Just 3 ingredients and insanely easy prep (use your rice cooker or Instant Pot!) make this delicious coconut lime quinoa recipe a go-to weeknight side dish. Total winner!
I’m all about simple side dishes that pack a ton of flavor — and this easy coconut lime quinoa totally delivers! We’re talking virtually hands off cooking here, folks…
Basically, it’s a riff on our favorite (and very popular) Coconut Milk Rice recipe, substituting quinoa for the basmati rice. Sounds good, hmm?
3-Ingredient Coconut Lime Quinoa
With just three real ingredients (because salt and water don’t count, right?), this quinoa recipe is a cinch to prepare, especially when you use my easy rice cooker method. Yes, really… You CAN make quinoa in your rice cooker!
Just a word on coconut milk… While you could probably use your favorite coconut milk beverage in this recipe, I prefer to use canned coconut milk when cooking. It provides loads more flavor and a richer consistency. But if you wish to opt for the beverage, quinoa is always cooked at a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid, so you’d omit the water and use 2 cups of coconut milk beverage in lieu of the canned coconut milk and water in my recipe.
By the way, my favorite brand of canned coconut milk is Thai Kitchen — organic if I can find it, but the regular variety will do, as well. I stock up via my monthly Amazon Subscribe & Save order so I always have some in my pantry.
Cook Quinoa in Your Rice Cooker or Instant Pot
Now, you can totally choose to make this coconut lime quinoa dish on the stovetop — it’s actually slightly quicker. But it’s just so darn insanely easy to make it in a rice cooker. Just dump the quinoa, coconut milk, water and salt in and push a button. Then you’re free to throw together the rest of your meal while it cooks.
Note: I’ve recently been experimenting with making this recipe in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker — and it’s even faster! I alternate between methods depending whether I’m meal prepping or preparing it for dinner alongside a longer cooking dish.
3 ingredients and insanely easy prep using your rice cooker or Instant Pot make this delicious quinoa recipe a go-to weeknight side dish. Total winner!
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed if necessary
- 1 (13.66-oz.) can of coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small lime, zested and juiced
- Check the quinoa package to see if your quinoa needs rinsed. If it does, pour 1 cup of quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Place quinoa, canned coconut milk, water, and salt into the rice cooker.
- I use the quick cook setting on my Zojirushi Umami Rice Cooker, and then press the start button to start the cooking process.
- The rice cooker will beep after about 30 minutes. For a standard rice cooker without all of the bells and whistles, one cooking cycle should be enough to do it. Note that you should let the quinoa set for about 4-5 minutes after it’s done cooking and then fluff it.
- Stir in the zest and juice of one small lime to taste, adjust the salt as desired, and it’s ready to serve.
Cooking Quinoa in an Instant Pot
To cook quinoa in your Instant Pot, simply follow the instructions for rinsing and place all of the ingredients in the instant pot liner. Use the manual setting to cook it for one minute at pressure (really!) and then allow it to natural pressure release for up to 10 minutes. Fluff and stir in the lime zest and juice as indicated above.
Cooking Quinoa on the Stovetop
To cook quinoa on your stovetop, simply follow the instructions for rinsing and place all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Let the quinoa set for about 4-5 minutes after it’s done cooking. Fluff and stir in the lime zest and juice as indicated above.
If you substitute coconut milk beverage for the canned coconut, use 2 cups and omit the water.
I’ve had a few people remark on Pinterest that they thought their coconut lime quinoa turned out bland. This is why seasoning to taste is SO important, folks! Season with additional salt after cooking, and add more lime juice until you’re satisfied with the flavor.
Not only is this coconut lime quinoa a versatile side dish (use it in burritos, salads, mix in fresh veggies, basically any way you’d normally use rice), the mild flavor with just a hint of sweetness means that it has breakfast applications, as well. Topped with coconut flakes, fresh blueberries, toasted pecans and a dollop of vanilla yogurt, it’s a surprisingly delicious breakfast bowl!