Instant Pot Quinoa is the easiest way ever to make this protein packed grain. Learn how to make this versatile grain right in your pressure cooker. Perfect for side dishes, meal prep and using to fill out soups and salads.
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I used to be vegetarian.
For a long time actually.
And I still primarily eat vegetarian for breakfast and lunch. Sure sometimes, I’ll do a chicken salad sandwich but most of the time I prefer to keep it plant based.
Because of that, I’m always looking for ways to fill out my salads or something full of protein to add to the side of my buffalo cauliflower.
So I eat a ton of quinoa.
Even though I eat it a lot, I LOATHE making it on the stove top. It’s one of the few foods that I screw up regularly if I don’t pressure cook it. You have to keep a pretty watchful eye on it when you make it on the stove and…
Let’s just say my attention span is not that great. Plus at least half the time, it sticks to the bottom of the pan. *SIGH*
But in the Instant Pot, you get a set it and forget it way to make this versatile grain that let’s you walk away with the confidence that you won’t mess up your quinoa while it’s cooking.
Seriously, game changer for me.
Quinoa is a grain, similar to rice, but unlike rice it’s a complete protein. It’s a great substitute for white rice when you are looking to cut a few calories or want to add in extra protein.
Quinoa has a fairly neutral flavor that borders on earthy or nutty. It is a bit stronger than brown or white rice.
- Quinoa – This is shown with white quinoa but you could follow the same steps if you use tri-color or other colored quinoa instead. Don’t grab a pre seasoned bag.
- Liquid – When I make a batch of quinoa to meal prep or use for a variety of different recipes. But you could easily substitute in vegetable broth, chicken, or even beef broth for added flavor.
- Bay leaf – A bay leaf adds a small amount of flavor, but still allows you to flavor the quinoa however you like in your salad, bowl, or other dish.
How to Make
- Rinse quinoa in a fine colander.
Before starting, rinse the quinoa well under cool running water. This will help remove debris from the quinoa.
- Pressure cook.
Pour the quinoa into your inner pot, pour in the water, and then add the bay leaf. Give it a quick stir to remove any quinoa from the bottom of the pot. Stuck on food can cause the burn notice. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Pressure cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
- Natural release.
Once the timer goes off, allow pressure to release for 13 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the quinoa. Add the quinoa to your favorite bowl, salad, or other dish. Enjoy!
Quinoa stores well for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge. When you store it, make sure you place it in an airtight container or you can store it in a sealable bag. Just make sure you push out the excess air.
I don’t recommend freezing the quinoa because it can change the texture.
When you are ready to eat the quinoa, you can serve it cold in a salad, add to a soup, or reheat briefly in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through.
- Make sure you rinse the quinoa before cooking it to help clean off any debris.
- Use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water for added flavor.
- If you like, you can also add salt and pepper to the quinoa before cooking.
- Don’t skip the bay leaf, it helps add a nice flavor to the quinoa.
How much quinoa will 1 cup of uncooked quinoa make?
1 cup of uncooked quinoa will make about 4 cups of cooked quinoa.
How much liquid do I need to use to cook quinoa?
It’s a 2 to 1 ratio so you use double the liquid of the amount of quinoa.
Why should I rinse it first?
Rinsing it will remove any debris that might be left and get rid of the bitter taste.
You can use quinoa in pretty much any dish you use rice for like I did in this taco skillet. Here are some of my favorite ways to use this protein packed little grain:
- As a salad topper -Use it to top salads like this blood orange salad.
- Salad Base– Make a yummy grain salad using quinoa as the base like we did in this chickpea and quinoa salad.
- Use it as a side dish– It pairs well with chicken and veggie skillets and I like to serve it with this Lemon Chicken and Asparagus Skillet and this Parmesan Balsamic Chicken and Brussel Sprouts Skillet.
- For meal prep– I love to eat vegetarian during the day and then do meat only with dinner. Without adding a bit of protein to my midday meal, I get crazy hungry. So I like to make a big batch of this quinoa on Sunday night or Monday morning and divvy it up into meal prep containers to serve with Buffalo Cauliflower or Barbecue Cauliflower.
If you want, you can use quinoa as base for your favorite Asian meal. Or you could use add it to a soup to fill it out a bit.
Recipes with Quinoa
Here are some of my favorite recipes that use quinoa.
- Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Lettuce Wraps
- Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad
- Beef and Quinoa Taco Skillet
- Winter Citrus Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa
- Vegetable Soup with Quinoa
- Parmesan Pumpkin Quinoa with Asparagus and Shrimp
- Tomato Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
- Blood Orange Salad
Did you make this INSTANT POT QUINOA or any other recipe or project on my site? Leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked. And make sure you follow along with me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to see everything we’re making!
- 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 1 bay leaf
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under running water to remove debris.
- Add the rinsed quinoa to the inner liner of the Instant Pot.
- Pour in 2 cups of water and add a bay leaf.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook on manual high pressure for 1 minute. When the pot beeps, do a natural release for 13 minutes.
- Quick release any remaining pressure. Remove lid. Fluff and serve.
Can substitute broth for water.