Quinoa is a super popular ingredient used in a wide variety of quinoa recipes. But how long does quinoa last in the fridge once it’s cooked? When stored properly, cooked quinoa can last 7 days in the fridge and up to 12 months in the freezer.
Every once in a while, a trendy food will come along, and everyone will rave about it. But, then after a few months to a year, it slowly just goes away. Somewhere around 2012, we saw a huge spike in quinoa consumption in our country.
That was mostly because of the popularity of gluten-free diets. Since then, quinoa has proven to be anything but trendy! In fact, more and more people are using it as a substitution for brown rice and white rice. It’s even referred to as a ” superfood”.
What Types of Recipes are Used with Quinoa?
Now days you will find quinoa used as popular gluten-free alternative in many recipes, including this Quinoa Chocolate Cake!
This Greek Quinoa Salad is a summer favorite our house. Other uses have been for breakfast porridge, added to beef for burgers and tacos, served as a simple side dish, used in soups and even used to make some desserts.
What is Quinoa?
The first thing that surprises some people is that quinoa is actually a seed. Though it has comparable nutritional value to whole grain, like oats and barley, it is not a true grain. But the way we have adapted it in recipes, it’s used very much like we use whole grains.
It comes from a weed-like plant called goosefoot. Most commonly it’s purchased in “whole grain” form. But you can also find quinoa flour to use in muffins, pizza crust and other baked goods. It also comes in flakes that you can use in granola or as a popular alternative to oats in certain recipes.
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How Long Does Quinoa Last in the Fridge?
The shelf life of uncooked quinoa can be up to six months it you keep it in an airtight container or freezer bags in the fridge. Store quinoa in the back of the fridge to make sure it keeps a consistent temperature as you open and close the fridge. Dry quinoa can also be stored at room temperature in a sealed container in a cool place in your pantry, but that will shorten the shelf life by a month or so.
When cooked, quinoa will last up to 7 days when stored in air-tight container in the fridge. However, this is just a general guideline. It’s probably best if you eat it as soon as you can because it begins to take on a bad taste and an unpleasant smell the longer it sits.
For best results, allow leftover quinoa to come to room temperature before placing it in the fridge The subtle change on temp extends it shelf life.
How to Tell if Quinoa is Bad?
Even though uncooked quinoa has a long shelf life, you should always use it by the recommended expiration date on the original packaging. You should also check dry quinoa for any obvious signs of spoilage before you cook it. Quinoa that has gone bad will have signs of mold or will have little bugs called booklice.
But don’t panic, this is only in rare cases, just like when weevils can get in rice sometimes. The best way to make sure your uncooked quinoa is still good, just pour it out on a white sheet of parchment paper and sift through it.
While cooking it, quinoa that has past its prime will stay hard after cooking and have a stale taste.
Once you have cooked quinoa and have stored it in the fridge, the first sign that it has passed its prime is that it begins to have an unpleasant smell and will begin to become discolored.
Is Quinoa Healthy?
Quinoa has high fiber, and is a great source of protein, vitamin B and E, magnesium, calcium. And because it is naturally a gluten-free plant food, it’s an awesome option for those with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances.
How Much Quinoa Does 1 Cup Make?
Quinoa is a lot like rice in that it increases in volume as it cooks. In fact, quinoa quadruples in size when it’s cooked until tender. For meal planning purposes for every uncooked cup of quinoa, you will have 4 cups of cooked.
Can I Freeze Cooked Quinoa?
When it’s frozen properly, cooked quinoa can last up to 12 months in the freezer. To prevent freezer burn, store it in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can.
The great thing is, it’s super easy to thaw. Just take frozen quinoa out and set it on the counter for about 45 minutes and it’s ready to add to whatever you are preparing. It’s really great for healthy meal prepping.
How to Cook Quinoa on Stove
No matter what type or color quinoa you use (black, red or white), you’ll use a 1:2 ration. So, for every cup of raw quinoa you are using, you will use 2 cups of liquid.
First thing you should do before you begin to cook it, is to give it a good rinse with cold water using a fine mesh strainer. Quinoa has an outer coating call saponin that you’ll want to wash off. Not all brands have that coating, but it’s a good idea to rinse it if you aren’t sure because it can make your dish taste bitter and sort of soapy tasting.
Next, just add the quinoa to a non-stick pan and cover it with beef, chicken or vegetable stock. Some people use water, but stock really adds great flavor to it.
Cover it with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Drain it with a strainer and put it back in the pan on the heat for about 10-15 minutes until it loses all its hard texture and becomes light and fluffy and the grains separate easily
Instant Pot Method
If you’re looking for some of the quickest quinoa you’ve ever cooked, this Instant Pot quinoa recipe cooks up in just minutes and makes perfect, fluffy quinoa every time.
- 1 ½ Cups White Quinoa
- 18 ounces of vegetable broth
- teaspoon of salt
Combine all the ingredients in your instant pot insert and put the lid in place. Set your pot to manual/high pressure and put the cook time at 1 minute. The pot will take about 5-10 minutes to pressurize before that 1-minute starts counting down. Let it naturally release for 15 minutes before removing your quinoa from the pot.
Instant Pot Quinoa
- Instant Pot
- 1½ cups white Quinoa
- 18 oz Vegetable Broth
- 1 t salt
- Combine all the ingredients in your instant pot insert and put the lid in place.
- Set your pot to manual/high pressure and put the cook time at 1 minute.
- The pot will take about 5-10 minutes to pressurize before that 1-minute starts counting down.
- Let it naturally release for 15 minutes before removing your quinoa from the pot. Enjoy!