Instant Pot Lemon Quinoa is a delicious and flavourful side dish. Perfect to add to salads and for meal prepping. Cooks in just 1 minute (and natural pressure release).
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Quinoa grew in popularity over the past decade. It went from rare and exotic to a common alternative to rice.
Quinoa isn’t actually a grain, it’s a seed. It’s often used as a substitute for rice. Mostly because the texture is pretty similar, however quinoa has more fibre and protein than rice, it is also has fewer calories than rice.
Making quinoa on the stove is not difficult by any means, but as I always say, I love using Instant Pot because it is just so convenient.
Making quinoa in Instant Pot is not much faster than using the traditional stove-top cooking method but it is a lot easier and more convenient!
Just as rice, quinoa has a very neutral taste. I love making Lemon Quinoa as it tastes flavourful and very fresh. It is a great side for Instant Pot Poached Salmon or Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms. Perfect for meal prepping.
If you are a fan of quinoa, then try my Instant Pot Chicken and Quinoa. It’s a delicious and complete meal.
How to make Lemon Quinoa in Instant Pot
This is seriously a very easy recipe with virtually no effort.
- Add the quinoa, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vegetable broth to Instant Pot.
- Cook on High Pressure for 1 minute.
- Do a full Natural Pressure Release which will take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes.
- Fluff up with a fork and serve.
This method of 1 minute on High Pressure plus Natural Pressure Release makes an al dente quinoa. For slightly softer quinoa, add another 1-2 minutes of cooking time.
Questions and answers about cooking quinoa in Instant Pot
Do you need to rinse quinoa?
This is an interesting question. Most sites and resources will say that you must rinse quinoa. I however, rarely do so.
I have done tests of cooking rinsed and unrinsed quinoa in my Instant Pot and on the stove and I honestly do not find any difference in flavour or texture of the cooked quinoa.
So, you can decide yourself if you’d like to rinse it or not. Whether you rinse quinoa or not, the cooking directions for Instant Pot will not change.
Can you omit lemon?
Sure, you can. Follow the same specific cooking instructions and you’ll make just regular quinoa.
What is the ratio of quinoa to liquid in Instant Pot?
The ratio of quinoa to liquid for cooking in Instant Pot is anywhere between 1:1 to 1:1.5, meaning for 1 part of quinoa you would take between 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid.
In this particular recipe I use 1 cup quinoa and then 1 cup broth + juice of half lemon which is about another 2 tablespoons.
The more liquid you have, the softer quinoa you’ll get.
Don’t you need to add seasoning?
I prefer not to add any extra spices when I cook quinoa like that. There’s some seasoning in the broth which adds a lot of flavour to quinoa.
You can add your own favourite spices also. Try some garlic powder, paprika, chili, pepper, etc.
Can you double the recipe?
Yes, you can double the recipe. Cooking time will remain the same.
More Instant Pot Side Dishes
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- Use a microplane zester to zest half a lemon and lemon squeezer for the lemon juice.
- Add all the ingredients to Instant Pot.
- Close the lid. Turn the valve to sealing.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and using the arrow buttons set the cook time to 1 minute. Use default High Pressure.
Depending on your Instant Pot model, it'll take around 5-7 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once Instant Pot beeps that the 1 minute1 of cooking are done, do a Natural Pressure Release, which means do nothing until the pressure pin drops indicating that all the pressure is released and it is safe to open Instant Pot. It will take approximately 15 minutes.
- Open the lid and fluff up quinoa with a fork. If it is still too al dente to your liking, close the lid immediately and wait for another 5-10 minutes while Instant Pot is on its default Keep Warm setting. This will help quinoa steam up a bit more.
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Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 165mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g