How Long Does Quinoa Last in the Fridge

Quinoa is one of the healthy supergrains known today. It's actually a seed, but since it cooks up nicely and is slightly crunchy, many health-conscious people use it to replace oats or wheat. However, purchasing in bulk may backfire if you don't keep them properly and they spoil before you get a chance to cook them. So, how can you make them last longer? 

Of course, the first thing that comes to our mind when keeping leftovers is storing them in the fridge. And when it comes to quinoa, refrigerating it can increase its shelf life by 50% or even more. But before you prep your batch of quinoa, you should know how long they can last to be edible. 

This blog will address your burning question, “How long does quinoa last in the fridge?”. We'll also help you decide if it's gone bad. 

What is Quinoa? 

Quinoa is simply a grain seed that contains lots of necessary nutrients and minerals. It is also known as a “superfood” due to its high protein and fiber content. That said, it is a healthy alternative to gluten-containing wheat and rye. Quinoa has been used and enjoyed worldwide for a while, but it has recently gained popularity in the US as a healthy food choice. It is often used as a rice substitute. In fact, this ancient grain was revered as a sacred food by the Incas centuries ago. 

Note that it is technically not a super grain but rather a grass seed. Due to its popularity and ease of preserving cooked batches, quinoa became everyone’s favorite edible seed. Different types of quinoa exist, such as red, white, and black. The best part is that it doesn't take long to prepare—just 15-20 minutes is enough. 

Is Quinoa Healthy?

Quinoa is one of the healthy grains. One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber with few minerals and vitamins. Today, its popularity has soared in vegetarian and vegan diets since quinoa is a gluten-free grain with high levels of fiber and protein, plus anti-inflammatory properties.

Here's a surprising fact: 

Quinoa is a complete protein. This means it has all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own. It is also naturally gluten-free and can be consumed safely by people dealing with gluten intolerance, such as celiac disease. In addition, quinoa is helpful in promoting digestion, lower cholesterol, and steady blood sugar

How Long Does Quinoa Generally Last?

Raw quinoa normally has a long shelf life. Uncooked quinoa or a pack of quinoa bags can last past the expiration date. When stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or kitchen countertop, uncooked quinoa has two to three years of shelf life. It's mostly affected by the room temperature. The warmer the air, the shorter the duration. 

Room temperature is the ideal growing environment for the bacteria that cause spoiled food. Like other grains and nuts, cooking quinoa makes it more likely to spoil. You can shorten the time the food sits at room temperature by putting warm quinoa in a cold refrigerator. As a result, the amount of time bacteria have to establish themselves is shortened.

How Long Does Quinoa Last In The Fridge?

Well, it all depends on the quality of the quinoa, when it was bought, whether it was cooked or uncooked, and, most importantly, how you store it. 

Typically, it is “cooked quinoa” that has to be stored in the refrigerator. But for how long is it safe in the fridge? Cooked quinoa can last for up to five days in the fridge before it gets spoiled. 

Please note that if you plan to refrigerate cooked quinoa that has been made into another recipe or combined with other foods like a burger or sandwich, it will likely last fewer days, usually 3 to 4 days.

Can You Freeze Quinoa?

Technically yes. Freezers can help extend the life of food for much the same reason as the fridge. Quinoa can be kept there long-term because freezing temperatures slow the rate of bacterial growth. You can freeze raw quinoa in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag for up to 12 months. This is not typically necessary because uncooked quinoa has a long shelf life in general. 

Here's How to freeze quinoa: 

  • Prepare the quinoa as instructed on the packaging. Remember that it is about triples in size, so pick a large pot or pan.
  • Let it cool down fully. To allow the steam to escape, you can place it in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered.
  • Divide and store. It's recommended to freeze in 2-cup increments, but feel free to use one, three, or ten cups if that's what most recipes call for!
  • After flattening the freezer bags, label them with the contents, amount, and date. You can freeze them for up to 10 months at 0°F or lower. 

Don't forget to defrost them whenever you're ready to eat them. Allow them to thaw for two to three hours at room temperature, depending on how much is made. Microwave heating works well for quick thawing. Note that they can occasionally lose their texture and flavor after freezing which is probably the only reason why freezing is not advised. 

How To Reheat Quinoa? 

