Does Quinoa Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

Quinoa is a popular grain among vegans. It is a gluten-free seed that is frequently used as a carbohydrate replacement. Quinoa may be found in various recipes, including salads and protein smoothies.

It is regarded as a superfood due to its high nutritional content and is related to several health advantages. Studies have shown quinoa to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

cooked rice with green peas and carrots on stainless steel bowl

Once cooked, quinoa has a short shelf life, so it’s critical to know how to store it. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

How Long Will Raw Quinoa last?

When kept correctly, raw quinoa can survive for 2 to 3 years from the date of manufacture. Remember to keep this date on the label in mind.

It may still be edible if you have raw quinoa beyond its expiration date. Try to perform a fast inspection if there are no indicators of decomposition, such as mold or an unpleasant odor. If you’re not sure, start with a tiny quantity.

How Long Will Cooked Quinoa last?

Cooked quinoa may be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or weeks. Leftover quinoa has a limited shelf life and should be consumed within 4 days.

If you still have cooked quinoa that is more than a week old, you should toss it out for safety concerns. Isn’t it better to be cautious than sorry?

Frozen cooked quinoa has a substantially longer shelf life, lasting up to 12 months. Although it may be safe to consume for a longer amount of time, its greatest quality will begin to decrease after 1 to 2 months.

How Long Can Cooked Quinoa Be Kept in the Fridge?

When properly prepared and kept in an airtight container, it will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.

What Happens If Quinoa Goes Bad?

Quinoa is a grain; it will not go well after a given time if it isn’t prepared.

Quinoa, like all grains, has a shelf life determined by how it is stored.

As a result, it must be preserved properly to guarantee that it lasts as long as it should.

How Long Can Quinoa Be Stored?

The shelf life of quinoa is determined by whether or not it has been cooked. When stored in a cool, dry area, such as a pantry, an unopened packet of quinoa will survive much until its expiration date.

However, once cooked, quinoa will only keep in the fridge for one week and may be frozen for up to a year.

 In the PantryIn the FridgeIn the Freezer
Raw QuinoaAfter the expiry dateAfter the expiry dateAfter the expiry date
Cooked Quinoa6 -7 days8 -12 Months

Is it possible for quinoa to go bad if left out?

According to several sources, perishable items should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking. As a result, the general guideline is to put it in the fridge within two hours or toss it away.

But I’m sure I’m not the only one who left prepared food out for far longer before refrigerating or reheating and never got sick from it. So, if the quinoa has been sitting out for a few hours, consume it at your own risk. If you unintentionally left cooked quinoa out overnight, throw it out.

In general, germs can proliferate on cooked food within a specific temperature range, but it’s difficult to tell when the food becomes “bad” or harmful to consume.

how to Keep Quinoa Fresher for Longer

Quinoa is a fragile grain that must be stored carefully to prevent it from spoiling. When keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer, ensure it has cooled to room temperature first.

This is because putting hot food in the fridge increases the likelihood of it getting infected with salmonella germs.

Furthermore, heated food can contaminate other foods such as meat, vegetables, and eggs. It is also crucial to note that quinoa should not be stored at room temperature for more than two hours since this encourages the growth of bacteria, which can cause the quinoa to deteriorate fast.

How to Keep Raw Quinoa

Quinoa may be stored raw or undercooked in a variety of ways. Keep it in its original packaging or an airtight container. Keep it in a dry, cold, and dark place, away from light and heat sources, such as your kitchen pantry or cupboard.

Here are three methods for storing quinoa:

Within the Pantry:

Quinoa may be stored in the pantry as long as it is kept cold and dry. If you’ve already opened the packet, pour the remaining quinoa into an airtight glass jar with a tight-fitting cover. Alternatively, you may keep it in the pantry in a plastic container.

Can you store hot quinoa in the refrigerator?

Allow the cooked quinoa to cool for 10 to 20 minutes before moving it to the refrigerator. Putting it there hot will make your fridge work overtime, and certain perishables nearby may be impacted by the sharp temperature difference.

That short cooling period should be sufficient to reduce the temperature to a level that will not impact other foods in the refrigerator.

In the refrigerator:

If the quinoa hasn’t cooled to room temperature after two hours, you may speed it up by immersing it in an ice water bath.

Fill a big bowl halfway with ice water, move the quinoa to a plastic tub, and cover with a lid.

Place the container in the ice water bath, cover it with a tea towel to keep the temperature stable, and set aside for 30 minutes.

how to store cooked quinoa

Let cooked quinoa cool for 10-20 minutes before storing leftovers in the refrigerator.

Transfer to an airtight container to prevent contamination.

Never leave cooked quinoa out for more than 2 hours! Bacteria can develop as a result of this.

Put the container in the rear of the fridge rather than on the door since the temperature varies slightly when the fridge is opened.

Quinoa, as previously said, is a fragile grain that must be kept at a consistent temperature to survive a week.

In the freezer:

Cooked quinoa can be frozen for up to a year. Another method for keeping quinoa is to place it in shallow freezer-safe containers before placing them in the freezer.

Is it possible to reheat cooked quinoa?

Yes. Quinoa that has been cooked can be reheated in the microwave or a saucepan. Add a small bit of water to rehydrate it, so it does not get too dry.

