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How to Make Puffed Quinoa

Angela Baxter10 comments273675 views
How to Make Puffed Quinoa

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making my own puffed quinoa for a while, to use as an alternative to rice krispies or oats in my baking. I finally had the perfect chance on a rainy, miserable day when I was stuck in the house with the kids and we were looking for something fun to do! 

When I googled “how to make puffed quinoa”, I came up with all sorts of complicated instructions involving big pots, lids and lots of oil. I tried making it that way, and I didn’t get the results I wanted. First of all, I didn’t have a pot big enough, so I was wielding my lid like a maniac, waiting for the quinoa to jump out of my sturdy-but-short cast iron frying pan. Didn’t happen. It stayed nicely in the pan like it should. Second, when I used coconut oil, some of the puffed quinoa stuck to the pan and wouldn’t come out, so that when I put my second batch in to puff, the left over bits from the first batch burnt. Not cool. Eventually I tossed their ideas out the window and did it my way, and ta-da…… great and simple puffed quinoa. Awesome! 

Check out the step-by-step instructions below for the easiest way to puff quinoa, and stay tuned for some super delish recipes that I used my puffed quinoa in! 


Puffed Quinoa
A quick and simple method to make puffed quinoa for your favourite baking and snack recipes
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
  1. Uncooked Quinoa
  1. Rinse uncooked quinoa thoroughly
  2. Spread quinoa evenly onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place in the oven on the lowest temperature to dry with the door open.
  3. Remove from oven when dry, approximately 30 minutes
  4. Transfer dried quinoa in small batches into a pot or pan set on medium heat
  5. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking
  6. Puffed quinoa is ready when the crackling sound slows, similar to popcorn
  7. Repeat
  1. No oil or grease is needed for any stage of puffing the quinoa, it's that easy! Best of all, you can store it in a zip loc bag or airtight container in your pantry for future use.
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Puffed quinoa collage
Quinoa drying in the oven, and puffing on the stove


  1. Can you puff cooked quinoa? I cook some ahead and store in frig and wondered if it could be used for puffed quinoa.


    1. Hi Peggy,

      While I’ve never tried to puff cooked quinoa, and can’t find anywhere that says specifically that you can’t, I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t work. When you puff raw quinoa, it pops in the pan, similar to popcorn or rice krispies. If you tried to do the same with cooked quinoa, I imagine it would just burn!

      One of my favourite things to do with leftover cooked quinoa is make a casserole dish with feta cheese, tomatoes and spinach, adding in some fish or shrimp if you’re so inclined. Yum!

    1. Great question! Rinsing the quinoa removes the saponin – a natural coating that can taste bitter or soapy. Some people like to do an additional rinse, even if it is pre-rinsed. It’s really down to a personal preference.

  2. My Quinoa keeps burning and doesn’t make a popping noise at all? Not sure what I’m doing wrong! It’s def dry and uncooked quinoa.

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