My very first vegan Instant Pot recipe is here! I finally took the plunge and purchased an Instant Pot after being on the fence about whether I wanted a new appliance to take up real estate on my counter (it would have to fight for space next to the kids’ piles of artwork, after all). Thanks again for the Ask Angela weigh-in back in February. I’m usually suspicious of new trends and like to wait a good while before I take the plunge, but I’m loooving it so far. I had totally underestimated how nice it is to put the lid on a recipe and walk away! But this same convenient feature also makes it challenging to develop recipes because you have ONE SHOT to get the cook time/pressure correct. No big deal. This curry took over 10 trials to get perfect…I changed up the flavours, cook time (6 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 4 minutes…ahh!), liquids-to-solids ratios…you name it, I tweaked it! Nicole and I love a challenge, though, so it’s been fun figuring it out and I do think we’ll get quicker as we go.
I had a stovetop pressure cooker back in the day and that thing used to scare the bejesus out of me with all of its rattling and clanking around. So the first two times I cooked with my new Instant Pot, I handed Eric a wooden spoon and instructed him to release the steam while I hid. I’m not proud, but hey, at least I’m now doing it myself! It’s really not that bad at all, and it feels so much safer than my old stovetop pressure cooker ever did.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot, though! I got yo’ back. We’ve tested this curry on the stovetop as well because I want everyone to be able to make these easy recipes at home! I haven’t had a chance to test this curry in a slow cooker yet, but if any of you do, could you please leave a comment and let us know how it goes? The beauty of this curry is that you literally throw everything (except the greens) into a pot, stir it, and cook. It couldn’t be easier! Of course, I wouldn’t call this an authentic Thai curry by any means, but it’s delicious and comes together quickly on those busy weeknights.
Anyway, if you have any questions about this recipe or the Instant Pot in general, please fire away below! If I can’t answer your question, maybe someone else can help by chiming in with their experience.
Instant Pot Cauliflower Thai Curry
5 1/2 cups (1.3 L) or 4 servings
I love the soft, stew-like texture of this spicy curry and how serving it over a cup of fluffy rice lends just the right amount of chewiness! This dish is one of those crave-worthy comfort foods that I reach for again and again. I created this recipe out of a need for more go-to pantry dinner options that take advantage of my speedy new Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Not to worry if you don’t have one, though—follow my directions in the tip below to make this curry on the stovetop instead. It’s important to follow the Instant Pot directions carefully to avoid overcooking the veggies. This recipe's directions (steps 1 and 2) have been lightly edited as of January 10, 2018 to avoid some machines getting a burn notice. This recipe is adapted from my 8-Minute Pantry Dal.
For the curry:
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices*
- 2 cups (260 g) chopped cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)
- 2 cups (340 g) peeled and cubed (3/4-inch) butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) red curry paste**
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried flaked onion***
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup (100 g) uncooked red lentils
- 2 cups (75 g) packed stemmed and finely chopped kale or chard
- Cooked jasmine rice or grain of choice
- Fresh chopped cilantro leaves
- Fresh lime juice
- Add all of the curry ingredients (except the red lentils and kale/chard) to the Instant Pot and stir until combined.
- Add the red lentils on top of the mixture and gently press them into the liquid (do not stir the lentils into the mixture as this can result in a burn notice in some machines).
- Secure lid in the lock position and check that the Steam Release Handle is pointing to the “Sealing” position.
- Press the “Pressure Cook” button (or “Manual”, on some machines) and set the cook time to 5 minutes on high pressure. After 5 seconds you’ll hear a couple beeps and the screen will say “on”. The cooking process has begun! You can now go do something fun for about 10 to 15 minutes while the curry cooks.
- You’ll hear a few beeps when the timer is up. Immediately do a “Quick Pressure Release” to avoid overcooking the curry. I stand back and use a wooden spoon handle (never my hand!) to shift the Steam Release Handle to the “Venting” position to release the pressure. Once all of the pressure has been released, the float valve will sink and you won’t hear steam anymore.
