Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl

What would you say if I told you that 30 minutes from now you could be holding this amazing Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl in your hand? And yes, delicious clementine basil dressing prep time included 😉

The Instant Pot is probably the coolest kitchen gadget of the century! For real! I mean you can make quinoa and chicken in it at the same time! How awesome is that?! You know what else is amazing about cooking both quinoa and chicken in the Instant Pot? No need to watch either and there is no way you can overcook, undercook or burn your food. Use the “passive time” to chop veggies and prepare a delicious dressing. No stress and no 20 alarms going off at different times, reminding you to check on different pots and pans.

What would you say if I told you that 30 minutes from now you could be holding this amazing Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl in your hand?

You’ve probably noticed the change in writing style by now. It’s time to introduce myself. Hiiii! This is Lorena from Green Healthy Cooking. Lacey and Dustin just had a sweet little baby and they have their hands fuller than full now with their 4 beautiful children. No worries, they’ll be back soon providing you with delicious recipes again. For today however, you get to enjoy different kind of writing, different kind of photography and different kind of videography. I hope you still like it 🙂

Let’s get straight to the important part of this guest post: The Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl Recipe!

How to Cook Perfect Instant Pot Quinoa

After several trials and errors I came to the conclusion that these are the most important steps for success:

  1. Sautée onion and garlic in the Instant Pot with a little bit of oil until translucent.
  2. Add quinoa and some sea salt to the sautéed onion and garlic and keep stirring and “toasting” the quinoa for at least 3 minutes.
  3. Add the water and cover immediately so the water doesn’t evaporate. Set the venting knob to sealing and set the Instant Pot to cook under “high pressure” for 1 minute.
  4. Set an alarm clock for 15 minutes once the Instant Pot is finished cooking for the minute (it’ll let you know by beeping several times). This will be the “natural pressure release time” in which the Instant Pot basically “steams” the quinoa.

What would you say if I told you that 30 minutes from now you could be holding this amazing Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl in your hand?

How to Cook Quinoa and Chicken in the Instant Pot at the Same Time

The biggest and most amazing discovery I’ve made since I own my Instant Pot is that certain ingredients can be cooked at the same time. That saves me time, energy and most importantly dishes!!! Most chicken recipes call for a longer cooking time under pressure and either quick pressure release or at least much shorter natural pressure release time.

I did wonder of course if the chicken would cook through in such a short high pressure cook time with just the remaining heat in the Instant Pot during natural pressure release time. It did! I’m so excited. You do have to cut the chicken in small cubes to ensure it cooks through but it does completely cook through and stays nice and juicy due to the long low heat cooking.

Make sure you take out your chicken breast from the fridge about 20-30 minutes before using (this will only work with breast, the tissue of thighs and other parts of the chicken is tougher and takes longer to cook) to bring the meat to room temperature. Cut the chicken into maximum 1″ cubes. Season them and have them ready to place on top of quinoa just before putting on the lid.

The Best Instant Pot Quinoa Bowl Dressing

Apart from feeling like the queen of the kitchen for figuring out how to cook quinoa and chicken in the Instant Pot at the same time, I’m also super proud of the dressing I came up with for the bowl. It’s based on a ton of basil and fresh clementine juice. It’s an amazing dressing you’ll want to pour not only on your Instant Pot Quinoa but pretty much any bowl food you make.

Basil smells amazing and has a very mild flavor so you can use a lot of it without the dressing becoming bitter. Most herbs taste great in small amounts. Basil is different. You want a lot of it. It’s the main reason why 80% of pestos out there are made of Basil. The clementine juice gives it an amazing citrusy sweetness and freshness.

If you’re not a fan of basil you can always use a different kind of dressing such as this Maple Mustard Balsamic Dressing or Lacey’s amazing Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing. Both will taste amazing with your Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl, I promise!


