The goodness of an enchilada with a healthy addition of quinoa, cooked in one pot for a quick meal or a relaxed weekend dinner on the couch. This Chicken Enchilada Quinoa is packed with all our favorite Mexican flavors and topped with melty cheese.
What is Quinoa
For some of you who may not have tried quinoa, this is a great recipe to try. It is flavorful and quinoa incorporates so well with all the other ingredients. Pronounced as "Keen-Wah", quinoa is a seed and not a grain. Quinoa is a whole protein with all of the nine essential amino acids. Additionally, it is naturally gluten-free and a great source of protein for vegetarians.
Quinoa is commonly sold in three colors – white/ivory, red and black. I prefer organic white/ivory quinoa which gives a fluffy post-cook texture. I like the Kirkland brand organic quinoa sold at Costco.
Note: White quinoa can have a slightly muted, bitter taste. Rinse the quinoa 2 to 3 times and drain well to remove the slightly bitter taste.
What is Chicken Enchilada Quinoa?
- Classic enchiladas with a twist!
- This Chicken Enchilada Quinoa recipe uses quinoa instead of traditional tortillas.
- Rather than layering or rolling the delicious fillings inside the tortillas, this is a faster one-pot dump-and-ready version similar to a casserole.
- In addition, packed in this meal are all of the spicy Mexican flavors, and is also very healthy and nutritious.
- Substitute ground chicken with soya granules or vegan meat
- Substitute ground chicken with vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or squash
- Check out this delicious Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
- Use homemade enchilada sauce or a good quality store-bought
- Add 2 cups of low-sodium broth instead of water
- If you do not have taco seasoning, for each tablespoon of taco seasoning use 1 teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt
- Fire-roasted tomatoes can be substituted with fresh diced tomatoes.
How to make Chicken Enchilada Quinoa
- First, set the Instant Pot to saute mode and heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Next, add ground chicken and break it in with a spatula. Then, add quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, garlic, onion, jalapeños, water, enchilada sauce, chili powder, and cumin(photos 1 - 4).
- Mix well, breaking in any lumps of ground chicken. Close the Instant Pot with the pressure release valve to sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure Cook (Hi) for 4 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release. Open the Instant Pot and mix the enchilada quinoa. Lastly, garnish with cilantro and scallions (photos 5 - 6).
More quinoa recipe
- Instant Pot Quinoa - A perfect meal prep recipe
- Quinoa Almond Date Truffles - love for breakfast, snack, or dessert
- Quinoa Dosa - This Instant dosa does not need fermenting the batter and the dosa's come out crispy and delicious
- Quinoa Idli - Pillowy soft Idli using Quinoa
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Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Quinoa
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 can 15-ounce black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can 15-ounce diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 green onions chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado peeled and diced
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or mexican cheese
- 4 lime wedges
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add ground chicken and break it in with a spatula. Add quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, garlic, onion, jalapeños, water, enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, and cumin.
- Mix well, breaking in any lumps of ground chicken. Close the Instant Pot with pressure release valve to sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure Cook (Hi) for 4 minutes. Allow 10 minutes natural pressure release. Open the Instant Pot and mix the enchilada quinoa. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
- Serve with diced avocados, pepper jack cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
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sanjay Mishra says
Made this tonight and it was wonderful! HIt for the whole family and so easy to make. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the feedback!
I added salt to this but other than that it was great. Easy and healthy!
Thank you for the feedback. So glad you enjoyed it
Thank you very much for sharing this recipee! It's very good! I added salt and pepper to taste (I didn't have a jalapeno pepper... I added the optional cilantro (dehydrated, it's the only one I had) and i find it was very tasty and quick to make!
Thank you Nadia for your lovely feedback
Just out of curiosity why do you not saute the garlic, onion, jalapeño, and cumin seeds first? I want to make this and don’t know if this step will add more flavor or be a waste of time
I have tried this recipe both ways and there was no change in taste. So to save time I skip the sauté step.
This recipe looks really yummy...going to try it! If we are making it vegetarian, how much (in cups) of the substitute do we add so that we dont have to change the water or sauce amount where it ends up being too liquidy?
Hi Anjali, Add 1.5 cups of soya granules. If you are using veggies you can add 2 to 3 cups. Let me know how you like it 🙂
Hi! I made this tonight but instead of ground chicken, I used one pound of beef tenderloin strips I had on hand. I then used unsalted beef stock in place of water.
Turned out amazing! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you for the feedback 🙂
I just realized I am out of quinoa, can I sub rice in for this meal? If so what measurements? Should I add extra liquid?
You can use white rice with same water ratio.
Thank you! This was surprisingly tasty and SUPER easy and fast. A weeknight WIN for sure!
Could I use chicken breast instead? If so would I then pressure cook it for 15min?
If you cut chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes you can follow the same exact recipe and times.
Julie G. says
Any of us who cook regularly make changes to recipes based on our personal preferences. I made only a couple of very simple adjustments (no jalapeno and thinly sliced chicken breast) but otherwise actually followed this recipe nearly to a tee. It was FANTASTIC!! My husband told me he wants it in our regular rotation. If you like the ingredients you see listed, you will LOVE this!
Roeh Q says
Literally just finished eating and my fiancé and I LOVED it! I cubed chicken thigh meat into 1in or smaller pieces and just threw it all in (I skipped the sauté step). I went olives instead of corn. And added fresh pico, cilantro, and avocado on top (avo minimal is a must IMO but I’m in CA). Thanks so much!
Radhika sharma says
Just put this on and excited to try it. How long do you think this would be good in the fridge ? Thank you!
Up to 5 days refrigerated