What Is Quinoa?

Most people think quinoa is a grain. It is treated as one, but the truth is it is NOT a grain. In fact, quinoa is a seed. It is often referred to as a pseudo-grain. That because despite being a seed, it is usually eaten as a grain or cereal. Quinoa Peas And Rice and Quinoa Breakfast Bowl.

Quinoa is among those foods that have been consumed since ancient times. It is said that the first crop of quinoa was grown somewhere 7000 years ago. Even at that time, it was known as the mother of grains because of its many benefits. In fact, back in the day, it was considered a very sacred food.

It is known for its many health benefits and is widely cultivated in countries like Peru and Bolivia, where it is a staple. However, it relatively recent that the rest of the world has come across the many benefits of quinoa and has started to use it in their diet.

types of quinoa in beige sacks on white background

Types Of Quinoa

How would you feel if I tell you that there are about 3000 different types of quinoa? It is such a vast seed that comes in a variety of colors and benefits that vary slightly from one another. Out of these many varieties, the most commonly used are the:

  • White quinoa: the most common type of quinoa is white quinoa. You can find it easily at any grocery store. Furthermore, you are also finding it in other variations like rolled quinoa or its flour for baking purposes. Despite being super healthy, its health contents are lesser as compared to the other two types.
  • Red quinoa: Although it is also a common type of quinoa, it is not as common as white quinoa. Red quinoa is healthier than white quinoa as it contains more amounts of antioxidants and vitamin E.
  • Black quinoa: Black quinoa is quite rare. But it is a super powerhouse. It has the highest nutritional contents that the rest two types.

Health Benefits Of Quinoa

Quinoa is a superfood. It is jam-packed with so many health benefits, here are a few to name:

  • Firstly, it is gluten-free. Therefore, it is perfect for those who are allergic to gluten. You can also find its flour for baking purposes. So, it is very convenient for people with gluten allergies.
  • Rich in minerals like copper, iron, folate, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Rich in vitamins like vitamin B6.
  • It is among those very few foods that contain all nine amino acids that makeup protein. As a result, it is an excellent source of plant-based protein. In fact, it is a complete protein package.
  • Contains antioxidants that protect the body against free radicals. It improves overall body health.
  • Because it is considered a whole grain, it helps in regulating the level of sugar in the blood. Thus, it reduces the risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • It lowers the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, as a result, improves heart health, and protects the heart against diseases like stroke.
  • It contains anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it is also said to reduce the risks of developing cancer.
  • It is very high in fiber as compared to grains. As a result, it improves digestive health. Makes you feel full for longer and therefore aids in weight management as well.
  • It is also known to improve metabolic rate. It helps the body to burn out fat faster and improves the overall functioning of the body.

Why Cook Quinoa In An Instant Pot?

There are many reasons for cooking quinoa in an instant pot. Here are a few to name:

  • Cooking quinoa in an instant pot is super quick. It takes no more than 10 minutes. The process is fast, and therefore, if you are in a hurry, the instant pot comes to your rescue.
  • It is very convenient. You don’t have to switch plans whatsoever. You get every option in a single pot. from sauteeing to pressure cooking, instant pot screams convenience.

quinoa ingredients on a white background and wooden cutting board

Ingredient breakdown

  • Quinoa: The main ingredient is quinoa. You can use any type of quinoa were red or white. You don’t need to soak it. However, make sure you rinse it a couple of times to get rid of dirt and debris.
  • Olive oil: You can use any cooking oil. However, olive oil and avocado oil are most preferred.
  • Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth brings in flavor and helps in cooking quinoa. You can also replace it with water, but the flavors won’t be as intense.
  • Onion: You can use either white or red onion for the purpose.
  • Garlic: Freshly chopped garlic brings in a depth of savory flavor to the dish.
  • Thyme sprig: It brings freshness and flavor to the dish. If you don’t have fresh thyme spring, you can also use dried thyme.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce adds color and intensifies the flavor.
  • Scallions: Freshly chopped scallions are perfect for garnishing the quinoa.

saute seasonings in instant pot onion, garlic and thyme

How To Make Instant Pot Quinoa?

