Quinoa Pulao in Instant Pot is what a quick recipe dreams are made of. And this Quinoa Pilaf also happens to be a nutrition bomb, loaded with veggies & spicy chicken strips! Learn how to make the best Vegetable Quinoa Pulao in Instant Pot with easy steps & a video to watch. Stove-top method is included too.
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Watch Quinoa Pulao Video below
Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf
This Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf will make any Quinoa hater to bend down on knees & beg for more 😉
Oh yes! we did something with the recipe today which added outrageous flavors to the whole meal. Suspense! Suspense! 😀 Read on to know more 😉
One-pot nutritious recipes that serve as a complete meal are such handy ones, right guys?
These One-pot meals are so quick that you may rightfully call them an INSTANT recipe.
And today’s Instant Pot Quinoa Pulao with vegetables & chicken is one such Instant recipe that guarantees spectacular result every single time!
It is extremely easy & super quick to fix in a hurry or no hurry but Lazy days 😀
And there are endless possibilities of treating this recipe & making it your very own.
Like you can add some extra protein like tofu, paneer, chicken & shrimp to this Vegetable Quinoa Pulao & personalize it according to your liking.
We did just that in today’s recipe.
We flash marinated some chicken strips, shallow fried them & charred them slightly & threw them into the Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf.
Result? A flavor-bomb.
But, the secret lies in the marination of the protein.
The more tasty the marination the more delicious your Quinoa Pulao will become.
Do you want to see exactly how we made it?
Just scroll down happily 😀
Watch the Video & if in hurry we’ve the step by step method too.
Quinoa Pulao Ingredients
You need a few basic ingredients to make this vegetable quinoa pulao in Instant Pot.
- White Quinoa: Rinsed very well. This will remove the saponin from the outer skin of the quinoa & it wont taste bitter at all! We here at Foodies Terminal also love to slightly dry roast the Quinoa before rinsing it. This boosts the flavors so much.
- White onion: I would recommend to use either white or sweet yellow onion here. Using red onion will add a lot of pungency to the recipe. We just don’t want that to happen here.
- Veggies: We added Cubed carrots, bell peppers, green peas. You can also add green beans, cauliflower, sweet potato.
- Protein: We added flash marinated, shallow fried chicken strips. We prepared a special marinade for the chicken which is insanely easy. You can also sub the chicken with tofu, paneer or shrimps. Or you can totally omit this step if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
- Spices: Turmeric powder & garam masala powder.
- For Tempering: Whole cumin seeds.
- Extras: Golden Raisins. They plump up and add a subtle sweetness & a tad bit of sourness to the Chicken Quinoa Pilaf. Do not omit these. If you want you may also add chopped almonds or cashew nuts for some added crunch. Today’s recipe is however, nut free. And yes, I forgot to add the raisins in the Ingredients pic 😀 But, you’ll find them in the process shots as well as the video.
- Some kind of fat: We cooked today’s Instant Pot Quinoa Pulao with Olive oil. But, you may also use avocado oil, canola oil, ghee for making it.
6 Tips to make the Best Instant Pot Quinoa Pulao
- Rinse the Quinoa: And do it very well under running tap water. This will help to wash off the saponin (outer coating of the Quinoa) & remove any bitterness from the white quinoa. For more quinoa facts read the Warm Quinoa salad with kale, chicken & veggies from Foodies Terminal.
- Same size & shape veggies work wonders: Cut the veggies in the same size & shape. This will ensure a uniform cooking time.
- Do not skip the garam masala powder: This is the magic spice for today’s recipe and packs such awesome flavors. White Quinoa recipes tastes terrific with the use of garam masala powder.
