The Instant Pot's ability to cook top-notch foods fast has anointed it with serious praise from anyone who uses one—and it entirely lives up to the hype. Furthermore, its speed is matched by its versatility. It can cook a variety of foods and meals to match your diet choices. For example, if you're a vegetarian, there are plenty of vegetarian Instant Pot recipes that will make your life so much easier.
Read on for 18 easy vegetarian Instant Pot recipes to try for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacking.
What Makes It Great: Thanks to the power of the Instant Pot, this vegetable soup recipe from The Butter Half can come together in just about 20 minutes. Avocado oil, sweet potatoes, and onions form the base of the soup, and after they begin to cook, basil, vegetable stock, and lentil beans are tossed in, too. It's the ideal hearty meal for a cozy night in.
Quick Tip: "It only takes 12 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot and you only have one pot to clean!" Abbey Rodriguez says. "That's called winning at life."
Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
What Makes It Great: Once again, this delicious curry recipe from Food Faith Fitness clocks in at about 20 minutes, but it'll look and taste like it took much longer to create. Rich ingredients like full-fat coconut milk, chopped red pepper, and yellow curry paste mix with chickpeas, cauliflower, and cilantro for a dish that's as colorful as it is irresistible.
Quick Tip: "Please make sure you press out as much liquid from the tomatoes as you can, or your curry will be watery and not so magically delicious," Taylor Kiser says.
Pumpkin Walnut Chili
What Makes It Great: Pumpkin and walnuts don't immediately come to mind when you think of chili, but this chili recipe from Pinch of Yum makes a strong case for the unusual ingredients. The Instant Pot gives them a hearty, yet soft texture that balances out the flavors of chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, and red lentils.
Quick Tip: "Serve with avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, tortilla chips, rice, cornbread…whatever you like with your chili!" Lindsay Mostrom says.
If your chili is too thick, thin it out with additional water or broth.
Tomato Soup With Parmesan Chickpeas
What Makes It Great: Sometimes all you need is a big bowl of warm tomato soup for dinner, but this tomato soup recipe from Peas and Crayons doesn't just settle for plain-old ingredients. Minced garlic, chopped carrots, cream, and even a pinch of sugar give this bowl added depth, and there are also lemon-zested parmesan chickpeas to sprinkle on top.
Quick Tip: "Add your cream cheese and puree using a hand-held immersion blender until fabulously smooth and bisque-like," Jenn Laughlin says. "You can also blend the soup, in two batches, in your blender or food processor."
Macaroni and Cheese
What Makes It Great: Pinch of Yum makes another standout Instant Pot dish with her take on macaroni and cheese, which features whole wheat pasta, whole milk, shredded cheese, and butter. It takes all of 10 minutes to make this simple yet satisfying dish, so you can dive in particularly fast.
Quick Tip: "I tried this with gluten-free noodles and did not have great results—they just turned to mush," Mostrom says. "I am writing the recipe to include whole wheat noodles because they kept their shape the best."
What Makes It Great: Not everything you whip up in an Instant Pot has to be a full-fledged meal, and this easy hard-boiled egg recipe from The Butter Half shows how it's great for snacks and toppings, too. It takes 14 minutes to make a dozen hard-boiled eggs in an Instant Pot, which can be eaten on the go, cut for salads, or used in a variety of other dishes.
Quick Tip: "This is perfect for egg salad sandwiches, potato salad, dyeing Easter eggs, deviled eggs, and beyond!" Rodriguez says.
Lentil Sloppy Joes
What Makes It Great: As it turns out, you can make a vegetarian version of sloppy joes—and an Instant Pot one at that. All you need to do is follow this sloppy joe recipe from Show Me the Yummy, which substitutes in onion, bell pepper, and lentils between the bun.
Quick Tip: "Once the Instant Pot lentil sloppy joes are done, I love serving these on toasted buns with some ketchup, mustard, pickles, and a side of sweet potato fries," Jennifer Debth says.
What Makes It Great: The pasta and sauce are cooked together in this rigatoni bolognese recipe from Paint the Kitchen Red, which features classic ingredients like tomato paste, parsley, and oregano as well as dried porcini mushrooms and bell peppers.
