Recipe: Millet Pilaf + Intro to the Instant Pot

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner, Registered Dietitian & Cooking Class Instructor at Nourish Northwest

It’s no secret that I am a proponent (cheerleader, demystifyer) of the pressure cooker. I’ve held workshops on how to use it, written blogs about it, and frequently use it in my own kitchen. Some tease me for being a bit of a nerd. I believe that the “new generation” stovetop pressure cookers are nothing to be afraid of and are easy to operate. I love that you can sauté vegetables/brown meat, add liquid, lock the lid, and open it a few minutes later to a complete one-pot meal. I also cook unsoaked beans in it (22-35 minutes under pressure for most beans).

If I’m not using the pressure cooker in a cooking class, the topic usually comes up (naturally, I’m sure). Lately, clients have been talking about the Instant Pot. They say it is an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and list goes on..ALL IN ONE! I was skeptical. So, I did some research online and have yet to hear many negative things about it. I decided to give it a chance.



No surprisingly, I have used it only as an electric pressure cooker so far. I’ve made beef stew, shredded chicken, brown rice, and millet pilaf. There have been no failures yet!

Dry millet looks similar to quinoa. Like quinoa, it is a gluten-free seed that provides a good source of many B vitamins, protein, and fiber. I cooks similar to rice, but with a 3:1 ratio of liquid to millet. Or, you can use the pressure cooker or Instant Pot. I will post more Instant Pot recipes soon!

Mini millet
Mini millet

This recipe is inspired by the dreaded half an onion and a few other wilty vegetables in the crisper. Feel free to improvise the vegetables. As long as you use the same liquid to dry millet ratio, it will come out perfectly.

photo (67)

Millet Pilaf

Serves 4

1 cup dry millet

1 2/3 cup water, vegetable or chicken broth

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 onion

Other vegetables: I used a purple carrot, 1/4 bell pepper and garlic

Salt to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot by pressing the “Saute” button.
  2. Add onion, other vegetables and spices and stir until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add millet and liquid and stir to combine.
  4. Lock the lid of the cooker, press “Multi-grain” and set the timer for 11 minutes.
  5. When it beeps, quick release the steam, open the lid, and fluff with fork.
  6. Serve warm, garnished with parsley.


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