9 Healthy Must-Try Instant Pot Recipes | Easy, Delicious, and Affordable

By
Yara Mersi
September 4, 2020

Cooking breakfast, lunch or dinner every night can be hectic. It requires planning, shopping, cooking as well as cleaning. Thanks to your instant pot, all your favorite dishes that normally take hours to cook are all on the menu. Yes, you can still enjoy your food and keep things convenient, without having to clean up all the mess. Check out these recipes that include everyone–vegans, carnivores, vegetarians and more! 

1. Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

Authentic Italian-style risotto that is so comforting, delicious and even therapeutic to stir. Complements grilled tofu, meats and chicken dishes very well. 

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 8 oz pkg cremini mushrooms
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups mushroom broth (chicken or vegetable broth also work)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • large handful of fresh spinach leaves

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in your large pressure cooker using the saute function. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned and softened.
  2. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook a few minutes, stirring often, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Stir in the rice, broth, thyme, basil, parsley and cook over high heat. Make sure you keep stirring to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the cooker.
  4. Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure, and cook for 6 minutes. 
  5. Open the lid, gently stir in spinach, butter and Parmesan cheese. Close the lid and let it rest for a couple more minutes or until ready to serve.
  6. Serve hot, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and more cheese if desired.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 9g

2. Chicken Tortilla Soup

This delicious, high protein dish is very easy to make and so satisfying. It takes half the time to make in the instant pot and is perfect for meal prepping.

Ingredients:

Serves 8

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 x 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes or 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 poblano chili, diced
  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 1.5 can black beans
  • 4 cups chicken broth (vegetable brother works as well)
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Juice from 1 lime

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in your large pressure cooker using the saute function. Add the onions and cook, stirring until softened. Stir in the minced garlic.
  2. Add the chili, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, black beans, carrot, celery and chicken broth. Stir well. Nestle the chicken into the mixture.
  3. Place the lid on and set it to the closed position and let it cook for high pressure, for 9 minutes. When time is done, allow pressure to release by waiting 5-10 more minutes.
  4. Then remove the lid, take out the chicken and shred. This can be done in a bowl with two forks.
  5. Return the shredded chicken back to the pot and stir in the corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with lime juice and other toppings (avocado, cheese, etc) as desired.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g

3. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

The classic pasta dish that everyone loves. This gourmet Italian dinner has simple ingredients that your whole family will go mad for! If you are vegan, you can always substitute the chicken and dairy for plant based alternatives.

Ingredients:

Serves 8

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large chicken breasts about 1.5 pounds total
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 pound of uncooked penne pasta
  • 8 oz of freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • flat leaf parsley minced for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and sear chicken breast in using the saute function for several minutes on both sides until evenly browned.
  3. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to be added back in with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add garlic to the pot and cook for about one minute.
  5. Add chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add heavy cream, uncooked pasta, salt and ground pepper.
  6. Return chicken breasts to Instant Pot, stir all ingredients together and then hit the off button and lock the lid in place.
  7. Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Once the pressure pin drops, unlock the lid and remove chicken breasts. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they have reached 165 F degrees. Set aside to rest.
  8. Stir pasta and cream mixture together and slowly add in freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  9. Slice chicken breast and combine with pasta. Serve with additional freshly ground pepper, shredded parmesan and chopped flat leaf parsley.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 36g

4. Butternut Squash Soup

A cozy, warm and satisfying bowl is all we need sometimes. This butternut squash soup is ultra creamy, full of butternut squash flavor and goes great with a grilled cheese sandwich, salad or toast. 

Ingredients:

Serves 8

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed into 1 inch cubes 
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder 
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger root, grated
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Turn Instant Pot to saute function and once hot, add in olive oil.
  2. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. 
  3. Add in stock and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
  4. Stir in cubed butternut squash, apple cider, and seasonings. 
  5. Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and be sure the vent knob is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Once pressure has released, allow for pressure to release for at least 10 minutes before manually releasing pressure. 
  7. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree soup until smooth. Add in yogurt if using and blend until well combined. Serve warm and enjoy!

