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Instant Pot Quinoa

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Instant Pot Quinoa is an extremely healthy superfood that cooks in minutes! I love to use quinoa as a substitute for rice, meat, or pasta. Knowing how to make quinoa opens up a wide variety of possibilities of what you can do with it!

quinoa next to an Instant Pot on blue placemat

If you like my Instant Pot Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice, Instant Pot Jasmine Rice, Perfect Instant Pot Basmati Rice, and Instant Pot Brown Rice recipes, you’ll love this easy quinoa recipe! Before I teach you how to make perfect quinoa in the Instant Pot, let me answer some frequently asked questions.

How to pronounce Quinoa

The hardest part of this recipe might just be learning how to pronounce it! Quinoa is an ancient food that originated in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

It is pronounced, “keen-wah.”

a bag of kirkland brand quinoa

What’s the best type of quinoa?

Okay, so you found quinoa in the grocery store next to the rice. But now you’re wondering, “Which quinoa should I buy?”

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common types of quinoa:

  • White quinoa: has a light, fluffy texture and mild flavor. It’s my favorite because it’s the most versatile!
  • Red quinoa: the most common type of quinoa. It has a slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor. I prefer it in savory recipes such as salads, grain bowls, or a rice replacement.
  • Black quinoa: similar to red quinoa with a strong crunchy texture and nutty flavor. I rarely use it, but prefer it in similar applications as red quinoa.
  • Tricolor/rainbow quinoa: is just a blend of the three quinoa colors above. It provides a nice variety of flavor and texture.

Is quinoa better for you than rice?

Both rice and quinoa have health benefits. However, in comparison to rice, quinoa has more protein and fewer carbohydrates per serving. Quinoa is a complete protein, gluten-free, high in fiber and minerals, and good for your gut!

Fun fact: even though quinoa is cooked and eaten like a grain, it’s actually a seed and relative of beets and spinach.

How much cooked quinoa does one cup dry quinoa yield? 

Quinoa expands when cooking to about three times the original size. Therefore, one cup of uncooked quinoa seeds yields approximately three cups of cooked quinoa. I find that one cup of dry quinoa usually serves four people when cooked.

Should I rinse quinoa before cooking?

Quinoa has a natural, bitter coating called saponin. Check the instructions on the package, as packaged quinoa is usually pre-washed. But if the instructions call for a rinse, just place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.

I love this rice rinser basket and it would work great for quinoa too.

closeup of raw quinoa

How long to make quinoa in Instant Pot?

My fluffy Instant Pot quinoa recipe takes just twelve minutes to cook! Two minutes manual pressure cook and a ten-minute natural pressure release. 

Add the time it takes the Instant Pot to pressurize before it starts cooking, and you have an easy quinoa side dish or base for grain bowls and salads in about twenty minutes!

How to cook quinoa in Instant Pot

  • Pour quinoa and water into the Instant Pot®.
  • Close the lid, turn the knob to Sealing.
  • Press Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust time to 2 minutes.
  •  When the timer beeps, allow 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure, then remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.

It’s that easy! If you’d like to add extra flavor to this recipe, you could cook the quinoa in broth instead of water. Try quinoa cooked in bone broth for a super-powered-super-food!

closeup of Instant Pot quinoa

How to store quinoa

Cooked quinoa will last in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze cooked quinoa for up to a month.

Just like rice, quinoa does dry out a bit after refrigeration, so you can add a little liquid before reheating to add back some moisture. 

I like to make a big batch of quinoa to store for meal prep! These are my favorite meal prep containers.

How to re-heat quinoa in the microwave

  • Scoop the quinoa into a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Stir in a small amount of water to help quinoa rehydrate as it cooks.
  • Place the bowl in the center of the microwave.
  •  Heat the quinoa in the microwave on the high setting for about one minute.
20 minutes and dinner is on the table! Instant Pot taco wraps as seen on TV

How to re-heat quinoa on the stove

  • Warm a small splash of oil in a deep pan on the stovetop.
  • Add the quinoa to the pan with oil.
  • Stir continuously.
  • Only heat until warm (about 5 minutes), to avoid drying out quinoa.

Other easy Instant Pot meal prep ideas

  • Healthy Instant Pot Taco Lettuce Wraps. In this recipe, I cook quinoa and ground beef together with beans and taco seasoning for an incredibly healthy meal everyone loves. This quinoa taco meat is great in a lettuce wrap, burrito bowl, or with a tortilla. It’s the perfect meal prep meat!  
  • Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs. I make a dozen hard boiled eggs to use throughout the week as healthy snacks and salad toppings.
  • Instant Pot Frozen Chicken. This recipe cooks frozen chicken, with whatever seasoning you prefer, in no time!  Perfect to use throughout the week for a lean and healthy protein.
  • Instant Pot Oatmeal. I make a big batch of oatmeal at the beginning of the week to keep in the fridge. I keep it plain, so we can mix in whatever sounds good.
  • Instant Pot Broccoli. Instant Pot broccoli has the perfect texture, not mushy or crunchy! It’s a healthy side, snack, or vegetable for stir fry bowls.
  • Check out my other healthy Instant Pot recipes!

Can you cook quinoa and rice together in Instant Pot?

Yes. It might take some time to get used to the unique texture of quinoa. If you’d like to start out by combining it with rice, it’s a good way to get introduced to it!

Combine a 1:1 ratio of long grain white rice and quinoa. Add 1.25 parts of water for every part of the rice and quinoa and cook for 2 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release.

If you choose to use brown rice with your quinoa, you’ll have to experiment with the time. Brown rice cooks significantly longer than quinoa, so the quinoa might come out mushy.

Bowl of Instant Pot Breakfast Quinoa with heavy cream poured on top.

Can you cook quinoa with almond milk in Instant Pot?

Yes! Make quinoa in the Instant Pot with almond milk for a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

I used to only use quinoa for a couple of the same savory recipes…until I discovered sweet breakfast quinoa! Reminiscent of oatmeal, this recipe is an amazing way to pack your day with nutrients.

About the Author

About Lisa

Lisa childs holding an instant pot lid with a mickey instant pot

Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

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Now that you know how to make quinoa in the Instant Pot, you can get creative with making and serving this recipe. Let me know what you come up with! 

Other Instant Pot Rice Recipes

Graphic of the best instant pot quinoa with one picture of a bowl of quinoa.
Instant Pot Quinoa

Instant Pot Quinoa

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Instant Pot Quinoa is an extremely healthy superfood that cooks in minutes!  I love to use quinoa as a substitute for rice, meat, or pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Instructions

    1. Pour quinoa and water into the Instant Pot®.

    2. Close the lid, turn the knob to Sealing.

    3. Press Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust time to 2 minutes.

    4. When the timer beeps, allow 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure, then remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Notes

How to Eat Quinoa

Quinoa is not as sticky as rice, but is often used in the place of it. It can be eaten plain, but I also like to mix it into soup or chili for bulk, in salads as a grain, and even eaten as a sweet meal like oatmeal.

Try using broth for extra flavor

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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