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How to Roast Quinoa for a Nuttier Flavor

by Zora Hughes, studioD

Commonly referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually a starchy seed from a particular species of goosefoot plant, an herb that primarily grows in South America. No matter how you serve it, quinoa packs a powerful nutritious punch; it contains all nine essential amino acids, is high in protein, fiber, calcium and is gluten-free. Quinoa cooks much like rice, simmering and absorbing hot water until it's fluffy and light. Although it has a naturally nutty taste, roasting the quinoa seeds before you cook them brings out an even nuttier flavor.

Oven-Roast Quinoa

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve. Rinsing removes the natural bitter coating on the seeds.

Place the quinoa in a shallow baking dish in a single layer.

Roast the quinoa in the oven for roughly 5 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan a bit halfway through for even cooking. Remove from the oven when the quinoa has a strong nutty fragrance and is golden in color.

Pan-Roast Quinoa

Rinse the quinoa well in a fine-mesh sieve. Pour the quinoa into a large frying pan in a single layer and add a small drizzle of canola oil.

Turn the burner to medium-low heat and stir the quinoa constantly as it cooks to prevent burning. You can also gently shake and flip the quinoa to ensure the seeds toast evenly.

Remove the pan from the heat after about 1 minute, as soon as the quinoa looks dry and golden in color and has a strong, nutty fragrance.

Items you will need
  •  Fine-mesh sieve
  •  Frying pan

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images