Tiny Kitchen cooking: 20 Amazing Vegan Instant Pot Recipes

vegan cooking in an airstream RV

Hey beautiful people!

What a wonderful time to start new goals, resolutions for healthy living, and become inspired by by all of the wellness trends out there floating on the internet!

We have been hunkered down in our Airstream on Tiki Island for the past few months, taking little weekend trips to Austin, San Antonio, and Cypress to spend time with family during the holidays. The "winters" in this part of Texas are more of a series of cool fronts than actual cold spells, so unfortunately all of the clothes in the closet seem to be in constant use-- shorts one day, thermals the next! 

In the spirit of all things New Year and also to geek out about the newest addition to our tiny kitchen, I have compiled this list of amazing vegan recipes that are PERFECT for an electric pressure cooker, that we keep coming back to again and again. 

Meet the Instant pot

If you have been living under a rock, you may not yet have heard about the amazing appliance known as the Instant Pot. 

As a cooking "purist", this appliance may seem a little bit like cheating. After all, with the simple touch of a button, the machine can perform a multitude of culinary tasks in a fraction of the time that would typically be required over a stovetop.

And for vegans, this is particularly nice because of its ability to fast-cook whole grains, dried legumes, and large root vegetables.

The Instant Pot is essentially a rice cooker, slow cooker, food warmer, pressure cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, browning/saute' machine, and pasta boiler all in one!

Why We Love It

For people who live in a small space or RV like us, space, time, and energy use are of particular importance. The electric pressure cooker uses significantly less energy and puts off much less heat than our convection microwave oven, uses no propane, saves water since we only have to clean one cooking pot, and prevents us from taking up precious kitchen counter space during the cooking process. And on top of that, we spend much less time in the actual "active" process of the tedious portions of cooking, like waiting for water to boil, soaking beans, or being afraid to leave the house to run errands or walk the dog with a stove on. 

I seriously love this thing, and I can't wait to share some of our favorite recipes!

By the way, this is the one we actually have in our airstream. Its in white, and sits on top of our propane stovetop cover. Because we have it sitting over the stove, we honestly rarely use anything else for cooking anymore. So if you saw our countertop, you'd literally see our Vitamix, measuring cups, utensils bucket, and pressure cooker. Feel free to browse amazon for reviews using the affiliate link below. It helps out the blog! 

 
 

How the instant pot Works

The lid, inner pot, and housing unit are arranged so that a large non-stick pot, similar to a chef's pot, is encased by a heating element and pressure-locking lid. Most models have a touch-pad on the front with various buttons indicating a one-touch function such as "rice" "brown" or "manual/pressure cook". There is a pressure release regulator valve on top of the Instant Pot that allows you to manually control the amount of pressure inside the unit-- ie, you can steam, or use high pressure based on the valve being partially open or closed. 

Safety: *The most important thing to get used to with these pressure cookers is the value of the safety valve; because so much pressure is built up inside the unit, you must get used to releasing the pressure of the valve prior to ever opening the lid after a cooking function is performed.* Hot steam gets released with lots of force, so we have ours (in our RV) underneath the vented portion of the stovetop. 

Instant Pot Pro Tips

SAVE the cooking manual. Sure, most manuals can be thrown away for appliances, but the Instant Pot has a great chart that gives you specific water ratios, cooking times, and instructions for common grains, legumes, and veggies. 

Check out the accessories. If you're really looking to multi-task, the Instant pot has pre-sized steaming baskets, bundt-cake inserts, and shelving units that separate different foods so that you can cook a whole meal even FASTER that has multiple elements. 

Join this Vegan Instant Pot Facebook Group. There are some amazing people out there on the internet, and the Instant Pot has a cult following that has spawned thousands of participants willing to share their knowledge and IP "hacks" for free! The best ones I've found are on FB, but you can definitely search Pinterest and probably come up with some great options as well. 

Go to your favorite vegan blog (we love Minimalist Baker, Vegan Richa, and Delish Knowledge) and search "one pot" in the recipe index section. Pretty much any vegan recipe that uses one pot can be expedited in the Instant Pot!

Grab A Vegan Instant Pot cookbook. Search Amazon and you'll see a huge selection of cookbooks for vegans and vegetarians using only the Instant Pot and/or a blender. Some of them use various attachments, but all in all I find that cookbooks are great source of inspiration!

