Quinoa Fried Rice and Tips on Cooking Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa

You’ll never miss the rice in this healthy quinoa fried rice! This is by far the best technique I’ve tried for cooking perfect fluffy quinoa, every time! 

Quinoa Fried Rice

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Hookay so…. when it comes to quinoa, I had it all wrong! Someone once told me to cook it identically to rice and I have been happily doing so ever since. But then I did a little keen-wahhh related researched and realized there is most definitley a better way to cook up those little morsels of whole grain goodness!

I also realized that once the initial “newness” of quinoa wore off, I slacked on cooking the stuff. Yet whenever I would go to Whole Foods to stuff my face with their hot bar, I always loaded up on a giant scoop of quinoa as the base for my meal…. and loved the crap out of it every time.

Then it hit me – I needed to find a way to make quinoa convenient!  Not that it takes a ridiculously long time to cook (15 minutes if not even close to brutal), but by cooking a small batch for the week, I can ensure its appearance on my plate over and over again. The quinoa lasts around four days in the fridge and stays light and fluffy when you cook it like quinoa, versus rice. Love it!

So in honor of my ah-ha moment, here is how I cook my quinoa these days.

And might I add, that it comes out perfect every. time. now.

The process goes a little like this:

How to Make Fluffy Quinoa Tutorial

How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa

1. Rinse quinoa, strain with a mesh sieve or strainer, and allow to dry before even attempting to cook the stuff.  Moisture is the enemy here initially.  You can get delish quinoa regardless but it will be even fluffier if you let it dry fully.  Drying time will vary, I usually rinse, strain, and just walk away.  After drying, the rest of the process will only take about 15 minutes max.  So quick =)  The rinsing is also essential here because quinoa has a slightly bitter coating on it.  Rinsing removes this coating and you wind up with delicious results every time.

seive strainer quinoa
                                      a seive or mesh strainer makes rinsing a breeze!

2. Toss the dry quinoa straight in the pot without water and allow to toast on medium heat for just a minute or so while you stir to prevent burning.  You don’t quite want to brown it, but instead want to kick that liiiiittle extra moisture that the quinoa might be holding on to.  Sometimes I skip this step but I try to lightly toast it if I have a spare minute or two.

3. Add your water.  I try to use filtered b/c I’m a pansy and can taste the tap water here in NC in my cooking.  I’ve read many a cookbook and website that all suggest to nix the rice 1:2 ratio and instead do a 1:1.5 ratio for quinoa. 1 cup of quinoa per 1.5 cups of water. Feel free to use veggie broth instead of water for added flavor!  I skip the broth in the recipe below, but use it in many other recipes.  Try it both ways and see what you think =)

4. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and simmer for approx 12 minutes.

5. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and dig straight in!  If it’s still a little liquid-y let it simmer for another minute or so until it’s nice and fluffy.

Make extra so you can toss it in pasta dishes to bulk them up, in salads for extra protein and texture, and anything else you can think of! Now that i’m not drowning my quinoa in that extra 1/2 cup of liquid it comes out fluffier and tastier than ever.  Which means when I make Quinoa Fried Rice, its EXTRA magical.

Quinoa Fried Rice

Fluffy + Flavorful Quinoa Fried Rice

Healthy Quinoa Fried Rice + Tips on Making Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa

3 votes


Keen-Wahhhh!? Quinoa Fried Rice + Tips on Making Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa




Yield 2


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2-4 tsp low sodium soy sauce [add a little to start and add more to taste!]
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced [oh yes, I love my garlic!]
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen veggies such as peas, carrots, and onion
  • 1-2 large eggs, optional
  • oil or butter for sauteing [I typically reach for the butter]
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley, dried pepper flakes, or both!
  • Feeling saucy? Drizzle this dish with a little extra soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or even sriracha! It's amazing with all three!


  1. Cook your quinoa via the method mentioned above.
  2. While its cooking, prep your veggies! I used frozen peas, fresh baby carrots, and fresh onion since it's what I had on hand. Any combo of veggies, frozen or fresh will work.
  3. Saute the carrots and onion in a small frying pan until tender. You'll saute your garlic too but add it towards the very end to prevent burning.
  4. For the peas, I microwave-steamed a small bag and saved the rest for later; however, any cooking method for those delish little peas will work, including tossing them in the skillet with the other veg.
  5. If you're adding eggs to the mix, push the veggies to one side of the hot pan and crack your eggs on the other side and scramble.
  6. If your using a stainless or cast iron pan, you might want to add a teeny bit of butter or oil to the pan before cracking the eggs.
  7. By now the quinoa should be ready. Add a sprinkle of garlic powder, fluff, and toss your quinoa into the pan with the veggies.
  8. Next add your soy sauce.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pan fry for a few minutes.
  10. Serve hot and garnish with parsley, sweet chili sauce, and extra low-sodium soy sauce =)

Courses Entree

If you get a chance to try this fluffy quinoa fried rice, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

This recipe is a great way to clean out your crisper drawer or even your freezer!  Use what you have on hand to make this dish any day of the week without worrying about a grocery-run.  I tend to keep peas, carrots, and onion on hand at  all time so those always end up in my dishes.  When I have them, mushrooms, bean sprouts, snow peas and broccoli are a rockin‘ addition to this dish.  What better way to eat your veggies?!

special diets and swaps

  • Vegansaurus Chefs skip ze egg
  • Brontosaurus Chefs Dig in!  Add some General Tso’s Tofu if you’d like!
  • T-Rex Chefs  Enjoy as is or add some protien to the mix.  Like Coconut Shrimp!
  • Glutensaurus-Free?  grab some bragg liquid aminos or GF soy sauce to seal the deal
Quinoa Fried Rice

I literally make this quinoa fried rice once a week.  Ob-SESSED!

