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Monday, September 21, 2020

Light and Fluffy Quinoa Made in the Instant Pot

Bowl of white fluffy quinoa

Are you a quinoa lover?
The Instant Pot is the perfect way to cook it!
I set it to pressure cook for 2 minutes and then allow it to naturally release for 12 minutes.

I have an on and off relationship with quinoa. I do really like it, but I often forget about it, and rice usually wins out as a side in our home. 

The other day, someone was telling me that they make their quinoa in the Instant Pot on a 2 minute setting. She said this method yields the lightest and fluffiest quinoa she ever tasted. 

Instant Pot 6 quart (affiliate link) 

I've had a box of white quinoa ( it is available in white, red, or black varieties), sitting in my pantry for months which I never used. I decided to try it with the Intant Pot method.

Like rice, the ratio for grains in the Instant Pot is usually 1:1 ratio (a little more water for brown rice). I decided to use am extra tablespoon of water - just in case!

I have to admit that this method was super easy, and the quinoa came out light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. It was a healthy side dish that we certainly enjoyed it as a nice change from rice.

Quinoa is available in the US in 3 varieties: white, black, and red. The white is the most tender and the black and red are somewhat chewier and hold up better in salads or for stuffing vegetables. The white quinoa, especially when cooked in the Intant Pot, is soft, fluffy, and tender! All three have about the same amount of protein, but the red and black taste a little heartier. I've tried quinoa from Trader Joe's that is a combination trio of all three colors that I've liked.

red, white, and black quinoa
A sample plate of each color quinoa 

I had forgotten about some of the really great salad recipes that I used to make using quinoa. Summer's not quite over, so I will still have time to make them!(ok it's over as of today).

Instant Pot 6 quart (affiliate link to Amazon )

I make a quinoa lover's salad( link)  with spinach, roasted beets, and orange segments that is very very tasty! 

quinoa lover's salad

Another one of my quinoa salad favorites is a colorful Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad (link) made with quinoa, red cabbage, sesame seeds, shredded carrots, scallions, pecans and a flavorful dressing.

Asian quinoa slaw salad and dressing
Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad (link)

For those who are still contemplating whether or not there is any value in investing in an Instant Pot, it is not just about saving time. 

The greatest advantage for me is that I do not have to supervise my Instant Pot cooking. Once I close that lid and set the timer, I do not have to stir, boil and set to a simmer, clean up boil overs, use a stove top burner if I'm doing a great deal of cooking, or watch that my food doesn't burn. Once my ingredients are in the Instant Pot (affiliate link)and the cooking time is set, I walk away. I can shower or start another task, without having to be concerned about the Instant Pot. Just saying!!

This Instant Pot(affiliate link) is on sale $20 off on  Instant Pot Amazon Link (Affiliate link) .

Quinoa needs to be washed very well to remove any bitterness from the outside seed. In fact, if you can soak it for 5 minutes and then wash it, it's even better.

Author of Blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes + warm up time (about 5 minutes)
Release Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 6

2 cups of quinoa, washed well
2 cups + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Add washed quinoa to the Intant Pot insert liner, add water, and salt. Set timer to pressure cook for 2 minutes. When done, allow to sit for 12 minutes before releasing steam. This will produce a really fluffy quinoa that can be served as soon as it's done.

1. If you are only one or two persons, use 1 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of water + 1 tablespoon. 

2. This takes about 24 minutes total to cook 

3. I can set the Instant Pot when my guests arrive and while we chit-chat over appetizers and drinks, the quinoa is cooking and piping hot for when we sit down to eat about 1/2 hour later.

Quinoa made in the Instant Pot

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I am an affiliate for Amazon and will receive a very small compensation if you make a qualified purchase by following a link from my blog at no cost to you. This helps me defray the costs of running my blog! Thank you so much for your support! Much appreciated.


  1. It looks so perfectly fluffy! IP is a life saver, isn't it?

    1. Yes, It's a fail proof way to make quinoa. and yes LOVE MY IP

  2. I'm not a fan of the IP (it just take up WAY too big of a footprint in my kitchen), but this does look fluffy and delicious.

    1. Pattie,
      I hear what you are saying. I have room in my pantry so it's out of the way. I would give up other appliances before I give up my Instant Pot. I LOVE it.

  3. i like quinoa but my husband doesn’t. As a result I don’t make it often. I will try it again though.

    1. same here . My husband prefers to eat rice instead of quinoa.I use it when I make stuffed peppers and he doesn't seem to mind it..

  4. Using your Instant Pot to prepare quinoa is such a fabulous cooking shortcut. It's hard to beat 12 minutes!

    1. Heidi,
      I don't know how I cooked before getting an Instant Pot- it makes everything so easy and works so well. I love all three of my Instant Pot ( 1 is at my vacation home)

  5. We like quinoa and use it mostly in soups. 2 years agow I did a test plot of quinoa and it is very easy to grow. The tops are yellow, red or green. Very colorful. It was fun.

  6. Hello,

    I have tried the quinoa mixed with veggies, it was tasty. I would like to try the Asian Quinoa Salad. Thanks for visiting my blog. Take care and stay safe! Enjoy your day! Have a great week ahead.

    1. You won't be disappointed in that Asian salad.I've been using some of the quinoa that I made to add to soups!

  7. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,503. Sure hope to see you again soon!
    Miz Helen


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