Instant Pot Quinoa is a quick and easy way to prepare this ancient grain. It’s a great side dish that makes for a great addition to any meal!
Does the mention of quinoa conjure up an image of a complicated, time-consuming dish? If so, think again! This quick and easy Instant Pot quinoa proves that this superfood can be simple to prepare. And thanks to the Instant Pot’s pressure cooking function, it cooks up in just minutes.
So whether you’re looking for a healthy weeknight meal or a hearty side dish, this quinoa is sure to hit the spot.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an ancient food that has recently become popular in the United States because it is basically a superfood.
It is high in protein and fiber, has all nine essential amino acids, and has vitamin B and many other critical vitamins. And it is incredibly tasty!
Getting started could not be easier, all you need is two ingredients! This recipe is for a natural release, but you can easily do a quick release. I’ve provided more info at the bottom of the post. This recipe will provide a side dish serving for four people.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth or bouillon
- Rinse 1 cup quinoa under the sink
- Add quinoa to the Instant Pot
- Add 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- Seal lid and valve, set Instant Pot to cook for one minute on high pressure
- When done cooking, allow for a ten-minute natural release before venting
How to Make Quinoa in the Instant Pot
Quinoa is healthy, popular, and versatile. Using the Instant Pot for quinoa is great because it actually tastes better than stove top quinoa: it’s fluffier, doesn’t burn on the bottom and is cooked evenly throughout.
You can make this so many ways, it’ll become your go-to side dish! It is as easy to make as rice; simply measure, rinse, pop ingredients into the Instant Pot and set the timer.
How long to cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot?
There are actually two equally effective ways of cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot. If you’re a fan of the natural release, set the pressure cooker for one minute and allow ten minutes for the natural release.
If you’re in a hurry or prefer quick release, cook it for five minutes and then do the quick release. There’s a slight difference in the water content, so I note that at the end of the post. (You need a little more water for a quick release than natural.)
What kind of quinoa should I buy?
There are lots of brands and types, from red, white, and black quinoa, to blends with multiple colors.
If you’re new to quinoa, feel free to grab the rainbow blend. It’s incredibly versatile and very pretty. But you can’t go wrong with any of the three on their own, so don’t worry, just buy what is available!
Should I rinse the quinoa?
Yes! Like with rice, rinsing the quinoa is an essential step. It removes the saponin, a coating that will leave your quinoa tasting soapy and bitter. Rinsing it will also make it less clumpy and fluffier.
What flavors go best with quinoa?
In this recipe, I use chicken broth to add a little extra flavor, but using water is fine. As it cooks, it will absorb whatever flavor you add, making it a complimentary side for many dishes.
I like savory spices, like garlic, cumin, and chili powder, and I love to garnish it with a scoop of salsa, or cilantro or flat leaf parsley to add color and hint of freshness.
Quinoa is similar to rice in its versatility, but it does have a slight crunch which is really appealing. It goes well with a traditional meat like chicken or pork, or is a great on a vegetarian menu because of its high protein content.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth or bouillon
Rinse 1 cup quinoa under the sink
Add quinoa to the Instant Pot
Add 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
Seal lid and valve, set Instant Pot to cook for one minute on high pressure
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 41Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Natural Release vs. Quick Release
After having done this both ways many times, I think natural release is slightly fluffier and has better water absorption, but the quick release is still so good and saves five minutes, it’s definitely a good option.
The only thing is you need to increase your liquid content to account for the moisture lost in the quick release. Instead of 1:1.25, use 1:1.5; so for every cup of quinoa use 1 1/2 cups liquid. Then, set the pressure cooker to high for five minutes, and then do the careful quick release, and enjoy!
What does Quinoa Go Well With?
Quinoa can be served for a variety of dishes and for just about every meal of the day.
It’s a wonderful replacement for rice – so anything that you serve with rice you could easily serve with quinoa instead. It can be served with kale or spinach, and you can easily add some additional ingredients to make it a heartier meal. It can be especially tasty with sweet potatoes.
I’ve had a very delightful breakfast that had quinoa, sweet potatoes, sausage, and eggs. It was very hearty and filling!
Is Quinoa Better for You than Rice?
Quinoa and rice are pretty similar in texture and cooking method, however, they have very different nutritional profiles. Quinoa is actually more similar to leafy vegetables!
It is a complete protein with nine essential amino acids. Pretty impressive! Quinoa has much more fiber, few carbs and fewer calories than white.
There are some varieties of rice that will be better on the nutrition scale, but when comparing quinoa to white rice, quinoa is more nutritionally superior.
Other Instant Pot Side Dishes
And that’s it! You now have a delicious, healthy meal that only took a few minutes to cook. Quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber, so this dish is perfect for anyone looking for a nutritious meal.
Give it a try next time you’re in the mood for something quick and easy.
Instant Pot Quinoa is a delicious and easy side dish that you can make in a jiffy. Cooking quinoa in a pressure cooker takes anything complicated out of this dish and makes it into something delicious!