Instant Pot Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli

Instant Pot Cheesy Quinoa With Broccoli
Instant Pot Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli.  Mommy Standard Time
The recipe that got my picky eaters to devour quinoa. Mommy Standard Time

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Confessions of an Instant Pot Newbie - My first converted recipe

I have had a few major wins and some pretty ugly losses since joining the Instant Pot crowd last fall.  {Click here if you want to check out what I’ve shared so far}

I have been toying with the idea of trying some of my tried-and-true recipes in the Instant Pot, but I have heard mixed reviews from people who have tried converting their own stove top recipes for the pressure cooker.  Some people have great success, but the majority I have read mention that the seasonings and texture are “off”.  I finally decided that it was time for me to continue branching out with my Instant Pot, so I set my sights on cooking my favorite quinoa recipe in the Instant Pot.

It was a WIN!

Now, don’t get scared away by the word “quinoa”!  This recipe is PERFECT for people who have never had quinoa before (as long as they like broccoli). I found this recipe when I first started eating quinoa and it is single-handedly what got me used to the new taste and texture.

The smell and taste of the steamed broccoli, which are more familiar, help disguise the smell and taste of the quinoa (which definitely takes some getting used to). 

I also discovered that cooking this recipe in a pressure cooker actually helps keep the texture a little more reminiscent of rice and has a little less of the al dente texture of quinoa.  Again, this is perfect for someone who is just getting used to quinoa.  If you’re a die-hard who loves your quinoa a little more al dente, you will want to play around with the cook time a little bit.

If you need any more convincing, when I recently made this for lunch in the Instant Pot, two-year-old Ladybug (normally more of a grazer who eats a light lunch) devoured two bowls of this quinoa.  This was her first exposure to quinoa, too!

The best part of this recipe is that you set it and pretty much forget it.  The total cook time is just about as long as it would be on the stove top, maybe about 5 minutes faster, but you don’t have to worry about watching for the water to boil and removing from the heat.

rinsing quinoa All you do is rinse one cup of quinoa using a fine mesh strainer (for quinoa newbies…this step is ESSENTIAL.  You always want to rinse your quinoa before using it.)

adding water and quinoa to instant pot

Put the quinoa in the Instant Pot and add 1 1/2 cups of cold water.

adding broccoli to instant pot

Then, the beauty of this recipe is that you put about two cups of broccoli florets on top of the quinoa.  You don’t need to stir it or anything.  It’s going to cook right along with the quinoa.

instant pot cooking quinoa

Add a few dashes of salt and pepper and put the lid in place, making sure to set the valve to “sealing.”  Set the Instant Pot to cook for one minute on manual.  Yes, you read that correctly…just one minute.

broccoli and quinoa cooked in Instant Pot

After the pressure builds and the cook time is up, you will let the Instant Pot sit under pressure on the keep warm function for 12 minutes.  The lovely thing about the Instant Pot is that it starts counting UP after the cook time is over, so just switch the valve to “venting” once the timer has counted up to 12 minutes.  Then remove the lid.

stirring cheese into cheesy broccoli quinoa

Then you will CAREFULLY fold in one cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  I normally just let the cheese sit on top for a minute and start to melt before folding it in.  You don’t want to stir just-cooked quinoa too much or it can turn mushy instead of light and fluffy.  This is especially true when you cook it in a pressure cooker.

cheesy quinoa with broccoli

That’s it!  A quick and easy lunch (or dinner) OR a delicious side dish.   Keep scrolling for the printable recipe with full instructions.


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Print Recipe
Instant Pot Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
  1. Rinse quinoa and add to Instant Pot with 1 1/2 cups cold water.
  2. Add broccoli to Instant Pot, but do not stir. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper.
  3. Put lid on cooker and move valve to "sealing." Set it to cook on manual (high pressure) for one minute.
  4. When cook time is up, let the Instant Pot stay under pressure on keep-warm mode for 12 minutes. After the 12 minutes have passed, vent any remaining pressure by switching the valve to "venting" and then remove lid.
  5. Put cheese on top of the quinoa and let it sit until it starts to melt, then gently fold it into the quinoa. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
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