- Carefully open the lid and stir the curry. To achieve a thicker texture, I like to mash a bit of the curry with a potato masher, simply pulsing about 4 or 5 times around the pot. You can also blitz it for a second or two with an immersion blender.
- Stir in the chopped greens until thoroughly combined and secure the lid. Set the Instant Pot to the “Keep Warm” setting and allow the greens to wilt for about 5 minutes in the curry. Press “Cancel” to turn the heat off and release the steam again, if necessary, before removing the lid.
- Serve over rice or grain of choice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and lime. The lime juice gives it a lovely brightness, but avoid using too much as it can overpower. I always add a sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving too.
* The canned diced tomatoes that I use are quite "soupy" and liquid-y. If your can seems to be on the low end of the liquid content, I would recommend adding a 1/2 cup of water to this recipe before cooking.
** I love this Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste—it’s shelf stable and comes in a small glass jar. You can often find it in the international cuisine aisle of grocery chains.
*** Dried flaked onion is less concentrated than onion powder. Onion powder will work as a substitute if that's what you have on hand, but I would suggest using a smaller amount (around 1/2 teaspoon) as it’s more flavourful.
STOVETOP OPTION: Not to worry if you don't have an Instant Pot as this recipe works great on the stovetop too. Simply add all of the ingredients except the kale (or chard, if using) to a large pot, stir, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes (adding the kale/chard during the last 10 minutes), until the veggies and lentils are tender. Stir the curry every 5 minutes while cooking, and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent it sticking to the pot. Follow directions #5 and #7.
Note: Cauliflower amount has been changed from 2 1/2 cups to 2 cups as of Sept. 25/18.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
I found that my InstantPot did not seal with this recipe. Could it be that there was not enough liquid? My seal was on properly so I wonder if the time was not enough?
My husband is allergic to lentils. If I used tofu as a sub, how much and what firmness would you suggest? Love your recipes!
Another fabulous recipe! I never go wrong with any of your recipes. I appreciate that your vegan recipes only skimp on the dairy and meat and NEVER on FLAVOR! Love the instapot recipe. Would love to see more instapot friendly recipes!
Hi There! Is it possible to cook this in a slow cooker, and if anyone has tried, how long should I cook it for?
I just started using a pressure cooker this Spring. I bought one a few years ago but it looked so complicated and I was so afraid of using it that I gave it away. Plus it was so big and heavy. QVC had a little 2 qt. electric pressure cooker so I decided to give that a try (I am retired now and live alone so it was a good size for me). I love it so much and use it almost daily. So I bought a bigger one for things that are too big for my small one. The small one has replaced my rice cooker and the big one also has a slow cooker feature like the Instant Pot (basically it’s the same thing). I made my first ever from scratch hummus (in the pressure cooker from dry beans and no soak). I was amazing. Pasta is PERFECT in 6 mins. Just plain beans are so much better – flavor of whatever you use gets infused in the bean and they are cooked perfectly from dry. I just used some vege broth and they were fantastic. I am still experimenting but am loving it. My small one is my favorite but I need the bigger one sometimes and it’s good too (I like it just not in love with it as much as the little one).
This was excellent. Thanks for sharing. It will be a regular at our house.
I made this tonight for dinner and it was the first meal that I cooked in my InstaPot. My husband loved it and we have a lot left over for lunches this week. The only thing that I did different was I added half a can of the light coconut milk vs the full 14 oz can. I just added more water to balance the recipe out. I liked my meal with lots of cilantro on top and a fresh squeeze of lime…delish!
Absolutely one of our favourite! Such a great dish. We double it and have it for lunches. We also dehydrate it and use it for backpacking trips. Such a treat to have it either after a long day of hiking.
This dish was delicious! The only change I made was to serve it over spaghetti squash instead of rice.
I love your recipes but unfortunately, this one did not work in the Instant Pot even with the directions above. It repeatedly gave me the ‘burn’ notice, so I had to open it and add more water, but it still kept giving me ‘burn’. I eventually transferred it all to the stove top and finished it, but then had to simmer for a long time to get some of the liquid off. Ended up being a lot of work!
