Learn how to cook quinoa in Instant pot perfectly each time with this detailed step by step guide and video. Only 1 minute of pressure cooking, the outcome is non-mushy and fluffy cooked quinoa always.
Super easy, no mess, hands-off and you get consistently good right cooked Instant Pot Quinoa! With instructions on how to cook quinoa in rice cooker, pressure cooker and on stove top.
Why this instant pot method works?
Cooking quinoa in instant pot is my go-to thing. Just like how I love to cook rice in it everyday!
The process to make quinoa in Instant Pot is so simple, quick and easy. Once you follow this method, you may never go for any other way of cooking it.
They are perfectly fluffy, never sticky and there is no need to look after. Plus, gets done in only 1 minute under pressure, unlike 30 minutes stove top version!
Requires no extra or elaborate prep, fool proof and effortless! In fact, you just need to dump all things and walk away, it cooks in no time!
Quinoa is rich in fiber, packed with - protein, potassium, iron and keeps us full for longer time. It is so healthy and easy to digest!
My whole family loves to eat this versatile grain. Instant pot quinoa meals have become regular at our home. It makes great nutritious meal prep for lunch and dinners. I absolutely love my Instant pot to prepare everyday meals like this, life has become so much easier.
You can cook it in pan or pot on stove top or pressure cooker and in the rice cooker. But, this Instant Pot recipe is win-win over all the other methods.
Instead of water, you can also use vegetable stock, chicken or beef bone broth for more flavorful meal. Further, whatever liquid you use to cook it, remember to follow the ratio correctly. So, I have written the details on liquid ratio and cook time below. Please do not miss to go through it.
Ingredients you will need
Quinoa : There are three main types - Red, Black and White Quinoa. You can choose any one of your choice.
Water / Stock / Broth : Rarely do I cook it using water until the specific recipe calls for the use of it. Otherwise, I always prefer to cook it either using vegetable stock, chicken stock or bone broth.
Salt : I add a little bit of salt only when using water. No need to add it when using stock or broth.
Olive oil or vegetable oil : For spraying or brushing the bottom of the pot.
Step by step instructions
To begin with, take 1 cup of uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh colander and rinse it well under running water for 2-3 minutes.
Rub the seed grains with your hands slightly while rinsing. This ensures quinoa doesn't taste bitter. Set it aside for couple of minutes to drain the water completely.
Place the steel insert and switch on the IP. Then, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and brush the bottom of the steel pot. You can also use cooking oil spray.
Then, add rinsed and strained quinoa to the pot.
Now, add 1 and ¼ cup of water or vegetable broth, give a stir. Stir in a bit of salt only if needed or if using water.
Close the lid and seal the pot, turn the pressure valve to sealing position. Press manual or pressure cook button, cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
IP will take 5-6 minutes to pressurize.
Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 12 minutes and then quickly release the pressure until pin drops.
Open the pot and let it sit for couple of minutes.
Fluff it with fork or spatula. Serve as you like.
Liquid to quinoa ratio and cook time
Water to Quinoa ratio : Different cooking methods call for different ratios of liquid per cup of this grain.
- In stove top and rice cooker method, for 1 cup quinoa use 2 cups of water, so the ratio comes to 1:2.
- Whereas for Instant pot method the ratio drops to 1: 1.25 which is 1 cup quinoa to 1 ¼ cup of water or liquid works best. This is because Instant pot is sealed trapping the steam within than the traditional cooking pot. Thus, the ratio goes down.
Cook time : Instant Pot Quinoa takes 1 minute pressure cooking cycle with 12 minutes of natural release (screen should read LO:12). Then, do the quick release to remove the remaining pressure.
Also, keep in mind that Instant pot takes 5 minutes of initial time to build the pressure within. So, the total cooking time comes to 18 minutes.
Whereas, Stove top and rice cooker quinoa takes approximately 30 minutes to get cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Start with rinsing 1 cup of quinoa in fine mesh strainer and drain the water completely. Then, add the rinsed quinoa in the rice cooker along with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon of oil.
Switch on the rice cooker. It will take around 30 minutes to cook. Once the cooking is over, wait for few minutes and then fluff to with fork.
Follow, the rinsing and straining steps.
Add the rinsed quinoa to the pressure cooker along with 1 and ½ cup of water or broth and 1 teaspoon of oil. You can also add salt to taste if needed.
Cover and pressure cook on medium high heat for 1 whistle. Switch off the heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid, fluff it with fork and serve.
Rinse and strain it using fine mesh colander.
In pot or pan, add strained quinoa, 2 cups of water or broth and 1 teaspoon of oil. Stir and bring it to boil on medium high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer it for 15 minutes. Switch off the heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5-6 minutes, this will allow the steaming of quinoa making it fluffier. Fluff with fork and serve as you like.
Refrigerating and freezing
Refrigerate : Cooked quinoa can be stored in the fridge for upto 5 days. So, you can transfer the leftovers in clean airtight box and refrigerate. Take out the required amount, re-heat it in microwave or stove top and use.
