roasted better). And we still cook rice in it every once in a while. My point? This rice cooker has lasted for years and we use it at least once a week. Today, it went on back to back quinoa cooking missions. No problems, whatsoever. Though it does take up some valuable storage space, I use it constantly and it’s proven itself worthy of my kitchen.
The Magic Ingredient
Coconut oil is MAGIC. Another Costco gem. I use it for everything but I’ll cut to the chase: Wipe the inside bowl of the rice cooker down with some coconut oil on a paper towel. It prevents most of the quinoa from sticking in the bowl. I swear it also provides texture and moisture to the quinoa, but I can’t prove it. I don’t know why I love this little trick so much, but it’s here to stay.
How to Cook Quinoa in the Rice Cooker video (57 secs):
A simple explanation of how to make the EASIEST quinoa ever, in your rice cooker!
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1-14.5 ounce can of chicken broth (can sub vegetable broth or water if necessary)
- coconut oil
- pinch of salt, optional (I do not add extra salt if I use chicken broth)
- rice cooker required
- Using a mesh strainer, rinse your quinoa under cold water for 15-20 seconds, if desired. I normally skip this. You can also buy pre-rinsed quinoa (check the package).
- Using a paper towel, wipe coconut oil on the inside of the rice cooker dish, including the bottom and up the first half of the sides of the dish. This prevents sticking.
- Add quinoa and broth to the rice cooker. No need to stir.
- Set on brown rice setting (or rice setting if no options).
- When the rice cooker beeps, open the lid and let the quinoa cool for 3-4 minutes.
- Use a fork to fluff the quinoa gently. It is now ready to be used in another recipe or put into lunch bowls made ahead. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Update: Video added on 4/22/17.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup dry
- Calories: 177
- Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 29g
- Protein: 7g
Make these recipes with quinoa: