Cook Quinoa With Broth Instead Of Water To Give Your Grains A Flavor Boost

To boil quinoa, you most likely fill the pot with water just like many home cooks do to make rice or other grains. We're all about flavor, however, and swapping the water with broth will elevate the whole grain to serve on its own as a side dish or combined with other ingredients in a recipe like quinoa stuffed peppers or a hearty salad. It won't take much more effort than using water, and trust us, the swap will be worth it when you bite into the flavorful quinoa.

When you cook quinoa in broth instead of water, it will soak up all of the flavors from the broth, sort of like Arborio rice does when making risotto. For this technique, keep it simple with store-bought broth which is nearly as quick as using water from the tap. Dissolving bouillon cubes or powder in hot water is another easy way to make broth for the quinoa. If you want to elevate the flavors further, homemade broth made with vegetables, herbs, and your other go-to ingredients is even better if you want to put in more effort. Either way, you'll need 2 cups of broth for every 1 cup of raw quinoa.

Be careful with salt when boiling quinoa in broth

You can use whatever type of broth you want or already have in the kitchen. To keep it vegan-friendly, use vegetable broth. Chicken broth is also used for quinoa to infuse the grain with more flavor. Meanwhile, beef broth works if you want the quinoa to come out with deeper flavors. Keep in mind that broth, especially store-bought versions, often contains salt so use a low-sodium variety if possible and be careful when adding extra salt and other spices to the cooked quinoa.

There are more ways to boost the flavor of quinoa so you don't have to stop with the broth. Add a bay leaf, or two, to the pot for deeper flavors, and don't forget to remove and toss before serving. A cube of butter stirred into the pot after the quinoa is cooked will make it richer and creamier. If the quinoa is going into a salad, toss it in a vinaigrette or creamy dressing for more flavor before it's combined with the other ingredients. Sauteed onion or garlic and freshly chopped herbs like cilantro or parsley also elevate the dish. Even if you want to keep it simple, don't forget to add black pepper and spices like chili powder or paprika to finish off the quinoa before serving.