How to Cook Quinoa in Microwave: 5 Different Ways

by Editorial Team | February 24th, 2020 | Cooking Basics

Quinoa is a whole grain seed that comes from the goosefoot plant. Quinoa comes in white, black, red, or golden and supplies an extraordinary amount of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.  

There are several methods of cooking quinoa. You can make it:

  • On your stovetop
  • In a rice cooker
  • In a pressure cooker
  • In an Instapot
  • In the microwave

How to microwave quinoa

The simpliest and best way to cook quinoa is in the microwave. Not only that, but quinoa can be microwaved in bulk, making it so you have enough to make a variety of dishes and meals throughout the week.


To cook quinoa in the microwave:

  1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer for 30 seconds and drain well
  2. For every one cup of quinoa you cook, add two cups of water or broth of your choice
  3. Microwave covered at 100% power for 6 minutes
  4. Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes on high
  5. Keep covered and let quinoa rest for 5-10 minutes
  6. Fluff

Each cup of quinoa cooks up to 3-4 cups and serves 6-8 people.

5 Different ways to cook quinoa

While you can serve quinoa plain from the bowl once cooking is complete, it’s tastier to jazz it up. Here are several suggestions:


Cooked quinoa is similar to oatmeal and supplies an added boost of protein. 

Breakfast bowl

For a delicious way to start your day, add yogurt and the fruit of your choice to your microwaved quinoa. You can also add the sweetener of your choice and nuts for an added crunch.

Quinoa & Egg Breakfast Muffins

If you have the time to get creative with your quinoa, these are sure to please your pallet. 

  • 1 C pre-cooked quinoa
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 C chopped bacon
  • 1/2 C cheese of your choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  3. Spoon into muffin tins
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes

These muffins are best served warm. Store in the refrigerator and reheat for 30 seconds in the microwave.


Quinoa doesn’t have to be served hot. It’s just as delicious and hearty when included in mixed greens.

Caprese quinoa salad

Adding quinoa gives this classic a twist and makes it more filling and great for lunch.

  • 1/2 C quinoa 
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1/2 avocado
  • ½ ball fresh mozzarella
  • 2 T olive oil 
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t honey
  • basil leaves to taste
  1. Cook quinoa as directed above
  2. Chop tomato and avocado and mix with quinoa. 
  3. Dice the mozzarella
  4. Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey together
  5. Pour over quinoa mixture
  6. Finely slice basil leaves and gently toss into mixture
  7. Add mozzarella

Main dish

Change up lunch and dinner by adding some premade quinoa. 

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Who doesn’t love pizza? By using quinoa, you turn a favorite into a healthy meal everyone will enjoy.

  • 1 C pre-cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C marinara sauce
  • 1 clove  garlic minced
  • 3 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 package sliced pepperoni
  1. Preheat oven to 400℉
  2. Grease mini muffin pan
  3. Mix ingredients in a bowl
  4. Spoon into muffin tin
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes.
  6. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes
  7. Remove from pan

Side dish

Lunch and dinner are not complete without a side dish. Using quinoa fills you up without filling you out.

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This is an excellent side if you already have a main dish and are looking to jazz it up while remaining healthy.

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 2 C kale
  • 1/2 C toasted almonds slivered 
  • 1/4 C dried cranberries
  1. Bake the sweet potatoes until fork tender and let cool
  2. Sauté onion in olive oil until soft
  3. Add kale, almonds, and cranberries and continue to sauté until the kale is soft
  4. Mix in quinoa
  5. Cut sweet potatoes in half and remove the filling 
  6. Fill potato shells with the quinoa mixture 
  7. Bake at 350℉ until warm
  8. Serve

If you are ready to learn to cook and take your culinary skills to the next level, check out Culinary Lab School.

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