Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls

 Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowl with avocado, red onion, and lime slices on top

Sometimes, recipe inspiration strikes and I have to try something new right away. Like, as soon as humanly possible. That’s how I felt when I thought of making these Vegan Burrito Bowls in the Instant Pot.

This recipe is actually a spin-off of a simpler idea I had last week– I wanted to make protein-rich “Mexican rice” by combining two simple ingredients: quinoa and prepared salsa. Genius, right? I thought so, anyway. We always have a jar of salsa in our pantry, so I thought it was a super-convenient way to add some flare to our usual quinoa, without taking extra time to chop up veggies. I replaced one cup of the cooking water with one cup of salsa, and it turned out really well.

Quinoa poured into an instant pot

During that first test-run, I sautéed some peppers and onions, along with some black beans and seasonings, to serve over my Mexican-style Quinoa. The combination was delicious, but I wondered if I couldn’t streamline the process even more by cooking everything in the Instant Pot at the same time. That’s how these one-pot vegan burrito bowls were born.

I experimented with “dump meals” quite a bit while writing my latest cookbook, so I can tell you from experience that you can make these burrito bowls by simply dumping everything into the Instant Pot and pressing a button. However, the flavor is never quite as good compared to when you take the extra 10 minutes to sauté the onions and peppers first. Either way works; it’s just something to keep in mind!

Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls being mixed with a spoon

This recipe is delicious when served hot or cold. I like to enjoy it warm right after making it, then I throw the rest in the fridge for quick lunches for several more days. I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much.

4.83 from 17 votes
Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

These Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls are an easy and healthy make-ahead meal loaded with fiber and protein. 

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 163 kcal
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion , diced
  • 1 bell pepper , diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup quinoa , rinsed well
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans , or 1 (15 oz.) can, drained and rinsed
  • Optional toppings: Avocado , guacamole, fresh cilantro, green onions, salsa, lime wedges, shredded lettuce
  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of the Instant Pot, using the "saute" setting. Saute the onions and peppers until start to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes, then add in cumin and salt and saute another minute. Turn of the Instant Pot for a moment.
  2. Add in the quinoa, salsa, water, and beans, then seal the lid, making sure that the switch at the top is flipped from venting to sealing. Press the "rice" button, or manually cook at low pressure for 12 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release once the cooking is over, to make sure the quinoa completely absorbs the liquid. (This takes 10 to 15 minutes.)
  3. Remove the lid, being careful to avoid any steam releasing from the pot, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Serve warm, with any toppings you love, such as avocado, diced onions, salsa, and shredded lettuce.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can quickly reheat on the stove top, or serve cold!

Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls on a plate with avocado slices on top

Note: Feel free to substitute another grain for the quinoa if you like, such as rice or millet. As written, this dish packs 14 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per serving!

Stove Top Directions: Don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem! You can heat everything in a covered pot over the stove. Instead of hitting the “rice” button using the directions above, simply bring everything to a boil in a large pot over high heat, then lower the heat and cover to steam until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork before serving with your favorite toppings.

This recipe is a great make-ahead meal to prepare over the weekend, so I hope you’ll try it the next time you have a free 20 minutes to spare. You can enjoy it right away when it’s warm, then have lunch ready-to-go for three more days next week.

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite Instant Pot meal at the moment? Let me know what I should try next! I’ve almost perfected the best Vegan Mac n’ Cheese of my life using the Instant Pot… so that recipe will be coming to you soon.




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Jennifer Blum

Hi Megan, I love your recipes and recommend them to
friends and family. You are an inspiration & I am a fellow
IIN health coach.

On this recipe, is stove top best (I do not own an instapot)
or will the crock pot work as well?


I bought the instant Pot and so excited to try your recipes. What kind of salsa did you use for this recipe? Or do you think tomato sauce (from a glass jar) would work too? Would love a recommendation! Thanks so much!

    Megan Gilmore

    If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, we really like their Double-Roasted Salsa. When I don’t have that on hand, I’ve also used fresh pico de gallo from our local grocery store’s refrigerated section. I’ve never tried it with tomato sauce, but it might be worth a shot!

Kalei Schmitt

Loved this recipe! Mixed it with some lettuce and guac and it tasted like heaven!


Excellent flavor! Love this easy-to-make great-tasting recipe that’s healthy too! Thank you!

Valerie M Dillard

Is a rice/ slow cooker similar to instant pot?

Sal Giovanni

I found these quite bland, but adding beef or sirloin have them just the taste that was missing.

Yolanda Dunmore

Hi Megan!

What measurements would I use to double this recipe? I’m looking forward to serving it at a dinner party. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration.


I got an instant pot recently and decided to use this recipe as a base (since I’m learning cooking times). I didn’t have salsa so I added a can of diced tomatoes and ingredients for a homemade taco seasoning recipe and some frozen sweet potatoes (I know..not properly combined..) We topped it with guacamole and loved it.


Would this freeze well? Thanks so much!

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tried that myself, but I imagine that it would! (Beans and Quinoa both freeze well separately, so I think they’d be fine together, too.) I’d freeze individual portions for easy reheating, then thaw in the fridge overnight so you can heat it up in a skillet when you’re ready to serve again.


i made this recipe exactly as written except I added more spices, because I’m a southern New Mexico gal and i like things very flavorful, not necessarily heat! I used one of my favorite spice blends, Tia Rita’s red chile blend – salt free ( ). I don’t work for the company, just love their products. It turned out perfect and actually tasted better the next day! It’s so great over some chopped romaine with some sliced avocado, yum.

Christine Tolbert

THIs was so great! I am new to pressure cooking and quinoa, but this was so great. FOLlowed thE recipe exactly and it turned out perfect.

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