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Learn how to cook fluffy quinoa hands-free with this foolproof Instant Pot quinoa recipe. With the right ratio of quinoa and water combined with the magic of a an electric pressure cooker, you'll have perfect quinoa ready after just 1 minute of pressure cooking. Use it in place of rice in your favorite dinner recipes!

Quinoa after pressure cooking in Instant Pot.

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When it comes to meal planning on a budget, knowing how to cook pantry staples like quinoa is essential. Buying whole grains in pre-cooked or instant form is convenient, but comes with a much higher price tag! For example, 1 cup of quinoa cooked from scratch costs about $0.50 per cup. Instant quinoa, on the other hand, costs almost $3 per cup – a 600% markup! 

If you're looking to save as much on groceries as possible, cooking your side dishes from scratch is the way to go. And with an Instant Pot, you can do it effortlessly, with perfect results every single time.

If you're interested in more ways to use your Instant Pot to save on groceries, download my free ebook: 7 Ways an Instant Pot Will Save You Money.

Just 2 Ingredients Needed

Quinoa and water.
  • Dry quinoa: This recipe works with any type of quinoa—white quinoa, red quinoa, black quinoa, or a tricolor quinoa. Buying quinoa in bulk from places like Costco or other discount grocery store will make this more expensive grain as cheap as possible. Then, store it properly, and it will keep fresh for months.
  • Cooking liquid: Cooking quinoa in water keeps it simple and easy to use in sweeter recipes like Creamy Quinoa Porridge, but using vegetable broth can yield a richer, more flavorful quinoa.

How to Make Instant Pot Quinoa

Quinoa rinsed in fine mesh strainer.
  1. Rinse the quinoa: Start by rinsing 2 cups of quinoa under cold water using a fine-mesh strainer. This removes the saponin, a natural coating that can give quinoa a bitter taste.
  2. Add ingredients to Instant Pot: Combine the rinsed quinoa and 3 cups of water in the Instant Pot. Stir to mix well.
Adding water to instant pot inner pot with quinoa.
  1. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure: Secure the lid and set the valve to the “sealing” position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 1 minute. (Note: the actual cooking time is closer to 15-20 minutes. If you are using an 8 qt Instant Pot, it will be closer to 20 minutes. But with the hands-off method, it goes by very quickly!). 
  2. Natural pressure release: Allow a natural release for 10 minutes. After that, switch the valve to “venting” to quick release any remaining pressure.
  3. Serve: Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa lightly with a fork. Enjoy while warm, or let cool before storing for meal prep. 
Closeup of cooked quinoa on spoon.

Serving Suggestions

This easy instant pot quinoa is incredibly versatile and can be used in many dishes. It's a great alternative to Brown Rice or White Rice, and is naturally higher in protein thanks to the essential amino acids that make it a complete protein!

I like to make a big batch on Sundays and add to recipes as a healthy side dish throughout the week.

Here are some recipe ideas to get you started:

You can also use it to make veggie burgers, chili, soups, and even desserts. like Quinoa Banana Bread!

Cooked quinoa in Instant Pot.
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Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Cost: $3.00 per recipe / $0.50 per cup
Learn how to cook fluffy quinoa hands-free with this foolproof Instant Pot quinoa recipe. With the right ratio of quinoa and water combined with the magic of a an electric pressure cooker, you'll have perfect quinoa ready after just 1 minute of pressure cooking. Use it in place of rice in your favorite dinner recipes!

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water

Instructions

  • Combine quinoa and water in an Instant Pot.
  • Pressure cook on high for 1 minute. Let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, before switching the valve to the “venting” position and releasing any remaining pressure.
  • Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
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Notes

  • 1 cup of dry quinoa yields approximately 3 cups of cooked quinoa. 

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 7mg | Fiber: 3g

Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Recipe FAQs

​How do I know if the quinoa is ready?

Cooked quinoa is tender, slightly chewy and soft. The quinoa should have absorbed all of the liquid without any burning to the bottom of the pot. 

Can I use broth instead of water?

​Absolutely! Cooking quinoa in vegetable or chicken broth adds extra flavor.

How much quinoa does 1 cup of dry quinoa make?

​1 cup of dry quinoa yields about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

If I double the recipe, do I need to double the cooking time?

​No, the cooking time remains the same when doubling the recipe in the Instant Pot.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover quinoa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Freezing Instructions

I recommend freezing quinoa in 2-cup portions using freezer bags or my favorite: Souper Cubes. Reheat directly from frozen in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, or until warm and fluffy. 

Cooked quinoa in serving bowl with spoon.
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