Easy Instant Pot Quinoa (Low FODMAP, Gluten-Free)

instant pot quinoa garnished with chopped parsley in a blue rimmed bowl on a painted white background next to a bowl of lemon slices

A gluten-free, protein-packed superfood substitute for rice, quinoa is easy to make in the Instant Pot and low FODMAP in quantities of up to 1 cup. This simple method of cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot will ensure your quinoa comes out light and fluffy as well as maximize its flavor.

What is quinoa?

Not to sound like a broken record, I’ve shifted my recipe development focus to include foods that are high sources of protein. One high protein food source I’ve been including more in my life is quinoa.

The quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) that we eat is the seed from a flowering plant called goosefoot first grown in South America but now cultivated in several countries. Originally used to feed livestock, quinoa has been eaten by humans for thousands of years. Although it is technically a seed, quinoa is often classified as a “whole grain” or “ancient grain” and consumed as such. In addition to being consumed as a grain such as one would consume rice or bulgur, quinoa is also made into quinoa flour (which I use in my Air Fryer Fish and Chips recipe) and quinoa flakes, which are prepared similarly to rolled oats. It’s also used as a replacement for meat in some plant-based recipes.

Quinoa comes in a few different colors, including white, red, and black. Monash University has tested all three colors of quinoa for FODMAP content and lists all three as low FODMAP in quantities of up to 1 cup (or 155 grams) of cooked quinoa. There are subtle but not drastic differences in flavor between the three colors. Some say cooking times my slightly differ between the three, but I haven’t found that to be the case. I’ve also tested this recipe with rainbow or tri-color quinoa, which is a mixture of the three colors, and find it turns out the same as white quinoa.

side angle of cooked, white quinoa in a blue bowl in front of a bowl of lemon slices

What are the health benefits of quinoa?

Quinoa is often labeled a “superfood,” meaning it is extremely nutrient dense. Other examples of superfoods include salmon, kale, and tigernuts (which I talk about in-depth in my Tigernut Flour Pancakes recipe post). According to the incredible cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, quinoa is high in the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Beta carotene
  • Calcium
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin E

In addition, as I mentioned, quinoa is high in protein and one of the few plant sources considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot make on its own. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. Quinoa is also an excellent source of fiber and naturally gluten-free.

Why make Instant Pot Quinoa?

Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile might know that I am partial to cooking with kitchen gadgets, my favorite being the Instant Pot. If I can make it taste just as great in the Instant Pot as other cooking methods, I’m going to use the Instant Pot. Cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot also has the following benefits:

  • No pot of boiling water on your stove to heat up your kitchen
  • It comes out perfectly
  • Two minutes of pressure cook time, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release
  • You can just leave it to do its thing (pretty much)
  • It’s fun
overhead shot of Instant Pot quinoa in a white bowl with a blue rim next to a spoon and a bowl of lemon slices

What can this Instant Pot Quinoa be used for?

As previously mentioned, at its most basic level, this Instant Pot Quinoa can be used as a low FODMAP, gluten-free rice substitute with many dishes, such as my upcoming Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls or my Instant Pot Lemon Chicken.

However, whatever you eat it with, you’ll want to ensure the dish does not already contain large amounts of fructans or GOS as according to Monash University, quinoa contains both of these FODMAPs. Eating quinoa with other foods that contain these FODMAPs could potentially lead to FODMAP stacking. This is the downside to using quinoa over rice from a FODMAP perspective as most types of rice do not contain any FODMAPs. I set the serving size of this recipe at 3/4 of a cup of cooked quinoa, which gives a bit of wiggle room FODMAPwise as the max threshold for quinoa is 1 cup per serving.

This Instant Pot Quinoa can also be used to make breakfast porridge or added to salads. You can also get really creative with it and make it into plant-based burgers, use it as taco “meat,” blend it into a dough in the food processor for cake, and other dishes. I don’t have any other quinoa recipes on the blog yet, but I definitely plan on developing more in the future, so subscribe to be notified by email once these quinoa recipes hit the blog!

Necessary Equipment

Pretty simple stuff. The equipment I use to make this Instant Pot Quinoa include:

Instant Pot Quinoa: Ingredients & Success Tips

There’s not much to cooking quinoa. The ingredients are as follows:

  • Uncooked, whole-grain quinoa (white, red, black or tri-color)
  • Ghee, olive oil, or garlic-infused olive oil (optional)
  • Water or broth

Rinse

First, I measure 1 cup of quinoa and pour it into a fine mesh sieve / strainer. Then, I rinse it under the kitchen faucet with water until well rinsed and allow it to drain in the sink or over a bowl.

Sauté

Optionally, while the quinoa is draining, I hit sauté on the Instant Pot. Once the display reads “Hot,” I add ghee, olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil and swirl the pot until it is coated in melted ghee or oil. Then, I add the rinsed quinoa, being careful to watch out for oil splatter or quinoa seeds that pop up. When the rinsed quinoa hits the oil, it will sizzle loudly, and some of the seeds might pop up; therefore, be sure to steer clear for a few seconds before starting to stir the quinoa. I sauté the quinoa for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Sautéing the quinoa is optional but highly recommended to bring out the best flavor.

