Even compared to other strict diets, the ketogenic diet can feel very restricting. Since you have to cut out carbohydrates almost entirely, you can’t turn to common, easy-to-make meals like pasta, pizza, sandwiches, or rice-based dishes. However, that doesn’t mean you have to bend over backward to make fast and easy meals that adhere to keto guidelines. If you have a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, and an air fryer, you can whip up the following keto-friendly meals in no time.
A pressure cooker is an appliance that cooks food in liquid through high-pressure steam by keeping the vessel closed. Cooking food with an open lid exposes it to oxygen and cold air, which can reduce flavor. In a pressure cooker, food doesn’t just cook fast; it also cooks evenly and retains the water-soluble vitamins.
An air fryer lets you imitate the taste and texture of deep-fried food without submerging it in oil. A fan circulates heat throughout and creates a crispy, brown layer. It significantly reduces calories and other unhealthy effects of deep-frying.
Today, you can find multi-cookers that have both pressure cooker and air fryer features. Many brands sell them, such as Ninja, Phillips, Breville, and Zavor.
Keto Diet Restrictions
If you’re on the keto diet or plan on making the switch, you should know which common ingredients in pressure-cooked or air-fried foods don’t adhere to the diet’s restrictions. For example, for pressure cooking, you’ll have to avoid or tweak recipes that include rice, pasta, or starchy vegetables. For air frying, you have to skip out on bread.
Ideas for Keto Pressure Cooker Meals
Given these restrictions, there are still plenty of keto-friendly Instant Pot recipes you can try. For example, you can make any of the following meals without interfering with your diet.
- Pot Lemon Chicken– When you’re in a hurry and looking for a delicious chicken dish, this Instant Pot lemon chicken will work wonders. To make it, all you need to do is saute the chicken in an Instant Pot until brown, and add garlic, onions, lemon juice, chicken broth, and herbs to make the sauce. Once thickened, close the lid and pressure cook the mixture for 20 minutes. This hearty meal only contains two grams of net carbs.
- Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese– To make this delicious casserole recipe, mix cauliflower, chicken, buffalo sauce seasoning, and ranch dressing in your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Cook for five minutes with the lid closed and then stir in the cream cheese and cheddar and keep it warm for 10 minutes for a creamy texture.
Ideas for Keto Air Fryer Meals
While you may associate fried foods with crunchy outer layers created from batter or breadcrumbs, not all friend meals or snacks are high in carbs. With an air fryer, you can make the following keto-friendly recipes:
- Zucchini Fries– To make crunchy zucchini fries, all you need to do is peel a zucchini and chop it into fry-sized pieces. Then, mix parmesan, almond flour, and spices before dipping the zucchini sticks into a beaten egg and the crumb mixture. After cooking them for 10 minutes, you’ll have a delicious snack that satisfies your french fry craving.
- Chicken Wings in Buffalo Sauce– When you’re on a keto diet, you may find yourself craving crispy and saucy wings. For a healthy alternative, spray canola oil onto the wings before tossing them into the air fryer basket. After air frying the wings for 10 minutes, mix melted butter and hot sauce in a bowl before tossing in your wings to coat them evenly.
- Tandoori Fish Tikka– For this aromatic and flavorful Indian fish dish, all you need is to do is mix ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, garam masala, and dry fenugreek leaves in a bowl. Toss washed and sliced fish into the marinade and place them in the basket for eight to 10 minutes or until cooked, crispy, and juicy.
Keto Diet Convenience
With a pressure cooker or air fryer, you can make flavorful keto-friendly meals that take very little time to prepare. Plus, cooking with these devices will add variety to your meals, helping you stick to your diet for longer by keeping things interesting. Instead of making exceptions and cheating your diet, try out these keto-friendly recipes whenever you get tired of your regular routine.