1-Minute Instant Pot Quinoa (Perfectly Fluffy!!)

This recipe for Instant Pot Quinoa requires minimal measuring and is super simple. The result is fluffy and flavorful quinoa that’s perfect every time with just 1-minute cook time!

Cooked quinoa in instant pot liner.

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 Instant Pot quinoa.

I love this fool-proof method because it’s super quick and easy.

You only need 1-minute of cook time to make this these fluffy grains. So it’s perfect for putting together last minute meals and for meal prep!

Plus, it freezes and reheats well. I’ve got the method for that below.

So, let’s get started!

🛒 Ingredients Needed

  • Quinoa – White quinoa, black quinoa, brown, red quinoa, or tri-color quinoa.
  • Water
  • Spray Cooking Oil – Or, use a drizzle of olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Salt
Salt, water and quinoa on counter.

📋 How to Make It

  1. Rinse the quinoa. It gets rid of any bitterness.
  2. Spray the pressure cooker liner with oil. It cuts down on foaming and prevents sticking.
  3. Use less water. There’s less evaporation with the Instant Pot, so we need to account for this.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to flavor your quinoa right from the get go.

✔️ Tips for Making PERFECT Instant Pot Quinoa

This recipe is simple, but there are a couple changes from how you would make quinoa on the stovetop:

Water Ratio

While I generally use 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water for 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.

Rinsing the Quinoa

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.

Cooking Spray

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.


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.

Total Cook Time

This quinoa takes just 1 minute to cook in the Instant Pot on high pressure.

However, you also need to account for the time it takes for the pressure to build (about 5 minutes) and release (10 minutes).

In total, you’re looking at about 20 minutes from start to finish

Cooked quinoa grains in serving bowl.

🌟 Adding Flavor to Instant Pot Quinoa

If you’d like to add even more flavor and nutrition to your 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 perfect quinoa that’s never mushy, and always flavorful.  

You can make as little or as much as you’d like. I’ll often double or triple the recipe. There is no need to adjust the cook time. Cooked quinoa will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. Or, you can make big batch and freeze some for later.

❄️ Freezing Quinoa

Once it’s finished, I like to portion the quinoa into freezer bags or an airtight container to have on hand for when I’m needing some cooked quinoa – especially handy when I get a craving for these Quinoa Burrito Bowls or Blueberry & White Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Cookies.

🕕 Reheating Frozen Quinoa

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. 

Side view of cooked quinoa in instant pot.

ℹ️ Recipe FAQs

Do I need to wash quinoa?

You definitely should not skip is rinsing your quinoa. 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.

What is the trick to cooking quinoa?

There are a few key tips. First, rinse your quinoa to get rid of any bitterness.
Second, use the proper amount of water. Too much can mean mushy quinoa. Too little can result in your quinoa not fully cooking. Third, add a pinch of salt to flavor your quinoa right from the get go.

Is quinoa healthier than rice?

Compared to white rice, quinoa has 2x the amount of protein and 5g more fiber. It also has less calories and carbohydrates than white rice.

How much cooked quinoa does 1 cup of dry quinoa make?

1 cup of dry quinoa will yield about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

How much water do I use for 1 cup of quinoa?

While I generally use 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water for 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.

🥣 How to Use It

You can stir your cooked quinoa into soups or stews, or use it in one of these yummy recipes:

Cooked quinoa in serving bowl.

🍴 More Instant Pot Staples

Did you try this instant pot recipe?

If you loved this instant pot quinoa 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.

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Overhead shot of instant pot quinoa in white bowl with spoon.

Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe

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.
5 from 148 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Pressure build and release time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people



  • 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.


Leftover quinoa keeps well, refrigerated, for 4 to 5 days. Make sure it has cooled to room temperature before covering and chilling. You can also portion the quinoa into freezer bags and freeze the quinoa until you’re ready for it.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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Overhead shot of instant pot quinoa in white bowl with spoon.

144 thoughts on “1-Minute Instant Pot Quinoa (Perfectly Fluffy!!)”

    • 5 stars
      Turned out just right! I’m still getting use to my instapot so this made it so easy! I have a question…ssometimes when I make quinoa I like to heat up this Palak paner (Indian creamed spinach) to put on top. I get it frozen from trader joes. This time I heated it up in the oven. Would there be a way to incorporate it into the instapot on top of the quinoa?

