How to Cook Quinoa From Scratch + Quinoa Fried Rice

Learn how to cook quinoa from scratch easily and effortlessly! And when you want flavor, color, yummy, and nutritiousness all loaded in one bowl, you go for this quick and tasty quinoa fried rice recipe! All you need is cooked quinoa mixed vegetables. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion and holidays!

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Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

The Best Quinoa Fried Rice!

Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice (esp. fried rice) and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with quinoa, you will need quinoa (well, obviously) and mixed vegetables (use the veggies you like)! Olive oil, broth (veggie or chicken broth works), salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is an excellent make-ahead dish. I like making it on Sunday and then using the leftover throughout the week. Quinoa is ideal for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

Anyways, this quinoa dish is super quick and easy to put together especially if you “precook” or cook the quinoa ahead of time, but even if you don’t, quinoa takes only 15 minutes to cook (yes 15 minutes), and then you can make many other quinoa recipes such as my quinoa and black bean bowl or quinoa stuffed pepper! YUM

Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a heart-healthy food; it is a whole grain packed with many nutrients, fiber, protein, and plant compounds. Quinoa is also ancient grain alongside sorghum, teff, millet, and amaranth. Quinoa has several health benefits, one being that it is gluten-free and perfect for people with wheat allergies.

What is Quinoa? Quinoa is a heart-healthy food; it is a whole grain packed with many nutrients, fiber, protein, and plant compounds. Quinoa is also ancient grain alongside sorghum, teff, millet, and amaranth. Quinoa has several health benefits, one being that it is gluten-free and perfect for people with wheat allergies.
I usually purchase this organic quinoa from BJs

How to Cook Quinoa From Scratch (on Stovetop):

Ingredients for Cooking Quinoa from Scratch:

Instructions:

  1. Add your raw quinoa to a colander and wash under running water; use your hand wash as the water runs. Then, set aside to continue so the water will continue to drain.
  2. Add 3 cups of broth to the pan and place it on the stove. 
  3. When it simmers, add the washed raw quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes, turn off the heat/stove, and allow to rest for 5 minutes while the pot/pan is still covered. After 5 minutes, you will open the pot and use a fork to fluff it. Enjoy and use in other recipes.
Learn how to cook quinoa from scratch easily and effortlessly! She also shows you how to add cooked quinoa to your salads. On the blog I have several examples of how you can use cooked quinoa in salads and bowls. 
Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice; it is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! Wen you want flavor, color, yummy, and nutritiousness all loaded in one bowl, you go for this quick and tasty quinoa fried rice recipe! All you need is cooked quinoa mixed vegetables. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion and holidays!
2 main ingredients you need to cook quinoa from scratch – broth and raw quinoa!

Watch How to Make Quinoa From Scratch:

Notes/Tips For Cooking Quinoa from Scratch:

  • If not using seasoned broth to cook the quinoa, then ensure to add salt, herbs/spices to season your quinoa.
  • Read/follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your quinoa package if you desire. It may likely differ from the instructions above. However, I prefer to cook my quinoa per the instructions above.

Can You Use Quinoa Instead Rice?

Yes, you can use quinoa instead of rice; though it tastes a little different, they are similar in many ways.

Lately, my family and I have been enjoying on quinoa, and have used it many times to replace rice and other carbs. Well, you may say, but quinoa is carb. Not quite. Though it very much embodies a grain crop; it is actually a pseudocereal, in other words, quinoa is not a grass like the other grains (such as rice or wheat). Also, essential to know that brown rice and quinoa have almost the same health benefits!

Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.
Instead of “rice and chicken” we opted for quinoa and chicken! YUM!!!

Why You Will Love This Quinoa Fried Rice

  • Quinoa is versatile; I have served this super easy quinoa fried rice with oven-baked chicken drumsticks. At the same time, I add quinoa to salad most times, and it is an absolute bomb! I also love and enjoy this quinoa and black beans bowl.
  • Quinoa cooks quicker than rice. If you are still deciding whether to cook quinoa, one consolation is that it cooks way quicker than rice!
  • Gluten-free; quinoa is gluten-free and perfect for anyone that has gluten-free intolerance. 
  • Quinoa is healthy, containing proteins and other vital minerals. 
  • Ancient grains 
  • It’s perfect for a make-ahead recipe; typically, when I make quinoa fried rice, it lasts for an entire week.
Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.
A serving with baked drumstick; yum!!!

