Looking for keto recipes for the Instant Pot PLUS plenty of vegetables? This spicy curry chicken will not disappoint on flavor or health. Date night, here we come! All my grain-free recipes (most appropriate for keto and other elimination diets) found here!
For being a food blogger (sort of) I’m not actually very good at creating recipes out of my head.
I mean, I can throw some vegetables in a pan with random spices no problem, like you see when I teach how to roast veggies.
But usually, even with those, I have a few recipes open to inspire the general proportions.
And I’ve never even tried to create a baked good out of my head! I’m sure that would end up a pile of slop. #facepalm
My superpower really is not being afraid to adapt things.
I’ll take any slow cooker recipe and put it in the Instant Pot, for example.
And I love taking people’s recipes that call for three or four dishes and pans and smashing all that together into one with still a good result. 10 points for time-saving!! OR figuring out a way to use less meat in a recipe by adding beans, hence adjusting the budget woes. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’re all about balancing time, budget, nutrition and the environment.
Today’s recipe is an adaptation of a freezer slow cooker meal for the Instant Pot. For whatever reason, I have never found that making meals and freezing them ends up saving me much time, especially when the ingredients are super simple. I prefer relying on my Instant Pot when I know I will be short on time.
Can You Use Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot?
You are my people!
If you are already worrying about whether or not you will remember to thaw some chicken for this healthy keto dinner, I can put you at ease.
The Instant Pot can always handle frozen meat, but you need to add more time. To be safe with this recipe, I would cook for a full 30 minutes if the chicken thighs are completely frozen. RELATED: How to cook frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot (good for any tacos, spaghetti, sloppy Joes, etc!)
Can the Veggies go Right in the Instant Pot?
Here’s the thing: the original recipe called for the vegetables to be added to the slow cooker, but I have some issues with that.
I think slow-cooked veggies are pretty much mush and I know that way too many of the nutrients are cooked out.
I prefer lightly steamed vegetables, and since this recipe as written for a slow cooker would have overfilled my Instant Pot, that decided it. (You shouldn’t fill your IP more than 2/3 of the way full!)
I recommend cooking the vegetables separately unless you really like them cooked to mush and have a bigger Instant Pot or size the recipe down.
Make your Instant Pot work for you!
I won’t tell if your Instant Pot is still in its box, pinky swear. 😉
I left mine abandoned in the basement for almost a YEAR because I have a new-thing-instructions phobia, but now I have TWO Instant Pots and they’re both in constant use!
Turns out it’s so easy, a kid can do it — I’ll send you a quick video of my children unboxing and setting it up when you grab your FREE download mini eBook:
Get the Instant Pot Guidebook for FREE!
What’s in the Guidebook?
You’ll love the simplicity of your Instant Pot, and the free downloadable guidebook will help you:
- Adapt your own favorite recipes from the slow cooker
- Cook FROZEN ground beef
- Hard boil eggs perfectly
- Cook squash, steam veggies, and make applesauce in your IP
- Make dry beans in an hour and perfect rice without boiling over
- Steam veggies al dente and make Paleo cauli rice in minutes
- Cook a whole chicken and make FAST bone broth
Whether yours is still in the box or you’ve used it a little but want to know more about those techniques, or if you’re still pining for an IP on your wish list, I can’t wait to give you these simple baby steps to success!
Adapted from No Cook Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis
- 4 lbs. boneless chicken thighs (organic from ButcherBox around here)
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2 c. water
- 1/2 c. dried minced onion (or 2 c. diced onion)
- 4 cans or jars
- 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
- 3–4 Tbs. curry powder
- 2 tsp.
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- Serve with: 6-8 cups of steamed or stir fried vegetables (green beans, broccoli, carrots, peas – whatever you have on hand)
- Add everything to your Instant Pot.
- One cup water is the minimum needed for an Instant Pot to come to pressure, but tomato products interfere with this process. Do NOT stir in the tomato paste! You need the water/coconut milk liquid on the bottom of the pot.
- Secure and seal the lid.
- Using the Poultry setting, set your Instant Pot for 15 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Using two large forks, shred the chicken into small pieces.
- If the juices seem too runny, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of arrowroot starch in and stir it well.
- Serve hot over cooked rice (or sauteed shredded cabbage or zoodles if keto) with steamed vegetables.
This is a BIG recipe but it still fits in a 6-quart IP. 8 quart is better though, and you’ll have lots of leftovers!
My curry powder is HOT and I know my kids couldn’t handle 4 Tbs., but be my guest and go big if you love curry!
- Serving Size: 3 cups
- Calories: 444
- Sugar: 6gm
- Sodium: 600mg
- Fat: 12gm
- Saturated Fat: 4gm
- Unsaturated Fat: 8gm
- Carbohydrates: 51gm
- Fiber: 3gm
- Protein: 37gm
- Cholesterol: 96mg
Keywords: curry, chicken, spicy, sauce
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This recipe is also great for the slow cooker and can be prepped and frozen ahead of time. For slow cooker instructions check out this post.
Cold Chicken Curry for Lunch?
I think one of the hardest parts of trying a new grain-free diet like keto is lunch.
Americans eat way too many grains at lunchtime because sandwiches are the default! I’ve already shared 10 bread-free alternatives to sandwiches for packing a school lunch (great for keto or Paleo!), but let’s talk about the cold chicken idea.
When I share pics of my kids’ school lunches on Instagram, other parents often say to me, “Really? Your kids eat cold [insert dinner food here]?”
I trained them young not to be so picky about food temperature, and really, think about it: We heat up our kids’ food and then blow on it all the time!
I like to think of the old-fashioned ideal of roast chicken in the picnic basket.
If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
I love cold dinner leftovers, so I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re struggling with keto/Paleo lunches. Even easier than making a sandwich if you ask me!
Where to find a Pressure Cooker
This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I started out with. After a few years, we added an 8-quart partly because I knew I would use two at the same time often enough, partly because it was the Prime Day sale, and also because I wanted more space for certain recipes. Both are a pretty basic model and you don’t need more bells and whistles than that!
If you’re deciding on size, most people say it’s better to get a deal on the 6-quart and just have 2 rather than go big, BUT if your family has 5 or more people or you really like to batch cook or do more than a pound of beans, the 8-quart may be the best choice. You can even get a carrying case to travel with it!
If you really want an old school pressure cooker for the stovetop, you can browse them at Amazon – this is the set that I got for our wedding so very long ago. Mine is actually a 7L size (which is over 7 qts) and the one included here is only a 6-quart.
The best thing about these is that they have a glass lid for normal cooking, and they are the two pots we use MOST of all in the last 14 years! So if you have no extra space, just replace a big pot with a pressure cooker and you only need to store the lid additionally. I admit I’m not sure I ever used the pressure function with the smaller pot, but I love both sizes for normal cooking.
If I had to do it over, I’d get this set because it has an 8-quart pot and a larger steamer basket that could also do pasta or potatoes. The members of our Kids Cook Real Food eCourse often ask about how to help kids heft a heavy pot of water to the sink to drain, and this is the best solution – pulling out a basket insert rather than lifting boiling liquids around.