Well hello there famous little superfood that is oh so trendy that people either love or hate and often don't know what you are . . . let's cook you up in the Instant Pot in ONE MINUTE. Pressure Cooker Quinoa is life changing, read on to learn why!
The Quinoa train came to town several years ago, but for all of us Instant Pot lovers, it's still a new, cool trend every time we can cook it up with zero pot watching and no guessing when it is done.
In my home, we are a house divided when it comes to our love of quinoa: 2 love it, 1 requires soy sauce, 1 wants cheese, and the other gags dramatically at the site of it.
I happen to LOVE it. It's a powerhouse grain that everyone needs to incorporate into their lives asap (in my humble opinion).
Let's dive into a little Quinoa 101 for any of you that are unfamiliar with it or need convincing on why you should eat it.
WHAT IS QUINOA?
Quinoa is pronounced KEEN-wah (not quin-o-wa, like I said for a year). It is one of the most widely available, affordable, and enjoyed superfoods on the store shelf. It is gluten-free, non-GMO, and most often, organically grown. It has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and was even considered to be sacred in the Inca Empire. Tell that to your quinoa haters!
IS QUINOA A GRAIN?
While quinoa is often referred to as a grain, it is actually a seed that can be prepared similar to other whole grains like rice, farro, couscous, etc.
IS QUINOA HEALTHY?
YES!!! Quinoa is a fantastic source of protein, fiber, and many other essential nutrients.
QUINOA HEALTH BENEFITS
In one cup of cooked quinoa, there are 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and it provides 15% of our daily iron need. To compare, this is more protein than an egg, but less than a 4-ounce chicken breast which provides about 30 grams, no fiber, and saturated fat. When compared to other plant based foods, it contains more fiber and is a better source of protein because it contains ALL of the essential amino acids.
VARIETIES OF QUINOA
White quinoa is the most common variety available, but red and black can also be found in many grocery stores. White quinoa is the mildest in flavor, softer when cooked, and is ready to eat in less time than the others.
BEST WAY TO COOK QUINOA
It's important to rinse quinoa before you cook it to remove the bitter, soapy coating which so often is what turns people off to quinoa. I like to buy this pre-rinsed quinoa, but be aware that some people rinse even pre-rinsed quinoa for the best flavor (I don't!).
Quinoa tastes best when cooked in broth and the pressure cooker is the easiest method of cooking it. Stovetop quinoa is plenty easy to prepare as well
WHAT DOES QUINOA TASTE LIKE?
RINSED quinoa has a mild earthy, nutty flavor. Unrinsed tastes a bit like dirt, sooooo – rinse your quinoa! It's fluffy like white rice, with more of a chew like brown rice and pairs well with many foods.
IS QUINOA BETTER FOR YOU THAN RICE?
I'm throwing this one in because it was a thoughtful question from my daughter. Yes, it is healthier than rice. It is higher in fiber, has more complete protein, lower glycemic index, and contains more vitamins and minerals. That doesn't mean you need to give up rice, it just means it's a great alternative!
If you'd like to know even more about quinoa, read this article 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa.
Are you convinced? Are you already a fan? Do you gag at the site of it like my son? Well then read on!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT QUINOA
- Dump all your ingredients in the pot, push some buttons, go arm wrestle your kids (then tell them you won because you eat quinoa)
- Fast Cooking! It only needs 1 minute of pressure cooking time and takes less than 10 minutes for the pressure to naturally release. It's my go-to when I'm scrambling at dinner time
- It's fun to say, fun to eat, versatile flavor, healthy, freezes well, warms up perfectly . . . I could go on, but let's get cooking!
HOW TO COOK PERFECT QUINOA
- Put rinsed quinoa, broth, and salt in the pressure cooker pot
- Cook it for 1 minute, natural pressure release
- Stir, fluff, DONE!
I'm sure many of you have already discovered this magic, but this is such a go-to recipe for me, I had to get it on my blog! Once you've mastered this method, you will just die over this recipe for a Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl! I ate it 4 nights in a row, because I wanted to.
Get this basic Instant Pot recipe in your life NOW!
HOW TO RINSE QUINOA
Since I want you to like quinoa, we better cover this important step. This is my method:
- Dump quinoa into a fine mesh strainer
- Place the strainer on top of the rim of a larger bowl
- Fill the bowl with water until quinoa is submerged. If time allows, let it soak 10 minutes
- Agitate the water/quinoa well, lift the strainer from the bowl, give quinoa an extra rinse under the tap, DONE!
EASY QUINOA RECIPES
- Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites – ridiculously good
- Mini Bacon Cheeseburger Quinoa Bites – surprisingly good
- Spicy Cauliflower Burger – straight up my favorite “burger” in the whole world
- Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread – THE BEST WHOLE WHEAT BREAD EVER!
- If you have my cookbook Master the Electric Pressure Cooker try Quinoa Fried Rice (page 111) and Quinoa Pizza Bowls (page 113). They are both dynamite!
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT QUINOAPrint
Instant Pot Quinoa
Make healthy Instant Pot Quinoa so fast and easy in the pressure cooker!
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 minute
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed if the package instructs to do so)
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker pot, make sure all of the quinoa is immersed.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 1 minute.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release.
- Stir and fluff quinoa.
- Some quinoa comes pre-rinsed. If the package doesn’t say it’s pre-rinsed, place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. With quinoa in the sieve, submerge in a bowl of cold water, and agitate the water to rinse it thoroughly. This will ensure better tasting quinoa
- Make sure quinoa is completely submerged in the water in the pot before cooking so you aren't' left with crunchy, uncooked bites
Keywords: instant pot, quinoa, instant pot quinoa