I think we can all agree that Instant Pot’s ingenious technology takes the rush and stress out of cooking, especially when you’re running low on time. Quinoa Instant Pot recipes are easy and quick to make. And the best part is that you don’t lose any flavor.
Today’s recipe, Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa is the pressure cooker version of one of the most popular recipes on my blog, Mexican Quinoa Bowl. The ingredient list is pretty much the same, but the method is different.
If you are a fan of cooking quinoa in your pressure cooker, this is a great vegan instant pot dinner that comes together in just about 30 minutes. Perfect for a gluten-free and veggie-packed dinner you can make on a Tuesday night.
So, if you are wondering whether or not you can make Mexican quinoa in Instant pot, read on…
Colorful, tasty, and simple ingredients make this plant-based meal an easy choice when trying to decide what to make for dinner. The list in the recipe card below may look long but I bet you already have everything in your pantry.
To make this recipe, you will need veggies like onions, peppers, and garlic. You will also need Mexican-cuisine staples like cumin, coriander, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. And finally, you will need, the star of the recipe, quinoa.
A Few Helpful Tips For Ingredients:
- Quinoa: I used white quinoa because (1) it is widely available and (2) it cooks quicker literally in 1-minute pressure cooking cycle. If you decide to use red, black, or tricolor quinoa, increase the cooking time to 3 minutes for the best results.
- The Cooking Liquid: You can certainly use water as the cooking liquid in this recipe. However, I find that swapping water with vegetable broth is an easy way to flavor quinoa.
- Tomatoes: I used a can of regular diced tomatoes, but if you can get your hands on it I would recommend using fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor.
- Black Beans: I chose canned black beans for this recipe but red kidney beans also work very well.
- Corn: I use fresh corn while it is in season during the warmer months. However, canned (and drained) or frozen corn would also work well in this recipe.
- Fresh Cilantro: Not a fan of cilantro? Just omit using it.
How To Make Mexican Quinoa In An Instant Pot
Ready in under 30 minutes with only 1-minute active pressure cooking and completely done in an Instant pot, this is the perfect easy meal when you’re out of ideas.
- Saute veggies & quinoa: Press sauté on the Instant Pot and add in the oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion, peppers, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: Add in the quinoa, black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Pour in the liquid and stir to combine.
- Cook in the Instant Pot: Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high for 1 minute. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 8 minutes, then move the steam release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid.
- Finish and serve: Fluff the now-cooked quinoa with a fork. To serve, place the desired amount in a bowl and garnish with your favorite toppings (listed below.)
Topping Ideas For Pressure Cooker Mexican Quinoa
If you are like me, a fan of various toppings, this vegan burrito bowl is a great one to use as a base. Below are a few topping ideas:
- A ripe sliced fresh avocado or guacamole
- A dollop of Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Mexican pickled onions
- Pickled radishes
- Pico de gallo or any of your favorite jarred or homemade salsa
- A dollop of Chipotle Cashew Cream
- Pumpkin seeds for a bit of a crunch
- A drizzle of lime juice and fresh lime wedges on the side
- Vegetarian Options: Sour cream and/or crumbled cotija cheese.
How Long Does It Take From Start To Finish:
Once you are done with sauteeing quinoa and veggies in the Instant pot, it takes about 5-7 minutes for it to come to full pressure. After a 1-minute of actual pressure cooking time, I let it natural release for 8 minutes and release the rest of the pressure by switching the pressure valve to steam release.
So it is safe to say that this Mexican inspired pressure cooker quinoa recipe takes about approximately 15 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot. If you add 10 minutes of prep time to that, you should have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Best Way to Store Leftovers:
Leftovers can easily be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure it’s come down to room temperature before storing so it can maintain its freshness.
- Give a quick rinse to quinoa for best results: Rinsing quinoa under cold water for a few minutes helps with the removal of its natural coating saponin. If you need more information on rinsing quinoa, be sure to check out my post on How To Wash Quinoa properly.
- Don’t skip the spices! Sauteeing classic Mexican spices like cumin and coriander in oil before mixing them with the rest of the ingredients will elevate the flavor in a major way.
- Make it spicy! Add some heat by using 2 jalapeno peppers or a teaspoon of chili powder instead. Leave the jalapeno seeds intact to make it extra spicy.
- Serve it warm or cold: Enjoy it hot right out of the Instant Pot or let it cool for an hour or two and serve at room temperature.
- Add in a handful of greens to serve it as a salad: If you have leftovers, you can also add in a handful of spring salad greens or baby spinach leaves, chopped scallions, and cubed avocado to turn it into a salad.
- Serve it as a meal or side dish: This Mexican quinoa is delicious on its own or on the side of Flank Steak Tacos or Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Tacos.
- Serve it as a vegan breakfast bowl with a fried egg on top: This quinoa burrito bowl makes the best protein-packed savory breakfast bowl.
- Don’t have quinoa on hand? I made a brown rice version of this recipe and named it as Vegan Burrito Bowl. It took a little bit longer to cook, but it was just as good.
You Might Like:
Here are a few other Vegan Instant Pot Recipes you might like:
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Blend
- Steel Cut Oatmeal in Pressure Cooker
- Instant Pot Quinoa
- Instant Quinoa Breakfast
If you are in need of more vegan quinoa recipes, here are a few more to inspire you:
Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa Recipe
For The Mexican Quinoa:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium-sized onion chopped
- 2 small bell peppers chopped (or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup of white quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn rinsed (1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen corn would also work)
- 1 can 15 oz. diced tomatoes, with all their juices
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped – plus more as a garnish
As Garnish (pick & choose):
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Pickled vegetables optional
- A handful of pumpkin seeds optional
- Press sauté and add the oil to the Instant Pot.
- Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion, peppers, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the quinoa, black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Give it a stir.
- Pour in the liquid, secure the lid, move the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high for 1 minute.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 8-10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid.
- Give it a gentle stir.
- To serve: Place the desired amount in a bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado, and pickled onions or radishes. Serve with wedges of lime.