What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In April

When it comes to nutritious food, you can’t beat seasonal produce. Every month of the year brings with it a new offering of nutrient-dense veggies and fruits, as well as meat and seafood. Find out what seasonal foods to cook with your Instant Pot in April to lock in the most flavor and nutrients. 

What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In April

We have a series of posts featuring seasonal recipes with your Instant Pot for each month of the year. We’re covering the most common seasonal ingredients in the northern hemisphere and how they can be used in pressure cooking. Of course, not all seasonal foods are fit for this cooking method, so we’re choosing those that are great to prepare with your Instant Pot pressure cooker.

Next up: What To Cook In You Instant Pot In May

What’s In Season In April


Artichokes are a stunning vegetable making them perfect for an impressive side dish to serve up for guests. Look for tightly closed leaves, instead of the ones that are open. If you notice black/brown patches of discoloration on outer leaves, this is only a symptom of frost damage, which is harmless.

Use them within three to five days of purchase and keep them refrigerated in a loose-fitting paper bag to minimize moisture. You can briefly soak artichokes in lukewarm water with a teaspoon of salt or vinegar to help draw out any trapped insects or unwanted debris.

Artichokes can be cooked whole until tender by boiling, steaming, or baking. Extracting the meat from within each leaf requires trimming the tips of the outer leaves. To reduce discoloration simply place the trimmed artichoke in a bowl of lemon water. Artichokes can be frozen after cooking (but not raw). They are also delicious when stuffed between leaf layers. 

The artichoke is the fourth most antioxidant-rich food per serving, after blackberries, walnuts, and strawberries. Due to cynarin found in the leaves, studies have shown its potential to lower blood cholesterol and stimulate the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder. It’s the most phytonutrient-dense of all the vegetables studied. 





Instant Pot Asparagus

Asparagus comes in four varieties: green, white, purple, and wild. The most common in the US is green asparagus. It varies in width and length but tends to be sold at around 8–10 inches. Its flavor is mildly sulphuric, mostly sweet, and slightly nutty. Avoid limp and wilted ones. Look for the thinnest stalks possible since these are the most tender. It’s food to try to find a bunch that has uniform width so they cook consistently.

You can preserve asparagus by trimming the ends of the stalks and standing the bunch in a cup of water in the refrigerator. The most important thing about preparing asparagus is not to overcook them. After blanching, you can then freeze them. 

Asparagus has healthful properties such as folate, Vitamin C, potassium, inulin, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used medicinally as a laxative as well.

Instant Pot Recipes With Asparagus


Cooking Beets Instant Pot

Many people get their first taste of beets via canned or pickled. Fresh undercooked beets are tough, fibrous, and tasting earthy. Seek out beets that feel heavy for their size, with no mushy or black areas. If sold with their greens attached, the leaves should be sprightly (not wilted) with no yellow spots. Every single part of the beet is edible — roots stems and leaves.

Beets play a huge part in Russian and Eastern European cuisine, the most famous dish is borscht (a beet-based soup). Beets are also used in baking, as both a food coloring and to add moistness. Beetroot can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, steamed, sautéed and even made into chips. They are can be paired with salty or creamy cheese (think feta, goat, ricotta), nuts and citrus.

Beetroot can be stored loose in your fridge’s veggie drawer for at least two to three weeks, or longer. Beet greens are delicate and should be cooked within two or three days of purchase; cut greens from the roots and store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Beet leaves are excellent raw, boiled, steamed and sautéed. Add the leaves to any recipe calling for spinach. Beet stems are also delicious and can be cooked the same way you’d cook chard stems or bok choy; either boil in salted water until tender or sauté.

Beetroot is high in fiber, folate, and manganese, and is a decent source of Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. The greens, though, are really the nutritional powerhouse of the plant. They are super high in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese. 


bok choy


Bok choy is a popular mainstay of Chinese-American takeout. A fully grown bunch, with white stalks and dark green leaves, is 8 to 11 inches tall. It is tougher and stringier than baby bok choy. Miniature size bok choy has dark ruffled leaves or they can also have pale green leaves. When purchasing, stalks should be firm, leaves should be perky and free of blemishes. Avoid anything bruised. Brown or yellow spot are signs of age.

Bok choy is a cool-weather crop that can’t take the heat. Miniature sizes should be used within three days while the larger ones can be used in about five days. Storing in mesh bags or in damp kitchen towels in the refrigerator will preserve its life longer. The stalks of bok choy take longer to cook than the leaves. It’s best to separate the bok choy and cook stalks first and then add the leaves.

