Looking for low-fat, low-carb, or veggie-packed pressure cooker recipes? You’ll love this roundup of healthy Instant Pot recipes that work in any brand of electric pressure cooker. Find your new favorite and start your new year right!
Around this time of year, my inbox is full of requests for healthy Instant Pot recipes. However, after a few follow-up questions, it’s clear that “healthy” means different things to different people.
Some people asking for healthy want low-fat pressure cooker recipes, others want low-carb pressure cooker recipes. Some just want recipes with lots of vegetables!
Whatever your idea of healthy is, I hope you’ll find something you love in in this roundup of healthy electric pressure cooker meals.
Making Healthy Recipes in Your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Other Brand of Electric Pressure Cooker
First off, know that just cooking your own meals at home is a healthier choice—you know exactly what’s going into your food and can control the amount of spices and seasonings.
Making food in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker also gives you the benefit of shorter cook times. The longer foods are cooked in water, the more nutrients leech into the water. A shorter cook time equals better nutrient retention and healthier food.
Easy Low-Fat Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Recipes
Low-fat meals from the pressure cooker generally feature leaner cuts of meat and lots of herbs and spices. You can make many of my recipes lower-fat by making simple ingredient substitutions; however, some substitutions may affect the texture and thickness of the finished dishes.
Less than 3 grams of fat per serving. This healthy Pressure Cooker Chinese Lemon Chicken has full-on take-out flavor—made healthy at home! We skipped the deep-fried coating in favor of tender pieces of chicken coated in a sweet lemon sauce, spiced with just a hint of ginger, garlic, and red pepper.
3 grams of fat per serving. I love this thick and hearty low-fat soup! Lentils pack a lot of dietary fiber and protein into a small package, which will keep you full longer. Plus, lentils cook so much quicker in the electric pressure cooker that you won’t mind making them—this soup was on my table in about 30 minutes.
4 grams of fat per serving. This colorful rice pilaf cooks in just 3 minutes at high pressure. This dish works great as a lunch or a dinner side dish, and it makes a quick and easy way to get more veggies in your diet.
5 grams of fat per serving. This turkey and lentil taco filling tastes wonderful as a taco salad and has a healthy amount of protein to keep you full! Serve over a bed of spinach and romaine lettuce with corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. I like to top it with a drizzle of my cilantro-lime dressing (sub plain nonfat Greek yogurt for the mayo and buttermilk).
6 grams of fat per serving. I love making soups in the pressure cooker; they’re quick and easy but you get the flavor of slow-simmered chicken noodle soup. When I make a pot of pressure cooker chicken noodle soup, I prefer to cook the noodles separately so I can freeze the noodles separate from the rest of the soup in individual portions. (The noodles reheat so much better this way.)
6 to 11 grams of fat per serving. The fat content in this one depends entirely on how heavy you go with the olive oil dressing and the avocado. This vegetarian pressure cooker meal is packed with healthy greens, and the black beans make this a simple, healthy meal that lasts.
Under 8 grams of fat per serving. Craving fettuccine alfredo but don’t want the fat? Try this version, which has just 2 tablespoons of butter and no cream in the entire dish. Pressure cooked cauliflower blended smooth is the secret ingredient in this creamy sauce.
Other websites I recommend for delicious low-fat pressure cooker recipes: SkinnyTaste has put together an excellent pressure cooker section on her website. You can even browse her site by Weight Watcher’s smart points if that’s your preference.
Easy Low-Carb Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Recipes
Many of the recipes on my site can be easily converted to lower carb recipes through simple substitutions like using spiralized zucchini noodles in place of pasta or cauliflower rice in place of white or brown rice.
If you’re subbing for a zero-carb sweetener, I’ve had good luck with Xyla (I generally find it for less in the health food section of my local grocery store).
Under 7 carbs per serving. This pressure cooker chicken shawarma recipe is full of warm spices and packs the heat. If you have a hard time with spices, you may want to half them. I like to serve this on a bed of lettuce for the carb cutters and on a warm pita for carb lovers.
Under 6 carbs per serving. With a meal this delicious, you won’t notice the missing carbs. The flavor comes from the creamy, buttery sauce, so make sure the ingredients work within your meal plan. I love to serve it over spiralized zucchini noodles.
5 carbs per serving. This breakfast will keep you satisfied as you go throughout your day. It’s loaded with healthy greens, but doesn’t taste like you’re eating (yet another) salad! And I don’t even miss the carbs from the crust in a more traditional quiche.
See the rest of my low-carb recipes in my Low-Carb Recipes for the Instant Pot round-up post.
Other websites I recommend for excellent low-carb, paleo, and keto pressure cooker recipes include Kalyn’s Kitchen. Try her Instant Pot Low-Carb Green Chile Chicken Burrito Bowl or this Instant Pot Low-Carb Buffalo Chicken Soup.
Urvashi, author of The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook, also blogs at Two Sleevers. (My Chicken Shawarma recipe featured above is adapted from her Keto cookbook.) Try her Pressure Cooker Coconut Tamarind Chicken Curry or her Instant Pot Jamaican Chicken Curry.
Healthy Veggie Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Recipes
Lately, this has become my favorite way of eating healthy—I can eat the full-on delicious flavors I want as long as I pair that meal with a large helping of vegetables.
Many of the recipes on my site can be made this way by adding a hearty helping of vegetables on the side. I often make double or triple the amount of broccoli called for in my Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli or Instant Pot Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli.
The name says it all for this awesome low-fat soup. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables (think spinach, squash, bell peppers, and carrots) and can be easily customized for whatever diet you follow, whether that’s keto, gluten-free, or the cabbage soup diet.
I love to make this with spinach and shredded romaine for the base. Then I load on avocado, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, and cilantro. This filling in this salad starts with diced chicken so it has a 2 minute High Pressure cook time.
My dear friend Genene is responsible for this recipe featuring the flavors of stuffed green peppers in an easy-to-make casserole. If you sub in ground turkey, this meal doubles as a low-fat healthy meal with under 7 grams of fat per serving.
Sweet potatoes are a surprising vegetable in this chili. I adapted this from a vegan recipe—feel free to omit the chicken and use vegetable broth if you’re interested in keeping it vegan. There’s a lot of liquid in this chili when it finishes cooking. The quinoa will soak up the broth as it sits, so if you prefer a thicker chili, I’d make it a day before you want to serve it.
Ribollita is a hearty, thick soup that’s full of veggies. This recipe uses bread to make the soup thick and creamy without a drop of cream. If you want more vegetables in this one, add a mix of frozen peas and corn when there’s 2 minutes in the simmer time.
Fresh, healthy, and packed with flavor and veggies—I love this pressure cooker minestrone soup! It cooks up great with fresh or frozen vegetables and is perfect on a cold winter day.
Other websites I recommend for awesome veggie recipes: My friend (and coauthor) Marci from Tidbits has a knack for sneaking in extra vegetables to her meals and has an awesome vegetarian recipe collection. She’s a healthy eating champion!
I’d love to hear from you!
What kind of “healthy” works for your lifestyle? What’s your favorite healthy recipe for the pressure cooker?