4 Healthy Instant Pot Side Dishes You Can Make at the Eleventh Hour this Xmas

Holiday meal

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With Xmas here, as well as the party mood that’s going to last till the new year, calories are certainly going to be a big part of the menu.  These healthy Instant Pot Side Dish recipes might just help with your waist line. And, just as Americans are recovering from the 49 million turkeys consumed during Thanksgiving, comes the grills and post roasts that are a ubiquitous part of the holiday season.  The Instant Pot might just join the party as the go-to last minute cooking pot.

One way to deal with this meat overload is to whip up some delicious, healthy Instant Pot side dishes, and binge on them too. In case you’re wondering how you’re going to find the time, just remember these two words – Instant Pot. This device emphatically speeds up cooking, increases the nutrients retained immensely, and allows you to do other things while the pot cooks unsupervised.  The Instant Pot can do in minutes which used to take hours in the oven.

This Xmas, use the device for these delicious and healthy Instant Pot side dish recipes. And don’t forget to find the time to burn those inevitable holiday calories. As well as add more veggies to your menu.


4 Quick, Healthy Xmas Instant Pot  Side Dish Recipes


1. Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Instant pot cranberries

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Cranberry sauce is a delicious Instant Pot side dish to any protein, and the acidity cuts through the meatiness, to keep your palate fresh. It also helps your body digest heavy meals better. While the sauce usually takes more than 30 minutes, the Instant Pot cuts it down to just 7.


  • 1 lb cranberries
  • ⅓ cup orange juice/water
  • ½ tsp orange zest, grated
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Put the cranberries, orange juice/water, and orange zest in the Instant Pot.
  2. Pour the sugar on top, and don’t stir.
  3. Seal the lid, and cook for 2 minutes at high pressure
  4. Allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes. Then, let the steam out quickly, as well as safely.
  5. Stir well, and taste. If you’d like it sweeter, add more sugar, a little at a time.
  6. Serve chilled.


Instant Pot Rice A Roni

This Xmas, add a truly unique Instant Pot side dish recipe to the menu with Instant Pot Rice A Roni. It’s a fascinating mix of rice and spaghetti, and it’s sure to wow your guests. Besides, it’ll be a relief from the cholesterol-laden, protein-rich fare that’ll surely be the main course. This Rice A Roni recipe from Corrie Cooks takes you a grand total of (drum rolls!) 9 minutes to whip up.


  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 oz spaghetti noodles, broken apart to small pieces
  • 1 tbs butter/olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs parsley, chopped


  1. Put the Instant Pot into saute mode. Put in the olive oil or butter into it.
  2. Put in the spaghetti and onions. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Put in the broth, rice, and garlic powder. Mix it.
  4. Seal the lid, and cook for 4 minutes under high pressure.
  5. When done, release the pressure immediately.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with chopped Parsley.



3. Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower


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Cauliflowers are a way more healthier option than potatoes. The calories  in this Instant Pot side dish are much lower, and the nutrients, like vitamins and fiber much higher. So now you know exactly what to do with this Instant Pot side dish recipe. Throw it out, and use this instead!


  • 1 large cauliflower head, chopped into rough florets after discarding the core
  • 4 cloves garlic, squished
  • ½ tbs olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sour cream
  • ½ tbs butter
  • ¼ tsp pepper, freshly ground, or as per your taste
  • ½ tsp salt, or as per your taste
  • ½ tsp chives, freshly chopped, with an additional few sprinkles for garnish
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated fresh


  1. Put the Instant Pot into Sauté mode, and heat the olive oil.
  2. Put in the garlic, and stir for around a minute, till evenly brown.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth, and stir, for a minute.
  4. Turn off, put a steamer basket in, and place the cauliflower in it.
  5. Seal the lid, and cook for 3 minutes under high pressure.
  6. Perform a quick pressure release, open, and place the top halfway across. Let it rest for 3 minutes.
  7. Drain the liquid, and blend the cauliflower as well as the garlic in a blender/food processor, along with the sour cream, butter, and salt.
  8. Blend until smooth and creamy. You could also use the pulse function for a texture with more bite.
  9. Mix it with chives and Parmesan in a large bowl.
  10. Serve, topped with a sprinkling of fresh chives.

Instant Pot Honey Glazed Carrots

brown round food in stainless steel container


Carrots coated in a spiced honey glaze is a scrumptious addition to your Xmas table.   They’re so easy and quick to make in your Instant Pot.  It’s juicy, crunchy, and unlike all the usual dishes, sweet. It’s an extremely healthy Instant Pot side dish to clean up your palate and lighten the load on your gut.


  • 1 lb carrots, petite (baby or ordinary carrots will also do)
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (or, butter)
  • 1 tbs honey (use maple syrup if you’re vegan)
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated (½ tsp if you like it milder)
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Pour the water into the Instant Pot. Place in a trivet or steamer basket with the carrots inside.
  2. Cook under high pressure for a minute. (Make it zero for baby carrots, and 2 minutes for thicker, ordinary carrots.)
  3. Do a quick release, get the carrots out, and throw away the water. Clean and dry the pot.
  4. Set the saute function on, (normal or medium) and dunk in the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Once it begins to bubble, put in the carrots. Stir gently, until the glaze thickens and forms a shiny, even coat.



Staying healthy is as much about eating right, as it is about working out. Don’t let the rich fare on offer during the holiday season sidetrack you from your goals. This Xmas, begin on a healthy note with these healthy Instant Pot side dishes and let it set the tone for the new year ahead. In fact, make meal planning your resolution, and ensure success with these apps.



Ken Weiss


  1. alex May 30, 2024
  2. ken May 20, 2024
  3. Nimit January 11, 2021

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