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Pressure Cooker Perfect Quinoa

How to make the perfect quinoa in pressure cooker, Instant Pot, slow cooker, Ninja Foodi or on your stove top! Perfectly fluffy every time it’s the best gluten free side dish ever.

instant pot quinoa

This is the perfect quinoa! It can be made sweet or savory in your Instant Pot! A very versatile grain and a great alternative to rice, especially if you’re looking for something that’s naturally gluten free! (originally published 6/18, affiliate links present)

Quinoa Pressure Cooker

If you have always loved this grain over white rice, us too!! You can make it a bunch of different ways and we will share them all. Best of all is using high pressure with a natural release to get it fluffy and delicious. You can use any brand like an IP, Crockpot Express or as an easy Ninja Foodi recipe too.

Is quinoa better for you than rice?

With more nutrients than rice, quinoa has three types but we are only speaking about the traditional white variety. If you wanted to make tri color quinoa under high pressure this way you could, just increase timing from 1 to 2 minutes with the same natural release!

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Ninja Foodi Quinoa

  • There is a red and black version too but those take longer to cook and are crunchier than this popular version.

It is said to have more nutrients than traditional white rice + lots of amino acids too so comparing the two quinoa is said and thought to be healthier.

If you haven’t tried it as an alternate it is definitely different but great when included in a casserole such as this one. This is the fastest method of them all but you can try using a rice cooker or on the stovetop too. We talk about how long to cook quinoa all different ways here so you can compare.

Perfect Quinoa

I found that allowing it to sit and fluff up using a natural release of steam, instead of releasing the steam quickly, helps when using your pressure cooker.

Perfect Quinoa 2

Instant Pot Quinoa

I am going to focus on Instant Pot quinoa in this post since that is how I make it primarily, but have included the two other popular methods of cooking it as well in case you haven’t jumped on the pressure cooker band wagon yet. 😉

  • Pressure cooker quinoa literally takes just ONE minute to cook, super quick cook time I know!
  • The trick to making it just right is allowing it to sit for a bit in the high heat once it’s done.

When you allow your Instant Pot to naturally release the steam for about 15 minutes it creates perfectly fluffy quinoa that’s tender and just right served as a side dish or ready for you to add in yummy add ins like fruit and honey!

neat nest pots

Quinoa on the stove top

Add 1 cup white pre rinsed dry quinoa + 2 cups of cold water to a pot first off, then:

  • By the way, you can order it here or in a grocery store next to the grains
    • it is good to rinse the quinoa before adding
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat

Cover the pan with a lid on your pot and simmer.

  • Lower your heat to low
  • Simmer about 10-12 minutes until desired tenderness
    • if doubling you may need to adjust to 15 to 20 minutes cook time
  • Serve in a quinoa salad or 

I’ve heard of some using their rice cooker as an alternative but I haven’t tried that as of yet. Pressure cooker breakfast quinoa is great with fresh fruit too.


How to cook Quinoa in Crockpot

  • Add 1:2 ratio of quinoa and water
    • Usually want to add at least 2 cups quinoa + 4 cups water but can add more, just use this ratio
  • Put lid on
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours or until desired tenderness

If you’re looking for more easy Instant Pot grain and other quinoa recipes, other favorites are this Instant Pot white rice as a side dish.

Time needed: 1 minute

Instant Pot Quinoa

  1. Add ingredients

    Put quinoa and water into Instant Pot, pick up inner pot and swirl it around. Put pot back in and close lid and steam valve.

  2. Cook

    Set to pressure high for 1 minute. Allow to naturally release for 15 minutes.

  3. Fluff

    Use a spoon to fluff and serve!

Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe

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the typical mom
quinoa pressure cooker
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5 from 1 vote

Quinoa Pressure Cooker

How to make perfect quinoa pressure cooker recipe in your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot or on the stovetop.
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword crockpot, fluffy, instant pot, pressure cooker, quinoa, stove top, tender
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 234kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • 1.5 c quinoa traditional quinoa
  • 2 1/4 c water could use broth if desired


  • Put quinoa and water into Instant Pot, pick up inner pot and swirl it around. Put pot back in and close lid and steam valve.
  • Set to pressure high for 1 minute.
  • Allow to naturally release for 15 minutes. Fluff and serve with butter.


Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Pressure Cooker
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 10mg0%
Potassium 358mg10%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Protein 9g18%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Perfect Quinoa
Recipe Rating

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Wyoming Foodi Kitchen

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

I made a double batch using some sundried tomato florentine quinoa I had after reading this recipe. After tossed in a pound of pre browned ground beef. Mixed up, let sit on warm in the Foodi for a bit until the flavors melded.

The Typical Mom

Sunday 23rd of October 2022

Oh yum


Friday 25th of March 2022

I doubled the recipe and made it in my Ninja Foodi and it came out perfect! Thank you for the great recipe!

The Typical Mom

Saturday 26th of March 2022

OH good!!


Monday 22nd of March 2021

Hello, can you double this recipe?

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

Should be fine


Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Add a jump to recipe button. Nobody wants stories, just food.

Wyoming Foodi Kitchen

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

@Craig, Then call me nobody. I want just a recipe I copy it to my pad and move on or I go to a different site instead of making a nasty comment.


Sunday 2nd of May 2021

You're too busy criticizing. There is a jump button


Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Hello Justine, I wanted to tell you I have read through a lot of your recipes over time and have enjoyed your insights and ideas. I have a question for you, I have the Ninja Foodi (8qt) and love 💕 it but I'm still getting used to it. I never used a pressure cooker before simply because I couldn't fuss with the food or see it but I'm making peace with that 😆. When I look up Ninja recipes your instant pot ones come up, do all pressure cookers work the same ? What about timing ? And does elevation make a difference ? I moved from sea level to 5000ft. and grains, beans, potatoes take FOR EVER here on stove or oven. I tried a mixed quinoa as you said but added a few mins and it was still very hard. Don't know if it was the mixed quinoa, elevation, Ninja, or ??? Any ideas ? Thank you ! Oh p.s. I season mine before cooking, maybe that's it ?

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Yes you can absolutely use any of my Instant Pot recipes in the Foodi without any differences. BUT yes elevation does make a bit of a difference I have been told. We aren't high ourselves but my mom has noted that she needs to add 1/4 c more water to make white rice than I do. I wouldn't think timing would be that different because it is so contained but may need to mess around with it a bit if you find that it isn't cooking to the tenderness you desire. Add maybe 2 min. the next time until you figure it out perfectly according to your altitude. Hope this helps!!

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