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How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker (Basic 3-Ingredient Recipe)

Can you make quinoa in a rice cooker? Absolutely! Learn how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker to make delicious and fluffy quinoa with ease…

make delicious fluffy quinoa in rice cooker

Quinoa In Rice Cooker

I just LOVE a good kitchen hack, don’t you? Which is why I’m so excited to share this easy method for cooking quinoa in a rice cooker with you today. It’s a total game changer!

I recently had the good fortune of winning a Zojirushi Umami rice cooker via the lovely bell’alimento. That email totally made my day, but I found myself wondering if it would be one of those gadgets that I used once or twice and then put on a high shelf to collect dust… We all have a few of those, right?

Much to my surprise, I’ve found that I’ve been using it near daily since it arrived on my doorstep! It’s actually a very versatile kitchen appliance.

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cooking quinoa in rice cooker

Cooking Quinoa In A Rice Cooker

What I didn’t realize beforehand is that rice cookers are useful far beyond just preparing a simple batch of rice. I’ve had loads of fun experimenting with this wonderful gadget, and I’m excited to share some of my findings with you, starting with how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker.

First of all, if you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you really ought to ASAP. Yeah, I was skeptical too, but my family has quickly grown to love the nutty taste and firm texture. Some people don’t care for it plain — I happen to LOVE it when it’s prepared with chicken stock.

But either way, it’s a fantastic base for a number of quick and easy side dishes, like this simple quinoa and cherry tomato salad I’m sharing on GoodLife Eats today.

While preparing quinoa in a rice cooker isn’t necessarily a faster method of cooking quinoa, much like my tried and true Instant Pot hard boiled eggs, it’s a more hands-off cooking method, allowing me to focus my attention elsewhere without worrying about pans boiling over.

how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker

My favorite brand of quinoa is Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa. Their quinoa is pre-rinsed, saving me a step before cooking.

If you purchase a different brand, be sure to check the package carefully to see whether it needs to be rinsed or not. If it does, simply place the amount of quinoa you’re planning to cook in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly with cold water.

can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker

How To Cook Quinoa In A Rice Cooker

The cooking settings will vary based on your particular rice cooker, but the quick cook setting is a pretty safe bet. While I’d consider the Zojirushi Umami rice cooker to be “the Cadillac” of rice cookers, with a lot of fun settings to play with, quick cook is my go-to setting. My quinoa is ready within about 30 minutes, including a few minutes of resting time that the cooker automatically builds in at the end.

For a standard rice cooker, a single cycle should be all that’s needed to produce delicious, perfectly cooked quinoa. Once the cooking cycle has completed, allow the quinoa to rest for about 4-5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

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how to make quinoa in a rice cooker

How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

Yield: 2 cups cooked quinoa
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

Can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker? Absolutely! Learn how to cook quinoa in a rice cooker to make delicious and fluffy quinoa with ease...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed if necessary
  • 2 cups liquid (water, chicken stock, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Check the quinoa package to see if your quinoa needs rinsed. If it does, pour 1 cup of quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  2. Place quinoa, your liquid of choice, and salt into the rice cooker.
  3. I use the quick cook setting on my Zojirushi Umami rice cooker, and then press the start button to start the cooking process.
  4. The rice cooker will beep after about 30 minutes, and your quinoa will be ready to serve.
  5. For a standard rice cooker without all of the bells and whistles, one cooking cycle should be enough to do it. Note that you should let the quinoa set for about 4-5 minutes after it's done cooking and then fluff it.

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

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quinoa in rice cooker method for perfectly cooked quinoa

Have fun experimenting with mix-ins both during and after the cooking process! I’ll often add some lemon zest or a little curry powder to the liquid and quinoa when I cook it. Then I stir in some chopped fresh veggies from our weekly CSA delivery after cooking while the quinoa is still warm.

When I’m lucky enough to have quinoa leftovers, I like to add it to my salad at lunch the following day. I’m really not much of a fan of leftovers, but I love leftover quinoa!

coconut lime quinoa in a bowl with limes

Want a little change of pace? Try this delicious (yet totally simple) 3-ingredient Coconut Lime Quinoa recipe! It also uses the quinoa in rice cooker method (or make it in your Instant Pot!), making it another of my go-to weeknight side dishes.

Have you tried quinoa? And if so, what’s your favorite way to serve it?

Note: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly rice cooker, I’ve heard that this Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker is an excellent basic model.

Nicki

Sunday 14th of November 2021

I tried this today and my God it total worked. I have a National fuzzy logic rice cooker that I lost the instruction book too long time ago. I took 2 cups of quinoa and 3 cups water hit the sushi button for 43 mins closed the lid and away it went. It was fluffy and fantastic! THANK YOU!!!

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 14th of November 2021

I'm SO happy to hear this, Nicki -- very pleased to help!!

Judy

Saturday 16th of October 2021

I just bought my fancy ZOJIRUSHI Umami, rice cooker & warmer. I was glad to find your website that used my ZOJIRUSHI. I love Quinoa, and many others. I had a plain rice cooker but now wanting to upgrade. I have not made the coconut quinoa yet. I have your website in bookmarks. I looked at your other recipes but I didn’t know if they were the ZOJIRUSHI.? Could you let me know if you have more recipes. I love your website and all info. Your list of recipes look yummy and hoping you have more recipes for me to try Thank you Judy i

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 18th of October 2021

Hi Judy -- in addition to the regular quinoa in this recipe and the Coconut Quinoa you mentioned, you can also make this yummy Coconut Milk Rice in your Zojirushi! My 18-year-old nephew swore he hated rice until he tried it, and now my sister-in-law has to make a batch pretty much every other day. Enjoy!!

Yvette

Monday 3rd of February 2020

Sounds great. I've never had quinoa and am so pleased to hear that I can cook it in the rice cooker. Much better than keeping an eye on another pot! I don't have the super-duper rice cooker you do but I'm sure it will work in mine as well. I'm not sure what my husband will think of it. We have our dogs on a diet that includes healthy human food so they may get a taste as well. Thanks again for the article.

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 3rd of February 2020

Thanks for your comment, Yvette! Yes, you definitely do not need a fancy rice cooker to get the job done. I'm sure yours will work just fine. Just keep in mind that quinoa on its own has very little flavor, so season it well with salt, pepper, zest, whatever strikes your fancy!

Dallas Jensen

Sunday 16th of December 2018

I can't rate this because I haven't made it. I have an inexpensive rice cooker with only on and off. It works great for rice and I don't want to buy another. Can I just use the normal method for this cooker? I simply add measured rice, add water and turn it on. The water measurements are on the device for the water and it comes with a cup to measure the rice.

Thanks!

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 17th of December 2018

Hi Dallas! Yes, this will definitely work in your rice cooker. Just make sure you stick to the 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid, as in the recipe. Quinoa requires more liquid than rice.

Candi Elm

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

I just got rid of my rice cooker. Your quinoa looks delicious, I love the cilantro and lime on top.

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