Have you ever made pressure cooker quinoa? Quinoa cooks up quickly, easily, and perfectly in your Instant Pot! We like to serve this Southwest-flavored quinoa as a side dish with chicken, black beans, and sliced avocado. In addition to being done in under 30 minutes, this dish is also gluten-free and can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock or water in place of chicken stock. I developed this quinoa pressure cooker recipe as part of the Allrecipes Allstars Tastemakers program. Rate, review, and photograph my Instant Pot® Southwest Quinoa recipe on Allrecipes here, or scroll down for my cooking tips and the full Instant Pot quinoa recipe below.
More Instant Pot side dishes like this pressure cooker quinoa recipe
- Easiest Instant Pot Spanish-Style Rice
- Instant Pot 3-Cheese Risotto
- Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto
- Creamy Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Old Bay Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread
- Instant Pot Cornbread Muffins
Tips for cooking pressure cooker quinoa
Want to get perfect pressure cooker quinoa every time? Here are some tips for making this recipe and other quinoa pressure cooker recipes to perfection.
- Spray the inside of the inner pot with olive or vegetable oil cooking spray first to add a nonstick barrier to keep the quinoa from sticking.
- Rinse the quinoa well before adding it to the pot. It should be rinsed until the water runs clear. While it is always best practice to rinse quinoa or rice before cooking, this step is especially important for Instant Pot recipes, as starchy foods are prone to frothing (which is not ideal in the pressure cooker, as froth can potentially block the device’s pressure release safety valves), as well as sticking to the stainless steel inner pot.
- After adding the quinoa to the pot, only stir it gently and briefly. This is for two reasons: First, stirring any starchy substance (like rice, pasta, or quinoa) can cause the ingredient to start releasing starch, which may lead to sticky, mushy results. Second, over-stirring may cause the nonstick coating that you added to the pot to blend in with the liquids too much, therefore breaking up the nonstick barrier (and thus causing your quinoa to stick to the pot).
- What to do if you get the dreaded Burn warning when making this recipe (or other starchy recipes, like rice): As you may know, some Instant Pot models are more sensitive to the burn error, especially when cooking starchy dishes like rice. I personally never get the error with my 6-quart pot when making trusted recipes, but my newer 8-quart pot is more prone to the error. Per the Instant Pot website, “If your display is showing a burn warning, don’t panic. Remember, it’s a safety feature to prevent burns, not a notice that it’s time to order pizza… What to do next depends on what you’re cooking. If it’s something quick like steel cut oats, you can just ignore it and let the Instant Pot finish its work.” Upon trouble-shooting this myself with other recipes, I have found that if I ignore the error (and NOT release pressure or open the lid), the food will continue to steam under pressure despite the error. Just let the pot sit, then after the total pressure cook time for the recipe ends (you will have to keep track of this time on your own), push Cancel and continue with the recipe instructions for pressure release before opening the lid.
If you like this recipe, you’ll love my cookbook! My book, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners, is full of great tips for helping pressure cooking newcomers to feel more confident using their devices, plus 75 easy and delicious recipes for the Instant Pot just like the recipe I am sharing today. Learn more and order Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners on Amazon here (available in both paperback and digital formats).
Here’s the Instant Pot Southwest Quinoa recipe! If you enjoy this pressure cooker quinoa recipe as much as we do, please leave a rating, and be sure to check out my other Instant Pot recipes. Enjoy!
- Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel®)
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- Spray the inner pot of a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) with cooking spray. Add rinsed quinoa, diced tomatoes with green chiles with their juices, chicken broth, seasoned salt, chili powder, and garlic powder to the pot and stir gently.
- Close and lock the pressure cooker lid, make sure the pressure/steam-release switch is set to sealing, and set the cooking time to 1 minute at high/normal pressure. It will take about 9 minutes for the pot to reach pressure before the cooking time begins.
- After the pressure cooking time ends, allow the pressure to release from the pot naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the manufacturer’s quick-release method.
- Carefully open the lid. Pour in the juice of 1 lime, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and serve.
You can use water or vegetable broth in place of chicken broth for a vegetarian option.