Once you’re done sautéing the quinoa, hit the “Cancel” button on the Instant Pot. Add water, chicken bone broth or beef broth to the pot. Use a spoon to scrape any seeds from the bottom or sides of the pot to ensure it’s all resting loosely in the liquid. If you’re choosing to skip the sauté step, simply add water or broth to the instant pot. Then, add the rinsed quinoa and stir.

Broth or Water?

Using broth for the liquid component brings out the best flavor in the quinoa. However, water works perfectly fine too and is more neutrally flavored. It really depends on what you’re making the quinoa for. For example, if you’re cooking the quinoa to make a sweet porridge recipe, using garlic-infused olive oil and chicken broth probably won’t be great choices. For my upcoming Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls, I use garlic-infused olive oil and chicken bone broth. The flavor of the quinoa cooked with these pairs extremely well with the shawarma.

Pressure Cook

Once you’ve added your liquid of choice and the quinoa to the pot and stirred, close the Instant Pot lid, set the pressure release valve to “Sealing,” hit the “Pressure Cook” button, and set the timer for 2 minutes. Turn off the “Keep Warm” button. It should take about 5-6 minutes for the pot to come to pressure and start the timer.

Naturally Release

Once the cooking cycle has completed, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. If the Instant Pot pin drops before 10 minutes are up, allow the quinoa to remain covered in the pot for the full 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, if there is any remaining pressure, manually release it.

Serve

Remove the lid of the Instant Pot. Scoop the quinoa from the inner pot to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Serve with my upcoming Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls, in salads, as a substitute for rice, and more.

Anticipated Questions

Is this really a recipe?

Sort of. It’s more of a “How to” or best practices refrence post with tips on how to best cook quinoa in the Instant Pot, what ingredients should be used to get the best results, etc. I put it here as I would like to refer to it when serving quinoa with other recipes.

Is quinoa Paleo or Whole30 compliant?

No. Although technically a seed, quinoa is classified as a grain or pseudo-cereal, which are not compliant with the Paleo or Whole30 programs.

What do lemons and parsley have to do with quinoa?

Nothing. I just put them in the photos to give the photos some color.

Is that you reflected in the spoon in the first photo?

Yes, it is. This happens from time to time and sometimes I do edit myself out, but I think it’s kind of funny in a “Where’s Waldo?” kind of way. I also think there is too much pressure to make photos 100% perfect. Things are way less interesting that way. If you find my reflection in any other photos on the blog, make sure to let me know! 😉

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Easy Instant Pot Quinoa (Low FODMAP, Gluten-Free)


  • Author: Gail
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Time to Come to Pressure: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This simple method of cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot will ensure your quinoa comes out light and fluffy as well as maximize its flavor. Low FODMAP and gluten-free.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (white, red, black or tri-color)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, olive oil, or garlic-infused olive oil (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups water or broth 

Instructions

  1. Rinse. Measure 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and pour into a fine mesh sieve / strainer. Rinse the quinoa with water under the kitchen sink until well rinsed. Place the sieve over the sink or a large bowl to drain.
  2. Sauté. {Optional Step} Hit the “Sauté” button on your 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker. Once the display reads “Hot,” add ghee or oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add rinsed quinoa, using caution to steer clear of oil splatter or quinoa seeds popping up. Sauté quinoa for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.” Hit Cancel on the Instant Pot.
  3. Pressure Cook. Add water or broth to the Instant Pot. If you Sauteed the quinoa, scrape it off the bottom and sides of the pot so it is all loosely floating or resting in the pot and stir; otherwise, add rinsed (unsauteed) quinoa to the water or broth and stir. Close the Instant Pot lid; set the pressure release valve to “Sealing,” hit the “Pressure Cook” button, and set the timer for 2 minutes. Turn the “Keep Warm” button off.
  4. Natural Release. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. If the pin drops before 10 minutes are up, allow the quinoa to rest in the pot, covered, until the full 10 minutes have elapsed. Release the remaining pressure (if any) and open the lid.
  5. Serve. Remove quinoa from the pot; fluff with a fork and serve with my upcoming Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls, in salads, as a substitute for rice, and more.
  6. Store. Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

  • Per Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet app, white, black and red quinoa is low FODMAP in quantities of up to 1 cup or 155 grams of cooked quinoa. Be mindful when consuming quinoa with other foods containing the FODMAPs fructans or GOS to prevent FODMAP stacking as quinoa contains both of these FODMAP types.
  • One cup of uncooked quinoa makes about 3 cups of cooked quinoa or four, 3/4 cup servings.
  • Depending on what you’re serving your quinoa with, using chicken bone broth or beef broth will bring out the best flavor in the quinoa, but water produces a great tasting quinoa as well and is most neutrally flavored. 
  • Most quinoa comes pre-rinsed, but some say rinsing it again prior to cooking results in the best flavor.
  • Step 2 is optional but highly recommended to bring out the most flavor in the quinoa.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot

Keywords: instant pot quinoa, easy quinoa, low fodmap, gluten-free, side dish, rice substitute

Spread the love!


Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating