Types of Quinoa

Although scores of varieties of quinoa exist in the Andes, three are most widely cultivated and available: white, red, and black.  This illustrated list will help you recognize them.

Quinoa Plants Growing in the Field

Quinoa Plants Growing in the Field

This is what quinoa plants look like, growing in the high altitudes of mountainous regions.

Quinoa or White Quinoa Quinoa or White Quinoa

This is the most common kind of quinoa available in stores, so you'll often see it just called quinoa. Sometimes it's also called ivory quinoa.

Red Quinoa

Red Quinoa

Cooks report that red quinoa holds its shape after cooking a bit better than white quinoa, making it more suitable for cold salads or other recipes where a distinct grain is especially desirable.

Black Quinoa

Black Quinoa

A bit earthier and sweeter than white quinoa, black quinoa keeps its striking black color when cooked.

Quinoa Flakes

Quinoa Flakes

As with rolled oats or barley flakes, quinoa flakes are created by steam-rolling the whole grain kernel. Flaked grains always cook faster than whole kernels (groats) but since quinoa is already a quick-cooking grain, these flakes make a great instant breakfast.

Quinoa Flour

Quinoa Flour

Okay, all flours look pretty similar, so you'll have to trust us – this is quinoa flour.