Instant Pot Quinoa Burrito Bowls

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Quinoa Burrito Bowls are an easy weeknight meal made in your Instant Pot. Customize them with any toppings you love! 

Instant pot quinoa burrito bowls with lettuce tomatoes and avocado slices on top.Instant pot quinoa burrito bowls with lettuce tomatoes and avocado slices on top.

Unlike traditional burrito bowls, this recipe uses quinoa as a protein-rich alternative to rice. It cooks quickly in the pressure cooker and is relatively hands-off until you’re ready to serve.

As written, this recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian. However, feel free to top it with any protein you love, like baked chicken breasts or leftover taco meat

You can also wrap it in tortillas as a burrito filling, or serve it with crunchy tortilla chips.

Ingredients You’ll Need

quinoa burrito bowl ingredients labeled on a marble surface.quinoa burrito bowl ingredients labeled on a marble surface.

The base of these bowls is simply rinsed quinoa and your favorite salsa. Paired with black beans, it becomes a complete vegetarian meal idea! 

Sauteed onion and bell peppers give this dish extra color and flavor, but you can omit them for a faster meal, or swap for any other veggies you need to use up. You could even add a bag of frozen corn, for extra texture. 

Just like a traditional burrito bowl, feel free to add any toppings you love, like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cilantro, or guacamole. 

How to Make Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot and add a drizzle of olive oil into the pot. Saute the onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and stir again briefly, just until fragrant. 

Press the Off/Cancel button on your machine and immediately pour in the water. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula to make sure nothing is stuck. (This will prevent a burn error later.)

pepper and onion in instant pot and quinoa rinsed in sieve. pepper and onion in instant pot and quinoa rinsed in sieve.

Rinse the quinoa under running water in a sieve for 1 minute or until the water runs clear. This will help remove the saponin in its outer coating, which can have a bitter or soapy flavor.

Pour the rinsed quinoa and salt into the pot, and stir well. Then add the drained black beans and salsa on top, and don’t stir it. 

quinoa, black beans, and salsa added to the Instant Pot before cooking.quinoa, black beans, and salsa added to the Instant Pot before cooking.

Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to the Sealing position. Use the Manual or Pressure Cook button to cook at high pressure for 1 minute. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the pot to pressurize. 

When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes. This is when the quinoa will finish cooking, without sticking to the bottom of the pot. When the screen reads L0:15, move the steam release valve to the Venting position. 

Instant Pot after natural release and cooked quinoa in the pot.Instant Pot after natural release and cooked quinoa in the pot.

The floating valve in the lid will drop when there is no more pressure in the pot. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Adjust any flavoring to your taste, adding extra salt or a squeeze of lime juice. 

Serve warm with any toppings you love, like fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, or a dash of hot sauce. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

quinoa burrito bowls in a black bowl with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.quinoa burrito bowls in a black bowl with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have an Instant Pot?

You can cook quinoa on the stove, too! Simply use a medium saucepan to saute the pepper and onions, then bring the liquid to a boil when you add the quinoa, beans, and salsa. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat, but don’t remove the lid for 5 more minutes. This will ensure the quinoa is perfectly cooked, without burning to the bottom of the pan. 

Can I use different seasonings?

Yes, of course! Feel free to add chili powder, garlic, dried oregano, or smoked paprika for extra flavor. You can also use 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth instead of water, if you prefer.

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Try my Instant Pot Vegan Chili, Lentil Curry, Mashed Potatoes, or Lentil Soup for more ideas.

quinoa burrito bowls in a black bowl with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.quinoa burrito bowls in a black bowl with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.

Instant Pot Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Quinoa Burrito Bowls are an easy weeknight meal made in your Instant Pot. Customize them with any toppings you love!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ red onion , diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , diced and seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup quinoa , rinsed well
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • Optional toppings: Avocado , guacamole, fresh cilantro, green onions, salsa, lime wedges, shredded lettuce

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in the bottom of the Instant Pot, using the “Saute” setting. Saute the onions and peppers until start to soften, about 5 minutes, then add in cumin and stir for another minute. Press the Off/Cancel button right away.

  • Add in the quinoa and water and stir well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. (This will prevent a burn error later.) Add the salsa and beans on top without stirring again. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to “Sealing.”

  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes when the cooking cycle is complete, to let the quinoa finish cooking, without burning to the bottom of the pot. When the screen reads L0:15, move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure.

  • When the floating valve in the lid has dropped, it’s safe to remove the lid. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, then serve warm with any toppings you love, such as avocado, diced onions, salsa, and shredded lettuce.

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can quickly reheat on the stove top, or serve cold!

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 4 servings, without any additional toppings. This information is just an estimate and not a guarantee.
Update Note: This recipe was updated in April 2024. The only change was increasing the water by a 1/2 cup to make sure the quinoa cooks evenly. You can also cook this by using the Rice setting on your pressure cooker, which cooks for 12 minutes at low pressure.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 294mg, Potassium: 268mg, Fiber: 3g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 2.3mg

If you try these Quinoa Burrito Bowls, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how they turn out for you.



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