How to Sprout Quinoa

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how to sprout quinoa

Before we delve into how to sprout quinoa, I’ll talk a bit about why I do it. I’ve discussed the many benefits of sprouting many times before, but it’s worth mentioning again!

Sprouting and soaking grains, legumes, nuts and seeds was a common traditional practice long ago, but since the development of processed and convenience foods, it has lost it’s popularity since you have to take time and patience to sprout or soak.

Even though sprouting or soaking can take 12-36 hours, it’s mostly a “set-it-and-forget-it” pursuit. You don’t need to be in the kitchen for 12 hours watching your grains soak. You can set them up to soak or sprout and generally leave them for a long while, only coming back to maybe quickly rinse the sprouting grains every few hours.

As it turns out, there’s a reason that the traditional practice of soaking and sprouting was so prevalent and spanned many continents and cultures. It has many nutritional benefits. Sprouting is a process that germinates grains, seeds or legumes which in turn makes them more easily digested and produces additional vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin B and Carotene.

Another benefit to sprouting and soaking is the resulting decrease in phytic acid. Phytic acid is an enzyme inhibitor, which means that it blocks the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can also cause poor digestion and an unhealthy gut.

This may explain why many people feel bloated, gassy or intolerant of beans and grains. Some people who believe that they are gluten intolerant actually do quite well with properly sprouted grains. (If you do have grain allergies or gluten intolerance please consult your health practitioner before attempting to consume sprouted or soaked grains and do so with caution.)

Some have even linked phytic acid and improperly prepared grains to the rise in tooth decay. If you do eat grains, it’s best to soak or sprout them first.

The way that you sprout any grain, seed or legume is the same, only the amount of time you sprout it changes. You can also check out my post on how to sprout red lentils.

How to Sprout Quinoa:

Makes about 2 cups sprouted quinoa

1 quart mason jar
Sprouting lid or mesh screen (where to get sprouting lids)

1-1.5 cups quinoa
about 3 cups filtered water

1. First, rinse quinoa thoroughly. Put quinoa into a 1 quart mason jar and fill the jar to the top with filtered water. Let quinoa soak for about 6 hours. Sometimes, I set mine up before I go to bed and soak overnight.

2. After it has soaked pour off the water, you can put the sprouting lid on the jar and use it as a strainer as well. Fill the jar with more water to rinse the quinoa, then pour it out and set the jar with sprouting lid on upside down on a bowl or container to catch excess dripping water.

3. About every 6 hours, rinse with water, pour out and put upside down over bowl. I try to just rinse it when I remember and when I get a chance. The rinse times don’t need to be too exact just make sure that it’s not sitting for too long without being rinsed.

4. It will take about 1-2 days for sprouts to form. You will see little thread-like sprouts coming from the grains. Once it’s done store quinoa in the fridge and use within a few days.

You can lightly cook sprouted quinoa. I usually cook it similarly to how you cook quinoa regularly. I combine sprouted quinoa with equal parts water in a pot and simmer on medium heat until cooked through about 20-30 minutes.



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How to Sprout Quinoa

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  1. Kathryn says

    Love your recipes but could you please make a print format so I can put your recipes in with my collection? It is such a waste of ink to have to print all the advertisements to the right.

    Much appreciated!

    • Catherine says

      I just sprouted my first grain, green lentils. I am now planning to sprout everything! *I cut and paste posts into a Word document. I clean it up and make sure that I note where the article came from under the title… just so I can give credit where credit is due!

    • Tabitha says

      If you highlight the text you want and then choose print, there is an option for printing the selected text only, bypassing printing the ads.

  2. Summer says

    I have some quinoa in the pantry and was wondering about sprouting it. Thank you I think I will get onto this tonight!

  3. says


    Thanks for sharing this useful information on sprouting quinoa. It makes the quinoa so much more nutritious and easier to digest. I will share this info on my FB page and Pinterest.

  4. Cindy says

    Can you use the sprouted, uncooked quinoa in a homemade granola recipe? I like to make granola and wanted to add quinoa to it – but I wasn’t sure if I should add it as is, sprout it or cook it first – any thoughts?

  5. Matthew M says

    Much cheaper to make your own mesh screen lids. You can use the lids that come with the Mason Jars (pack of 12 quart sized jars from Ace hardware cost me about $14) and then for screen use needlework (knitting) canvas/lattice found at craft stores for about 70 cents per sheet. Better yet, when at the local hardware store buying the jars see if they have scraps from their bulk nylon and metallic window screen rolls. My local Ace gave me a bunch of scraps and I made the screens essentially for free

    • Sandy says

      I recycle my old splatter screens for sprouting. Mark the screen with the Mason jar ring and cut inside the line…perfect fit and food safe.

    • Judy says

      That’s what I did – had a bit of nylon screening leftover and just cut squares out of it. It’s soft, so you don’t even have to cut exact size. I would worry about the needlework canvas developing mold. Perhaps the plastic canvas if the holes are not too big

  6. Mark says

    I’m astonished by what happened today. I washed 1/2 cup organic Red Quinoa with boiling hot water then added another cup of hot water to the Quinoa in a descoware (enameled cast iron) pot and simmered it for 15 minutes and just turned the heat off without opening. 5 hours later at room temp when I opened it the Quinoa had sprouted! And was also cooked and ready to eat delicious! I just find this amazing.

    • txmessica says

      You didn’t sprout it, you cooked it. After you cook Quinoa, you will see the germ (a tiny spiral) separate from and curl around the quinoa seed.

  7. meera says

    Hi.. I have set my quinoa to sprout. It is the third day today and I rinse every 12 hours. I am yet to see any sprouting… is there something I need to do? It is very cold, and the quino easy sprouter sits on the kitchen counter…there is no window open.

    Do help..

  8. Ann says

    I love to reuse and repurpose stuff around my house. for the mesh screens I have used the mesh bags that garlic and shallots come in. I cut them to fit the lids of the mason jars and voila! There are varying sizes of mesh on various produce so pick the size that works with the seed. The quinoa was challenging. I have a few gift bags (small drawstring bags) in which jewelry and other items come in. I have found that useful for quinoa. Hope that helps.
    Note that quinoa has a little ring around the seed that comes off during soaking or cooking. When you see that, it is not the same as the quinoa being sprouted.

  9. Debbie Ward says

    Yum this is my very first time sprouting anything. I’m very excited as overnight the tails formed :) …I’m doing a raw quinoa salad for Easter


  1. […] Quinoa is one of my favorite protein-rich grains. It has a nutty flavor and light texture that makes it a great alternative to rice and other grains. Quinoa does contain anti-nutrients that prevent it from sprouting until the right conditions are met. To get rid of these anti-nutrients and make quinoa easier to digest and more nutritious, you can soak and sprout it before cooking it. Hannah has an excellent post on how to sprout quinoa. […]

  2. […] Note: At this point you also have the option to achieve a full sprout by placing it in a mason jar (instead of a pot for cooking) without water and topping with a lid suitable for sprouting. Here is a helpful post on sprouting quinoa for several days: How to Sprout Quinoa. […]

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