Insta Pot Recipes

What is an Instant Pot you may ask? Well, it’s a pressure cooker for those on a tight schedule. When I first got mine, I stared at it, uncertain what I could do with it. I debated whether I should get an oven or a crock pot instead. The Instant Pot takes half the time to cook things than an oven, and it does have a crock pot setting if you’re more used to that slow cooking process. Almost all of the recipes are less than 30 minutes to make with prep time. For Beginners like me though, who don’t know where to start with this new cooking toy, here are some recipes:

White Rice:

It may seem simple, but the Instant Pot is as good as any rice cooker. The rice comes out nice and fluffy and all you have to do is add the rice, then a cup and a half of water to each cup of rice. Pressure cook for ten minutes, placing the lid on sealed, then instantly releasing it once the timer goes off. Some recipes call to add a bit of oil, but this isn’t necessary and I haven’t been able to tell the difference when I’ve tried it with and without oil. The rice does tend to stick on the bottom of the pot though, but once you scrap the rice out of the pot, then let the stuff soak in water before washing the pot, it’ll come right off when cleaning. After making the rice, I usually fry some ham and an egg (leaving the yoke runny) and place them on top of the white rice for a very quick and easy meal. One cup of uncooked rice usually allows me about two to three bowls of cooked rice.

Chicken Burrito Bowl:

 Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken Burrito Bowls | Kitchn

A simple and easy Chicken Burrito Bowl, topped with cheese; photo courtesy of thekitchn.com

Whether you eat this out of a bowl with sour cream and cheese sprinkled over top, or you wrap it in a tortilla to make an actual burrito, it’s a great summer meal that’ll fill your taste buds. I have found multiple recipes for this, since rice is a staple in many instapot recipes, but none of them make more sense than this one. I would suggest adding another half a cup of water just to make the rice cook more evenly though. Some burrito bowl recipes call for the chicken to not be cut up before placed raw into the bed of rice, corn, black beans and green onions (which is what I put in instead of yellow onion), but I found that cutting up the chicken allows for meat that is just as tender - and you won’t have to dig around after it is cooked to cut the breasts of chicken into chunks afterwards. I do suggest also remembering to buy salsa, for I completely forgot and a jar of salsa would have been better mixed in. Lucky for me, my roommate was willing to share her salsa with me for my recipe, after the fact.

Stuffed Peppers:

instant pot stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers sitting in a soup of water and tomato juice, waiting to cook; Photo courtesy of easylivingtoday.com

These juicy peppers filled with ground beef, rice and diced tomatoes will pop in your mouth with each bite.They were simple to mix together and require very little prep work. I had some hamburgers that I wasn’t using in my freezer, so after cooking those up, I cut them up into pieces to use in the recipe, so I can’t say I actually measured out a pound of ground beef as the recipe said but it worked out in the end!. I only made two peppers, which was enough for two people. Moving from there, I mixed the uncooked rice, beef, and tomatoes into a bowl, along with the extra peppers from the lids of the ones that would be stuffed. I didn’t put in onions (I’m not a big fan if you haven’t picked up on that already). I also forgot to buy tomato sauce (oops), so I used pasta sauce instead. I don’t know if that’s the reason I had a hard time getting the rice inside of the peppers to cook as they steamed, but for those like me who can’t seem to cook properly to save their lives, I would suggest cooking the rice before stuffing them, or using white rice which takes less liquid to cook. Overall this recipe is not as easy as the one for the Burrito bowl above, but it’s still very good!  Another plus is that the recipe calls for making more than enough stuffing to fill the peppers, so you can have the extras on it’s own on the side.

Mac and Cheese:

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a creamy delicious macaroni and cheese recipe made in your electric pressure cooker. No need to drain this pressure cooker Mac and cheese, it is so easy! simplyhappyfoodie.com #instantpotpastarecipes #instantpotrecipes #instapot #instantpotmacandcheese #macaroniandcheese instapot recipes

Gooey and fresh mac and cheese for those who don’t want it boxed; photo courtesy of SimplyHappyFoodie.com

To be honest, boxed mac and cheese costs just as much as this recipe, but they take the same amount of time and this will allow you to use real cheese. Cooking the pasta in the Instant Pot takes four minutes, then you’ll just melt the cheese into the hot pasta and add butter. I didn’t use parmesan cheese, because it’s honestly the most expensive of the cheeses and it didn’t seem to affect the quality of the mac and cheese - so feel free to use whatever cheese you have on hand. I would suggest draining the pasta quite a bit before adding the cheese and milk (I used regular skim milk because why would I ever truly follow instructions exactly on a recipe?), especially if you don’t want a lot of butter in your pasta. You will want some of the water/butter mixer left over so it can soak it into the pasta a bit as the cheese sets in. As for he milk in there, you can drain it as much as you wish from the pot. I cooked the full quantity of pasta, only realizing afterwards that it’s meant for a family of six (my roommate did find me casually eating straight from the pot, mining through the vat of cheesiness) so I could have fit a lot more pasta in there. So, this as a lesson: follow your pasta eating dreams, make as little or as much pasta as you want!  

Overall, I would say that the Instant Pot is fun to use and fairly easy for those who don’t have enough time to use a stove. Would I say it’s a necessity in the kitchen? No, I could live without it, but how else am I supposed to make copious amounts of rice and pasta? With a regular pot? I don’t think so! Whether you have an Instant Pot or a stove, I suggest that you try out these recipes your own, and don’t be afraid to fail. Cooking is more about your own tastes and preferences than following strict instructions anyway. Just have fun!