- Add warm water or stock (veggie or chicken): Warm up the liquid in the micro wave oven & pour it in the Instant Pot. This will help build the pressure quickly & hence, it will start pressure cooking fast. In one word, you’ll save time 😉
- The 10 minute rule: Do not serve the Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf instantly after opening the pot. Fluff the cooked Quinoa Pilaf with a fork & wait for 10 mins before serving it. The white grains will soak up all the excess moisture & they will become so light & so fluffy. They won’t be mushy, limp & sad. Follow this tip & serve a shinning happy plateful Chicken Quinoa Pulao to your guests. You can thank me later for this tip 😀
- Pan fried protein is the way to go: If you plan to add some sort of protein (chicken, shrimp, paneer or tofu) just like we did, you must flash marinate the protein first & than shallow fry it on a skillet. Add this flavorsome protein to the Vegetable Quinoa Pulao & mix for best flavors.
Pro Tip: For better results do not pressure cook the Quinoa Pilaf with the protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu or paneer). Instead pan roast the protein first & than add it to the cooked pilaf. This will give the best flavors to your Instant Pot Quinoa Pulao.
How long can you store Quinoa Pulao?
You can store Quinoa Pulao for 5 days in the refrigerator. Store it in an air tight container for better results.
Can you freeze Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf?
Yes, you can!
Put the Instant Pot Quinoa Pilaf in individual freezer safe bags & pop them in the freezer for 1 month.
Once, you thaw & reheat the Vegetable Quinoa Pulao the veggies will slightly become little soft. There’s no way to prevent this from happening.
Pro Tip: While re-heating the freezer Quinoa Pulao sprinkle it water & than heat it in the micro wave oven or on the stop top. This little tip will save your Quinoa from over-drying.
You don’t need a bunch of creative ideas to serve a one-pot simple Pilaf which is a filling, delicious & wholesome meal all by itself.
Or do you?
In that case, I would not mind a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice & a sporadic throw of fresh, finely chopped cilantro.
If you are still not satisfied , do add your favorite Indian pickle on the plate & give yourself an extraordinary Quinoa treat. Happy Eating! 😉
Love Instant Pot Recipes? Check the entire INSTANT POT RECIPE collection from FOODIES TERMINAL.
How to make Quinoa Pulao in Instant Pot?
Steps in words below pictures
How to Quinoa Pulao in Instant Pot?
- Marinate the chicken strips
Thinly slice the chicken breast into 2″ strips & marinate them with chili garlic sauce, red hot sauce & salt. The chicken strips must be uniformly coated with the marinade.
- Pan Roast the chicken
Over medium high heat pan roast the marinated chicken strips turning them from side to side until they becomes nicely roasted & charred at spots. Keep them aside.
- Sizzle the cumin
Set up the Instant Pot on SAUTE at NORMAL add oil & sizzle the cumin for a few seconds.
- Saute the Onion
Throw in the onion for 1 min.
- Saute the Veggies + Spices
Add the veggies to the pot. Mix everything & saute for 1-2 mins. Add the spices too & mix well.
- Add the Rinsed Quinoa + water
Next, add the rinsed white quinoa to the pot & pour warm or hot water. Mix everything well.
- Pressure cook
Cancel the SAUTE mode. Close the lid of the pot & PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 1 min. Wait for NPR (natural pressure release) for 5 mins. Open the lid & fluff the cooked Quinoa Pulao with a fork.
- Mix the roasted chicken
Throw in the pan roasted chicken strips into the pot & mix everything very well. You may totally skip adding the chicken. Choice is yours. Wait for 10 mins before serving. This will help the Quinoa to absorb the excess moisture & it will become very light & fluffy.
Love Quinoa? Check these easy Quinoa Recipes from Foodies Terminal.
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Watch Recipe Video
For the Roasted Chicken Strips:
- 1 pound chicken breast cut into 2″ thin strips (453.5 gms)
- 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tbsp red hot sauce
- Salt (to taste)
For the Quinoa Pulao
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1/2 cup cubed carrots
- 1/2 cup cubed green bell pepper (also known as capsicum)
- 1/2 cup Green Peas
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1/3 cup Golden Raisins
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds (also known as Jeera)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup warm or hot water
- pan roasted chicken
- Salt (to taste)
How to make the pan roasted chicken?
