Healthy Pressure Cooker Meals (with Easy Recipes)
Do you want to be able to make healthy meals on a weeknight, but feel like it just takes too long?
This is where pressure cooker meals come to the rescue! With an electric pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot, you can make meals a lot faster than on the stove or in the oven. You also just set the time, and let it do its thing while you do yours, until you hear the beep.
Taking advantage of this time-saving device to make healthy meals is easy, but it’s hard to know where to start in searching through all of the recipes online. It takes forever to browse around and find something you want to make.
Let’s get you started with 27 easy recipes for healthy pressure cooker meals you can make this week – along with some info on why they’re healthy to motivate you to make them.
1. Chipotle Burrito Bowls
This recipe is not only spectacularly delicious, but shows you how to use the pot-in-pot method for your pressure cooker to make rice and beans at the same time. This way, you can flavor them differently, and portion out each section of your burrito bowl for a gorgeous meal.
2. Maple Bourbon Chili
Adding sweet potatoes and a little splash of maple syrup and bourbon takes an already delicious chili to the next level. This one is also vegetarian, so it’s free from cholesterol and saturated fats, and the kidney beans bring cholesterol-lowering fiber and homocysteine-lowering folate for a heart-healthy bowl of goodness.
3. Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto
Risotto is so luxuriously creamy and rich, but the traditional method takes a lot of time and constant stirring. Making it in your electric pressure cooker means you can set it for five minutes, and let it go on its own. This recipe pairs slightly sweet butternut squash and earthy sage for a perfect fall meal.
4. Lentil Ragu
Lentils make a perfect stand in for ground beef in this hearty and flavorful ragu. They’re a good source of folate, iron, B vitamins, and fiber – all of which help contribute to your energy levels and heart health.
5. Moroccan Winter Squash and Chickpea Tagine
A lighter take on a traditionally slow-cooked North African dish, this vegetarian tagine from is cooked quickly in the pressure cooker. The easy pickled raisins sound like an exciting flavor boost to try!
6. Chickpea Bolognese Spaghetti Squash
Swap the meat for protein- and mineral-rich chickpeas, and the spaghetti for vitamin-rich gluten-free spaghetti squash! Cooking spaghetti squash in your pressure cooker cuts the time down significantly from baking it, so you have this delicious and nutritious meal on the table quick enough to enjoy even on a weeknight.
7. Lasagna Soup
All the delicious comfort of lasagna, but as a one-pot stew you can make quickly in your pressure cooker. Richa gives the helpful tip that because pasta cooking times can vary, look at the time on the package you’re using and divide by two to get the time you should set on your pressure cooker.
8. Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Quinoa Salad
Learn how to make perfectly cooked quinoa in your pressure cooker with the helpful video, and then toss it into a tasty salad that you can pack up for lunches on the go.
9. Thai Coconut Chickpea Stew
A flavorful, creamy, protein-rich soup with just five main ingredients, and ready in twenty-three minutes. Perfect for a weeknight, with enough leftovers to take for lunch the following day.
10. Pasta Puttanesca
Making pasta in your pressure cooker is easy and quick, and perfectly flavored here with capers, olives, and tomato sauce. Including crushed red pepper flakes gives a little kick of spiciness, and also works as a slight appetite suppressant, so that you’ll be less likely overeat this yummy dish.
11. Butternut Squash Soup
This gorgeous golden-colored soup is full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoids. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free – but doesn’t skimp on flavor! The addition of a granny smith apple is brilliant, to add to the depth of flavor and bring out the natural sweetness of butternut squash.
It has a little kick from some curry powder, but if you wanted to appeal to younger taste buds you could leave that out and it would surely be a hit.
12. Minestrone Soup
Minestrone is a perfect example of comfort food that’s wholesome at the same time. It usually needs to simmer for quite a while to cook the potatoes, but in your pressure cooker, it’s done in no time. Packed with vegetables, kidney beans, and pasta, this is a fully balanced meal in a bowl.
13. Chana Masala
Using an authentic blend of Indian spices, and perfectly pressure-cooked chickpeas, you can create your own restaurant-level chana masala at home! Spices like ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory, and cumin may help with blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar balance.
14. Quinoa Pilaf
Pair protein-rich quinoa with anti-inflammatory turmeric, along with a heap of whatever vegetables you have on hand, and turn it into a delicious healthy meal in 20 minutes. This is proof that easy and healthy meals definitely don’t have to be boring!
15. Cajun Red Beans with Sausage
Infuse some red beans with cajun seasonings and vegetables, then toss in some vegan sausage if you like. This is perfect for batch cooking, to portion your meals for the week or freeze for later, so that you don’t resort to take out on those hectic days.