How to Saute without Oil in the InstantPot

I’ll have to admit that I was reluctant to try this because the InstantPot doesn’t get hot enough to form a mercury ball, like it does with a saute pan. However, I figured being able to saute without oil in the InstantPot would be worth risking a few scorched onions. Good news, this method worked beautifully. The key to success was using liquid  to replace the fatty oil.

Now, while you can cook with water only, I highly recommend a flavorful liquid such as vegetable broth, mild miso and water, or vegetable-based bouillon and water. You will need about a cup and a half for 3-4 cups of vegetables/aromatics.


  1. Turn on the InstantPot and click the ‘Saute’ setting.
  2. When hot, add 1/3 of the liquid to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add 1/2 of the vegetables, stir to coat in the liquid.
  4. Add the second half of the vegetables and 1/3 of the stock. Stir the vegetables to coat in the liquid.
  5. Continue to deglaze the pot with the remaining liquid as the vegetables cook.

Leave a Reply