Quinoa Flour 101 + Make Your Own Quinoa Flour

quinoa flour 1I’ve been promising to share photos and a description of how to make your own quinoa flour with plain quinoa seeds, and now (at last!) I can cross it off of the to-do list. 

I *LOVE* baking with quinoa flour, so I hope this encourages you to give it a try!

Quinoa Flour 101

Quinoa flour is made by grinding quinoa seeds to a fine consistency. It looks and feels like all-purpose wheat flour and is easily adapted to a broad range of baking recipes, from desserts to muffins to breads (with the exception of yeast breads). Quinoa flour can also be added directly to soups and stews as a thickening agent, or used like a protein powder in smoothies and shakes.

Gluten-Free + Fuss-Free!

Unlike other gluten-free flours or flour blends, there is no need to add gums (such as xanthan gum or guar gum) to make quinoa flour “work” in baking recipes, a feature that is particularly appealing to home bakers interested in gluten-free baking, incorporating nutritious non-wheat flours into their diets or creating baked goods that fit into a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet. Most importantly, quinoa flour, with its naturally nutty and slightly sweet flavor, appeals to anyone interested in delicious baked goods.

Trying it For the First Time

Because quinoa flour has a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor, you may want to begin with recipes that feature other bold flavors, such as dark molasses, cocoa powder or a mix of strong spices. The more familiar you become with quinoa flour, the more you will love the unique flavor it imparts to recipes.

You can also substitute a small amount (e.g., 1/4 to 1/3 the total amount of wheat flour) with quinoa flour for a healthy, high-protein, whole-grain boost.

To quinoa!

Some powerhungry quinoa flour recipes to try!

Quinoa Flour Biscotti

Double Quinoa Power Cookies

Quinoa Soda Bread

Quinoa Banana Bread

Quinoa Flour Cheddar Scallion Drop Scones


A few quinoa flour Recipes from other sites

Quinoa Almond-Butter Cookies (from wellsphere)

Quinoa Peanut Butter Cookies (Bob’s Red Mill)

Amaranth Quinoa and Dark Chocolate Cake (La Tartine Gourmand)



Make Your Own Quinoa Flour!

While quinoa flour is readily available in many supermarkets — typically in the health food section — and natural food stores, you can also make your own at home, using a grain mill or a clean coffee or spice grinder. This is a great way to experiment with quinoa flour without buying an entire package of it; it is less expensive to grind your own.

Rinse 2 cups of quinoa through a fine mesh sieve for at least 1 minute to remove any remaining saponins. Shake off as much water as possible, then spread on an ungreased large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 12 to 15 minutes until dry, slightly golden and fragrant. Cool completely.

Place 1/4 cup of quinoa seeds in the grinder (adding any more will overload the grinder and prevent the seeds from being ground to a fine consistency). Using on/off pulses, process, shaking the grinder every few pulses to ensure an even grind, until the seeds are finely and evenly ground. Repeat with more seeds until you have the desired amount of flour. 

1/4 cup whole quinoa seeds yields about 1/3 cup of fine quinoa flour. Store quinoa flour in an airtight container of the refrigerator for up to 6 months, or freeze for up to 1 year.

Note: I have tried grinding seeds in a blender and two types of food processors without good results. The coffee/spice grinder is the only device that will grind the seeds into a fine flour, The other appliances create a more coarse meal. Fortunately, the grinders are very affordable and can be used fro, well, spices and coffee, as well as grinding other whole grains into flour. A worthy purchase!  

Here is a great one for under $15: Proctor Silex Coffee Grinder

Do I need to rinse my quinoa before grinding?

Yes. Virtually all quinoa that reaches consumers in North America and Europe has already had the saponin removed (this includes quinoa flour and quinoa flakes), but some traces of saponin typically remain due to processing.

Toasting the quinoa gets rid of any remaining bitterness and lends a deepened nutty flavor that is wonderful in baked goods. 

quinoa flour 3
quinoa flour 4
quinoa flour 2
Pulse for about 10-15 seconds at a time, shaking the grinder up and down as you go. The shaking is key: it ensures that the flour will be very fine and evenly ground. Keep it up until the flour is very fine to the touch, about 1-1/2 minutes total.
And there you have it! Ultra-fine quinoa flour in just over 1 minute!


