This instant pot greek pesto quinoa salad is such a great and refreshing summer meal. It’s healthy, fresh, and so good for any warm day. You can eat it cold or warm. If you’re looking for a guilt free meal that you and your family can enjoy. This is it.
What is Quinoa
Quinoa has been around for thousands of years and was believed to be sacred by the Incas. While it’s believed to be a grain and cooks like one, it’s actually a seed. It’s high in protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. It also comes in many colors like black, red, and white and can be sold in a variety using all three. When I cook quinoa I love to use the tri-color variety because the red and black quinoa have almost twice the vitamin e content and more carotenoid contents.
Can you make this in the instant pot?
The answer to this question is, yes absolutely! Since this dish is a one pot meal, it can easily be converted to the instant pot. In the instant pot, quinoa uses less water/broth and only takes 1 minute of pressure cooking time followed by a 10 minute natural release. I’ve also included the instant pot directions below in case you have an instant pot and prefer that method.
It might seem like the instant pot takes half the time but really it’s about the same amount of time compared to stovetop. This is because time is spent prior to cooking for the pot to come to pressure before the timer begins. Cooking in the instant pot is convenient because you can set it and forget it versus having to come back and see if your water/broth has come to a boil yet and making sure it doesn’t boil over when you put the lid on.
Things to add
There are many ways you can jazz this recipe up and take it from being a lunch or a side dish to a dinner. Below are some ways this can be done!
- Add chicken. if you’re not vegan or vegetarian you know that sometimes meals can feel incomplete unless there’s some meat involved. Chicken will bring this to the next level and make it feel more complete
- If you love your cheese throw in some parmesan, a blend of feta and parmesan will make it cheesy and even more creamy. I recommend adding the parmesan at the end to stir and thicken
- For more of a greek spin on this, add some cucumber and/or kalamata olives
I’m excited for you to try this delicious greek pesto quinoa salad. Enjoy it warm or cold and feel free to add your own additions to make it the way you like. Now let’s get on to the recipe.
Greek Pesto Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups chicken broth (stove top) 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (for instant pot)
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 tablespoon pesto
- 2 tablespoons greek salad dressing
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 handful of basil sliced
- 1/4 cup feta
Stove Top Directions
- Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil. add the chicken broth, spinach, and 1 cup of grape tomatoes (reserving the remaining cup for later). Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
- When done, remove from heat and stir in the pesto, remaining cup of grape tomatoes, greek salad dressing, chickpeas, basil, and feta. Serve warm or cold.
Instant Pot Directions
- Add the first 3 ingredients to the instant pot plus 1 cup of the grape tomatoes (reserving the other cup for later). Be sure to use 11/2 cups of chicken broth instead of the 2 cups required for stovetop. Cook for 1 minute followed by a 10 minute natural release
- Open the instant pot and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, stir well and let sit on the stay warm setting for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold