10 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes
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Whether you’re just unboxing your Instant Pot or a seasoned pressure cooking veteran, you can never have too many recipes. The assortment of healthy Instant Pot recipes I have for you today covers the full spectrum. We’ll look at main dishes and protein sources like crispy carnitas and cilantro lime cauliflower rice burrito bowls before getting into desserts like a Reese’s Puffs protein cheesecake. And don’t worry, we’ll even take care of breakfast.
A few things before we get to the recipes:
- I use the 6 Qt Lux 60 Instant Pot for all my recipes. If you’re using a different size, you may need to slightly modify ingredient amounts (to fit) or cook times.
- You’ll see a mixture of recipes from my blog and from the nutrition coaching company, Stronger U. I serve as the self-appointed Chief Deliciousness Officer for Stronger U and create a handful of healthy recipes for their members each week.
- If you have ingredient questions that aren’t answered in the recipe notes, click on the recipe title or header to visit the original blog post where your question is likely covered.
Okay, here we go.
This was one of the first bulk protein recipes I ever tried in my Instant Pot, and it’s a staple in my house. These carnitas go with just about anything—tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, breakfast bakes and muffins, and more. I’ll link to a few of my favorite below the recipe.
Crispy Instant Pot Carnitas
A high protein, low calorie Instant Pot or crock pot recipe for crispy carnitas.
- 1.5 pounds (24oz) Pork Tenderloin or pork loin filet
- 1 C Light Beer
- 1 Tbsp (15g) Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp (15mL) Lime Juice
- 1 packet Fajita Seasoning
Add all ingredients and cook on manual for 30 minutes, using a quick release. Depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, you may need to adjust the time up or down slightly. The pork should be tender and easily shredded with forks in the next step.
Once the pork has fully cooked, remove and shred with two forks. (If the pork is overcooked, it might be easier to chop with a knife.)
Preheat an oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the shredded pork and bake for 8 minutes.
While the pork is in the oven, saute the remaining sauce in the Instant Pot until thick.
After removing the pork from the oven, top with thickened sauce and enjoy!
- Each serving has 3 Smart Points.
- If you're using a crock pot, cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. And if you're doubling the recipe and using 3lbs of pork, cook for 45-50 minutes in the Instant Pot or 8 hours on low in the crock pot. You'll also want to cut a giant chunk of meat into smaller pieces for even cooking.
- Entire recipe: 840 Calories | 139P | 37C | 15F
- Per 1/6 Recipe (~3 oz cooked weight): 140 Calories | 23P | 6C | 2.5F
- You can use any liquid you'd like in place of the light beer.
Other recipes you can make with these carnitas:
- Pan Roasted Corn and Black Bean with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls (pictured above)
- Low Carb Carnitas Breakfast Muffins
Another versatile favorite of mine, this pulled pork and beans combo goes great on sandwiches, nachos, fries, and with eggs.
Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork and Beans
A super simple BBQ-style pulled pork recipe for the Instant Pot or crock pots.
- 2 1/4 pounds (36oz) Pork Tenderloin I used 2 Hormel Always Tender Apple Bourbon Tenderloins
- 1 can (15.5oz) Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15.5oz) Pinto Beans drained and rinsed
- 1/4 C (70g) Barbecue Sauce
Drain and rinse beans before adding to the Instant Pot or crock pot. Slice pork tenderloins into 6-8 pieces. If you'd rather leave them whole, extend cook time about 5-10 minutes.
Add pork tenderloin slices on top of the beans (use the rack if you have it) and top with barbecue sauce. (If you're using plain pork tenderloins, you may want to add a bit of salt and other seasonings in addition to the barbecue sauce.)
Seal Instant Pot and cook on manual for 32-35 minutes, using a natural release—about 15 minutes. If you're using a crock pot, cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Once the pork has cooked, remove tenderloins and shred with two forks. The pork should be tender and easily shredded with forks in the next step. (A meat thermometer also comes in handy here.)
Depending on the cut of your tenderloins, you may have a bit of liquid remaining in your beans and sauce mixture. Using the saute function on the Instant Pot is a great way to remove excess liquid before adding the beans and sauce to your shredded pork.