  1. says

    I’m glad you posted this; I have been considering doing this myself and didn’t know if it would work with quinoa in particular because of the saponin that coats the grains. Question: before cooking with quinoa you rinse thoroughly to remove the saponin. Do you not have to rinse the grains if you’re making flour? Does it not matter in the final product?

  2. says

    Hi Morgan,

    I’ve added a note about this above because I think others will have the same question. Almost all quinoa in North American these days is pre-rinsed to remove the saponins. See my explanation above…Cheers, Camilla :)

  3. Anonymous says

    This is fantastic! Just ground my first batch yesterday and did half and half batch (whole wheat and quinoa ) muffins this morning. YUM!!!


  4. says

    Thanks for this post. I found it while looking for how to make my own quinoa flakes. Do you know if it follows a similar process?

  5. says

    Hi Tracy! Glad you found the post–it is such a simple process to make the flour, and it is incredibly versatile.

    I’m not sure about homemade quinoa flakes, They are made in the same way as rolled oats: they are first steamed and then rolled with huge industrial rollers. I am not sure how you could do that at home (rolling pin?). If you come up with a way, let me know! If you are looking for less expensive quinoa flakes: I get them in bulk at a natural food store ( a fraction of the cost of boxed ones–less than half) . The store is a ways away, so I also order from nuts.com, which is an AMAZING resource for grains, nuts, and more. Here is the link–they are a good price!

  6. Anonymous says

    I am on a low-carb diet looking to replace regular all-purpose flour. I plan on making meatballs this week with quinoa flour and am curious if the flavor will be noticeable or if it will be disguised by the savory flavors. Any advice?

  7. says

    Using the quinoa flour in meatballs should be perfect–the nutty flavor of the quinoa will blend seamlessly with the savory ingredients. Great idea!

  8. says

    Using the quinoa flour in meatballs should be perfect–the nutty flavor of the quinoa will blend seamlessly with the savory ingredients. Great idea!

  9. Jayla says

    This is wonderful!! We’ve always made our own bread, but since my son was born, I’ve wanted to make gluten-free for him…unfortunately the gluten-free flour is so expensive!! But my son has loved quinoa since he was a baby, and this is just what I was looking for! Thank you so very much!

  10. Tracy says

    Hi Camilla,
    Thanks for this post too! I ordered quinoa flour and flakes from nuts.com and wanted to tell you that I have been substituting the flakes for rolled oats in my yeast breads, and in fact I sub’d the quinoa flour for a cup of the whole wheat flour in my recipe which turned out great! I use a bread machine and love it! Also, I got your quinoa cookbook and have tried several recipes, all of which I have loved. Thanks for all that you do :)

    • Camilla says

      Tracy, I am thrilled on all counts! (Isn’t nuts.com great? I do not work for them in any way, I just appreciate their business so much). Thank you so much for letting me know, Tracy, and enjoy the book! Camilla :)

    • Camilla says

      For quick bread recipes (quick loaves, muffins, scones, biscuits, etc) and cookies, yes, but with some caveats: quinoa flour tends to absorb more liquid than wheat flour, so it’s a good idea to increase the overall liquid in the recipe by 1-2 tbso per cup of quinoa flour. If the recipe has eggs, definitely increase the liquids by simply adding an extra egg. Since quinoa flour has no gluten, the extra egg will help the baked good lighter (quinoa baked goods tend to be a touch heavier and denser than flour goods due to the lack of gluten). Good luck, Saima!

  11. Tricia says

    I just bought a ton of red quinoa, not sure the difference from the white kind I usually get. Aside from the color, I shouldn’t notice a difference in the flour, right?

    • Camilla says

      No–it was before I had a high-powered blended. I am sure a high powered blender would work!

  12. Bonnie says

    This is great! I make my son a high protein pancake in the mornings before school and have been using Bisquick. I just made my quinoa flour with my vitamix and made him a pancake with it to see if he would like it…He LOVED it! Thank you and I will be using quinoa from now on :-)

  13. Ashley says

    Great post, I’m looking forward to trying this! How do I access the enlightened cooking links you posted? It says you have to been invited to view…

  14. Boliviana says

    For anybody that make delicious dishes,baking with quinua google Bolivian recipes.
    Even the ones in Spanish can be translated with google.
    The best quinua is Real from Bolivia.


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