1-minute quinoa pressure cooker recipe
Quinoa is getting attention because it’s high in protein, gluten-free, and contains all the essential in amino acids your body needs.  Although the pressure cooker is not necessary for this quick cooking grain (20 min. regular methods) the process is easier and faster.

pressure cooker quinoa salad

Not actually a grain, but a seed primarily grown in South America, quinoa can be used in any recipe to substitute rice, cous cous, even in a mush form it can be used to substitute flour in a batter to make gnocchi and cookies!!Quinoa is  hard to find in Italy. So this Summer, when I popped over to the U.S., I stuffed my suitcase with 5 lbs of quinoa to bring home. No worries about bringing food into Italy… it’s when you’re coming out that that U.S. Border Patrol singles out your family due to the country of origin and sends your suitcases, princess backpack, teddy bear and coloring books thru an “agricultural security” scanner to hunt down any illegal Prosciutto!

Before I got started experimenting and testing my recipe, I read a couple of Peruvian blogs (they are, afte rall, the quinoa experts) who recommend cooking quinoa to al dente. Given my limited quantity of quinoa and fear of overcooking it, I pressure cooked my first batch for only one minute. Even though the cooking time is much less than that recommended by other experts, my one-minute quinoa came out perfect then and every other test thereafter.

Rinse quinoa well under water until it runs clear (a few minutes) before cooking so that you can remove the “saponin”, a natural insect repellent.  It is not necessary to soak quinoa before cooking.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3L or larger none  0-1 min. High (2) Natural

4.0 from 4 reviews
1-minute Pressure Cooker Quinoa
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Peruvian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup Black Quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 Lime, zested and squeezed
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro (or Parsley), roughly chopped
  • 1 Large Roma Tomato, finely diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, finely diced
  • ½ cup Green Olives, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, seeded and finely diced
  1. In the pressure cooker add the quinoa, lime zest, salt and water.
  2. Close and lock the lid. Turn the heat to high and when the cooker reaches pressure lower the heat and cook for 1 minute at HIGH pressure. When time is up, continue cooking the quinoa with the residual heat and steam of the pressure cooker by opening the cooker using the natural method - turn off the heat and don't do anything (about 10 minutes). If after 10 minutes, the cooker has not released all of the pressure, let out the remaining pressure by opening the valve.
  3. Tumble out the cooked quinoa into a mixing bowl to cool.
  4. Then, add the chopped tomato, pepper, olives, cucumber and Cilantro.
  5. Mix with Lime juice and season with any additional salt to taste.
  6. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

steamed quinoa in fissler pressure cooker

pressure cooker quinoa salad

Similar Posts


  1. I love quinoa. I love my pressure cooker. This is a match made in heaven :) Can’t wait to try the recipe!

  2. I’ve been wondering if quinoa would work in my pressure cooker. Thanks for figuring it out! The salad looks delicious.

  3. JL, now wait ’til Kale comes in season! ; )

    Nicole, let me know how you like it!



  4. I make quinoa in the microwave -fast & easy
    6 minutes + 4 more
    Then a towel on bowl + the lid to soak up excess water.
    Quinoa is very available in France if you should be headed that way…even moreso than the states IMHO
    I love the black quinoa and add currents to it -a natural. Love your idea of adding sliced olives

  5. I don’t use the microwave for cooking and it took me years to perfect quinoa in the pressure cooker. I hate to disagree Laura but when I initially tried Lorna Sass’s recipe for quinoa at 1 minute, it didn’t work, as many times as I tried. I gave up but finally came back to it. Now I do it with 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 1 1/4 cups liquid (with no salt during cooking) for 5 minutes with a natural pressure release. Perfect quinoa every time.

    Over the years (almost 20 now), I have made quinoa at least 100 different ways. Yours sounds wonderful.

    So, no matter how you end up with cooked quinoa, make this recipe.

    1. Ciao Jill,

      Not to split minutes… but my understanding of Lorna’s timing is that she recommends 2 minutes. Unfortunately, Lorna does not have her quinoa method online and I do not have any of her cookbooks myself to look it up.

      60 seconds difference at high pressure may not sound like alot – but it can translate into 3-5 minutes of boiling without pressure!

      Quinoa is pretty tough.. does it still remain al dente after 5 minutes at high pressure?



