Pressure Cooker Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto

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Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto

Roasting cauliflower brings out it’s natural sweetness, and I’ve combined it with a good-for-you, high in fiber pressure cooked barley risotto. 

Recently, a sweet Pressure Cooking Today reader, Marci, emailed me and told me “I love your website so much. I even bought that new cooker you posted about. I love having 2 around.” 🙂 She also said she saw a barley risotto recipe online that she wanted to convert to a pressure cooker recipe.

She asked if I thought it would make a good pressure cooker recipe and asked for suggestions on how to convert it. I gave her a couple of suggestions and she made it, but was disappointed with the results because the barley just wasn’t creamy enough. 

Roasted Cauliflower

Making Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto!

So I used the information Marci sent me about the cook time and how much liquid she used as a starting point to create this recipe. I increased the cooking time, used less liquid, and roasted cauliflower instead of pan frying it to add more flavor to the dish. Roasting vegetables brings out the sweetness of the vegetables, because they caramelize as they cook.

The addition of butter and Parmesan cheese upped the creaminess and boosted the flavor of the risotto.

Pressure Cooker Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto with Parmesan Cheese in a white bowl

Using barley instead of arborio rice in risotto, you’ll never get the same light smooth texture. My roasted cauliflower barley risotto still had some chewy to it, like a brown rice would, but the sauce was creamy, flavorful and delicious.

If you’re trying to eat healthier and add more fiber to your diet, give this recipe a try. It was a hit at my house.

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto

Roasted Cauliflower Barley Risotto

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 springs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 425°. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil in a Ziploc bag. Season well with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spread cauliflower on baking sheet.

Roast until almost tender, about 20 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Sprinkle cauliflower with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, and roast until cauliflower is tender, approximately 5 minutes more.

While cauliflower is roasting, select Sauté and heat 1 tablespoon oil in pressure cooker pot. Sauté the onion until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.

Add barley, broth and thyme to the cooking pot. Cover and lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and 25 minutes cook time. When timer beeps, turn off and use a quick pressure release.

Select Sauté and cook uncovered, stirring often until barley is tender and liquid is reduced until it’s thick and creamy. (The cauliflower will absorb some of the liquid when you add it.) Remove thyme stems.

Mix in butter and 1/4 cup Parmesan until blended. Mix in roasted cauliflower and fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately topped with additional grated Parmesan cheese.


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