Here's the book I bought for my mom for Christmas:

 
 

 

Have a blender on hand. A lot of the IP recipes can be augmented (especially soups) with the use of a blender/food processor. Especially when sauteeing a "base" of veggies prior to making a chili or soup, you can expedite the process of cooking with an IP even MORE by pulsing things like onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in the food processor and quickly dumping them into the Instant Pot. We recently switched from a BlendTec to a Vitamix, but really any high speed blender will work. 

And now for the Recipes! I've separated them into categories for ease of use, and added little tips. Keep in mind, not all of these are specifically "designed" for the Instant Pot, but the process can be greatly expedited if you just know how to use the manual pressure cooker setting to your advantage! 

my favorite vegan Curries

Vegan Richa's Instant Pot Eggplant Sweet Potato Lentil Curry 

Vegan Richa 1 Pot Red Lentil Tortilla Soup

Minimalist Baker One-Pot Pumpkin Yellow Curry

Tips: use cauliflower "rice" for serving to skip the rice cooking all together! Or, use to IP to quick-cook some basmati rice prior to simmering the curry. For a quicker simmering time, use the manual pressure-cook option for about 5-7 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. 

Minimalist Baker Kale Sweet Potato Curry

Awesome Warming Vegan Chillis

Run Like Kale Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Minimalist Baker 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili

Soups

Minimalist Baker 1-Pot Vegan Lentil Soup

Minimalist Baker One-Pot Vegan Minestrone

Vegan bean Dips and Spreads

Learn how to make amazing dried-bean hummus from real garbanzo beans from this great article on Everyday Maven. All you need is a food processor or high speed blender for the finishing touches! The best part is that you can use this to make hummus with any type of bean. White bean hummus = win!

Lentil Pate' 

Tip: serve this recipe over crackers as an appetizer, or on your favorite sandwich as a decadent spread! Just use the IP to pressure cook the lentils in half the time ;)

Vegan Foie Gras

Tip: for this recipe, instead of soaking the cashews, just pressure cook them in 1 cup of water on manual for 5-7 minutes. They should be extremely soft. 

The Best Instant Pot Vegan Cheese Sauce --> Ready, go! If you're vegan, you know how people can never stop explaining that their love of cheese prevents them from "taking the plunge". Then, you make them some cashew cheese sauce with nootch and it blows. their. minds. This recipe is one such guide ;)

super fast vegan Oatmeal Breakfasts

Instant Pot Banana Walnut Steel Cut Oats

Red Lentil Savory Oatmeal Bowl

The link above is an adapted version inspired by another blog called Oh She Glows. The real recipe (that I get asked about ALL the time) is from the Oh She Glows Cookbook. You can use the affiliate link below to check out the reviews and/or purchase the book, but I love this breakfast so much that I've been asked about it at every single family gathering!

Pro Tip: add avocado, salsa, marinated tempeh, cilantro, and fresh tomato slices to make this absolutely filling and hearty. 

 
 

 

Warming One-Pot Vegan Dinners 

Karen over at Little Blue Plates  has some really great guides on using the IP for steamed vegetables in her post above. Below I've included some of my favorite recipes that involve steaming root veggies, which works out SO great during a weeknight rush!

Steamed Root Vegetables

Minimalist Baker Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes

Minimalist Baker Butternut Squash Bowl with Jalapeno Queso

Minimalist Baker Curried Lentil Sweet Potato Bowls

Minimalist Baker 1-Pot Vegan Barbacoa

Minimalist Baker 1-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka

Minimalist Baker 1-Pot Vegan Pasta

Tip: for any of the recipes above, pressure cooking the root vegetables on "manual" speeds up the process quite a bit. I've found that you can also boil pasta by setting the bowl to "saute" and tilting the lid slightly open over the bowl to trap heat. 

If you love the Minimalist Baker blog as much as we do, then you'd probably love her cookbook, too. Unlike other books from successful blogs out there, she doesn't really recycle posts that she's already offered on other free mediums; we've found her cookbook to be extremely useful, and we keep coming back to it regardless of her website. You can use the affiliate link below to support this blog (for free), and do some shopping on Amazon!

 
 

I hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing it! What's so great about the IP is it's ability to quicken the timing of making meals during busy times, and allows you to get other things done while you're cooking!