3 Healthy Instant Pot Weight Loss Recipes That Are Seriously Delicious

Bruschetta Chicken

Recipe: Lose Weight With Your Instant Pot, Photo: Carl Kravats

Is it just us, or are Instant Pots synonymous with winter-friendly, high-calorie comfort foods like decadent mac and cheese and rich French dip sandwiches? Luckily, our Instant Pot beliefs have recently changed for the better after learning that it is possible to whip up healthy meals using the Instant Pot's convenient cooking power any time of year.

To show us how it's done, we tapped Audrey Johns, the genius recipe creator behind the wildly popular blog Lose Weight by Eating (and the best-selling cookbook by the same name). True to form, the foodie's latest cookbook Lose Weight With Your Instant Pot is filled with healthier takes on classic favorites, like chicken and dumplings and bruschetta chicken. Ahead, we picked three of her crazy-delicious Instant Pot recipes for weight loss that might just inspire you to get a jump start on your diet.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings
Recipe: Lose Weight With Your Instant Pot, Photo: Carl Kravats

If you're in need of tasty comfort food, a piping hot bowl of Instant Pot chicken and dumplings will usually do the trick. It's the kind of classic recipe for which everyone has their own secret ingredients and cooking tricks that make this time-honored meal their own. The only downside of this delicious dish is that, with ingredients like butter, heavy cream, and whole milk, it won't do much to keep the weight off. In fact, those three dairy products are super fattening.

Don't worry, though; you don't have to swap this flavorful soup for a bland salad to lose weight. With Johns's healthy version, you can enjoy it without feeling guilty. She replaced the dairy products high in calories saturated fat and cholesterol for almond milk, which is full of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (the good fats). Also, almond milk is loaded with vitamins D and E, and calcium.

Of course, enjoying a bowl of chicken and dumplings won't exactly help you burn fat, but it certainly won't stand in your way to losing weight like the traditional version of this dish would. The protein in the almond milk and chicken will do more to fill you up, too.

Makes: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 14 cups
Cook time: 35 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Per serving: Calories: 334; fat: 5.5 grams; saturated fat: 1 gram; fiber: 3 grams; protein: 32 grams; carbohydrates: 38 grams; sugar: 8 grams

Soup Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1.5 cups water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (any unsweetened milk will work)
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 cup frozen peas

Dumpling Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (any unsweetened alternative milk will work)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Lightly sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the Instant Pot along with the garlic powder, onion powder, and water. Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Then, quick-release the pressure and transfer the chicken to a plate and the broth to a heatproof bowl or large glass measuring cup. When it's cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with two forks.

Set the Instant Pot to sauté on medium heat, and once it reads "hot," add the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for three more minutes, then add the chicken, broth, almond milk, oregano, peas, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Hit "cancel" on the Instant Pot, cover, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

While the soup portion is cooking in the Instant Pot, make the dumplings. In a medium bowl, mix (with a wooden spoon, not an electric mixer) the flour, almond milk, salt, baking powder, and parsley until it's all combined.

Next, quick-release the pressure lid again and transfer a quarter cup of the liquid to a small bowl. Add the cornstarch to the bowl and whisk well, then pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot and mix to combine.

Set the pot to sauté on low heat and lightly drop in the dumpling dough (roll chunks into Ping Pong ball-sized pieces) and simmer for five to seven minutes until the dumplings float. Serve and enjoy!

Try swapping out carbs for protein wherever you can. If implemented long-term, consuming a high-protein diet can boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite, two factors that are crucial for weight loss. 

Skinny "Crack" Chicken

Skinny "Crack" Chicken
Recipe: Lose Weight With Your Instant Pot, Photo: Carl Kravats

It's called "crack chicken" because it's so good that there's truly no other way to describe it. However, traditional crack chicken is definitely not famous for its health benefits. Three of the key ingredients are cream cheese (16 ounces of it!), cheddar cheese, and bacon. If you're trying to lose weight, but you need to get on the crack chicken bandwagon, we suggest using Johns' recipe, which still includes cheese, just not quite so much. She also threw in Brussels sprouts, which are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. Another benefit to Johns' version: It's so easy to make. Though this hearty meal isn't necessarily metabolism-boosting to help you lose weight, it's way less fattening than the original version.

Makes: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 cup
Cook time: 25 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Per serving: Calories: 349; fat: 12.5 grams; saturated fat: 6 grams; fiber 3: grams; protein: 43 grams; carbohydrates: 16 grams; sugar: 2 grams

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes halved crosswise
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, dark outer leaves removed, halved through the stem
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (you'll find it next to the cream cheese at the store)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. minced fresh chives
1 tsp. minced fresh dill
1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (for garnish)

Directions:

Combine the potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chicken, Neufchâtel cheese, garlic salt, chives, dill, parsley, and water in your Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. That's it. Voila! If you want to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly coated in the cheese, give the contents of your pot a quick stir before serving.

Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken
Recipe: Lose Weight With Your Instant Pot, Photo: Carl Kravats

Any Italian who loves to eat will sing this classic dish's praises because it's easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Traditional bruschetta is made with four key ingredients: toasted baguette, Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese. If you're trying to be healthier without sacrificing your favorite foods, try Johns' super easy recipe for bruschetta, which uses thin-sliced chicken breast in place of the toasted baguette.

Makes: 2 servings

Serving size: 1 chicken breast and 1/3 cup bruschetta topping
Cook time: 25 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Per serving: Calories: 399; fat: 6.5 grams; saturated fat: 2 grams; fiber: 3 grams; protein: 60 grams; carbohydrates: 25 grams; sugar: 19 grams

Ingredients:

10 oz. cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Start by combining the tomatoes, garlic, green onion, and water in the Instant Pot. Then place the rack and steamer basket in the pot above the mixture that you just combined. Put the chicken in the steamer basket and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

Once the pressure releases naturally, carefully lift the steamer basket out of the pot; use oven mitts because the steamer basket will be really hot to the touch. Place one piece of chicken on each plate. Next, remove the rack from the pot and stir the basil into the tomato mixture. Ladle the hot tomato mixture over the chicken breasts and then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. The tomato mixture will be hot enough to melt the cheese.

Ready to start cooking?

Check out the rest of Johns' Instant Pot weight loss recipes.

Lose Weight with Your Instant Pot: 60 Easy One-Pot Recipes for Fast Weight Loss (Lose Weight By Eating)
Audrey Johns Lose Weight with Your Instant Pot: 60 Easy One-Pot Recipes for Fast Weight Loss (Lose Weight By Eating) $14
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Article Sources
MyDomaine uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. National Library of Medicine. "The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance." 2015

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