That's it. Refrigerate and enjoy all week long!
Optional step: If you want crispy edges, you could use a broiler like I use in my Ninja Foodi pulled pork recipe.
Pair with the healthy southwest coleslaw.
Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Casserole
The first Stronger U recipe on our list is a doozy. It’s super easy to prepare. (Read: just throw everything in the Instant Pot and walk away.)
Be sure to follow the Stronger U Instagram for more recipe graphics like this Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Casserole.
If you’d like a high protein dessert on hand for the entire week, you’ll dig this recipe.
Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cheesecake
A higher protein, healthy instant pot cheesecake made with Reese's Puffs and dark chocolate.
- 16 oz (452g) Fat-Free Cream Cheese room temp or softened
- 1 C (227g) Fat-Free Greek Yogurt plain or vanilla
- 4 large Eggs
- 2 scoops (60-64g) Protein Powder vanilla
- 1/4 C Stevia or 0-Cal Sweetener optional (if you're using vanilla Greek yogurt, you may not need sweetener)
- 1/4 C (60mL) Fat-Free Evaporated Milk
- 2 Tbsp (28g) Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 scoop (30-32g) Protein Powder vanilla
- 1 Tbsp (5g) Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 C (29g) Reese's Puffs Cereal
Wrap the bottom of a 7" springform pan with aluminum foil. Be sure it's a single layer and avoid bunching the foil around the sides. Set aside.
Begin by crushing Reese's Puffs cereal in a food processor or blender to make Reese's flour. Mix this with the cocoa and peanut butter powders. Combine remaining liquid crust ingredients and stir until you have a dough-like mixture.
Add the crust mixture to the springform pan. Using a rubber spatula or nonstick utensil, spread the crust out evenly across the bottom of the pan. Once you've made your crust, place it in the freezer while you make the cheesecake.
For the cheesecake, whisk the cream cheese and Greek yogurt together in a large bowl. (You can also use a hand mixer for this step.) Add the eggs in gradually, stirring in one at a time. Finally, add the protein powder and any sweetener should you need it.
Remove your crust from the freezer and add the cheesecake mixture on top. It should spread on its own, but you can use a spatula or spoon to ensure it's evenly distributed.
Cover the top of your cheesecake with foil. Again, be sure to not bunch the foil but cover fully.
Fold another long piece (~2 feet) of foil into a long rectangle or roll it up longways like a scroll, if that helps give a visual. You'll use this as a handle to easily remove the springform pan from the Instant Pot.
Add 1 C water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and insert rack. Place your "scroll" in the bottom of the Instant Pot on top of the rack, sides sticking out of the Instant Pot. Last but not least, insert the springform pan and cheesecake into the Instant Pot. Fold the ends of the "scroll" down before shutting the lid.
Cook the cheesecake on manual for 35 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
Release the remaining pressure and remove your cheesecake using your handy dandy scroll handles. Be careful, as the handles, pan, and pot will all still be hot.
The center of your cheesecake should be a bit jiggly but not runny. If this is your first cheesecake, don't worry, it will finish cooking after removing it from the Instant Pot. Be sure to cover again after checking on it.
Set the cheesecake on a wire rack or on a safe surface to cool to room temp. Once your cheesecake has cooled, place it in the refrigerator for 4+ hours minimum before releasing the springform pan. (Use a knife to separate sides from pan before releasing if needed.)
Add your desired toppings, slice into 8 pieces, and store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
For the topping, heat evaporated milk and chocolate chips in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until you can fully mix the chocolate chips into the milk. Allow the mixture 30-60 seconds to cool before adding the cocoa and protein powder. Stir well and add to the top of the cheesecake once it's cooled. Top with Reese's Puffs cereal when you're ready to eat a slice as the Puffs will get stale in the refrigerator.
- 1 slice has 7 Smart Points.
- 1 slice with 1 Reese's Cup added on top: 384 Calories | 27.8P | 42.5C | 13F
- 1 slice with 1/3 fat cream cheese: 338 Calories | 21.8P | 28.8C | 15.1F
- To prepare without an Instant Pot, follow the same instructions but bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for around 45 minutes. Remove and cool to room temp before refrigerating for 4+ hours.
