Before you can make a healthy grain bowl for dinner like an Instagram fitness guru, you’ll need to learn how to successfully cook quinoa, preferably via the trendiest way possible (read: in an Instant Pot like the new Pioneer Woman Instant Pot, below). Pressure-cooking the pseudo-grain isn’t quite the same as steaming it via a stovetop, as it will require much less water than you’re used to. But, if you follow the directions, you’ll cook up fluffy quinoa in no time.

instant pot quinoa RECIPE

(Makes roughly 2 cups)

Recipe Notes:Instant Pot cooking times do not vary as long as you respect the water-to-grain ratio. The Instant Pot comes with a plastic measuring cup that we recommend using for this recipe as we’ve found it produces the best results. Keep in mind that Instant Pot is a Canadian company, so it uses a metric cup, or 160 milliliters. By comparison, an American measuring cup holds roughly 240 milliliters. Nevertheless, Instant Pot claims you can use American measuring cups just fine as long as you keep the ratios the same.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup water or broth, like mushroom


1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Rinse it under cold water until water runs clear. This removes the saponin (quinoa’s natural coating, which tastes bitter and soapy).

2. Transfer quinoa to the Instant Pot. Turn on the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting. Stir frequently, until quinoa dries out completely and smells and looks toasted.

3. Add water or broth quickly but carefully as quinoa may pop slightly. Cancel setting, then press Rice pre-set. Cover with lid and lock, and allow quinoa to pressure-cook for the allotted time.

4. As soon as cooking time is complete, press the Cancel button, and move the lid’s steam valve to Quick Release. Once pressure has released, remove top and give quinoa a stir.

5. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and dress to your liking with ingredients like fine herbs, toasted nuts, dried and fresh fruit, and a vinaigrette. Say hello to your go-to quinoa for life.

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(Recipe adapted from Instant Pot; photos via Brittany Griffin / Brit + Co)