How to Tell if Quinoa Is Bad

Quinoa will spoil if it is kept in the fridge for more than a week or exposed to room temperature for an extended time after being cooked. Here are four ways to tell whether your quinoa has gone bad:

The Aroma

Quinoa, like other grains, does not have a scent, but when it emits an unpleasant stench comparable to foul-smelling feet, you know it’s time to toss it away.

Texture: slimy

The texture of quinoa changes as it rots. Quinoa is a naturally sticky and fluffy meal when cooked. However, the grains are dry and naturally float down when a fork drops.

When quinoa goes bad, the grains get slimy, there is a drawstring effect when you pull them apart, and the stringy-like substance is pure white.

Texture Hardness

Quinoa is a soft grain when cooked; thus, if it becomes hard, it is a clue that it has expired.


Mold forms on the quinoa when a green or white material develops. Mold might sometimes appear as a fuzzy white material on the grains. Because quinoa is normally white, it may not be easy to spot if the mold is white.

As a result, before consuming quinoa, always do the full range of inspections to guarantee it has not gone bad.

The Dangers of Eating Expired Quinoa

It is not recommended that you consume expired quinoa, but you may develop moderate food poisoning if you do. A mouthful of spoiled quinoa isn’t going to kill you, but if you start feeling the following symptoms, you’ve got food poisoning, according to the Mayo Clinic:


Dehydration is caused by food poisoning due to the excess fluid that exits the body due to perspiration and diarrhea. A headache is one of the side effects of dehydration.

When the body is dehydrated, it draws water from several organs, the brain being the most common target. Instead of using pain relievers, drink plenty of water. You should also drink coconut water to replenish electrolytes.


The body eliminates toxins that are damaging to the body through forced removal. People are frequently concerned when they get diarrhea, although it indicates that the body is purifying itself.


Again, vomiting is the body ridding itself of hazardous substances.
Fatigue: Because your body is working tirelessly to cleanse itself of the toxic poisons to which it has been exposed, you will feel unusually tired.

Appetite Suppression

During an episode of food sickness, it is not unusual for people to drink soup or chicken broth. This is because liquids are gentler on the stomach when a person has food sickness.


Even if you do vomit, if hazardous poisons remain in your body, you will continue to feel sick.

Cramps in the stomach

When your body is cleansing itself of dangerous pollutants, you will experience abdominal pain in the form of stomach cramps.


You should expect to feel dehydrated long after your symptoms have subsided if you have food poisoning. You will lose a lot of body fluids due to vomiting, diarrhea, and fever-induced perspiration.

Mild food poisoning symptoms will last no more than three days. However, if the pain becomes much worse and the symptoms do not improve after taking any over-the-counter medicine, make an appointment to see your doctor right soon.

Can Quinoa Be Frozen?

If you make too much quinoa, you may keep it in the freezer for up to a year. Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature; the quickest method is to spread it out on a baking pan.

When the quinoa has completely cooled, divide it into appropriate quantities and place it in Ziploc bags. Before closing the bags, ensure there is as little air as possible in them; this will avoid freezer burn and allow the bags to freeze properly.

Once sealed, place the Ziploc bag into a bigger Ziploc bag, mark with the date, and set the quinoa bags in the freezer.

To eat the quinoa after it has been frozen, remove as many bags as you need from the freezer, place them in a dish, and let them thaw at room temperature. You may alternatively defrost the quinoa in the refrigerator overnight. Place it in a basin to catch the water as it defrosts.

You can alternatively thaw the quinoa by placing it in a microwave-safe dish and cooking it on high for one minute.

What is quinoa

It is an edible seed that is frequently mistaken for a grain. It is an amaranth-family flowering plant. Protein, fiber, and B vitamins are abundant in these seeds.

One cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. It is naturally gluten-free.

It is cooked similarly to other grains such as rice, but it is a more nutritionally complete dish. It’s the only plant food with all nine necessary amino acids, making it a complete protein supply.

Because it does not grow on grass like wheat, oats, or barley, it is classified as a pseudocereal.

While it is an ancient grain that has been used for ages, it has recently gained popularity as a health food. It cooks fast, unlike rice, and can be used as a replacement for rice or other grains.

What are the different types of quinoa?

Quinoa comes in three varieties: red, white, and black.

tiny bowls of red, white, and black quinoa

Red quinoa seeds have a flat, oval form.

When cooked, the hue changes to brown. It has a deeper, nuttier flavor and a chewy texture than the other varieties. It keeps its form nicely when cooked, making it a wonderful addition to salads.

The most frequent form of quinoa used in cuisine is white quinoa. It has a light texture and a delicate taste.

Black quinoa has a more earthy and somewhat sweeter flavor than white or red quinoa.

You may also get multicolored quinoa, a combination of different hues. This dish offers a wonderful range of textures and tastes.


Quinoa is a tasty grain that can be used in several recipes. If you have leftover cooked quinoa, you may keep it from spoiling by storing it properly.

If you’re storing it in the fridge, make sure you eat it within seven days. The best approach to assure durability, though, is to freeze cooked quinoa, which may be stored for up to 12 months.


Editorial Staff

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