You can’t eat quinoa straight out of the fridge, right? After all, nobody likes to consume cold food. So here’s how you can thaw or, more specifically, reheat your quinoa: 

  1. Microwave: Reheating quinoa in the microwave is among the quickest and most straightforward methods. Simply transfer the cooked quinoa to a bowl that is safe to use in the microwave and use a fork to fluff it up. Pour a small amount of water into the bowl. To reheat your quinoa, place a damp paper towel over the bowl and microwave it for one or two minutes. 
  2. Pan: Quinoa can also be reheated in a pan on the stovetop. Place a quinoa skillet over medium heat to reheat it on your stovetop. After adding a small amount of water, add your quinoa. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is thoroughly warmed. After that, take out and serve.  
  3. Oven: You may also reheat your quinoa in the oven if you want. Move your quinoa to a plate that can be baked in the oven, and use a fork to fluff it up. Add a small amount of water to your quinoa for extra moisture. Cover your baking dish and put it in the oven at 350°F. Bake the quinoa for ten to fifteen minutes or until it is heated through. 

How To Store Quinoa?

The first important step is to let the cooked quinoa cool down. This allows some steam to escape and prevents condensation from forming around the quinoa grains when placed in the fridge. 

  • As directed by the package or a recipe, prepare the quinoa.
  • Don't keep it out for longer than two hours, but allow it to cool to room temperature. 
  • Divide it into small, single-serve portions. (This is optional)
  • Transfer them to an airtight container. 
  • You can also keep them in a plastic ziplock bag. But make sure to expel the excess air using your hands. 
  • Consume it within seven days.

How Can You Tell Quinoa Has Gone Bad?

Did you know that cooked quinoa spoils faster than rice? If your refrigerator's temperature isn't maintained low enough or the airtight container is not properly sealed, your quinoa can quickly spoil in less than a week. Fresh quinoa is light in color and has a nutty fragrance to it, similar to other grains. 

Here are the signs of spoiled quinoa: 

  • A sour, unpleasant, or rotten smell 
  • Presence of milky liquid
  • Appearance of fungal growth or mold on the surface or on the container's sidewalls
  • Soft, tough, or sticky texture 
  • Discoloration – brown or green stains 
  • Slimy and damp feel 

Avoid consuming spoiled quinoa as it may increase the risk of food poisoning and gastrointestinal issues like bloating or gas. In case of any sensitivity or severe stomach issues, consult a healthcare professional

What To Do With Leftover Quinoa? 

Leftover quinoa can be used for a plethora of different things. Combining quinoa with vegetables and a sauce is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. 

Here’s a small recipe you can cook with your leftover quinoa. 

Let the cooked quinoa cool down. Next, cut a small zucchini into quarters using a knife. Cut your favorite cheese into cubes and chop a tomato into tiny, bite-sized pieces. After the quinoa has cooked and cooled, mix in the beans. If you like, season with salt and pepper. Lastly, whisk in the Italian dressing. The resulting chilled quinoa salad is made, which is enjoyed by most diet-conscious people.  

Final Note 

So, how long does quinoa last in the fridge? Uncooked quinoa can last up to its “best by date.” Once cooked, it can be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days on the condition that it’s kept in a sealed container. In the freezer, cooked quinoa can also last for up to two months. Avoid eating spoiled quinoa as it may cause food poisoning and other GI issues. To be on the safer side, enjoy it fresh right after cooking it. Fresher food, better mood! 

Regardless of whether it's cooked or uncooked, it's important to be aware of the shelf life of quinoa. This way, you can make the most of your quinoa and avoid unnecessary food wastage. 


1. Can quinoa last 2 weeks in the fridge? 

Ans: No, Quinoa can stay fresh only for about five days. After that, it must be discarded. 

2. How can you tell if quinoa is bad? 

Ans: After taking quinoa out of the fridge and reheating it, check for any mold growth, off smells, or milk liquid present. If you notice these, it's time to toss it out. 

3. Is it OK to reheat quinoa? 

Ans: Reheating quinoa in the microwave is entirely OK. However, reheating multiple times is not recommended as it will result in mushy consistency and loss of vitamins and minerals. 

4. Can I eat quinoa after 5 days?

Ans: Yes. Cooked quinoa can be consumed within 5 to 7 days of refrigeration. But don't eat if there are any visible signs of spoilage, like an unpleasant odor or the presence of mold. 

5. Does cooked quinoa go bad in the fridge? 

Ans: Cooked quinoa can go bad in the fridge even after five days of refrigeration and proper storage.

Also Read

Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *