This is the most delicious and easy Vegan Instant Pot Curry using lots of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, fresh spinach, red curry paste, curry spices, coconut milk and tomato sauce for the creamiest, most amazing depth of flavor! This vegan gluten-free curry will become an instant favorite! Only 8 main ingredients needed!
VEGAN INSTANT POT CURRY
I’m here with another vegan instant pot recipe. You’ve loved the Vegan Instant Pot Italian Pasta, so I think you will love this one, too. Y’all know my love for curry is strong, so naturally I had to create a Vegan Instant Pot Curry. I went with a sweet potato curry since I love sweet potatoes the most out of any food on the planet. I think sweet potatoes are the best in curry because they are so naturally sweet. Sweetness balances out the strong spices and kick of heat beautifully. It just won’t have the same effect using regular potatoes here.
Let me tell you. This is probably my favorite curry I’ve ever created. That is saying a lot, considering I have many delicious vegan curry recipes here on my blog. I had to make it a couple of times to get the flavors just right and balanced the way I think a curry tastes best and it is phenomenally delicious! I cannot do bland curries. I need loads of flavor. This one delivers big time.
It is creamy, rich, wonderfully spiced, thanks to my Homemade Curry Powder (although, store-bought is fine too) and the right amount of red curry paste, coconut aminos, tomato sauce and coconut milk. I have made it with both chickpeas and without. So, if you want that extra boost of protein, add the chickpeas.
- Red Onion
- Red curry paste: I use the vegan Thai Kitchen brand.
- Curry powder: I use my own Homemade Curry powder but store-bought is fine.
- Garam Masala: Optional, so if you don’t have it, don’t stress. But it does add another level of amazing flavor, so add it if you can!
- Canned lite coconut milk: I love the Thai Kitchen brand. It is nice and creamy and not watery, but also much less fat than the full fat kind. It is more watery than full-fat, which is important here, since the instant pot needs the liquid. It turns out plenty creamy and rich, as you can see in the photos!
- Coconut aminos: This adds some sweetness and umami flavor as well to the curry.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Tomato sauce: Good curries need some form of acidity to balance all the flavors. Otherwise, it can taste a bit one note. Tomato sauce does this beautifully here. In the photo below I accidentally put tomato paste in it, that is not correct, you definitely need tomato sauce/puree.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN INSTANT POT CURRY
Step 1: Have all ingredients chopped, measured and ready to go before beginning, as the meal is very quick.
Step 2: Cook the red onion with 1/4 cup water for 5-8 minutes on the saute setting until tender and they begin to caramelize. Turn off the saute mode.
Step 3: Add the spices, curry paste, coconut aminos and tomato sauce to the IP and stir around for 30 seconds to release their aromas.
Step 4: Add the coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, sweet potatoes and chickpeas and stir very well.
Step 5: Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before the 3 minutes starts to count down. Once the IP beeps several times, it is done. Turn off the IP and do a quick manual pressure release until the float valve drops. Remove the lid and stir the curry around well.
If using, stir in the spinach. Let it sit 5 minutes before serving as is, or with grain of choice.
MORE VEGAN CURRY RECIPES THAT YOU’LL LOVE
- Easy Vegan Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Coconut Curry
- Lazy Red Lentil Curry Soup
- Vegan Thai Green Sweet Potato Curry
- Easy Vegan Creamy Curry Rice Soup
- Vegan Cauliflower Curry Soup
- Sweet Potato and White Bean Curry Soup
- Vegan Red Pepper Curry Bowl
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Vegan Instant Pot Curry
- 1 cup (160g) finely diced red onion + 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 teapoons curry powder (I used my homemade blend)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional, but recommended if you have it)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons (30g) red curry paste (I used the vegan Thai Kitchen brand)
- 2 tablespoons (30g) coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup (120g) tomato sauce/puree (this is just cooked pureed tomatoes also called passata)
- 1/4 cup (60g) water
- 4 heaping cups (480g) peeled & chopped sweet potato 3/4 - 1 inch chunks (make sure they are not larger than 1 inch or they will not soften)
- one 15 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
- one 13.6 oz can canned "lite" coconut milk (I use and recommend the Thai Kitchen brand because it's very creamy and not watery)
- 4 large handfuls (90g) fresh spinach leaves (optional)
- Optional garnish Lime wedges and toasted cashews
- I use this scale.
