Quinoa is a healthy rice alternative with a nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture. It’s a great side dish along tacos, fish, stir fry, and addition to salads. Toasting the quinoa only adds a few minutes extra to an already quick and easy cooking process. 

Salmon on bed of quinoa with a side of broccolini

The small grains easily absorb spices so you can add any flavor profile to complement your meal. Toasting the quinoa creates more depth of flavor, enhancing the nuttiness. It isn’t so sharp though that it becomes overwhelming. You can also skip this step if you find yourself short on time. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Course: SidesDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time




  • ½ cup quinoa

  • 1 cup water

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Heat small saucepan on medium-low; add quinoa. Toast for about 4-6 minutes on medium, swirling occasionally, until quinoa smells fragrant and nutty.
  • Add water and bring to boil. Add salt and cover. Reduce to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed. Fluff with fork. Season with salt and pepper.

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