This Instant Pot Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa recipe has melted cheddar cheese in every bite. Made with wholesome ingredients, this is a delicious way to eat warm, cozy comfort food without feeling guilty. It tastes like broccoli cheese soup, but in casserole form, with chicken and quinoa added. YUM!
The instant pot makes easy work of this recipe. While it won’t save you THAT much time compared to making it on the stovetop (see notes in recipe for how to do this), there’s something great about the “set it and forget it” method of Instant Pot recipes that makes them so appealing. You don’t have to pay attention to stovetop temperature, and you don’t have to stir to make sure it isn’t sticking or burning on the bottom.
Here’s the thing about Instant Pots: unless you are cooking something that usually takes a LONG time to cook (such as dry pulses in this Split Pea Soup or a really tough cut of meat, like pork shoulder), pressure cookers generally don’t save a lot of time. Sure, you can technically cook chicken meat in 6 minutes. BUT, that doesn’t account for the time it takes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure, which can sometimes take 20 minutes or so.
But I LOVE how easy it is to walk away from the Instant Pot without giving it a second thought. I love that you can keep whatever you are cooking in it and it will stay warm- close to piping hot- until you are ready to serve it. And I love that you can sauté directly in it, unlike most slow cookers, so it’s easy to use it for one-pot meals.
For this Instant Pot chicken, broccoli, and quinoa recipe, you’ll first sauté the aromatics (onions, celery, and carrots) in butter (which smells so insanely good). Then, just add the chicken, quinoa, and chicken broth, along with generous amounts of salt and pepper, and cooke. The chicken will cook with the quinoa, rather than fully cooking it before, so it doesn’t overcook.
Finally, you’ll do a second round of pressure cooking for only a minute with the broccoli and cheese. If you add it in the beginning, the broccoli will turn super mushy.
I used tri-color quinoa. It’s my favorite, mostly because it’s pretty, and also because I find the texture to be a bit more pleasantly chewy than white. You can use whatever kind you want.
One quick tip: make sure you clean, or at least soak, your pressure cooker liner immediately after serving. Since this recipe has cheese in it, it will be difficult to clean if you let it sit for too long.
Here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa with Cheese!Print
Instant Pot Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa with Cheese
This Instant Pot Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa has cheddar cheese melted into every bite. It’s gluten-free, family-friendly comfort food made with whole grains, lean chicken breast meat, and packed with good-for-you broccoli.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Main
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1.5-2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1.5 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth or water can also be used)
- 4 cups broccoli florets and tender stems (from about 1 medium head)
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
- Turn your pressure cooker to the “sauté” function. Melt the butter and sauté the onions, celery, and carrots for 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
- Add the chicken with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper, stir to coat, and sauté for about three more minutes, until starting to cook on the outside (it should NOT be fully cooked on the inside- it will finish cooking as the quinoa cooks).
- Add the rinsed quinoa, stir to coat.
- Pour in the chicken broth and stir to mix together well. Turn the “sauté” function off. Cover the instant pot and set manual pressure to “high” for 5 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure and wait for the float valve to depress.
- Stir in the broccoli and cheese. Cover and set the pressure manually to “high” for 1 minute.
- Quick release the pressure and wait for the float valve to depress. Stir. If there seems to be extra liquid, don’t worry- it will thicken a bit as it cools.
- To make this on your stovetop, sauté the onions, celery, and carrots in butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet for three minutes. Add the chicken with salt and pepper; sauté for three minutes more. Add the quinoa and chicken broth, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is almost completely cooked. Stir in the broccoli and cheese, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes, until broccoli is tender. Serve.
- This recipe can easily be made dairy free by omitting the cheese and using olive oil instead of butter.
- I do my best to provide accurate nutrition information for my recipes, but I am not a nutritionist. The provided nutrition information is my best estimate. It does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
- Calories: 536
- Sugar: 3.3 g
- Sodium: 557 mg
- Fat: 25.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 11.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
- Fiber: 4.5 g
- Protein: 49.6 g
- Cholesterol: 146 mg