With the “Instant Pot” (pressure cooker) craze at fever pitch, plant-based recipes for the user-friendly appliance are coming out of the woodwork everywhere. And why not? The pressure cooker is a one-pot wonder that cooks meals in minutes so you can get back to your quarantine-induced, Netflix binge. From spicy Mexican burrito bowls to savory Asian noodles, to a multitude of cuisines in between, there’s a wide world of vegan flavors to be enjoyed from the Instant Pot. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Quinoa Burrito Bowls
You can concoct a burrito bowl to rival Chipotle and Qdoba in your very own kitchen. The tang of cooked salsa fuses quite nicely with the smooth black beans, and the bed of quinoa serves as the peacemaker, bringing the dish together (plus, this recipe makes enough for an army, so it’s a good thing the leftovers are as tasty as the first run). With this easy-peasy burrito bowl, you’ll never hit up the Mexican food chains again; you’ve got a faster, more casual option right in your own kitchen.
2. One-Pot Garlic Noodles
Whipping up a batch of these slightly sweet, definitely savory noodles takes mere minutes in the pressure cooker, but you’d never know it by the end result. Szechuan and soy sauces marry to create a deceptively rich paste that the noodles marinate in, cooking to perfection in a jiffy. For extra vegan pizzazz, add in some of your favorite veggies (broccoli and bell pepper, anyone?) before the cooking time begins, and watch a full meal take shape in moments.
3. Chickpea Potato Soup
There’s no need to wait for the wicked winter to cook up a batch of this steamy soup. Its blend of spinach, chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, and other high-powered vegetables offer a filling and multi-textured meal all the year round. And those fennel seeds? Consider them the cherry on top. With such hearty ingredients, this soup can stand all by itself.
4. Chili Garlic Pineapple Fried Rice
Craving Chinese takeout but need to scale back on your quarantine spending? If you’ve got even a handful of the ingredients for this pineapple fried rice, you won’t regret getting down in the kitchen. Not sold on the pineapple? Give it a try, and be pleasantly surprised. Throw in a victory garden’s worth of your favorite vegetables, and maybe some tofu if you’re in the spirit. Then set the pressure cooker, and voila! Takeout is served.
5. Ethiopian Lentil Stew
Jetset to Ethiopia without ever leaving your home. Red lentils, tomato paste, spinach, and berbere spice conspire to make this rich pressure-cooking classic that you’ll turn to time and again. Serve the stew over rice to stretch it out, and add versatility by letting it cool off during the summer, while ladling it out hot in the winter. Close your eyes and take a taste—the garlic, cumin, berbere, and more entice your nose before they cross your tongue, with lentils finishing off the experience in fine form.
6. “Butter” Chickpeas
Looking to recreate the flavors of your favorite non-vegan Indian dishes? This “Butter” Chickpeas recipe dramatically improves on the original. The smooth sauce comes across as an incredibly complicated endeavor, when in reality it only involves a handful of spices that you probably already have in your cupboard, while garlicky chickpeas are melt-in-your-mouth tender by the time the pressure cooker is finished with them. Live dangerously, and use the recommended fenugreek—your dish will be better off for it.
7. Easy Soy Yogurt
Can’t find yogurt at the store? It’s just as easy to make overnight at home! With just a few at-hand ingredients, you can customize the yogurt to your liking, adjusting the sugar content and flavors to match your taste. Glue & Glitter offers up the basic recipe for Instant Pots; try adding some mix-ins, such as preserves for a “fruit on the bottom” style, or combine plain yogurt with your granola in the morning. Breakfast awaits!
Hope Nelson is passionate about her Instant Pot, which she uses at least four times a week, and is excited to increase its use exponentially.
Photo credit: Cooking with Pree