How to Properly Clean and Toast Quinoa

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins

I decided to toast my Quinoa today and will go through this step by step as to how I did it so it came out nice and golden. I always make a few extra cups of Quinoa because I know I will want more. It takes time to do this right, but it is worth the effort in the long run.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Each grain of quinoa (unless pre-washed) is covered in a soapy substance called saponin. It tastes bitter and will affect the taste of your quinoa if you don't remove it.
  3. First measure the quinoa and put it into a large bowl. Fill it with clean water. Let is soak for a little while. Then, using a wire whisk swish the quinoa around until you see a soapy residue come out of the quinoa. You might have to do this for a few minutes to get all the saponin off.
  4. Once the soapy residue is off strain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve then rinse the quinoa with fresh water and set aside.
  5. Now get a big heavy saute pan (I used a 12" stainless steel pan) and heat it up on medium low. Put one cup of the wet quinoa into the saute pan (anymore and it will be over crowded). Using your wire whisk start moving the quinoa around the pan.
  6. Once it gets hot, the water is absorbed and the quinoa starts popping you know it's finally drying out. Keep swishing it around with the whisk until the grains of quinoa start to brown. You will see it transform before your eyes and it will smell nutty.
  7. When it's sufficiently done, remove from the pan and place in a bowl to cool.
  8. Store it in a jar in the fridge so it will last a while. When ever you want some just go get it.
  9. It pays to do 3-4 cups at a time so you have some on hand.
  10. Bon Appetit!


Most Helpful

I'm a new convert to quinoa and I stumbled across this method of toasting the grains. I've tried quinoa both ways but toasty is best! It's a bit of extra work, but I do three or four cups at a time and store the toasted grains, once cooled, in the fridge, as suggested. I have passed this suggestion/recipe on to my quinoa-loving friends. This is great! Thank you.

Sophiecdog November 26, 2010

This is just perfect. It really improves the taste of the quinoa; when I first cooked with quinoa I thought I did something wrong until a friend told me I wasn't rinsing it properly. Did this for a few cups of quinoa I bought in bulk; put the nice toasty ones in a jar to save time in the future. These steps worked out just perfect, thanks for posting.

the80srule May 13, 2010

Method worked like a charm. I toasted my quinoa prior to using it in protein bars. Made the bars so much better! Highly recommend toasting!

Pasharain September 30, 2015

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