Quinoa has become one of the most popular whole grains recently. In addition to tasting good, quinoa is versatile and incredibly healthy. How long will cooked quinoa keep?
How long does quinoa last in the fridge? It is best to store quinoa cooked in an airtight container or bag in the fridge. Cooked quinoa can be kept for up to 12 months in the freezer by freezing it.
As well as learning how to monitor quinoa’s shelf life, this article provides detailed information about how to store and prepare uncooked and cooked quinoa.
Does Quinoa Go Bad?
Often referred to as a whole grain, Quinoa is a healthy seed. It’s very possible that when you learn about quinoa’s benefits, you’ll want to buy a whole lot of it after you see it in your local supermarket.
As quinoa gains popularity as a ‘supergrain’ and health food, it is certainly recommended to buy a few packages.
But does quinoa go bad? Yes, whether cooked or raw, quinoa goes bad. This is because it has an expiration date. If you don’t provide proper storage conditions, the food will go bad more quickly.
How Can You Tell If Quinoa Is Bad?
Quinoa that is uncooked is difficult to detect when it has spoiled. A bag of uncooked quinoa may contain an unpleasant smell, mold, or insects in rare cases.
It’s usually easy to determine whether the quinoa is still edible after cooking it. The uncooked quinoa should be discarded if there is an off smell or changes in the texture. Also, bad quinoa seeds become stale and hard as they cook.
Cooked quinoa, on the other hand, is much easier to decide whether to eat or not. Here are a few signs that quinoa has gone bad.
- An off-putting smell
- Place quinoa in a container or add quinoa directly to the container
- Hard texture
The cooked quinoa should be discarded if any of these signs appear. Furthermore, if the cooked quinoa container has been in the fridge for longer than a week without any signs of spoilage, discard it anyway.
How to Store Quinoa
Uncooked quinoa can be stored the same way as other dried goods, which are quite straightforward rules.
First of all, quinoa needs to be kept dry. Quinoa, like all dried goods, is vulnerable to moisture.
To keep pests from getting into it, you should store it tightly sealed. In case the quinoa bag comes with damage, is made of paper, or isn’t airtight, store it in an airtight container.
To preserve its best qualities, store quinoa in a dark, cool place. Keeping quinoa in an area with fluctuating temperatures or near heat sources is not recommended.
Whenever you cook quinoa, place it in the refrigerator.
How to Store Quinoa in the Fridge
Following these steps will extend the shelf life of cooked quinoa in the fridge.
- Allow the quinoa to cool for a few minutes. You will need about 20 minutes for the quinoa to cool completely.
- Make storage of the quinoa space-efficient by transferring it into a container or freezer bag.
- Ensure that the lid fits snugly over the container. Be sure to push the air out of the bag and securely close the container if you are using a bag.
- Keep the container in the fridge and label it with the date.
Then, reheat only the amount of quinoa that you plan on eating.
Reheating and re-chilling cooked quinoa will deteriorate the quality of the seeds over time.
Does Cooked Quinoa Go Bad in Fridge?
When kept in the fridge, cooked quinoa has a short shelf life.
Quinoa will eventually spoil even if you store it correctly in the refrigerator. Cooked quinoa stored in a refrigerator with all the necessary conditions will only prolong its shelf life and protect its flavor and texture.
Can You Refrigerate Leftover Quinoa?
The leftover quinoa should be refrigerated after sitting at room temperature for 2 hours or less. Once it has been left at room temperature past that point, bacteria can develop.
Leaving quinoa at room temperature for more than two hours does not affect its nutritional quality. Nevertheless, following the two-hour rule will reduce the risk of food-borne illness.
Can You Freeze Quinoa?
Cooking quinoa results in three times the amount as when it was raw. In order to avoid this, people often cook more quinoa than they will be able to consume within a few days.
Cooked quinoa can be frozen, whether you overcooked it or simply want it to be on hand at any time.
Here’s how to cook and freeze quinoa:
- Run some water over the quinoa and drain it well. Getting rid of the bitterness of the seeds requires this step.
- In a saucepan, combine the water and quinoa. Use a 1:2 quinoa-to-water ratio. The seeds must soak up all the water in about 20 minutes of boiling.
- Allow the quinoa to steam for 5 minutes once you have turned off the heat. Add salt after it has been fluffed.
- Let the quinoa cool and divide it into portions for freezing. The benefit of dividing a large batch of quinoa into smaller portions is that you will not waste any of it.
- Transfer the cooled quinoa to an airtight container or a heavy-duty zip-top bag. In order to save some freezer space, zip-top bags are your best option.
- The quinoa should be placed in a freezer bag with a date on it.
Using Frozen Cooked Quinoa
Once you have frozen cooked quinoa, transfer it to the fridge overnight so that it can thaw. However, it is not recommended to thaw quinoa at room temperature since it can allow harmful bacteria to grow.
When in a hurry, you can either microwave frozen quinoa or reheat in a nonstick pan to quickly defrost it. When you microwave quinoa, make sure to add water so that it doesn’t dry out.
Defrosting and reheating frozen quinoa can also be done using steam. Nevertheless, reheating quinoa this way is time-consuming.
In general, you can use thawed quinoa within three to four days after it’s been stored in the refrigerator. Once thawed, Quinoa should be consumed as soon as possible.
How Long Does Quinoa Last?
The quality of quinoa seeds and storage conditions influence the shelf life of the grain.
How Long Does Uncooked Quinoa Last?
When stored and packaged properly, uncooked quinoa has a long shelf life. Two to three years are the shelf lives of the three quinoa varieties – white, black, and red.
Ensure that the quinoa’s ‘Best by’ date is on the packaging before purchasing it. While this date does not suggest you should throw away quinoa after it has passed its expiration date, knowing how long the manufacturer recommends you keep it is a good idea.
The date, listed on the packaging, does not reflect how long quinoa will last, if it is properly stored. Uncooked quinoa, however, shows few signs of spoilage.
If you are unsure about how long the package has been on the shelves of the supermarket, you should follow the ‘Best by’ date and the manufacturer’s storage instructions.
Additionally, quinoa, while it may remain safe to consume months and even years past its expiration date, is more flavorful if you prepare it as soon as possible.
How Long Does Cooked Quinoa Last?
To prevent quinoa from spoiling, you should refrigerate or freeze it after cooking.
In an airtight container, cooked quinoa will keep for up to seven days in the fridge. Due to this, as well as its benefits, quinoa makes an excellent meal prep ingredient.
Quinoa can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months because the freezer slows down the deterioration process. Quinoa may remain safe for consumption for longer as long as the freezer temperature is stable.
However, the flavor and texture of frozen cooked quinoa will deteriorate faster after eight to twelve months.