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Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa: An Easy How To Recipe


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When you’re looking for a quick and easy way to prepare a side dish, this Instant Pot Quinoa is a simple, easy, and versatile dish that’s ready in less than 15 minutes!

instant pot quinoa in a white bowl

Are you new to quinoa? Or has it become a staple in your house like it has mine? In the last few years quinoa has risen in popularity. Now, you’ll find it on restaurant menus served as a side dish, mixed into a salad, or even a feature of a vegan main dish.

I used to make quinoa on the stovetop, but making Instant Pot Quinoa is so much easier! It’s a great meal prep item to add to your weekly list. What I love about making quinoa in the instant pot is that I can make as much or as little as I like by simply using the quinoa to liquid ratio.

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This quinoa recipe is super easy, and comes it fluffy and flawless every single time! I store it in the fridge so that I have quinoa to use throughout the week with all our favorite dinner recipes!

In our house, we love to use quinoa to serve with curried vegetables, dal, stir-fries, and more! We use it wherever you might use rice. It’s high in protein, and cooks up more quickly than rice!

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa is an ancient grain that was used during the time of the Inca Empire. They called it the “mother of all grains.” They believed the grain/seed to be sacred.

While this grain has been around for thousands of years, and used commonly in South America, it has only recently become popular in the United States. However, now we consider it to be a superfood due to it’s numerous health benefits.

There are three main types of quinoa: white quinoa, red quinoa, and black quinoa. You can use this simple instant pot recipe to prepare any type of quinoa. Simply follow the recommended ratio of quinoa to water: 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water.

instant pot quinoa in a white bowl

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and Easy
  • Only Two Ingredients
  • Done in 15 Minutes
  • Fluffy and Light
  • Complete Protein
  • Serve anywhere you’d use rice

How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa

Ingredients

instant pot quinoa ingredients

Quinoa: Quinoa is usually considered a grain, however, it is actually a seed. It comes from the plant Chenopodium quinoa that is native to PeruI. Considered a superfood, it’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is the only plant based protein that includes a complete amino acid profile. Plus it’s gluten-free! You’ll need 1 cup quinoa for this recipe.

Water or Vegetable Broth: You may choose to use water or broth (vegetable broth or chicken stock) as your liquid. The vegetable stock will give you a more flavorful quinoa, while the water will essentially leave the quinoa to it’s authentic flavor. If choosing vegetable stock, look for a brand that is low in sodium. If you choose chicken stock, keep in mind this recipe will no longer be vegetarian or vegan friendly. You’ll need 1.5 cups water.

Pinch of Salt: Add a pinch of salt if using water. If using vegetable broth, leave the pinch of salt out. Vegetable broth has plenty of added salt. You don’t need any more.

Olive Oil Cooking Spray: An an option, you can spray your instant pot with olive oil cooking spray to keep the quinoa from sticking.

Equipment Needed

Instructions

Ratio Quinoa to Liquid: Decide how much quinoa you would like to prepare. Use a ratio of 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of water or vegetable stock. If you’d like to make 2 cups of quinoa use 3 cups of liquid. 3 cups of quinoa, use 4.5 cups of liquid, and so on. One cup of dried quinoa will make about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Rinse Quinoa: Add quinoa to a fine mesh strainer or metal sieve. Run cold water over the quinoa until the water is clear.

quinoa being rinsed

Spray Instant Pot: Lightly spray instant pot with olive oil cooking spray to coat. This helps keep the quinoa from sticking to the pot, and makes cleanup easier, but it’s not necessary. Add the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup of water and pinch of salt to the instant pot.

water added to pot

Instant Pot Directions: Lock the lid. Set steam valve to sealing. Select the manual button. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, the manual release / quick release the remaining pressure.

quinoa cooked in instant pot

This is a totally fool-proof method for making quinoa – I promise you will end up with the perfect fluffy quinoa every time!

Recipe FAQs

Is instant pot quinoa healthy?

Absolutely! Here is what makes this such a nutritious side dish:
1) High in Plant Protein: Quinoa is the only plant source of protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein.
2) Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Quinoa is high in magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and antioxidants. Magnesium can reduce inflammation. B vitamins improve energy, brain function, and cell metabolism. Iron is necessary for your body’s growth and development.
3) High in Dietary Fiber: Like other whole grains, quinoa is an excellent source of fiber. Depending on the type of quinoa, you can expect about 5 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving. Fiber helps to keep you feeling fuller longer, and improves digestion.

