This Instant Pot Quinoa is one of the fastest things I make in my electric pressure cooker. It requires just a 1 minute pressure cooking cycle, and turns out perfectly fluffy every time!
How to Use the Instant Pot
When it comes to new appliances, I’ll admit that I’m not one to read manuals. I always try to use a new appliance intuitively first, and in most cases, I feel that really good appliances are pretty easy to understand without extra instruction needed. (That’s why I love my Vitamix, and even my MacBook… I’ve never had to read their manuals!) The Instant Pot is almost one of those appliances, but not quite.
I think it’s super-duper important to learn how to correctly use the lid of any electric pressure cooker, because you need to make sure that the venting and sealing lever at the top is turned to “seal” when you want to pressure cook something. (If you don’t seal the lid, no pressure will build up and your food won’t be cooked properly.)
You also need to make sure to fully release that built-up steam before attempting to remove the lid, so you don’t wind up with a pressure cooker horror story of the lid blasting through your kitchen ceiling. (I will say, I feel pretty safe with the Instant Pot because it won’t let you remove the lid without releasing the steam– I think you’d really have to struggle to do something dangerous with it.)
I bought the Instant Pot with the yogurt function (try my Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt if you want a dairy-free option!), and I will say that you definitely need to look up how to use that function– it’s NOT intuitive. But, neither is making yogurt until you practice, so a quick Google search helped me out in both regards.
Instant Pot Quinoa
I give you this disclaimer about me NOT reading the manual because I used my intuition the first time I made quinoa in the Instant Pot, by simply hitting the RICE button. My quinoa was cooked to perfection with just the push of a button. No waiting for water to come to a boil over a stove top, and no worrying about burning the quinoa at the bottom of the pan, either. You literally just push a button and walk away until it beeps that it’s done. That’s my kind of cooking.
Since discovering this method and sharing it in my Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowl recipe, a reader mentioned to me that there’s another way to cook quinoa in the Instant Pot. I think both methods take a similar amount of time overall, but I thought I’d share both options with you today in case you have a preference. (The 1-minute method is my favorite now, because it works with any model of electric pressure cooker.)
Important! Accurate Instant Pot Timing
Keep in mind, that just because this quinoa cooks in a 1-minute cooking cycle, doesn’t mean that it will be ready to eat that fast. You always have to take into account the time it will take for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, and the time it takes for that pressure to naturally release. In general, I usually add 20 minutes to the cook cycle for a more accurate estimate of when a recipe will be ready to eat.
Instant Pot Quinoa (in just 1 minute!)
- 1 cup quinoa , rinsed
- 1 cup water
Method #1: 1-Minute High Pressure (my go-to method!)
- Combine the quinoa and water in the Instant Pot and secure the lid, making sure that the lever on top of the lid is turned to the Sealing position. Use the Pressure Cook or Manual button to cook at high pressure for 1 minute. It will take 8-10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cook cycle begins.
- When the cooking is done, let the pressure naturally release for 12 minutes. (In other words, don't touch anything until the screen reads LO:12) This lets the quinoa steam inside, without burning to the bottom of the pot.
- When the time has passed, turn the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining steam pressure. By this time, there shouldn't be much, if any, steam left inside the pot. It's safe to open the lid when the floating valve has dropped. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa and serve warm.
Method #2: Rice Setting
- Combine the quinoa and water (add an extra 1/4 cup water in this case) in the Instant Pot and secure the lid, turning the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the Rice button, or manually set the pressure cooker to cook for 12 minutes on low-pressure. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cook cycle begins.
- When the cooking is complete, quickly release the pressure by turning the steam release valve to Venting. (Make sure your hand isn't directly over the vent so you don't get burned by the steam!) Remove the lid when the floating valve drops, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Serve warm.
Per Serving: Calories: 156, Fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 6g
Need more healthy Instant Pot recipes? Be sure to check out The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. You can see a sneak peek here!
What should you do with all of this cooked quinoa?
I like to use it as a higher protein substitute for rice, with a topping of Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala or Easy Coconut Curry. We also use quinoa instead of rice for making “fried rice” and quick stir fries. You can also freeze cooked quinoa into 1-cup portions for easy reheating in the future.
More Instant Pot recipes:
- Quinoa Burrito Bowls
- Red Lentil & Kale Curry
- Vegan Mac N’ Cheese
- Make-Ahead Quinoa Breakfast Bowls
- Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Reader Feedback: Do you like seeing recipes for the Instant Pot? Let me know if you have any requests for the future!