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Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad with Sausage

This lightning-fast Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad has just three ingredients (plus a quick dressing) and it’s ready in 30 minutes!

Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad with Sausage

This post is sponsored by al fresco.

I almost didn’t make this Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad in my Instant Pot. I know that sounds crazy, especially since I’m fairly well-versed in the ways of the Instant Pot.

You know, considering my first Instant Pot cookbook was published in February and the second is being released this October.

Yet, for some crazy reason, I pulled out a pot and started turning on my stove to cook my quinoa. Suddenly I just don’t recognize myself anymore. 😂

Everyone knows that Instant Pot quinoa is the easiest way to make it in the history of the world. Or at least you do now.

Quinoa Spinach Salad is one of the simplest yet tastiest and healthy meals you can make with such little effort. It’s great with some rotisserie chicken thrown in, but you know what makes it even better? al fresco chicken sausage!

Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad with Sausage

There are many reasons why I love al fresco chicken sausage. One of the biggest is that it swaps so easily for plain ol’ chicken! I’m a big fan of keeping chicken on hand, but al fresco’s sausage has so much flavor which means a better dish in less time with less effort.

This quinoa spinach salad, for example, has just three main ingredients: quinoa, spinach, and al fresco chicken sausage. THAT’S IT. But because I used their sausage instead of regular chicken, there’s a ton of flavor that the dish would otherwise be missing.

I do whip up a quick dressing to flavor the quinoa which really brings these flavors all together. I like to use a little fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil) and a teaspoon of Dijon. Couldn’t be simpler!

Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad with Sausage

You could add all sorts of vegetables to this if you like. Chop up some cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers…any number will work and add a nice crunch. Just don’t forget the al fresco chicken sausage – it’s the best part!

Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad with Sausage

Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This lightning-fast Instant Pot Quinoa Spinach Salad has just three ingredients (plus a quick dressing) and it’s ready in 30 minutes!


For the salad

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 package al fresco chicken sausage, chopped into small bite-sized pieces, (any flavor)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups fresh spinach leaves

For the dressing

  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz extra-virgin olive oil, (or avocado oil)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Press “Saute” to preheat your Instant Pot. When the word “hot” appears on the display, add the olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add the sausage. Cook until the sausage is starting to brown, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.
  2. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside. Add the quinoa to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and stir well to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Press “Manual” and immediately adjust the timer to 1 minute. Check that the cooking pressure is on “high” and that the release valve is set to “Sealing”.
  4. Meanwhile, make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then remove the lid of the pot (release any remaining pressure, if necessary). Stir the quinoa and allow to cool a few minutes. 
  6. Stir the dressing into the quinoa and mix to coat thoroughly. Add the spinach and mix it in to wilt it slightly. Add the reserved sausage and mix well. 
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Saturated Fat: 2gSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gProtein: 6g
Kristy Bernardo
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Tuesday 7th of June 2022

I made this this past Sunday and it was delicious! I used an Andouille chicken sausage I had in the freezer and added some chopped peppers (red/orange). I went very heavy on the black pepper and used chicken broth instead of water (I had some in the fridge that I wanted to finish). WOW! Definitely a hit. I'll be making this as a summer lunch/dinner often. Thank you!!

Jessica Ann Berry

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Stupid question: is this a hot or cold salad? I'd like throw in some cucumbers as suggested, so should I wait for it to cool?


Saturday 23rd of November 2019

It's definitely more of a warm/room temp salad. I'd wait for it to cool a bit for your cukes. I hope you like it! - Kristy

Deanna Pickle

Thursday 23rd of May 2019

Definitely a recipe I am going to try soon.


Wednesday 19th of September 2018

Another instant pot hero recipe! This looks delicious, and with only 3 ingredients, it can't go wrong!


Monday 20th of August 2018

While I agree that the Instant Pot is a great way to make quinoa, I'd argue that making it in the microwave is actually the easiest way to make it in the history of the world, just because my microwave is already always out on the counter versus having to drag my Instant Pot out from the cabinet. ;) But I do love that this is cooked in the sausage fat for extra flavor!


Monday 20th of August 2018

Hi Julie! The microwave is indeed a fast way to make it, but in my tests, the texture is far superior in the IP. Add that to the fact that you can toast it right in the pot for more flavor (if desired) and the IP takes it for the win. :)

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