Instant Pot Quinoa is super easy to make and is fail proof. It takes only 1 minute of pressure cooking and comes out fluffy every single time!

Instant Pot ground turkey quinoa bowls is another recipe we love to make in our pressure cooker. Or check entire collection of our quinoa recipes.

Instant pot quinoa with a serving spoon.

Making Instant Pot quinoa is the easiest way to achieve perfectly fluffy quinoa that still has the right amount of texture to it.

The total cook time is 20 minutes from start to finish but it is completely hands off method, and is just so darn easy!

As much as I love teaching others how to cook quinoa on the stovetop, with Instant Pot quinoa there is no need to adjust the cooking temperature, no worrying about boiling water, and no burning the bottom of any pots!

Much like having perfectly cooked Instant Pot brown rice or Instant Pot steel cut oats, getting the same results with quinoa is a game changer.

Quinoa is a complete source of plant based protein and great for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

You can separate it into smaller portions for meal prep, then, whatever you don’t use you can freeze for later.

Ingredients You Will Need

Quinoa in a bag, water in a bowl and salt.

Quinoa in the Instant Pot recipe ingredients are so simple, all you need is quinoa and water! But with over 100 varieties of quinoa, you may wonder what color is best to use.

  • Quinoa
    • White quinoa: White quinoa is the most common quinoa.
    • Red quinoa: Its seed has a harder outer shell and sweet, earthy taste. Therefore, it requires a different cooking time and method.
    • Tri-color quinoa: It consists of red, black and white quinoa.
  • Water: You will need slightly less water for this Instant Pot method vs. a stovetop method. This is due to no evaporation occurring like it would on the stove.
  • Salt: Quinoa on its own has an earthy slightly nutty taste, but overall can be pretty bland. Adding a bit of salt will give it a little depth of flavor.

How to Cook Quinoa in Instant Pot

This method is so easy and takes the guesswork out making quinoa!

Collage of step-by-step process showing how to cook quinoa in instant pot.
  1. Add 1 cup of dry quinoa and 1.25 cups of cold water to your Instant Pot.
  2. Add salt and stir.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
  4. Wait about 13 minutes until pressure pin drops before you open the lid.

Recipe Tips

  • Water ratio: I tried 1 cup quinoa with 1.5 cups water, and cooked quinoa was a total mush. Using less water makes sense because the Instant Pot captures more of the steam, which makes for more condensation and less evaporation. The perfect ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 1.25 cups cold water.
  • To add even more flavor: You can swap the water for low sodium broth, chicken stock, or highly nutrient-dense bone broth.
  • Total cook time: 1 minute refers to the actual cook time of the quinoa. If you are considering the time it takes for the pressure to build up and the time it takes to naturally release, then the complete and total time is about 20 minutes.

Storing Cooked Quinoa

Storing: Refrigerate quinoa in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Freezing: Cooked quinoa freezes beautifully, once it has completely cooled. Just portion out desired amount and freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months. I usually measure out enough quinoa to serve 4 of us as a side for one dinner.

Quinoa Recipes to Try

Wondering how to use quinoa? Check out these recipes!

Need more inspiration? Check out 30 quinoa recipes because there is sure to be something for everyone!

FAQs

Do I need to rinse quinoa?

You don’t have to and I don’t. Pre-packaged quinoa usually comes already rinsed. But there is no harm in running it underwater again. There is something called saponin that coats the quinoa, and some people find its taste unpleasant. Just make sure you use a very fine mesh sieve.

Will this recipe work for other colors of quinoa?

No. To cook red quinoa, use same quinoa to water ratio, but cook on low pressure for 12 minutes or press the Rice button. Same method will work for tri-color quinoa.

How much of cooked quinoa does 1 cup of uncooked quinoa yield?

One cup of uncooked dry quinoa is approximately 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Can I double or triple the recipe?

Yes. Double or triple the amount of quinoa and water but keep same cook time.

Instant Pot quinoa on a fork.
Cooked Instant Pot quinoa in a pot with a serving spoon.

Instant Pot Quinoa

Instant Pot Quinoa is super easy to make and is fail proof. It takes only 1 minute of pressure cooking and comes out fluffy every single time!
5 from 11 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 156
Diet Gluten Free
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • In Instant Pot, add quinoa, water and salt. Close the lid and set pressure vent to Sealing.
  • Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 1 minute.
  • Do Natural release and let the pressure come down on its own until pressure pin drops, takes about 13 minutes.
  • Open the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.
  • To add even more flavor: You can swap the water for low sodium broth, chicken stock, or highly nutrient-dense bone broth.
  • To cook other colors of quinoa: To cook red or tri-color quinoa, use same quinoa to water ratio, but cook on low pressure for 12 minutes or press the Rice button.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Fiber: 3g
Course: Side
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    You’re right, it’s the perfect texture!
    Did white quinoa for your Quinoa Black Bean Salad which is delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I just used your recipe for my tri-color quinoa w/ the pressure on low for 12 minutes like you said plus the quick release & it came out perfect! It looked so pretty & colorful & the texture & consistency was exactly the way I like it. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    What a time saver! Always perfect quinoa! Success with tri-color quinoa too, cooked it for 1 min plus natural release for 14 min. Black quinoa a bit crunchy but we like it in salads that way, for extra texture 😉 Thank you Olena!!!

  4. 5 stars
    If I make 3 cups of white quinoa and adjust the water accordingly is it still 1 minute cook time?

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Olena! I am hoping you might be able to provide some ideas and instructions on how to give the quinoa different flavour when cooking it? My family really dislikes the natural taste of quinoa but we want to use it more because it’s healthy! Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Cook in low sodium broth and sprinkle with cheese after. Like Parmesan or gooey mozzarella. Everything tastes better with cheese. Hope it flies. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Hi,
    I have a question bc am new to IP and I soak my grains before making. Occasionally I skip that step if it’s sprouted or if it’s only alternative to eating food like substitute

    Is there a way to make quinoa and other grains after soaking in IP?

    I understand pressure cooking can slightly reduce nutrients but am also human and can’t always plan perfectly as life happens.

    Thank you

  7. 5 stars
    Olena, I just love your stuff! I doubled it, so 2C white quinoa and 2.5C DIY broth, added a few bay leaves and a seasoning blend, did 2 minutes high pressure, natural release, and yeah, no watching, no nothing, and when I got out of the shower, it was done and waiting for me. And perfect! I cooked in IP yesterday a pound of soaked cranberry beans (the bean broth will make a future pot of quinoa), so I put in a bowl a layer of cold beans and lots of hot quinoa and some DIY dressing, I’ve got a meal, I tell ya!

    1. Awesome! I know, right?! I love not watching anything with IP. Were too scared to do 1 minute?:) So happy you are hooked too! I have so much quinoa now after testing, I will be making lots of salads I guess. What are cranberry beans? Your meal sounds delish. I love all those quick throw together bowls.

      1. 5 stars
        Just seeing this now on 7-7-19! The reason I doubled the time is because I doubled the quantity. Same 1 minute of high pressure on the larger quantity, huh? Well, I came here today because I’m making quinoa and wanted to check your instructions, so I will keep this page open and report back later!

        I am on the 4th day of eating left-over healthy potato salad and I love it more each day!

        1. 5 stars
          3 cups of heavily rinsed and squeezed quinoa to just a tad under 4 cups of DIY broth. No spices or bay leaves, which was stupid of me. It’s PERFECT using 1 minute of high pressure. It finished NR in maybe 10 minutes and I didn’t go look until 40 minutes. Great instructions, Olena!

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