  6. Perfect al dente. When I am going to experiment with a grain in the pressure cooker, I can always count on “hip” for getting the perfect texture. Your methods for pasta, risotto and polenta are perfection, too. No more excuses not to eat more of this healthy seed.
    I used an electric pressure cooker and the quinoa from Rancho Gordo.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Theresa! How did you dress your al dente quinoa?



  7. is quinoa concidered a carbohydrate?

    1. It can be used as a carbohydrate, but it has a higher protein content than grains, potatoes, and rice.



  8. Laura, I *finally* ordered my own pressure cooker. I bought a 6-set Duromatic. That is amazing that you have been doing several demonstrations. I’m going to start from the beginning of HPC, but wanted to say thanks for all your awesome reviews. I will be back!! Cheers, Neeli!

  9. I tried the quinoa using your timing in the instant pot duo but, when I did the natural release after ten minutes, the quinoa was still very watery…..

    I’m wondering if it was because I used the pot in pan method? Should I have given it more than 1 minute using that method?

    By the way, I tried your Broccoli Rabe recipe from The Everything Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook.
    Oh, it was so wonderfully easy to make in the Instant pot and delicious…..loved it!

    1. Saluki, what is the material of the container you used for pan-in-pot? Also, did you use the recommended water to grain ratio?



  10. I used 1 cup of quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water. The pot I used was anodized aluminum. Additionally, I had 1 cup of water in the base of the instant pot under the trivet.

    1. Not the material of the pressure cooker, the material of the container in which you put the quinoa. Also, have you used that pressure cooker, before?



  11. The container was a Fat Daddio’s Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan, 6-Inch x 4-Inch… I’ve been using it for your Bain Marie rice method almost every night in the Instant Pot Duo and that timing is working out perfectly
    3 minutes with a 10 minute natural release…..

    I’m new to pressure cooking but I’ve been using the instant pot for a few months now.
    P.S. I just pre-ordered your new book. Really looking forward to having a solid reference for techniques and recipes.

    1. Saluki, assuming you opened the cooker with natural release, it it sounds like you did everything right. I have not tested quinoa bain marie, but generally grains cooked with the method take the same time as directly cooked in the base of the cooker. You’ve either got your hands on a particularly tough batch of quinoa OR your pressure cooker doesn’t reach 15psi.

      If the quinoa was under-cooked, be sure to add an extra minute next time. Instead, if it was perfectly cooked but watery, then you’ll want to add less water, next time (1 1/4 cups).



      1. Laura.. Since I have the Instant Pot Duo I think it only reaches 11psi. So, I took your advise on the next batch and decreased the water to 1 1/4 cup and lengthened the time to two minutes…… Came out perfect… nice and fluffy… Thanks!

        1. I know this is years old but I wondered about a pot-in-pot method too. I just tried this yesterday, the pot-in-pot method for quinoa, for me, using a stainless metal bowl on the trivet, 1c quinoa, 1 1/2c water, 1 min hp, did not cook the quinoa. I reset it for 20m min which worked and probably could’ve produced the same (good) results with less time, maybe 15m? I don’t know, still new to this.

          The method here though, Laura’s method works amazingly well, and I love the “tumble the quinoa” description because that’s exactly what you do. I’ve made quinoa a few different ways now and this method is by far the best.

          Thank you Laura for all your how-to’s and recipes! I’ve learned so much from you.

  12. I made the one minute quinoa last night and it was perfect!!! I used regular quinoa (white-ish) and chicken broth. I only wish that I would have doubled the recipe. THANKS!!!

  13. What setting should I use for my Instant Pot Duo? Rice? Steam? Manual? I get absolute perfection with rice and the pot-in-pot method, using the rice setting and 5 minutes time with a natural release. I use this wonderful appliance nearly every single day and just love it.

    1. In some Instant Pot models they changed the rice setting to cook at low pressure, so I would go with the steam or manual setting. : )



  14. How many does this recipe serve???

  15. Followed recipe to the letter. The one minute never started, it just kept building pressure, then said “burn”. Turned off, let pressure release slowly, opened lid. Undercooked quinoa, and burnt to bottom. Not sure which is to blame, recipe or instant pot.

    1. No one has ever had a problem with this recipe. Did you change the quantities? Or is you quinoa already cooked?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: