Does Quinoa Go Bad?

Does quinoa go bad or not? How should you store quinoa? Here's the ultimate guide on quinoa and how you should store it properly.

It’s been a few years since quinoa was first discovered by health-fanatics. Now, even the least health-minded of us know how to pronounce the word (keen-wa if you’re wondering).

It’s true: quinoa is a nutritious staple, packed with protein, fiber, and manganese.

As deliciously nutty and wonderfully healthy as it is, it’s not immune to going bad.

Here are the headlines you need to know: Quino

Related:Does Rice Go Bad?Does Brown Rice Go Bad?

Has My Quinoa Gone Bad?

vegetarian quinoa salad

Here are the signs that your uncooked quinoa has gone bad:

  • Mold
  • Insects, bugs, eggs
  • Change in odor (quinoa should smell nutty)
  • Dryer than usual texture

However, the bad news is that quinoa can easily be bad and not exhibit any of the above signs.

The good news? Once quinoa is cooked, you’ll be able to tell if it has gone bad. Old quinoa, once cooked, will taste different and the texture will be harder than you’re used to.

As for quinoa that’s already been cooked, check for changes in smell and appearance. If you see any mold or discolorations, your quinoa is ready for the trash.

How Should You Store Quinoa?

quinoa plantations

The big rule when it comes to storing quinoa is keep it dry. Moisture will encourage bacteria to grow, and it’s a surefire way to get your quinoa to go bad!

Therefore, once you’ve opened your quinoa, transfer to an airtight container.

Besides from that, uncooked quinoa storage is pretty simple. Whether it’s open or not, keep it in the pantry or the kitchen cupboard – anywhere that’s cool, dry, dark, and not subject to temperature fluctuations.

Once you’ve cooked your quinoa, give it 20 minutes to cool off, then pop it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Make sure you don’t leave cooked quinoa out – the USDA advises cooked quinoa shouldn’t be left at room temperature for over 2 hours.

You can also freeze quinoa. To do this, divide your quinoa into meal-sized portions, let them cool to room temperature for about half an hour, then transfer to the freezer. You can either use freezer bags or an airtight freezer-safe container.

When you’re ready to use your cooked quinoa, simply defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, opt for the microwave, and add a splash of water, so the quinoa doesn’t dry out.

How Long Quinoa Lasts

quinoa pilaf with chicken and vegetables

Expect your uncooked quinoa to last 2-3 years from its production date. You should find a best by date on the packaging, but, provided you’ve stored your quinoa in adequate conditions, it should be fine for a few months to even a couple of years after this date.

Cooked quinoa will last for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

If you’ve chosen to freeze your quinoa, expect it to last 8-12 months. It won’t go bad after this point, but it will degrade in quality. You might notice a rougher texture when eating.

The Lowdown On Quinoa

Storing quinoa is pretty simple. It should go in the cupboard uncooked and in the refrigerator once cooked.

However, one key takeaway is that it’s sometimes unclear if uncooked quinoa has gone bad. To make sure, cook your quinoa and look for changes in appearance, smell, and taste.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.