I hope you adore it as much as I do!

Crazy for Quinoa?
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  • Becka

    I was planing on making this myself and then came across your recipe! Looks great!

  • I tried this recipe last night and it’s wonderful. It will more than likely become a staple for me. I also followed your advice for cooking the quinoa and it turned out wonderful. I had half a zucchini to use, so that was my vegetable. I posted a review, along with a picture on my blog, http://adlinsadventures.blogspot.com/2015/06/recipe-roundup.html.

    • Jenn

      I’m so thrilled you loved it Adlin! Off to check out your blog! Thanks so much!!! <3

  • I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed this recipe. I shared it on my blog too. Thanks for your great site, photos and inspiration! http://www.naturallykristi.com/2013/07/01/meal-monday-quinoa-fried-rice/

  • YUM! I bring this to school all the time and it always gets me through track practice! I like to put sausage patties and egg whites and a ton of spinach in mine! Here’s my recipe :http://cannella-vita.blogspot.com/2012/12/instarecipe-quinoa-fried-rice_29.html#

  • Anonymous

    Made this tonight ~ OMG so good and easy to put together! My 2 and 3 year olds devoured it! We will be making this often! 5 stars!

  • Ohmygosh Warren that sounds amazing! I will absolutely be making this! Thanks!

  • Warren

    Try this one:
    1 cup cooked quinoa
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Juice from 1 lime
    pinch of sea salt
    4 cups baby arugula
    1 fresh ripe avocado, cubed
    1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
    Toss and serve!

  • KLNobles

    I love quinoa. I make a quinoa pilaf with onions, bell peppers and zucchini that my guys love. But we all love fried rice. So, I’m going to try your recipe tomorrow!  Thanks!

  • This is the best news I’ve heard all day! I’d say all week… but the week just started! But it will probably be the highlight of my next 7 days regardless =) Thanks for the super sweet comment Mary-Jeanine! My little brother is celiac so I’ll try to keep the gluten-free recipes coming! And I’m over the moon that you guys love it! Getting a 16 year old to eat quinoa is pretty much rocket science eh? Haha I love it!!!! Hope your week is off to a fantastic start! <3

  • Mary-Jeanine Ibarguen

    I’ve been making this about once a week for a few months now.  My 16yo daughter took small portions the  first few times, but now she swoons when I mention I’m making “stir-fry quinoa”.  Last week we attended a family reunion and I worried all summer about my gluten intolerance at the reunion.  So I made this recipe a few times and I definitely introduced a whole bunch of people to the joys of quinoa.  Especially a cousin who is celiac and is looking for things to eat.  So thank you, thank you for posting a great recipe.  I love cleaning out my veggie drawer and frozen veggie pile!!

  • Nana0257

    Sounds and looks tasty….I’m going to have to try this…

  • Yay!!!!! So excited you liked it! Thanks! =)

  • FoodFaithFitness

    I made this last night with zucchini, carrots, and onion. It was soooooo good!

  • Tiffany

    Do you cook the quinoa in water and then add the coconut milk?  I normally cook mine in homemade veggie broth, which wouldn’t be so good for breakfast. 😛 This sounds so delicious! 

  • At first glance, I thought you said you’d like to marry quinoa… which isn’t a bad idea =) haha! Love the meal idea! Thanks! <3

  • MommaCook

    I like to make a breakfast quinoa with left overs. I add a nut, fruit (dried or fresh), and some form of milk…super yummy. My favorite is quinoa, pineapple, walnut, unsweetened flaked coconut, coconut milk, and a dash of nutmeg. Mmmmmm!

  • I’ve just thrown in some frozen peas and carrots and some green onions.  Snowpeas and bean sprouts both sound delicious though. I’ll have to remember that! We skip the egg since we’re part of the vegansaurus crowd, but it’s still a pretty filling dish! Never any leftovers though. I might need to double it so I can have extra. Ha!

  • Thanks Tiffany!!! <3 Which veggies did you add? I’ve been putting fresh snowpeas and bean spouts in it a ton lately and pretty much have to refrain from eating the bowl 😉 haha

  • My family loves this recipe! Thanks for posting! 

  • Yay! Doooooo it! It’s insanely good! I either make this one or the remix one at the bottom of the post! Love em!

  • Carly

    This is great!  I love cooking quinoa and usually make a quinoa and black bean concoction, but I am definitely trying this sometime soon!

  • Hmmm… the temperature or the water to quinoa ratio has to be off for it to not come out perfect in under 15 minutes =( Did you measure it all out exactly? I’m sorry it isn’t working! This is the first time I’ve heard of anyone having trouble

  • Nikkipremier

    not sure what i did wrong but the quinoa didn’t cook fluffy or anything like what I’m seeing. i followed directions & let the quinoa dry. its been 1/2 an hour & its still not cooking right & not sure what to do UGH

  • Haha you must be doing something right if the quinoa goes flying everywhere! =) It’s all over my kitchen too — totally worth it though! <3 So so so glad you liked the recipe! Thanks Katie!