Ingredients for Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe:

  • Cooked Quinoa or Raw Quinoa; if using raw quinoa as I did, please first cook it following the instructions above!  
  • Broth; (you only will need this if using raw quinoa that needs initial cooking). 
  • Mixed Vegetables 
  • Onions (diced)
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Olive oil or butter.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Bay Leaves.
  • Knorr Bouillon or Maggi (optional)

How To Make Quinoa Fried Rice (Step-By-Step):

Making quinoa is literally a walk in the park! It cooks quickly and becomes an incredibly delicious + healthy dish serving the entire family. This is how I make my Quinoa fried rice from scratch.

  1. Cook the quinoa from scratch

    You can skip this step if you are using pre-cooked quinoa. However, this is an essential step if you have raw quinoa. First, place the uncooked quinoa in a colander and wash it in running water. Then aside to drain the water. Follow the instructions above to cook your quinoa from scratch.Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

  2. Make the quinoa fried rice

    Wash and cut all the vegetables and set aside if using fresh veggies. I prefer frozen veggies for this recipe; it’s quicker. Then place a pan on a medium heat stove, and add the oil; as soon as it heats up, start sautéing the vegetables. Begin with onions, garlic, and then frozen vegetables. Sautee each at 2 minutes interval or less. As the vegetables cook, sprinkle a dash of salt, pepper, curry powder, and the seasoning powder/bouillon. Stir everything together, taste for flavors, and then add the quinoa. Cook everything for the next 4 – 5 minutes or until the quinoa and vegetables are married together. Taste and adjust flavors accordingly. Cook in batches if making a big pot. Serve with baked chicken, air fryer chicken thighs, salmon, steak, or shrimp. You can also keep it vegan and turn your cooked quinoa into this quinoa mushroom bowl.Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

Perfect Holiday Dish!

I like making quinoa on special occasions, especially as part of our holiday menu. I made quinoa during the 2022 Thanksgiving, and in the same breath, our 2023 Easter menu featured this quinoa fried rice recipe, and it was a hit! Also, It is on repeat every month on various Sunday Dinner menus!

Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.
This was our 2023 Easter Feast!

Tips for Making Quinoa Fried Rice:

  1. Cook raw quinoa ahead of time to save time. Personally, I like having cooked (plain) quinoa in the refrigerator to make it into quinoa fried rice, quinoa, and black beans bowl or even add it to salad!  
  2. When cooking quinoa from scratch, do not add too much liquid. I usually do 20 cups of raw quinoa to 3 cups of water.
  3. Cook raw quinoa with broth instead of water. This helps to season and add more taste.
  4. Use the vegetables you like. For instance, if you do not like peas, do not use them.
  5. You can use frozen vegetables to save time. 
  6. NOTE: Usually, when I make Quinoa for most occasions like Easter or Christmas, I triple this recipe to make the huge batch you see in this post. I make upward of 6 cups of quinoa during holidays and special occasions.
Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

How to Store Leftover Quinoa Fried Rice.

To store leftover fried quinoa, first allow it to cool completely, Then pack it up in a container, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Be sure to heat it up before eating whenever you wish to have it! I typically warm it up in the microwave.

Like Mushrooms? Make Quinoa Mushroom Fried Rice Instead:

Make these recipe Following the Recipe Card

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Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

Quinoa From Scratch + Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe

  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 – 4 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Universal
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.

When you want flavor, color, yummy, and nutritiousness all loaded in one bowl, you go for this dish. This quick and easy quinoa fried rice is incredibly easy to make and very tasty!


Ingredients

Scale

Quinoa From Scratch (Ingredients):

  • 2 cups of raw quinoa
  • 3 cups of seasoned chicken broth (seasoned veggie broth works too)
  • 2 bay leaves

Quinoa Fried Rice Ingredients:


Instructions

How to Cook Quinoa From Scratch:

  1. Add your raw quinoa to a colander and wash under running water; use your hand wash as the water runs. Then, set aside to continue so the water will continue to drain.
  2. Add 3 cups of broth to the pan and place it on the stove. 
  3. When it simmers, add the washed raw quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes, turn off the heat/stove, and allow to rest for 5 minutes while the pot/pan is still covered. After 5 minutes, you will open the pot and use a fork to fluff it. Enjoy and use in other recipes.

How to Make Quinoa Fried Rice (on the Stovetop)

  1. Cook the quinoa from scratch. You can skip this step if you are using pre-cooked quinoa. However, this is an essential step if you have raw quinoa. Please follow the instructions above to cook your quinoa from scratch!Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner. 
  2. Make the quinoa fried rice. Wash and cut all the vegetables and set aside if using fresh veggies. I prefer frozen veggies for this recipe; it’s quicker. Then place a pan on a medium heat stove, and add the oil; as soon as it heats up, start sautéing the vegetables. Begin with onions, garlic, and then frozen vegetables. Sautee each at 2 minutes interval or less. As the vegetables cook, sprinkle a dash of salt, pepper, curry powder, and the seasoning powder/bouillon. Stir everything together, taste for flavors, and then add the quinoa. Cook everything for the next 4 – 5 minutes or until the quinoa and vegetables are married together. Taste and adjust flavors accordingly. Cook in batches if making a big pot. Serve with baked chicken, air fryer chicken, salmon, steak, or shrimp. You can also keep it vegan and turn your cooked quinoa into this quinoa mushroom bowl or balanced quinoa salad bowl. Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner.  

