6 Essential Vegan Pressure Cooker Recipes

Pressure cookers are heating up! With a pressure cooker, you can have tasty, flavorful, and healthy meals, quicker – especially helpful for plant-based staples that typically take a long time to cook (think brown rice, beans and quinoa). Here’s how the pressure cooker works:

A Historical Marvel

Pressure cookers have been around for hundreds of years, but didn’t seem much use until technology provided a way to safely let off the steam. By heating up any liquid to boiling, and then containing most of the steam, the cooker creates a pressurized environment that “pushes” the heat into the food – so it cooks faster. Additionally, by not allowing the water to boil off, the internal temperature can rise as high as 250 degrees Fahrenheit. So everything cooks evenly and quickly – a win, win!

What to Cook

You can cook just about anything in a pressure cooker: rice, quinoa, beans, potatoes, vegetables, etc. All that matters is that you get the right balance of liquid plus time. You can cook rice in just a few minutes (great for working families) and make tender beans from dried in less than an hour.

Getting Started

There are plenty of websites out there with information on how to get started with pressure cooking, but the authority is Hip Pressure Cooking. Laura Pazzaglia helps you gets started with a guide on how to use your pressure cooker as well as some simple recipes to start with so you can get comfortable with using your new tool. Start here for the best tips.

Once you’re comfortable with using a pressure cooker, here are some recipes you’ll want to use to save you plenty of time in the kitchen.

1. Sweet Potatoes

Insert a steamer rack into your pressure cooker, add one cup of water and a few sweet potatoes with holes poked in them. Bring pressure cooker to high pressure and then cook for 14-16 minutes, depending on the size of your sweet potato. Let cool for 10 minutes before opening.

2. Brown Rice

The wonderful thing about cooking in the pressure cooker is that even if you double or triple the recipe, the cook time is still the same. Use this simple recipe to cook brown rice in less than 20 minutes.

3. 1 Minute Quinoa

Yes, you read that right – one minute! You do need to account for heating up, but once the pressure cooker comes to high pressure, it only needs one minute of cooking to complete. Add your favorite seasonings to give your quinoa some extra flavor.

4. Beans

Once you cook beans in a pressure cooker, you’ll never go back to canned beans again! Refer to Hip Pressure Cooking for the cooking times of all your favorite beans – with times for dried or soaked beans.

5. Beets

A fast and delicious way to enjoy fresh beats from the farmers market. Steam in your pressure cooker and then add a simple dressing and top with walnuts and dill.

6. Lentil Stew

Healthy and hearty, this is a great basic recipe to start with – add your favorite vegetables and/or herbs to make it your own.


  • 2 cups lentils (uncooked, not soaked)
  • 8 cups water/broth (more if you prefer soup to stew)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes or sweet potato, cubed
  • 10 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Rinse the lentils and add to pressure cooker with the water or broth. Turn on the heat and prepare vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients from potatoes to salt and pepper. Seal and turn pressure cooker on to high pressure. Leave on for 10 minutes (electric) or 8 minutes (stove), and then turn off heat cool for 15 minutes before opening and serving.

With a little practice, you’ll be ready to test out your own pressure cooker recipes, and soon you’ll have a host of great meals to eat in just a few minutes!