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Quinoa Pulao served in a white bowl with lemon wedges

Quinoa Pulao

Quinoa Pulao in Instant Pot is not only an easy recipe but it's super quick too. Make this Vegetable chicken Quinoa Pulao in your Instant Pot for a nutritious bowl of one-pot meal that tastes so delicious. Perfect for weeknight meals!
5 from 8 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Instant Pot Quinoa Pulao, Quinoa Pulao
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 580kcal


For the Roasted Chicken Strips:

For the Quinoa Pulao


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.



  1. Measuring Cup used, 1 Cup = 240 ml & 1 tablespoon = 5 ml.
  2. Instant Pot Abbreviations used in today's post: IP = Instant Pot, NPR = Natural Pressure Release.
  3. Rinse the White Quinoa very well a several times under running tap water.
  4. To increase the flavors especially the nutty flavor of the Quinoa just dry the grains on a skillet before rinsing them.
  5. Add Warm or hot water for cooking the Pulao. This will help to build up the pressure in the pot faster.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. You may a few nuts too while cooking the Pulao like Cashew nuts or chopped almonds.
Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 580 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 196mg9%
Potassium 829mg24%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 700IU14%
Vitamin C 40mg48%
Calcium 372mg37%
Iron 4.8mg27%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 829mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 4.8mg