Since I started writing recipes for the Instant Pot, I have had an absolute ton of requests for vegetarian dishes. One problem with that though – my taste testers (aka my family) doesn’t do meat-free meals. I’ve tried them, many times, and have gotten complaints pretty much every time.
Writing vegetarian recipes when your family basically won’t touch them is a little bit of a struggle (especially when you don’t like throwing food away if at all possible). But, I finally found an incredibly easy and delicious vegetarian Instant Pot meal to share today! I’ve had this idea for a month or two, but couldn’t really try it out until now (you’ll see why in a second).
My favorite part of this vegetable broth is that it’s basically free. Why, you ask? Because you’re really just using veggie scraps that you would throw away anyway to make a rich, delicious broth that…I’ll say it…I think tastes better than chicken broth in dishes. It would be perfect as the base in a veggie noodle soup, as the liquid in a pasta dish, or even to thin out a sauce or a stew. I promise – use this as the replacement for chicken broth in a dish, and you’ll never know the difference.
And all you’ll pay for is the water to put in the pot and the electricity to cook it! That’s got to be well less than 10 cents.
About a month ago I started saving all of the scraps that I would normally toss after chopping veggies (and I’ll be honest – I can’t take credit for the idea…I originally saw this on Facebook and adapted it to work for the Instant Pot). For this particular bag, I used…
-Ends of onions
-Tops of carrots
-Tops and insides of bell peppers
-Ends of celery stalks
-Stems of broccoli
-Ends of squash
-Stems of parsley
-Stems of cilantro
That’s just what my family happened to use in the past month or two…I didn’t buy anything special to make this recipe. (A reader shared this link to what you can/cannot include and I wanted to share it with you too…it’s fantastic!) I kept a gallon bag in my freezer and just put the scraps in there whenever I cooked. Once it was full, I was ready to make my veggie broth!
I did wash my scraps before putting them in the bag originally. If you forget to do that, you might want to give them a quick rinse before putting them in the pot to cook.
I put all of the (still frozen) scraps in my Instant Pot (with about 2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper), filled the water to the top of the veggies (not passing the max fill line…I had a reader let me know that new advisories say not to fill past 2/3 full), and locked on the lid. The pot was set for manual, high pressure, 35 minutes. I let the pressure naturally release for about 15 minutes before taking the pot out to cool on a trivet on the counter.
Once cool, just drain the broth into your freezer dish! Make sure you press the broth out of all of the cooked-down veggies to really get the good stuff.
I got almost 2 full containers (of my favorite IP freezer container, of course). That way, if I want to use the frozen broth for a soup in the Instant Pot later, there’s no need to thaw it before popping it out of the container for use…I know it will fit in the Instant Pot while still frozen!
Now go forth and use those veggie scraps, Instant Potters! You won’t regret it!
(And friends – if you love my Instant Pot recipes, check out the line-up of Instant Pot freezer meal boot camps I’ll be releasing on June 14th! These packs will have everything you need to prep freezer meals specially designed for your pressure cooker. You can see the menus here!)
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