Today I’m sharing a delicious healthy instant pot recipe that’s comfort food with a lighter, veggie-packed twist: Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice made with quinoa. Filling, nutritious, and topped with roasted cashews, this a comforting (yet healthy) meal!
Now that it’s the new year and many people (myself included) are looking forward to getting back into the kitchen, I figured it was time to share some new healthy instant pot recipes! It had been a while since I played around with my Instant Pot (<–affiliate link to the one I have, 6 quart size!). I had almost forgotten how incredibly fast and easy it is.
Looking for more ideas? Here are some of my favorite quinoa recipes!
Instant Pot Quinoa Fried “Rice”
This quinoa “fried rice” tastes just like your favorite takeout meal, but it’s packed with veggies and can be on your table in under 30 minutes. That’s less time than it takes to get delivery!
Chicken & Quinoa Fried “Rice” Ingredients
This is a great meal to make when you need to empty the vegetable drawer in your fridge!
Here’s what you need to make this:
- veggies (I used diced carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli. But most other veggies would be great in here, too!)
- quinoa (uncooked)
- chicken broth
- soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- sesame oil
- optional: toasted cashews for topping
If you have extra celery, green beans, peas, cauliflower, etc. – toss ’em in! You can also add more veggies than the recipe calls for if you’d like to increase the veggie-to-quinoa ratio – up to you.
For a vegetarian option, feel free to swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth and diced tofu for the chicken breast.
How to Make Chicken Fried “Rice” in the Instant Pot
The method for this healthy instant pot recipe is super simple. Cook the onions, ginger, and garlic in the bottom of the Instant Pot on saute mode. Then, toss in the remaining ingredients and pressure cook for 8 minutes. That’s it!
The result is an all-in-one meal that’s filling, flavorful, and on the table in no time.
I was amazed by how much this healthy instant pot recipe tasted like takeout fried rice.
It’s savory and comforting, but without the salt overload, and it’s got a hint of spiciness without making you sweat. If you want, toss some roasted cashews onto the finished meal to add satisfying crunch (and healthy fats for balance!). Chopped green onions are another optional garnish that can bring freshness to the dish.
This healthy instant pot recipe holds up well in the fridge, too. We made it on Sunday and have been eating on it all week. It makes a great packed lunch!
Ready to add this Instant Pot chicken fried rice with quinoa to your weeknight menu? The full recipe is at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
Check out some more of my favorite healthy Instant Pot recipes and other quick weeknight dinner recipes:
- Instant Pot Maple Mustard Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Saucy Tomato Artichoke Chicken
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Pesto Baked Salmon with Veggies
- Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Veggies
- Veggietastic Minestrone Soup
- Instant Pot Farro Risotto with Spring Veggies
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash & Vegan Bolognese
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
- 4 cups diced mixed veggies (I used carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli)
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- For topping: sesame seeds, cashews, chopped green onion
- With the lid of the instant pot off, press "saute" and allow to heat. Once the instant pot beeps to signal that it's ready, add the sesame oil, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Turn the instant pot off by pressing "cancel." Add the veggies, chicken, broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha, and stir to combine.
- Add the quinoa on top of the mixture and stir gently, while avoiding pushing all the quinoa down to the bottom of the pot (this prevents it from sticking to the bottom and remaining uncooked).
- Secure the lid and make sure that the venting nozzle is turned to "sealing." Press "manual" and set pressure to high, then adjust the timer to 8 minutes. Allow to cook, then carefully use a pair of tongs to turn the venting nozzle to "venting" and allow steam to release. When steam is fully released, carefully remove the lid and stir everything together.*
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cashews, and green onions, and enjoy!
*The first time I made this, I put the quinoa in the bottom of the pot and there was uncooked quinoa and extra liquid at the bottom. I just stirred everything together and cooked it for another minute on high pressure and it turned out great! So don't worry if you run into that issue, but you should be fine if you add quinoa to the pot last. 🙂