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Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa


See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.


Instant Pot Quinoa is perfectly fluffy and so simple to make. You’ll love this foolproof, hands-off method for cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot. 

fluffy quinoa on a serving spoon held over an instant pot

I’ve shared how to cook quinoa on the stove, but I have to say that cooking quinoa in my Instant Pot is my favorite way to prepare it. With this Instant Pot quinoa recipe, you can easily make perfect fluffy quinoa without having to watch a pot on the stove. 

Quinoa is often thought of as a grain, but it is actually a seed. Quinoa is full of nutrition, high in protein and naturally gluten-free. 

There are three main types of quinoa that you may find in your local grocery store: white quinoa, red quinoa and black quinoa. White quinoa has the mildest flavor and the softest texture. Red quinoa is a bit crunchier and has more of an earthy flavor. Black quinoa is the strongest in both flavor and texture. All three types of quinoa can be cooked in the same way in your Instant Pot.

I love quinoa’s nutty, earthy flavor and slightly chewy texture. Since quinoa is mild-flavored, it is delicious with almost any type of seasoning.

You can add this Instant Pot quinoa to quinoa salads or grain bowls, use it in one pan meals such as this Mexican quinoa, or even enjoy it for breakfast. I’ve included links to my most-loved quinoa recipes below.

Quinoa to Water Ratio

You need a 1:1 ratio of water to quinoa when cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot. Instant Pot quinoa requires less water than cooking quinoa on the stove because there is less evaporation with Instant Pot cooking.

How Long to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot

The pressure cooking time for quinoa is 1 minute. Yes, just ONE minute! One minute is the actual cooking time and does not include the time that it takes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure and then release pressure. All together, your quinoa will be in the pressure cooker for a little over 20 minutes.

The quick cook time keeps the quinoa from burning to the bottom of the Instant Pot. During the natural release, the quinoa will finish cooking in the hot, steamy environment inside the pot. This produces the best fluffy quinoa.

instant pot quinoa in a white serving bowl

How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot

  1. Rinse the quinoa well in a fine-mesh strainer. rinsing quinoa with water in a fine mesh strainer
  2. Place quinoa and water (or broth) in the Instant Pot. If you are cooking the quinoa in water, add a little bit of salt for flavor. Stir. quinoa and water in Instant Pot
  3. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute. 
  4. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to naturally release until the pin drops down. 
  5. Carefully open the Instant Pot lid. Fluff the quinoa and serve.

cooked quinoa in instant pot with serving spoon

Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe Tips

  • Rinse quinoa well before cooking it. Quinoa seeds have a bitter coating on them called saponin. Rinsing quinoa under cool running water will remove any bitter flavor. You can rub the quinoa with your fingertips as you rinse it.
  • For more flavorful quinoa, cook it in vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water. 
  • One cup of dry quinoa will yield about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
  • You can double this recipe by doubling the recipe ingredients. The cook time stays the same for a double recipe. Be sure to not overfill the pot, since the quinoa will approximately triple in size as it cooks.

Quinoa Recipes

Instant Pot Quinoa

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Peruvian
Keyword instant pot quinoa
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 min
Total Time30 mins
Servings 3 cups
Calories 104kcal
How to make perfect fluffy quinoa in the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot quinoa recipe is a foolproof, hands-off way to cook quinoa.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water (or low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth)
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt (optional, omit if cooking quinoa in broth)

Instructions 

  • Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water for about 1 minute. Drain.
  • Place quinoa, water or broth, and salt (if using) in Instant Pot. Stir and make sure that all of the quinoa is in the liquid and not stuck to the sides of the pot. Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Set the pressure cook time to 1 minute at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down.
  • When the cook time has finished, let the pot naturally release. This just means leave the Instant Pot alone until the pin drops down. Then move the steam valve to the venting position to make sure all of the steam has escaped. Carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
  • Use a fork to fluff and separate the quinoa.

Notes

  • For more flavorful quinoa, cook it in vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water.
  • Cooked quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store quinoa in an airtight container.
  • You can double this recipe by doubling the recipe ingredients. The cook time stays the same for a double recipe. Be sure to not overfill the pot, since the quinoa will approximately triple in size as it cooks.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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