Instant Pot Millet can be served as porridge, cold in salads, or paired as a healthy gluten-free grain with protein. Learn how to cook this mildly flavored ancient grain for quick and fluffy results that's perfect for sweet and savory dishes.
If you haven't had millet, you're missing out. This ancient grain is hearty and filling and the small grains perfectly plump up into tiny pearls, resembling couscous.
It's slightly nutty but still has a mild flavor compared to other traditional grains like quinoa and farro.
Using a pressure cooker is my preferred method as it gives the most perfect fluffy millet with very little effort.
💭Pro tip: Next time you need a side grain for a meal, consider millet. It's important to vary grains in your diet as they all come with different nutrient profiles.
What is millet?
Millet is an ancient grain from the grass family commonly found in countries throughout Africa and Asia. The nutritional profile of millet is similar to that of sorghum and it comes with great health benefits.
In recent years, millet has gained popularity in the west because they are gluten-free and high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. There are many different types of millet but most millet you'll find in stores are a hulled millet seeds.
Millet can be served as a breakfast porridge but it's also a great alternative to other grains like white rice and buckwheat.
In short, here's a bullet list of reasons to include millet as part of a healthy diet:
- As a gluten-free grain, it's an exceptional choice for people with celiac disease or those following a gluten-free diet.
- Rich in essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
- High in protein with one cup of cooked millet grains packs in 6 grams of protein.
- Has a low glycemic index keeping blood sugar steady.
- Versatile cereal grain and can be added cold to salads enjoyed as a breakfast porridge or served as a hot side with a healthy protein.
💭Pro tip: For millet porridge, increase the water using a 3 parts water to 1 part millet and allow to naturally pressure release the entire time.
Does millet have to be soaked before cooking?
Ancient cultures hold to the tradition of soaking whole grains like millet before cooking to increase digestibility and improve nutritional benefits.
Soaking grains in warm water with an acid like apple cider vinegar allows enzymes, lactobacilli to break down phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that may lead to nutrient deficiencies. (source) Phytic acid interferes with potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc uptake.
However, millet does not contain any gluten which are already more easily digested. Furthermore, it contains even less phytates than other grains so it is not absolutely necessary to soak millets.
Lastly, a person with a balanced diet consisting of mostly traditionally prepared foods isn't likely to experience any adverse effects from occasionally eating millet without soaking.
Soak if you must. As little as 6 hours of soaking time is enough to neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in millet. But know that you if you skip soaking, you can still enjoy nutritious millet as part of a healthy diet.
Learn how to cook millet in Instant Pot with just 2 basic ingredients plus sea salt and water. This is a very simple recipe that anyone can do at the last minute.
- millet: organic whole grain raw millet (my favorite brand is Eden organic but Bob's Red Mill is great too)
- sea salt: absolutely necessary when cooking grains
- water: or bone broth for added nutrients
- unsalted butter: optional but lends a nice creaminess (and grains are better absorbed with a healthy fat).
See recipe card for exact quantities. You'll also need a 6-quart Instant Pot and a fine mesh sieve to rinse the millets well.
💭Make it Nutrient-Dense: Cook millet in bone broth for an easy nutrient-dense side. Use this simple Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth recipe or go with a bold flavored Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth.
The complete printable recipe is below in the recipe card for your convenience.
This Instant Pot Millet calls for these ingredients: uncooked whole grain millet, water, sea salt, and unsalted butter.
Step 1. Add to Instant Pot
Rinse millet in a fine mesh sieve until water comes out clear. In the Instant Pot liner pot, combine millet, sea salt, water, and butter if using.
Step 2. Set to cook
Secure the lid and set the safety valve to sealed position. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of natural pressure release (NPR). Then quick release (QPR) remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid when safe to do so and fluff millet with a fork.
💭Pro tip: For perfect millet, don't overcook! Do a quick pressure release and remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot as soon as it's safe to do so.
Helpful Tools and Links
Below are some affiliate links that may be helpful to you as you make this Instant Pot millet recipe. You can find some of these items cheaper at your local store but it helps to have a link so you know what you're looking for.
- Tools: mesh strainer, Instant Pot, tempered glass lid
- Ingredients: real salt, whole grain millet
- Storage Supplies: glass snap containers
Consider this basic recipe as a blank slate. You can serve it in grain bowls, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and topped with Baked Salmon with Mayonnaise or Citrus-Herb Basque Chicken.
You can also add a cup of chilled millet to salads like this Autumn Harvest Kale Salad.
To serve millet as porridge, just drizzle a little bit of coconut milk or regular milk, maple syrup, and sprinkle with ground cinnamon for a tasty breakfast.
Instant Pot Millet pairing suggestions
- Baked Salmon with Mayonnaise15 Minutes
- Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin42 Minutes
- Sausage and Peppers in Oven (Easy Sheet Pan 30-minute Meal)40 Minutes
- Healthy Butter Chicken Recipe1 Hours 15 Minutes
Storage and Reheating Instructions
To store: Cooked millet can be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Storage containers: These glass snap containers are perfect for leftovers
To reheat: Transfer millet into a small saucepan. Add two tablespoons of water and cover with lid. Warm on low heat until warmed through.
Cooking millet in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot is the easiest way to prepare this gluten-free grain. It's nearly hands off with very little active time. Millet in Instant Pot always comes out fluffy, tender yet not mushy, and makes an easy side dish that goes with just about anything.
To cook millet in Instant Pot use a 1.75:1 ratio of water to millet for a fluffy grain. For instant Pot millet porridge, increase the water to a ratio of 3:1 of water to millet.
Even though millet is gaining popularity in the United States, it's not readily available at most grocery stores yet. Your local health food store is your best option. It can also be purchased online.
Looking for more related recipes? Here are some ideas:
Did you make this? Please leave a ⭐ recipe rating in the recipe card below and leave a review in the comments. Thank you!💚
Instant Pot Millet
- 1 cup whole grain millet
- 1 ¾ cups filtered water or bone broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon butter optional
- Rinse millet in a fine mesh sieve until water comes out clear. In the Instant Pot liner pot, combine millet, sea salt, water, and butter if using.
- Secure the lid and set the safety valve to sealed position. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of natural pressure release (NPR). Then quick release (QPR) remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the lid when safe to do so and fluff millet with a fork.