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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Pressure Cooker Quinoa (Instant Pot Recipe)

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Learn how to pressure cook quinoa in less than 15 minutes! When you’re looking for a quick and easy way to prepare a side dish that’s super versatile with numerous main dishes, this recipe is the way to go!

instant pot quinoa in a white bowl

Are you new to quinoa? Or has it become a staple in your house like it has mine? In the last few years, this healthy grain has risen in popularity. Now, you’ll find it on restaurant menus served as a side dish, mixed into a salad, or even a feature of a vegan main dish.

There are lots of quinoa recipes out there, but this is the absolute easiest and fastest! I used to make quinoa on the stovetop, but making Instant Pot Quinoa is so much easier! It’s a great meal prep item to add to your weekly list. What I love about making quinoa in the instant pot or pressure cooker is that I can make as much or as little as I like by simply using the quinoa to liquid ratio.

Latest Recipe Video!

This electric pressure cooker quinoa recipe is super easy, and turns out fluffy and flawless every single time! I store it in the fridge so that I have this whole grain to use throughout the week with all our favorite dinner recipes!

In our house, we love to use quinoa with delicious recipes like curried vegetables, dal, stir-fries, and more! We use it in place of rice for many dishes. It’s high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids. Not to mention it cooks more quickly than rice! Pressure cooking quinoa makes it a super quick, and easy recipe. This recipe can be used to make an instant pot quinoa recipe, but not for the slow cooker, or stove top.

👩‍🍳 What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa is one of the ancient grains that was used during the time of the Inca Empire. They called it the “mother of all grains.” They believed the grain/seed to be sacred.

While this healthy grain has been around for thousands of years and is used commonly in South America, it has only recently become popular in the United States. However, now we consider it to be a superfood due to its numerous health benefits. It has nutty flavors, and a nice bite.

There are three main types of quinoa: white quinoa, red quinoa, and black quinoa. You can use this simple instant pot recipe to prepare any type of quinoa. Simply follow the recommended ratio of quinoa to water: 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy pressure cooker recipe
  • Only two ingredients!
  • Done in 15 minutes
  • Fluffy and light
  • Easy to customize this basic method for cooking quinoa in an Instant Pot!
  • Complete protein
  • Serve anywhere you’d use rice
  • Get perfect quinoa every time!

🥘 Ingredients

This pressure cooker quinoa recipe requires only two ingredients! It doesn’t get any easier than that!

instant pot quinoa ingredients

Quinoa: Quinoa is usually considered a grain, however, it is actually a seed. It comes from the plant Chenopodium quinoa which is native to PeruI. Considered a superfood, it’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is the only plant-based protein that includes a complete amino acid profile. Plus it’s gluten-free! The water to quinoa ratio is 1:1 1/2. You’ll need 1 cup quinoa for this recipe.

Water or Vegetable Broth: You may choose to use water or broth (vegetable broth or chicken stock) as your liquid. The vegetable stock will give you more flavorful quinoa, while the water will essentially leave the this grain to its authentic flavor. If choosing a vegetable stock, look for a brand that is low in sodium. If you choose chicken stock, keep in mind this recipe will no longer be vegetarian or vegan friendly. You’ll need 1.5 cups of water.

Pinch of Salt: Add a pinch of salt if using water. If using vegetable broth, leave the pinch of salt out. Vegetable broth has plenty of added salt. You don’t need any more.

Olive Oil Cooking Spray: An an option, you can spray your instant pot with olive oil cooking spray to keep the quinoa from sticking.

📖 Variations

Cook Tri-Color Quinoa In An Instant Pot: White quinoa is the quickest cooking variety, whereas red, black, and tricolor quinoa take a little longer to cook. To cook rainbow quinoa in the instant pot, follow the same instructions as for white quinoa, but set the cook time to 3 minutes instead of 1 minute.

Add Different Flavors: This recipe outlines how to cook basic quinoa in Instant pot – but you can substitute the water for any other type of liquid to add more flavor! Try vegetable broth, or any other stock (chicken or beef would also work). Or try toasting your quinoa in a couple teaspoons of olive oil or coconut oil on the stovetop, before cooking quinoa in a pressure cooker. Lastly, you can mix in your favorite fresh herbs once it’s cooked!

🔪 How to Pressure Cook Quinoa

Ratio Quinoa to Liquid: Decide how much quinoa you would like to prepare. Use a ratio of 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of water or vegetable stock. If you’d like to make 2 cups of quinoa use 3 cups of liquid. 3 cups of quinoa, use 4.5 cups of liquid, and so on. One cup of dried quinoa will make about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Rinse Quinoa: Add quinoa to a fine mesh strainer or metal sieve. Run cold water over the quinoa until the water is clear.

quinoa being rinsed

Spray Instant Pot: Lightly spray the pressure cooker with olive oil cooking spray to coat. This helps keep the quinoa from sticking to the pot and makes cleanup easier, but it’s not necessary. Add the rinsed quinoa, all of the water, and a pinch of salt to the instant pot.

water added to pot

Instant Pot Directions: Lock the lid. Set steam valve to sealing. Select the manual button. Set to high pressure. Set cook time for 1 minute. Allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, and then quick release the remaining pressure. You want your quinoa to have a slightly chewy texture, if you set your cook time to any longer, you will end up with mushy or gummy quinoa.

quinoa cooked in instant pot

This simple process to cook quinoa in an Instant Pot is a totally fool-proof method for making quinoa – I promise you will end up with perfect fluffy quinoa every time!

❓Recipe FAQs

Do you have to rinse quinoa before cooking?

Yes! It is important to rinse your quinoa before cooking. Some varieties you purchase in store may advertise that they have been pre-rinsed. I still tend to rinse mine anyway. Rinsing your quinoa removes the bitter-tasting compound.

What is the ratio of dry quinoa to liquid?

You can easily increase the amount of quinoa you prepare by following the dry to liquid ratio. That’s 1:1.5, so 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of liquid. For every additional cup of dried quinoa you desire to prepare, add an additional 1.5 cups of liquid. So, for example, 2 cups of dry quinoa will need 3 cups of liquid.

How long does quinoa last?

Place your uncooked quinoa in an airtight container, and store it in a cool dry place like your pantry. I like to label the date I purchased the quinoa, just to make sure it hasn’t expired before I use it. When stored properly dry quinoa will last 2-3 years in your pantry from the date it was purchased.

How long does cooked quinoa last in the refrigerator?

Cooked quinoa must come to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and placing it in your refrigerator. Cooked quinoa will last for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze cooked quinoa?

Yes, you can freeze cooked quinoa. Allow it to come to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. It will last in the freezer for 2-3 months.

What is the best organic quinoa?

There are several brands of organic quinoa that I recommend. JIWA healthy by nature, True Elements Quinoa, India Gate, Fitness Mantra Organic White Quinoa Seeds, Organic India Quinoa. These quinoa brands are not only organic but they are also gluten-free, and Non-GMO!

instant pot quinoa in a white bowl

🍽 How To Serve

  • Quinoa Salads: Add it to your salads for extra protein and texture. Or use it as the base for a hearty grain-based quinoa bowl!
  • Side Dish: Serve with your favorite curries, lentils, and stir-fried vegetables.
  • Breakfast: Prepare a simple breakfast porridge similar to oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and a touch of maple syrup.
  • Veggie Burgers: Add to your veggie burgers with black beans or chickpeas to create a flavorful and nutrient-rich patty.
  • Taco Filling: Create a delicious taco filling with quinoa, tofu, and spices.
  • Buddha Bowls: Add to your buddha bowls instead of rice with mixed vegetables, tofu, and a creamy sauce.

❄️ How To Store

  • Refrigerator: Allow the quinoa to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
  • Freeze: Allow the cooked quinoa to cool completely. Transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag. Press out all the extra air, and press the quinoa into a flat layer in the bag, then seal. Label with contents and date. Then store in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing: When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in the microwave.

Tip: Make a big batch of quinoa in the instant pot, then transfer to individual freezer bags and freeze for future use. You’ll have it in serving sizes ready to go!

💭 Expert Tips To Pressure Cook Quinoa Perfectly

  • Rinse quinoa before preparing. It takes away the bitterness.
  • Spray the instant pot with cooking spray. It will keep it from sticking to the pot and makes clean-up easy.
  • Use less water than you would if preparing on the stovetop. The pressure cooker doesn’t have as much evaporation, so using less water takes this into consideration. This way you will end up with tender quinoa that isn’t mushy!
  • Add a pinch of salt if using water.
  • Try different types of broth to give this pressure cooker quinoa more flavor.
  • The cooking time is 1 minute, but be aware that it takes time for the instant pot to build pressure, and additional time to naturally release the pressure.
instant pot quinoa on a fork

🍲 More Quinoa and Pressure Cooker Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Pressure Cooker Quinoa (How to Pressure Cook Quinoa)

Learn how to pressure cook quinoa in less than 15 minutes! When you're looking for a quick and easy way to prepare a side dish that's super versatile with numerous main dishes, this recipe is the way to go!
Prep Time1 min
Manual Release10 mins
Total Time11 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add quinoa to a metal sieve. Run cold water over the quinoa until the water runs clear.
  • Lightly spray instant pot with olive oil cooking spray to coat. This helps keep the quinoa from sticking to the pot, and makes cleanup easier, but it's not necessary.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa, all of the water and pinch of salt to the instant pot.
  • Pressure cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow for a natural release for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release / manual release for the remaining pressure.

Video

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Rinse quinoa before preparing. It takes away the bitterness.
  • Spray the instant pot with cooking spray. It will keep it from sticking to the pot, and make clean-up easy.
  • Use less water than you would if preparing on the stovetop. The instant pot doesn’t have as much evaporation, so using less water takes this into consideration.
  • Add a pinch of salt if using water.
  • Try different types of broth for more flavor.
  • Quinoa will last in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 4g

Posted In…

Side Dishes ·

These side dishes are tasty enough to be the star of the show!

Try my asparagus crostinis for the perfect accompaniment to your main entree, or double the recipe to turn them into an entire meal.

20 responses to “Pressure Cooker Quinoa (Instant Pot Recipe)”

  1. This is so helpful! I haven’t tried making quinoa in the instant pot before but now I can’t wait to try it out!5 stars

  2. I make quinoa all the time so it’s handy being able to make it in my Instant Pot! Thanks for the instructions!5 stars

    • Hi Nancy! Great catch! So sorry that was a typo in the recipe card – you add all of the water at the same time you add the quinoa into the instant pot. Hope that helps and I hope you love this recipe!

  3. What a great fool-proof recipe for Instant Pot quinoa! I love that it’s easy to make and tastes delicious.5 stars

  4. You really can use an Instant Pot for just about anything! This was so easy and turned out perfectly moist and delicious!5 stars

  5. Such a straightforward way to make quinoa. Thanks for taking the time to answer all of the possible questions I may have.5 stars

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