Perfect, fluffy, Instant Pot quinoa is easy to cook, and ready in minutes! Plus tips to get the fluffiest quinoa and how to infuse more flavor into your quinoa.
Friends, I have long been a die-hard for cooking quinoa in my rice cooker. But times are a-changing and my Instant Pot is slowly taking over as my preferred method for cooking quinoa.
For one thing, it cooks faster than my rice cooker. It can fit a bigger batch of quinoa than my rice cooker. And (with a few of my tricks) it produces perfectly cooked, fluffy and flavorful quinoa every time.
Let's discuss the details on perfect Instant Pot quinoa.
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Reasons for cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot:
- you don't have to watch a pot in case it boils over, just push a button and go on with your day
- it can cook a big batch
- it cooks faster than a rice cooker and gives nice, fluffy quinoa
3 steps for fluffy, flavorful quinoa
When it comes to cooking quinoa, I'm allll about the fluffy texture. Just say no to tough quinoa! There are a few important steps to get that perfect fluffy quinoa texture.
- rinse your quinoa- not only can this help with digesting quinoa, but in my testing, I found rinsing quinoa to be crucial in getting that fluffy texture. See my method below.
- water ratio- in the Instant Pot, you want a 1:1 liquid:quinoa ratio. This is different than the rice cooker or stove top which requires a 2:1 ratio.
- do a natural pressure release- just like on the stove top, your quinoa needs time to 'rest' after cooking. This helps all the liquid distribute evenly so you can get evenly cooked quinoa.
How to rinse quinoa
Does anyone else find a colander extremely annoying when rinsing quinoa? The grains slip through my colander and fall into the sink, and just generally make a big mess.
Here's how I rinse my quinoa these days:
- cover quinoa in the Instant Pot insert with 1-2 inches of cold water.
- swirl a few times
- carefully pour out the water (catch the quinoa in a mesh colander; it seems to stick better when it's wet!)
- repeat 3 or so times until water is no longer bubbly
How long does cooked quinoa last? When properly stored, quinoa is safe to eat for up to 5 days! I personally have a 4-day limit when it comes to cooked rice & quinoa.
- do not let cooked quinoa sit at room temperature for extended amounts of time (get into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking)
- store quinoa in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days
- reheat leftovers only once, and make sure they are steaming hot
Can you freeze quinoa? Yes! I do this all the time. You can portion quinoa out in meal prep containers with stir fries, curries, or other freezer-friendly meal prep lunches, or you can freeze a whole batch or individual portions of quinoa. For individual portions you might wish to freeze in muffin tins, then transfer to a larger freezer bag.
- quinoa can be frozen for up to 3 months (I have gone longer with no issues)
Can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker? Yes! See this post I wrote with instructions on How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker!
How can I add more flavor to my quinoa? I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock for more flavor. Alternatively, you could try some of the flavor combinations in these 7 Easy Rice Recipes! The ratios would likely transfer over to quinoa.
Use it up!
Instant Pot quinoa can be a great base for multiple recipes:
- Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- Caprese Chicken Quinoa Salad
- Refreshing Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bars
- Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Jar Salads
- Berry Quinoa Yogurt Parfaits
- Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Cups
- Berry Almond Breakfast Quinoa
- Quinoa Egg Breakfast Muffins
- Fennel Pomegranate Quinoa Salad
- Charred Corn Salad with Mint & Quinoa
Tips & equipment
Perfect, Fluffy Instant Pot Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup stock or broth (or water)
- Place quinoa in the base of a 6 quart Instant Pot. Cover with 1-2 inches of water. Swirl and carefully pour water off (through a colander).
- Repeat until water is no longer bubbly.
- Add salt and broth to the pot.
- Put the Instant Pot lid on and set the valve to 'sealing'.
- Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 1 minute.
- Allow the Instant Pot to naturally depressurize (don't touch it until the pin drops). This should take around 15 minutes.
- Fluff up the quinoa and enjoy!
- Store quinoa in the fridge for up to 4 days. Quinoa may be frozen for up to 3 months.