Some would consider quinoa a superfood, and for good reason! It’s chock full of vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of protein. If you’re unfamiliar with this food it has a nutty flavor and a simultaneous crunchy and fluffy texture. Contrary to belief, quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, however, it is prepared and consumed like a grain. Thankfully quinoa contains more nutrients than most grains which is what truly makes it a superfood!
You can prepare quinoa on the stove top but it does require a bit of babysitting. When cooking it on the stovetop you need it to come to a boil but then quickly reduce the heat so that it can simmer to fully absorb all the liquid all the while ensuring it doesn’t overcook or burn on the bottom. Like rice, it also tends to boil over easily leaving you with a messy stovetop to clean afterward. We knew the Instant Pot can cook rice quickly and perfectly so we set out to try cooking quinoa too and the results were just as good! Once you learn how to cook it check out these 15 Recipes Using Protein-Rich Quinoa! Follow along to learn how you can prepare this nutrient-rich food effortlessly using your Instant Pot!
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First, you’ll need to add liquid to your pot. You can use water or vegetable broth! The benefit of cooking the quinoa with broth is for added flavor. Before adding the quinoa give it a good rinse. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin and if it is not rinsed before cooking it can result in a “soapy” or bitter flavor. So for flavor sake, don’t skip this step! Lastly, you’ll want to add in olive oil or butter (your choice) – once again this is a for added flavor. However, keep in mind if you’ve decided to cook with broth you can easily skip the oil/butter.
Next, cook the quinoa using the Manual or Pressure Cook mode HIGH for 1 minute. Keep in mind the mode will vary depending on what model you have. The cook time may seem low but you also need to account for the time the pot takes to come to pressure, as well as the natural release. For reference, we found that our 6-quart Instant Pot Duo took 6 minutes to come to pressure.
Once the cook time has elapsed it’s important to allow a natural release of 10 minutes. A natural release is important and allows the quinoa to soak up all the liquid and to finish cooking. To perform a natural release you simply do nothing and your Instant Pot will begin to clock the time. Once the LED screen reads 10, quick release any remaining pressure.
Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid and then fluff the quinoa with a fork before serving! There are so many great ways to enjoy quinoa. Use it to replace rice, mix it into a salad, or you could even try our Gluten-Free Buffalo Quinoa Nuggets! The options are endless and you’ll quickly learn why so many are in love with this delicious seed!
If you use broth, feel free to skip the salt and oil/butter. The oil and butter are added to give the quinoa a bit of flavor, but if you’re using broth that will give it all the flavor it needs!
Our 6-Quart Duo Instant pot took 6 minutes to come to pressure, but the time will vary depending on what size and model you’re using.