1-Minute Instant Pot Quinoa With Veggies
Nutritious, protein-rich quinoa cooks up fluffy and flavorful in only one minute under pressure! Learn the simple steps to making consistently-good Instant Pot Quinoa, with optional veggies cooked right in.
Here’s why we like cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot. First, it turns out fluffy, tender, and tasty. Second, it’s pretty quick to make. Third, you can customize the flavors with herbs, broth, or veggies (more on that later.) And last, you don’t have to pay much attention to it while it’s cooking.
Do your kids eat quinoa? Its a funny little grain. Chewy and crunchy all at once. Mild and earthy in flavor. We love to rotate this high-protein grain into the menu when it feels like we’ve been serving dinner rolls and rice on repeat. And the Instant Pot makes that easy and straightforward to do!
This post teaches you how to get great quinoa out of your Instant Pot every time. Let’s go!
Tips for Making Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa
- Rinse your quinoa before cooking. We know, you’ve heard this before. Just don’t skip this step. Rinsing before you cook helps get rid of the natural chemical compounds called saponins than can make quinoa taste bitter.
- Use a little less liquid than you’re used to using on the stove. All the moisture stays locked inside the IP during cooking, so you’ll need only 1.5 cups of liquid per cup of raw quinoa.
- Consider using broth instead of water for an instant flavor boost. Because why not?
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. This cuts down on foamy bubbles and prevents sticking.
- Cook on high pressure for one minute, then let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes before you flip the valve. The grains will continue to cook during the natural release time.
- Batch cook it to have healthy whole grains on hand all week. Store cooked and cooled quinoa in a big bowl in the fridge to eat hot or cold. Or freeze single-serve portions in zip-top bags to use later.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Instant Pot Quinoa?
We call this “one minute” quinoa because that’s how long you set your Instant Pot to cook under high pressure. But keep in mind that it takes time for the Instant Pot to reach high pressure, and it also takes ten minutes of natural-release time afterwards.
What this means is that the total cook time is closer to 20 minutes, which is roughly the same length of time it takes to cook quinoa on the stove.
So why make Instant Pot Quinoa? We still love cooking this grain in the Instant Pot because you can set it and forget it, and get perfectly fluffy quinoa every time.
What Can You add to Instant Pot Quinoa?
Small-diced veggies can cook right in the Instant Pot along with your quinoa. Try these:
- bell peppers
- fresh spinach
You can also stir some tender veggies, fresh herbs, nuts, and other goodies right into the quinoa right when you lift the lid. We like:
- diced tomatoes
- feta cheese
- slivered almonds
- kalamata or black olives
- parsley or cilantro
- diced ham
- frozen peas or corn
More Kid-Friendly Quinoa Recipes
- Fried Quinoa for Kids
- Summer Quinoa Salad
- Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes
- Quinoa Pizza Muffins
- Quinoa Cookies
Instant Pot One-Minute Quinoa with Veggies
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water, or chicken broth
Optional Add-Ins (before cooking)
- 2 stalk celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium bell pepper, red
- 4 cup spinach
Optional Add-Ins (After Cooking)
- 1/2 cup, crumbled feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1/2 cup black olives, canned
- 2 medium tomato, red
- 1/4 cup parsley
- Rinse and drain quinoa.
- Dump quinoa into Instant Pot, then add any diced veggies from the add-ins listed above. Pour broth or water into pot.
- Close the lid and make sure the vent is set to closed. Push the manual button, make sure pressure is on HIGH and reduce time to 1 minute.
- While the pot comes to pressure and cooks, prepare any other optional add-ins.
- When the pot beeps several times it has finished cooking. Let the pressure come down naturally for then minutes, then you may flip the valve to release the rest of the pressure manually.
- Add any extra add-ins you have saved for the end of cooking, and mix well.
- Serve warm or cool.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
I made this tonight with homemade chicken broth. At first I was skeptical because the veggies were a bit mushy, but wow! how lovely! This was quick, tasty, and a perfect dish for anyone!
Yay! Nothing better than something quick and nutritious that goes off well!
How to make this in a regular stove and pot?
Hi Bien! I haven’t made this on the stove, but I think it should work. You’ll just cook quinoa according to package directions (using the amount of liquid and time it calls for) but add in the veggies (bell pepper, celery, spinach) as well. Then let it sit for five minutes before adding in tomatoes, olives, and pesto. Let us know if you try this and how it goes!
Would it be possible to use frozen spinach ?
Hi Diana! I haven’t tried it, but my guess is that it will work. My only concern would be that it might be a little more wet or mushy – so maybe add just a teeny bit less liquid than the recipe calls for. Let us know if you try it and how it works for you!
Seems like a big difference with quick release vs natural. Can quinoa get over cooked?
Good question – I’ve never had it overcooked, but I do know some people like it a little al dente and this version is definitely fully cooked with either release.
Wonderful recipe. Added additional veggies that were in refrigerator. Served it with beef & broccoli made in the instant pot. Delicious & so easy. ?
This is one of my new favorite recipes! My fiance and I both decided to go vegan in July but have since decided to be mostly vegan but eat dairy occasionally. I can’t give up feta cheese! I got my Instant pot at the beginning of the summer and this was one of the first recipes I tried. Tonight I’m adding carrots, green pepper, a dash of Northern Italian dressing and white beans (at the end) to the recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Do you know if this recipe would work in the 3qt with the amount of ingredients you have listed? Or would I need to adjust the cooking time? Thanks.
