3 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes to Jump-Start Your Health Resolutions

Updated 05/09/19
Skinny
Carl Kravats

Now that the weather is dropping to below freezing temps, the sidewalks are being dusted in snow, and the sun is setting at 4:30, it's officially Instant Pot season. Although the internet's favorite kitchen appliance is pretty much synonymous with high-calorie comfort foods like decadent mac and cheese and rich French dip sandwiches, it is possible to whip up healthy meals using the Instant Pot's convenient cooking power.

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, Johns shares three crazy-delicious Instant Pot recipes for weight loss that might just inspire you to get a jump start on your New Year's health resolutions.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings
Carl Kravats

Makes 4 servings

Serving size: 1 1/4 cups
Cook time: 35 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Per serving: Calories 334; fat 5 1/2 g; saturated fat 1 g; fiber 3 g; protein 32 g; carbohydrates 38 g; sugar 8 g

Soup ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 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 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:

Sprinkle the chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper and add them to the Instant Pot with the garlic powder, onion powder, and water. Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Quick-release the pressure. Transfer the chicken to a plate and the broth to a heatproof bowl or large glass measuring cup. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with 2 forks.

Set the Instant Pot to "sauté, medium heat." Once it reads "hot," add the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the chicken, reserved broth, milk, oregano, peas, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Hit "cancel." Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, milk, salt, baking powder, and parsley and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Set aside until the Instant Pot turns off.

Quick-release the pressure. Transfer 1/4 cup of the liquid to a small bowl. Add the cornstarch to the bowl and whisk well. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot and mix to combine.

Set the pot to "sauté, low heat" and drop in the dumpling dough in balls the size of Ping-Pong balls. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dumplings float.

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Skinny "Crack" Chicken

Skinny
Carl Kravats

Makes 4 servings

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

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 ounces 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

Directions:

In the Instant Pot, combine the potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chicken, Neufchâtel cheese, garlic salt, chives, dill, parsley, and water. Cover and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

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Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken
Carl Kravats

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 g; saturated fat 2 g; fiber 3 g; protein 60 g; carbohydrates 25 g; sugar 19 g

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:

In the Instant Pot, combine the tomatoes, garlic, green onion, and water.

Put the rack and steamer basket in the pot. Place the chicken in the steamer basket and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

Let the pressure release naturally. Carefully lift the steamer basket (use oven mitts) out of the pot. Place the chicken out on two plates. Remove the rack from the pot and stir the basil into the tomato mixture. Ladle the hot tomato mixture over the chicken breasts.

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Reprinted with permission from Lose Weight with Your Instant Pot by Audrey Johns. Photographs by Carl Kravats. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.

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