  • katie b

    I love this recipe! My 3 yr old even ate it! The only thing i hate is the quinoa that gets all over the place! In the sink on the floor in other dishes…..

  • Jennifer

    Oh my, I love Fried Rice…worked at a Japanese restaurant and learned there… This might just be the inspiration for a total switch over to quinoa! 

  • Pegasuslegend24

    this looks great!

  • Haha its GREAT with shrimp! =) You can make a big batch and have shrimp with it the first day and then vegan the next! I do this a lot <3

    So glad you liked it Heather!!! and Thank you!

  • heatherbquinn

    Made this for lunch today… I guess it defeats the purpose of a vegan recipe but I want to add shrimp next time 🙂

  • Jillian

    Ooops! I added the wrong amount of calories for the eggs (I use 2 large eggs) so you would need to add 26.5 calories per person for a total of 144. 🙂

  • Jillian

    Okay, so sorry to have taken so long to get back with you! I have made this recipe over and over and always get rave reviews! The calorie breakdown if you divide this into 4 servings is only 117 calories per serving!! Great nutritional value for the calorie content for sure! If you had a REALLY hungry crew, you could even divide it into thirds and still not consume too many calories per serving. Thanks again for a GREAT recipe!!

  • Nina Yang

    My boyfriend said that I wouldn’t be able to make quinoa fried rice, but thank you so much for this recipe. I know what I’ll be making for dinner tonight! 

  • Lisa Rozario

    Thank you for sharing this. I love quinoa and am happy to find another recipe for it ..a healthy option too. Also read your guest post on The Blooming Hydrangea.

  • I read this from my phone this weekend while having a bad day and ohmygosh — thank you so much for this sweet comment! It brightened my day =) I’m so so thrilled that your family loved it as much as mine! Thank you!

  • Kathy Welsh

    I am so excited that this actually worked!! I’ve been wondering why oh why is my quinoa so mushy! Thank you so much. I love your blog. Please check out mine!! http://1bloominghealth.wordpress.com/

  • Lfcare

    I just saw this recipe on Pinterest today and made it tonight.  HUGE HIT!  I made two cups and it was by far the lightest and fluffiest quinoa I’ve ever made.  Everyone (all FOUR kids and the HUBBY) loved this version as fried rice.  Thank you for sharing this with us as I’m certain it will be a staple in our home.

  • KarynEC

    So excited to try this!!!  I have been searching for fresh ideas for Quiona and this looks terrific!!

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    This looks like the perfect compliment to the stir fry I want to make this week.  Yum!

  • Nancy

    Just made a GREAT recipe from the January All You Magazine called Mushroom Quinoa Burgers!  They were delicious!!!  Love learning new ways to use quinoa and definitely making your fried rice quinoa this week!!!  Thanks!!!

  • Nancyahawthorne

    Just made a GREAT recipe from the January All You Magazine called Mushroom Quinoa Burgers!  They were delicious!!!  Love learning new ways to use quinoa and definitely making your fried rice quinoa this week!!!  Thanks!!!

  • There are a number of free memberships you can get to food diary websites and trackers that you can enter in how much of each ingredient you add to your total “batch” of the dish and obtain a total calorie count based on what you just cooked. Then you can break it down into calories/serving and get a better grasp of the details. I’m a little bit of a free spirit after calorie counting in nutrition school for so long so I have started viewing super “grains” like quinoa, legumes, and veggies as calorie-free foods b/c of their nutrient density. I only monitor the extras such as oils, butters, cheeses and such so I haven’t calculated the dish yet myself.
    nutritiondata.self.com is pretty fun to explore as far as counters go.
    Here is the breakdown of one cup of cooked quinoa: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2 — 1 cup is a LOT of quinoa and the calories are mainly from the awesome protein that it contains (vs coming from fat and carbohydrates) so I consider it a powerhouse! <3

    Hope this helps! <3

  • Jillian

    What would you guess is the calorie breakdown per serving? I am striving for 1700 cal. per day and usually have between 900 and 1100 calories remaining for dinner/dessert/snack at the end of the day. I love that quinoa has the great combo of protein and whole grains, but I don’t know how much I am really eating! Thanks again for your blog! It is the first one ever I have ever “followed” and I am so excited to try a bunch of your recipes!

  • Ummmm biggest virtual high-five ever! I love your idea to dry it in the oven at a low temp! Brilliant Jillian!!!! I will be trying that out with the batch i’m making Tuesday!

    I always tease my carnivorous husband (i’m worried about those additives too!!) that he can have all the meat he chooses… if he cooks it himself! I bet this dish would rock with some pulled red pork but… I say you and I kick our feet up and have some wine while they get their butts in the kitchen this time 😉

    Thanks so much for the feedback love! <3 Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

  • Jillian

    Made it tonight and it was AH-MAY-ZING!!! Not a crumb left over!! I dried mine (after rinsing it) in a low temp oven (about 170 degrees) for about 5 minutes to hurry things along. Turned out great. Served it with Edamame . Next time my husband wants me to add a bit of red pork. I’m not too keen on the extra nitrates etc., but I might make a batch for him that way. Thanks for the great explanations and photos. It gave me the courage to try a recipe that will be in my weekly rotation for quite a while!

