Healthy Recipes for Dinner

This RD’s Instant Pot Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry Is Packed With Longevity-Boosting Ingredients

Photo: Stocksy/Nadine Greeff
It is to be expected that developing the deep, complex flavors that are the hallmark of a top-notch bowl of curry generally require hours to develop and a decent amount of babysitting. That does not apply to this curry recipe. From the creative mind of dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger of The Real Food Dietitians, Stacie Hassing, RDN, LN, comes a winter-ready chicken sweet potato curry that comes together in less than 30 minutes and can be prepared in a single pot—an Instant Pot, to be exact. And better still, with an RDN's stamp of approval, you know you'll be getting plenty of protein, fiber, and health-promoting vitamins and minerals in every bite.

Curry is, after all, incredibly nutrient-rich. For example, turmeric, a main ingredient in curry powder, is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, says Hassing. Cayenne pepper, which gives this dish a delicious extra layer of spice, has also been closely associated with longevity. In fact, a 2015 study by Harvard and China National Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that eating spicy food six or seven days a week, even if only once a day, lowered mortality rates among participants by 14 percent.

Learn more about the longevity-boosting benefits of turmeric according to an RD in this video:

Sweet potatoes also play a key role in this curry, adding a touch of sweetness and texture to the dish. Not only are these spuds rich in fiber, but they also promote gut health. In fact, studies have suggested that antioxidants in sweet potatoes promote the growth of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species of healthy gut bacteria. Coconut milk is another longevity-boosting ingredient used in this Instant Pot chicken curry recipe; studies have suggested that coconut milk can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Finally, lean chicken breast adds plenty of heart-healthy protein to the dish.

At the end of the day, Hassing says, this curry is “flavorful, comforting, and just a really good meal that will warm you right up on a cold winter day.” The fact that it requires just 15 minutes of hands-on prep before you set it and forget it just makes it that much sweeter. And FYI: Because the Instant Pot allows you to leverage multiple cooking techniques in one vessel, you won’t have to dirty any dishes other than the single pot it cooks in.

Read on for Hassing’s recipe for Instant Pot chicken sweet potato curry.

Instant Pot chicken curry recipe

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 medium-large sweet potato, cubed (roughly 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, sliced or diced
2/3 cup chicken broth (use 1 cup broth if you have a newer Instant Pot model to avoid getting the burn signal)
3-4 Tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste
1 can (14 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
2 cups frozen green beans
Cashews, cilantro, lime wedges, and cauliflower rice, or rice of choice for serving, optional (omit cashews for nut-free)

Instructions
1. Set your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Add the oil or ghee, onion, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.

2. Turn to high pressure. Add the chicken, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, broth, curry, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and sea salt. Seal the Instant Pot and set timer for 10 minutes.

3. Once the time is up, release the pressure by switching from seal to vent. Once pressure is released, remove the lid and turn Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Stir in the coconut milk and frozen green beans and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the green beans are heated through. Add additional curry powder and salt to taste.

4. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or greens and top with cashews, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro.

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