With these easy tips, you’ll see it’s simple to cook perfect quinoa in the Instant Pot with minimal measuring. The result is fluffy and flavorful quinoa that’s super simple to prepare.
In the past, I’ve shared with you my method for making perfect rice in the Instant Pot, but today I thought I’d let you know how I’ve adapted those same principles for making the perfect quinoa in the Instant Pot.
Here’s the key points to making Instant Pot perfect quinoa:
- Use less water – There’s less evaporation with the Instant Pot, so we need to account for this.
- Rinse your quinoa – It gets rid of any bitterness.
- Spray the Instant Pot with oil – It cuts down on foaming and prevents sticking.
- Add a pinch of salt to flavor your quinoa right from the get go.
This recipe for Instant Pot perfect quinoa is simple, but there are a couple changes from how you would make quinoa on the stovetop. First is the water ratio – While I generally use 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water for my stove top quinoa, in the Instant Pot, that ratio drops down to only 1 ½ cups of water for every cup of quinoa. The reason for the reduced water is that the Instant Pot is more “sealed” than a traditional cooking pot, meaning less evaporation of water during the cooking process.
One step that may seem trivial, but that you definitely should not skip is rinsing your quinoa before placing it into the Instant Pot. This gets rid of the quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. And although boxed quinoa is generally pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse. Just place it in a fine mesh strainer and run it under water until the water is clear.
Before adding the rinsed quinoa to the Instant Pot, I like to spray the liner with a bit of cooking spray. This not only prevents the quinoa from sticking to the pot, but it also cuts down on the foaming a bit so that your Instant Pot doesn’t sputter and spit.
And the final detail? Just like with my Instant Pot perfect rice, I always add in a pinch of salt for each cup of quinoa that I’m cooking, to flavor it right from the get-go. This quinoa takes just 1 minute to cook in the Instant Pot on high pressure. Although, you’ll also need to account for the time it takes for the pressure to build (about 5 minutes) and release (10 minutes), so in total, you’re looking at about 20 minutes start-to-finish.
Adding Flavor to Instant Pot Quinoa
If you’d like to add even more flavor and nutrition to your Instant Pot Quinoa, you could cook it in bone broth instead of water. I love to make bone broth in either my slow cooker or instant pot. All you need is some leftover meat bones and veggie scraps.
The result is Instant Pot perfect quinoa that’s never mushy, and always flavorful.
You can make as little or as much Instant Pot quinoa as you’d like. I’ll often double or triple the recipe. There is no need to adjust the cook time. Once it’s finished, I like to portion the quinoa into freezer bags to have on hand for when I’m needing some cooked quinoa – especially handy when I get a craving for these Blueberry & White Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Cookies. Just thaw the quinoa in the fridge overnight, or reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a tablespoon of water and covering the bowl or pan. It will take about a minute in the microwave. On the stove, heat on low until heated through.
If this Instant Pot Quinoa turned out perfect for you I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe
How to Cook Perfect Quinoa in the Instant Pot
- Rinse quinoa under cold running water until the water runs clear.
- Spray the Instant Pot liner with cooking oil and add the rinsed quinoa (still damp), water and salt.
- Lock the lid and set the steam valve to its “sealing” position.
- Select the “MANUAL” button and cook for 1 minute on high pressure. It will take about 5 minutes for the pressure to build, then the countdown timer will start.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork and serve.