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Instant Pot Quinoa Mexican Style with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Mexican Instant Pot Quinoa With Cilantro Sauce

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This Instant Pot quinoa is perfectly cooked together with gorgeous vegetables and Mexican inspired spices. Served with a cilantril lime dressing for that unfortable Tex Mex experience.


  • 1 cup (250ml) fair-trade raw quinoa (any colour you like)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1/2 long red chili, finely diced (seeds out)
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (250ml cup)
  • 1/2 cup frozen garden peas (250ml cup)
  • 1/2 cup tinned tomatoes(250 ml cup, crusshed tinned tomatoes/passata, NOT tomato paste!)
  • 1 cup water (250 ml cup) NOTE: this used to be less but based on comments was increased to 1 cup!

For cilantro sauce

  • 1/4 cup roughly diced cilantro leaves and stalks
  • 1/2 clove garlic, roughly diced
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 small pickled jalapeño slices
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Soak the quinoa in 2-3 cups of lightly salted cold water for 10-15 minutes (an hour is even better). Then rinse through a sieve.
  2. Press the Sauté key on the Instant Pot (it should say Normal, 30 mins). Add olive oil, onions, peppers, celery and half of the salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
  3. After 5 minutes, add the garlic, spices and the rest of the salt. Stir through for 10 seconds and then add the quinoa, frozen corn and peas, tinned tomatoes and water. Stir through and press Keep Warm/Cancel key on the Instant Pot.
  4. Place and lock the lid, making sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual, High pressure and set to 1 minute. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
  5. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release for 5-7 minutes and then, if needed, use the quick release method before opening the lid.
  6. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the sauce by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor or a small blender. Process into a smooth sauce (it’s okay if some of the cilantro is not completely ground up). If no food processor available, use a knife to finely chop the cilantro and jalapeño, grate the garlic, then combine with the other ingredients in a bowl.
  7. Serve the quinoa in bowls with a few teaspoons of cilantro sauce drizzled over the top. Garnish with extra lime and some chopped scallions.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 474
  • Sugar: 10.2 g
  • Sodium: 1402.3 mg
  • Fat: 21.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 61.8 g
  • Fiber: 9.7 g
  • Protein: 13.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 3.9 mg