This came out delicious! Would love to see more instant pot/pressure cooker receipes. Thank you!
Arrived home with my new 8quart instant pot and googled oh she glows instant pot- I was so happy st see this recipe from Angela! Everything I try if hers works-always and is super yummy!!
It was my first try in my instant pot and was perfectly delicious and easy to make.
Thank you Angela!! (Did you know that making beans from dry in your instant pot pressure cooker will give you way more vits and minerals? Yay!)
Holy ****!!! That’s amazing. This ticks all the boxes. Whole food healthy ingredients. Super fast and easy. And delicious!! My meat eating husband loved it. Thank you for an amazing recipe.
Made this tonight- exactly as the recipe stated. So easy and delicious!! Had to force myself to stop eating it. The only thing I might do differently is sauté some onion and garlic before adding all the ingredients, instead of using onion flakes and garlic powder. Thank you for this recipe!!
Dear Angela, I frequently make your lentil-chickpea curry from Oh she glows – elke dag (the Dutch edition:) I make it with the mango chutney and it is absolutely delicious. I’d like to make the recipe for a friend of mine who isn’t allowed any kind of pepper, so that rules out using the curry paste. Could I replace one tablespoon of paste with one teaspoon of currypowder to get similar results or would you have a different recommendation?
I made this for dinner tonight and the flavour is wonderful. I found that 5 mins at high pressure was a little much for the cauliflower & butternut though. Next time I will cut them in larger pieces, 2″ for cauliflower & 1.5″ for the butternut and try just 4 minutes at high pressure. Thanks for such an easy delicious meal to add to my recipe box!
I love this recipe and have made it several times. However, to those new to an instant pot I’m not sure I’d recommend this as a first try recipe since it is prone to ‘burn error’ if your lentils are too close to the bottom. I try hard to gently press them into the liquid but have gotten the error message many times. The recipe is so good that I keep coming back to it despite this but as a first recipe it might be frustrating. Just a though!
Late to the comment party but recently I’ve decided to really jump into cooking and eating in a “glow-worthy” fashion. I’ve been using many of your recipes for several years (love the app!) but am expanding even more. Made this today to start off 2020 and it was great! Cooked perfectly in my mini instant pot! Thank you so much for your wonderful real people recipes!!
I have never left a review for any recipe I have made but I just HAD to say something about how delicious this meal was to make. The flavor profile is amazing. I love the spicy kick and the consistency. I made it on the stove top and had no issues with the instructions. I made it and eat it over a bed of wild rice. Hmmm Hmm good! Next time I may throw some chickpeas and add a kick of ginger to the sauce.
I’ve made this many times, and it’s always delicious. Tonight, I went to make it and found that my red curry paste went bad. I had a new jar of green curry paste, so I used that, not sure if it would be a good substitute. I’m glad I did. I think I like it better with the green paste. The sweetness really blends well with the other ingredients.
This recipe was AMAZING! I am new to the instant pot and this was one of the first recipes I have made…and it was a success! I swapped out the butternut squash for sweet potatoes (just a taste preference) and it worked perfectly :) Definitely one of my favourites!
I really adored this, I’m not a vegetarian but decided to eat mainly vegetarian dishes and I really loved this one. It was wholesome and very tasty, I served it with brown rice and through in some organic black beans in the last five minutes. It was really lovely and having for leftovers tonight for dinner.
We make this curry ALL THE TIME. It’s fool proof. Love using defrosted from frozen cauliflower and squash for ease!
For those asking if an instant pot is worth it for vegetarian cooks- I make all my soups and stews in an instant pot. I just use the saute setting, then once everything is in close it, hit the soup button, and come back half an hour later. I’ve used it for almost all of the oh she glows soups! Works like a dream.
This recipe is amaaaazing! I did make a few changes though…I added extra red curry paste…which I actually wouldn’t recommend since it made it too spicy for me. But it was still amazing. I also added a little brown sugar – maybe 1/3 cup. I used brown basmati rice. I do believe this recipe will become a staple in my home. Using the Instant Pot made it a no-mess, easy dinner idea.
