How to Reheat Quinoa [5 Methods]

Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but it’s actually a harvestable seed that forms a significant part of the South American diet.

These days quinoa can be found in every dish you look at in salads, sides, fried like rice, and even in protein shakes. Quinoa is called a ‘whole protein,’ meaning it’s rich in dietary proteins, amino acids, fiber, and vitamin B.

Having leftover quinoa in the fridge is excellent because it reheats well and is super simple to do. 

Different Ways to Reheat Quinoa

How to Reheat Quinoa in an Air Fryer

An air fryer is a straightforward piece of equipment to operate. It can simply be switched on and set to the desired temperature, given a few minutes to warm, and it will be ready to go.

To reheat Quinoa in the air fryer, simply preset the temperature to 300° F (160°C). Spread the quinoa out evenly on an air fryer tray and give it a sprinkle of water all over. Cover tightly with some aluminum foil, making sure no air or steam can escape.

Place the tray in the air fryer for approximately 5-6 minutes or until you think the quinoa will be warmed through.

Remove aluminum foil carefully as some steam may have built up while in the oven. Remove from the tray and enjoy.

How to Reheat Quinoa in the Oven

Using an oven to reheat quinoa uses a very similar method to that of the air fryer. The main difference is the oven will take longer in both pre-heating and the actual warming of the quinoa.

A larger amount of quinoa can be reheated in an oven as well. Spread the quinoa out on a large baking tray. Make sure it is spread out evenly, and give it a sprinkle of water to moisten.

Cover the tray with aluminum foil and make sure the foil is tightly fitted. These oven methods do build up a little steam while reheating. Place the covered tray in the oven for about 10-12 minutes on 300°F (160°C).

Check if the quinoa is hot in the center of the tray and remove it from the oven. Allow the steam that had built up to dissipate before removing the foil completely. Serve and enjoy.

How to Reheat Quinoa on the Stove 

Using the stove to reheat quinoa is a very basic method and uses the stove hot plate of the HOB. It’s best to use a non-stick frying pan to reheat the quinoa.

Place the plate on medium heat and allow the frying pan to warm. Drizzle about 30ml of olive oil into the pan and add the quinoa. Let the

Quinoa fry a little, then stir it around with a non-stick spatula so as not to scratch the pan. It is quite nice to let the quinoa fry up a little crispy as this adds a lovely texture and flavor to the quinoa.

Once it is warm and crispy, remove it from the pan and drain it on some kitchen towel. Season and serve.

If you don’t want to use oil, the best alternative would be to put a small amount of watering in the bottom of the pan and allow it to come to a boil. Once boiling, add your quinoa and stir it around.

The quinoa will be a lot wetter to start with, but by the time the water has evaporated, the quinoa will be hot and ready to eat. This method uses steam and direct heat to reheat the quinoa grains.

How to Reheat Quinoa in the Microwave

Using the microwave is possible the fastest way to reheat quinoa. It’s the least amount of hassle and probably gives you the best result. Suppose you aren’t a microwave fan, then not a problem.

The steamer method would be your next best option. To reheat the quinoa in the microwave, simply place it in a microwavable container with a lid on. Sprinkle the surface with a bit of water to moisten and position it in the center of the microwave.

Warm on a medium power setting 600W for about 2-3 minutes or until the quinoa is warmed through. Remove the lid carefully as there could be a steam build-up; give the quinoa a good stir and serve.

What’s quite handy with this method is if you have the quinoa in a combined vegetable salad of sorts, the microwave will reheat everything simultaneously and not overcook the other veggies.

It’s also an excellent option for when you are on the go and don’t have much time to get your meal ready.

How to Reheat in the Steamer

As mentioned before, the steamer is the best option to reheat quinoa, especially if the microwave isn’t an option. The resulting quinoa will always be soft, fluffy, and moist.

Start by placing your steamer over a simmering pot of water. Allow the steamer to build up a good amount of steam before you put the Quinoa in it.

The reason for this is if there isn’t a good amount of steam, the quinoa will cook further as appose to reheating. Place the quinoa in the steamer base; make sure you have a steamer liner underneath to prevent the quinoa grains from falling through the basket.

Once the quinoa is in the steamer, allow to steam for about 10 minutes on a highish steam volume. Remove the lid with caution and check if the quinoa is warmed through. If it is hot, remove it from the steamer basket and serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks to Reheat Quinoa

  • Giving the quinoa a rinse before cooking helps with the overall tenderness of the grain once it has been cooked. This also makes the reheated product tastier.
  • Some suggest soaking the quinoa overnight before cooking; this doesn’t significantly change the reheated quality of the quinoa.
  • When using the air fryer or oven to reheat the quinoa, a little sprinkle of water over the quinoa before it is covered with aluminum foil will help it not dry out. The water develops a little steam which helps warm the grains up faster and ensures they don’t dry out.
  • When using the stovetop to reheat the quinoa, it is nice to allow the quinoa to fry a little more and get a slightly toasted flavor; this works particularly well if you are using the quinoa in salads or inside vegetable options.
  • When reheating the quinoa in the steamer, make sure you use a steamer liner first to avoid any quinoa from falling through the grid.
  • Reheating quinoa from the frozen state can be a little tricky as the grains tend to absorb some extra water when freezing down. This is not an issue. Simply apply the stovetop method or steamer method to get the best textured and tasting quinoa from frozen. You can squeeze the excess waters out of the grains should you use the stovetop method, as water and hot oil don’t mix well.

How to Store Quinoa Properly

There are a few things to remember when storing quinoa. Whether you are storing for the next day’s meal or if you choose to freeze the quinoa for a later stage, you must let the quinoa grains cool down to room temperature before you put them in the fridge.

If this isn’t done, the chances of the quinoa turning sour are great. The quinoa tends to hold its heat, so when you think it’s cold on the surface, it may still be warmish in the center, and it is this stage that most people overlook and have their cooked batch turn sour in a few hours.

So, when cooling, make sure you stir it around from time to time, allowing the warm air to escape, so it cools correctly. Storing in a sealed container is perfect, but you can also store quinoa in small vacuum seal bags, especially if you plan on freezing it in smaller batches.

The sealed container is a great way to keep quinoa because you can just place it straight into the microwave should you wish to reheat it quickly. Alternatively, you can pour the quinoa out onto a tray or steamer basket, whichever you choose.

To Sum up

Quinoa is a great food source rich in proteins, amino acids, and vitamins.

Whether you are eating quinoa as a supplementary food or enjoy it in your regular diet, it’s always advisable to cook a little extra to enjoy at a later stage. It takes up minimal space in your fridge or freezer and is quick and straightforward to reheat.

This power protein grain is well worth introducing into your diet if you haven’t already.

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