How Long Does Quinoa Last In the Fridge?

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Before you prep your quinoa for the week, it’s important to understand how quickly this cooked food can spoil.

So, how long does quinoa last in the fridge? Cooked quinoa will last for about 5 to 7 days if stored properly in an airtight container. But there are different factors that can affect this timeline.

To learn more about properly storing cooked quinoa, how different methods can affect shelf life, and how to tell if your quinoa is spoiled, keep reading.

How Long Does Cooked Quinoa Last?

Just as with other grains and seeds, cooking quinoa makes it more susceptible to spoilage.

Cooked quinoa that is placed in an airtight container and put into the fridge soon after cooking will last up to one week. If the quinoa is stored in an open container or left out for a period before being put in the fridge, it will spoil much more quickly.

How Long Does It Last in the Freezer?

One way to extend the shelf life of cooked quinoa is to store it in the freezer. 

To do this, simply place your cooked quinoa in an airtight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. When stored this way in a freezer, quinoa will last around 10 months. Frozen quinoa will still be edible after this period but is more likely to experience freezer burn and textural changes.

To reheat frozen quinoa, place the container in the fridge overnight. Or, if you’re in a hurry, transfer it to a microwaveable container and cook it for 45 seconds.

How Long Does Uncooked Quinoa Last?

Cooked quinoa tends to spoil quickly, but dry quinoa can last quite a while.

Like other dried grains, raw quinoa will typically last between 2 and 3 years in the pantry. This is true as long as the seeds are kept in an airtight bag or container and not exposed to moisture. If you’ve opened the original quinoa package, it’s best to store it in a resealable plastic bag or airtight jar or container.

Keeping quinoa grains away from light, such as in a dark pantry or cellar, will help preserve the nutrients inside the food.

Expert Tip: How to Tell Your Quinoa has Spoiled

Identifying if cooked quinoa has gone bad requires a little detective work. 

The easiest way is to use your nose. Freshly cooked quinoa has a mild, nutty aroma. Once it has begun to spoil, you can usually detect a sour odor.

This sourness will be detectable in the flavor as well.

Spoiled quinoa also tends to be runnier than it was when first placed in the container. If left too long in the fridge, it will grow mold that can be identified by spots of darker pigment.

Signs that uncooked raw quinoa has spoiled are a little harder to identify. Unless the uncooked seeds have been exposed to moisture and are growing mold, the only sure way to tell is to cook them.

If these freshly cooked seeds are crunchier than normal or have a sour smell, it’s best to toss them out and try again with a new batch. If you don’t want to take a chance on cooking bad quinoa, it’s best to stick to the shelf life rule of 3 years and throw out any dry quinoa that’s been around longer than that period of time.

How to Store Cooked Quinoa

Once your quinoa is cooked, allow it to cool slightly in the pan before transferring it to an airtight container. Place this container straight into the fridge. 

The bacteria responsible for spoiled foods grows fastest at room temperature. By placing warm quinoa in the cold fridge, you reduce the amount of time the food will sit at room temperature. This, in turn, reduces how much time bacteria has to establish.

Spoiled foods can make you very sick if consumed, so it’s always important to store foods properly. If you see any signs of mold or obvious signs that the food is turning, it’s best not to take a chance on it.


Is it okay to reheat quinoa?

Yes, quinoa can absolutely be reheated. Simply pop your leftovers in the microwave and cook for about two minutes or until heated through.

Is quinoa meant to be eaten hot or cold?

Once cooked, quinoa can be enjoyed hot or cold. Like rice and other grains, it makes a wonderful base for warm meals. It can also be used cold in salads.

When should you not eat leftover quinoa?

If you notice any strange odors, mold, or liquid in your leftover quinoa, you should not eat it. These are all signs that your quinoa has gone bad.

Quinoa Recipe Ideas

Quinoa is a deliciously healthy grain that should never go to waste. Looking for ways to use up your cooked quinoa? Here are some of our favorite recipes.

Wondering how to cook plain quinoa? Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

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The Bottom Line on Quinoa Leftovers

You have about five to seven days to use up any quinoa leftovers you might have. But remember, exactly how long leftover quinoa will be good for is a matter of how the leftovers are stored and how quickly they make it into the fridge after cooking.

Are you a quinoa fan? Let us know why you love this superfood and share your favorite quinoa recipes in the comments below.

A bowl of vegan quinoa salad with chopped cherry tomatoes and peppers.

Basic Quinoa Recipe

Making quinoa is simple and, since it’s so versatile, a great way to prepare a week’s worth of meals in advance. Follow this general recipe for easy, healthy quinoa that can be added to a variety of different dishes.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
6 Ratings
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Side Dish
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Vegan
Keyword: quinoa
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Sara Seitz



  • In a fine mesh strainer, rinse your uncooked quinoa under cold water for about 1 minute.
  • Transfer the rinsed uncooked quinoa to a sauce pot and add the water.
  • Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then uncover and fluff with a fork.
  • Add to your favorite recipe or transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to one week.


Substitute vegetable broth for water for a more flavorful product. Quinoa cooked in vegetable broth works well when making quinoa for salads or as a side.
If cooking at altitude (above 5,000 feet) add about 5 minutes to the cooking time. You may also need to add a couple more tablespoons of water to get the perfect texture.

Recommended Tools & Products

1 Sauce pot
1 Strainer


Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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