Tried in slow cook . 5 hours low. Perfect .
Turned out delicious! Thanks so much! Definitely will make again.
Does anyone know if this is freezable? I just made this and substituted chickpeas for the squash and it came out great..it made so much there’s no way I can eat it all in the next few days!
Made this recipe last night and it was super delicious. Kid approved!
Doing COVID-19 self-isolation and made this for the week, it was outstanding, thank you so much! Can’t wait to do it again!
OMG this is soooooo good! Easy too! Thank you for creating and sharing with us ?
Sounds delicious! Do you think I could do the recipe with out tomatoes ? I am allergic:(
I’ve made the stovetop version of this recipe more times than I can count! It is so easy and SO delicious. Thank you for your wonderful recipes and cookbooks! I have tried and love so many of them!
Hi! Can I use frozen butternut squash? Should I thaw it first or just toss it in frozen?
Loved this! I added a teaspoon or two of Garam Masala and it really amped up the flavors!
Just made this and it is sooooo good!! I had it over cous cous. Thanks so much for the recipe!
This recipe is INCREDIBLE! I have recently become a vegan and, to my delight, discovered your website. My entire family raved about this dish! It is not only incredibly healthy but simple to make. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it was a complete success!
Any idea if this could be doubled?
Hey Emily! I have been doubling it every time I make it lately – it works great! Leftovers are amazing :)
Looks delicious, i must try it as i am fond of curry dishes and regularly visit to an Indian Restaurant in London Ontario named Tandoori EH. There vegetarian range is awesome. https://www.tandoorieh.ca/product-category/vegetarian/
This was our first attempt at using our instant pot, it sat in our closet for months after receiving it as a gift. Needless to say we were blown away by this curry recipe! Simple and hardy ingredients lead to a meal packed with flavour! Thank you Angela, for inspiring us to try more instant pot recipes and for taking the time to put this one together.
Aww so happy to hear this Bethany! It’s my go-to Instant Pot weeknight dinner…so quick and easy. If you chop the veggies the day before I can have it turned in in about 4-5 mins too. Can’t beat that! Happy Instant Pot cooking ;)
This was delicious, thank you Angela. I love that it’s satisfying and filling on without the use of meat on a cool fall night. I subbed out the cauliflower and butternut squash for corn, potatoes and leftover spaghetti squash. So good. Husband isn’t a fan of spaghetti squash but ate this. Really like the addition of red split lentils, genius way to make it more filling and nutritious! I added a tiny amount of fish sauce, but that was more out of habit than any real need for flavour. I think this one is a keeper. Thank you for your lovely recipe and clear instructions!
Looks so yum but I don’t have an instapot. Any idea how to adjust to cook over stove top? Also, I don’t have Thai curry paste, should I leave out or substitute with something else? Thanks!
My instant pot is always giving me a burn notice after a minute. How can I work tbis out?
Made this dish for and loved ones Birthday dinner. It was so good that it was one of those shared amazing food moments. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper.
Hi Angela! This. Was. AMAZING!!!!!!! My only problem is it says in your nutritional chart here that one bowl has 10 grams of fat? I used Trader Joe’s reduced fat coconut milk which has 7 grams per serving. Just wondering where the other 3 grams of fat would come from? Thanks!
Angela, I made this last night for dinner and my husband and I loved it. The spice/heat was just right. I didn’t do the quick release right at the 5 min mark so the texture was a little mushier than it would’ve been; still great, though. Thank you!
This was really good but I used a stainless steel pot and the lentils immediately began to burn I had to switch to a heavier enamel cast iron dutch oven then it was fine. Anyway perfect dinner for a cold winter night.
This was excellent! A great blend of spicy from the curry with the sweet coconut milk and squash….I made it on the stove and sauteed onions and garlic 1st then added the curry for a minute and the rest of the ingredients except the greens, then sprinkled some cashew pieces on top.
Loved this – it was perfect. Will definitely make it again!!! Can’t wait to try more of your instant pot recipes.
Hi Surita, That makes me so happy, thank you for sharing!