How do you cook quinoa in the Instant Pot? Well, it’s very easy. Not to mention cooking quinoa in the instant pot takes just 3 minutes under pressure! A pilaf is normally made with something like couscous or rice and can be mixed with dried fruit, meat, vegetables, depending on what part of the world you’re cooking from. My instant pot quinoa recipe is inspired by seasonal fall flavors and will be a perfect gluten-free holiday side. Quinoa pressure cooker recipes are a great dish to serve for vegetarians who may be joining you this holiday. Quinoa is a grain that’s also high in protein.

Pressure cooked grains actually digest easier than normal grains since the high pressure denatures the lectin compounds in them that some people find trouble in digesting. #science.

Looking for more meatless options? Check out this List of Recipes

The Ingredients

Let the season guide the ingredients you add to this dish. I love adding a mix of sweet and savoury. A classic pilaf has a combo of nuts and dried fruit like almonds and dried apricots for instance. Quinoa is very versatile and can take on many kinds of tasty flavours.

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • celery
  • apple
  • quinoa
  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt
  • dates
  • cashews or another nut such as pecans or walnuts
  • parsley

Rinse Quinoa

Quinoa has a compound (here’s that science again) called saponins. While it’s not 100% essential to rinse it, it definitely helps the final product have a better texture.

image shows using a strainer to drain excess water from the quinoa after rinsing

Saute Ingredients

Let’s put that Instant Pot multicooker functionality to good use. Saute onions, celery, and apples until they’re soft. Then add the quinoa, stock, and salt. Top with dates and pressure cook for just 3 minutes!

image shows the saute process of the veggies in the bottom of an instant pot while using a slotted spoon to stir.

Add the Toppings

When you’re ready to serve, carefully put the quinoa into a serving dish and top with the cashews and parsley. Enjoy this as an accompaniment to a holiday meal or on its own.

Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf

Eva Bee
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Pressure Cook Time 1 minute
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Thanksgiving, Holiday
Servings 8 Servings


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and chopped
  • cup quinoa rinsed
  • cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup dates chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted cashews chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp parsley for garnish


  • Turn saute function to normal. Swirl in olive oil and saute onion, celery and apple. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in Quinoa and saute for 1 minute.
  • Pour in stock and sprinkle with salt. Scrape down the sides to make sure all of the quinoa is submerged under the stock.
  • Add in dates.
  • Cancel saute function.
  • Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. Quick release pressure.
  • Pour into a serving bowl carefully and top with toasted cashews and parsley.

Discover Delicious

Looking for more beginner-friendly recipes? Click here!

More Vegetarian Dinner Ideas

Check out our Instant Pot Mac and Cheese or our Roasted Moroccan Chickpea Tomato Soup.

Get fresh ideas delivered directly to you each week.

Sign up for our newsletter and be among the first to see our latest kitchen creations!

Prefer visual learning?

Subscribe to the Home Pressure Cooking YouTube Channel and discover a wealth of great video content at your fingertips!

Share your thoughts!

Let us know what you think about this recipe by leaving us a rating and review below!

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating