Quinoa is an amazing healthy food! And you can cook a huge batch to eat throughout the week. Here’s how to reheat this whole grain!
Does quinoa sound intimidating? It’s a super easy grain that you cook just like rice and can use it in place of rice for many meals.
When I first heard of quinoa, I thought it was just a fancy healthy food that I’d never eat. But it’s really affordable and now I use it a few times a month now that I know how easy the cooking process is!
But just like rice, sometimes it can be a pain to cook quinoa a couple times a week. If you’re using it for multiple meals, it just makes sense to cook an extra batch at the same time. But is it easy to reheat?
The good news is, you can reheat cooked quinoa super easily and it doesn’t take much effort. I use both the microwave and stovetop, and both work really well!
Let’s take a closer look at this whole grain and see exactly how to reheat the leftovers. And scroll to the bottom for different ways to use quinoa in recipes!
Can you meal prep quinoa for later?
You can absolutely meal prep quinoa! Since quinoa takes some time to cook, it makes sense to cook a huge batch and eat from it all week.
If I’m doing this, I’ll store leftover quinoa in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for the next day. It stays fresh for about 5 days, and that’s usually plenty of time for me to finish it off.
How to cook raw quinoa
I usually cook white quinoa, so the cooking instructions are for this. I don’t know if they’re different for red quinoa or other different types.
The best way to cook quinoa in just a few simple steps is by using a 1:2 ratio:
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of water
And double, triple, etc., if you want to make more.
Rinse the quinoa to get rid of some of the bitter flavor, then add to a medium pot with the water and any other seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Alternatively, you can use a rice cooker to make quinoa! I do this all the time and I love this hands-off method of cooking quinoa. Here’s a video on how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker!
Best ways to reheat quinoa
Honestly, the microwave is the easiest and fastest way. I can be a little impatient, so this method works for me!
Add as much quinoa as you need into a microwave-safe bowl. Loosely cover and heat in 30-second increments until it’s fully heated through.
You might want to add a tablespoon of water or so before reheating. The quinoa can be a little dry after awhile, and this helps add to the texture.
Did you know you that you can actually find microwave quinoa in the stores? The cook time is much shorter- like 90 seconds- so they’re a great way to make quick meals.
You do pay more for them, but they can be a convenient option!
If you don’t have a microwave or choose not to use one, the stove top is just fine!
Dump the quinoa into a small saucepan and heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes, breaking up the big clumps. Just like with the microwave, you might want to add a small amount of water to keep the quinoa from getting dry.
Can you freeze quinoa?
Yes, you can freeze quinoa! If you’ve made a ton and you can’t use it all, then freezing it is a good idea because it will help prevent food waste.
Once the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, you can add it to a quart-sized freezer bag or freezer-safe container. A serving of quinoa is about 1 cup, so add what you think you’ll need for a meal.
Label the bag with the name of the food and the date you froze it. Most foods have a shelf life of up to 3 months! Any longer than that and you risk freezer burn.
How to use quinoa in meals
Quinoa can be used just like rice, so you can replace it in just about every recipe that uses rice.
The great thing about quinoa is that it’s a complete protein. That means it has all the essential amino acids your body needs, and you don’t necessarily need an extra protein source to go with it.
Animal products are a complete protein as well. And if you’re vegetarian, you would usually need two sources to get all of the amino acids. For example, brown rice and black beans.
There are a variety of ways that you can use quinoa. Any recipes linked below should have a recipe card, so feel free to print them for later:
- Quinoa salad– Depending on the recipe, you can just use cold quinoa and don’t have to reheat it!
- Grain bowls- Quinoa is a great base, and you can add lots of different vegetables!
- Quinoa breakfast bowl
- Fried “rice”
- Quinoa mac and cheese
- A simple side dish seasoned with your favorite flavors
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.