Freezing : Once cooled to a room temperature, transfer the cooked quinoa to a clean freezer safe airtight box or ziplock bags and freeze. It stays good for up to 6 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge, reheat until warm throughout and use the way you like.
Further, as cooked quinoa makes a great meal prep option, you can divide it in portions in your meal prep containers and refrigerate or freeze.
Rinse : Always, rinse the quinoa before cooking. Even though you get pre rinsed boxed version in grocery stores, please do not skip on this step.
Dry quinoa has the bitter tasting natural chemical coating called saponin. Rinsing it nicely washes away the bitterness.
Fine Mesh Strainer : The best way to rinse it is to place it in fine mesh strainer and rinse. Further, do not use colander or strainer with big holes or the seeds will fall off through it.
To double or triple the recipe : Do you know the best part of this Instant Pot recipe? You can cook it as little as you like or easily double or triple the recipe to make big batch.
So, whatever measure you take here, cooking cycle always remains the same - only 1 minute of pressure cooking! Just that, Instant pot will take initial few minutes extra to come to pressure. Also, if any of the Instant pot quinoa recipes call for quick release, then please ensure that pressure cooking time is more than 1 minute.
Spraying the pot with oil : This process helps to prevent sticking at the bottom and avoids foaming while pressure cooking. And if you toast the quinoa in little oil for 1-2 minutes, the outcome is much more flavorful. Sometimes I do this step too!
Ways to use it
- Quinoa is great substitute for rice and goes very well with your favorite Indian or Continental curries. You can serve it as side dish to Dals or Curries.
- Add it to your favorite stir fries with chicken, tofu or vegetables and turn it into nice Quinoa fried rice.
- Make it as base for Buddha Bowls, Burritos, Tacos or Rolls. I love to use mixed quinoa and make flavorful Mexican Rice or Pilaf, Upma and Porridge.
- One of our favorite ways to eat it is by adding it into various salads. This Beetroot Salad with Quinoa and Feta is our favorite.
- I make lot of quinoa recipes and keep experimenting by adding different flavors and textures into it. You can also experiment with various flavors and add-ons you like and enjoy this nutritious quinoa as healthy and tasty meals.
- There are number of health benefits of quinoa making great meal option to include in your diet.
- This tiny superfood is powerhouse of nutrition known to be complete protein. It is complete plant source protein having all the nine essential amino acids. One cup of cooked quinoa gives 8 grams of protein.
- It is vegan and naturally gluten free.
- It is high in dietary fiber helping to prevent constipation and can help to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Quinoa is great source of essential minerals like Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus and B vitamins.
More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes
If you tried my method to cook quinoa in the Instant Pot, please let me know how it turned out for you! I'd love to hear through your comments and ratings below.
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How to Cook Quinoa in Instant Pot
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 ¼ cup Water or Stock (for instant pot version)
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Take 1 cup of uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it well under running water for 2-3 minutes.
- Rub the seed grains with your hands slightly while rinsing. This ensures it doesn't taste bitter. Set it aside for couple of minutes to drain the water completely.
Instant Pot method
- Place the steel insert and switch on the Instant pot. Then, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and brush the bottom of the steel pot. You can also use cooking oil spray.
- Add rinsed and strained quinoa to the pot.
- Now, add 1 and ¼ cup of water or vegetable broth, give a stir. Note : Stir in a bit of salt only if needed or when using water.
- Close the and seal the pot, turn the pressure valve to sealing position. Press manual or pressure cook button, cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
- Instant Pot will take 5-6 minutes to pressurize.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 12 minutes and then quickly release the pressure until pin drops.
- Open the pot and let the quinoa sit for couple of minutes. Fluff it with fork or spatula.
- Serve as you like. Store the cooked quinoa in clean airtight box for upto 5 days.
Rice Cooker method
- Add the strained quinoa in the rice cooker along with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon of oil.
- Switch on the rice cooker. It will take around 30 minutes to cook. Once the cooking is over, wait for few minutes and then fluff to with fork.
Pressure Cooker method
- Add strained quinoa to the pressure cooker along with 1 and ½ cup of water or broth and 1 teaspoon of oil. You can also add salt to taste if needed.
- Cover and pressure cook on medium high heat for 1 whistle.
- Switch off the heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid, fluff it with fork and serve.
In Pot on Stovetop method
- Add the strained quinoa in the rice cooker along with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon of oil.
- Switch on the rice cooker. It will take around 25-30 minutes to cook. Once the cooking is over, wait for few minutes and then fluff to with fork.
I just made my quinoa in the instant pot and it turned out perfect! I have tried other methods and always failed. But your method is perfect. Thank you for the recipe! <3
Thank you very mush for your lovely feedback, am glad you liked it. This is the only way I prefer to make quinoa in IP, it never failed me till date 🙂 !