- Cut the chicken breast into thin strips, about 2″ long. Set aside in a bowl.
- Add the chili garlic sauce, the red hot sauce & the salt to the chicken strips and massage them to coat them well with the sauces.
- Set a skillet over medium high heat, add about 2 tsp oil & shallow fry the marinated chicken strips until nicely roasted and spot charred. Rotate them from side to side while pan roasting them. Set aside.
How to make the Quinoa Pulao in Instant Pot?
- Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode at NORMAL.
- Next, add oil to the pot. When the oil becomes moderately hot throw in the whole cumin seeds and sizzle them for a few seconds.
- Now, add the golden raisins & saute for 1/2 min until they are plump.
- Throw in the chopped onions & saute for another 1 min.
- Add the veggies & saute for 1 min. Add the spices too & mix well. Saute for 1 more min.
- Now, add the rinsed white quinoa. Mix well with all the other ingredients in the pot.
- Next, pour the hot or warm water and give everything a very good mix, so that there are no lumps in the water.
- CANCEL the SAUTE mode and close the lid of the Instant Pot & seal the vent.
- Press the PRESSURE COOK button & set it on HIGH for 1 min.
- After 1 min when the IP begins to beep, wait for a NPR (natural pressure release for about 5 mins).
- Open the pot and gently fluff the Quinoa Pulao with the help of a knife.
- Throw in the pan roasted chicken strips and give everything a gentle mix.
- Wait for 10 more mins before serving. The Quinoa Pulao will absorb the excess moisture and become so light, fluffy and not sticky at all! Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice & some chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
How to cook Quinoa Pulao on Stove Top?
- The recipe remains exact same. Switch the Instant pot with a regular Kadai or skillet.
- Rinse the Quinoa very well under running tap water before beginning the recipe.
- Boil the Quinoa with stock (vegetable or chicken) in a deep bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Cover & cook for about 15 mins.
- Strain the Quinoa & set aside.
- Set a Kadai or skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. when the oil becomes moderately hot release the marinated chicken strips & roast them from all sides until nice & golden, also charred on spots. Once, done keep aside.
- Next, use the same Kadai or skillet to cook the rest of the recipe. Add more oil.
- When the oil becomes moderately hot throw in the cumin & allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
- Add the chopped onion & saute for about 1 min. Next, add the golden raisins & saute until the raisins become nice & plump.
- Throw, in the chopped veggies & saute. Mix in the spices too & saute for few mins. Cover & cook until the veggies are just done. They should not be too soft or mushy. Stop at al dente stage.
- Mix in the pan roasted chicken strips.
- Add the cooked quinoa & give everything a very good mix. Saute for 2-3 mins stirring frequently.
- The Quinoa Pulao is ready to serve. You may garnish it with a few drops of lemon juice & throw in a handful of chopped cilantro. Enjoy.
- Measuring Cup used, 1 Cup = 240 ml & 1 tablespoon = 5 ml.
- Instant Pot Abbreviations used in today’s post: IP = Instant Pot, NPR = Natural Pressure Release.
- Rinse the White Quinoa very well a several times under running tap water.
- To increase the flavors especially the nutty flavor of the Quinoa just dry the grains on a skillet before rinsing them.
- Add Warm or hot water for cooking the Pulao. This will help to build up the pressure in the pot faster.
- DO NOT serve immediately after opening the pot. Instead, fluff the quinoa pulao with a fork and let it rest for 10 mins before serving. This will help the Quinoa to absorb all the excess moisture and the pulao will become so light & fluffy.
- For BEST result mix in the pan roasted chicken strips with the cooked Quinoa Pulao. If you want you always skip adding the chicken. In that caes, you’ll have a vegetarian & Vegan friendly Quinoa Pulao cooked in an Instant Pot.
- You may a few nuts too while cooking the Pulao like Cashew nuts or chopped almonds.
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