Make this Slow Cooker Quinoa as an easy-prep dish that turns out perfect every time! Like all good slow cooker recipes, you can simply set it and forget it.
There’s no need to keep watch for boil-overs or burning; the slow cooker has you covered! Make large batches and store leftovers in the fridge to have an easy side dish or base for a main course to use throughout the week.
💚 Why You'll Love This Recipe
At the end of a long day, when I am tired and feeling hungry, it's just a little too much for me to cook up some quinoa to serve with dinner. This crockpot quinoa recipe completely changes that!
Prep is done earlier in the day before I get to that late afternoon crash, and it really could not be easier. Add the quinoa and the chicken broth to the slow cooker and turn it on low. The hardest part is remembering to plug it in (not that I have personal experience with that issue...ahem).
Now my quinoa turns out perfect every time! Hooray!
But if you want an even faster way to cook quinoa, you've got to try this Instant Pot Quinoa! And for a unique way to incorporate quinoa into your diet, make this Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake.
🧂 Ingredients Needed
- quinoa - this fluffy and edible seed acts as an excellent side dish or a yummy base for other dishes.
- chicken broth - you can also use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
- salt - this optional ingredient adds some extra flavor if you find your quinoa needs it
- Combine quinoa and broth in the slow cooker. Add salt if using. Cook on low for 2-3 hours and serve!
As a basic rule, whether you're using chicken broth, veggie broth, or water, you'll want to use about 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dry quinoa.
The number one reason quinoa gets mushy is overcooking. Though the instructions say 2-3 hours, start checking your quinoa around the hour and a half mark. Every slow cooker is a little bit different.
This step is somewhat optional, especially since many boxed quinoas come pre-rinsed. It can't hurt to give them a good rinse just in case, since quinoa naturally has an outer coating called saponin which can make it taste soapy or bitter.
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- To rinse, use an extremely fine sieve (mesh works well) or else soak your quinoa in a bowl of water then drain through a cheesecloth or a thin towel.
- Fluff with a work before you serve your quinoa to give it a nice light and fluffy texture.
- You can tell the quinoa is done when it's absorbed all of the liquid and the seeds look like they've popped open.
- Start checking your quinoa an hour and a half or two hours in to ensure it doesn't get overdone.
📌 This kale Caesar salad is easy to customize. Add or omit any ingredients as you please to make a version of the recipe that your family will love!
💡 Substitutions and Variations
- For vegetarian/vegan quinoa, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I don't recommend using just water, as your quinoa will come out without much flavor.
- To make this more of a main course, you can add other seasonings or ingredients like chopped veggies for more nutrition.
🔊 What readers are saying...
"I made this is my small crockpot and it’s delicious and fluffy. I cooked it in high and it was fine in 3 hours. Thanks so much!"
🥫 Storage and Reheating
Slow cooker quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days. It can also be kept in the freezer for around 2 months.
To reheat, simply microwave in 30-second increments until heated through. From frozen, allow the quinoa to sit in the fridge until thawed, then microwave.
🍴 What To Serve With This Dish
You can pair so many tasty main courses with slow cooker quinoa for a filling and healthy meal! Top your quinoa with Air Fryer Steak Bites, these tasty Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs, a super nutritious Air Fryer Orange Glazed Salmon, or Mediterranean Chicken Casserole.
✔️ More Slow Cooker Recipes You'll Love
- Slow Cooker Breakfast Burritos - Streamline your morning meals by making these breakfast burritos in your slow cooker!
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken - Does the idea of cooking a whole chicken intimidate you? Make it easy with this slow cooker recipe.
- Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Tasty and healthy, this veggie twist on classic mac and cheese will be a huge hit.
- Mediterranean Fish Stew - This recipe from Fit Slow Cooker Queen yields a hearty and flavorful fish stew with tasty veggies!
How to Cook Quinoa in the Slow Cooker
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📋 Recipe Card
Slow Cooker Quinoa
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and stir.1.5 cups quinoa, 3 cups chicken broth, ½ teaspoon salt
- Cook on low 2-3 hours. **Note that due to possible differences in slow cookers, you will want to be vigilant the first time you use this method. Make a note of how long to cook the quinoa until it is done so that you can repeat it in the future! 3 hours works for me every time, but others have had a different experience.
- If you need to rinse your quinoa, use a very fine mesh sieve, or place the quinoa in a bowl of water, swish it around to get all the grains rinsed, and then strain it through a piece of cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel.
- Use vegetable broth for vegan quinoa.
- The quinoa is done when the liquid is completely absorbed and the quinoa looks like it has popped open, with the spiral germ visible and wrapped around the seed.
- The first time you make this, start to check the quinoa at 2 hours to see if it's done, as some slow cookers will cook this faster than others. Make a note of how much time it took for your quinoa and then use that cook time going forward.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in April 2016, and was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in February 2023.
I've never made quinoa this way, but it couldn't have been easier! Turned out light, fluffy and delicious; easily, the best way to make quinoa!
I love quinoa but this makes it so much easier. I never thought about using the crock so thanks for sharing!
Great workday recipe! The quinoa gets a real flavor boost from the chicken broth.
Worked grreat! Surprised me that it worked as well as it did.
This quinoa was so tasty and easy! Perfect for days when I have to work.
Cooking quinoa in broth is the way to go! It's so flavorful. This recipe turned our wonderfully.
Omg I’m so trying this tomorrow!!! I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out!
I made this is my small crockpot and it’s delicious and fluffy. I cooked it in high and it was fine in 3 hours. Thanks so much!
Glad to hear it! 🙂
Can't wait to try. Just did brown rice in slow cooker for 1st time yesterday and I is perfect for mel prep! Looking forward to this one too.
Have you frozen it after cooking?
Oh I hope it turns out well for you! Yes, I have frozen it. Let the cooked quinoa cool down completely, then transfer it to a resealable plastic bag. The best way to thaw it is to place the plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy! 🙂
You put water on quinoa?
I don't use water, I use chicken broth. The amount is on the recipe card, but it is 3 cups for 1.5 cups of quinoa. I hope that helps! 🙂