How to cook quinoa in the microwave

This quick and easy method for cooking quinoa in the microwave combines just quinoa and water. Make sure you use a deep microwave-safe bowl so it doesn’t overflow!

Microwave the quinoa using a white bowl and a fork.

Microwave Quinoa = the EASIEST method of all

If you’re wondering what the fastest way to cook quinoa is, you’ve come to the right post! Microwaving quinoa is extremely fast and reliable.

We love serving quinoa in bowls, soups, salads, and more! We love that it’s plant-based and packed with protein.

Bottom line: Add the raw quinoa and water to a large, deep bowl and cover with a microwave-safe lid or plate. This part is extremely important as it will help to steam/cook the quinoa.

Ways to Use Your Cooked Quinoa

raw quinoa in a bowl with water poured over it

What you need for the microwave quinoa:

  • uncooked quinoa – we recommend the white quinoa as we have noticed (and some commenters have!) that the red or tricolor takes longer to cook.
  • water or broth – Honestly, any liquid!
  • Microwave-safe deep bowl – I like using Pyrex nesting bowls.
  • Microwave-safe top/plate – this will sit on top of the bowl for steaming the quinoa. We used an upside down plate!
quinoa in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid placed in the microwave


  • Rinse the quinoa: we like to rinse the quinoa to remove any residue and off-flavors.
  • Quinoa to Water Ratio: like most quinoa recipes, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2.
  • Use a large bowl with deep sides: be sure to use a large bowl with deep sides to prevent overflow. Speaking from experience.
  • Make sure your plate is big enough: The key to this recipe is to steam the quinoa in the microwave. This is where your plate comes into play. Make sure the circumference of the plate is greater than the circumference of the bowl.
  • Let stand: don’t forget to let the quinoa rest and steam it on the counter after microwaving it. This will allow the quinoa to cook completely.

Reader’s tip: one commenter recommended setting your microwave to 70% power to prevent spillage.

Microwaved quinoa in a microwave-safe bowl


Cooked quinoa will last in the fridge for about 5 days, making it ideal for meal prep. Be sure to store it in an airtight glass container for best results.

To reheat: you can reheat the cooked quinoa in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.

Can cooked quinoa be frozen?

Yeah! Freezing cooked quinoa is easy. Let the quinoa cool completely. This part is important to avoid freezer burn. Then, transfer to a gallon-size freezer-safe bag or glass container. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Freeze up to 3 months.

A white bowl filled with quinoa, cooked using the microwave method.


  • Start by rinsing the quinoa under warm water to remove any residue.

  • Next, transfer the quinoa to a large microwave-safe bowl or container that has deep sides. We recommend a Pyrex glass mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of water.

  • Cover your bowl with a microwave-safe plate. This will “steam” the quinoa.

  • Cook over high heat for 6 minutes.

  • Remove bowl from microwave and stir. At this point, more than half of the water should be absorbed. Return the bowl to the microwave, covered, for about 2 more minutes on high.

  • At this point, most of the water should be absorbed. If not, cook for an additional 1 minute. Finally, let the covered bowl sit for another 5-10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Tips and Notes

  • Amount: you can make as much or as little quinoa as you like. It really depends on the size of the bowl you have. The bigger the bowl, the more quinoa you can make. Just be sure to use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water.
  • This recipe was slightly updated on July 9, 2023. We recommend white quinoa over red/tri as it cooks more evenly. We also added a note about a large, deep bowl to make sure the quinoa doesn’t boil over.

Nutritional information

Calories: 156kcal Carbohydrates: 27gram Protein: 6gram Fat: 3gram Fiber: 3gram Sugar: 0gram

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