  • Vermontmaple

    My friend made quinoa and brought it into work.  I couldn’t get enough of it!  The one thing about quinoa is that you really can’t go wrong no matter what you do to it.  My friend brought it in cold…..I love it this way.  I did not drain or rinse (my bad); used fetta cheese, peppers, red onions and rice vinegar.  I bought one brand that was horrible but the MARUKAN (Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar) was DELICIOUS!  I made 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cup water.  Then added 1/4 cup vinegar.  I didn’t realize it, but my friend added olive oil.  Enjoy!!

  • whooohooo! glad you loved it Britt!!!!!

  • Britt

    Made it tonight. It was great! I will definitely be cooking my quinoa like this from now on. Thanks again. Oh, and the shrimp was a perfect addition!

  • s

    I looks delicious….Just got to make it..thanks for sharing………………:)-

  • Thanks Ashley! For sure try it — it’s been a huge hit with everyone that has taste-tested it [eee happy dance!]

    For drying, I just leave it in the strainer earliler in the day and forget about it but last night I strained it and then dumped the pile of semi-damp quinoa on a stack of paper towels and it dried fairly quickly! The toasting process will nix any leftover moisture too =)

    and my husband HATES quinoa with passion, until this dish =) now he gobbles it up! Hope that helps!!!! Thanks for your sweet comment!

  • WOW! This looks sooooo delicious! I seriously can’t wait to try it. and your method of cooking it. I wonder – HOW do you dry quinoa? I know that probably seems obvious – but, if you left it in a strainer, wouldn’t it take hours to dry? perhaps this is something even my husband will eat 🙂

  • So, Jenn. I know this is a few days old post…but I just had to write and tell you this story. I have never made quinoa myself and after seeing it on all the blogs bought some to try. My boyfriend thought this was a great idea too. So, after seeing this post of course I sent it to him in an e-mail b/c neither of were quite sure how to prepare it. And then…my boyfriend who certainly doesn’t read healthy living blogs or experiment in the kitchen…on his own, by himself, in his cute little apartment kitchen made this quinoa fried rice. And…because he liked it so much brought his little tuppaware of leftovers over to my place to try. Isn’t that the cutest thing of your life? And, just goes to show you what a fantastic recipe you created! <3

  • Ally

    What a fabulous idea for quinoa! Yum! Love this stuff.

  • feedthebf

    Your quinoa looks awesome!  Glad you found a great way to cook it =)

  • Thanks Amanda!!!!!! This is hands down one of my favorite comments I’ve ever received. I’ve always dreamed of working for a magazine and this really hit home =) You’re the best! I’m so thrilled you love the recipe! <3

  • ahhh thanks for this comment!!!! So so so glad you liked it!!!

  • Icantdrive49

    I am new to your site, and was excited to try this. I made it for dinner and Im eating it right now its fantastic! I have never had quiona before and im glad I tried it. I look forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks for the healthy dinner 🙂  

  • Amanda Carlson

    I made this tonight, and it was DELICIOUS.  Perfect timing, as I had just bought my first bag of quinoa.  Thanks for  the time and effort you put into your posts — the detail, right down to the fun font you used on the pictures, make it like reading a really beautiful magazine.

  • whooohooo! happy to help ladies! If you have any other questions about quinoa that I didn’t cover – holla at me! <3

  • Andrea Dixon

    Same here! I bought some a while back and haven’t had the guts to try cooking it yet. This certainly helps!!

  • haha yay! glad one of my vegansaurus bffs actually likes my dorky names for the recipe substitutions/variations! <3 Off to check out your WIAW post lovey!!!! def try the quinoa fried rice! I heart it so! =)

  • We threw a Pink Panda Party for my Princess this past weekend.  This quinoa fried rice would have been an awesome side to go with the stir-fry.  Definitely going to serve it at the adult sushi/sake party all the adults were planning by the end of the party! 

    BTW, I love how you added vegansaurus here.  🙂

  • I gave up meat in college to get myself to eat more veggies and learn to like beans…. it worked so well =) so much in fact that i didnt even mess with meat for like 5 years or so. Go for it girly!!!! I’ll keep posting veggie eats <3

  • I’m so glad you posted this!  I’m trying to convince the hubs that we should give up meat for Lent, mostly because I think it would be really good for us to start eating meatless more, and that would give us a fantastic kick in the pants to do so.  But that means I have to start collecting good vegetarian recipes asap!

  • i love quinoa and i love your post title!:) i’ve been using the 1:1.5 ratio.. but dint try roasting it.. great suggestion.. that fried rice quinoa looks gorgeous!

  • Lexie

    I’ve never had quinoa before in my life! (ducking head in shame.) I go to buy it at the shops, and it’s SO EXPENSIVE I feel like somebody will rob me if I walk out of the shop with it. Is it a bit like couscous, only nuttier and crunchier? I have no idea. The fried rice looks amazing; are you a spice girl? (I don’t notice any chili’s, but not everyone puts chilli in fried rice.) 

  • Khushboo

    I LOVE quinoa and it took me the longest time to “master” how to cook it!   I stick with the 2:1 water to quinoa ratio and that seems to do the trick! I’ve wasted a lot of quinoa due to failed attempts- woops!

  • Courtney (The Green Geek)

    I am suddenly so glad I haven’t tried cooking quinoa yet.  I was planning to just throw it in the rice cooker.  I may actually be able to get my hubby to enjoy it!

  • LivelyKitchen

    I love quinoa, but I must admit I always use a 2:1 ratio of water:quinoa.  You are rocking my world by changing that….  still, I trust you…. so I’ll give it a go.

