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Cilantro Lime Instant Pot Quinoa (Gluten Free)

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This delicious and quick Cilantro Lime Instant Pot Quinoa is easy to make and is the perfect side dish for your favorite Southwest or Thai entree!

image collage with text of instant pot cilantro lime quinoa in a black bowl

Well friends, I decided to bite the bullet and bought a pressure cooker a few months ago!

Generally I’m pretty resistant to blogging fads (like mermaid and unicorn recipes…), but after looking at the Instant Pot craze I realized that electric pressure cookers were more than just a passing fad. They could become kitchen staples just like slow cookers and stand mixers, so I decided to jump on the pressure cooker bandwagon.

So far, I’m loving it! I came up with some fun quinoa recipes for the pressure cooker, like this Cilantro Lime Instant Pot Quinoa (more Instant Pot quinoa recipes are coming over the next few months!).

bowl of cilantro lime quinoa in front of an instant pot pressure cooker

Overall, I love our pressure cooker, but I feel like the word “instant” is a little bit misleading. It is slightly faster cooking, but with the times for building and releasing pressure, it’s often the same amount of time for overall cooking.

I read Julia’s post about the pros and cons of pressure cookers before I bought mine, so I had a realistic idea of the cooking times I’d have with my pressure cooker. I’ve tried some great recipes from other bloggers so far, and I’m working on creating some of my own recipes with it.

photo of instant pot quinoa in a black bowl in front of a pressure cooker

There are certain foods that are amazing when cooked in the Instant Pot, like eggs (so easy to peel), and potatoes (my favorite yellow potatoes are so creamy when cooked in the pressure cooker). And we’ve made a pretty amazing chicken carnitas recipe that I’ve made several times and love.

Crock Pot Pressure Cooker

black bowl filled with instant pot cilantro lime quinoa on a cutting board

I actually decided to buy a Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi Cooker pressure cooker. So far I love it! I haven’t used an Instant Pot so I can’t compare the two, but it works great for me.

After looking at a few at the store, I picked the Crock-Pot pressure cooker since it had a yogurt function and more settings, the base model of Instant Pot (the Lux 1000W model) didn’t have the yogurt setting.

But you can make this recipe with either the Crock-Pot Pressure Cooker or the Instant Pot. You’ll use the “Rice” setting, (Rice/Risotto on the Crock-Pot Express), which has the same settings for either brand/model.

Check out our stovetop Coconut Lime Quinoa recipe!

pressure cooker quinoa in a black bowl in front of an instant pot

Cilantro Lime Instant Pot Quinoa

Gluten free, vegan; Free of: dairy, eggs, nuts
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cilantro lime quinoa, instant pot quinoa, pressure cooker quinoa
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressure release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 188kcal



  • Zest your limes and set aside zest, then juice the limes and set aside 1-1/2 Tablespoons lime juice.
  • Place the lime juice, half the lime zest, quinoa, and water into the Instant Pot and stir to mix.
  • Cover, close lid and lock. Move pressure valve to pressure cook, and set the Instant Pot to the Rice setting for 12 minutes on low pressure.
  • Cook for the allotted time. Once it’s done cooking, allow pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then do a quick pressure release by opening the pressure valve with a kitchen utensil.
  • Allow the pressure to release completely, then open the lid. Stir into the quinoa the coconut oil, cilantro, the rest of the lime zest, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Serve immediately or save for meal prep bowls. Enjoy!



Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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