Not a Reese’s fan (if those exist)? Check out my double chocolate and white chocolate strawberry protein Instant Pot cheesecake recipes.
This is the most recent recipe on the list, so I know there’s some recency bias when I say it’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made. But whatevs, I’ll stand by that statement. It’s amazing.
Instant Pot Chickpea and Chorizo Taco Soup
A lower fat homemade chorizo in a perfectly spicy soup with chickpeas, tomatoes, corn, and green chiles.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef macros with 96/4
- 10 oz Reduced Fat Pork Sausage I used a tube of Jimmy Dean
- 2 15 oz cans Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans drained
- 15 oz can Corn drained
- 2 15 oz cans Stewed Tomatoes
- 1 can Rotel
- 15 oz can Chicken Broth
- 2 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Ground Chipotle Peppers you could also use 1/2-1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Cumin
Set your Instant Pot to its sauté function and spray the pot with nonstick cooking spray before adding the beef and pork sausage. (If you're using the stovetop, add the meat to a large pot over high heat and follow the same instructions.)
While the meat cooks, mix the spices in a small bowl or add directly to the pot, depending on how fast you work. (Be careful not to burn the meat.)
Once the meat is cooked and no pink remains, turn the Instant Pot off. (Stovetop, reduce heat to low-medium.)
Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir well.
Seal the Instant Pot and cook for 10 minutes on manual with quick release pressure. (On the stovetop, simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.)
Release the pressure or remove from heat. Serve with tortilla chips, a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt, or however you prefer. Enjoy!
- Each serving has 3 Smart Points.
- To make this chorizo taco soup in a crockpot, cook the beef and pork sausage in a large skillet with the spices before adding everything into a crockpot and cooking for 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low.
- Be sure you're using at least a 6 Qt Instant Pot. Otherwise, the recipe as-is won't fit.
If you’re a soup fan, you’ll want to check out my high protein creamy taco soup while you’re at it.
This is bold, but these are the best sloppy joes I’ve come across. For real real.
Healthy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
A simple, tasty way to make sloppy joes in an Instant Pot or on the stove.
- 2 lbs Ground Beef macros with 96/4 beef
- 2 Tbsp (30g) Minced Garlic
- 1/4 C White Onion diced (optional)
- 1/8 tsp Salt and Pepper to taste
Sloppy Joe Sauce
- 3/4 C (204g) Reduced Sugar Ketchup
- 1/4 C (60g) Mustard
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 C (60mL) Walden Farms Pancake Syrup or a sugar free syrup or sticky sweetener
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1/2-1 tsp Cayenne Pepper to your spice preference
Set the Instant Pot to its saute function and wait for the "hot" notification. Spray the pot with nonstick cooking spray before add the minced garlic, onion, salt/pepper, and ground meat.
While the meat cooks, mix remaining sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
After your meat has browned, give it one last stir before adding your sauce to the top. DO NOT stir. Leave the sauce on the top, close the Instant Pot, and cook on manual for 10 minutes with a quick release.
The sauce should look thick and still be on top of your meat mixture, almost like the top of a meatloaf. Using a rubber spatula, fold the sauce into the meat, mixing well. It should lose its thickness and blend well.
Serve on your choice of bun or for a lower carb option, a bed of cauli rice or with roasted vegetables.
- Each 1/2 C (150g) serving is for the sloppy joes only, without a bun.
- A 1/2 C serving has 2 Smart Points.
- If you're using the stovetop instead of an Instant Pot, prepare the meat using a large skillet. Instead of pressure cooking the sauce on top, reduce the heat to low before mixing the sauce in and covering. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
Pair this with my sloppy joe nachos or as I like to call them—sloppy najoes.
If you’re typically in a rush in the morning, taking the time to make this ahead of time will make life so much easier.
Huevos Rancheros Crustless Quiche
A Mexican-inspired huevos rancheros crustless quiche with only 130 calories and a hearty 12 grams of protein per slice.
