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Perfectly Cooked Quinoa (not mushy)

If you’ve been going keto-strong for a while now, you’ve probably heard of (or even considered) a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). Cyclical keto is a wonderful way to occasionally introduce clean carbohydrates back into your diet. YAY!

Quinoa has always been one of my favorite carbs— it’s simple, versatile and satisfying (as long as it’s not mushy— that’s the worst)! Even better, quinoa is a great choice when it comes to carb re-feed days.

Why is Quinoa Great for Refeed Days?

Because quinoa is actually a “pseudo-grain.”

What does that mean exactly? It means that quinoa isn’t actually a grain at all— it’s a seed. It has the taste, texture and satiety of a grain, but is technically a relative of green leafy vegetables.

How Does Quinoa Stack Up Against Rice?

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa

Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal Carbs: 39g Protein: 8g Fiber: 5g Potassium: 318mg Calcium: 3% Iron: 15%

1 Cup Cooked White Rice

Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal Carbs: 53g Protein: 4g Fiber: 0 Potassium: 48mg Calcium: 0 Iron: 15%

1 Cup Cooked Brown Rice

Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal Carbs: 45g Protein: 5g Fiber: 4g Potassium: 0 Calcium: 2% Iron: 5%

Across the board, quinoa is lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. What’s more, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a wonderful protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Beyond that, quinoa is naturally gluten-free, heart healthy and antioxidant rich.

Quinoa is serious superfood- it’s no wonder that it’s making a 7000 year comeback!

Now that I’ve sold you on quinoa, 😉 let me fill you on on the biggest complaint I’ve received regarding this glorious superfood.

“It’s too soggy.” I can’t argue that. Soggy quinoa is about as appetizing as wet cat food. Woof! So here it is— a recipe that is guaranteed to produce light and fluffy (non-soggy) quinoa— every time!

Perfectly Cooked Quinoa

Yield: 3 cups / Serving Size: 1 cup / Cook time: 10 min Calories: 222 Fat: 4g Carbs: 39g Protein: 8g Sugar: 0g Fiber: 5g


  1. 1 cup white, black, red or tri-colored quinoa*

  2. 2 cups filtered water (or choice bone broth)

  3. Pinch Himalayan sea salt

*All varietals are relatively similar in nutritional content. The darker the varietal the more crunchy the texture.

Instructions (Stovetop)

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander to remove dirt and bitterness from the quinoa. Drain well.

  2. Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat.

  3. Allow mixture to boil for a few minutes and reduce heat to a gentle simmer (med-low heat).

  4. Reduce heat as time goes on if need be in order to maintain a gentle simmer, and refrain from stirring.

  5. Once the water has drained off, remove the pot from heat and cover for 5 minutes. This allows it to steam and open up— making it light and fluffy.

Common Mistakes

  1. Walking away or thinking you can fit in a quick shower while the quinoa is cooking. I’ve made this mistake various times and burnt the shit out of my quinoa.

  2. Covering the quinoa while cooking. This often leads to over-cooked, mushy quinoa (no bueno).

Instructions (Instant Pot)

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander to remove dirt and bitterness from quinoa. Drain well.

  2. Place rinsed quinoa in instant pot.

  3. Add 1 cup liquid*

  4. Add dash of salt.

  5. Put lid on instant pot and be sure to turn vent knob to “seal.”

  6. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.

*Cooking quinoa in the pressure cooker requires a 1:1 ratio. Meaning, you use the same ratio of quinoa to liquid. So for 1 cup quinoa, you would use 1 cup liquid.

Store leftover quinoa in refrigerator for 3-5 days.


Quinoa is highly versatile and adaptable. Anything that you would generally serve with rice can be supplemented with quinoa.

  1. Mix with pesto and serve with a wild-caught salmon filet.

  2. Mix with chopped cilantro, lime and edamame beans.

  3. Add as an accompaniment to your favorite salad.

  4. Experiment with different herbs and spices such as garlic powder, turmeric, parsley, or scallions.

Massaged Kale + Quinoa Salad

Yield: 2 cups / Serving Size: 1 cup / Cook time: 10 min / Prep time: 5 min Calories: 394 Fat: 27g Carbs: 34g Protein: 7g Sugar: 3g Fiber: 8g


  1. 1 cup cooked quinoa

  2. 2 cups raw kale

  3. 1 avocado

  4. 10 grape tomatoes

  5. 2 Tbsp olive oil

  6. Fresh cracked pepper

  7. Himalayan sea salt to taste


  1. Cook quinoa.

  2. Rinse and massage kale.

  3. Pit and slice avocado.

  4. Once quinoa has cooled, toss all ingredients together in large bowl and devour!


Whether you’re well-versed or brand spankin’ new to keto life and looking for some help, you should check out Katie’s coaching program. Coach Katie lives keto all day, errryday. She keeps up to date on the latest science, so you don’t have to. But more importantly, she addresses your specific goals to help you achieve ultimate success on your keto journey. And it’s always better to have someone in your corner, guiding you along. So if you’re ready for total life transformation and ultimate keto success, schedule your FREE initial keto consultation today!


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