Do you have to rinse quinoa before cooking?

Yes! It is important to rinse your quinoa before cooking. Some varieties you purchase in store may advertise that they have been pre-rinsed. I still tend to rinse mine anyway. Rinsing your quinoa removes the bitterness.

What is the ratio of dry quinoa to liquid?

You can easily increase the amount of quinoa you prepare by following the dry to liquid ratio. That’s 1:1.5, so 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups of liquid. For every additional cup of dried quinoa you desire to prepare, add an additional 1.5 cups of liquid. So, for example, 2 cups of dry quinoa will need 3 cups of liquid.

Is quinoa healthier than rice?

Simply put, yes, quinoa is healthier than rice. It has more protein, more fiber, and more vitamins and nutrients. White rice is high on the glycemic index, while quinoa, even though it is a seed, is a grain that is low on the glycemic index, and has fewer calories, and packs more nutritional value. White rice has 40 more calories and 15 times more carbohydrates in one cup compared to quinoa. Brown rice, which is higher in fiber and less processed than white rice, is still not as healthy as quinoa (it is higher glycemic and lower in fiber than quinoa). Due to its high fiber content, quinoa will fill you up, allowing you to eat a smaller portion size than if you were to choose rice instead.

instant pot quinoa in a white bowl

How to Serve

  • Quinoa Salads: Add it to your salads for extra protein and texture. Or use it as the base for a hearty grain-based quinoa bowl!
  • Side Dish: Serve with your favorite curries, lentils, and stir-fried vegetables.
  • Breakfast: Prepare a simple breakfast porridge similar to oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and a touch of maple syrup.
  • Veggie Burgers: Add to your veggie burgers with black beans or chickpeas to create a flavorful and nutrient rich patty.
  • Taco Filling: Create a delicious taco filling with quinoa, tofu, and spices.
  • Buddha Bowls: Add to your buddha bowls instead of rice with mixed vegetables, tofu, and a creamy sauce.

How to Store

  • Refrigerator: Allow the quinoa to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
  • Freeze: Allow the cooked quinoa to cool completely. Transfer to a freezer safe plastic bag. Press out all the extra air, and press the quinoa into a flat layer in the bag, then seal. Label with contents and date. Then store in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing: When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in the microwave.

Tip: Make a big batch of quinoa in the instant pot, then transfer to individual freezer bags and freeze for future use. You’ll have your quinoa in serving sizes ready to go!

Tips for Making the Best Instant Pot Quinoa

  • Rinse quinoa before preparing. It takes away the bitterness.
  • Spray the instant pot with cooking spray. It will keep it from sticking to the pot, and makes clean-up easy.
  • Use less water than you would if preparing on the stovetop. The instant pot doesn’t have as much evaporation, so using less water takes this into consideration. This way you will end up with tender quinoa that isn’t mushy!
  • Add a pinch of salt if using water.
  • Try different types of broth for more flavor.
instant pot quinoa on a fork

More Quinoa and Instant Pot Recipes!

If you have tried this Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Instant Pot Quinoa

When you’re looking for a quick and easy way to prepare a side dish, this Instant Pot Quinoa is a simple, easy, and versatile dish that’s ready in less than 15 minutes.

Prep Time1 min

Manual Release10 mins

Total Time11 mins

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American, Vegan

Servings: 3 cups

Calories: 209kcal

  • Add quinoa to a metal sieve. Run cold water over the quinoa until the water runs clear.

  • Lightly spray instant pot with olive oil cooking spray to coat. This helps keep the quinoa from sticking to the pot, and makes cleanup easier, but it’s not necessary.

  • Add the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup of water and pinch of salt to the instant pot.

  • Pressure cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow for a natural release for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release / manual release for the remaining pressure.

Expert Tips
  • Rinse quinoa before preparing. It takes away the bitterness.
  • Spray the instant pot with cooking spray. It will keep it from sticking to the pot, and make clean-up easy.
  • Use less water than you would if preparing on the stovetop. The instant pot doesn’t have as much evaporation, so using less water takes this into consideration.
  • Add a pinch of salt if using water.
  • Try different types of broth for more flavor.
  • Quinoa will last in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 4g



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