15 Plant-Based Instant Pot Recipes That Will Rock Your World

The instant pot is a modern culinary miracle.

A pressure cooker, crockpot, and rice cooker all in one, it’s hard to think of anything this device can’t do.

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For some reason, most people associate the instant pot with simple chili recipes, or a quick way to make rice. An instant pot can do so much more than quickly cook your basic meal additions.  

We’ve gone above and beyond to bring you healthy, great-tasting instant pot recipes that will make you rethink meal prepping.

There’s something for everyone in this multicultural, restriction-friendly collection.

Without further ado, here are 15 outside-the-box vegan recipes that can be made in this life-changing gadget.


"What Instant Pot Should I Choose?"

Before we get into the recipes, we should first go over a very fundamental question that anyone who is new to the world of Instant Pots will ask. "Which one should I choose?"

There are three different models: The Lux, Duo, and the "smart" model.

To make things simple, I recommend The Duo. It offers an additional yogurt maker function and more sophisticated controls than the Lux. The Smart model is basically the same as the Duo except it has a prettier LCD display and offers bluetooth connectivity with your phone.

​Our Recommendation: The Duo

Size comparison of Instant Pot Duos

The most popular model is the Duo. It comes in three sizes, making this perfect for most people: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart.

As you can see in the graphic above, the three court is best for small families, the 6qt is good for larger families, and the 8 quart is a workhorse that's great if you have parties or a very large family.

Keep in mind that if your familysize fits the 3-quart option but you plan to do meal-prep, you might want to get the next size bigger.

This Duo does not have the bluetooth feature that the Smart edition has, but to be honest I don't think most people have a need for a smartphone-connected Instant Pot. Give it a look nonetheless to see if its features appeal to you.

Main Courses

1. Spicy Eggplant Stew

Spicy Eggplant Stew by Viva La Food

Kicking things off, we have a spicy eggplant stew.

Eggplant is a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin K, and potassium and it’s super tasty when cooked thoroughly.

Full of rich Italian flavor, this unique stew is sure to add variety to your weeknight dinners. Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 


2. Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto by Make Real Food

Another Italian staple, this recipe is perfect for a chilly winter night.

Butternut squash is a remarkable source of Vitamin A, with three times the recommended amount in just one cup. 

This satiating combination of vegetables is so delicious you won’t even feel like you’re eating healthy food. Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 

3. Vegan Butter Chicken

Vegan Butter Chicken by Vegan Richa

Enjoy this delectable “no butter no chicken” butter chicken recipe made from soy curls. This Indian-inspired dish is packed with protein from the soy curls, cashew cream, and chickpeas.

The creator also gives you tips on where to find soy curls. It’s also full of herbs and spices that make it oh-so-flavorful. Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

4. Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Quinoa Burrito Bowls by Detoxinista

Another protein-packed meal, these healthy burrito bowls will make you forget all about Chipotle.

In case you didn’t know, combining grains like rice and quinoa with beans creates a “complete protein” (a.k.a. an entire amino acid chain).

So when omnivores wonder where you get your protein, you can whip out this recipe.

Plus you can really get creative with add-ins, like guacamole or vegan sour cream.

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

5. Vegetable Lo Mein

Vegetable Lo Mein by Raising Generation Nourished

I think of Lo Mein as takeout comfort food. Even though you know it’s full of grease and sodium, it always hits the spot.

Luckily, this recipe makes it easy to create your own healthy version of this classic menu item.

Just substitute the bone broth for vegetable broth and you’re good to go! Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

6. Sloppy Joes 

Sloppy Joes by Pass the Plants

This recipe definitely gets the award for most innovative.

After all, who ever would have thought that vegan sloppy joes could be made in an instant pot out of whole plant foods?

This affordable meal is high in protein and excellent for the whole family.

Get the recipe here.

7. Millet Stuffed Artichokes

Millet Stuffed Artichokes by FatFree Vegan Kitchen

Artichokes are a pressure-cooker favorite that is full of vitamins and minerals.

This recipe offers a more filling twist with an impressive presentation, which makes it perfect to whip out at your next dinner party. 

