quinoa pulao quinoa pilaf

Quinoa pulao (vegetable quinoa pilaf)

By Swasthi on August 27, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Quinoa pulao with stovetop & instant pot instructions. Quinoa pulao is an wholesome & nutritious dish made with quinoa, mixed vegetables, spices and herbs. This makes an amazing breakfast or a meal with raita. It also goes well in the lunch box. Quinoa is a seed but can be used much like a grain to make different kinds of dishes like pulao, upma, khichdi and even curd quinoa.

quinoa pulao - vegetable quinoa pilaf

Quinoa takes lesser time to cook compared to the other grains. Whenever I decide to prepare a quick meal I make something with quinoa. This quinoa pulao is super quick to make if you have the mixed veggies ready.

This is best served with a raita. While it cooks, make the raita with some onions or cucumber.

If you are new to using quinoa these tips may help you.


  • Always rub and rinse quinoa very well before using. I rinse even the pre rinsed quinoa as we feel they taste bitter without the extra rinse. This helps to remove any bitter tasting & toxic saponins that are present on the seeds.
  • You can cook this on the stove top or in an instant pot like the way I did.
  • Quinoa doesn’t absorb much of the flavors from spices due to the short cooking time. So I use the whole spices as well but you may skip them if you do not have.
  • Sometimes I feel ginger doesn’t go well with quinoa. So I have used ginger garlic here. You may avoid ginger completely and add only garlic paste.


1. Add quinoa to a large bowl and pour water. Rub them very well for 30 to 50 seconds. Drain the water and repeat the rinse. I use pre rinsed quinoa but still I prefer to rub and rinse them well.Otherwise I feel the bitter taste.

rinsing quinoa in a large bowl

2. Drain them to a colander and set aside. Then rinse and chop the veggies.

draining quinoa in a colander to make pulao

How to make quinoa pulao

3. Press the saute button on your IP. Pour oil to the steel insert. When the oil turns hot, add a small bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and cardamoms.

Sauteing spices in instant pot

4. When they begin to sizzle, add the onions and green chilli. Saute until they turn golden. This just takes a minute or 2. Add ginger garlic and saute for 30 seconds. You can also skip ginger.

sauteing onion, chilies and garlic

5. Then add mint, carrots, beans, peas, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Saute just for 30 seconds.

adding mint, spices and veggies to the pot

6. Add quinoa and saute for 30 seconds.

frying quinoa

7. Press the cancel button and pour water. Please ensure you add the correct amount of water. Scrub the bottom on the steel insert with a spatula to release any bits of food stuck. Taste the water and add more salt if desired.

pouring water to make quinoa pulao

8. Close the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release valve or handle to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the timer for 1 minute.

pressure cooking quinoa

9. When the Instant pot beeps, press cancel and wait for the pressure to release naturally. Quinoa pulao is done. When it cools down slightly sprinkle lemon juice and serve with raita.

fluffy quinoa pulao ready in instant pot

Serve quinoa pulao with raita.

quinoa pulao

Vegetable quinoa pulao

quinoa pulao

Quinoa pulao

Vegetable quinoa pilaf made in Indian style with spices, herbs, mixed veggies and quinoa. Serve it for breakfast or meal with raita. With stovetop & Instant pot instructions.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 small onion chopped or sliced
  • 1 green chilli chopped or slit
  • ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ cup carrots chopped
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 2 to 3 beans chopped
  • 1 small tomato (optional, chopped finely)
  • 10 to 12 mint leaves (pudina) chopped finely
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 cups water (1¼ cups for instant pot)

Whole spices (skip if you do not have)

  • 1 small bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 cloves



  • Pour quinoa to a large bowl and pour 3 to 4 cups of water. Rub them well for a few seconds and drain the water.
  • Pour more water and rinse them again. I rinse them thrice. Lastly drain them to a colander and set aside.
  • Rinse and chop all the veggies.

How to make quinoa pulao

  • Heat oil in a pot. On a low flame saute all the whole spices if using for 30 to 50 seconds.
  • When they begin to sizzle add sliced or chopped onions and onions. Saute until they turn golden or transparent.
  • Add ginger garlic and fry until you get a nice aroma. Do not burn.
  • Then stir in salt, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder.
  • Add the chopped veggies and mint. Stir fry for 60 seconds. If using tomato then saute until it breaks down and turns mushy.
  • Transfer drained quinoa and saute for 30 to 60 seconds. Pour water and give a good stir. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil & then reduce the flame to medium.
  • Cook until the quinoa turns tender and absorbs all the water.
  • When quinoa is cooked fully they look transparent. Cover and reduce the flame to low.
  • Let the quinoa pulao rest on the stove for sometime. Squeeze some lemon juice if desired. Serve with raita.


  1. Instant pot Instructions after the recipe card with step by step instructions.
  2. You can also use cauliflower but it turns too mushy and soft.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Quinoa pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 318 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 75mg3%
Potassium 522mg15%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 2318IU46%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 49mg5%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Quinoa pulao (vegetable quinoa pilaf)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes

Recipe Rating

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hi! Thanks for this recipe. Is it okay to use frozen veggies? Also, would potatoes taste good here?

you haven’t mentioned at what stage quinoa to be added in quiinoa pulao. otherwise rest is good

5 stars
Amazing recipe. I am inspired from your list of recipes. Your blog is always a savior.

Hi Swasthi,

Is it ok for a toddler to eat quinoa pulao or upma

Thank you Swasthi

If I am to add chicken how many minutes should I cook in Ip. Will it turn mushy. Thank you for all the rexioes . Trying them on the weekends. Looking forward for your ip chicken curry recipe

Have been loving all your Insta recipes and trying them. I made this today.Turned out quite good. Please share insta chicken curry.

5 stars
Hi Swathsthi,
I’m starting on a gluten-free low fat diet to keep my liver healthy. So I looked for a quinoa pulao recipe and found your website. I’m quite impressed by your recipe and am going to try it. I will look for other recipes on your site to help my liver and heart health.
Thank you for being there. Will let you know how I got on.
Jaswant xx