Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf

Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf Feature


A Delicious Journey into the Ancient Grain Emmer


We are thrilled to partner with renowned food writer and recipe developer, Becky Striepe, to bring you this incredible Emmer Pilaf recipe. At, we are passionate about promoting the goodness of ancient grains and helping people discover the wonders of cooking with these nutritious ingredients. With this recipe, we will take you on a culinary adventure while showcasing the health benefits of Emmer, a remarkable ancient grain.


What makes this recipe even more exciting is the use of an Instant Pot. While we understand that not everyone may have an Instant Pot on hand, fear not! This recipe can also be prepared using a regular pressure cooker, allowing you to enjoy the delectable flavors and health benefits regardless of your kitchen equipment.


We want to make ancient grains approachable and accessible, and through this partnership with Becky Striepe, we are able to share our passion for these remarkable ingredients. Becky’s expertise and creativity have resulted in a flavorful, wholesome, and easy-to-follow recipe that will make your taste buds dance with delight.


So, whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary journey, this Emmer Pilaf recipe is sure to impress. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the wonders of Emmer and explore more exciting ways to incorporate ancient grains into your daily meals.


Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf Ingredients


Start with Healthy Ingredients


Starting with healthy ingredients is important because it forms the foundation of a nutritious and wholesome meal. By using high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients like 100% Organic Emmer Berries, fresh vegetables, and flavorful herbs, we can create dishes that not only satisfy our taste buds but also support our overall well-being.

  • Olive oil: Used to toast the Emmer and sauté the vegetables, the olive oil adds a rich and toasty flavor to the dish.
  • Organic Emmer Berries: This ancient grain serves as the base ingredient for our pilaf, providing a hearty and nutritious element to the dish.
  • Vegetable broth: The vegetable broth is used to cook the Emmer, infusing it with savory flavors and ensuring a deliciously moist and flavorful pilaf.
  • Veggies: Vegetables like onion, garlic, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms play a vital role in our pilaf, bringing a medley of flavors and delightful textures.
  • Salt: Used for seasoning, salt helps to enhance the flavors of the vegetables and the overall taste of the pilaf.
  • Fresh parsley: Adding a handful of fresh parsley brings a burst of freshness and herbaceous flavor to the pilaf, elevating its taste profile.
  • Pistachios: These crunchy nuts contribute a delightful texture and a subtle nuttiness to the pilaf.
  • Green onion: Green onion adds a mild onion flavor and a touch of freshness, bringing additional depth to the pilaf.
  • Lemon juice: A small amount of lemon juice is used to add a bright and tangy element to the pilaf, accentuating the flavors of the other ingredients and providing a refreshing finish to the dish.


Cooking Your Emmer Pilaf



The first step is to remember to soak the Organic Emmer Berries over night, or plan to do a quick soak.  Once the Organic Emmer has been properly soaked, it’s time to begin the cooking process. After draining the soaked Emmer, toast the Emmer in the oil, allowing it to develop a rich, nutty flavor. The toasting step enhances the overall taste of the pilaf. With the Emmer nicely toasted, it’s time to add the vegetable broth to the Instant Pot and cook it at pressure. Cooking the Emmer in broth will infuse it with savory notes as it cooks, resulting in a deliciously moist and flavorful pilaf. Allow the Instant Pot to do its magic, cooking the Emmer to a perfect tender consistency.


Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf Cooking Emmer


While the Organic Emmer is cooking in the Instant Pot you have time to prep and cook the vegetables. After the veggies and Emmer are done, add the cooked Emmer, pistachios, fresh parsley, and green onion to the sautéed vegetables. Toss with lemon juice for added flavor and you are done! You might want to taste your Emmer Pilaf before serving and add salt or more lemon juice if needed.


Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf Cooking Veggies


Helpful Tips


  • Don’t Forget to Soak the Emmer: Don’t skip this step. It doesn’t take a lot of time to throw the Organic Emmer in water and leave it on the counter. It just takes planning ahead. This step helps to soften the grains and reduce the cooking time.
  • Time-Saving Tip: To streamline the cooking process, start cooking the Emmer in the Instant Pot first. While the Emmer is cooking under pressure, take this time to prep and cook the vegetables separately. This way, you can make the most of your time in the kitchen and ensure that all components of the pilaf come together seamlessly.
  • Adjust Seasoning to Taste: Before serving the Emmer Pilaf, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Feel free to add more salt, herbs, or lemon juice according to your personal preference. Seasoning is key to enhancing the flavors of the dish and making it truly delicious.
  • Store and Reheat Leftovers: If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The pilaf can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little bit of water or broth to moisten it. Enjoy the leftovers within 3 – 5 days for optimal freshness.


