How to Cook Quinoa in the Microwave

This quick and easy method for cooking quinoa in the microwave comes together with just quinoa and water. Make sure to use a deep, microwave-safe bowl so that it doesn’t overflow!

Cook quinoa in the microwave using a white bowl and a fork.

Microwave Quinoa = EASIEST Method Ever

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 beyond! We love that it’s plant-based and protein-packed.

In short – add uncooked quinoa and water to a large, deep, bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe top or plate. This part is extremely important as it will help steam/cook the quinoa.

Ways to Use Your Cooked Quinoa

uncooked quinoa in a bowl with water being poured over it

What You Need for Microwave Quinoa:

  • Uncooked quinoa – we recommend white quinoa as we’ve noticed (and so have some commentors!) that red or tri-color takes longer to cook.
  • Water or broth – Honestly, any liquid!
  • Deep, microwave-safe bowl – I like using Pyrex nesting bowls.
  • Microwave-safe top/dish – this will sit on top of the bowl to steam the quinoa. We used an upside-down plate!
quinoa in a microwave safe bowl with a lid placed in the microwave

Top Tips

  • Rinse quinoa: we like to rinse the quinoa to get any residue and dirty flavors off if it.
  • Quinoa to water ratio: like most quinoa recipes, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2.
  • Use a large bowl with deep sides: make sure to use a large bowl with deep sides to prevent any 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 in. Make sure the plate circumference is larger than the bowl circumference.
  • Let sit: don’t forget to let your quinoa sit and steam on the counter after your cook it in the microwave. This will allow the quinoa to fully cook.

Reader tip: one commenter recommended setting your microwave to 70% power to prevent it from spilling over.

cooked microwave quinoa in a microwave safe bowl


Cooked quinoa will last in the fridge for around 5 days, making it great for meal prep. Make sure to keep it in a glass, airtight container for the best results.

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

Can you freeze cooked quinoa? 

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

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


  • Begin by rinsing your quinoa under warm water to remove residue.

  • Then, transfer the quinoa into a large microwave-safe bowl or container that has deep sides. We recommend a glass pyrex mixing bowl. Add in 2 cups of water.

  • Cover your bowl with a microwave safe plate. This is going to “steam” the quinoa.

  • Cook on high for 6 minutes.

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

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

Tips & Notes

  • Quantity: you can make as much or as little quinoa as you want. It really depends on the size of the bowl you have. The bigger the bowl, the more quinoa you can make. Just make sure you 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 your quinoa does not overflow.

Nutrition facts

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

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