Vegan Keto Instant Pot Pilaf (gluten-free, paleo, nut-free)

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So, here we are with another instant pot recipe. Since receiving one for Christmas last year, I have been using it pretty much every day. Typically, I’ve just been making cauliflower rice-based dishes (curries, the chili from my cookbook, sloppy joes), but the other day at the grocery store, I was walking down the aisle with the rice mixes, and the pilaf caught my eye. So, I thought that I would make a vegan keto instant pot pilaf because 1) the instant pot does make things very quickly with very little oversight needed and 2) I like the little mechanical song it chirps when the lid goes on.

Anywho, this pilaf is inspired by the boxed version from Near East that my mom would make for my brother and I pretty much every night when we were kids. I loved that stuff and ate so much of it, it’s kind of strange that I haven’t thought of making a vegan keto version until now. But here we are, and I guess the stars are just aligning now that I have the instant pot. Also, I’m not trying to push IP life on anyone – I had no idea I was going to get one and ended up winning it at a Yankee Swap/White Elephant and am now just trying to think of ways to use it! So, I hope these recipes are helpful.

Because I try to make recipes accessible, there are substitution options below for those that may not be able to eat sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are also a bit higher in carbs than pepitas and almonds – it’s not huge, but I know some of you like to really dial in your carb counts every day. I also included stove top and slow cooker directions in the notes below, so you can make this without an instant pot, if you don’t have one.

Vegan Keto Paleo Instant Pot Pilaf

Notes on Making Vegan Keto Instant Pot Pilaf (gluten-free, paleo, nut-free)

  • If you cannot have sunflower seeds, shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or slivered almonds will also work! They can be subbed at a 1:1 ratio.
  • I like to use a hybrid release method, waiting about 5 minutes for the sunflower seeds to continue absorbing any liquid, and then releasing the rest of the steam (carefully!), but you can also do a quick release or a natural release here.
  • If you do not have an instant pot, you can just cook this on the stove in a dutch oven or other lidded pot. I would cook this on medium-low heat, covered, and stir it every few minutes to prevent burning until the seeds have absorbed the liquid and the rice is relatively soft. It will take at least 20 minutes, but will vary. You could also cook this in a slow cooker. I’d recommed high for about 3-4 hours (depending on your slow cooker), or low for 5-6 hours (again, depending on your slow-cooker – this is something you kind of have to fiddle with the first time you make it, because there really isn’t a standard setting).
  • While I strive to provide accurate nutritional information, different brands and varieties of ingredient have differing nutrient values, so your calculations may vary.
Vegan Keto Paleo Instant Pot Pilaf

Vegan Keto Instant Pot Pilaf (gluten-free)

Print Recipe
This hearty and filling vegan keto instant pot "rice" pilaf recipe makes for a delicious and easy side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine instant pot, vegan keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 100


  • 2 12- oz 340-g packages of frozen cauliflower rice (24oz/680g total)
  • 1/2 cup 60g sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup 120ml vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • fresh parsley for garnish


  • Combine all ingredients (except fresh parsley) in your instant pot, making sure to break up any large chunks of cauliflower rice that tend to clump together. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Let sit for around 5 minutes before carefully releasing the pressure in the instant pot. Stir and fluff the "rice" and garnish with fresh parsley to serve.


I always buy frozen cauliflower rice because it is much more cost effective! If you don't have an instant pot, there are stove top and slow cooker directions above!


Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.2g | Protein: 3.9g | Fat: 7.2g | Fiber: 4.1g

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