The Instant Pot is basically a busy cook’s dream come true. Sure, it doesn’t actually churn out full-blown meals in a fraction of a second, but with its ability to do everything from sauté and steam to bake and brew, it provides the kind of all-in-one convenience that few other kitchen gadgets can offer.
And when it comes to plant-based eating, using the Instant Pot opens up opportunities for vegan recipes that go far beyond just salads and stir-fries. From batches of oatmeal you can prep and eat all week to quick and creamy risottos to buttery (but butter-free!) fruit crisps that bake up in just 15 minutes, these dishes show you how to make the most of your meals.
Want to make brown rice infinitely more exciting? Cook it in coconut milk, like this recipe does. It’s a simple addition, but it adds so much richness to the grain as the perfect base for your toppings and mix-ins of choice, from fruit slices to nut butters to additional spices.
Get an early start on your veggie intake for the day by serving up your breakfast in acorn squash cups. Cooking it in the Instant Pot is dramatically faster than oven-roasting it, and who doesn’t love an edible bowl filled with yogurt, your favorite granola, and a drizzle of nut butter?
Chocolate in the morning? Totally acceptable when it comes in the form of cocoa powder and mixed into a hearty bowl of banana and oats. With no added sugar, plenty of antioxidants, and tons of fiber, this is a healthy chocoholic’s dream morning meal.
If the concept of miso and oatmeal together has you intrigued, tasting the combo will have you hooked. The soybean paste adds a mildly sweet touch to the grains, while chopped kale adds some veggie action, and nutritional yeast and tahini contribute creamy, savory richness.
Cauliflower has been used as a stand-in for rice more times than we can count, but ever tried using it as a substitute for oatmeal? Cooked in the Instant Pot with plant-based milk, tapioca starch, nuts, and sweetener of your choice, it turns into a creamy, starch-like concoction that so closely resembles oatmeal you may forget it’s actually a vegetable.
Unsure of how to cook raw buckwheat groats? The Instant Pot takes the guesswork out, pressure-cooking the grain into a porridge that has the consistency of oatmeal but is gluten-free and even higher in fiber and B vitamins. Bananas and raisins add natural sweetness here without added sugar.
Soups and Sides
Between cooking the lentils, sautéing the veggies, and letting the broth simmer, this soup would easily take at least an hour to make on the stove—not so much with the Instant Pot. The gadget slashes the time it takes for this recipe to come together in half, giving you warm, nourishing soup in just 35 minutes.
Buttery mashed potatoes? Who needs 'em when you’ve got this bright, tangy, and totally vegan alternative? Not only are these lemony spuds a lot healthier than their dairy-filled mashed counterparts, but they only take 20 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot—no boiling or baking necessary!
Whether you’re making Thai food at home or are just in need of a more interesting side to serve with meat or veggies, this unique recipe is exactly what you need. Along with the lemongrass stalks themselves, there’s also fragrant and flavorful cilantro, coriander, and citrus cooked into the protein-rich seeds. You’ve never had quinoa quite like this—and we’re willing to bet you’ll love it.
Skip the takeout tonight and turn to this Thai-inspired recipe instead. Red curry paste, ginger, lime, and coconut milk give the butternut squash puree its Southeast Asian flavors, while the apple provides an extra hint of sweetness.
Like its name suggests, everyone should have a go-to tomato soup recipe in their repertoire. Although this one is as simple as it gets, with a 30-minute cooking time in the Instant Pot, ingredients like celery, garlic, fresh basil, and thyme make sure its flavor profile is far from basic.
Refried beans in restaurants—or even in the canned varieties at the supermarket—are all too often made with lard, which, last we checked, definitely isn’t vegan. While this Instant Pot recipe for homemade refried beans still takes a considerable amount of time, you can rest assured knowing that the end product is totally free of animal products and totally delicious.
Roasting the veggies separately does add an extra step to this recipe, but the slightly sweet, slightly browned results are totally worth it. Plus, the oven’s doing its thing with the produce and the Instant Pot takes care of simultaneously boiling the noodles and cooking the sauce, so the entire process is actually much more low-maintenance than you’d think.
Love the taste of risotto? Hate how long it takes to make risotto? Use this Instant Pot recipe and you’ll be digging into a creamy (and dairy-free!) rice dish in fewer than 30 minutes. With tangy artichoke hearts, sweet peas, and cheesy nutritional yeast, there are so many complementary flavors in here that the fact that it’s vegan won’t even cross your mind.
A speedy cashew sauce takes the place of cheese in this vegan take on a classic comfort food. While it’s whipped up in a blender, it actually thickens and cooks with the pasta in the Instant Pot so that every single noodle can soak up that “cheesy” goodness, and the dish becomes extra decadent.
Whether you need it for a last-minute tailgate or a quick weeknight dinner, this 15-minute chili comes through for you no matter what. Relying mostly on canned beans and veggies, it’s also a convenient but healthy meal for the days you’re low on fresh groceries. Plus, the broken lasagna noodles thrown in make it even heartier.
While lentils usually take the place of ground meat in a plant-based Bolognese sauce, this Instant Pot recipe takes a different route with tofu and mushrooms instead. The protein and veggie are both great at soaking in the hearty sauce, which comes together easily thanks to the help of jarred marinara sauce and plenty of dried herbs to jazz it up.
It’s out with the chicken and in with the chickpeas in this herbivore-friendly version of an Indian restaurant staple. Not only is there no meat in here, but there’s also no butter—vegan or otherwise. Instead, the gravy gets its velvety consistency from the coconut cream stirred in at the end.
Unless you already have the cooked grain on hand, making fried rice can be more time-consuming than you’d like. The Instant Pot allows you to cook your rice in fewer than 15 minutes then use the same vessel to saute your veggies and make your sauce, making for maximum convenience and minimal cleanup!
Nutmeg, ginger powder, and cardamom give this rice pudding its chai-inspired flavor, while vanilla and cinnamon keep it tasting like traditional rice pudding. Let the grains cook in a creamy mix of almond and coconut milk, and 20 minutes later, you have a killer yet healthy dessert.
Not much of a baker? Got a temperamental oven? Neither of those are roadblocks for enjoying this cake. With the Instant Pot method, it’s pressure-cooked instead of baked, giving you a steamed dessert that’s perfectly soft, not to mention free of refined sugar and full of fiber from the whole-wheat flour.
Here’s a cake that tastes like it was oven-baked but doesn’t require you to actually use the oven. The straightforward, fewer-than-10-ingredient batter cooks up in the Instant Pot to be fluffy, just sweet enough, and full of cocoa flavor. It’s totally satisfying without frosting, but the blogger provides a rich vegan chocolate ganache recipe that takes it over the top.
Spelt flour and oats come together for the wholesome topping to this rustic dessert, as cinnamon and maple syrup add sweetness and spice to the juicy honeycrisp apple base. Like traditional crisps, this one is gooey on the bottom, golden and crumbly on the top. Unlike traditional crisps, it comes together in all of 10 minutes!
Chewy and starchy, delicate tapioca pearls are the star of this simple recipe. While they don’t have much flavor on their own, they soak up the coconut milk and maple syrup mixture that they’re doused in, cooking up in the Instant Pot to yield a perfectly thick, subtly sweet, gluten-free and vegan pudding.
This healthier version of a festive Indian dessert can also be thought of as carrot cake minus the flour. The chopped veggies, dried fruits, nuts, and almond meal are bound together with vegan butter and plant-based milk, and after cooking together in the Instant Pot, the mixture is best served warm with some nondairy vanilla ice cream.