Quick Tip: "This vegetarian pasta is finished with mascarpone cheese and freshly grated parmesan cheese," Neena Panicker says. "If you can't find mascarpone, you can try and substitute heavy cream or cream cheese."
What Makes It Great: This Spanish rice recipe from A Couple Cooks is not just easy to make, it's also versatile. It can be a meal in and of itself, a snack, or used as a vegetarian side for you but an accompaniment to meat for the carnivores in your family.
Quick Tip: "Cook the onion on Saute mode for 5 minutes. This brings out the best flavor of the onion," say recipe creators Sonja and Alex.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
What Makes It Great: The worst part about sweet potatoes is the amount of work it takes to make them, but Boulder Locavore's mashed sweet potato recipe couldn't be easier. They cook for just eight minutes, and mash-up super easily, making for a superb side dish.
Quick Tip: "The potatoes may be left in the Instant Pot on warm until serving," says recipe creator Toni Dash.
Instant Pot Ramen
What Makes It Great: Who needs takeout? A Couple Cook's ramen recipe is faster, healthier, and way more delicious. If you prefer to make it fully plant-based, just omit the egg and sub tofu.
Quick Tip: "The pressure cooker we used to test this recipe is the Instant Pot 6 Qt Pressure Cooker. But there are lots of great brands out there!" says Sonja and Alex.
Pina Colada Steel-Cut Oatmeal
What Makes It Great: Think oatmeal is bland? Think again. This pina colada steel-cut oatmeal recipe from Boulder Locavore tastes like a tropical vacation—and makes getting out the door on busy mornings that much easier.
Quick Tip: When the Instant Pot is first open after cooking there will be a layer of liquid on the top of the steel cut oats recipe. After a stir and sitting for two additional minutes, the steel-cut oats are creamy," Dash says.
What Makes It Great: Getting all your veggies in never tasted better, thanks to Food Faith Fitness's pasta primavera recipe. It's so delicious and filling, even non-vegetarians won't miss the meat!
Quick Tip: "I played around with cooking times when making Instant Pot Pasta and found that about ½ the time recommended on the box is the best, when cooking the pasta on manual high pressure," says Kiser.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
What Makes It Great: There's nothing like a warm bowl of soup on a cold day, and this broccoli cheddar soup by Half Baked Harvest is comfort food epitomized. Not only is it thick, creamy, and super filling, but it's also ready in just 30 minutes.
Quick Tip: "Some people have had issues with their cheese not melting into the soup. This is because there is no flour in the soup. I don't have any issues with my cheese not melting into the soup or curdling, but if you are having trouble, add 2-3 tablespoons flour during the last minute of cooking the onion in the very first step. This will help to bind the soup together," recipe creator Tieghan Gerard says.
What Makes It Great: Spaghetti squash is our go-to for low-carb, healthy pasta dishes, and this recipe from Food Faith Fitness makes it even easier to prepare by cooking it in an instant pot! It'll be on your plate in just 15 minutes—can't beat that.
Quick Tip: "You could serve this spaghetti squash on its own as a noodle replacement! Just mix it up with some sauce or, my favorite, butter and salt," Kiser says.
Cacio e Pepe
What Makes It Great: We don't normally associate chickpeas with pasta, but Half Baked Harvest's Cacio e Pepe recipe is making us rethink that. Crispy garlic basil chickpeas add texture and crunch (plus some vegetarian protein!) to the classic dish.
Quick Tip: The chickpeas are optional in this recipe, but they're definitely something special you won't want to miss out on.
Cilantro Lime Rice
What Makes It Great: Bring Chipotle to you with Joyful Healthy Eats's cilantro lime rice recipe. It can be used as a side dish, or as a filling for tacos, enchiladas, or burritos.
Quick Tip: "If you want to increase the fiber of the dish, add in a 1/2 cup of black beans to really “fill” you up! It adds nice flavor too," says recipe creator Krista.
Crispy Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes
What Makes It Great: Meet your new favorite side dish. Half Baked Harvest's smashed potato recipe is so good, you'll be eating it weekly. It takes a little longer (about 45 minutes) but this one is totally worth it.
Quick Tip: "To make things pretty, you can finish with fresh herbs, or you can just go with flaky sea salt," Gerard says.