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.
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!
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.
Instant Pot Quinoa Burrito Bowls (Vegan!)
- 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
- 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.
- Add in the quinoa and water and stir well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. (This will trigger a burn error.) Add the salsa and beans on top without stirring again. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to "Sealing."
- Press the Rice button (which cooks at LOW pressure for 12 minutes) or press the Manual or Pressure Cook button, and cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes when the cooking cycle is complete, to let the quinoa finish cooking, without burning to the bottom of the pot. When the screen reads L0:15, move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure.
- When the floating valve in the lid has dropped, it's safe to remove the lid. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, then serve warm with any toppings you love, such as avocado, diced onions, salsa, and shredded lettuce.
- 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!
Per Serving: Calories: 163, Fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 28g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 6g
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!
Don’t have an Instant Pot?
Stove Top Directions: 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.
Questions and Reviews
This was INSANELY good! Used medium salsa, absolutely perfect!
I’m not sure what went wrong, I cooked it for 12 min on low pressure and then let the pressure release on its own without touching the valve. And the quinoa is still crunchy. Any tips?
My guess is that the pot didn’t initially seal or fully come to pressure. Sometimes the sealing ring in the lid can have an issue and won’t seal the pot, and for some reason the Instant Pot will still start a countdown in some cases. I would give it a stir and try cooking it again at high pressure for 1 minute to see if it will seal. (Check that the floating valve next to the steam release valve pops up.) If it does, let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes after the 1-minute cook cycle and the quinoa should be cooked.
This happened to me too. Maybe it’s our names 😂 but yeah, some of it was crunchy and uncooked still. Some was cooked. Maybe I’ll try it for a few more min next time. At least it didn’t burn this time, so that’s an improvement from my first try!
Yeah, I tried it again. The 12 minute time jus doesn’t work for me.
I’ll add to the numerous posts and say this is simple and good, but it’s also a launch pad for what else you can include. I add garlic, carrots, and corn, but you can add just about anything to it. I am making it this evening with some celery that needed to be used up. I always add spicy guacamole as garnishment at the end and sometimes it becomes just vegetarian when I add cheese. Well done, and thanks for the great website.
Loved this recipe! If I want to double it would I double everything cumin?? also double the water? Don’t want it turning to mush!
I made this dish & it was delicious!!!
Nutritious, inexpensive (especially if you cook the beans from dried in the Instant Pot first.). Easy to make with local ingredients. Delicious.
This looks great! I’d like to double the recipe though. Does anyone have advice on whether I need to adjust cooking time?
Soo yummy! I didn’t have salsa so I cut up 2 tomatoes and put those in instead! Absolutely delish.
Fabulous and so easy to make. I used multi-color toasted quinoa. Didn’t have to rinse quinoa.
Thank you for a very tasty meal on a cold Colorado evening.
Made this over the weekend and it was fabulous! Might try to add more crunch next time, but haven’t decided yet on what that might be.
Used Mango salsa from Aldi, and wow- so amazing! Also doubled recipe, cooked on High for 4 min, let naturally release for 15. AMAZING
I love your recipes!! Simpl, healthy and great to eat!!
This recipe was amazing! My husband came home from a long work weekend away and said, “I really feel like I need to eat something healthy”, I told him he was in luck because this was on the menu. He loved it and so did I! So easy to follow and only one pot to clean – perf.
Can I double this recipe? If so, how long should I cook it for?
Amy, I’ve doubled it and halved it before and there isn’t a need to adjust the cooking time for either. It turns out great for me every time. Just my experience!
Wow!! I just impressed a dinner party full of meat eaters and vegans alike! I added an extra bell pepper to pump up the veggies and a little less than a teaspoon of chili powder for some more flavor (but I’m not sure it was needed). Served just as suggested and WOW! Everyone had seconds and my instant pot was scraped clean. Will definitely make this again soon! Can’t wait to try more recipes!
Thank you so much for this! I’m new to IP and trying to find “one pot” meals that I can make after work. Look forward to making this! Do you have more? Thank you!
My cookbook has more! It’s called the Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. You might also want to try my Instant Pot Lentil Soup and Vegan Chili here on the website.
A great dish! I used vegetable broth instead of water and added garlic, cilantro, sour cream and cheese. I cooked on the rice setting in the instant pot with natural release for 10 minutes. Easy and delicious! Thank you!
This was so easy and absolutely delicious!! Thank you!
So easy and delicious!
hi. i see two different protein values per serving listed, please advise. this has become my go to recipe, thank you
I am trying new dishes to go vegan. I came across this recipe when I was searching for vegan instapot recipes. It was absolutely delish!! I made it exactly as noted. The only thing I added was the cilantro lime dressing for the lettuce. Will be making this again.
