Whatever low-carb diet you follow—Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, or South Beach Diet—break out your pressure cooker and whip up a meal that’s low on carbs and high in flavor. Find your new favorite in our roundup of Low-Carb Recipes for the Pressure Cooker.
It’s that time of year—after all the holiday excess, my body is basically begging me to put down the sweets and get cooking healthy recipes full of veggies. And my inbox is flooded with requests for healthy, low-carb recipes for their Instant Pot/ electric pressure cooker.
Since I’ve been an on-again-off-again follower of the South Beach diet, I’ve grown accustomed to keeping an eye on the carbs in my recipes. Many of the recipes on my site are suitable for Phases 2 and 3 of the South Beach diet; they are lower in carbs or can be easily converted to lower carb through simple substitutions like using spiralized zucchini noodles in place of pasta.
However, I have several friends who have taken a more aggressive approach to cutting carbs and follow the high-fat, low-carb Paleo or Keto diets. When we eat together, I aim for recipes that fit a more strict version of a low-carb diet—no beans, BBQ or teriyaki sauce, corn, grains, rice, potatoes, or flour.
In this roundup, I’ve included recipes that fit a variety of low-carb lifestyles. The biggest sources of carbs in these recipes are above-ground vegetables and cornstarch. I have yet to find a low-carb thickener I like as well as cornstarch; however, if you have one you love, feel free to sub it in!
Easy Low-Carb Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Recipes
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.
8 carbs per serving. This is another one I like to have on-hand for lunches on the go. I love to pair it with pickled red onions (recipe in my cookbook) and queso fresco. Wrap it all up in a large romaine leaf, a crunchy cheese shell, or even over brown rice tortilla chips.
0 carbs. I like to serve this with a mix of fresh veggies (cabbage, red peppers, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, or yellow squash—whatever looks good at the store that week). If you’re feeding a mix of carb-lovers and carb-cutters, I like to prepare a batch of brown rice and cauliflower rice and serve the pork on top of the rice and with lots of steamed vegetables.
7.5 carbs per serving. This is another meal my whole family loves that’s easy to adapt to a low-carb lifestyle! I make up a batch of rice for the carb-lovers, and I’ll steam extra broccoli and just spoon the chicken and sauce on a bed of broccoli.
Just over 7 carbs per serving. A vegetarian dish that tastes amazing over zucchini noodles, though I love to add-in grilled chicken to up the protein content. (When I’m grilling up chicken for dinner, I always throw on a few extra chicken breasts to dice and freeze to have on-hand for later.) To keep things low-carb, you’ll want to take a light hand with the balsamic vinegar and sun-dried tomatoes, though I wouldn’t omit them entirely.
Around 3 carbs per serving, less depending on ingredients used. This recipe makes up a big batch of meat. I like to freeze it in individual portions so I always have some at the ready. I like to make a big salad with spinach, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and avocados, then mix in a serving or two of this chicken. If I’m feeling like splurging, I’ll add a half of a serving of Cilantro Lime Rice or a generous serving of this cilantro lime cauliflower rice.
11 carbs per serving (omit brown sugar). I really love the salty-sweet mix of flavors in this dish, but if you want to cut the sugar, follow these reader tips for making this recipe Whole 30 friendly. When I make cauliflower rice with this dish, I like to sub in sesame oil for the olive oil.
14 carbs per serving. This one is full of flavor. The carbs come from the plain Greek yogurt, heavy cream, and tomatoes. You can eat it like a curry or pair it with roasted veggies and serve over cauliflower rice.
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.
2 carbs per serving. These muffins are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast. I’ll make a batch or two the night before with whatever veggies/meats I have on hand and whatever seasonings I’m in the mood for. Then after they’ve cooled, I’ll put them in the fridge. They heat up quick on busy mornings (30 seconds on high), and my whole family will actually eat them! If you make them in glass custard cups, you can double the recipe and stack them—trivet, three on the bottom, another trivet balanced on the cups, and three more cups.
*To calculate the carbs in each recipe, I used an online recipe nutrition calculator.
Low-Carb Recipes for the Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot from The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook
Here’s a list of great recipes from my cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook. Like the recipes listed above, these recipes are easy to make low carb by serving over cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, a bed of lettuce, or using sugar substitutes.
- Parmesan, Spinach, and Tomato Egg Muffins (page 43)
- Carnitas Street Tacos (page 50)
- Carne Asada Tacos (page 52)
- Egg Salad (page 69)
- Shredded Beef Burritos (page 72)
- Steak and Cheddar (page 76)
- Louisiana Gumbo (page 81)
- Broccoli Cheese Soup (page 96)
- Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup (page 96)
- Ratatouille Soup (page 117)
- Creamy Golden Mushroom Soup (page 119)
- Thai Chicken Thighs (page 157)
- Braised Paprika Chicken (page 167)
- Marinara Chicken with Melted Mozzarella (page 169)
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken (page 170)
- Asian Beef, Snow Peas, and Mushrooms (page 189)
- Kung Pao Chicken (page 194)
- Beef Stroganoff (page 206)
- Bone-In Beef Short Ribs (page 209),
- Beef Bourguignon (page 214)
- Pepper-Crusted Steak with Parmesan-Garlic Butter (page 221)
- Pork Loin Roast (page 225)
- Chicken Marsala (page 230)
- Chicken Cacciatore (page 231)
- Coq au Vin (page 232)
- Lemon Thyme “Roasted” Chicken (page 234)
- Turkey Breast with Turkey Gravy (page 235)
- Fish en Papillote (page 241)
- Chili Verde (page 243)
- Corn on the Cob (page 270)
- Green Beans with Toasted Almonds (page 273)
Other Blogs I Love for Low-Carb Recipes
If you’re looking for gluten-free, paleo, or keto pressure cooker recipes, I recommend Kalyn’s Kitchen. She’s been posting great-tasting, low-carb recipes for over a decade now. Her website is sorted by diet in addition to having a growing Pressure Cooking section.
Another great low-carb/Keto source is All Day I Dream About Food. Carolyn is just getting started with her Instant Pot recipes, but she’s got lots of ideas that could be adapted to the pressure cooker.
Also, check out Slow Cooker from Scratch. They feature a big variety of low-carb recipes for the electric pressure cooker and have some great recipe roundups like 50 Amazing Low-Carb Instant Pot Dinner Recipes or Best Paleo Instant Pot Recipes.
I’d love to hear your ideas! What’s your favorite low-carb recipe for the pressure cooker? What’s your favorite way to turn a recipe into a low-carb meal?