The pressure cooker is such a great kitchen appliance for those with little time to cook. The raised pressure and temperature not only cooks food more rapidly—it also seals in moisture and prevents the loss of precious nutrients in meat and vegetables that can happen with overcooking, making this a great way to prepare your favourite meals.
Whether you’re looking to invest or you were gifted one and have no idea what to do with it, keep reading to discover easy pressure cooker meals that are perfect for a beginner.
Here are some amazing vegetarian instant pot recipes!
Veg and Non-veg Carnitas!
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 1/2 pounds bone-out meat or tofu butt/shoulder, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 head garlic, cut in half
- 1/2 sweet onion, skin-on
- 1/2 orange, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Lawry’s garlic salt
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 beer (IPA is our choice)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the meat or tofu but for a few minutes on each side. Place meat or tofu in Instant Pot when browned. Repeat with the remaining meat or tofu.
- Place all the other ingredients on top of the meat or tofu in the Instant Pot, secure lid, and double-check that the vent (on the lid) is in the sealed position.
- Choose the Meat/Stew setting (or Manual for 35 minutes on high pressure), and let cook.
- Once it is finished, either let the pressure come down on its own (usually takes about 15 minutes) or carefully release the pressure by turning the vent (on the lid) to the venting position.
- Shred the meat or tofu and other ingredients (in the pot) using two forks. If eating the skin of cooked oranges turns you off, remove the oranges before shredding.
- Though the meat or tofu is ready to serve at this point, for a bonus, sear it. Press the Cancel button on your Instant Pot, then selects Sauté. Cook for 10-15 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce and concentrate in flavour a bit. This step is optional but nice to do if you have the extra time.
- Serve shredded meat or tofu with your favourite taco toppings. We used corn tortillas, avocado, watermelon radish, cilantro, and lime.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/4 cup water or broth, like mushroom
- Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Rinse it under cold water until water runs clear. This removes the saponin (quinoa’s natural coating, which tastes bitter and soapy).
- Transfer quinoa to the Instant Pot. Turn on the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting. Stir frequently, until quinoa dries out completely and smells and looks toasted
- Add water or broth quickly but carefully as quinoa may pop slightly. Cancel setting, then press Rice pre-set. Cover with lid and lock, and allow quinoa to pressure-cook for the allotted time.
- As soon as cooking time is complete, press the Cancel button, and move the lid’s steam valve to Quick Release. Once pressure has released, remove top and give quinoa a stir.
- Transfer quinoa to a bowl and dress to your liking with ingredients like fine herbs, toasted nuts, dried and fresh fruit, and a vinaigrette.
Vegetables (around 4 cups assorted vegetables)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets about ½ a large head
- 1 cup carrots peeled and sliced thin
- ¾ cups peas can use frozen (no need to thaw)
- ½-¾ cup water add as needed
- Korma Sauce (blend together)
- ⅓ cup cashews about 30 cashews soaked in ½ cup water, microwaved
- 2 roma tomatoes or 1 cup crushed/diced tomatoes
- 3 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 3 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- In a small bowl add cashews and water, and microwave it for about 1 minute.
- In a blender jar, add the cashews (with water), tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, kashmiri red chili, garam masala, ground coriander and cumin. Blend everything till the sauce becomes smooth. Keep aside.
- Turn on Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add 1 tablespoon ghee (or oil for vegan), and saute the cashews set aside for garnishing, for 30 seconds. Keep stirring to prevent them for burning. Remove as they begin to turn a light golden color and keep aside.
- While saute mode is on, add the remaining tablespoon of ghee (or oil) and add the blended sauce. Saute the sauce for 2 minutes. This cooks off the raw taste of ginger and garlic.
- Turn off Saute and add ½ cup water (or as needed) to scrape off any bits of sauce stuck at the bottom (deglaze).
- Add the assorted vegetables, stir and close the lid. Select Pressure Cook or Manual and adjust the pressure setting to LOW. Cook for 1 minute.
- When the cooking time is done, release the pressure manually. Depending on the cooker model you are using, carefully pressure down on the pressure valve (ultra), or turn the knob to venting position (duo). Open the lid after the pin drops.
- Add heavy cream. Add ground cardamom (fresh or store-bought) and stir in the curry. Serve warm with cumin rice, naan or paratha.