If you’re wondering, “can you freeze cooked quinoa?”, this post has everything you need to know! Learn how to store, reheat, and defrost quinoa and how to use it in recipes.
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Quinoa is a delicious whole grain that can be used in a variety of veggie-heavy recipes. While it’s technically a seed, it’s typically classified as a whole grain since it’s used similarly. Quinoa is also high in fiber and other nutrients found in whole grains, but it packs more protein than other grains.
Besides its favorable nutrition profile, quinoa is really easy to prepare. It has a short cooking time (about 15 to 20 minutes). Plus, you can store quinoa for a long time, especially if you freeze it! Read on to learn how to freeze cooked quinoa and use it in recipes.
How to Freeze Quinoa
- Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions. If you don’t have instructions on hand, combine a quinoa water ratio of 1 part uncooked quinoa to 2 parts water or broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to ensure the water is fully absorbed.
- Let the quinoa cool completely.
- Transfer to freezer-safe bags or containers. Seal well and label with name of food and date.
- Store in the freezer.
How long can you store cooked quinoa?
Frozen cooked quinoa will last for up to 6 months in the freezer. Be sure to store it in tightly sealed containers or bags, with as much air as possible squeezed out, for best results and to prevent freezer burn.
How do you defrost cooked quinoa?
To thaw frozen quinoa, remove it from the freezer and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a couple of hours. If you don’t have time to let it thaw, you can reheat it directly from frozen.
What is the best way to reheat quinoa?
The best method for reheating cooked quinoa is to use the microwave. Place thawed or frozen quinoa in a microwave-safe dish and reheat on high in 30- to 60-second intervals until it’s heated through.
Recommended Containers for Freezing Quinoa
I prefer to use silicone Stasher bags for freezing cooked grains like quinoa. They seal really well, are reusable, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher!
Freezing plain, cooked quinoa is very straightforward. But you may be wondering if you can freeze dishes made with quinoa. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about this topic.
- Can you freeze quinoa salad? Quinoa salad that’s already been assembled and dressed does not freeze well. I do not recommend freezing it.
- Can you freeze quinoa and vegetables? Quinoa and cooked vegetables that are mixed together and don’t have a heavy sauce or dressing should freeze well. Let them cool completely then store in a freezer-safe container
- Can you freeze quinoa casserole? Casseroles that use cooked quinoa also freeze well. However, I recommend assembling the casserole and freezing before the baking step. Pre-baked casseroles won’t defrost well.
Frozen Quinoa Recipes
Now that you know the answer to how you freeze cooked quinoa, you may be wondering how to use it. You can add thawed quinoa to soups, salads, and casseroles. Frozen quinoa can be added to soups and some other hot recipes without being thawed first, too.
Personally, I like to use thawed, frozen quinoa in hot recipes versus cold ones like salads. I find that defrosted quinoa sometimes has a little extra moisture and may get soggy if used in cold salads. But depending on the other ingredients in the salad and the dressing, it may not be noticeable at all. It’s up to you!
Here are my favorite recipes that use quinoa:
- Vegetarian Taco Casserole with Quinoa
- Quinoa with Vegetables and Maple Ginger Tahini
- Quinoa Mushroom Burgers with Navy Beans
- Sugar Snap Pea Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Grape Salad with Tabouleh
How to Freeze Quinoa
- Freezer containers or bags
- 2 cups cooked quinoa - or any amount
- Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Let it cool completely.
- Transfer to freezer-safe bags or containers. Seal well, squeezing out as much air as possible. Label with date and name of food.
- Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To defrost, thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple of hours. Alternatively, you can reheat quinoa directly from frozen in the microwave. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 30- to 60-second intervals until warmed through.
- Frozen quinoa that’s been thawed can be added to pretty much any recipe that uses cooked quinoa. However, it often works best in hot recipes versus cold salads.
Enjoy eating quinoa! – Lizzie