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Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf Recipe Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf Recipe


Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

Written by: Emily Smith

Whipped up a vibrant quinoa pilaf in my trusty Instant Pot today. Packed with veggies and a hint of cumin, it's a hearty, healthy dish that's just bursting with flavor.

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Who can resist a hearty, fiber-packed dish that's as quick as instant pot quinoa pilaf? I'm thrilled to share this recipe with you! One whirl in the instant pot and you'll have a savory pilaf loaded with colorful veggies, wholesome quinoa, and a hint of comforting cumin. It's a fuss-free side dish or stand-alone meal that'll keep your belly satisfied. Let's get started!

Ingredients for Quinoa Pilaf in the Instant Pot

  • Quinoa: Nutritious whole grain high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, adding a hearty and healthy base to the pilaf.
  • Vegetable broth: Infuses rich flavor into the quinoa while keeping the dish vegetarian and enhancing the overall taste profile.
  • Olive oil: Provides a flavorful base for sautéing the vegetables and quinoa, adding richness and depth to the dish.
  • Onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor base to the pilaf, enhancing the overall taste and aroma of the dish.
  • Garlic: Infuses a pungent and aromatic flavor to the pilaf, elevating the taste profile with its bold essence.
  • Carrot: Adds a touch of sweetness and vibrant color to the pilaf, providing a subtle crunch and earthy flavor.
  • Bell pepper: Brings a pop of color, sweetness, and crunch to the pilaf, enhancing the overall texture and visual appeal.
  • Cumin: Infuses warm, earthy, and aromatic notes to the pilaf, adding depth of flavor and a hint of spice.
  • Fresh parsley: Brightens up the dish with its fresh and herbaceous flavor, adding a burst of freshness and visual appeal to the pilaf.

Essential Tools for Making This Instant Pot Recipe

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the quinoa pilaf quickly and efficiently without constant monitoring.
  • Knife: Needed for dicing the onion, garlic, carrot, and bell pepper to add flavor and texture to the dish.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain well.
  2. Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the onion and garlic, sauté until fragrant.
  4. Add the carrot and bell pepper, cook for a few minutes.
  5. Stir in the quinoa, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  6. Pour in the vegetable broth and give everything a good stir.
  7. Close the Instant Pot lid, set to high pressure for 1 minute.
  8. Once done, allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  9. Fluff the quinoa pilaf with a fork and serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 220 kcal | Carbohydrates: 37 g | Protein: 6 g | Total Fat: 5 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 480 mg | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 4 g | Calcium: 50 mg | Potassium: 320 mg | Iron: 3 mg | Vitamin A: 200 µg | Vitamin C: 45 mg

Tips for Making Quinoa Pilaf Ahead of Time or Freezing

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the quinoa pilaf as directed.
  • Let it cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the quinoa pilaf to cool completely.
  • Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

One interesting fact about this instant pot quinoa pilaf recipe is that you can add a splash of lemon juice before serving to brighten up the flavors and add a refreshing twist to the dish. It's a simple trick that can really elevate the overall taste of the pilaf!

Common Questions About Preparing Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf

Can I use water instead of vegetable broth in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute water for vegetable broth, but using broth adds more flavor to the dish.
How can I make this recipe gluten-free?
This recipe is naturally gluten-free as quinoa is a gluten-free grain. Just ensure your vegetable broth is gluten-free as well.
Can I add other vegetables to this quinoa pilaf?
Absolutely! Feel free to customize this recipe by adding your favorite vegetables like peas, corn, or zucchini.
Is it possible to make this recipe in a regular pot instead of an instant pot?
Yes, you can make this quinoa pilaf on the stovetop. Just follow the same steps but adjust the cooking time according to the quinoa package instructions.
How long can I store leftovers of this quinoa pilaf?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

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