Instant Pot Millet Recipe

While all ancient grains go back a long time, as that name implies, millet may be the oldest one of all. According to Eden Foods, millet was not only the first cereal grain to be cultivated, but may have also been one of the oldest foods that our earliest ancestors didn't have to hunt down and kill before eating. Millet was first grown in Asia and Africa some 7,000 years ago.

While other lesser-known grains are being re-discovered by today's health-conscious cooks, millet hasn't needed to stage a revival, as it never really went away. While millet is super versatile, it can also, as The Flexible Fridge recipe blogger Susan Olayinka tells us, simply be cooked and eaten as is. As for the flavor of plain millet, Olayinka describes it as "a cross between rice and couscous." Her preferred method for cooking this grain involves using an Instant Pot, and she explains how to do it in this recipe.

This cooked millet won't require too many ingredients

In order to make this plain, simple millet dish, you will, of course, need millet. This grain should be available at most well-stocked supermarkets, but if you have any trouble finding it, you can try a more specialized grocer of the Whole Foods variety or order it online. You will also be using just a smidgen of olive oil — Olayinka uses extra virgin, but as you're using this oil for cooking, any kind of olive oil will do. In fact, you could use any other type of cooking oil you have on hand. This ingredient really isn't adding much in the way of flavor, after all. As Olayinka explains, "The oil just makes [the millet] less dry."

The Instant Pot makes short work of the cooking

Combine the millet and the oil in the Instant Pot along with a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and one and a half cups of water. Be sure to measure the water instead of just estimating — too much or too little water can ruin your millet. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure and cook the millet for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes have elapsed, let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 5 minutes. After that's done, follow up with a manual pressure release. Once the Instant Pot is completely de-pressurized, open up the lid, scoop out the millet, and serve it up.

Millet can be a side or a breakfast dish

Plain cooked millet can be used in much the same way that you would use rice — as a side dish or a base to top with meats and veggies. Olayinka suggests that millet "pairs really well with any type of stew or curry like chicken stew [or] chickpea curry."

Millet is also commonly eaten as a cooked breakfast cereal, but in order to prepare it for what Olayinka calls the "porridge option," she says you'll need to cook it using "a bit more water [or] milk." If you'd like a little more flavor, you can toast the raw millet in a skillet for about five minutes before you cook it in the Instant Pot. You can also add fruit, sugar, cream, and/or any other oatmeal-type fixings to your cooked millet once it's done.

Millet has many nutritional benefits

When we asked Olayinka what the number one nutritional attribute of millet was, she replied, "Millet is high in fiber!" According to Healthline, a one-cup serving contains 2.2 grams of fiber along with six grams of protein. Millet is also known for providing more amino acids than most other grains. Where millet really shines, though, is in its mineral content. This single serving of millet will provide you with a whopping 25% of your daily recommended phosphorus as well as 19% of the magnesium you need.

Instant Pot Millet Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
While millet is super versatile, it can also, as The Flexible Fridge recipe blogger Susan Olayinka tells us, simply be cooked and eaten as is.
Prep Time
Cook Time
millet on white platter
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  1. Add the millet and oil to the Instant Pot along with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 ½ cups water.
  2. Cook the millet on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, and then release the pressure manually.
  4. Open the Instant Pot lid and serve the millet.
Calories per Serving 219
Total Fat 5.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 151.5 mg
Protein 5.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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