Bok choy is a good source of  Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. It’s great for people who can’t eat meat or dairy since it has Vitamin A, which can boost the immune system and has vision-strengthening beta-carotene. 




Instant Pot Broccoli Steamed with Lemon Garlic

As a kid, didn’t you think broccoli looked like little trees? While they didn’t seem appetizing after they were cook, they were still fun to play with. Most people toss the stems and only eat the pretty tree-like part. But don’t toss the stems. Roasting softens and sweetens the stems.

Florets of the broccoli should be tightly closed and deep green. Avoid limp or yellowing broccoli. Keep moisture to a minimum in the refrigerator by loosely wrapping them in a plastic bag or dish towel, and then use them within a few days. You can preserve them by separating the stalks from florets and parboil for three minutes, then shock them in an ice-water bath. After drying you can store in freezer bags. 

Broccoli is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. One cup of cooked broccoli has five grams of fiber, nearly four grams of protein, plus  Vitamins A and C, all at just 55 calories. It contains folate, iron, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

It has a unique combination of phytonutrients doing anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and detoxifying work. It’s been studied for its potential in treating various degenerative conditions, skin damage, stomach ulcers, and adult blindness.


Brussels sprouts

Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Bacon & Garlic

Brussels sprouts resemble baby cabbages and are so versatile in recipes with their soft, sweet and earthy taste. When purchasing, look for compact heads and bright green. Avoid any pinholes, that can be a sign of pests. Brussels sprouts are sold on and off the stalk.

Brussels sprouts will last in the refrigerator for about two weeks when stored on the stalk and about half that if separated from it. To freeze sprouts, blanch by dipping briefly in a pot of boiling water, shock in cold water, pat dry and freeze for up to a year. 

They are great raw thinly sliced in a salad or roasted. Be careful not to overcook Brussels sprouts. Too long on the stove and the sprouts will release a sulfur smell.

Brussels sprouts are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which are valued for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are a good source of folate, manganese, Vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, Vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids. 



What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In May: Cabbage

Cabbage is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K amongst other nutrients. It’s another vegetable high in fiber, which is why raw cabbage can sometimes cause a bit of flatulence. Nevertheless, it has many health benefits and research suggests that cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, may have protective effects against cancer.  

Cabbage is prepared and consumed in many ways from raw salads such as coleslaw to braised dishes such as cabbage rolls and cabbage soup. Pickling is one of the most popular ways of preserving cabbage, creating dishes such as sauerkraut and kimchi.

Cabbage is great for pressure cooking as it can withstand high temperatures quite well and for many dishes, it requires longer cooking times. Braised cabbage dishes, stews, and soups with cabbage are best suited to the Instant Pot, however, you can also use the Sauteé function to stir-fry thinly sliced cabbage in some butter and garlic for a simple side dish.




Instant Pot Carrots With Honey Soy Glaze

Carrots were grown in the Babylonian gardens in the 8th century, BCE for their leaves and seeds, both of which are highly aromatic, according to Alan Davidson in the “Oxford Companion to Food”. It was only till later on that they were cultivated for their roots and they were yellow and purple-red. It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that the Dutch began growing an orange type.

Carrots today still vary in colors besides the commonly seen orange, you can find them in all shades of purple, red, white, and yellow. They also vary in size, from tiny to giant. Smaller carrots tend to be sweeter and juicier. 

The carrot roots should be firm and free of mushy or black/brown spots. They can keep it in the fridge for at least a month. Which is great for planning out several meals with them as a main or sidekick ingredient.

Roasting carrots play up their natural sweetness. They are also wonderful to puree into a soup with ginger and turmeric or juiced with an apple for breakfast. Carrots can also be used for sweet recipes like the classic carrot cake. They can be preserved in different ways such as pickled, canned and frozen.

One cup of carrots provides over 400% of your daily Vitamin A needs to help with vision, immune function, and reproduction. They are also good sources of potassium, vitamin K and vitamin E, and a great source of fiber. 




Cauliflower is technically an edible flower. The head of cauliflower is known as the curd. Look for an even color and a tightly packed head. Cauliflower comes in purple, orange, and green varieties, while white is the most common. Cauliflower will keep for a few weeks if kept dry and covered in the refrigerator. But if it is left uncovered it will start to wilt in a few days.

