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Instant Pot Healthy Recipes for Family Meals

Family enjoying meal

Many people are on the lookout for a healthier way to enjoy food, lose weight, or simply eat at home more often. Take charge of your meals and learn how to prepare delicious food with Instant Pot healthy recipes.

This small appliance is an effective replacement to many appliances such as:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Slow cooker
  • Rice maker
  • Steamer
  • Yogurt maker

Depending on what model you get, your Instant Pot can do even more, such as bake cakes, cook eggs, and sterilize. Its ability to do all of this without taking up much space on the counter is the magic of the device.

Your food is cooked to perfection, it tastes amazing – and you can be sure it’s healthy, as a bonus.

Don’t have an Instant Pot?

No worries! We say Instant Pot healthy recipes since that’s the most popular brand available right now. Our content is not sponsored by the brand in any way. Any type of pressure cooker you have will work great with these recipes!

Here are some interesting recipes and benefits of cooking in an Instant Pot.

What is the Best Thing to Cook in An Instant Pot?

There is no simple answer to this question. There are several meals that have become somewhat of a staple in the Instant Pot community because of the great taste and amazing texture.

However, there are some things you should try making as soon as you get your own Instant Pot.

Here are some of our favorites:

Pot Roast

Revered by the community as one of the Instant Pot miracles, this meal is one of the first things you might want to try. The traditional recipe, while delicious, can take anywhere from four to eight hours. For those of us who don’t always plan ahead, using an Instant Pot healthy recipe can turn out a pot roast dinner in just over an hour!

Rice

Even though there are thousands of recipes for rice from across the globe, the one made in the Instant Pot is one of the best ones you’ll try. Since the Instant pot doesn’t allow much evaporation, you can cook rice in the one-to-one ratio and make it soft yet lovely for all sorts of meals.

Beans

You are probably familiar with the age-old method of soaking beans overnight. Then you still have to cook them for ages before you can actually eat them without breaking your teeth. Well, Instant Pot removes the need for that in its entirety. You can start cooking with dry beans and end up with a meal that’s ready to eat within an hour. It’s simple, easy, and super tasty.

Ramen

You can make ramen in the Instant Pot easily by throwing all of your favorite ingredients into the pot, letting the temperature buildup and pressure to do its job in mixing all of the ingredients. Throw in some noodles and meat for a few minutes near the end and this will by far be the healthiest ramen you’ve ever had.

Salmon

Salmon fillets can cook within 5 minutes in the Instant Pot if you put them on the steam setting. There are many great recipes online which can enhance the flavor of salmon even further.

Pancake

Notice that we said pancake – as in, one large, fluffy pancake. While this recipe may not be practical, it’s definitely tasty. This amazing pancake is full of flavor and it’s really soft. You might not make it every day but it’s certainly worth a try.

Healthy superfoods vitamins minerals

Health Benefits of an Instant Pot

Pressure cookers aren’t just great because the food tastes amazing and it’s ready lightening fast – there’s a host of other benefits. Here are some of them:

  • The food naturally retains nutrients and vitamins which can be lost using traditional methods of cooking.
  • The Instant Pot can help food retain excellent texture; some methods result in yummy but mushy food.
  • Cooking like this eliminates harmful microorganisms.
  • It’s convenient to use – almost any meal can be cooked faster than usual.
  • The food coming out of the Instant Pot is tender and pleasant to eat.
  • You control the ingredients; unlike eating out, your meal can be as healthy as you make it.
Instant pot vs crock pot
Photo credit – Romper

How is an Instant Pot Different from a Crock-Pot?

Many people are looking at the Instant Pot and the Crock-Pot and wondering which one to get.

What is even the difference?

Aren’t they the same?

Well, in essence, they are not.

Crock-Pot is an appliance that has been a common household appliance for decades. A favorite by busy people everywhere, the biggest selling point is it cooks your food while you do something else. You throw a bunch of ingredients in, you plug it in and forget about it. It’s that simple.

Your food cooks at a low temperature for at least four hours. You can even plug it in in the morning, leave the house for work and come back to a warm, tender meal.

However, Instant Pot is pressure cooking. This appliance is there for the quick cooking for all of the people who don’t have hours to wait. It’s also for anyone who just doesn’t like to prepare meals for a very long time.

While Crock-Pot only has the option of slow-cooking, Instant Pot has many options including the slow cooker, rice cooker, cake cooker and so on.

