Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa flavored with cumin, smoked paprika and chili powder. This easy one pot meal is made in the Instant Pot and is the perfect meal for those busy days. Vegan & gluten-free.
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Do you have only 30 minutes to put dinner on the table? Then try this Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa!

One pot, vegan, gluten-free and it gets done in 30 minutes or less! Perfect for those busy nights!

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group would share/feature vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

mexican quinoa in a round black bowl, garnished with diced avocados and a lime wedge

Last week I was in Salt Lake City to attend a blogging conference. I really enjoyed it! The thing is that blogging can get really lonely, the human interaction is minimal plus not many people understand the work that goes behind it.

So it was great to be among like minded people who get what you do and in general it was just nice to catch up with my virtual blogging friends.

I shared a lot from the conference on my Instagram stories, so if you want to keep up with what goes in my kitchen and life beyond blogging, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

The first thing I did after coming back was to go grocery shopping and then make this Mexican Quinoa. This is one of my favorite things to make in the Instant Pot!

mexican quinoa in a round black bowl, garnished with diced avocados and a lime wedge

This Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa

✓ is one pot meal

✓ gets done in 30 minutes or less!

✓ is vegan and gluten-free

✓ flavored with cumin, smoked paprika and chili powder

✓ leftovers makes great lunch and also perfect for lunch-box

I love easy meals and I am sure you love them too. You guys have been loving the Thai Peanut Noodles that I shared on the blog recently and so I thought of sharing more easy dinner recipes with you guys.

When it comes to easy dinner, I always go back to my trusted Instant Pot. It never disappoints me!

mexican quinoa served in a small blue plate with a fork on the side

How to Make Mexican Quinoa

To make this mexican quinoa is really easy. The prep work is minimal and the result is so good. I really love recipes which require less prep work, I am not a fan of chopping and peeling.

All you have to do is to saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno in little oil and then add the tomato, beans, corn and quinoa along with the spices to the pot.

Add water and let it cook on high pressure. Finish off with cilantro and lime juice! I also like to add some diced avocados before serving.

 

Helpful Tips

  1. I have used fire roasted crushed tomatoes here, you may use plain crushed tomatoes too.
  2. De-seed the jalapeño to make the dish less hot.
  3. Adjust spices levels to taste. Add more of the chili powder if you like it hot.
  4. I added 1.25 cups water to this recipe and it results in a softer quinoa (more like rice as you can see in pictures). If you want quinoa seeds to be more separated and be more like the way it looks in salads, use 1 cup water.
  5. Some of the newer Instant Pot models get the BURN message frequently. If you face similar problems with your IP, add the crushed tomatoes at the end (on top of everything) and DO NOT stir after adding the tomatoes. Close the pot and cook as usual.

Hope you guys like easy one pot Mexican Quinoa recipe. It’s healthy, flavorful and the best part is that it is so easy to put together!

Method

Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil to it and then add the chopped onion, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 2 minutes until onion is softened.

Add the black beans, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and corn kernels. Mix well. I used frozen corn kernels and put them in warm water for 5 minutes before adding to the pot.

Please note if your IP has the problems of getting BURN message, do not add tomatoes at this point. Add everything else and add tomatoes at the very end. Do not stir after adding the tomatoes.

Add the spices – cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder. Also add the salt and black pepper and mix.

Add the quinoa and toss until well combined.

Add water or vegetable broth and mix.

Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 1 minute with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

Let the pressure release naturally.

Open the pot, fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add cilantro and lime juice.

Add in the diced avocados and serve Mexican Quinoa immediately. You may also top it with guacamole, salsa or some sour cream!

mexican quinoa in a round black bowl, garnished with diced avocados and a lime wedge

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa

mexican quinoa in a round black bowl, garnished with diced avocados and a lime wedge
Manali
Mexican Quinoa flavored with cumin, smoked paprika and chili powder. This easy one pot meal is made in the Instant Pot and is the perfect meal for those busy days. Vegan & gluten-free.
4.62 from 62 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5
Calories 374 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped, de-seed for less heat
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels I used frozen and added them to warm water for 5 minutes
  • 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked, 180 grams, rinsed well, I usually rinse quinoa for 1-2 minutes
  • 1-1.25 cups water or vegetable broth use 1 cup if you want quinoa grains more separated
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime juice of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado diced

