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
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.