Instant Pot Quinoa

Cooked quinoa in a gray bowl with parsley on top

This is a foolproof recipe for Fluffy and tasty quinoa and you can make it using your Instant Pot in only 4 minutes!

Cooked quinoa in a gray bowl with parsley on top

Are you in a low-carb diet and looking for something healthy instead of rice or pasta? This Instant Pot quinoa is the recipe for you.

Quinoa is a wonderful item that you can make quickly and easily in your Instant Pot. It’s a perfect foundation or side dish for lots of lunches or dinners.

You can also prepare a big batch of  quinoa for meal prep purposes. Keep it on hand all week to serve with your dishes. Quinoa tastes great but is also relatively neutral, so it will fit in well with all sorts of meals.

Quinoa’s origins are in the Andean region of northwestern South America. It was most likely first domesticated in Peru, and Peru remains the crop’s leading grower. However, quinoa is now cultivated in over 70 countries on six continents.

Since the early 2000s quinoa has boomed in popularity around the world. It’s now renowned as one of the most loved foods for healthy eaters. You can find quinoa near the rice section or in a foreign foods section in most grocery stores these days.

fool-proof cooked instant pot quinoa recipe using the instant pot method to cook perfect quinoa every time

When we eat quinoa, we’re eating lots and lots of tiny seeds. They come from tall and leafy plants that are related to spinach and beets. Quinoa is classified as a pseudo-cereal grain. It’s different from grains like wheat and rice, which come from cereal grasses.

Each quinoa seed is a tiny, hard ball. After cooking, quinoa becomes fluffy and moist. Despite the small size of the individual seeds, a bite of quinoa has a pleasantly full and chewy texture.

What makes quinoa such a hit with the healthy eating crowd? Well, it’s an excellent source of the following:

A complete protein, with all nine amino acids

Dietary fiber

Several B vitamins

Several dietary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin E

...Now that’s what I call a superfood!

And here’s what really helped kick-start its rise to fame: quinoa is entirely gluten-free. It’s no surprise that quinoa became more well-known around the same years that more people started ditching gluten. But, quinoa is a great addition to your diet whether or not you’re avoiding gluten.

Some more good news: when you make quinoa in the instant pot, you can make it completely oil-free, too.

Here’s your guide on making the perfect Instant Pot quinoa.

And if this recipe whets your appetite for more healthy grains, then check out this recipe next: Instant Pot Farro.

Can I Double the Recipe?

Quinoa uses a simple 1:1 ratio for cooking. Cook quinoa in whatever amount you desire, with no fancy math required.

You can double up this recipe easily — just use two cups of quinoa and two cups of water. Follow the same recipe instructions.

Cook for four minutes and then do a quick natural release of pressure.

How Long Can You Keep the Leftovers?

Keep quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge. It can store that way for up to four days.

What’s great about quinoa is that it fits in naturally with so many different dishes. And it makes them healthier, too. Use quinoa as a base for mixing with meats or veggies, as a side dish, or use it in rice dishes as a substitute for the rice.

So, if you’ve made a big batch of quinoa, it’s a great thing to have waiting for you in the fridge. You don’t even need to know in advance what meal you’ll be preparing, since quinoa can find a home in so many dishes.

How to Cook Red Quinoa in the Instant Pot

Quinoa comes in different colors. There are only slight and subtle differences in flavor and nutritional value among different quinoa varieties.

If you’re using a red variety, that doesn’t change the recipe instructions or cook time. Use the same 1:1 water-to-quinoa ratio.

Cook for 4 minutes on High Pressure and then perform a quick pressure release.

Pictured here: some lovely burgundy-colored quinoa that I made last week. I added fresh mushrooms. It was a fast, delicious, and healthy meal!

make quinoa in instant pot without the need for olive oil; easy meal prep for fluffy quinoa

What Can I Use Instead of Water?

I prefer making quinoa simply, using water. This results in a nice and natural taste that works great.

However, you can use chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of water if you want that flavor cooked into the quinoa.

If you are doing so, use 1 cup of stock for 1 cup of quinoa and use the same instructions as in the original recipe.

Either way can have good results, depending on what your plans are for serving the quinoa.

Recommended Spices

Quinoa is a blank canvas. The taste of cooked quinoa is low-key and user-friendly. It’s often described as a mellow nutty, or earthy flavor. Therefore, it provides a wonderful base for adding the spices and flavors that you enjoy. If salt and pepper are not enough for you, feel free to add:



Garlic Powder

Five-spice powder

I believe that evolution in the kitchen means moving from the simple pursuit of flavor towards food that also has texture, an appetizing smell, and a beautiful presentation. And most of all — nutritional value.

Anyway, after you make quinoa in the Instant Pot, you won't be able to use any other method ever again. Trust me:)

Healthy Instant Pot recipes

Instant Pot Zucchini Noodles

Instant Pot Polenta

Instant Pot Chickpeas

Instant Pot Lentils

Instant Pot Jasmine Rice

Instant Pot Quinoa

Here’s the perfect trick for nutritious and fluffy quinoa!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coarse quinoa, Quinoa
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Corrie


  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and paper to taste


  • Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir a bit.
  • Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • When the cook time is complete, do a quick pressure release (move the valve to the venting position).
  • Open the lid, fluff quinoa with fork and enjoy!


Calories: 156kcal Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 6g Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 5mg Potassium: 239mg Fiber: 3g Vitamin A: 6IU Calcium: 22mg Iron: 2mg
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