10 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes We’re Loving for Winter
Combat the winter sniffles and blues with these 10 Instant Pot recipes that are delicious and may help boost your antioxidant intake too.
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Even if you’ve been swept into the air fryer craze, Instant Pots are still popular, and with good reason. These gadgets save valuable time since they don’t need the constant attention required for stove-top cooking. Plus, there’s only one pot to clean. The highly pressurized environment combines steam and heat to cook food quickly. And, best of all, the nutrition benefits abound with the pressure cooking method. Steaming food decreases the amount of nutrients lost in boiling water or ultra-hot cooking methods. Food scientists’ research in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition shows pressure cooking increases the availability of carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), as well as vitamin C and other antioxidants, when compared to other cooking methods, according to two studies published in The Journal of Food Science and the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Peanut butter oatmeal
Here’s a plant-based breakfast for the win. New York-based dietitian and chef Abbie Gellman, RD, shares her peanut butter oatmeal recipe. “Oats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods we eat on a daily basis. This means for every calorie, oats contain a large amount of nutrients like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B5 and vitamin B1. Oats are also higher in protein than many other grains.”
Have you tried succotash? According to Gellman, owner of Culinary Nutrition Cuisine, “My version has edamame, corn, red pepper and the gluten-free ancient grain sorghum. My Instant Pot vegan sorghum succotash is simple to make, full of flavor, and provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It makes a great side dish or it can be served as a vegetarian main dish.”
Judy Barbe, RDN, a dietitian nutritionist and the author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest offers a great, healthy meal prep recipe: Instant Pot chicken jambalaya. “I boosted the healthy quotient with more vegetables and used brown rice rather than white rice,” Barbe says. Flavors develop over time and it may stretch to two or three meals.
Mushrooms tout nutrition benefits like potassium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins including folate, in a low-calorie package. Combining them with onions, herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar makes a simple yet elegant side dish for any meal. These marinated mushrooms are fancy enough for special occasions, too.
Lentil pumpkin soup
Pumpkin is super rich in potassium, vitamin A and fiber. Using the canned version is very convenient, while making this high-fiber lentil pumpkin soup rich and creamy without the fat calories. Perfect for a cold night in front of the fireplace.
Chicken tikka masala
Looking to add some spice to your warm, satisfying pressure cooker meal? Then this one is for you. Tracee Yablon Brenner, RD, a registered dietitian and certified holistic health counselor of Triad to Wellness, created this tasty and healthy version of chicken tikka masala, packed with cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots and spices. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or a dinner party.
Vegetable barley soup
This completely vegan recipe for Instant Pot vegetable barley soup calls upon the flavors of mirepoix—the classic French trifecta of onions, carrots and celery. Sharon Palmer, RDN, the plant-powered dietitian nutritionist, advises, “You can mix up this recipe a bit by swapping out some of the veggies—for example, try bell pepper, green beans or peas instead of celery, carrots or mushrooms. You can also trade barley for another grain, such as quinoa, farro or sorghum. To make it richer and more satisfying, add one cup of lentils.”
Black-eyed peas and greens
Palmer also shares, “This black-eyed peas and greens recipe features the classic food traditions of the South. The peas are a plant-based protein source—rich in protein, fiber and nutrients. When paired with greens and served with whole-grain bread or cornbread, it’s a quick, easy healthful meal in one.”
Packed with fiber-rich black beans, brown rice and vegetables, these stuffed bell peppers are colorful and easier than ever, thanks to your pressure cooker. Eating that tasty bell pepper gives your body a vitamin C boost, as well.
Mediterranean chicken orzo
Everybody knows the Mediterranean diet gets a thumbs up from medical research and health care professionals. Here’s a recipe with lean chicken, two kinds of olives, fresh herbs, veggies, and lemon juice to provide the health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Packing in extra veggies for extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber makes an even more nutritious and super-simple dinner for your family.
- International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition: “Cooking processes increase bioactive compounds in organic and conventional green beans.”
- Journal of Food Science: “The Influence of Processing and Preservation on the Retention of Health‐Promoting Compounds in Broccoli”
- Journal of Food Science and Technology: “Influence of pressure cooking on antioxidant activity of wild (Ensete superbum) and commercial banana (Musa paradisiaca var. Monthan) unripe fruit and flower”
- Abbie Gellman, RD, registered dietitian
- Judy Barbe, RD, registered dietitian and author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest
- Tracee Yablon Brenner, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and certified holistic health counselor
- Sharon Palmer, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist