How to Soak and Cook Quinoa

Why you should soak quinoa before cooking

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It is important to soak quinoa prior to cooking. Soaking removes the bitter-tasting saponins. It also helps to activate enzymes makes it more nutritious and easily digested. See the section above for details.


Units Scale

For Soaking

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp of acidic culture (optional, see notes)

For Cooking

  • 2 cups of water


  1. Place quinoa in a large glass bowl or measuring cup. Stir in the filtered water and culture.
  2. Cover the container with a tea towel and leave it out on the counter to soak for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days. Longer is better if your quinoa is very bitter.
  3. When you are ready to cook, pour the quinoa into a fine-mesh sieve. Pour away the soaking liquid and rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. This will remove the bitter saponins.
  4. Put the quinoa into a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes (until cooked).
  5. Drain any excess liquid. Rinse with cool water to prevent the quinoa from overcooking. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.


  • Using a culture isn’t required for soaking quinoa, but it can help to speed things up. I recommend using something acidic like cider vinegar or sour kombucha.
  • I usually cook quinoa in a rice cooker.  It’s easier than keeping track of a simmering pot on the stove.
  • If you want to try fermenting quinoa, then I recommend fermenting cooked quinoa. It’s a great way to get more probiotics into your diet! Try making a probiotic quinoa pudding.

Keywords: sprouted, pre-fermented, vegan, healthy, nutritious