  • I don’t know what I love more…..this recipe or the fact that you have a picture of Despicable Me’s “IM SO FLUFFY!”
    I die.

    Totally making this tomorrow!!!

  • I’m a spice FIEND! =) I try to alternate which recipes I cayenne/redpepperflake/chili sauce the heck out of b/c half my readers don’t like anything spicy. Though I can attest that this rocks with extra kick =) Brand-name quinoa is certainly more expensive than the bulk bin or discount store varieties (the quality seems to be all the same!) and does have a really similar texture to couscous but fluffier/nuttier and, because its related to beets and such, is much healthier than a typical grain (even whole grains!) I think its totally worth a try =) with chilis <3 Hope my ramble helps! hehe

  • Hey Alexis! I use a seive/strainer to rinse the quinoa. I think I paid $7 for a 3pk at bed bath and beyond with one of their coupons [ http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=13280096 ] and use them for soooo many kitchen tasks in addition to the quinoa. Its good for pasta and soups/stews and also for fishing out veggies after I blanch them.

    Hope that helps! <3 LMK if you have any other questions!

  • Alexis Stapp

    How do you rinse it?  Every time I try to rinse quinoa, I seem to lose half of it down the drain.  It sticks to EVERYTHING.

  • LOVE lime juice in my quinoa! This sounds delicious!

  • Pkinderman

    Quinoa cooked in chicken or vegetable stock, while hot add chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice!  Learned it from a Chilean friend – it is a staple there.

  • Sugarspiceandbacon

    I love the idea of toasting the quinoa! Definitely trying that out! Thanks!

  • I actually do make a cranberry quinoa! Its a little different though– here’s the recipe: https://peasandcrayons.com/2011/10/cranberry-curry-quinoa-with-roasted.html

    what kind of sauce, if any, did the dish you tried have on it? if you can describe it a little bit I can try to whip something up and post a recipe for you! =) Just let me know! I adore recreating restaurant/etc… dishes at home! Its one of my fav challenges!


  • Toni H

    Any suggestions for a recipe with cranberries? I tried a quinoa dish on my last cruise…and it had cranberries, almonds and possibly green onion/scallions?  it was extremely delicious, but i’ve never been able to find anything close to it.

  • Anytime love! It’s sooooo goooood with shrimp! its filling but light at the same time =)

  • haha love it!!! Thanks Maria! <3

  • Britt

    Thanks for the quick response. I can’t wait to try it! I love the idea of adding the shrimp.

  • Maria Ibbitson

    I know this may sound completely ridiculous, but I always fumble with the pronunciation. The title of the entry now has it permanently etched in my brain. I’ve been telling my daughter it’s called “KEEN-WAHHHH” over and over. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Great questions Britt!!! I’m going to try to update the post with the info as well — thanks for asking!!!

    I usually rinse my quinoa whenever I start thinking of what I want for lunch/dinner (I think in advance b/c i’m always thinking about food! whoops!) and then just leave it out while I run errands and do stuff around the house — so I’ve never timed it. I would say 20 minutes or so but you can just as easily rinse it, leave it out for several minutes, and then pat it dry with paper towels. The toasting step will remove any little bit of moisture you left behind as well.

    I usually fry up the eggs after the veggies are just about done sauteeing. I push the veg to the side and while the pan is still hot, crack two eggs in to the cleared space and just kind of scramble them around until they turn bright yellow. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or so. Its one of those dishes that can be muli-tasked really easily, which I love =)

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions Britt! and let me know what you think if you try it! xoxo

  • Britt

    This looks great and I can’t wait to try it. 2 questions… 1) when do you add the eggs? 2) about how long do you let the quinoa dry after rinsing? Thanks so much!!!

  • Okay, over 100 comments. You are a blogging stud!

    I LOVE quinoa! But I am lazy, and never bother rinsing it anymore. What a great idea to make it into fried rice! I am definitely going to try this!

  • I used to pronounce it wrong ALLL the time! hehe at least we have the hang of it now! <3

  • Whooohoo! If you like quinoa you’ll love it… well, even if you didnt like quinoa you would love it =) my husband is deathy afraid of the stuff but devours this like its going out of style 😉 Hope you love it too!!!!

    and I might need to take a cue from you and hunt down that ringtone. It would make me laugh everytime the phone rings! =)

  • The Healthy Hippie

    AWESOME RECIPE! im pretty new with Qunioa and am always looking for new ways to make it..this looks delicious & ill have to try it out for sure!
    PS: loooooooove the “its so fluffy!” …that used to be my ring tone, ahahaha!! love her 🙂

  • I used to think you spelled quinoa KEENWAH. it was embarrassing. My gosh, rockstar, check out your comments 🙂 Love this Jenn!

  • seriously get your booootay in that kitchen lady! <3 MWAH!!!!!

  • veg it up and give it a fun name/title so the kids think its cool! or you can let them pick what veggies they want to try in it and have them help mix/stir =)

  • I like it to taste like perfectly cooked rice but without a crunch. But i’ve had it with a crunch to it and its still good too! Even when i goof and have made it mushy in the past i still devoured it sooo… im just easy to please as long as it isnt burnt or too raw! lol <3 I deleted the post b/c it was just kind of boring and noone was commenting on it. lol. i’m so insecure like that 😉

  • Erica

    So I just went to comment on a quinoa post (not this one) and
    it said it didn’t exist! EEEEEE! You must have deleted it! Anywho…I was
    wondering your quinoa teqnique and now I see it! I never thought to toast it! Mine
    has a perfect lil crunch to it…is that normal!?!? Kind of like el DENTE quinoa!


