Brown Rice with Quinoa (Instant Pot)

bowl of brown rice and white quinoa

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4.6 from 8 reviews

Easy Instant Pot brown rice and quinoa, fluffy and perfectly cooked. Use white or red quinoa.

To make healthy burrito bowls, follow the recipe below that adds spices, black beans, shredded cabbage and cheese.

*This recipe was updated on 3/24/21 to decrease the amount of water from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups. 

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 10 minutes to reach pressure + 22 minutes cooking time + 10 minute natural release


Units Scale

Basic Brown Rice and Quinoa 

  • 1 tablespoon oil (avocado oil, sunflower oil, olive oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup brown rice (long or short grain)
  • 1/2 cup white or red quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown Rice and Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Use all the ingredients above for Basic Brown Rice and Quinoa and also add...

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

After the brown rice & quinoa have cooked, then add: 

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 cups shredded cabbage (green or purple)
1 to 2 cups grated cheese 

Complete your burrito bowls by adding salsa, avocado, green onion, etc...


  1. If the package of quinoa doesn't say that the quinoa is rinsed or pre-washed, make sure to rinse it briefly under running water. I use a mesh strainer for this.
  2. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot, using the Saute function.
  3. Add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the water, brown rice, quinoa, and salt. Stir. 
  5. If making burrito bowls, also add garlic powder, cumin and chili powder.
  6. Press the Manual button and program the Instant Pot to cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. Make sure the lid is locked in place and the steam valve is in the sealed position.  
  7. After the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes. 
  8. If you're making burrito filling, stir in the black beans, shredded cabbage and grated cheese. 


Brown Rice Cooking Time: The cooking time for brown rice in the Instant Pot ranges from 20 to 25 minutes. I find that 22 minutes is just right, but if you like your brown rice a little more firm and chewy, then you might want to cook this recipe for 20 minutes. 

Quinoa Cooking Time: White quinoa cooks very quickly in a pressure cooker.  When cooking white quinoa alone in the Instant Pot, I use this quinoa recipe to cook it for just 1 minute. Red quinoa cooks fully in about 15 minutes. So the cooking time of 22 minutes for this recipe is to make sure the brown rice is fully cooked. When white quinoa is cooked for this long, it gets very soft and blends right in to the brown rice.  My kids, who aren't huge quinoa fans, like it this way, and I like sneaking protein-rich quinoa into the rice! When red quinoa is used in this recipe, it remains visible and adds a slightly chewy texture. 

Do I have to rinse the brown rice and quinoa? Rinsing the brown rice is optional. Some people do, to wash away any dust or odd bits. Rinsing quinoa is recommended because it has a natural outer coating called saponin that can make the cooked grains taste bitter. Rinsing the quinoa removes this coating. These days, however, a lot of packaged quinoa is already pre-washed. I only rinse it if the package does not indicate that it is pre-washed. 

Can I use red quinoa for this recipe? Yes, you can use either white or red quinoa. White quinoa will almost disappear into the brown rice. Red quinoa will remain visible and add a slightly chewy texture. 

This recipe was tested in a 6-quart instant Pot