Here’s how to cook perfect quinoa in an Instant Pot! Pressure cooker quinoa works every time and is hands off so you can focus on the rest of your meal.
It’s another Instant Pot recipe! This time, it’s our quinoa pressure cooker style. As you may know, Alex and I were pretty suspicious of the Instant Pot at first. Can it really be as great as everyone claims? The Instant Pot is not magic. But, it can be a time saver and help to keep things hands off so you can focus on other things in the kitchen. This Instant Pot quinoa cooks in just over 16 minutes and is almost totally hands off, so you don’t have to baby sit it while you’re cooking a meal. For that reason, we’re into it! Keep reading for how to cook quinoa in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
What’s a pressure cooker or Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a programmable electric pressure cooker. It’s much safer than the pressure cookers of the 1970s, which have made some people wary of the term pressure cooker! The pressure cooker we have is Instant Pot brand: here’s the pressure cooker we have. But there are many other brands of electric pressure cookers. The concept is to cook foods at high pressure, which can dramatically cut down on cooking time. It’s not magic, but it does help to save some time in the kitchen. Even better, we like that it keeps things off the stove where we are usually cooking other components of our meals.
How to cook quinoa in a pressure cooker (Instant pot)
Confession: this quinoa pressure cooker recipe took Alex and me a long time to master! Every time we thought we had it perfect, something else would be not quite right. We must have made this 15 times in a row! The hard thing about Googling “quinoa pressure cooker” is that you come up with all sorts of different methods that may or may not work. This is the Instant Pot quinoa recipe that finally worked for us! There is some variation in quinoa brands, and in our experience there are variations in Instant Pots. So, please let us know in the comments below if this pressure cooker quinoa recipe worked for you!
Our magic formula for our Instant Pot quinoa is to use the pressure cooker to cook for 3 minutes and then use the natural release process for 8 minutes. This made for fluffy quinoa that was perfect every time.
Can you freeze quinoa?
Yes, pressure cooker quinoa is incredibly easy to freeze so make a big batch of it and save for later! To freeze quinoa, simply let it cool to room temperature and then transfer to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to eat the frozen quinoa, place it in the fridge or on your counter to thaw and then reheat in a skillet with a little water.
What are other vegan Instant Pot recipes?
When Alex and I first learned about the Instant Pot, we thought it all about cooking meat. But since then we’ve learned that pressure cookers are helpful for vegetarian and vegan recipes too! We’re starting to build up a collection of vegan Instant Pot recipes. For example, you can make pressure cooker quinoa, rice, dried beans, dried chickpeas, mashed potatoes, and even soups. Here are some of our favorite pressure cooker recipes. What other vegan Instant Pot recipes would you like to see?
- Basics: Sweet Potatoes | Refried Beans | Lentils | Chickpeas | Lentils and Rice | Quinoa | Hard Boiled Eggs | How to Cook Rice: White Rice & Brown Rice
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Creamy Instant Pot Pasta
- Vegan Instant Pot Recipes
- Thai Style Sweet Potatoes
- Chickpea Couscous Bowls
- Instant Pot Tacos
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
- The Best Loaded Vegan Nachos
- Apple Cinnamon Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats
- Granola Instant Pot Apple Crisp
- Instant Pot Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans
- All our vegan Instant Pot recipes!
Looking for quinoa recipes?
There are so many recipes using quinoa where you can use this pressure cooker quinoa! Here are a few quinoa recipes we love:
- Artichoke & Quinoa Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Vegetarian Bibimbap Bowl with Quinoa
- Veggie Packed Quinoa Fried Rice
- Greek Sofrito Quinoa Bowl
- Feta and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- How to Make Quinoa and the Quinoa to Water Ratio
- Stress Relieving Avocado and Quinoa Bowl
- Tropical Mango Bowls with Citrus Drizzle
- Go Green Bowls with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
This recipe is…
This pressure cooker quinoa recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar-free.
Related: Try using our Homemade Vegetable Broth for this recipe!Print
Here’s how to cook perfect quinoa in a pressure cooker! Instant Pot quinoa works every time and is hands off so you can focus on the rest of your meal.
- Use a strainer to rinse the quinoa under cold water, then shake off as much water as possible.
- Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, and salt to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
- Cook on high pressure 3 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time for 3 minutes. Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
- Natural release for 8 minutes: After the Instant Pot beeps, set a timer and wait for 8 minutes to let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure. Then vent any remaining steam by moving the vent to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. (The pressure indicator in the lid may drop on its own during this time, meaning that there is no remaining steam in the pot.)
- Open the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Quinoa, Instant Pot Quinoa, Quinoa Pressure Cooker, Quinoa Instant Pot, How to cook quinoa in an Instant Pot, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Healthy
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.