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.
16. Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Soft cooked black beans and rice, seasoned with garlic, onion, cumin and topped with an easy salsa of fresh lime juice, avocado, tomato, and red onion sounds like an absolutely perfect meal. Not only is this delicious, but you’ll get thirty-two percent of your daily protein needs in just one serving.
17. Creamy Vegetable Soup
This soup has a whole lot of vegetables packed in for maximum nutritional power, including cauliflower which is loaded with cancer-fighting compounds. At the end, you stir in cashew cream to create a rich creamy broth without any dairy.
18. Chik’n Stew
Go a step beyond chicken soup by adding all sorts of veggies and chickpeas for a hearty and nourishing stew. It’s so easy to put together: simply put everything in your pressure cooker, set the time, and then stir in some spinach before serving.
19. Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup is so rich and hearty, and usually takes a long time to cook on the stove, so it’s a perfect one to speed up in a pressure cooker. This recipe uses all the classic flavors of split pea soup, but replaces the saturated fat and nitrates of bacon with a dash of liquid smoke. The smoky tempeh crumbles are perfect toppers, and if you don’t make your own, you could just use tempeh bacon.
20. Thai Peanut Chickpea Soup
Peanut butter adds such a full, rich flavor to this soup, and packs so many vegetables in to get you all kinds of nutrients. It’s gluten-free, oil-free, vegan, uses the one pot of your pressure cooker, and is ready in just thirty minutes.
21. Portobello Pot Roast
With zero cholesterol and saturated fat, this makes a healthy version of hearty comfort food – all made in your pressure cooker for a quick dinner with minimal cleanup!
22. Three Sisters Soup
The three sisters are the Native American trinity of corn, beans, and squash that were planted together because they were mutually beneficial as they grew. This soup brings them together with the beautiful flavors of sage and ancho chili powder.
23. Indo Chinese Corn Soup
Indo Chinese cuisine is Chinese recipes adapted to Indian tastes, so this hearty soup is flavored with toasted sesame oil, cumin, and ginger. It’s thick enough that as Kristina suggests, you could enjoy it with rice for lunch the following day.
Although corn isn’t always thought of as a health food, it’s a good source of B vitamins and iron for energy, as well as zinc and selenium for immune health.
A bit like the building blocks of minestrone, but with paprika, this Hungarian soup makes a nourishing, wholesome, and delicious meal the whole family is sure to love. This recipe replaces meat with cholesterol-free and high-fiber lentils for a heart healthy version.
25. Indonesian Black Rice Pudding
This is so wholesome but also so delicious it can double as breakfast and dessert! With just three ingredients, it’s simple to make, and cooks a lot faster in your pressure cooker than on the stove. As Katie points out, the black color of the rice indicates that it has the same powerful antioxidants as blueberries.
26. Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
All you need are three ingredients and two minutes on high pressure to make this delicious and protein-packed breakfast bowl. It makes four servings, so you can portion it out for the week ahead. Top it with maple syrup, pecans, and almond milk for the full experience.
27. Sugar-Free Apple Butter
This is so easy to make, and with the sweetness coming from the natural sugars of the apples and dates, you can’t go wrong!
A great dish to make in a big batch after going apple picking, so you can enjoy it all winter. Spread it on a bagel, scoop it on top of your oatmeal or pancakes, or have a little bowl for a snack or healthy dessert.
So there are no excuses left, now that you have 27 easy recipes you can start making healthy meals in your pressure cooker. The beauty of having healthy food ready to go is that it makes take out that much less tempting. And the magic of electric pressure cookers is that you can set it and forget it, while you unwind after work and come back when you hear the beep to dish up the goodness.
For more easy pressure cooker recipes to explore, check out 17 Power Pressure Cooker Recipes for Rushed Weeknight Meals .
Featured photo credit: Ella Olsson via unsplash.com