quinoa

Easy & Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe

Ever since I got my Instant Pot life in the kitchen has gotten much easier. Because I have been doing a lot of meal prep on Sundays for the week ahead, making a large amount of quinoa is part of the process. After looking for the easiest way to make perfect fluffy quinoa I am happy to say I have found an easy & perfect Instant Pot quinoa recipe.

Easy & Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe

The Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe

With this recipe, I refuse to cook quinoa any other way. This recipe is fool proof and comes out perfect every time. No more starchy, soggy quinoa happening in my kitchen.

The trick is to follow the exact measurements and cooking times in the recipe. Since I am cooking for the week I make a big batch using 3 cups of uncooked quinoa. I like to rinse it under cold water before I place it in the pot. Not sure if there is any benefit to this but it is just something I do before I cook most things. After rinsing I place the quinoa in the instant pot, add a tablespoon olive oil, spices and mix to allow the spices and olive oil to distributed evenly.

Cooking grains with broth instead of water gives them more flavor so I highly recommend it for this recipe. I then add 3 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth to the quinoa, stir a little and cover the instant pot. Always make sure the knob at the top is set to the sealing position before cooking.

This next step is very important as it determines the texture of your quinoa. If using the Instant Pot, press the manual button, select the high pressure setting and adjust to 2 minutes cooking time. Yes, this is not a typo. 2 minutes is all you need. Let the instant pot do it’s thing and after the 2 minutes are over let it naturally release for exactly 15 minutes then turn the knob to vent to allow the pressure to release quickly. Letting the instant pot naturally release for more than 15 minutes will lead to soggy quinoa so it is a good idea to set a timer in case you forget.

After you have let the Instant Pot Pressure cooker vent, open the pot, turn it off and fluff with a fork. You will be really happy with the results! Perfect fluffy quinoa, grains are separated and have a little bite to them.

Cooked Quinoa

There are so many recipes to use this quinoa with. I like to place the cooked in a large glass container in the fridge and use it for all sorts of lunch combinations throughout the week. Here are some examples:

3 Different ways to to use cooked quinoa for lunch

  • Add quinoa to a small lunch container and top with curried chickpeas, diced peppers, diced cucumber, diced cherry tomatoes. Carry a small container with olive oil, mustard and lemon juice and drizzle when you are ready to eat. I also like to take an avocado with me and add it when I’m ready to eat.
  • Place arugula, spinach or leaves into a medium lunch container. Add sliced red bell peppers, sliced Persian cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced, red onion (optional), leftover grilled chicken pieces and top with quinoa for a tasty and filling salad.
  • Mix cooked quinoa with, chopped cucumber, black beans, diced red onion, corn, diced cherry tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of chopped jalapeño, cumin and dried oregano for a delicious Tex mex salad.

Don’t like quinoa? no problem I have a fool proof Instant Pot Coconut Rice recipe for you here!

Print Recipe
Easy & Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe
Cooked Quinoa
Course Side dish
Prep Time 1 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Quinoa
  • 3 1/2 cups Low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tsp Spices of your choice
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
Course Side dish
Prep Time 1 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Quinoa
  • 3 1/2 cups Low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tsp Spices of your choice
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
Cooked Quinoa
Instructions
  1. Rinse quinoa under cold running water, place in the the instant pot and mix with spices and olive oil. Add chicken broth stir and seal pot. Make sure knob is set to the sealing position.
  2. Press the manual button, select the high pressure setting and adjust to 2 minutes cooking time.
  3. After the 2 minutes have passed the pressure cook will automatically go to keep warm status as it naturally releases pressure. Let it naturally release for 15 minutes and then turn the knob to venting.
  4. After pressure is released, turn off and open the pot, fluff quinoa with a fork and voila! Ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

Curry, cumin, moroccan seasoning are my favorite spices for this recipe but you can use any spice you like. 

The simplest stuffed squash recipe

A good way to tell that you are in the middle of fall is the large quantity of pumpkin and squash in the grocery stores. There are many ways to cook squash and one of my favorite is stuffing them with all sorts of yummy ingredients. I used a buttercup squash and stuffed it with quinoa, ground turkey with arugula in this recipe but you can use anything you like from brown rice to farro for stuffing. This recipe is so simple and is perfect for weeknights, not to mention it makes for a fun presentation. 
Ingredients
1 large buttercup squash
3/4 pound ground turkey
1 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups arugula
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 a large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
olive oil
1 tsp curry powder or any seasoning you like
salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
–  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Cook 1 cup quinoa with 1 cup broth in a rice cooker.
– Scoop out the seeds and season flesh with salt and  pepper. brush with olive oil.
– Place squash flesh side down in a baking dish and cook for 45 minutes or until soft.
– Meanwhile saute’ onions and garlic in a large deep pan for about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook for about 8 more mins.
– Add thawed corn to turkey and cook for another 2 minutes. This will be a great time to add any more spices. I added more curry powder.
– Add cooked quinoa to turkey mix and cook for another 2 minutes. Add more olive oil and throw in arugula right at the end with a squeeze of lemon juice.
– Stuff quinoa mix inside each squash and serve. I like to squeeze a little Sriracha on the top for a little kick. 

Shrimp Quinoa with Spinach

Quinoa has become one of my favorite foods so much that I am cooking it on a regular basis.This is a shrimp quinoa served with a sauteed spinach and peppers.Who said healthy food is boring.

Ingredients
4 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 pound shrimp
4 green onions sliced
1/2 green pepper cut into strips
1/2 cup flat Italian parsley
21/2 tbsp soy sauce
4 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 tbsp Moroccan spice
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger minced
1 carrot sliced
5 cups of spinach
1/2 red pepper sliced
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Method

  • In a heated wok add 1 tbsp olive oil an cook 2 cloves garlic and ginger for 1 minute.Add curry powder, Moroccan spice and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the white portion of green onion and carrots ,cook for 2 minutes or until carrot is cooked but not too soft.
  • Add green pepper, flat leaf parsley and green portion of scallions to wok and cook for 15 seconds.
  • Add cooked quinoa to wok, add soy sauce and pepper, cook for 1 minute.Make sure you continue to stir to prevent from sticking.
  • In another heated pan, add olive oil and cook shrimp until it turns pink for about 7 minutes.While cooking shrimp add tsp of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
  • When shrimp is done add it to quinoa and add cherry tomatoes and 1 tsp of lemon juice to the same wok.Mix gently
  • In another pan heat olive oil and add 1 clove garlic.Cook garlic for 30 seconds
  • Add spinach, sliced red pepper and a sprinkle of soy sauce.Cook until spinach is wilted for about 3 minutes.
  • Serve spinach over quinoa.

Quinoa and Red kidney bean salad

I am always looking for healthy meals that are quick to prepare,the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is to make a lengthy meal. I came across a quinoa recipe in a food magazine that is simple yet full of flavor.

Quinoa and red kidney bean salad

2 cups quinoa
4 cups chicken stock
1 15ounce can of red kidney beans
1 small red onion
2 lemons squeezed
2 bunches of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Using a fine mesh sieve , rinse quinoa with cold water.
  2. Put rinsed quinoa into rice cooker and add chicken stock,turn on rice cooker.
  3. In 20 minutes quinoa will be cooked, Let it cool down in a big bowl.
  4. Mix kidney beans, chopped onion and basil in the bowl.
  5. whisk olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper together
  6. Add olive oil mixture into bowl and serve

Serves 5

I served this with grilled salmon and a green salad, but this dish can also be served alone.Below is a picture of my  final product ,yummy!

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