Roasting, boiling, and braising are some of the ways to prepare cauliflower. It’s gained popularity due to providing alternatives to certain dietary restrictions. It’s a great option for vegan dishes or dairy-free dishes to make creamy soups.

It’s a perfect substitute for rice for those with gluten intolerance. Cauliflower freezes well if you break the head into individual florets. One cup of raw cauliflower provides 85% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. It is also high in folates, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B-6.




Celery is such an essential base ingredient in for so many soups, stews, and sauces. When eating raw it’s tall, light green crisp stalks are perfect for dipping in sauces or with peanut butter. Celery seeds are also harvested and used as seasoning such as part of pickling spices.

When purchasing look for unblemished, firm celery and keep it refrigerated until use. If celery becomes limp, trim its base and place it in a glass of water in the refrigerator until it is crisp again.

Celery has numerous health benefits. The stalks are a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, and phytochemicals while Vitamin A can be found in its leaves. It is a popular ingredient for juicing raw since it has so many vitamins and minerals. 




Instant Pot Italian Recipes Risotto With Fennel & Asparagus

Fennel has a licorice-like taste and is native to the Mediterranean. Fennel bulbs should be whitish-green, firm and heavy for their size, with no brown or mushy spots. Store in a less-cold part of the refrigerator for up to a week wrapped in a paper towel. Very cold temperatures can cause the rupturing of the cell membranes affecting the taste. Fennel seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

To prepare fennel, trim off stalks, trim root end slightly and peel off the outer layer of the bulb. Cut fennel bulb in half (long ways) through the middle of the root. The core of smaller size fennel tends to be more tender than the larger ones. Fennel seed is one of the spices in Chinese five-spice powder and is an important spice in India.

Pairs well with fish and shellfish, citrus, strong cheeses, tomatoes, pork, and chicken. Its also used in many Southern Italian baked goods. Just use it sparingly when adding stems to stock or soups since they have a distinctive flavor.

Fennel bulbs are a good source of Vitamin C, manganese and potassium and are high in fiber. Fennel seeds are high in manganese, iron, calcium and magnesium. In herbal medicine, fennel is used as a remedy for menstrual pain, coughs, to strengthen eyesight and for stomach pain.




In the kitchen, garlic is the foundation of sauces, soups, marinades, spice rubs, and curry pastes. It is among the oldest cultivated crops. Head of garlic should have a paper-thin skin that covers all of its cloves. Cloves should be firm and free of mold or bruises. 

At room temperature, head garlic can last for months. Keep out of the refrigerator to avoid humidity, which will cause rotting. If it is green garlic, wrap in a towel and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. As garlic ages and dries, its flavor intensifies. It will also sprout whether or not it’s in the ground to prepare for the winter months. The little green sprout is bitter, so remove it before cooking. Garlic burns quickly, add it last. 

Garlic is an anti-inflammatory. It’s sulfuric compounds, allicin and alliin have potential benefits in treating arthritis patients, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, and controlling the common cold.


Green beans

Instant Pot Buttery Green Beans

Green beans are the unripe, young fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean. Green beans are known by many common names, including French beans, string beans, snap beans, and snaps. Over 130 varieties of green beans are known. 

Bush beans are short plants, growing to not more than 2 feet (61 cm) in height, often without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. 

Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine, which must be supported by “poles” or trellises.  Green bean pods contained a “string”, a hard fibrous strand running the length of one side of the pod. This string was either removed before cooking.

Green beans are eaten around the world, and are sold fresh, canned, and frozen. They can be eaten raw or steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked. They are commonly cooked in other dishes such as soups, stews, and casseroles. A popular dish is green bean casserole.

Nutritionally, green beans are a healthy vegetable as a good source of fiber, potassium, and folate, and are an excellent source of protein, iron, and zinc. They contain antioxidants similar to those found in green tea, also known as catechins, which can improve heart health and help prevent cancer and manage/prevent diabetes.





It’s no news that leafy greens are good for you. We’re talking kale, spinach, and collards here. Naturally gluten-free, all leafy greens are low in calories and carbohydrates yet can be quite satiating when consumed with a little added fat, which helps with vitamin absorption. 

Both kale and collard greens contain substantial amounts of vitamin K and are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese, and moderate sources of calcium and vitamin B6. Leafy greens are also high in iron and provide dietary fiber. Being low in calories and sugar, leafy greens are great for weight loss and healthy eating. 

