Instant Pot Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice

Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice- one pot vegan meal with veggies, quinoa and flavored with red curry paste, coconut milk & Thai basil!

This quinoa fried “rice” is more protein packed than the traditional fried rice and a great way to use any leftover red curry paste.

black plate with quinoa, veggies, basil, lime wedge and more basil and a bowl of hot sauce in the background

I keep trying new ways to make Sarvesh enjoy quinoa. Over the years, he has gone from “I won’t touch it” to “this is nice”.

But that “this is nice” doesn’t always happen. If I give him plain quinoa salad, he will not like it. But make a Mexican quinoa or flavor it in different ways, then he definitely enjoys it.

Here’s the recent one which he absolutely relished, without any complaints- Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice.

It tastes exactly like your regular fried rice but is more wholesome and protein packed, thanks to the quinoa.

I always have some leftover red curry paste in my refrigerator, mostly because I don’t get to use the entire can in my curries and then left with some.

So, the other day when I found some curry paste in the fridge, I decided to make this quinoa fried rice and it turned out so good you guys!

This Quinoa Fried Rice

✔is a one-pot meal which can be made quickly for a weeknight meal.

✔is vegan and can be made gluten-free.

✔good way to incorporate more veggies in your diet.

✔more wholesome than the traditional fried rice.

I love ordering curry fried rice at restaurants. But mostly the one at Thai restaurants has so much oil, like it’s literally dripping with oil.

It’s of course delicious but you can make similar fried rice at home with much less oil and when you make it with quinoa, it becomes even more healthier.

While regular fried rice is great, you add some curry paste to it and becomes even more flavorful.

The flavor of this curry fried rice comes from the red curry paste of course. I love Maesri brand (not sponsored, just love them) and highly recommend using them.

Also a good curry fried rice needs some coconut flavor. If you add coconut milk later, the rice (in this case quinoa) becomes very soggy.

So, the best way is to cook the quinoa with coconut milk. It absorbs the flavor of the coconut milk beautifully and you don’t need to add any coconut milk later on while stir-frying.

I used the Instant Pot to cook the quinoa and for 1 cup of quinoa added 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water. This ratio worked perfectly well for this recipe.

It might look the quinoa is little soggy when you open the lid but it becomes fluffier as it cools down. Plus it had the perfect consistency I was looking for in my fried rice.

Other than the curry paste and the coconut milk, the dish also gets it’s flavor from Thai basil. It really does add to the flavor and I highly recommend not substituting it (if you can please!).

Once the quinoa is cooked, the next bit to do a quick stir fry where you saute the veggies and then mix everything in together. I do this step on the “saute” mode in the instant pot.

quinoa with veggies and basil and a lime wedge with a small bowl of hot sauce placed on the side

I have used lots of veggies here- peppers, onion, carrots, peas and broccoli. You can also add cabbage and snap peas. Basically we are not pressure cooking the veggies here, just sauteing them for around 3 minutes.

So, you can use any veggies which soften a bit yet remain crunchy (and good to eat) in that time frame.

Making it gluten-free: use tamari in place of soy sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.

Thai basil substitute: okay, I said to not substitute it but if you must, try substituting with a mix of Italian basil and cilantro.

Stove-top Instructions

You can easily make this recipe on stove-top.

Cook quinoa on stove-top using directions on the packet. It’s usually 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa.

So, here use 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water. Once quinoa is cooked, follow the rest of the steps as it is in a pan on medium heat.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving this red curry quinoa fried rice with some hot sauce like sambal oelek.

You can also chop some red spicy chilies and serve along or serve with some red chili flakes.

Method

1- Rinse quinoa in a strainer for 2 minutes, this helps in removing the bitterness. Transfer rinsed quinoa to the inner steel pot of your instant pot. Add 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water and stir.

2- Close the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.

3- Open the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl. Wipe the steel pot of your instant pot and then place it back in the IP. Press the saute button.

4- Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions soften.

step by step picture collage of making quinoa fried rice

5- Then add the veggies- carrots, red pepper, broccoli florets and frozen peas. Cook for around 3 minutes, stirring often until veggies soften a bit.

6- Then add the curry paste.

7 – Add the soy sauce.

8- Mix everything well. Also add the salt and mix well.

step by step picture collage of making quinoa fried rice

9- Now, add the cooked quinoa back into the pot.

10- Stir well until all the quinoa is well combined.

11- Unplug the Instant Pot, and add the chopped Thai basil and green onion.

12- Add in lime juice.

step by step picture collage of making quinoa fried rice

Serve Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice with a side of hot sauce.

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Red Curry Quinoa Fried Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice

black plate with quinoa, veggies, basil, lime wedge and more basil and a bowl of hot sauce in the background
Manali
Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice made in the Instant Pot! Vegan, packed with veggies, wholesome, the dish gets it's flavor from curry paste and coconut milk.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 3
Calories 417 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup quinoa 185 grams, I used white quinoa
  • 1 cup coconut milk 8 oz
  • 1/2 cup water 4 oz
  • 1.5 tablespoons oil 22 ml, vegetable oil or avocado oil
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot cut into rounds
  • 1 large red pepper chopped into 1/2 inch
  • 1 cup broccoli florets small florets
  • 1/4 cup green peas I use frozen
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste or use more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce 10 ml
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup thai basil chopped
  • 2-3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1 small lime juice of

Instructions
 

  • Rinse quinoa in a strainer for 2 minutes, this helps in removing the bitterness. Transfer rinsed quinoa to the inner steel pot of your instant pot. Add 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water and stir.
    Close the lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.
    white color liquid in a steel pot
  • Open the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl. Wipe the steel pot of your instant pot and then place it back in the IP. Press the saute button.
    quinoa being fluffed with a fork after cooking
  • Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions soften.
    sliced onion, chopped garlic and ginger being sauteed in a pot
  • Then add the veggies- carrots, red pepper, broccoli florets and frozen peas. Cook for around 3 minutes, stirring often until veggies soften a bit.
    broccoli florets, sliced red pepper, carrots and green peas in a pot
  • Then add the curry paste and the soy sauce. Mix everything well. Also add the salt and mix well.
    curry paste being added to a pot of veggies
  • Now, add the cooked quinoa back into the pot. Stir well until all the quinoa is well combined.
    cooked quinoa being added to a pot
  • Unplug the Instant Pot, and add the chopped Thai basil and green onion. Add in lime juice.
    hand squeezing lime juice in a pot full of veggies and quinoa
  • Serve Red Curry Quinoa Fried Rice with a side of hot sauce.
    quinoa with veggies and lime wedge served in a plate with bowl of hot sauce on side

Stove-top Instructions

  • Cook quinoa on stove-top according to instructions on the package. Usually it is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid. For this recipe, use 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water to cook the quinoa (you can even do 1.5 cups coconut milk and 1/2 cup water for an even intense coconut flavor). Fluff with a fork and set aside. Follow the remaining steps as it is in a pan on stove-top on medium heat.

Notes

  1. You can add more curry paste if you want the fried rice to be spicier. Try adding an additional 1/2 tablespoon.
  2. Use tamari in place of soy sauce to make this gluten-free.

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 12gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 511mgPotassium: 747mgFiber: 9gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 7763IUVitamin C: 116mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 4mg
Keyword quinoa fried rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

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