    Even kurt had it! Haha

    Its so fluffy im gonnna diieee!!

  • I love it when it’s lemony or it has balsamic!  And lots of herbs~:D

  • Shirley

    I use quinoa but I cheat LOL!! I but the one that does not require rinsing and just put it on the stove with water. I was afraid to make it thought I was not going to like it, but I must admit it comes out pretty good. I have only done it plain but next time I make it I am going to add the veggies and maybe get my kids to eat it. 

  • I am fairly new to the Quinoa bandwagon too – thanks for sharing your cooking method, I can’t wait to try it out – congrats on the FoodBuzz Top 9!

  • Julia Mestas

    Looooove this post.  It’s funny, you’re funny!  And I need to get my arse in the kitchen and make some more quinoa, but this time, TOAST it!!!!  Yum!

  • Marisa@Thecollegecuisiner

    Note to self: do not look at this post when hungry. mmmm….

  • Love this post. 

  • Ahh…I was just thinking about quinoa this morning. I haven’t made any in such a long time- I miss it! For my go-to recipe I add carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and dried cranberries to the quinoa. And I use a mixture of lemon and balsamic for the dressing. So delicious! 
    Congratulations on making Foodbuzz’s Top 9 again! Very well-deserved. (:

  • Oh so yummy!  I too have slacked off quinoa, but I may have to rejuvinate the love.  Your fried quinoa looks so very delectable.

  • I seriously heart quinoa! In fact I had it for dinner last night 🙂 

  • Your fried version sounds positively delightful. I’ll be posting a quinoa meatball next week. We heart our quinoa too.
    Congrats on Top 9 today.
    Lori Lynn

  • eeeee thanks Suzi!!!! <3

  • SO glad you stopped by my blog. Thanks for following! I’m loving yours! & I love quinoa! I can’t wait to try this recipe! YUM

  • Love the colors in this healthy healthy dish. Congrats on the Top 9.  Lovely photos too.

  • I love wheat berry salads.  Here is a link to a recipe I recently posted.

  • Reagan

    I have to eat gluten free and I have always been too scared to make quinoa cuz I didn’t know how to cook it or what I could even make with it. Thanks so much for this post. 

  • Beatricelovecats

    if i’m consuming:
    blueberries, spinach, banana, dragonfruit, pear, tofu, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, red onion, garlic, instant microwavable oats with flaxseed, pistachio, dates, in my day,
    will the insufficient of protein cause my binge eating?plus that can you please try to use the above food to plan a 1200kcal meal plan for me because i’m really crazy about portion control.i really eat 1kg cashew at one time then plus whole box of cocoa crisp cereal just before bed.

  • Julie

    I love quinoa but never rinsed it before!!!  Glad to know how to cook it properly now! 

  • awwww thanks! Love ya!!!!

  • ahhhh I love you danielle! haha I never can tell if anyone gets that my over use and abuse of the words “ZE” and “HOOKAY” in like every post ever are from the End of the World vid 😉 you rock!

  • number 1: I love the recipe! Number 2: having the different dinosaur chefs is so cute as a way to show how different eating styles can use the quinoa. I love your blog, JENN!!!

  • oooh do it dooo it! =) You can usually find it by the rice and also in bulk bins. I’ve seen it at Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Publix, Harris Teeter, etc…. a lot of stores should carry it! Some stick it by the gluten free foods if they have a special GF section. Hope that helps!

  • bahahaha thanks T-dawgggg! 😉 I wouldn’t call our old method wrong as much as bush league! haha and now our quinoa will be perfect foreverrrrrr and ever!

  • heck yes! Love it with every quinoa dish except this one for some reason. I’m a weirdo 😉

  • Oh noooo! Maybe its the brand you’ve bought? Eek! I burnt it so bad one time that I thought I would never be able to erase the smell from my nose/kitchen but I’ve started the love affair back up with this cooking method. lol. I have to say ki-no-ah to friend when I am trying to tell them what on earth i’m attempting to feed them. They look at me like i’m crazy when I say keeeen-wahhh! lol =) love it – cheap laughs are better than none at all! hehe

  • I totally said it like that for. ev. er. lol

  • wheat berries are next on my list of things to conquer! so excited! =) Do you have a recipe you can suggest?

  • whooohoooo! get it girl! <3

  • Don’t be scared silly goose! You will rock it!!!! Hooray for foodbuzz friends!!! =) Can’t wait to read more of your blog girl!

  • LOVE lime in quinoa!!! You’re person ever to mention they eat it like that too! Obv we’re meant to be friends =)

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

    I love quinoa and it really is such a great sub for rice dishes! And yay for more protein and less carbs!

  • Haha I’m the polar opposite! I always forget I can have it for breakfast! Let’s swap brains for a moment and get our quinoa at diff times of the day! 😉

  • ohmygosh girl! rinse rinse rinse! You’ll love it even more now =) It kicks that itty bit of bitterness to the curb so that the lightly nutty/buttery flavor can shine through! 😉

  • I was SO SCARED when I first started cooking it! But its truly easier (and quicker!) than rice! <3 Hope my tips help!!!! xoxo

  • I freakin’ love quinoa!!  I think I love my mom even more for introducing me to it!!  😉

  • Andrea Wolfe

    Must try this! Yay, thanks for posting! I’ve never actually made it myself (I know, terrible!) but you’ve inspired me to try! 🙂

    Andrea xoxo


  • I love keen-wahhhhhhh tooooo! So good! This dish looks so good! I have to bookmark it.

