Tag Archive for vegan instant pot recipes

Vegan Tamales {Instant Pot}

As the days tick down towards the end of the school year, and the temperature rises, I’m finding myself spending less time in the kitchen.

It’s the natural order of things, I guess. The hotter it gets, the less time I want to spend in the kitchen over a hot stove or a hot oven.

I’ll spare you my rave about how much I love my Instant Pot (god knows I’ve done it enough already), and simply offer you this: now is the time to turn to your IP or your slow cooker.

I know most people think of their slow cooker as a winter thing, slow cooking soups and stews all through the cold months. But these appliances are great for summer, too, because they cook without creating the same kind of heat in your kitchen.

Vegan Tamales Instant Pot


But now, let’s talk tamales.

Mexican cuisine has a million ways to use corn, and tamales are just one of them. They’re a bit time-consuming, but as with anything that requires a little assembly, the key is to do a lot of them all at once, and then freeze the results.

If you’ve never had a tamale, it’s kind of like a package made of masa (or corn) dough, rolled around some kind of centre. Often this is meat, but of course, mine are not. The entire thing, dough and filling, is rolled in a corn husk, which keeps it all nicely together in a lovely package, and then steamed or cooked. The end result is a portable, delicious meal.

Lots of cultures use a similar method; here, we eat a lot of sticky rice; rice, wrapped around an either sweet or savoury filling, and then wrapped in banana or lotus leaves and steamed. It’s super popular at dim sum.

What’s great about making these in the IP is that it takes just 20 minutes to cook them, which is about half what it would take you to steam them on the stovetop.

A quick word about vegetable shortening, which this recipe calls for: some folks consider palm oil (which most vegetable shortenings contain) to not be vegan, as, even though it doesn’t contain animal products, it isn’t harvested in a sustainable way, and is contributing to deforestation and possibly the extinction of orangutans. It’s not an ingredient that I use very often, and I almost never buy it, but I think in this case, it’s needed. Feel free to try subbing in vegan butter if you prefer

Vegan Tamales

Vegan Tamales


  • 3 cups masa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz (1 cup) vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Filling of your choice: you could use refried beans, sautéed veggies, etc, I used BBQ Pulled Jackfruit
  • Corn husks/tamale wrappers


  1. In your mixer (could also do in a food processor, or with your hands), combine the dry ingredients, and then, with the motor running, slowly add in chunks of the shortening, one at a time, until it starts to resemble pea-like crumbs.
  2. Again, with the motor running, slowly start to add in the vegetable stock, a little at a time, until everything is incorporated. You want the texture to be similar to hummus.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes or so, while you prepare the filling.
  4. To assemble: take a large bowl and fill it with warm/as hot as you can stand water. Place the corn husks in it, and allow them to sit for 5 minutes or so to soften. Place a kitchen towel on your work surface, and put one of the husks on it, the wide end facing you. Place a dollop of the masa dough (around 1/4 cup?) on the husk, and then spread it out until it’s a flat layer, about 1/2″ thick. Place a dollop of the filling on the centre of the dough, and spread it out in a line. Then roll the whole thing up, from one side to another, making a kind of cigar with it, with the filling in the middle. Twist up the narrow end, and use a scrap of leftover corn husk to tie around the entire tamale to hold it in place. Place 1-2 cups of water or stock in the bottom of your Instant Pot, and place the trivet on top. Load the tamales, open end up, on their ends in the Instant pot, packing them in so they stand up. Place the lid on, and set for manual 20 minutes. When the pot has finished its cycle, release the pressure and remove the tamales. Unwrap and enjoy–serve with salsa!

The Cheesiest! Vegan Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Now, not to sound like I’m totally fawning, but like many of you, I really love my Instant Pot. I got one at Christmas, and I have yet to put it away. It lives on my counter, and I use it a few times a week. It’s especially revolutionized how I cook beans–40 minutes, no soaking and done! It’s kind of amazing.

Vegan Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

I started making Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot a few months ago. The non-vegan kind goes like this:

  1. Water and pasta in the pot with a little butter, cook for 4 minutes.
  2. Release. Stir in milk and shredded cheese, put the lid back on for a few minutes.
  3. Stir, adjust seasonings, serve.

For real, it basically takes the same amount of time that it would take me to make a boxed mac and cheese, yet it’s homemade and soooo much better.

To make a Vegan Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, you could use a similar process, but just swap out the cheese, milk and butter for vegan versions, but I decided to take it one step further.

In my cookbook, Aquafabulous!: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafabathere’s a recipe for vegan mac and cheese. Basically, you make a “cheese” sauce, cook the pasta, then combine the two. This recipe is a take on that one.

The Cheesiest Vegan Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

The base of the sauce is carrots (sounds weird, but the colour is perfect, plus hidden veggies–WIN) and cashews, with some non-dairy milk and, of course, nooch for flavour. Is there anything nutritional yeast cannot do?

In the cookbook version, you make the sauce on the stovetop, and cook the pasta in a separate pot. You could do that here, as well, but why? If you can double up and cook both at once, you’ll save time. You do, however, need a small pan that will fit inside your IP, so if you don’t have that, just cook the sauce elements first, remove, and then cook the pasta.

The cheesiness of this Vegan Instant Pot Mac and Cheese comes from the fact that it has double cheese–the creamy, cheesy sauce, and shredded non dairy cheese. Because why have one when you can have both, amIright?

Vegan Instant Pot Mac and Cheese


  • 2 cups pasta (I like Catelli Smart–not a paid endorsement)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1-2 carrots (about 1/2 cup), peeled and cut into coins
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 cup vegan cheese shreds


  1. Place 2.5 cups of water and 2 cups of pasta, along with the vegan butter in your Instant Pot. Place the trivet on top of the pasta and water.
  2. In a smaller pot (small enough to fit inside your IP), place the carrots and cashews, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cover with foil, and place inside the pot, on top of the trivet.
  3. Place the lid on, ensuring it’s sealed, and set the pot on the manual setting for 4 minutes. After the cycle is complete, release the pressure manually and remove the lid. Remove the carrot/cashew mixture from the pot and place it in a blender. Remove the trivet, and stir the pasta well.
  4. To the carrot mixture in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients. Blend well until smooth.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce mixture back into the pot, and add the vegan cheese. Stir well. Turn the sauté feature on for a few minutes, stirring often, just to activate the flours and thicken the sauce and allow the cheese shreds to melt.
  6. Serve immediately.