Why You Should Be Salting Quinoa Before You Cook It

Chances are you've heard that it is important to taste as you cook. Some foods, like grits, can really depend on seasoning with salt before it cooks in order to make it taste its best. Quinoa is also one such food that tends to be so much better when it is seasoned with salt before it is cooked. But the reason for this might not be as straightforward as you'd think. 

According to Whole Foods Market, it is important to salt quinoa before it begins cooking because it helps ensure that the entire pot is evenly flavorful. That means you won't have some very salty bites and others that are very bland. Though different people may like to add more or less salt to their pot of quinoa due to individual tastes, The Kitchn suggests using just half a teaspoon per cup of quinoa you plan to cook. For a more flavorful pot of quinoa, you might want to start with slightly more salt per cup, such as three-quarters of a teaspoon per cup.

You can add broth for more flavor

The Pioneer Woman adds even more salt – double the amount that The Kitchn suggests, to be exact. The Pioneer Woman uses two teaspoons of salt per two cups of quinoa and also adds another often salty ingredient, chicken broth. Those who are particularly sensitive to salt or who are trying to eat less sodium might want to stick with using water to boil quinoa, but for those who aren't, chicken broth can pack even more flavor into the dish. You can even opt for low-sodium options to minimize the amount of sodium in the quinoa without giving up on flavor. 

So, the next time you make a pot of quinoa, don't wait until after the grain is done cooking to season it. Instead, start early and taste often. If enough salt is added as the quinoa cooks, you should end up with a perfectly cooked and flavorful bowl of quinoa.