Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for Your Instant Pot by Nancy S. Hughes

Electric pressure cookers and "multi cookers" like Instant Pot are the hot new kitchen appliance. Chances are you either have one, plan to get one, or at least heard a lot about them. So what is the big deal with multi cookers anyway? And are they any help when it comes to making diabetes-friendly meals?

Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for Your Instant Pot

A "multi cooker," like Instant Pot, does the work of multiple appliances – it’s a slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, sauté pan, warming pot, and pressure cooker all in one. You can use it like a slow cooker and let dinner simmer away all day, or, if planning ahead isn’t your thing, you can cook the same "slow-cooked" meal in minutes using the pressure cooker function.

Best of all, you can prep and cook everything in one pot, meaning there is no need to preheat the oven, light up the grill, make a mess on your stove top, or wash a lot of pots and pans. 

If you own a multi cooker, or are thinking about getting one, here are a few diabetes-friendly recipes to get you started! Find more recipes in our new cookbook, The Instant Pot Diabetes Cookbook!

Spicy Thai Mushroom Soup

Instead of ordering takeout, make a healthier version of this classic Thai soup at home in your Instant Pot! This vegan soup gets it's rich creaminess from coconut milk. It's also loaded with vegetables to make a hearty soup perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Best of all, the Instant Pot speeds up the cooking time, so it's ready in less than 30 minutes, but tastes like it's been cooking all day!

Chicken Curry Salad

Steaming chicken breast in an Instant Pot creates moist, tender chicken that you can use in any dish. In this recipe, the chicken tops a vibrant salad of greens, edamame, and asparagus (which are also steamed in the Instant Pot) mixed with a curry-yogurt dressing. 

Asian Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to grain-based noodles, especially in Asian dishes where it's light texture is similar to glass or rice noodles. Ginger, lime, and edamame create a light and refreshing flavor in this dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold as leftovers the next day.

Lentils and Poached Eggs

Zesty lentils pair beautifully with a creamy poached egg in this high-fiber, high-protein dish. Enjoy it as a filling breakfast or a quick and easy lunch or dinner. For even more convenience, prepare the lentils ahead and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can poach the eggs in the time it takes to reheat the lentils in the microwave!

Individual Egg and Vegetable Frittatas

Individual egg frittatas packed with veggies and topped with cheddar cheese make a perfectly-portioned breakfast! The Instant Pot does most of the work for you, and produces perfectly-cooked, tender frittatas. You can enjoy them right away, or make them ahead of time for weekday breakfasts on the go. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Frittatas are a great way to use up leftover veggies before they go bad. 

Freezer Fix Chili

It’s cold outside, you’ve had a long day, and you want comfort fast. But everything’s frozen (just like you)! Not a problem with this recipe – you can start with frozen turkey and corn, add a few other ingredients, seal it in the cooker, and let it do the rest of the work. No chopping, no browning, just stir it up at the end! This is a great go-to recipe to have on hand for “those” days, and it’s kid friendly, too!

Wheat Berry, Black Bean, & Avocado Salad

A wheat berry is a whole wheat kernel which is made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm. It’s a true whole grain, meaning It is high in fiber and packed with nutritional benefits. I have fallen in love with the wheat berry – it’s crunchy and chewy and seems to pop as you bite into it. It also holds up well, so you can make a big batch to keep on hand to add to salads, soups, or use in place of rice. The only drawback is that it normally takes a long time to cook wheat berries (and dried black beans, too), but in this recipe, I cooked them together at the same time in a pressure cooker, and the time was cut in half! You can use this colorful one-dish meatless entrée year round. It’s hearty enough for winter, but pops with fresh flavors for the warmer months. 

Chicken Sausage & Zucchini Stuffed Potatoes

Don’t you just love hot fluffy baked potatoes? But the thought of firing up an entire oven for a full hour just to cook four potatoes seems a bit over-the-top. Using the multi cooker instead saves time and cuts down on the power bill! Plus, with this “all-in-one” recipe, you can use the cooker in place of using an oven and a skillet! The fully cooked sausage is quickly browned using the sauté function, then a bit of water, zucchini, green onions and seasonings are added, briefly cooked and set aside. The potatoes are cooked using the pressure cooker setting, split open, fluffed, and topped with layers of flavor of the rich sausage/zucchini mixture and tangy blue cheese. 

Almond-Toffee Topped Pears

Toast, poach, and simmer—everything you need to do to make this tasty dessert you can do in the Instant Pot! Sugar-free candies are used to create a rich toffee sauce to top these cinnamon poached pears. It may look fancy, but this dessert comes together in under 20 minutes.

Chia-Berry Crepes

Chia seeds and frozen berries create a rich, jam-like filling with minimal added sugar. In this recipe, the superfood jam is used to fill crepes for a fancy dessert that doesn't skimp on the portion size! You could also use the jam to top pancakes or mix it into your morning oatmeal. 

Coconut Curry Rice Bowls

This plant-based dish is loaded with fiber-rich whole grains, vegetables, and chickpeas. Take advantage of pre-chopped and no-salt-added canned ingredients to minimize prep time, and this recipe is a snap to pull together!

Panko-Crusted Cod

Create perfectly steamed fish in minutes in your Instant Pot! These perfectly tender cod fillets are topped lemony bread crumbs for a delightful crunch. Whip up a quick vegetable side, like this Zesty Broccolini and Garlic, for a light meal in under 30 minutes.


Nancy S. Hughes is the author of The Diabetes Instant Pot Cookbook and several other ADA cookbooks including The 4-Ingredient Diabetes Cookbook, The Fast-Fix Slow Cooker Cookbook, and Designed for One!

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