How To Cook Quinoa | Stovetop + Instant Pot

This post will show you how to cook quinoa on the stove and in an Instant Pot for perfect, fluffy quinoa every time!

Two bowls filled with cooked quinoa side by side in coconut bowls

Quinoa is a protein-packed little whole grain that cooks in a similar way to rice. Unlike rice, quinoa is technically a seed rather than a grain, and as a result, contains high levels of dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. In addition, quinoa is also a complete protein, which means it contains the nine essential amino acids the body cannot manufacture itself.

Oh, and it’s all gluten-free!

If you’re unsure how to cook quinoa, then you’re not alone. If you don’t follow the proper steps then quinoa can turn into a mushy, flavorless mess, rather than the fluffy bowl of goodness we’re looking for. 

In this post I’ll show you: 

All three of these methods are simple to get the hang of, and once you do, you’ll never look back!

What You’ll Need

Whichever method you use, you’ll need the same basic ingredients: quinoa, and water. 

You’ll find quinoa in the rice and beans aisle at most grocery stores.

If you’re making quinoa for a savory dish then you could also use vegetable broth, or add a dash of salt to the water. 

How to Cook Quinoa on the Stove

  1. Begin by washing and draining the quinoa. I find the best method is to place the quinoa into a deep pot and cover it with cold water. Swish the quinoa around for a minute or two, then tip into a fine mesh strainer to drain.
  2. Next, place the washed and drained quinoa into a medium-size pot, and add the water or vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and bring the water to a boil.
  3.  When the water reaches boiling point turn the heat down and simmer for around 20 minutes. All the water should be absorbed. 
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, remove the lid, and set it aside to cool for 10  minutes.
  5. Fluff your cooked quinoa with a fork, and serve!

How to Cook Quinoa in an Instant Pot

  1. Begin by washing and draining the quinoa. I find the best method is to place the quinoa into a deep pot and cover it with cold water. Swish the quinoa around for a minute or two, then tip into a fine mesh strainer to drain.
  2. Then, place the washed and drained quinoa into the Instant Pot and add the water or vegetable broth
  3. Next, lock the lid of the Instant Pot into place and move the handle to “sealing”. Select ‘Pressure Cook’ and set the time for 1 minute. 
  4. Once cooked, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then flip the steam release handle to venting to release the remaining pressure.
  5. Carefully remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Two coconut bowls filled with quinoa, falafels, avocado and salad.

Bonus: Cooking Quinoa in the Microwave + Rice Cooker

Did you know you can cook quinoa in a microwave and a rice cooker? What a time to be alive! 

The following methods are quick and simple alternatives to the stove and could be useful if you’re short on time. 

Microwave: This post shows you exactly how to cook quinoa in the microwave, in under 10 minutes! Just rinse, cook, and fluff. 

Rice Cooker: This post show you how to make perfect quinoa in a rice cooker. The method is similar to using an Instant Pot and makes beautiful, fluffy quinoa every time. 

Serving Suggestions

Cooked quinoa is a great substitute for rice, and is a healthy, low-carb side dish. Make a Quinoa Salad using this recipe, or keep it simple by making a Quinoa Bowl with greens, vegetables, avocado, and grilled tofu or tempeh. 

You can also use cooked quinoa to make a gluten-free quiche crust or protein-packed stuffing!

How to Store Cooked Quinoa

Store your cooked and cooled quinoa in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. 

Alternatively, split it into portions and store it in the freezer in airtight containers. When you’re ready to use it, simply remove the containers from the freezer, allow them to defrost at room temperature, and heat through before eating.

Thanks for checking out this post about How To Cook Quinoa! If you try it, please let us know what you think with a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make The Plant Riot even better!

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Two bowls filled with cooked quinoa side by side in coconut bowls

How To Cook Quinoa | Stovetop + Instant Pot


  • Author: Rachel Steenland | The Plant Riot
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

How to cook quinoa two fool-proof ways! Make perfect quinoa on the stove and in an instant pot | Perfect fluffy quinoa every time!


Ingredients

Scale

Stovetop Method

Instant Pot Method


Instructions

  1. Wash and drain quinoaPlace the quinoa into a deep pot and cover with cold water. Swish the quinoa around for a minute or two, then tip into a fine mesh strainer to drain.
  2. Cook quinoa according to desired method:
    • Stovetop: Place washed and drained quinoa into a medium size pot, add water or vegetable broth, a pinch of salt, and then cover with lid. Bring contents to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool (remove lid) for 10  minutes. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork.
    • Instant Pot: Place washed and drained quinoa into the Instant Pot, add water or vegetable  broth, and a pinch of salt. Cover with lid, lock into place and move handle to sealing. Select ‘Pressure Cook’ and cook for 1 minute. Once cooked, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then flip the steam release handle to venting to release the remaining pressure before removing the lid. Remove lid and fluff cooked quinoa with a fork.
  • Store cooked quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze portions for later use.

Keywords: how to cook quinoa

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