Thanks! This was great
I just made this following your instructions exactly, and while the flavors were amazing, the whole thing was very soggy and wet – more like stew/porridge than a quinoa salad like the pictures show and I expected. Any suggestions on what I can do next time to get the right result? Thanks!
Used baby arugala instead of spinach because that’s all I had. Cooked two mins and used manual release. Quinoa and veggies cooked perfect. No need for pesto…plenty of flavor without! I think manual release is key to keep from overlooking quinoa.
This recipe is amazing. I used tri coloured quinoa and kale instead of spinach. Didn’t need the feta or the pesto.
This one is definitely a keeper.
Made this dish today. It was delicious! Very quick and easy! And the citrus dressing was the perfect compliment. Thank you????
great dish , easy to make
Wow! I hardly ever cook quinoa because it takes so long, and I’m usually racing to get dinner on the table for my family. There are so many people raving about various quinoa recipes in the Instant Pot, so I took a chance on this one. Everyone loved it! And I love it because I can get everything chopped, cooked, and on the table in about 30 minutes. I left out the olives because of my picky hubby, and subbed Swiss chard for spinach. So good! Thank you thank you for making me a new member of the quinoa fan club.
Yay! That is the best feeling ever!
This looks like a great dish, but I don’t have an instant pot. Can this be made in a Crock-Pot? If so how would the timing be changed?
ALthough I haven’t tried myself, from what I found online you can cook quinoa in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low. Good luck and enjoy!
Thank you for this! I can barely cook an egg but I gave this a go in my new Instant Pot and the whole family (who are great cooks) sang my praises. I didn’t have the olives or almonds but it was great!
I’m so glad! Thanks for sharing, Annmarie.
I made this following instructions, quinoa was not cooked. put it back in for one minute and left to natural release. quinoa was mushy. but this is so Delicious!! We will be definitely trying this again and again.
i made this today..used chicken broth, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, summer squash, green pepper, red onion, tomatoes, kalamata olives, fat free feta, yellow wax beans,….added the olives,tomatoes,and feta after the cooking time…it was delicious without any addition of herbs, salt, or flavorings! and i can play with whatever i have! i even avoided the olive oil and sprayed the IP container with oil spray!
but please, do you have some approximate nutritional information?
i think i guesstimated too high in carbs and fat and not enough in protein…
thank you so much for this great,quick, tasty and healthful recipe!!!
Hi Risha! I’m glad it turned out so well for you. We are working on getting nutrition info on all the recipes on the site. In the meantime, they are all calculated in the connected cooking app, Prepear. You can get it and see all the recipes + nutrition data for free, here: https://www.prepear.com/
You say to batch cook and then store in a big bowl in the stove. Is that correct? Wouldn’t it be stored in the cold fridge?
Thanks for catching that typo, Forrest! I update the post to say “fridge” instead of stove.
My almost-4-year-old told me this dish was delicious, and I dont think she has ever actually said that about anything I’ve cooked before. My almost-2yo also gobbled it up. Really yummy! (Made it with homemade bone broth, highly recommend)
I made this last night and it turned out great! I used the liquid leftover from a pork roast that I had in the refrigerator (I always do that to remove the fat), chopped squash and chopped bell peppers. I will definitely make this again!
This has been my weeknight go-to recipe, always turns out great and I can just throw in whatever veg is in the fridge, or open up a can of veg when I’m in a big hurry.
Hello! Love this recipe. Just burnt it a little….
Wondering what “close the vent” means. Just started using an instant pot so I’m not too sure. Does that mean cook WITH pressure on?
Hi Avani! The small lever on the lid of the pot that moves back and forth either covers or uncovers the vent. When the vent is closed, the cooker can reach high pressure. When the vent is open, steam will escape and no pressure will build up in the cooker. So yes, when the vent is closed, you can cook under high pressure.
I have made this several times using chicken broth, squash, zucchini and carrots. Stirred in garlic marinade at the end along with parmesan cheese (I’m not vegan) and it is delicious. This is the first (and only) quinoa recipe I have used and I LOVE it!!!
Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!
I tried this for the first time in my instant pot with the veggies and it turned out perfect. I forgot to add garlic which I love so I can look forward to the next batch with garlic.
Thanks for sharing! Glad you loved it!
This is great. It would be so helpful if you just put in the overall amount of chopped vegetables to put in before cooking. Like for 1 cup of quinoa, use 6 cups of chopped vegetables? (includes 4 cups of spinach) thanks. I hope to double the recipe.
This recipe is so nice I made it twice 🙂 It’s a great addition for anyone following the Noom-style of nutrition.
This was just delicious! Usually I am annoyed by people who comment on recipes when they have made wholesale changes, but I really wanted to make this and I didn’t have any spinach. Or a pepper. So I did anyway. I added a chopped onion, and sauteed it with some garlic, and the celery and carrots, before adding the quinoa and vegetable broth. And some green beans. At the end I added the chopped almonds (almost didn’t, because I was a little doubtful, but very glad I did) and some diced tomato.
The result was really good, maybe as good as the original. I will make it again, in the original form, and I’ll adapt it again. Thank you!
Forgot to say I made it in my 3-quart with no adjustments except for the substitution of vegetables. I saw that someone was asking if it would work in a 3-qt.