It's so easy to make Instant Pot Quinoa that comes out fluffy and flavorful every time you make it. An electric pressure cooker cooks quinoa in under 30 minutes and requires only 3 ingredients. Quinoa is the perfect protein-rich grain and can be used in a variety of recipes so this instant pot quinoa recipe is perfect for meal prep.
I am always looking for ways to add healthy foods and ingredients to my recipes. Cooking healthy and delicious foods is a priority when it comes to my family. This recipe for perfect quinoa has become a favorite of mine because this healthy grain is protein-rich and versatile as a side dish or main dish and can be served hot or cold. The only problem with this incredible food is that cooking quinoa can sometimes be difficult to prepare.
I used to struggle to get quinoa to cook just right. When I cooked it on my stove top, I never seemed to get the grain to water ratio just right and the quinoa was either undercooked or I got mushy quinoa that was overdone.
Fortunately, Instant Pot quinoa comes out perfect and is a fool-proof method for the fluffiest quinoa every single time I make it. Plus it's so easy to prepare so that means I'm more likely to regularly make it. I can easily swap fluffy quinoa into my favorite rice or pasta recipes so I can serve my family something that tastes delicious and is good for them as a main course or perfect side dish.
The best part about making quinoa this way is that you can prep in advance and have it ready to go in the fridge. This way it's even easier to make your favorite quinoa recipe.
What Is Quinoa?
Quinoa is usually labeled on its packaging as a whole grain but it is actually the seed of the South American Chenopodium quinoa plant. This flavorful seed is considered one of the world's healthiest foods.
There are over 3000 varieties of quinoa with the white, red and black varieties being the most common. Quinoa can be used as a white rice or pasta substitute, rolled into flour and ground into flakes. It is as versatile as it is good for you.
Is Quinoa Healthy?
The Incas called quinoa "the mother grain" and believed that quinoa was sacred. When you consider its high nutrient content, health benefits, versatility and flavor it's easy to understand why.
Quinoa is an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, folate and nine essential amino acids. It's high in fiber, a complete protein and includes healthy fats. It's also gluten free. Quinoa truly is a superfood.
Pressure Cooker Quinoa Ingredients
- Quinoa – You can use white, red quinoa, black quinoa or tricolor quinoa varieties. White quinoa is the most common and easiest to find in most grocery stores.
- Broth – I prefer to use vegetable broth to keep this recipe vegan/vegetarian and make the most flavorful quinoa. If that is not a concern you can use chicken broth or chicken stock instead. You can also use water but broth adds a great level of flavor.
- Salt – Adding a small amount of salt will enhance the flavor of the grains.
How To Make Instant Pot Quinoa
- Add rinsed quinoa, broth and a pinch of salt to the insert of the pressure cooker. Close and seal the lid.
- Cook at high pressure for one minute followed by a 15-minute natural pressure release.
- Fluff and serve or add to your favorite recipe. (Full recipe card below.)
Ways To Use Pressure Cooker Quinoa
The options for using quinoa are practically endless. You can use it much like you would other grains and pasta. Try substituting delicious quinoa in your favorite recipes.
I love keeping a big batch of cooked quinoa in my fridge so I can prepare a healthy meal quickly. It can be served warm or cold, in grain bowls, put in salads with some olive oil and lemon juice or stirred into soups. The cooked grains make a tasty filling for stuffing sweet potatoes and acorn squash. Quinoa can even be used in sweet dishes. Stir a bit of leftover quinoa into the batter of baked goods like muffins, pancakes and cakes to add extra protein. It will add a bit of texture but won't affect the flavor at all.
Here are a few of my favorite quinoa recipes:
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Chicken And Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos With Avocado Cream
- Berry Quinoa Bake with Lemon from Fannetastic Food
Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which protects the seed from pests and bugs. This coating is edible but can have a slightly bitter flavor. I always rinse the dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking so I get the perfect flavor with no bitter taste.
From start to finish it takes about 25 minutes of cook time and just a few minutes of prep time.
Quinoa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. You can freeze it in freezer bags for up to 6 months.
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Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Quinoa
- pressure cooker or instant pot
- 1 ½ cups quinoa
- 18 ounces vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine quinoa, vegetable broth and salt in your instant pot insert or pressure cooker and secure the lid in place. Set your pot to manual/high pressure and set the cook time for 1 minute. The pot will take about 5-10 minutes to pressurize before that 1 minute starts counting down. Let it naturally release for 15 minutes before removing your quinoa from the pot.
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