Hi! I just tried this recipe last night and it was good! I was wondering what are the instructions for reheating? Thank you!
If you want to use your Instant Pot, I would just use the Saute function and stir the leftovers until they are heated through again. Should only take a few minutes!
If this recipe was all I used my Instant Pot for, it would still be worth it! I’ve made this 5 or 6 times now, and I’ve halved the recipe, doubled it, substituted canned tomatoes for salsa when I’ve been out, etc. No matter what I do, it’s PERFECT every time. This has become one of our favorite dishes. It’s so simple and yet packs quite a flavor punch. And the kitchen smells amazing when it’s done. Thanks for this gem of a recipe.
Aw, thanks for letting me know! I’m glad it’s been such a hit. I really appreciate your comment!
Mine came out very wet and I followed your recipe exactly. I don’t know what happened
Can you replace quinoa with white rice?
Can i use brown rice instead of quinoa?
Brown rice takes 22 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot, so the cooking time will be a lot longer if you make that swap. But I’m sure it will taste good!
So yummy and it’s quick and easy!!! My whole family loves it!!!
I don’t like salsa…do you think a can of diced tomatoes would work?
Can this recipe be doubled?
This has been part of my Instant Pot repertoire for quite a while. I make it as directed, with hot (spicy) salsa. Easy, fast, tasty and (I think) healthy.
I love this recipe! I’ve been sprouting a little, so I applied that to this recipe. I sprouted Adzuki beans and put them in just liked canned black beans. Worked great and was delicious. Thanks!
So much easier then doing it on the stove. I made this recipe and added some frozen corn at the end. It was delicious and so easy to make.
I love this!! I see the nutritional information but what is a serving size?
If you divide the outcome into 4 portions, that will be your serving size. I’ve never tried putting it in a measuring cup before, and I think it will vary each time you make it depending on the size of the veggies you use.
I LOVE this recipe! Way easier than making rice and refried beans, which even in the instant pot take upwards of an hour due to having to cook them separately. This is tasty, healthier than white rice, and something my fiance will actually eat! We made our favorite guac recipe to go with it along with some shredded lettuce and it was a hit, will definitely make it again.
Made this tonight and it was delicious! We doubled the recipe, used 2 cups of water and ~1.5 cups of salsa (because that’s how much was in the jar – Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica) and cooked on low pressure for 12 minutes as directed. It turned out perfectly! We added frozen corn and chopped olives after cooking. What a great replacement for the rice dish we used to make, since we are trying to cut down on our rice consumption (arsenic).
I make this recipe very often, we love it! My question is, has anyone tried doubling it? I’m curious if it would work- I know doubling instant pot recipes can be tricky!
I tripled it and it worked for me…my pressure cooker is not instapot, but that never has affected any instapot recipes I have tried.
I’m always looking for easy one-pot recipes that are nutritious and flavorful. This was flavorful and will be perfect for meal prepping lunches for the week!
This is easy and excellent! I tripled the recipe and used a can of chickpeas in place of one of the 3 cans of beans (for more variety) and served it with avocado wedges fried eggs and plantains…was a hit with my Cuban husband. I liked it as well. makes great leftovers.
Muy bueno! Gracias ☺️
This came together so quickly and my whole family devoured it! We used the leftovers in wraps. This will be a frequent repeat. Thank you!
Definitly one of my favorite Instant Pot meals. I added sliced mushrooms 3 minutes into sautéing the onions/peppers and sautéed for another 5 minutes. I also used a cup of veggie broth instead of water. Sometimes quinoa is boring, not in this recipe. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing.
Perfect vegan bowl.
Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Thank you. I used a chipotle salsa which added some spice.
So good! I added roasted diced sweet potatoes and corn after everything was cooked.
This recipe is amazing!! We make it at least once a month. Soo good! I love eating leftovers cold for lunch right out of the bowl or warmed up and rolled up in a wrap with a bit of melted cheese. I’ve served it for an appie night too – with little bowls and spoons or with some chips to scoop it with. Hands down it’s a family favourite. Have shared this recipe with lots of friends too.
Easy. I did stovetop method. A little bit bland so next time i’ll use a spicier salsa. Usin the left overs in a concoction of my own.
Hi I loved this and it turned out great. However, I got sick and lost my appetite before I could finish it. Can I freeze it?
This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s easy, filling and delicious. I add avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream and more salsa. I then eat it with Juanita’s tortilla chips. Mmm
This is a delicious dish but it makes a lot! Since I cook for myself only, I’d like to cut the recipe in half. I know I need at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid so any suggestion as to how I can do this?