- I use this Instant Pot.
- STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS LISTED BELOW UNDER NOTES.Have all the ingredients prepped and measured and ready to go, as this moves quickly. To a bowl, mix the curry powder, garam masala, (if using), salt, curry paste, coconut aminos and tomato sauce until well combined. You will be adding this mixture after the onions are cooked to briefly saute it, as this step will infuse the overall flavor, so don't skip.
- Add the red onion, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water to the instant pot and turn to normal saute setting. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often until the onions are tender and caramelize (starts to turn brown), stirring a few times during the process for even cooking. Add only tiny amounts of water as needed to keep the onion from sticking/burning. Turn off the saute mode.
- Add the mixed spices and liquid mixture noted from above to the instant pot and stir around for 30 seconds to briefly saute it and release their aromas.
- Add the coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, chopped sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Stir until it is thoroughly mixed. Make sure to press any potato chunks down into the liquid if they are rising above.
- Cook on high pressure by selecting either manual or pressure cook and set the time to 3 minutes. Please note that it takes about 8-10 minutes before the IP will come to pressure and start the actual cooking. It will beep once it begins the 3 minutes. So stay close by. It will beep several times once the 3 minutes is up. Turn off the IP. Do a manual quick release of any remaining pressure, using a pot cover to protect your hand. Make sure to never stand too close to the steam vent. The float valve will drop down once all the pressure is released.
- Remove the lid and stir the mixture around for a minute. If using, stir in the spinach. Let it sit about 5 minutes, as it will cool it down enough to eat and thicken up slightly. Serve as is or over white rice or grain of choice. Garnish with toasted cashews and fresh lime juice and dairy-free yogurt, if desired. For presentation, my little trick if you don't have basil, parsley or cilantro (typical garnish), I get extra spinach leaves, stack them on top of each other, roll them up tightly and slice them horizontally, like you would chiffonade basil. It makes for a gorgeous, inexpensive and convenient garnish!
- COCONUT MILK: Make sure you are using "lite" coconut milk. Not full fat. Reason being, the instant pot needs the more liquid consistency of the lite coconut milk. Using full fat is way too thick and will cause burn messages on the IP and for the potatoes not to cook fully through. I even tested this with homemade cashew milk and it simply would NOT work. I kept getting burn errors because cashew milk (homemade thickens up way too much while it heats and it burned on the bottom).
- The Thai Kitchen brand is what I always recommend. As you can see from the photos, it turns out incredibly creamy and rich, not watery or too thick. I also like the Sprouts lite coconut milk brand as well. DO NOT use the Polar brand, it is all stabilizers/additives, not pure coconut milk and won't work.
- Follow step 1 first by having ingredients chopped/ready to go. As well, have the tomato, curry mixture premixed as listed.
- Add the red onion, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water to a large deep sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion caramelizes (starts to turn brown). Add tiny amounts of water only as needed to prevent burning.
- Add the premixed curry paste, spice mixture to the pan and stir constantly for 30 seconds to release their aromas. This gives lots of depth of flavor by cooking this base first.
- Add the coconut milk, 1/4 cup water and sweet potatoes. Stir very well until fully mixed. With the heat at medium, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. The potatoes should be almost tender at this point.
- Add the beans and reduce the heat to medium-low, cover again and cook another 5-10 minutes until the potatoes are fully tender and the curry has thickened some and become creamy. It should be nice and saucy, but creamy. You do not want to cook away all that yummy sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach (if using). Follow step 6 above for garnish tips.