    My favorite quinoa dish is making a Mexican bowl. Add some peppers, onions, whatever else and top with some cheese – YUM!

  • I’m new to your site, but I’m seriously lovin’ it!

    I haven’t ever tried quinoa because it seemed grosser than gross, but you’ve actually made it look delectable! So glad I found you!

  • Omg, I just posted a recipe for Quinoa fried rice today too! Ours a little different, but I think I am loving your photos more than mine. Nice work, sister. (Great minds think alike!)

  • Yesiwantcake

    Heck yes! I love quinoa – I forget about it as anything but breakfast food, but this post slams it to the forefront of my brain. Looks absolutely delicious.

  • Yay for quinoa! Thanks for all the great info on how to cook these little babies up. I always forget to toast mine first and then wonder why ends up like a big pile of mush. Doh! I also like the idea of turning it into Fried Quinoa using the method as rice. Awesome-sauce! As far as my favorite thing to add to quinoa, I love having it in the morning with chopped apples and cinnamon. So warm and comforting and keeps my belly full for a long time… very important qualities in my book 🙂

  • Jeasmine Incoglia

    mmmhh hungry!!!! I like also heart chocolate peanut butter!!! lovely gift!!! 🙂

     cam  to visit  my blog and if you like we can follow each
    other?  (also on facebook  !)  www.keepintouchwithfashion.com  have a
    wonderful  day… keep in touch…


  • Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog}

    Ah yes, we both definitely have been on a keen-wahhhh kick! It’s so good and of course healthy! This recipe looks scrumptious! 🙂

  • Kiri W.

    Looks wonderful! I’ve never made quinoa, but I’m dying to 🙂

  • Helennaturally

    I basically cook mine the way you do!  I love to add veggies in the mix.  Oh and I like to add it to my salads as well 🙂


    I have plans to cook with quinoa! I have fell in love with it as a breakfast dish at one of my favorite restaurants and dying to experiment.  This looks like a great recipe to try!

  • For weeks my husband was convinced quinoa looked like fish eyes and refused to eat it. I made him try it ( after weeks of trying) and he is now a believer. He loves it! I never thought of fried rice! Great idea.

  • I love quinoa! For breakfast bakes and as a side for lunch and dinner. Recently I have been added fresh lime juice, sauteed onions and garlic to mine. Delish!

  • I’ve been meaning to try quinoa for the longest time, but I’m kinda scared! This looks de-liiiiii-cious! “its so fluffy i’m going to die” 😀 hilarrrrrious… I found you on FoodBuzz…loving your blog!

  • Lauren

    excellent how-to! Haha I always burn quinoa 😉

  • Emily Goodman

    I’ve been wanting to try cooking quinoa for a while now! I love how super easy your recipe is…I will def be trying this out 🙂

  • Yes!!!! It rocks!!!! I love making cold salads from it too!!!! I’m pouting right now b/c I try to eat seasonal and all I want are spring and summer veggies and fresh salads! Obv I cheat and eat the foreign veggies when the craving really strikes out of season or I’d chew my arm off! lol

  • Liz

    I also LOVE quinoa.  In fact, I was thinking about  making some tri-colored quinoa tonight!  I like to add chopped cucumber, grape tomatoes, some fresh garlic and basil, and chopped onion to mine to make a quinoa salad.  Your fried rice version looks amazing, too!  Oh– and have you ever tried quinoa for breakfast with a fried egg on top?  DEEEE-licious!

  • I love LOVE quinoa, and this looks fantastic! Despicable Me is one of my girls’ favorite movies and the “he’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” part is our fave. Love that you included that 🙂 xo

  • Feel free to add two if you LOVE eggs like I do! =) Its so hearty/filling/delish! Thanks Lizzy!!!

  • YUM!  And by adding the egg, you can make a meal out of this!!! How fabulous~

  • This looks amazing! I love quinoa

  • That fried quinoa looks amazing. I too was struggling making quinoa because it would always be a bit too crunchy and bitter. Eventually I just added the water and let it soak for 10-15 mins before putting it onto boil and it got nice and fluffy! I haven’t tried toasting it so I’ll have to try that 🙂

  • CrunchyCreamySweet

    This is exactly how I cook rice! My Hubby taught me this trick right after we got married.  I have been cooking rice this way ever since. It does make it fluffy! PS: Despicable Me is like my favorite movie ever!! Your dish looks beautiful! Now I want some quinoa! 🙂

  • Looks perfect!  I made mine all wrong too the first time I made it haha, I was like this isn’t supposed to be crunchy?!  Ohh cooking disasters 🙂

  • never heard or seen quinoa before, by take a looks your pics it’s looks attractive


  • I make quinoa frequently, but have never heard of toasting it or less water. Will have to try that. I love to take quinoa and add some beans (black or kidney are my faves), douse with cumin and garlic powder, heat in the microwave and then add some fresh tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and dig in! I do a variation of this meal regularly for lunch, adding in whatever I have around, including big handfulls of lettuce, sprouts or whatever veggies I have on hand. Next timeI make quinoa for the week I’m trying this method. 🙂

  • Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious

    You got that right! Toast and less water makes for much better quinoa. I love it! I just started alternating it with my wheat berries, they are both so versatile. Thanks for the tips.