Serving Suggestions


    • Enjoy as a Standalone Dish: Emmer pilaf can be savored as a satisfying main course on its own. Serve it in bowls or on plates, and garnish with fresh herbs for an appealing presentation. It’s a nourishing and flavorful option for a wholesome meal.
    • Pair with a Protein: To make it a well-rounded meal, serve the Emmer pilaf alongside your favorite protein. Grilled chicken, roasted salmon, or marinated tofu can complement the nutty flavors of the pilaf and provide a balanced combination of flavors and textures.
    • Serve as a Side Dish: Emmer pilaf makes a delightful accompaniment to various main dishes. Its hearty texture and aromatic taste will bring an extra dimension to your meal.
    • Serve at Potlucks or Gatherings: Emmer pilaf can be a standout dish at potluck parties or family gatherings. It offers a unique twist on traditional grain dishes and is sure to impress your guests with its wholesome ingredients and delightful flavors.


Emmer is Also Known as Farro


In the world of ancient grains, farro encompasses three ancient wheat species, including Emmer, Einkorn, and Spelt. Each of these grains has its own unique characteristics and culinary applications while sharing a common thread of rich history and nutritional benefits. If someone is referring to a grain as “Farro” they are probably talking about Emmer.


Emmer Farro in Paper Bag


If you need to make a substitution for Emmer you can use the other Farro grains (Einkorn and Spelt) in its place, as well as another ancient grain called Khorasan. Each of these grains brings its own distinct flavor and texture, offering a slightly different taste experience. We offer all of these ancient grains for you to purchase right here at Grand Teton Ancient Grains!


To learn more about the fascinating world of farro and explore its unique characteristics, you can read our detailed article: What is Farro?


Does Emmer Contain Gluten?


It is important to note that Organic Emmer contains gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and other related grains. Individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease should exercise caution and opt for gluten-free alternatives when necessary. However, for those who can tolerate gluten, Emmer can be enjoyed as a nutritious and flavorful grain option in various culinary creations.


Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf


Our Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf recipe celebrates the remarkable qualities of this ancient grain, Emmer. With its rich history and distinct nutty flavor, Emmer adds a unique and wholesome element to our culinary creations. We are thrilled to have partnered with Becky Striepe on this recipe, and we look forward to collaborating with her on more delicious creations in the future. If you’re ready to experience the goodness of Emmer for yourself, you can order your Emmer from our small family farm, Grand Teton Ancient Grains. By supporting sustainable farming practices, we ensure that the Emmer you get from us is of the highest quality and always 100% organic. Join us on this culinary journey and discover the wonders of Emmer, a grain that nourishes both body and soul.


Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf

Veggie-packed Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf is a satisfying side dish or entree. Learn all about Emmer and get this delicious pilaf recipe at!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Emmer, InstantPot, Pilaf, Vegan


  • Instant Pot or other pressure cooker


For the Emmer

  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Organic Emmer Berries Soaked and drained (overnight soak or quick soak)
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Broth or No-Chicken broth

For the Veggies

  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Minced Onion
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 8 Oz Sliced Mushrooms We use Shiitake but you can use button, Cremini, or any kind
  • ½ tsp Salt

For Finishing

  • ¼ Cup Minced Fresh Parsley
  • ½ Cup Pistachios Or slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice


Cook the Emmer

  • Press your pot's Sauté button, and add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pot. When the oil is hot, add the Emmer and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes to toast it. Add the broth, and stir to combine.
  • Lock the lid, and cook at pressure for 20 minutes with a 10-minute natural release. After 10 minutes, release the pressure manually, and open the lid. Drain off any excess liquid, and transfer the Emmer to a mixing bowl or serving bowl.

Cook the veggies while the Emmer cooks

  • Meanwhile, heat the other teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add all of the veggies and sprinkle on the salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion turns translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes. You can add splashes of water to the pan, as needed, if things start sticking.
  • Transfer the veggies to your mixing or serving bowl with the Emmer. If the Emmer isn't ready yet, that's fine. Just add the veggies to the bowl now, and mix in the Emmer when it's ready.

Assemble the pilaf

  • Stir the parsley, pistachios, green onion, and lemon juice into the Emmer-veggie mixture. Taste and add salt and more lemon juice, if needed.


To quick soak your Organic Emmer, put it into a pot with enough water to cover it with about an inch of headroom. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let the Emmer soak in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain and use.
Leftovers will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can warm up leftover pilaf in the microwave or serve it cold, like a grain salad.
You can substitute other farro grains (Spelt or Einkorn) for the Emmer.  You can also use Khorasan.  We sell all of these right here at!


Please let us know how your Instant Pot Emmer Pilaf turned out and share your feedback with us in the comments below.


If you love this recipe then you might also want to try these other recipes:


Remember to share your Ancient Grains creations with us on social media using the hashtag #AncientGrainsRecipes and #GrandTetonAncientGrains. We can’t wait to see your culinary eye candy as you capture and share the beauty of your nutritious creations.

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