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g

5. Pot Roast and Mashed Cauliflower

A comfort food classic! Throw your meat into the Instant Pot, set it, forget it and then come back home to a delectable dinner. Serve with mashed cauliflower for even maximum deliciousness.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ lb chuck roast (680 g)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced 2 inch (5 cm) long
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth (475 mL)
  • 2 tbsp flour

Instructions:

  1. Season chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper and add oil to pot using the saute function.
  2. Once oil starts sizzling, add the chuck roast. Sear the meat until brown, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, and beef broth to the pot. Mix around until evenly distributed. Close the lid and let it cook for 50 minutes. 
  4. After the time is over, let the pot roast rest in the pot for 10 minutes to allow the pressure to release.
  5. Carefully take out the roast and veggies and transfer to a plate, only leaving the liquid in the pot. Set roast and veggies on the side. 
  6. Turn on the saute function and add the flour. Whisk until mixed in and sauce has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Pour the sauce into another small bowl and cover to keep warm. Then clean out the Instant Pot.
  7. Place the cauliflower florets in the pot. Pour in the beef broth, close the lid and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Once time is up, remove the pot and dump out the liquid. Mash the cauliflower until smooth using a potato masher or fork. Season with salt, pepper and garlic and stir to combine all ingredients.
  9. Serve mash with pot roast and gravy.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 13g

6. Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples

This creamy steel cut oatmeal is perfect when you're craving a sweet breakfast. This recipe makes four servings so it is ideal to share with others or you can save the leftovers to prep for the week ahead.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 4 and 1/2 cups water or milk of choice for a more creamier texture
  • 2 medium apples, medium diced
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Add the water or milk to your instant pot. Dump in the apples, agave, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks and steel cut oats. Stir only once and then cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  2. Once time is up, allow the pot to release pressure naturally. This will take a few more minutes. Once ready, gently remove the lid and stir the oatmeal.
  3. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving. Top with additional cinnamon, diced apple, nut butter or other toppings of choice.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g

7. Lemon Dill Salmon with Garlic Potatoes

Great cooking doesn’t need to involve a ton of time, ingredients, and fancy techniques. Sometimes, it’s the simplicity of just a few key ingredients to focus on the true taste. This Lemon Dill Salmon with Garlic Potatoes makes a complete, satisfying seafood dinner you will be proud of.


Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Four 5-6 oz cut salmon fillets (3/4 to 1 inch thick)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups packed mixed baby spinach and arugula (about 3 1/2 ounces)

Instructions:

  1. Put the potatoes in the pot. Add 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons of the butter, and pinch of salt and pepper. Place the pot's steam rack over the potatoes.
  2. Rub the top and sides of the salmon fillets with the paprika, dill, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down on the rack. Put on the lid, making sure the steam valve is in the sealing position, and set the cooker to high pressure for 3 minutes. When finished, wait a few minutes for pressure to release.
  3. Remove the salmon and rack and set the cooker to saute at normal heat. When the potatoes start sizzling, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Then, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Smash the potatoes with a fork or wooden spoon until chunky.
  4. Turn off the cooker. Add the mixed greens to the potatoes and stir until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Divide the salmon and potato mixture among plates. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 16g

8. Vegan Chili

This hearty vegan chili will satisfy everyone, even the carnivores! This recipe will definitely become a staple in your household. It is packed with protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied, thanks to Mother Earth’s baked beans and veggies!

Ingredients:

Serves 8

  • 1 red onion diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup red lentils 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper and salt
  • Fresh lime slices, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, lentils, water, black beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the Instant Pot. Stir well and don't add water, the veggies will release water as they cook.
  2. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to sealing. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
  3. When the cook cycle is over, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Move the steam release valve to Venting to release the remaining pressure in the pot.
  4. When the floating valve in the lid drops, carefully remove the lid. Give the chili a stir to make sure all of the lentils dissolve in the chili, thickening it. Season the chili with salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, to taste.
  5. Serve warm, with your favorite toppings like sliced avocado, chopped green onions, and shredded cheese (if you're not vegan) are popular options.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 0g

9. Frittata

Frittatas are the answer to your dinner when there’s nothing in the fridge or you need to put the veggies to use before they turn bad. Regardless, this Instant Pot frittata is one of the easiest ways to cook eggs, without the need to saute, boil, or use any extra pans. This one is simple, low carb and oh so creamy!


Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 strips bacon diced
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 to 6 grape tomatoes thinly sliced
  • Sliced green onion, for serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Grease a 7-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper, grease the pan generously.
  2. Using the saute function on the Instant Pot, add the olive oil and let it heat up then add the diced bacon. Cook the bacon for about 4 minutes and then add the onion and bell pepper to the pot; cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  3. Remove the bacon and vegetables to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the inner pot and add 1 cup of water.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until they are well blended. Add the spinach, cheese, salt, and pepper to the eggs along with the sautéed bacon, onion, and bell pepper. Stir to blend thoroughly.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared baking dish and arrange the sliced tomatoes over the top.
  6. Place the baking dish on the trivet and lower it into the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealing position. Cook it on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, and then turn the valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure. Remove the lid. Grasp the handles of the trivet and lift the frittata out of the Instant Pot. The top of the frittata will look wet, but it will dry quickly.
  8. Let it cool for about 5 minutes and then slice into wedges and serve.

Nutrition: Serving: 1 | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 13g

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