More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

If you liked this recipe, make sure to check out my Healthy Instant Pot Recipes for more inspiration. The list will keep growing over time. There will always be more and more inspiration for you to start loving your Instant Pot even more than you already do. The possibilities are endless when it comes to preparing food in an Instant Pot. Enjoy every button on it 😉

5 from 3 votes
Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl - Square Recipe Preview Image
Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl
Prep Time
9 mins
Cook Time
21 mins
Total Time
30 mins

What would you say if I told you that 30 minutes from now you could be holding this amazing Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl in your hand?

Categories: 30 Minute Meal, Chicken
Difficulty: Gluten-Free, Healthy
Keyword: instant pot quinoa, instant pot quinoa chicken, instant pot quinoa recipes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 550 kcal
Author: Lorena Grater
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp clementine juice
  • 1 packed cup basil leaves
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 clementine optional, for decoration
  1. Get chicken out of the fridge about 1/2 an hour before starting to cook to get it to room temperature. Then cube the chicken into maximum 1" cubes, season with sea salt, pepper and dried basil and set aside.

  2. Connect your Instant Pot and press the "sauté" button. While waiting for it to heat up peel and finely chop onion and peel and crush garlic.

  3. Once the Instant Pot's display indicates it's hot, add a splash of flavorless oil to the pot and then add chopped onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent.

  4. Add quinoa (1 Instant Pot cup = 3/4 imperial cup) and sea salt and "toast" for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts slightly browning.

  5. Add the same amount of water as quinoa, in this 3/4 imperial cup (1 Instant Pot cup), give it a quick stir and then add the chicken on top of the quinoa and immediately cover with the lid.

  6. Turn the venting knob to "sealing", press "cancel" to stop the sautéeing, then click on "manual" and adjust time to 1 minute, then press "pressure" if necessary to adjust to "high pressure" the red light should be over "high pressure".

  7. Wait close to the instant pot in order not to miss the moment when the 1 minute high pressure is over. It takes about 5 minutes to come to pressure. 1 minute to cook under high pressure and then natural pressure release time starts. When the Instant Pot beeps several times indicating it's finished with the 1 minute high pressure cooking, set an alarm for 15 minutes.

  8. While waiting for the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for 15 minutes, wash, deseed and chop bell peppers, wash and dry baby spinach and prepare dressing by adding mustard, avocado oil, lemon juice, clementine juice and basil to a blender and blend until smooth.

  9. Serve all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle dressing over it. Optionally you can decorate with a slice of peeled clementine.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 550 Calories from Fat 202
% Daily Value*
Fat 22.4g34%
Saturated Fat 4.8g24%
Cholesterol 89.1mg30%
Sodium 181.7mg8%
Carbohydrates 48.8g16%
Fiber 7.3g29%
Sugar 5.4g6%
Protein 39.6g79%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Quinoa Chicken Bowl

  1. Lorena,

    What do the different measurements mean? (ex. 1 Instant Pot cup = 3/4 imperial cup)

    1. 5 stars
      The instant pot comes with a measuring cup. It’s not the regular imperial measurements of US cups though, which is why I state that measurement, too, just in case. 1 cup of those little cups that come with the instant pot equals 3/4 of a regular US measuring cup (imperial cup).

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you Lorena. I grew up in the county where we had our own milk cow, chicken eggs, fresh venison or pheasant meat or meat that my brother in law butchered from his cattle ranch. I had a. garden and the water was so cold and came from our own well. I now live in the city with my husband and three children. I would love to live in the country but my husband needs to work for a living and he can only do this near a city. I try my darndest to be the wife and mother that my own mother was. ITS EXHAUSTING! My sister gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas last year and I am still learning how to use it.

    1. You grew up similarly to me and I’m in a similar situation to you now, too. Remember one thing: set priorities. Think of what’s the most important to you and focus on providing THAT to your children. We can’t do it all and we don’t have to do it all either.
      If your kids’ nutrition is your highest priority then focus on cooking from scratch and leave the rest for later or not at all. I used to think I need to cook everything from scratch and have my house in a pristine condition, and iron all our clothes, and and and.
      Well, my husband does our laundry now and absolutely nothing gets ironed anymore. Me taking time to play with my kids and feeding them healthy food is simply more important than wrinkle-free clothes….

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