- 1 1/8 C (276g) Liquid Egg Whites or whites of 6 large eggs
- 1/2 C (113g) Fat-Free Greek Yogurt plain
- 1 can (15 oz) Black Beans
- 1 can Rotel Mexican-style preferred
- 1/2 C (56g) 2% Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 C (56g) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 Tbsp (18g) Taco Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp (8g) Cheddar Cheese Powder optional
Line a springform pan with parchment paper. (If you're using an Instant Pot, a 7" pan is probably ideal, though I fit an 8" in my Lux60 model.) Once your springform pan is lined, wrap the bottom in aluminum foil. Spray the edges with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Drain and rinse the black beans and Rotel.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, adding shredded cheese last.
You can adjust seasoning to your desired level of spice. In the recipe video, I added a bit of cayenne and black pepper.
Add the mixture to your pan and tightly cover with aluminum foil.
Fold an additional piece of aluminum foil into a long, thin strip that can go under the pan for easier removal after cooking. If you're using an oven, this step isn't needed.
In the Instant Pot, cook on manual for 45 minutes with 10 minutes NRP (natural release pressure). In the oven, cook covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Check to ensure the quiche is solid when it comes out of the oven. If it's not, extend the bake time by 5-10 minutes.)
Once your quiche has cooked, place on a cooling rack or elevated surface to cool to room temperature. Leave covered.
Ideally, you can cool and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. If you're going to refrigerate, run a knife around the edges between cooling and refrigeration. Since the quiche will shrink, if it's stuck to the edges of the pan, it might rip as it cools.
Slice into 8 slices and serve warm. Top with fresh pico, guacamole, hot sauce, or any toppings you'd like.
Each slice has 2 Smart Points
If you’re tired of reading at this point, I’ll walk you through this recipe in the video below.
If you’re cool with sacrificing Chili Cook-Off Championship titles for a quick and easy recipe, I’ve got you covered. This recipe yields a delicious chili without the long ingredient list or hassle.
5-Ingredient Instant Pot Chili
The easiest Instant Pot chili recipe you'll come across.
- 2 lbs Extra Lean Ground Beef, Turkey, or Chicken macros are with 96/4
- 2 Tbsp (30g) Minced Garlic
- 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
- 3 15 oz cans Red Kidney Beans
- 2 packets Chili Seasoning
- 1/2-1 tsp Salt & Pepper to taste
Set instant pot to saute and add minced garlic to pot.
Next, add ground beef (or meat of choice) and brown as you normally would. Optional: salt and pepper the meat as it browns.
If you're using 95/5 or leaner, don't drain the meat. If you're using a fattier cut, you can drain and rinse the meat 3/4 way through cooking to remove some of the fat. (Studies have shown that draining and rinsing meat may remove up to half the fat in ground meat, though it will slightly affect your tracking accuracy.)
Once the meat has browned, add remaining ingredients and stir.
Seal the Instant Pot and close the vent. Cook on manual for 10 minutes and allow a 15 to 20-minute natural release.
Entire Recipe: 2,000 Calories | 178P | 266C | 25F (74g Fiber) --- Serving size may vary based on the cut of meat you use and whether or not you drain. The easiest way to get an accurate measure is to log all ingredients, weigh the entire pot of chili either in the Instant Pot or in a separate container, and divide accordingly. Let's say the entire pot weighs 5,000 grams and you wanted 10, 200-calorie servings. Each serving would need to weigh 500 grams. If you'd like to convert that to cups, weigh your chili in a measuring cup and calculate accordingly.
Pair this Instant Pot Chili with my healthy frito pie.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken with Rice
Quick, easy, and perfectly sweet and spicy. If you like chicken and rice with a bit of spice, this recipe is right up your alley.
And in case you’re wondering, I used two large oranges (about 250-300g).
Instant Pot Beefy Tomato Soup
Who says canned soup can’t be healthy?
All right, that’s the last Instant Pot recipe on the list. I hope you enjoy everything. If you try any, I want to see them. Be sure to tag me on Instagram with your creations and I’ll share them with the world.
And since you’re interested in kitchen gadgets, I reckon there’s a chance you have an air fryer. If so, check out these 7 Healthy Air Fryer Recipes.