The Kitchen Appliance That Cooks Ultra Fluffy Quinoa Fast

Quinoa really took off in the U.S. about 16 years ago, as Organic Crops shares that it became a commonplace grain on restaurant menus around 2007. Since its arrival, people have grown to love quinoa because it is a gluten-free rice alternative, considered a superfood, and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, according to HuffPost. And while it's known for its health benefits, quinoa doesn't taste too bad either –- Success describes it as being slightly nuttier than brown rice.

These days, quinoa is a staple in healthy grain bowls, fried rice, salads, and other nutritious recipes, but the grain's versatility goes beyond these standard dishes. For instance, quinoa can be made into gluten-free pasta, which cooks like regular noodles and can be topped with any sauce you like. It can also be used to make pancakes, guacamole, spring rolls, burgers, and more -– if there's a recipe you're looking to make healthier, there's probably a way to incorporate quinoa (via Greatist).

While most instructions for quinoa dictate to make it in a pot on the stove, there may come a time when your burners are all full, or you just don't feel like turning them on. In that case, there's a quick alternative that yields just as nutritious results.

Set it and forget it in an Instant Pot

If you've got an Instant Pot, you've got all you need to make delicious, fluffy quinoa. According to Kitchn, you can make the grain in an Instant Pot by spraying the appliance with oil, adding in quinoa with salt and water, and letting it cook. For added depth of flavor, Minimalist Baker suggests cooking your quinoa in broth instead of water.

Before you can set everything in the Instant Pot and forget it, it's important to rinse your quinoa, just as you would with rice. Love and Lemons explains that quinoa is covered in saponins, which ward off insects while the grain is growing but can lead to a bitter taste if they're not rinsed off. But once you've completed that step, the Instant Pot can take it from there, leaving you free to work on other things.

If you don't own an Instant Pot, you can of course cook quinoa on the stove, although it will take a little longer and you'll need to monitor it more. After rinsing the grains, you'll let them boil on the stove with water and salt for up to 20 minutes, according to Cookie and Kate. This method will still yield nutty, fluffy results, but there's no doubt that it's less convenient than using an Instant Pot.