How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa

How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa

About This Recipe

Before becoming vegan I didn’t eat a lot of different foods. I had never tried kale or tofu, let alone try to cook them. I bought the same items at the grocery store in college consisting of frozen chicken, the same veggies, ice cream, white rice, and microwave dinners. So I pretty much bought whatever was the easiest to cook and what was compatible with soy sauce. Maybe you can relate?

When I made the change to a vegan lifestyle I had no idea what to eat. It was easiest to just buy a ton of vegetables and order salads at a restaurant. I lost 10 pounds because the only thing I was eating was vegetables. I had to start getting creative and also, leave my comfort zone.

So, me buying new foods led to me having to learn how to cook. And trust me, I was not good at it. I burnt a lot of pans and made meals that did not taste good at all. Sometimes I still do. So this leads me to the mystery of how to cook (fluffy) quinoa.

How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa - Dried white quinoa

To Start

The rule that I follow is the 2 to 1 ratio. What does this mean? For every part quinoa, you use 2 parts of water. So if you use a 1/2 cup of quinoa you will put in a cup of water or if you use 1 cup of quinoa you will use 2 cups of water. I don’t know if you noticed but it’s the same rule when cooking rice.

I like to put the quinoa and water in the pot and then heat it up, opposed to heating up the water and then adding the quinoa.

So in this recipe, as an example, I am using a cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. I add the quinoa and water to the pot along with salt and 3-4 tbsp of olive oil. Oil is optional but I feel that it adds more flavor to the quinoa.

I am also using a small to a medium-sized pot. You don’t want to pot to be too big but also leave enough space in order for the quinoa to cook properly.

Place it on the stove and set the heat to high. Once the water starts to boil turn the heat down to simmer and cover the top.

Leave it for 20 minutes. I found that 20 minutes exactly works every time for me.

Note: I am also cooking 1 cup of quinoa every time. If you are cooking more or less just be sure to check on it every couple of minutes. You will know it’s done when the water is completely gone.

After 20 minutes your quinoa will be ready. It should look like all the water has been absorbed but the quinoa isn’t burnt or stuck to the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat and fluff it with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

How to cook fluffy quinoa

How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa

An easy way to cook the quinoa and get it right every time!
Keyword gluten-free, quinoa
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Water (use vegetable broth instead for more flavor)
  • 3-4 tbsp Olive Oil optional
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Add Quinoa, Water, Olive Oil, and Salt to a small to a medium-sized pot.
  • Place the pot over high heat to bring to boil.
  • Once water is boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover pot.
  • After 20 minutes, turn off heat and fluff quinoa with a fork. The water should be gone and the quinoa should not be sticking to the sides or the bottom of the pot.
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Check out some of our other “How To’s”. Click here for: How to Press Tofu.

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How to Press Tofu Without a Tofu Press

How to Press Tofu Without a Tofu Press

What Does This Mean and Why Do We Press Tofu?

Tofu is like a Sponge. It holds a lot of water. So when we are making a recipe that requires us to fry tofu in oil, we press the tofu first.

This will get rid of a lot of the water. As a result, the cooked tofu will come out dry and crisp.

Should I buy a Tofu Press?

No, you do not need to buy a press. You can if you would like to but it’s not necessary. All you need is a towel and a heavy household item.

For example, a book or a pan. Or a pan with a book on top of it. I found that a medium size cast iron pan worked best for me, but not everyone owns a cast iron so just use what you can find around the house.

Note: The item should be light enough as to not break or crush the tofu, but heavy enough so that there is still enough pressure to get rid of a lot of the moisture.

What Kind of Tofu Should I Use?

In my opinion, it is best to use firm or extra firm tofu when you plan on frying it. Here I use extra firm tofu.

To Start

Wrap the tofu in the paper towel. (The paper towel is optional. You can just use a clean cloth towel if you are okay with it touching your tofu.)

Then, wrap that in the cloth towel.

Now, put the wrapped tofu on a surface that you do no mind getting a little wet. For example, I am using a cutting board.

Place your heavy item on top of the wrapped tofu. Reference the picture below. It is a little odd to look at, but it does the trick!

And let that sit for about 30 minutes.

How to Press tofu without a tofu press- cast iron pan on top of towel wrapped tofu

Then you can carefully unwrap the tofu.

You will see that the tofu is flatter and denser and that the towel has soaked up a lot of the water.

How to Press Tofu Without a Tofu Press - Tofu

Now it is ready for frying!

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