Depending on the hardiness of the leaves, greens can be cooked in a variety of ways. Spinach and other thin-leaf green veggies are great raw, while tougher kale and collards are best cooked.  Instant Pot is great for cooking collard greens and kale as a side dish and you can add leafy greens to any stew, soup, curry, pasta or risotto you make in the pressure cooker. 



What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In June

Common leeks kind of look like a giant scallion. Leeks were probably first cultivated by the Egyptians, who liked leeks so much they painted their tombs with images of them. They have a straight, white stem that gradually becomes lighter green, making way to the dark, almost blue-green of the top leaves.

Seek out leeks on the smaller side, one to two inches in stem diameter, three inches tops. Larger leeks tend to get woody and a bit tough. Leek greens should be very dark green with no yellowing or wilted spots. The white stem should be very white and firm with no black, mushy, or discolored areas.

Leeks have a mild onion, sweet flavor. Most recipes call for only the “white and light green parts” of the vegetable, but the dark green leaves can be saved to use in stock making (veggie, beef, chicken, etc.). Leek stems can be braised, grilled, roasted, fried, steamed, sautéed, and used raw in salads. They also pair well with dairy products. Leeks will keep in your veggie drawer, wrapped in a paper towel, for at least a week. Don’t wash leeks before you refrigerate them, as this accelerates their decline.

The thing about preparing leeks is that they are really dirty, with gritty bits of sand frequently hidden in the layers that make up the stems. They have to be cleaned very thoroughly (good description of how to clean leeks, or here is a great video that shows two different techniques for cleaning the veggie).

Leeks are very high in Vitamins A and K and are good sources of Vitamin B-6, folate, iron, calcium and manganese. They are also high in fiber and low in calories. Leeks are toxic to dogs and cats, so keep them (and their Allium relatives) away from your furry friends.



Lemons are a staple in a kitchen. As much as they are essential for cooking, they are a great alternative as a household cleaner. The juice is antibacterial because of the low pH. It can also deodorize, disinfect and cut through grease. 

Look for lemons that are bright and evenly colored. Avoid the ones that are dull looking since they have been sitting awhile. Lemons should also be firm and feel heavy. They will keep at room temperature up to a week. In the refrigerator, they’ll last up to three weeks in dry conditions. You can freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays where it can be later added to recipes or make lemonade. 

Lemon juice is a great source of Vitamin C, folate and potassium. The essential oil from the peel can be used as an antiseptic on wounds or as a natural alternative to toxic hand sanitizers. They also help in proper digestion and detoxification of the liver.



instant pot mushroom soup

Edible mushrooms vary in size, shape, and color. There are so many types around the world and so versatile in use for recipes. From the most common being the white button kind on a pizza to the large portabello kind that can be a vegetarian alternative to a burger. Look for fresh mushrooms without slimy, mouldy or black spots. Fresh mushrooms don’t store well.  They can last three to four days.

While different mushroom varieties have slightly different nutritional compositions, most are quite high in riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3) pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), and also contains some minerals, like copper, selenium, phosphorous, and potassium. They even have a bit of protein and iron. 

Mushrooms have been used medicinally by cultures all over the world. Shiitakes may be beneficial to the immune system and help lower cholesterol; button mushrooms have potent antioxidant properties; some hallucinogenic mushroom compounds may help alleviate depression. 




Instant Pot Creamy Herb Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes

Parsnip is related to the carrot but sweeter. The parsnip tends to have a thinner tip and is a shade of pale yellow or off-white. It was popular in Europe until the potato arrived. When purchasing look for firm, not woody or soft. You should not be able to bend it. Store it in a towel and it should keep for a few weeks. 

You can add parsnips to any dish that you would normally add a root or vegetable. Try adding parsnip when making mashed potatoes. You’ll end up with a side dish that’s a little healthier. Parsnips are rich in potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamin C and folate.



What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In June

Peas are a type of legume native to the Middle East, specifically to the area around what is now Turkey and Iraq. From the Middle East, the legume spread rapidly to Europe. The pea was an important source of food for peasants in the Middle Ages, providing protein and other nutrients in lean times.

Snow peas and sugar snaps are often used in stir-fries, pairing with garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Sugar snaps are also pretty excellent raw. Pea shoots and tendrils can be eaten like a green braised in a little bit of liquid, or sautéed, or tossed, raw, into salads. Dried peas (split peas) tend to break down quite a bit when cooked so they are great for Split pea soup using a chunk of a ham hock with the peas while the soup cooks.

