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!
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Making quinoa in Instant Pot 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!
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
Instant Pot quinoa 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.
- 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 of making quinoa!
- Add 1 cup of dry quinoa and 1.25 cups of cold water to your Instant Pot.
- Add salt and stir.
- Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
- Wait about 13 minutes until pressure pin drops before you open the lid.
Tips for Best Results
- Water ratio: I tried 1 cup quinoa with 1.5 cups water, and cooked Instant Pot 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 vegetable broth, chicken broth, Instant Pot chicken broth or highly nutrient-dense Instant Pot beef 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.
Recipes to Use Instant Pot Quinoa In
Wondering how to use quinoa? Check out these recipes!
- Quinoa tabbouleh
- Mediterranean quinoa salad
- Southwest quinoa salad
- Chicken quinoa bowl
- Kale and quinoa salad
- Jennifer Aniston salad recipe
- Quinoa breakfast bowl
Need more inspiration? Check out 30 quinoa recipes because there is sure to be something for everyone!
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.
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.
One cup of uncooked dry quinoa is approximately 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
Yes. Double or triple the amount of quinoa and water but keep same cook time.
More Instant Pot Grain Recipes to Try
- Instant Pot long grain white rice
- Instant Pot jasmine rice
- Instant Pot basmati rice
- Instant Pot brown rice
Instant Pot Quinoa
- 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.
- 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.