How Long Does Cooked Quinoa Last – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 hours

Quinoa is gluten-free and high in protein grain. Technically it is not a cereal grain; however, it is a pseudo-cereal. The quinoa seed is prepared and consume just like grains. Furthermore, this seed is known for having various health benefits.

Quinoa is said to have originated from the surrounding of Lake Titicaca in the border of Peru and Bolivia. In this article, we shall be discussing how long does cooked quinoa last and why.

How Long Does Cooked Quinoa Last

How long does cooked quinoa last?

Quinoa StateLife
Room Temperature2 hours
Refrigerator5 days
Freezer12 months

Once cooked, the shelf life of quinoa seed is one week when refrigerated. Furthermore, when frozen, its shelf life increases to 8 to 12 months. Despite having an incredible shelf life in the freezer, cooked quinoa will lose its taste as time goes.

pan, quinoa, multicoloured

How you store your cooked quinoa will affect its shelf life. You should ensure that all the leftovers of cooked quinoa are stored in the refrigerator. However, before storing it in the fridge, give it approximately 10 to 20 minutes to cool.

Ensure that you have transferred your quinoa to an airtight container before storing it in the fridge. This will help prevent any form of contamination hence increasing its shelf life

Why does cooked quinoa last for long?

Cooked quinoa will last for long, depending on your method of preservation. Blocking moisture from quinoa helps in increasing its shelf life. For quinoa to last long, ensure that it is well preserved either by refrigeration or freezing.

Freezing cooked quinoa

Freezing if the best method of storing quinoa. This method increases the quinoa’s shelf life significantly. When freezing your quinoa, ensure it has cooled down before transferring it into freezer bags or containers. Once frozen, the quinoa can last for approximately one year.

Defrosting your frozen quinoa in the refrigerator overnight is the best way to go. However, when you are short of time, you might consider defrosting it using the microwave.

Ensure that you defrost the quinoa using a glass dish and a glass of water to prevent it from drying.

How to tell when quinoa has gone bad?

Knowing bad quinoa might not be an easy job since they have an extended shelf life. However, there are some signs you can use to detect spoilt quinoa such unpleasant odor, bugs or insects, and molds.

At times quinoa might not show any sign of spoilage when gone bad. Fortunately, when cooking quinoa that has gone bad, there will be a change in texture and taste. The quinoa will end up turning hard and altered taste.

Health benefits of quinoa

Quinoa is said to have various health benefits. This food is rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B, Vitamin E, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and plenty of beneficial antioxidants.

The quinoa seed contains Quercetin and Kaempferol, which are plant compounds that consist of antioxidants known as flavonoids.



The antioxidants, minerals, fibers, and the essential amino acids make quinoa one of the healthiest seeds available in the market today. However, you should always retain from consuming spoilt quinoa to avoid foodborne illnesses.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I wish the article had more information about the history of quinoa. That would have been interesting.

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