Sure, quinoa recipes are everywhere. But have you tried the popped-grain trend and learned how to pop quinoa? That's right: Just like popcorn, but with a much smaller end product. Popping quinoa adds texture and color to the grain, and there are a lot of fun ways to use popped quinoa.

By Sheena Chihak, RD
January 16, 2017

Popped Quinoa Step-by-Step

To make your own popped quinoa, here's what to do:

  1. Preheat a pan with tall sides (a deep skillet will work just fine for smaller amounts of around 1/4 cup or less -- we used just a tablespoon here). The pan is hot enough when you add a pinch of quinoa kernels to it and they pop within a few seconds.
  2. Add quiona to pan in a single layer.
  3. When quinoa starts popping, lift the pan off the burner to swirl and shake it so quinoa cooks evenly without burning. (If quinoa starts burning, decrease the heat.) This should only take a few seconds.
  4. Immediately remove popped quinoa from the pan.
  5. Use as desired.

How to Use Popped Quinoa

Let your imagination run wild with uses for popped quinoa, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Sprinkle onto yogurt
  • Add to granola
  • Top a salad
  • Use it as a crunchy topper for a casserole
  • Sprinkle onto oatmeal or other hot cereals
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More Popped-Grain Ideas

Popcorn is always a good default popped grain. Try these:

Or try out some whole grain ideas:


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