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Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa with Chicken Breasts

Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa with Chicken Breasts


Mexican Quinoa with Chicken

I know cooking is not everyone’s favorite past time, but if you have never used an Instant Pot before to cook, you are definitely missing out! It’s usually much easier than cooking the stove and dirtying fifty different dishes and pans like I do and Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa is no exception!

While this recipe is almost one and done with everything in one pot, it does incorporate quinoa, which is cooked on the stove in a separate pot.

The good news? It just requires quinoa and water! Easy right?

Recently my husband has been on a healthier fitness and food journey, so I thought I would join him! Now, as far as running, we’ve only been once (I am not athletic, lol,) but I absolutely love cooking. I have become so well versed in the art of the Instant Pot, I wanted to share this Mexican Quinoa with Chicken Breast!

This recipe is an adapted form of the Taste and See Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa Chicken, and trust me, it’s aaaaamazing!! You should also check out some of her other amazing recipes, too.

If you have not already, when you look for Mexican Quinoa on google, I have not seen a lot of recipes that call for chicken breasts like I have used, but the seasonings and other accoutrements, are almost the same.

What’s even better is that this recipe is done in under 30 minutes and is lower carb and gluten free!


While you can use white rice or cauliflower rice as an alternative to Quinoa, in our household we are more often eating Quinoa!

Cauliflower rice is easy to make at home, too. You just put the florets in a bowl/basket and cook on high pressure for two minutes in the Instant Pot and mash up like you would potatoes and you have cauliflower rice!

You may not know this, but other than being gluten free, Quinoa has a lot of minerals that are good for a health guy and it also helps promote the inflammatory abilities in your body. It can be a little bland, but nothing some salt, pepper, and lemon juice can’t fix!


While you CAN cook quinoa in your instant pot, it’s just as easy to do stove top. Cooking times will vary, but in the quinoa, I buy from Tom Thumb and Target, every half cup of quinoa needs one cup of water. Once you have everything in your pot, you let it come to a boil on the stove and then put turn the burner down to simmer and cover the pot for five minutes. When the timer beeps, you should have perfectly cooked quinoa. See? Easy peasy!


This is seriously such an easy recipe. I turn my Instant Pot to sauté and cook one clove of garlic in a little bit of olive oil. I usually let is cook for about a minute before I turn off the sauté function. The next step is easy, I add the frozen corn, black beans, spices, chicken, fire roasted tomatoes, and water in the pot.

I do stir all of the ingredients together before putting the chicken on top. The only things that do not get put in yet are the lemon juice and quinoa. Then you lock the lid (make sure the release vale is not on release,) and put on high pressure for ten minutes. Once it’s done cooking, you can move the valve to venting to let the air out.

Now, the next step is up to you! You can either put the quinoa and lemon juice in at this time and fold everything together, or like I like to do,  you can put the quinoa in a bowl with the instant pot ingredients on the top with a few lemon slices on the side.


Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa with Chicken Breasts

A 30 minute low carb and gluten free version of Mexican quinoa and chicken in an Instant Pot!
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Time to Reach Pressure10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Instant Pot, Quinoa, Mexican, American, Dinner, Easy Meals
Servings: 6
Calories: 400kcal


  • Instant Pot
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Measuring Cups


  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (Defrosted)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 Pepper (green, yellow, or red)
  • 1 ounce 15 Oz Can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Petite and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Quinoa (2 cups on the stove with four cups of water)
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (Ground)
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 ounce 15 Oz Can of Black Beans (Drained)
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon chopped into wedges


  • Make sure your Instant Pot is on saute, High. Once it says hot, add the olive oil and garlic. Let is cook for about a minute, then turn off the saute setting.
  • Add cup of water to the Instant Pot and garlic.
  • Add the fire roasted tomatoes, corn kernels, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, chopped pepers (if you cut them into smaller cube pieces it cooks better,) salt and pepper. Stir the ingridients together.
  • Add the de-frosted chicken on top of the ingridients in the Instant Pot. You don't want them in the bottom of the pot, but push them down enough so that the chicken mixes with teh spices.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, manually move the steam valve to vent. When it's done you can open the Instant Pot.
  • Remove the chicken and hit the saute button on your Instant Pot.
  • While the pot is simmering, shred the chicken and add back to the Instant Pot. This is where you can decide what to do. You can add the quinoa to the pot now, or use it as a base and then add everything else on top. ENJOY WITH LIME, LEMONS, LETTUCE, TORTILLAS, AVOCADOS, ETC.

Eating it yesterday reminded me of the southwestern protein blend from Birdseye, but it also reminded me of the food my abuelita makes. Good memories.

This is seriously such a fun and easy recipe I am so happy I stumbled upon. My husband liked it so much, it’s probably going to become a weekly staple,. (Lol.) Don’t be afraid to make it your own and use a different protein or ingredients.

Happy cooking and let me know what you all think!

XOXO, Kristina



  1. Andrea
    June 27, 2019 / 7:19 pm

    Have you tried cooking the quinoa in a bowl on a rack above the entre? I do it with rice all the time?

    • ardentlypetite
      June 27, 2019 / 8:16 pm

      Hi Andrea! I have not cooked in a bowl above! The cooking time varies however. I think if you’re doing it on a rack above it usually takes about two minutes high pressure to cook. Some recipes call for high pressure at 10 minutes as long as you mix it with a broth or water! I usually cook the cauliflower rice in the Instant Pot for two minutes and it’s so tender!

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