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45 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Want to Cook Over and Over Again

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Instant Pots have dominated the home cooking scene for years for good reason: There are just so many tasty and healthy Instant Pot recipes that you can make with the beloved gadget. This nifty appliance is capable of doing a lot, from whipping up dinner on a moment’s notice to being a key player in meal prep planning. The Instant Pot is perhaps most well known for its pressure-cooking function, which uses large amounts of pressure to cook everything from meat to vegetables more quickly than normal. (Or should we say instantly?) But this device has also got a bunch of other cool functions that make it even more of a kitchen ninja.

We’ll expound on the Instant Pot’s rapid cooking capabilities in a minute, though. First, let’s talk about the other benefits of adding delectable, filling, easy, and healthy Instant Pot recipes to your repertoire. Beyond the fact that it’s a heck of a timesaver in that it cuts down on cooking time, Instant Pots can also make clean-up way faster and easier. You won’t end up with a sink full of dishes when everything is made in just the one pot. (This is the case with most but not all Instant Pot recipes.)

The tool is also extremely handy on hot days when you’d rather not turn on the oven or stove, because as a small and insulated device, it’s not going to release a ton of heat into your kitchen. (And there are so many excellent summer Instant Pot recipes that will help you use it for this express purpose.)

One more fantastic advantage of the Instant Pot? You might find yourself more apt to cook more of your meals and snacks at home when it’s so much faster and easier. (You may also feel inspired to make dishes that you wouldn’t ordinarily because of the reduced time commitment.) Now, let’s talk about all the healthy Instant Pot recipes at your fingertips—plus, the cases where you might want to skip the Instant Pot, and whether the Instant Pot is ideal for promoting healthful, enjoyable eating.

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What can you cook in an Instant Pot?

Animal proteins (like beef and chicken), grains, beans and legumes, various veggies, yogurt, desserts, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, stews, curries, casseroles, and more can all be beautifully cooked in an Instant Pot.

Many busy home chefs particularly love this little appliance because Instant Pot dinners drastically reduce the cooking time for dishes that typically have to simmer for a long time—like beef stew, pulled pork, bolognese sauce, chicken stock, and slow cooker chicken recipes. But you can also make pretty much any meal or meal prep component that you’d ordinarily cook on the stovetop.

Don’t forget, though, that pressure cooking is just one of the Instant Pot’s many functions (at least six, depending on the model). The slow-cooking, sautéeing, and steaming functions are equally versatile for making delicious Instant Pot meals, while more specialized settings (like rice- and yogurt-making, and boiling eggs) will make specific cooking tasks a cinch. Because why do one thing when you can do them all?

What should you not cook in an Instant Pot?

Even though there’s an abundance of things that you can make with an Instant Pot, there are also a handful of ingredients that can’t handle the pressure very well—like pasta, dairy, and crispy foods.

Delicate pasta can easily overcook and disintegrate; dairy products (like creamy sauces) can curdle or separate; and crispy things (like croutons and nuts) can get soggy. Often, you can avoid the issue by waiting to add certain ingredients until all the other parts have cooked. For instance, you can finish off a soup with a generous dose of cream, or use the sauté function to crisp bacon, then set it aside, and finally add it back to your dish at the end.

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Meanwhile, you’ll want to be careful when cooking more delicate proteins (like fish) or veggies (like asparagus) so that you don’t turn them into totally over-cooked mush. You can generally achieve that by following the recipe instructions regarding the timing and settings.

Finally, some dishes are just not Instant Pot-friendly—anything that requires some serious searing (like steak) or crisping (like fried chicken) is probably best made using another method.

Is cooking with an Instant Pot healthy?

Cooking with an Instant Pot is not inherently any more or less healthy than other cooking methods. That said, if the ease and convenience of the Instant Pot recipes helps you make more homemade meals or dabble with cooking a wider variety of foods, then this appliance can be a boon for your diet.

These 45 easy and healthy Instant Pot recipes will help you do just that—mix it up in the kitchen and churn out more homemade meals without spending oodles of time over the stove. They run the gamut from vegetarian to meaty, side dish to main course, classic to unconventional, and breakfast to dinner. You’ll also find Instant Pot recipes for beginners. Add a few to your rotation for some yummy, nutrient-rich, low-lift, and gratifying Instant Pot goodness

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, but 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, sure, we’re talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But we’re also talking about foods that help you connect with your culture, promote joy, and simply taste delicious. Some of those foods might fall into conventional ideas of what “healthy” is. And some might not. We selected these recipes with all of that in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.

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Source: Self

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