How to make puffed quinoa


The magical sound of popcorn being toasted is not only achieved with corn, but you can also make it with quinoa. This puffed quinoa recipe is light and crisp; its texture resembles toasted sesame seeds and its flavor is reminiscent of walnut.

You can taste the quinoa pops for snacks, breakfasts, dinners or as an aperitif. You can enjoy it in a smoothie bowl with yogurt, milk and chopped fruit. You can also use it to make crunchy chocolate, breads, cookies, granola, energy bars, and desserts. It also works well in oatmeal or other breakfast cereals, in fruit or vegetable salads, in vegetable dishes, and many more options.

Interestingly, although quinoa looks like a cereal, it does not belong to the grass family (wheat, rice, corn, oats, and others). However, the properties of puffed quinoa compete with any cereal, as it has a large amount of proteins of high biological value, all essential amino acids, vitamins B, E and C, abundant minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and silica) , fiber, slow-absorbing carbohydrates, healthy low-fat and other nutrients. Therefore, quinoa is good for losing weight too.

Although puffed quinoa is available in supermarkets, ready to use directly, preparing it at home is very easy and fast and, although it requires a little practice, with the steps that we leave you in ONE HOW TO, you will master the recipe in no time. Discover how to make puffed quinoa and it will be as easy as making popcorn.


  • Base for making puffed quinoa
  • 100 g quinoa
  • ½ tbsp. butter or sunflower oil
  • To make sweet puffed quinoa
  • ½ tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (preferable muscabo or powdered)
  • To make salty puffed quinoa
  • ½ tbsp. butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • Spices to taste (optional)
  • Curry sauce, barbecue sauce or other (optional)
  • Optional companions
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave syrup
  • Fresh fruits or / and dried fruits
  • Seeds, nuts or chips

Steps to follow to make this recipe:

One.Wash the quinoa very well. Put the seeds in a bowl. Pour water to cover them. Dip your hands in the bowl and rub the seeds together. When you notice dirty or foamy water, drain the seeds and discard the water. Repeat this procedure 5-7 times or until no more foam comes out.

It is interesting to mention that people with celiac disease can consume quinoa without any problem. On the other hand, vegetarians find quinoa a valuable source of plant-based protein to complement their diet.

Two.Soak the seeds. Soak them in water again, but this time, let them sit for 10 minutes.

3.Drain the seeds. After the rest time, pass them through a fine-mesh metal strainer until all the liquid is released. Washing and drying are essential steps in making puffed quinoa easily.

4.Dry them very well. If you do it the night before, spread the quinoa seeds in a single layer on a tray covered with absorbent paper, and cover them using another piece of the same paper.

On the other hand, if you dry the quinoa the same day (do it at least 1-2 hour before preparing the puffed quinoa), apply the same procedure, but change the paper each time it gets wet. Do this until the seeds are completely dry.

5.Heat a heavy-bottomed (wide and deep) skillet or casserole. You can puff the quinoa without oil, preferably using a nonstick skillet, but if you want a crunchier consistency, add ½ tsp oil to the skillet or casserole. In both cases, cook over medium heat and wait until the oil and the pan is hot.

6.Check if there is enough heat. Drop a few grains of quinoa onto the casserole or pan and, if the temperature is right, the quinoa will puff up in seconds. Although it does not expand as much as corn kernels, it does jump. Also, it turns brown and releases a smell reminiscent of walnuts.

7.Put the seeds on the pan. Arrange them with a wooden spoon, so that they are not piled up, one on top of the other. It should be a thin and even layer. If you can’t cook all the seeds at once, do it in batches.

8.Cover the pan and stir it all over. Do it from time to time, shaking a little to the sides. The seeds will toast, puff and pop, similar to popcorn.

The cooking time for the puffed quinoa is approximately 5 minutes, or until all of them are puffed. Uncover the casserole from time to time to let the steam escape, preventing it from hitting your face.

9.Add sugar and butter or oil as soon as the seeds stop popping, and mix until the sugar is melted. It is interesting to mention that fat helps to mix the ingredients better. Do this step only if you want sweet puffed quinoa, if not, skip it?

10.If you want to enjoy salty puffed quinoaadd salt, spices, butter or oil. Do it as soon as the seeds stop exploding and stir well so that the flavors are integrated.

Eleven.Remove it and let it cool. Wait a while before enjoying the easy homemade puffed quinoa.

12.Serve the puffed quinoa for snacks and breakfasts. If you prepared it sweet, you can combine it with honey, fruits, breakfast cereals, yogurt, etc. If you preferred it salty, you can add it to a salad, as well as over sautéed or steamed vegetables to give the dish more texture.

13.Store the puffed quinoa in a glass jar. If you prepare a lot, keep it hermetically closed, in a previously sterilized jar. This will last you up to 1 week.


  • Aside from sunflower oil, you can use coconut, canola, safflower, or any other neutral-flavored oil.
  • You can substitute the butter for coconut oil or margarine.
  • If you don’t wash the quinoa well, you will feel a bit bitter taste, due to substances called saponins.
  • You will know that you have removed the saponins from the quinoa, when you do not see any more foam in the cleaning water.



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