Making quinoa in an instant pot is a piece of cake. Here are a few simple steps you have to follow:

Step 1: select saute and add olive oil to the instant pot.

2: once it is heated, add onions and saute until they turn translucent.

3: Next, add chopped garlic and cook for another minute.

 4: Next, add thyme and season with salt. Mix well.

5: add rinsed quinoa and cook for one to two minutes until the water evaporates and quinoa starts to stick at the bottom of the pan.

 6: at this point, turn off the instant pot by selecting cancel.

 7: add the vegetable broth, and seal the lid tightly.

8: cook at high pressure for about 3 minutes.

quinoa cooked in instant pot showing a spoonful

 9: once the timer is up, quick release the pressure.

 10: Open the lid, and add soya sauce and chopped scallions.

11: fluff up the quinoa and mix well. Serve.

Other Vegan Quinoa Recipes

  1. How To Cook Quinoa
  2. Black Bean Quinoa Burger
  3. Jollof Quinoa
  4. Vegan Kimchi Fried Quinoa
  5. Quinoa Fried Rice
  6. Cilantro Lime Quinoa
  7. Italian Quinoa Fried Rice
  8. Cajun Quinoa Pilaf
  9. Quinoa Tabouli
  10. Mexican Style Quinoa Casserole
  11. Quinoa Salad With Artichokes
  12. Quinoa Salad With Oil-Free Chipotle Dressing
  13. Curry Quinoa With Broccoli
  14. Simple Quinoa Salad
  15. Mexican Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
  16. 25 Best Vegan Quinoa Recipes

cooked quinoa in instant pot

How To Store Instant Pot Quinoa?

Quinoa is among those foods that last longer without getting stale. Quinoa cooked in an instant pot can last for up to a week in the refrigerator. All you have to do is wait for it to cool down first. Once the cooked quinoa reaches room temperature, place it in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator.

Furthermore, you can also freeze cooked quinoa. Place it in a plastic zip-lock bag and freeze it. It will last for up to 9 months in the freezer.

Because it stays fresh for longer than most foods, you can prepare quinoa ahead of time. Let’s say you are preparing a lunch meal for the next week, and you can cook the quinoa and store it. So that when you are leaving for work, you have it on the go.

What To Serve With Quinoa?

Quinoa is versatile. It goes well with so many different flavors and textures. Here are a few ideas on what to serve alongside quinoa:

  • Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables are delicious. Whether they are herb-roasted or jerk-spiced, you can serve these alongside quinoa to enjoy a complete meal.
  • Stir fry: serve it alongside stir fry and enjoy Asian flavors.
  • Salad: you can also serve it with your favorite salad and make it a wholesome meal. Drizzle Vegan Cheese Sauce on top as a salad dressing and enjoy.
  • Curries: Thai Vegan Curries are spicy, creamy, and delicious. And when you serve it with cooked quinoa, you get a texture that compliments the dish well.
  • Cauliflower steak: you can also serve it as a dish with cauliflower steak and enjoy.

instant pot quinoa on white plate overlay

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Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 233 kcal / 974 kJ
  • Fat: 10.1 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Carbs: 31.1 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking: 5 min
  • Ready in: 10 min
  • For:
  • 4 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Select the sauté option of the instant pot.
  2. Add olive oil. Once it is heated, add onion and cook for a minute or two until it turns translucent.
  3. Add chopped garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Add thyme, salt and mix well.
  5. Add rinsed quinoa and stir until the water evaporates.
  6. When the quinoa begins to stick to the pot, select cancel to turn off the instant pot.
  7. Add vegetable broth and seal the lid tightly.
  8. Select high pressure and cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Once the timer is up, quickly release the pressure.
  10. Remove the lid, add soy sauce and chopped green onion and mix well.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Chef Marsha

I am Marsha Lee, Chef, Owner and Operator of Eat With Your Eyes LLC, located in Mount Vernon, New York.

My passion for food began at an early age, while still a child in St. Andrew, Jamaica. I began playing with simple breakfast and fried food recipes I would see, until I mastered them, based on my critics.