    • 5 stars
      I was skeptical that this would work as often instant pot recipes have disappointed me. This one worked! The quinoa is fluffy and done! Thank you!

    • 5 stars
      I have used this recipe to make quinoa many times. Always turns out good. I use vegetable broth rather than water and freeze the excess in small packages.

      • 5 stars
        Hi Nadine D.,
        I made the recipe exactly as directed, doubling from one cup to two cups of quinoa and doubling from 1 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid. The only adjustment I made was to double the cooking time from 1 minute to 2 minutes, NOT because I doubled the ingredients, but because I live at 5700 feet above sea level. The quinoa had absorbed all the liquid after the 2 minutes of cooking, I let it sit in the pot for 10 minutes before carefully releasing the pressure valve. Came out perfectly. Perhaps you live at a high altitude?

      • Hi Nadine –
        Once this happened to me when I was new to the Instant Pot, but it wasn’t quinoa – I can’t remember what it was exactly, some kind of mixed grains I think. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and the final product was so watery and the grains weren’t fully cooked. You know what happened? I forgot to put the sealing silicone ring in the lid of the IP!

    • Put a slice of beet in cooking water and the quinoa will turn a beautiful shade of pink. Yellow onion skins make a nice color too. Both add nutritional value too. For some fun, add some dried blue butterfly flowers for blue quinoa.

    • 5 stars

      This is the first time I ever cooked quinoa. I’ve had other people make it for me… this didn’t even compare (in a good way). This recipe is perfect. I just got my instant pot and this is the second thing I cooked (first was carrots). Wow. I’ll be doing this all the time!

  1. we love making a big pot of grains at the beginning of the week to add to salads or for quick & easy sides at dinner! i never would have thought about the cooking spray, that will make for MUCH easier cleaning! thanks for the tip!

  2. 5 stars
    Two of my favorite things…instant gratification and quinoa. I love this. Not eating meat, I eat a lot of quinoa. This is a great convenient way to whip it up quick. Thank you for sharing!

    • I need to go on a high protein, no carbs or sugar program for a medical test. I thought quinoa would fit the bill but it appears there’s a tremendous amount of carbs. Am I reading this right?

  3. I’ve almost always cooked my quinoa in my rice cooker, so when I traded up for an instant pot, I found this protocol. I’m cooking it right now. I do something called jeweled quinoa, where I put in some craisins/dried cherries, walnuts, saffron and cook in broth. Hopefully this will work with my additions.

  4. 5 stars
    I loved the quinoa and I used to live in the Portland area as well. Now I am in Southeastern WA about an hour from Walla Walla and near some good wine :). Thanks for the recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    So glad I found this instant pot recipe. I’ve been using the Trader Joe’s fully cooked quinoa that you throw in the microwave, which is great, but I got a HUGE bag of quinoa from Amazon awhile back and want to use that up, especially so I won’t have to keep buying from TJ . I’ll be adding broth to my quinoa and maybe some turmeric 🤔. Anyways, thanks again for this post

    • Hi Jacquie – I like to reheat in the microwave or stovetop. Just add a tablespoon of water and cover the bowl or pan. Microwave for a minute, or heat on low until warmed through. No need to thaw first, but you can if you’d like. Just put the quinoa in the fridge overnight. This is great when you’re making salads. You can also add the frozen quinoa right to soups or skillet meals. Hope that helps!

  6. When doing the natural pressure release, do you turn off the instant pot and wait 10 min? As as soon as its done, it goes onto the warm function as you know, so, would you turn it off, or keep it on the warm function and wait the 10 minutes? thanks

    • No it’s not the same. The kind you get from Costco you cook like pasta: boil 4 cups water, put in 1 cup quinoa and cook for 12-15 mins. Then drain.

    • I find when doing rice or other starches it’s better to turn off he keep warm feature. If you forget about it the rice starts to cook to the bottom of the pot because of the heat.

    • 5 stars
      I use the Costco organic brand and tried cooking it in the instant pot for the first time last night. It turned out great! I used 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups of quinoa. I also added green onions, sundried tomatoes, and some spices. I’m a newbie to the instant pot and absolutely love it!!!

    • Ours also came out awful and mushy. I used slightly less water because we prefer quinoa on the aldente side so I was very surprised.

    • Has anyone figured out why this recipe for Costco quinoa failed? Mine came out awful. It was all dried up and hard. Very disappointing. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Such an easy go to recipe.
    I work 45+ hours a week an have no time/energy to cook daily. I meal prep this once or twice a week. I make various dishes with it. It is so versatile. Instead of water I use low sodium chicken broth for more flavor .

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this to use tomorrow in Quinoa Breakfast Bowls and it turned out PERFECT! So much easier than making on the stovetop and less mess/sticking. Thank You!

  9. 5 stars
    This was perfect! I followed your Instant Pot instructions, using 1 cup quinoa with 1.25 cup hot stock (didn’t need more salt). Delicious, fluffy & tasty. Thanks so much! I’ll be prepping my quinoa this way from now on!

  10. 5 stars
    This was the very first recipe that I ever made in my new instant pot, and it turned out perfectly! I had to put the baby to bed after 8 minutes of natural pressure release, so I vented it and there was just a tiny bit of water in it, but it was cooked so well! I unplugged it and closed the lid, and when I came back an hour later to eat dinner it was perfect. Thanks for my first hit recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    Perfect every time! I substitute chicken broth for the water and add a bit of Galic or rosemary depending on what I’m making with it. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    I didn’t have spray so I poured in about a teaspoon of olive oil instead and it turned out perfectly. Thank you for this recipe. So much quicker than the traditional over the stove method, which is so necessary for me with 3 kids aged 4 and under. ☺️☺️☺️

  13. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe multiple times now and it has been perfect each time! Thank you! Now I’m off to check out your other IP recipes 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Absolutely brilliant 😊 I did not know the little tricks with rincing, salt, oil 😊 I used about 1 cup quinoa and only a bit over 1 cup water. Delicious and fluffy 🤗 Thank you

  15. 5 stars
    Tried it twice because the first time was a super flop! My fault though! The first time I apparently used Canadian golden whole grain quinoa. This is very different from the white quinoa. It made a sticky mess. Once I figured out that I was using a different kind of quinoa I went to Whole Foods and got the white kind. World of difference! It’s perfect!

  16. Awesome recipe for the instant pot. Here are a few things I changed when I made it, i used he sauté feature and some butter or olive oil and brown the quinoa a bit before adding the water and such, it also helps with the bitterness and gives it a nice nutty flavor. For those looking for a bit more, add some tomato sauce and chicken stock or base and its just like spanish rice. Thank you again for the recipe, I loved it!

  17. 5 stars
    Turned out perfectly! Finished with a splash of olive oil and a bit of lemon juice and some crumbled feta. Everyone loved it! New family favorite. Thank you!

  18. Would this work with a mini Instant pot? I got one on sale and want to start small, without the big investment. I wanted to be able to make rice, quinoa and other grains quick and easy.

    Thanks for the great article!

  19. 5 stars
    Thank you for these great precise instructions. I only just got my Instant Pot and wanted to try my quinoa with some bone broth. It was delicious!

  20. 5 stars
    Perfect proportions, super easy and great tips about rinsing and adding pinch of salt. Came out just as pictured and so fluffy and tasty.

    • Hi Christine – No need to adjust the cook time. It will stay the same. It may just take a bit more time for the pot to come to pressure. Hope that helps!

  21. 5 stars
    Am just making this….but it was so easy and nice to find this info as we just bought the Instant Pot and it didn’t have a recipe book. Quinoa is our go-to meal all week. Thanks

  22. 5 stars
    My husband and I are Vegan. I used your recipe for making the perfect Quinoa for our grain bowl dinners. It comes out awesome every time. Thanks for the tip about freezing it.

  23. 5 stars
    My husband and I are Vegan. I used your recipe for making the perfect Quinoa for our grain bowl dinners. It comes out awesome every time. Thanks for the tip about freezing it.

  24. How much can I make at one time with the 8 quart instant pot?? I’d like to make as much as possible at one time . . . I see people have doubled it, can I do more?

  25. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe I have a Instant Pot 8QT and made Quinoa Rice the first time today, I didn’t use water instead I used organic chicken broth and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt. Delicious!

  26. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe tonight! Instead of water, I cooked the quinoa in seafood stock and added some herbs. Easily the best quinoa I’ve had! It was perfectly cooked and fluffy. I also find that quinoa bloats me, but this recipe didn’t! Definitely a keeper.

  27. hey there! wondering how you would cook – or if you wouldn’t, for that matter – a combo of quinoa and millet, or quinoa and rice..? i usually enjoy the combos as they are more balanced with each other. thanks for the detailed instructions, very cool. xox

  28. shoot! i forgot to ask – i don’t use spray oils – what should i use instead..? should i wipe it down with oil..?

  29. 5 stars
    You’re a lifesaver! I was in a hurry, remembered my instant pot, searched the internet, found your instructions. I had already poured water in, didn’t know to pre-oil the pot, so I just poured in some olive oil; it came out perfect! Even with a double recipe! Thank you so much.

  30. 5 stars
    Highly recommend to anyone who needs a quick, simple, and great recipe! Google led me here, and the comments helped me decide to try it out – so glad I tried this recipe. I will be using this quite often from here on out! 🙂

  31. 5 stars
    I just tried this recipe. I use a can of vegetable soup as part of my “broth”. and cooked it for 2 mins, on high.
    Natural release.
    No warming.
    Opened lid, fluff with fork.
    Thank you!

  32. I followed the directions for 2 cups and it burned on the bottom! IP gave me the “burn” message- what did I do wrong?? I did just fluff it when I opened it up and it’s fine otherwise, just curious if anyone knows how I can make it without burning it to the bottom of my pot?

    **to note- I don’t even think it got to pressure, it still said “on” and the timer never started and the pin was still all the way down.

    • Hi Carly – It could have been that the seal wasn’t on properly. Normally if the pressure doesn’t come up, that’s the issue for me. I hope that helps!

  33. “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.”

    This is incorrect and not to be rude but you should really stop misleading readers making false claims like this, you’re making people waste their hard earned money. I just wasted $20 in quinoa because of your false claims in this article. I took your word for it when you said “you can make as little or as much as you’d like” and “there is no need to adjust the cook time” so I tried making 6 cups with 6.5 cups of water (you say to do 1.5 cups water to every 1 cup quinoa) and 1 minute wasn’t enough yet you claim there is no need to adjust cook time. I then tried cooking for 6 minutes for the 6 cups of quinoa and it just came out mushy. I’ll have to look elsewhere for a proper Instant Pot quinoa recipe. But first I have to go out and spend more money on quinoa since I wasted all that I had left following your inaccurate instructions here.

    • Hi John – Unfortunately it sounds like your math was off. You should have used 9 cups of water with 6 cups of quinoa. Hope that helps for next time!

  34. For some reason, some instant pots take longer than others. For me, when I cooked it for one minute, the quinoa wasn’t done. I put it on for another minute and it was perfect. Thanks

  35. 1.5 cups of water is way too much. I followed the recipe and the quinoa was mushy and there was water that was not absorbed. I think 1:1 is the correct ratio of water to quinoa.

  36. 5 stars
    Perfect, as promised! Second time using Instant Pot and 3rd cooking quinoa. I will be looking at more recipes from you. Thank you.

  37. 5 stars
    Took a gamble and used my whole bag of quinoa on my first try.
    The recipe did not disappoint, it came out perfect!
    (I’m not good at remembering to do the manual steam release on time so I set a timer. I imagine if this went took long it could be mushy. I also removed the insert from the cooker at this point to be sure it didn’t overcook from carryover heat) Thank you for sharing, I’ll make this again and again 🙂

  38. 5 stars
    Thank you! The timing and proportions were perfect. I ended up making it pilaf-style with sautéed celery and onions, some garlic and fresh thyme, and walnuts and dried cranberries and of course salt and pepper. It was a hit with DH and I’ll absolutely make this again. I used 3/4c each red and white quinoa and increased the water accordingly. Can’t wait to check out more of your recipes, so glad I found your site.


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