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In this post: Quinoa is a nutrition powerhouse that can be regularly enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Check out this vegan and gluten-free recipe for fluffy Instant Pot® quinoa.


If you’re looking to make some of the quickest quinoa you’ve ever cooked, use your Instant Pot®! This recipe cooks up in just minutes and makes perfect, fluffy quinoa every time.

Fluffy Instant Pot® quinoa in a white bowl with a parsley garnish.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant. Though it’s not technically a grain, quinoa is often eaten in a similar way to grains. Quinoa is popular because it’s nutrient dense and gluten-free!

Types of Quinoa

There are three common types of quinoa:

  • White quinoa: this variety cooks up the fluffiest, which is why I suggest you use it in this recipe!
  • Red quinoa: when cooked, its texture is chewy and the flavor is nutty.
  • Black quinoa: this quinoa is slightly sweeter than the other varieties.

Why is Quinoa Good For You?

Quinoa is high in dietary fiber, complete protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are all great for your body!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This Instant Pot® quinoa recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • doesn’t contain complicated instructions or hard-to-find ingredients
  • is free from the most common food allergens

What Type of Pressure Cooker Should You Use?

Personally, I love this Ninja Foodi because it’s a multicooker and saves me a lot of space in the kitchen! But, whatever you have will work. This recipe will work even in a small pressure cooker.

Vegetable broth, quinoa, and salt in separate containers.

Ingredients for Instant Pot®Quinoa

  • White quinoa: you can use other kinds of quinoa too but this one will turn out the fluffiest.
  • Vegetable broth: you can use chicken, beef, or other broths if you want. Keep in mind using a different broth may change the flavor of your quinoa.
  • Sea salt: this is the most basic seasoning you can use in this recipe. Check out some more seasoning ideas below!

Add-ins and Variations

  • Different quinoa: you can use red or black quinoa instead of or along with the white quinoa. They will cook to a chewier texture than the white quinoa.
  • Butter: add 1-2 tbsp of butter to the quinoa before cooking for a rich and creamy texture.
  • Seasonings: try chives, dill, basil, parsley, or spice mixes like Greek Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, or Lemon Pepper Seasoning.

How to Make Instant Pot® Quinoa

  1. Mix all the ingredients in your Instant Pot® insert and put the lid in place.
  2. Set your pot to manual/high pressure and cook for 1 minute. 
  3. The pot will take about 5-10 minutes to pressurize before that 1-minute starts counting down.
  4. Let it naturally release for 15 minutes before removing your quinoa from the pot. Serve and enjoy!
Instant Pot quinoa in a white bowl with a spoon next to it.

What to Serve with Quinoa

You can serve your quinoa with dishes like:

Tips

  • You can use whatever type of quinoa you prefer. As long as it’s not a rice and quinoa mixture, this recipe will be perfect.
  • You can swap out the vegetable broth for any other broth (or just water). But remember, changing the broth can alter the taste of the finished quinoa.
  • The actual cooking time is 1 minute, but I always include the pressurizing and release time into the cooking time. Don’t set your pot for 23 minutes of cooking time or you’ll ruin your quinoa!
  • This is great for a base recipe; I encourage adding more spices, protein, etc. to make it a full meal or side!
  • The quinoa-to-water ratio is 1:1. So, for every 1 cup of quinoa, you should add 1 cup of liquid.
Instant Pot quinoa in a white bowl with a parsley garnish.

FAQs

Why is quinoa bitter?

Quinoa has an outer coating, called saponin, that tastes bitter. To get rid of it, you should rinse your quinoa in cold water for about 45 seconds.

Do you have to rinse quinoa before cooking it?

Many packages of quinoa come pre-rinsed so there is no bitter saponin – and no need to rinse your quinoa. But if the package instructs you to rinse the quinoa (or you bought quinoa in bulk), you should rinse the quinoa. 

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can! Just keep the 1:1 quinoa-to-liquid ratio and it’ll turn out great.

Which quinoa is the best one to use when making Instant Pot® quinoa?

If you want your quinoa to be fluffy when made in the Instant Pot®, white quinoa would be the best to use.

How long does cooking quinoa in an Instant Pot® take?

The actual cooking time is only one minute! But the Instant Pot will take about 5-10 to pressurize before cooking and 15 minutes to naturally release pressure. So, in total, it will take approximately 20-25 minutes to cook.

Why is quinoa great for meal prep?

Quinoa is great for meal prep because you can cook a large batch, then put it in the freezer for a couple of months, or store it in the fridge for almost a week!

Can you freeze quinoa?

Absolutely! Let the quinoa cool, put it in a ziplock bag or airtight container, and store it in the freezer for 3-4 months. Thaw before reheating.

White Instant Pot quinoa in a bowl with a garnish of parsley.

How to Store

  • In the refrigerator: let the quinoa cool to room temperature, put it in an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • In the freezer: let the quinoa cool to room temperature, put it in an airtight container or ziplock bag, and store it in the freezer for 3-4 months. Thaw before reheating.

More Side Dish Ideas

Fluffy Instant Pot® quinoa in a white bowl with a parsley garnish.

Fluffy Instant Pot® Quinoa

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Cooks up in minutes and makes perfect, fluffy quinoa every time.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Cups White Quinoa
  • 1 ½ Cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in your Instant Pot® insert and put the lid in place.
  2. Set your pot to manual/high pressure and cook for 1 minute. 
  3. The pot will take about 5-10 minutes to pressurize before that 1-minute starts counting down.
  4. Let it naturally release for 15 minutes before removing your quinoa from the pot.

Notes

  • You can use whatever type of quinoa you prefer. As long as it’s not a rice and quinoa mixture, this recipe will be perfect.
  • You can swap out the vegetable broth for any other broth or just water. Changing the broth can alter the taste of the finished quinoa.
  • The actual cooking time is 1 minute, but I always include the pressurizing and release time into the cooking time. Don’t set your pot for 23 minutes of cooking time or you’ll ruin your quinoa!
  • This is great for a base recipe; I encourage adding more spices, protein, etc. to make it a full meal or side.
  • The quinoa-to-water ratio is 1:1. So, for every 1 cup of quinoa, you should add 1 cup of liquid.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 784mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

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