However, Instant Pot is best at its own thing – pressure cooking – and Crock-Pot is best at its own thing which is slow cooking.

If you are thinking of buying one, you should first consider which one would be more useful for you and your home.

Healthy Instant pot recipes
Photo credit – Well Plated

Top 10 Instant Pot Healthy Recipes

Instant Pot owners have come up with some really amazing recipes over the years. Here are some of our favorite types of Instant Pot healthy recipes:

1. Beef Stew

To make this stew, you’ll need about two pounds of beef and about three pounds of vegetables. Chop carrots, onions, potatoes, celery and garlic. Sear the meat on both sides to get a delicious crust. Put it all in the Instant Pot and cover that with tomato paste and spices such as salt, black pepper, thyme, bay leaves, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Close the Instant Pot and turn it on to Stew for 35 minutes. This is a hearty and healthy meal for the whole family.

2. Instant Pot Soup

Did you know you can make soups in the Instant Pot? Soups can be healthy, warm and feed you properly. There are so many great options but you could also make up your own – just add your favorite ingredients and let it do the job. Feel free to try our favorite minestrone soup!

You will need:

  • 2 15 oz cans of your favorite broth (beef, chicken, veggie are all fine)
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can each of white bean and red kidney beans
  • 1 lb. of your favorite pasta shell (it’s not traditional, but we love cavatappi!)
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste

Add all ingredients to your pot and let it cook for 10 minutes. Let it depressurize naturally and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!

3. Ricotta

Ricotta is rich in protein and with an Instant Pot it takes minutes to get it just right. You can eat it as a single meal or as an addition to another meal. Whatever you choose, you’ll surely be satisfied by this amazing Instant Pot recipe.

4. Earl Grey Oatmeal with Rose Water

To add a new kick to your regular oatmeal dish, cook it in the Instant Pot with some Earl Grey tea and rose water for more aroma. You can also add some vanilla extract for sweet everyday eating.

5. Moroccan Sweet Potato Soup

Throw some chickpea and sweet potato as well as some turmeric in your Instant Pot and watch it turn all of those ingredients into a creamy, dreamy sweet potato soup. This soup gets an added bonus as you get antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from the turmeric.

6. Vegetarian Chili Mac

You can cook this entire meal in just five minutes – beans, pasta and all. It’s quick and easy, a perfect comfort meal for when you need one. Throw in some beans, pasta, cheeses, spices and whatever else you’d like and enjoy this simple meal any day of the week.

7. Egg Rolls In a Bowl

This is a fun meal which can be done faster than Chinese delivery can arrive. Use shortcuts like getting bagged chopped veggies – cabbage and cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and so on. Put eggs and all of that in an Instant Pot and enjoy your quick meal. It’s gluten-free and it has a ton of nutrients and vitamins.

8. Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and make. Perfect for fast paced weeknights and wowing company alike.

You will need:

  • 2 lbs. of chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. of butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic (or sub 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1.4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. parsley 
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Sprinkle of thickening agent, such as Wondra or cornstarch

Set your pot to Saute and melt your butter. Stir in onions, garlic, cayenne, salt, black pepper and cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add your chicken breasts, browning each side for about five minutes. Pour chicken broth and lemon juice and stir to combine.

Lock your lid and securely close steam valve. Press the Poultry setting and let cook for about 10 minutes. After the pot has naturally depressurized, remove the chicken and set aside. Sprinkle in your thickening agent and pour sauce over chicken breasts. Serve with your favorite veggies, rice, and enjoy!

9. Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Cake? Zucchini? Instant Pot?

All of these words don’t mix well together, right? Wrong! Chocolate zucchini cake is an excellent way to add veggies to your desserts. And if you swap all-purpose flour for whole-wheat one, you can make your desserts even healthier.

10. Greek Millet Salad

Millet is a Greek salad made with a gluten-free whole grain rich in Magnesium which improves health. You can cook it in the Instant Pot and mix it with some salad elements like tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, dressing and olives. Great healthy meal for any day.

 

Instant Pot is an excellent appliance that has helped many people eat healthier. You can create any recipe in this pot and find an excellent assistant in putting nutritious meals on the table, day after day.

Do you have a favorite Instant Pot healthy recipe that you’d like to share? Let us know your favorite pressure cooker meals down below!

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/7-dietitian-approved-instant-pot-recipes-ncna850691

https://www.foodnetwork.ca/everyday-cooking/blog/do-you-really-need-an-instant-pot-what-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy/

 

 

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Written by Wayne Parker

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