The Instant Pot’s main claim to fame is its magical meat-cooking prowess, churning out tender proteins in little time. But there are tons of delicious vegetarian Instant Pot recipes out there that prove the kitchen wizard is awesome for serving up tasty and nutritious meatless meals too.
What goes into a healthy vegetarian Instant Pot recipe? Like any healthy meal (no matter what appliance or protein source you’re using), it should be both nutritionally balanced and enjoyable to eat. “For a meal that is both mentally and physically satisfying, I recommend that people strive for three to four food groups when possible—namely fat, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables,” SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and cofounder of Food Heaven, tells SELF. “By doing this, you will not only get a variety of textures and flavors, but also nutrients that work together to provide you with a steady, stable stream of energy.”
The vegetarian Instant Pot recipes you’ll find below, including stews, casseroles, and pilafs, generally strive for that varied balance. Most of them begin with a hearty plant protein base like lentils or beans—which, thankfully, cook much faster under the high heat and pressure than on the stovetop.
Read on for plenty of Instant Pot–facilitated plant-based deliciousness.
A note about the word healthy here: We know that “healthy” is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being “healthy,” we’re primarily talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But it also depends on your preferences, your culture, what’s accessible to you, and so much more. We selected these recipes with those basic criteria in mind, while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.