When shopping for garden peas, look for pods that are plump and bright green, with no wilted or brown spots. All parts of the pea plant are edible from the shoots, tendrils, and leaves, flowers, pods and, of course, the seeds (the peas themselves). 

Fresh peas in the pod will keep for at least a week in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. They will get starchier and less sweet the longer you wait to cook them. Even after a longer period of time, when the pods look a little gnarly, the peas inside are usually okay. 

Every variety of pea is really good for you. Garden peas are higher in calories than most other veggies and are rich in fiber and protein. They also have huge amounts of Vitamins C, A, K and folate, and are high in manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. They even contain a little bit of calcium.

Dried peas (aka split peas) have even more protein and fiber than fresh peas, and contain more folate and potassium than fresh. Snow peas and sugar snaps have a large amount of Vitamin C — just one cup provides you with 128 per cent of your daily Vitamin C needs. They’re also super high in Vitamins A and K and are good sources of iron and Vitamin B6.

Peas were key to the creation of the modern science of genetics: Gregor Mendel, an Austro-Hungarian monk, conducted the very first experiments on the inheritance of traits in pea plants, which lead to the formation his theory of inheritance, which basically forms the basis of all of genetics.



What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In May Rhubarb

The color of rhubarb stalks can vary from crimson red to speckled light pink, to simply light green. Although rhubarb is a vegetable, it is often put to the same culinary uses as fruits.  The stalks can be used raw when they have a crisp texture (similar to celery). Otherwise, they are often cut into small pieces and stewed (boiled in water) with added sugar, until soft. Little water is added, as rhubarb stalks already contain a great deal of water.

Rhubarb is often paired with strawberries and is used in pies, tarts, crumbles, compote, and fruit wine. They have a strong, tart taste but delicious too. Instant Pot is great for making cakes and pie fillings as well as compotes and stewed fruit.

By the way, rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances, including oxalic acid, which is a nephrotoxic acid.




Raw spinach is 91% water, 4% carbohydrates, and 3% protein. A 100-gram (3.5 oz) serving provides only 23 calories, and spinach has a high nutritional value, especially when fresh, frozen, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron, B vitamins, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and dietary fibre.

Fresh spinach is sold loose, bunched, or packaged fresh in bags. Fresh spinach is packaged in air, or in nitrogen gas to extend shelf life but loses much of its nutritional value. While refrigeration slows this effect to about eight days, fresh spinach loses most of its folate and carotenoid content over this period of time. For longer storage, it is canned or blanched or cooked and frozen. Frozen spinach can be stored for up to eight months. 

Spinach doesn’t need much cooking but it works well both raw and well-cooked. It can be added to soups at the last minute or you can cook it longer in a stew so it incorporates into the sauce. We love it in Instant Pot risottos and pasta dishes, and it’s a great addition to vegan and vegetarian dishes.



Sweet Potatoes

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes & Chicken

Most sweet potatoes are large and football-shaped, with a fat middle and tapering end. But they also come in a rainbow of colors, shapes, and sizes including orange, yellow, creamy white or even purple-magenta. After sweet potatoes are harvested, it can take up to eight weeks of curing and storage after harvest before sweet potatoes sweeten and develop the texture most are accustomed to.

Sweet potatoes can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dry and away from light. Don’t store them in the refrigerator, as this accelerates their decline — they don’t like to be too cold or too moist. Sweet potatoes that get too warm tend to sprout and become shrivelled and mushy. Sweet potatoes are great because they can play any role in a meal from side dish to the main course to dessert. Since they can be baked, roasted, boiled, fried, grilled, mashed or pureed.

Sweet potatoes are good for you, especially varieties with orange or purple flesh. They contain truly awesome amounts of Vitamin A in just one cup. (Vitamin A is a vitamin necessary for eye, immune system and skin health, and is also a powerful antioxidant.) Sweet potatoes also contain fiber, excellent amounts of Vitamins C and B-6, manganese, potassium, and several other vitamins and minerals.

They are even good sources of iron and calcium. Sweet potatoes are also thought to be helpful in blood sugar regulation and have been used as a natural treatment against intestinal parasites because of Vitamin A (beta-carotene).


For a full list of what’s in season in April in the USA, check out this post: What’s In Season Around the Country: April


What To Cook In Your Instant Pot In April

Instant Pot Recipes
By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious Instant Pot recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.
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  1. What a fabulous full compilation of recipes! Thank you for including my bok choy risotto in the lineup!

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