Does Quinoa Go Bad? How Long Does Quinoa Last?

Quinoa is a delicious and very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your quinoa is going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

No matter how you store it, quinoa will eventually go bad.

  • Uncooked quinoa can last for up to two to three years.
  • Once cooked, your quinoa must be kept cold in the fridge and will last for three to seven days.
  • Never leave cooked quinoa sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Cooked quinoa can also be kept in the freezer to extend its shelf life to eight to twelve months.


The way that you store your quinoa, along with whether it is cooked or uncooked, will affect its shelf life. Let’s explore some of the different ways that quinoa is stored to demonstrate this.

Does Quinoa Go Bad? How Long Does Quinoa Last?

If we’re talking food with an impressive shelf life, quinoa is one of them. Uncooked quinoa can last for up to two to three years! Depending on your circumstances, you might choose to keep your quinoa in one of the following ways.

How Long Does Quinoa Last Outside?

Uncooked quinoa can, hypothetically, be kept outside. In order to do this, however, you must make sure you can provide a stable environment. This isn’t realistic for most people, but if you want to try it, make sure you keep it in a dark, dry place with a consistent temperature.

Keeping your uncooked quinoa airtight and free of moisture is the most important part, especially if you’re keeping it outside, where conditions can be harder to control. Keep it in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container when you bring it home. If kept correctly, it can last for two to three years.

Cooked quinoa isn’t the easiest to store outside, either. It needs to be kept cold in the fridge or freezer, so unless you’re able to provide consistent fridge- or freezer-level temperatures in an outdoor environment, don’t attempt it.

How Long Does Quinoa Last in the Fridge?

There’s no need to put your uncooked quinoa in the fridge. It will do perfectly fine sitting in the pantry for quite a long time, as long as your pantry is kept dry, dark, and cool.

As for cooked quinoa, it’s important to keep this cold in the fridge or the freezer. When kept in the fridge, cooked quinoa will generally last for three to seven days. Keep an eye on your quinoa to make sure it doesn’t develop any signs of going bad; we talk more about that below.

Make sure your cooked quinoa is kept in an airtight container before putting it in the fridge. If you want to keep the quinoa in the pot you cooked it in, you can, just make sure you put a secure lid on the pot to keep it airtight.

How Long Does Quinoa Last in the Freezer?

Uncooked quinoa doesn’t need to be put in the freezer. Doing so isn’t going to do much for its shelf life, so you might as well just keep it in the pantry.

Cooked quinoa can be stuck in your freezer to grant it a very long shelf life. When done properly, frozen cooked quinoa can last for anywhere from eight to twelve months. This is more of a timeframe for quality, rather than safety; after eight to twelve months have passed, your quinoa is going to start to lose its original quality. Try to consume it within one year, if possible.

Despite this, you should always still check your quinoa when you remove it from the freezer. Even if it’s only been several months, there’s no guarantee that your quinoa will stay good. It’s best to be safe.

Now you know all about how long quinoa will last outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to talking about how to tell if your quinoa has gone sour.

How to Tell if Your Quinoa Has Gone Bad?

Even though quinoa can last for an extraordinary amount of time, it can still go bad, like most foods. Here are some ways to tell if your quinoa has gone bad. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Smell: As with a lot of foods, you might notice that your quinoa smells off when you open it up. If your quinoa smells at all unusual, and it’s been in storage for some time, it’s best to throw it out.

Unwanted residents: Any unwanted residents, like mold or insects, are a sure sign that your quinoa has gone bad. Keeping your quinoa in an airtight container will help ensure that insects and other unwanted residents will stay out, but mold can still inevitably creep in. Even if mold isn’t present on all of the quinoa, throw it out.

Unusual signs during cooking: Sometimes, signs of spoilage don’t come out in quinoa until during or after the cooking process. If you notice that your quinoa starts to look or feel odd, such as by developing an unusually hard texture, it has gone bad. Stop cooking or eating it and throw it out.

Past the shelf life: Don’t take risks by trying to stretch your quinoa’s shelf life beyond what is recommended. As stated above, quinoa can go bad without showing any outward signs. If you’ve kept your quinoa for longer than advised, throw it away, even if it doesn’t seem bad.

How Should You Store Quinoa?

You know that you can keep your quinoa in the fridge or freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.

Keep your quinoa airtight: No matter how you store your quinoa, or whether it’s cooked or uncooked, you must keep it airtight. Failing to do this could result in your quinoa going bad early, or even getting insects or other animals in it.

Store cooked quinoa right away: Never leave cooked quinoa sitting on your counter or table for more than a couple of hours. Cooked quinoa will go bad if left out of the fridge or freezer for too long. If it’s been more than a couple of hours, throw it out, even if it doesn’t look like it has gone bad.

Let it cool: Before putting your cooked quinoa away, make sure it has cooled down. If you’ve just cooked it, give it about ten to twenty minutes to cool down before putting it away.

How to Freeze Quinoa?

We established above that you can in fact freeze bacon, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your bacon in perfect condition for months.

Make sure it’s cool: If you’ve just finished cooking your quinoa, you need to make sure it has cooled down. Let it sit out for ten to twenty minutes before going to put it away in the freezer.

Put it in the proper container: Once your quinoa has cooled down, place it into freezer-safe, airtight, containers or bags. It might be wise to label each bag or container with the date of storage, for future reference. After this, you’re ready to freeze your quinoa.

How Do You Thaw Quinoa?

Now that you know how to freeze quinoa, let’s make sure you know how to thaw it when you’re ready to enjoy it again.

There’s a few ways you can go about thawing out your quinoa. The recommended way to do it is to put it in your fridge and leave it there overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can use your microwave to defrost quinoa. Just make sure it goes into a glass container with a cup of water added; this will keep it from drying out during the defrosting process.

If you feel like making things extra time-consuming for yourself or if you don’t have a microwave, you can use a non-stick pan over low heat to defrost your quinoa. You can also use a covered pot to steam your quinoa in order to defrost it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quinoa’s Shelf Life

Even after reading all of this information, you might still have questions about your bacon and its shelf life. We’ll answer a couple of common questions here.

How long will uncooked quinoa last in my pantry? Uncooked quinoa has a pretty impressive shelf life; it will last in a pantry for six to twelve months. Make sure your pantry is dark, dry, and cool in order to maximize your quinoa’s shelf life and reduce the risk of it spoiling prematurely.

Why do I have to let my quinoa cool after cooking before storing it? It doesn’t exactly have to do with the quinoa itself; rather, your fridge will have to work extra hard to cool your quinoa down to the appropriate temperature if you stick it in there while it’s piping hot. In addition, the introduction of hot quinoa could throw off the surrounding food or drinks. While you technically can throw hot quinoa in the fridge if you’re in a pinch for time, it really isn’t advised.


Quinoa is growing in popularity as a great alternative to rice; now that you’ve read this article, you’re ready to hop on the trend! Remember to store cooked quinoa right away as soon as it has cooled, and to always keep it in a tightly-sealed container. If you do this, you’re well on your way to enjoying your quinoa for days or even months!

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