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

8. Thai Peanut Tofu Pineapple Curry

Thai Peanut Tofu Pineapple Curry by Cook With Manali

Asian cuisine is typically very accomodating to vegan diets, due to the lack of dairy and abundance of vegetarian staple foods.

Take your Asian-inspired repertoire up a notch with this Thai recipe.

This curry is sure to win over even your most stubborn meat-eater with its distinct flavor profile.

Get the recipe here.

Sides

9. Collard Greens

Collard Greens by FatFree Vegan Kitchen

A soul food staple, Collard Greens are great to pair with any meal.

These dark leafy greens have so many nutritional benefits.

Next time you get sick of kale, opt for a side of collard greens for your Vitamins A and C fix. 

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

10. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash by Instant Pot Eats

While this is listed as a side, I find spaghetti squash so delicious on its own that I have often made it a meal of its own by adding some garlic, oil, and other spices.

You can experiment with any number of variations to suit your preferences.

Perfect for fall and winter, add this to any dinner to feel warm and toasty. Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

11. Garlic Cauliflower Potato Mash

Garlic Cauliflower Potato Mash by hip pressure cooking

Do you love mashed potatoes but need less starch in your life? (Me too!)

Look no further! This recipe cuts down on the potatoes by incorporating cauliflower.

Plus its full of savory garlic flavor and is perfect for the holidays.

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

Breakfast

12. Pumpkin Coffeecake Steel Cut Oatmeal

Pumpkin Coffeecake Steel Cut Oatmeal by Healthy Slow Cooking

Proving that instant pots can do just about anything, we have a yummy breakfast recipe.

This recipe screams autumn. 

Bonus: it’s healthy but tastes more like a dessert.

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

13. Breakfast Quinoa with Berries

Breakfast Quinoa with Berries by Pressure Cooking Today

Quinoa is not just for bulking up your dinner anymore!

Start your day with this protein-packed superfood and some delicious antioxidant-rich berries to feel your best.

Your tastebuds will love it, too. 

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

Desserts

14. Chai Spiced Rice Pudding

Chai Spiced Rice Pudding by Instant Pot Eats

I must confess, I love all things chai; chai tea lattes, chai spiced cookies, chai scented candles.

So this recipe is naturally the next step in my obsession.

If you’re like me and can’t get enough chai in your life, then this is the healthy dessert option for you and your instant pot.

Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

15. Cashew Lemon Cheezecake

Cashew Lemon Cheezecake by Healthy Slow Cooking

Cashew cheesecake is one of the wonders of the vegan world.

But pressure cooker vegan cashew cheesecake?

That is truly on another level.

Expand your instant pot’s horizons with this dessert. Get the recipe here.

  • This recipe is gluten free. 
  • This recipe is oil free.

Hopefully this list has inspired you to get creative in the kitchen.

Remember, eating a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be a hassle. With a little planning and the help of your instant pot, you can easily reap the many benefits of a healthy vegan lifestyle.

For more tips, check out our other articles.

Leave a Comment

2 comments

  1. I’ve never used a pressure cooker before, but looking through some of these (delicious) recipes it seems like they’d work just fine in a standard pan/pot on the hob? Am I missing something about the pressure cooker?

    1. Thanks for commenting, Dave!

      Slow cookers and pressure cookers both have a key advantage over cooking in a pot over the stove. That advantage is that they are able to cook food consistently and evenly. You also tend to get really great flavors just by the nature of how slow cookers and pressure cookers work.

      So, now the question is whether you should use a pressure cooker/Instant Pot or go for a slow cooker, which is a bit more inexpensive. The advantage that pressure cookers have is that they can cook food SO much faster than a slow cooker. A meal that might take 4 hours in a slow cooker could take 15-20 minutes in a pressure cooker.

      If you go for a pressure cooker other than the Instant Pot, I do recommend that you be sure to purchase a modern one as they are more safe and a quieter than the older ones.

      Here’s an excellent video demonstrating how a pressure cooker functions if you are interested:

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