Instructions
 

  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil to it and then add the chopped onion, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 2 minutes until the onion is softened.
  • Add the black beans, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and corn kernels. Mix well. I used frozen corn kernels and put them in warm water for 5 minutes before adding to the pot. [Please note if your IP has the problems of getting BURN message, do not add tomatoes at this point. Add everything else and add tomatoes at the very end. Do not stir after adding the tomatoes].
  • Add the spices – cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder. Also add the salt and black pepper and mix.
  • Add the quinoa and toss until well combined. Then add the water or vegetable broth and mix.
  • Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 1 minute with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Open the pot, fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add cilantro and lime juice.
  • Add in the diced avocados and serve Mexican Quinoa immediately. You may also top it with guacamole, salsa or some sour cream!

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 14gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 531mgPotassium: 743mgFiber: 14gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 570IUVitamin C: 13.7mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 4.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

155 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa

  1. The cooking time can’t be one minute and then it says on the recipe that cook time is 30 minutes ? When I put everything in the IP how long does it cook for ? Nothing cooks in a minute

    1. I am not sure you understand. I mention the cooking time which is the total cooking time that it takes for this recipe to cook. 1 minute is the pressure cooking time. When you set time to 1 minute, the pot takes time to come to pressure, then it takes time to release pressure. All that time is 30 minutes (and that’s why that is mentioned as the cooking time), of course nothing cooks in 1 minute but on your Instant Pot, you will set time to 1 minute for pressure cooking. Hope this clear things up for you!

  2. 5 stars
    I ‘pushed the easy button’ and used a can of Rotel instead of
    the jalapeño and fire roasted tomatoes. But I did sauce onion + minced garlic. I gave it 5 stars for being easy quick and delicious!
    I used this to make Mexican wraps with chicken I had slow cooked in IP with a can of Rotel + garlic and salt/pepper the previous day. YUM!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this with ingredients I had on hand and it was really good. I accidentally put in 1 tsp each of cumin and paprika but it had a really nice flavor. This is good by itself with sour cream and salsa or as a dip eaten with tortilla chips. Will definitely make again and try it with avocado.

  4. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT! I’m not a quinoa fan at all, but this may change my opinion. My daughter and I ate two big helpings. Fresh and delicious.

  5. 3 stars
    Opened my instant pot after the one minute pressure cook and after the natural release and it was very watery and the quinoa was not cooked. It smelled wonderful. Any advice?

    1. I am not sure what went wrong, it always cooks for me in that time. sorry you had problems. someone the other day commented that there wasn’t enough liquids and it burnt and now you are saying it was too watery. I think IP is the problem sometimes 🙂 Try 2 minutes next time with natural pressure release.

      1. I realized I didn’t have it on high, but the normal pressure cook setting. I am trying again today 🙂 I am new to using an Instant Pot, lol.

  6. 1 star
    I’m not sure how this has so many 5 stars. The ingredients are great but the IP instructions are WAY OFF!!! It burns like crazy every single time and I have followed the directions VERBATIM, I tried eliminating the tomatoes altogether and it still didn’t work. This recipe is awful. I’m always left with burnt yet uncooked quinoa, super disappointing.

    1. Hi there, well it has so many 5 stars because it’s a good recipe and it works for many ? . Sorry it didn’t work for you, maybe you need to get your Instant pot tested if it burned even after eliminating tomatoes. The newer models are more prone to burn message especially the 8qt that’s why it might be a good idea to use more water if using 8qt. It never burns for me so hard to say what’s going on but maybe your IP has a faulty sensor? Which IP model do you use? From what I am aware of these burn messages are more of a problem in Nova and Ultra models, I have a DUO only and it has never once given burn message for anything. Thanks for trying.

  7. This is delicious but my quinoa was not cooked all the way . How can I cook it more /without getting burn notice ? Should I add some water ?

    1. the newer models are unfortunately more prone to burn message (especially 8 qt). I have an older model and I am yet to see a burn message. I think just add more water next time and also scrape the bottom of the pot making sure there’s nothing stuck before putting it to pressure cook.

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