Healthy, delicious, and easy to make, Instant Pot Quinoa is a the perfect side dish or ingredient with countless options. Cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot is a foolproof hands-free method that makes PERFECT quinoa every time!
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a seed that's shaped like tiny beads with a mild nutty flavor and tender crunch. While not a grain, it's often compared to other grains as a healthier option with more protein and all eight essential amino acids. It also has relatively fewer carbohydrates than other grains. So, it's actually a pretty cool non-grain.
Why pressure cook quinoa?
Quinoa can be easily be prepared in a variety of ways, but it's also very easy to overcook. The Instant Pot takes care of this for us ... every single time. In fact, making quinoa in the Instant Pot is such a hands-off process that you can set it, forget it, and achieve perfectly cooked quinoa, every time.
Cooked quinoa is also perfect for meal prep. Make a double recipe and cook in advance. Then you're ready to use in various recipes like Asian slaw with quinoa or quinoa zucchini fritters, or Buddha bowls.
What you need for this recipe
When you’re ready to make quinoa in the Instant Pot, you only need a few things! Ingredient amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
- Instant Pot - I'm using the 6 quart cooker, but any size will work.
- dry quinoa - You can use white, red, black, or any combo of those. Use the same pressure cook time. I'm using white quinoa for these photos.
- water - Plain water or any broth can be used to pressure cook quinoa.
- salt - optional and can be added before or after cooking.
How to cook quinoa in the Instant Pot
Full instructions are listed in the recipe below.
Add the quinoa, water, and (optional) salt to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
Secure the lid and set the pressure valve to “sealing.”
Select “manual” or “pressure cook” and set the cooking time for 1 minute on high pressure. When the cooker beeps, allow a natural release for 10 minutes. Then, quick release to release remaining steam, and carefully open the Instant Pot lid away from you. Fluff the quinoa with any utensil and serve!
This quinoa Instant Pot recipe couldn’t be any easier. It’s terrific as a side, but you can also jazz it up in many different ways. Be sure to check out my variations below.
I actually love it, like really love this quinoa with a little butter, or olive oil, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. You can also add cooked quinoa to soups or stews. Or, chill it and toss into this quinoa vegetable salad.
This quinoa recipe is a blank canvass for many other flavors. Here are some simple and tasty ways to switch it up:
- Substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth for the water.
- Add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the Instant Pot before cooking.
- Add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder to the quinoa before cooking.
- Top the cooked quinoa with crumbled feta cheese or Parmesan cheese.
- A squeeze of lemon and some freshly chopped parsley adds flavor and freshness.
Storage and freezer options
Cooked quinoa can refrigerated in an airtight container up to 5 days. To freeze quinoa, cool completely and store in a freezer-safe container or ziptop bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze up to 3 months, or longer if vacuum sealed.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to rinse quinoa before cooking it?
It depends. If using packaged quinoa, it will indicate if it is pre-rinsed. If you purchase in bulk, rinsing is recommended.
What is the Instant Pot quinoa to water ratio?
For every 1 cup of dried quinoa, use 1 ¼ cups of water or broth.
What is the Instant Pot quinoa cook time?
Including coming to pressure and natural release time, this Instant Pot Quinoa recipe takes about 18 minutes, start to finish.
Can I double or triple this recipe?
Yes! As long as you don't exceed your pressure cooker's max fill line, you can scale it as much as you like.
More Instant Pot meal prep recipes
- Instant Pot Chickpeas
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs 5-5-5
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal
Fluffy Instant Pot Quinoa
- 1 cup Quinoa, well-rinsed
- 1 ¼ cups Water, or broth
- ⅛ teaspoon Sea Salt, optional
- Add QUINOA, WATER, and (optional) SALT to the Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid and set the pressure valve to "Sealing".
- Select "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" and set the cook time for 1 minute on HIGH pressure.Note: it takes about 7 minutes for the pot to pressurize and cook the quinoa.
- When the cook cycle completes, allow a 10-minute natural pressure release (NPR).
- Carefully turn the valve to "Venting" to release any remaining steam.
- Press "Cancel", open the lid, and fluff the quinoa with any stirring utensil.
- Serve warm.
- To store, allow to cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.