Instant Pot Brussels sprouts with shallots and fennel is a rich and creamy plant-based dish. Lite coconut milk makes it creamy; while white miso and nutritional yeast are added for a cheesy flavor. Top with hazelnuts for a delicious combination of flavors and textures. This creamy vegetable side dish will soon be a family favorite at your special get-togethers.
When my sister, a high-end personal chef, tells me I need to veganize one of her special dishes; I get to work immediately! This delicious flavorful creamy Brussels sprouts dish did not disappoint.
It's easy enough to make thoughtful substitutions like nutritional yeast, miso paste, and coconut milk when making your favorite recipes vegan-friendly.
While her original recipe uses heavy cream and lots of cheese, this dish uses lite coconut cream and a few vegan specialty foods that lend a cheesy flavor. And for a bonus, I made it in the Instant Pot!
You are going to love this recipe The white miso paste along with the nutritional yeast gives these creamy Brussels sprouts a rich depth of flavor that is slightly cheesy. The breadcrumbs mix in with the coconut milk to give it the right texture and the toasted chopped hazelnuts add a subtle crunch that is just right!
Don’t give up your favorite comfort foods!
You should never have to give up your favorite foods just because you are eating vegan! There is always a substitute you can find. On our special holiday table, we always make sure we have Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes with Garlic, Chives, and Cream Cheese, creamy cheesy funeral potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and creamed corn casserole! All family favorites and all made vegan!
Coconut milk and coconut cream are a super easy substitution to make! And even though one sometimes thinks of creamy vegan desserts when thinking about coconut milk, you might be surprised to learn that coconut milk makes a great substitution for dairy cream in savory dishes too!
It makes sense that Butternut squash curry and curry sauce are particularly tasty when coconut cream is an ingredient. But did you also know that coconut milk blends well with creamy vegan soup dishes as well? From easy creamy corn chowder to butternut squash and red pepper soup, you won’t find a better substitute for dairy cream than rich and creamy coconut milk!
What you will need to make this Instant Pot Brussels sprouts dish:
- Brussels sprouts – For the best even cooking, choose your Brussels sprouts to be as uniform in size as possible.
- fennel bulb – You will be using the actual fennel bulb, not the seeds that you by in the herbs and spices section.
- shallots – I love shallots best for their flavor, but you could sub in red onion.
- oil – I prefer robust flavored olive oil.
- white miso paste
- dried thyme
- coconut milk – I use lite coconut milk in this recipe.
- chopped hazelnuts
- panko bread crumbs – Not all bread crumbs are vegan. Read your ingredients label.
- nutritional yeast
- lemon pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- You’ll also need a 6 quart (or larger) pressure cooker like the Instant Pot
How to make Instant Pot Brussels spouts creamy and flavorful:
Start out by prepping the Brussels sprouts, fennel bulb, and shallots.
The Brussels sprouts:
Try to choose the Brussels sprouts as uniform in size as possible. You will want to choose medium-sized sprouts for the best results.
Wash the sprouts and discard any browned or damaged outer leaves. Trim the stem end off then cut it in half. In the process of trimming and cutting, you are going to have a lot of loose leaves. As long as they are not damaged keep them and cook them along with the halved Brussels Sprouts in the pressure cooker.
I only recently learned about cooking with a fennel bulb. When I see fennel as a recipe ingredient, I think about the small seeds that are slightly sweet and go great in sausage-flavored dishes (like my amazing Sausage Tofu Crumbles)!
The seeds actually come from a fully edible fennel plant. You may have seen it in the grocery store and wondered what it was.
Did you know that you can cook with fennel seeds, bulbs, and fronds? Learn more about cooking with fennel in this very informative post by Love and Lemons
For this recipe, we will be cutting off the stems and fronds and only using the bulb end.
Cut the end piece off too. Next, cut the bulb in half and then into strips. Finnish by chopping about the same size as you would a chopped onion.
One average-sized fennel bulb yields about one cup chopped.
I have been asked before if another onion can be subbed in for a shallot in my recipes. Sometimes it honestly doesn’t matter. For this recipe, a shallot is best. If you absolutely can’t find a shallot then sub in red onion.
Start by taking the paper off the shallots. (This is the step that people hate most. Sorry.)
Then cut the end off. Cut into strips and then line up and chop. You will get about 2/3 cup chopped shallot out of two whole shallots.
Sauteing the shallot and fennel in the Instant Pot:
Before you add the Brussels sprouts and coconut milk, you need to get the other vegetables softened up by sauteing them first. Luckily the Instant Pot has a saute function built right in!
Plug in the Instant Pot and select the saute function. If your pressure cooker doesn’t have a saute function, then saute separately in a saute pan ahead of time.
Add the oil and miso paste. While the oil is heating up, with a wooden spoon or spatula, mash and stir the miso paste to break it up.
Add the onions and shallots and continue to stir around for about three minutes. You only need to saute long enough so that they start to soften. They will continue cooking when the Instant Pot comes to pressure.
An important warning about burn!
As you are sauteing the fennel and shallots, scrape against the bottom of the pot with your wooden spatula and watch carefully so that it doesn’t burn!
If the pot is burned or even brown on the bottom then it might not come to pressure. If that happens, it’s best to remove the vegetables to a bowl and clean the bottom of the Instant Pot before continuing.
Adding the thyme, Brussels sprouts, and coconut milk:
After the shallots and fennel have sauteed till just soft, turn off the saute function. Stir in the dried thyme and halved Brussels sprouts. Toss around a bit.
Then pour the coconut milk on top. You are ready to cook!
Pressure cooking the creamy Brussels sprouts:
You will need to follow your manufacturer’s directions. It seems that every year a new model of the Instant Pot comes out and yours may barely resemble mine at this point.
Close the lid and close the vent. Set your pot on high for two minutes.
It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure. After the Instant Pot comes to pressure and counts down the two minutes, do a quick release. Use a long handle to help you so that you don’t get burned!
It will take another few minutes to fully release the pressure before you can open the Instant Pot.
Making the crumb filling:
After the Brussels sprouts fully cook, you will be stirring in a crumb filling. Make this while the pot is coming to pressure and cooking.
The toasted hazelnuts:
I buy my hazelnuts in a handy one-half-cup bag pre-chopped. If your’s aren’t chopped then quickly do that now.
Heat a saute pan on high. Put the chopped hazelnuts into the heated pan and stir around for a couple of minutes until they are nicely toasted.
Watch carefully so that they don’t burn. You only need to turn away for a second for that to happen! If you do burn the hazelnuts and don’t have any other, just toss and don’t use. Burned hazelnuts will ruin the taste of this dish.
The breadcrumb mixture:
Use panko breadcrumbs for this dish. They are nice, firm, and dry and will absorb the extra liquid from the coconut milk. If you are vegan or allergic to dairy, do check the ingredients. I’ve seen some panko bread crumbs with dairy listed as an ingredient.
Stir together half of the toasted hazelnuts, the panko breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and lemon pepper.
A word about the lemon pepper:
Please don’t leave the lemon pepper out just because you’ve never used it before! I cannot tell you how many times this happens with my recipes and then people aren’t as happy with the end results. Lemon pepper is such a versatile little seasoning! Sprinkle on veggies, in soups, and on salad.
I include lemon pepper for a reason – I’ve tested my recipes and they work best with lemon pepper. You can find it with the seasonings in most grocery stores, or if you can’t, then find it on Amazon. My favorite brand is Penzey’s Spices which you can find on Amazon or on their website.
Finishing this most delicious creamy Brussels sprouts side dish:
Toss the crumb mixture in with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Scoop out into a serving dish and top with the rest of the toasted chopped hazelnuts. If you want to be fancy, you can garnish your finished Brussels Sprouts dish with a bit of fresh thyme.
Leftovers will keep for about five days in the fridge tightly covered. You can reheat it for a minute or two in the microwave. You might need to recharge with a little plant milk or veggie broth if it has gone too thick and dry.
Can I tell you that I just ate mine cold today for breakfast? Right out of the container? Don’t judge me!
And now for the printable recipe card:
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Creamy Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)
- Pressure Cooker
- 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 2 shallots chopped – about ⅔ cup
- 1 fennel bulb chopped – about 1 cup
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- 1 Tablespoon white miso paste
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 13.5 ounce lite coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts divided – ¼ cup for crumb filling and ¼ for topping
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- Wash the Brussels sprouts, trim the ends, discard damaged outer leaves (keeping the good loose ones ), and cut in half lengthwise.
- Peel the papery skin from the shallots, and chop.
- Cut the feathery stems from the fennel plant and discard, leaving only the bulb. Cut the end off the other side and discard. Cut the bulb in half, then strips, and finally chop into pieces about the same size as the shallot.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute, add in the oil and white miso paste. Mash around a little to start breaking up the miso as the oil is heating. Add the chopped shallots and saute for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. This will just give them a headstart because the actual cooking/pressure time is very short. Watch that the bottom doesn't burn or stick as it won't come to pressure with a burned bottom.
- Turn off the saute function and stir in the dried thyme.
- Add the washed, trimmed, and halved Brussels Sprouts and toss around a bit.
- Pour the lite coconut milk on top.
- Following the manufacturer's directions, close the lid to the Instant pot and the vent. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 2 minutes.
- It will take about ten minutes to come to pressure. After it comes to pressure and counts down for 2 minutes, carefulluy do a quick release.
- While the Brussels sprouts are coming to pressure and cooking, chop the hazelnuts if not already chopped.
- Put the chopped hazelnuts into a hot dry saute pan and toast for a couple of minutes. Don't toast too long as they could quickly burn. Please don't use them if they have burned. It's better to leave them out.
- Combine ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, panko breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and lemon pepper together and toss well. (You will be reserving the remaining ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts for sprinkling on top of the finished recipe.)
- After you have opened the lid to the Instant pot, toss in the nut/breadcrumb mixture. Gently fold together.
- Taste and add in a little salt and pepper if desired.
- Plate and serve. Top with remaining toasted hazelnuts.