How Much Quinoa Per Person: The Perfect Serving Size

Quinoa has gained immense popularity in recent years among health enthusiasts across the globe. This nutrient-packed food is native to South America and has been a staple food for centuries. It is packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals that make it the perfect food to boost your overall health.

If you’re new to cooking with quinoa, you may wonder how much you need to cook for a single serving. In this article, we will demystify the serving size of quinoa and help you determine the right amount to cook for each person.

Determining A Serving Size of Quinoa

The serving size of quinoa may vary based on several factors, including the appetite of the person, their age, weight, and activity level. However, a standard serving size for quinoa is 1/2 cup (90 grams) of cooked quinoa.

This amount of cooked quinoa contains approximately 111 calories, 2 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein. It’s also a good source of iron, magnesium, and vitamin E, making it a nutrient-dense food choice.

How To Cook Quinoa

Cooking quinoa can be pretty straightforward, and it typically takes around 15-20 minutes. To cook quinoa, you’ll need:

  • Quinoa
  • Water or stock
  • Pinch of salt

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook quinoa:

  1. Rinse quinoa to remove any impurities or bitterness.
  2. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water or stock and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.
  4. Simmer covered for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  6. Your quinoa is ready to serve!

How Much Uncooked Quinoa To Cook Per Person?

As mentioned earlier, a standard serving size of cooked quinoa is 1/2 cup or 90 grams. For a single serving, you’ll require 1/4 cup (45 grams) of uncooked quinoa. However, if you’re serving quinoa as a part of a buffet or a large gathering, it’s safe to assume people will take smaller portions, so you may require less.

Cooking Quinoa for Multiple People

Cooking quinoa for a large number of people can be a bit trickier. As a rule of thumb, you will require around 1/2 – 3/4 cup (90-135 grams) of uncooked quinoa per person if serving it as a side dish. This amount typically yields a generous serving for each individual.

For example, if you’re planning to serve quinoa as a side dish for four people, you would require 2-3 cups (360-540 grams) of uncooked quinoa. This amount would yield a generous portion size and leftovers for another meal.

Serving Size for Different Meal Types

The serving size of quinoa can vary based on the type of meal you’re serving. Here are some general guidelines for quinoa serving sizes:

  • Side dish: 1/2 – 3/4 cup (90-135 grams) per person
  • Main course: 1 – 1 1/2 cups (180-270 grams) per person
  • Buffet: 1/4 – 1/2 cup (45- 90 grams) per person

Leftover Quinoa

It’s common to have leftover quinoa after you’ve cooked it, and the good news is that it can be stored in the fridge or freezer for later use. To store leftover quinoa, allow it to cool and then transfer it to an airtight container. It will last for up to five days in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer.


1. How Long Does It Take To Cook Quinoa?

Cooking quinoa typically takes around 15-20 minutes.

2. How Do You Know When Quinoa Is Fully Cooked?

After simmering quinoa for about 15-20 minutes, the water or stock should be fully absorbed, and the quinoa kernels will be tender, but still firm to the bite.

3. Can You Cook Quinoa In A Rice Cooker?

Yes, you can cook quinoa in a rice cooker. Use one part quinoa to two parts liquid, just like you would do when cooking it on the stove, and turn on your rice cooker.

4. Can You Substitute Quinoa for Pasta or Rice?

Yes, you can easily substitute quinoa for pasta or rice in most recipes. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something gluten-free, high in protein, or to add a different flavour to your dish.

5. How Do You Store Leftover Quinoa?

To store leftover quinoa, allow it to cool and then transfer it to an airtight container. It will last for up to five days in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer.


Quinoa is a healthy and versatile food that can be used in a variety of dishes. Determining how much quinoa to cook per person requires some simple math, and once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to cook the perfect amount every time.

Whether you’re making quinoa as a side dish, a main course, or a part of a buffet, using the right serving size is vital to ensure you don’t waste any food and get the most nutrients out of each meal.


1. Quinoa Composition and Chemistry. Accessed from on 16th June 2021.

2. How to Cook Quinoa. Accessed from on 16th June 2021.

3. All About Quinoa: How to Cook It and Meal Inspiration. Accessed from on 16th June 2021.

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