Notes

I served this recipe with oven-baked chicken drumsticks, and it was a sumptuous lunch. On Easter we served it with salmon with green sauce! You can serve quinoa fried rice with any main!

Make this recipe vegan by not serving it with drumstick. Or replace it with tofu.

Usually my quinoa is already pre-cooked in well-seasoned broth, so I normally add less bouillon seasoning, little to no salt. If you cook your quinoa with plain water, then your recipe may change a bit, and you may need to add more seasonings. Always taste as you go.

Remember to always add salt according to your taste or according to your health needs.

If you will be cooking quinoa from scratch then the total time may slightly increase. 

If not using seasoned broth to cook the quinoa, then ensure to add salt, herbs/spices to season your quinoa.

Read/follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your quinoa package if you desire. It may likely differ from the instructions above. However, I prefer to cook my quinoa per the instructions above.

Keywords: Quinoa, fried rice, quinoa fried rice, healthy dinner, lunch, quinoa recipe, weekday dinners, quinoa salad, easy quinoa recipe, quinoa recipe,

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

MORE QUINOA RECIPES TO TRY:

Quinoa black bean bowl is easy, tasty, and customizable! Perfect for weekday lunch or diner, and the best part is that you can make it ahead!

Nutrient-dense + tasty quinoa bowl recipe with black beans is literally the best thing E V E R! Listen, this is about to be your favorite quinoa bowl from now on (I AM NOT KIDDING)! Already cooked quinoa is deliciously sauteed with onions, bell peppers, mixed veggies, and spices. Sauteed black beans, chicken breast, mashed avocado, and fresh baby spinach completes this healthy quinoa bowl recipe! Finally, top this bowl with chopped fresh parsley and avocado slices and enjoy! #quinoarecipe #quinoabowl #blackbeanrecipe #quinoablackbeans #tacobowl

Colorful Beet and Butternut Squash Bowl with Quinoa! A simple quinoa bowl with air fryer roasted beet (beetroot), roasted air-fried maple butternut squash, and baked quinoa is filling, satisfying, healthy! 

A simple quinoa bowl with air fryer roasted beet (beetroot), roasted air-fried butternut squash, and baked quinoa is filling, satisfying, healthy! This roasted beet butternut squash bowl with quinoa is colorful, making it a perfect side dish for every main dish and every occasion! Quinoa, beets, and butternut squash is a combo you didn't know you needed. The leftovers keep well in the refrigerator and make great additions to quinoa salads.

Easy healthy quinoa stuffed peppers is a fantastic lunch/dinner recipe that your body will thank you for! Simply stuff the peppers with some of the ingredients you love, and end up with the best stuffed pepper recipe!

Healthy stuffed peppers with vegetables.

How to Add Quinoa Fried Rice to Your Salad Bowl (Video)

Want More Side Dishes? Here You Go:

What to Serve With Quinoa Fried Rice:

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Quinoa is an ideal substitute for rice and is even easier to cook and healthier than rice! This healthy, easy to make quinoa fried rice is a perfect, easily vegan side dish everyone will enjoy. To make this healthy fried rice with raw quinoa, mixed vegetables, Olive oil, broth, salt, and pepper. Quinoa fried rice is great for weekday/weekend lunch or dinner and also excellent for any occasion, such as holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner. When you want flavor, color, yummy, and nutritiousness all loaded in one bowl, you go for this dish. This quick and easy quinoa fried rice is incredibly easy to make and very tasty!

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! Stay well, safe and keep living your life to the fullest!

Nkechi Ajaeroh's blog nkechiajaeroh.com for healthy food recipes, and healthy living. tips.

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12 Comments

  1. Wow Nkechi! This is amazing, never in a thousand years would I have been able to come up with this! So creative, delish and healthy…

  2. Stephanie says:

    This Quinoa Fried Rice dish turned out great! I followed the recipe exactly as written – the result was a delicious side dish that also looked so inviting on the dinner table.

  3. This was such a great way to use quinoa and so adaptable too.

  4. What a great idea for a healthy side dish! I like that you are using quinoa instead of rice.

  5. This quinoa fried rice has quickly become one of my family’s favorite side dishes! Easy to make and so full of flvaor!

  6. This is fabulous! I love that you use quinoa instead of rice to make this a healthier and delicious side idsh.