  • The recipe sounds great, and I definitely have not tried toasting it or switching from the 1:2 ratio for water. 
    I usually stick with a simple spinach and mushroom blend in my quinoa…it’s good, but I could definitely branch out!

  • It looks really good, I love your wintery version of Quinoa! Have a great week!

  • Toasting makes SUCH a huge difference in quinoa cooking.  Yours looks perfect! 

  • Krysh Katie

    Jenn looks amazing!!! I’m def going to try your method 🙂

  • Yum! I’ve never cooked with quinoa before. I know I need to try this. It just looks weird to me haha..I also never knew how to say it until a few months ago..I thought it was KEEN-NO-AH haha

  • Love it!  I’ve only tried quinoa once…but should more often.  Your post title made me laugh…I totally read it with a karate voice keeeeeen wah! 

  • PB&Jenny

    quinoa hates me. Seriously. I’ve tried to make it so many times and it always becomes super dry. 

    p.s. I don’t care how it’s really pronounced — I will always say “ki-no-ah”. 

  • Have you tried vegetable stock or broth instead of water? It gives it just a bit of extra flavor. I also love to mix in artichoke hearts, onions…. and whatever other veggies I have on hand LOL I even add in some Tzatziki for a fun, healthy dip.


  • Thank you for this postt Jenn! Guess who has been making it wrong all of this time too? This kid over hurrrr
    Now I know better, and this recipe looks wonderful too!

  • I’ve never made quinoa, but yours looks delicious!  Now that I have a “how-to,” I might seriously have to buy some!  Where do you find it?  Is it just near the rice in the grocery store??

  • I never thought of doing this with quinoa! AWESOME idea!

  • This is so helpful!! Without realizing it I’ve been skipping steps and adding too much water. I have been looking for a new way to cook quinoa (after neglecting my jar of it for months) and your recipe sounds delicious. Also, I must say, I love your use of lines from the End of The World!

  • I love, love, love quinoa and this little twist on it is great. I can’t wait to try this. I also like your idea of making extra batches for salads and lunches. It really is the perfect portable grain 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

  • Honeybunchesoflove

    This looks wonderful, I have never actually tried Quinoa, I did try Bulgar wheat for the first time the other day, and absolutely loved it. I may have to give this a go, thank you for the cooking instructions Jen. 😀 

    Jess x

  • Tasha @ Dine & Dash

    fried rice is my favorite way! or….quinoa granola (random)

  • Oh, my!  I am a new fan of quinoa and this method is BRILLIANT!  Using it as quinoa fried “rice” is so simply amazing – you are MADE of awesome!

  • I love quinoa 🙂 I usually cook it in some veggie broth and add veggies to it. Sometimes I’ll add dried cranberries for a sweet kick. YUM!

  • That just sounds magical =)

  • duhhh that’s my job! =) go make this now! <3

  • quinoa granola!? omg consider my mind blown!

  • Thanks Noelle! This would be a great 1st try for quinoa b/c it tastes so much like fried rice! My husband HATES quinoa with a passion but will gobble this particular recipe up. Phew! Need to fully convert him now =)

  • Yes!!!!! I do the veggie broth add in too! I like the fried rice recipe better without it (hellooo i’m a weirdo!) b/c i like the soy sauce to reign supreme but it really does rock quinoas world when its in there normally! Love the POM idea! I use it for beets but never quinoa — brilliant!

  • Ohmygosh you’ll love it! I’ve been making it for a year or so now and it’s delish every time! <3 LMK if you try it!

  • Quinoa kicks wheat’s butt!!! =) My bro can’t have the stuff either [wheat…gluten, or any dairy actually!] so I need an arsenal of allergy friendly recipes for him — and now for you too! <3 I’ll try to keep em coming!


  • Thanks Emily! I’d be watching it again right now but my stinky husband is watching a military movie. booooring! 😉

  • Robyn :)

    I always pronounce it Key-Noah lol. 

  • I totally have to try this.  🙂  Thanks for sharing!  PS LOVE that movie.

  • sarah sheffield

    this looks AMAZING you are such a doll.  I’m allergic to wheat so quinoa is a go to at my house and I’m always looking for new ideas for it 🙂 thanks so much for sharing.  xx

  • Missymaki

    I love it!  I am SUCH a Quinoa fan – and I NEVER thought about fried rice with it!  NICE!!!

  • I’d never thought to toast it – thanks for the tip!

    I like to cook mine in a mix of broth and water for added flavor.  Sometimes I do it with POM or other flavors as well.  The POM makes the color really pretty. 🙂

  • Noelle

    Sounds really good! I have yet to try Quinoa, but I am going to try it soon with this recipe!

  • Amanda @ Fashionably Plate

    Gurl, this looks amazing! I love quinoa!

  • Beautiful quinoa! I love your instructions for cooking. I’m a big quinoa fan. It’s such a healthy alternative to rice.

  • That looks so good! You’re making me hungry, lady! 🙂

  • LOVE quinoa! I’ll have to try this dish soon!

    Up until now, my favorite way to make quinoa is as a breakfast dish — cook it in half apricot nectar, half water and add fresh berries, chopped plums, nuts, whatever and top with yogurt. YUM!

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