Not the biggest fan of cooked quinoa? Try toasted quinoa. It has a nutty flavor and crunchy texture that's a great addition to salads, soups, bowls, and more.
Cooked quinoa can often taste bland and mushy. However, toasting quinoa gives this gluten-free ancient grain a whole new flavor and texture.
As it toasts, it develops a golden brown flavor and has a nutty aroma similar to that of popcorn. Its crunchy texture makes it a great topper for yogurt, salads, pasta, or roasted vegetables. It also can be ground into flour and used similarly to breadcrumbs or as an apple crisp topping. So versatile.
How to Make Toasted Quinoa
Soak & rinse. Quinoa is covered in a naturally occurring substance called saponins. If not removed, it'll make the quinoa taste bitter and soapy. So first, add the quinoa to a bowl of water and set it aside for a few minutes to soak. Then thoroughly rinse and drain the quinoa using a fine-mesh sieve.
Toast. Add the wet quinoa to a dry skillet over medium-low heat and use a whisk to move the quinoa around in the pan until it dries. After a few minutes, it’ll start to make popping noises, smell nutty, and turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool.
If making toasted quinoa for the first time, I recommend using white quinoa over red or tricolored because it can be difficult to notice the change in color as it toasts, which makes it easier to burn.
You can cook the quinoa after it's been toasted. This will of course take away the crunchy texture, but it really improves the overall flavor.
More Quinoa Recipes
- ½ cup white quinoa
- Soak & rinse. Soak the quinoa seeds in a bowl of water and set aside for 5 minutes to remove the saponins and bitterness. Then use a fine-mesh sieve to drain and thoroughly rinse the quinoa.
- Toast. Add the wet quinoa to a dry skillet over medium-low heat and use a whisk to move the quinoa around in the pan until it dries. After a few minutes, it’ll start to make popping noises, smell nutty, and turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool.