Let your imagination run wild with these top 10 Instant Pot meal recipes
If you have been following my blog, you probably remember my post a few months back about how to be a more productive blogger. Well to be true to what I have said, I have finally come up with my regular feature post.
And I have made a promise to myself that it’s time to implement it this year. Today being Monday, I am finally doing my first “List Monday” post. I would try to do one every week, but like I have also mentioned in that post, never put to a pressure on yourself. To end perfectionism of any form.
So let’s get going here. Most of you have heard about instant pots, those miraculous ‘chefs’ in the kitchen with so much convenience packed into them; it no wonder they sell like hot cakes!
With the winter weather in full swing, most of us or maybe just me, make use of our slow cooker to its full advantage. It’s because the winter blues and laziness kicks in, most work nights in our house.
Even though pressure cookers have been around for a long time, this slow-cooker, pressure cooker, among other things, yogurt maker, comes with many more options – you just have to do your research to find the right one for you that suits your needs before you buy.
Some have slow cooker functions that is a must have for me, whilst others don’t; some have non-stick bases for easy cleaning and are made from aluminum whilst others are stainless steel. And naturally, all the different features change the price as well.
As the instant post is self-regulating, you decide whether you want to have a quick dinner or whether you want your dinner slowly cooking until you get home. That’s it, the instant pot adjusts; it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is because they have sensors that self-regulate the pressure and temperature.
That means if you dunked a large piece of meat into your pot, you can still expect a tender juicy result; in fact in a mere 40-90 minutes. Bottom line is, you can cook practically anything in your instant pot.
Well, I’m not here to discuss the instant pot’s feature in depth, I’m sure you are already well informed. But looking for recipes is always a necessity. It’s always good to have choices when you think of dinner-time quick meals.
Here are my go to top 10 instant pot meal recipes and see if you aren’t tempted to get your own instant pot!
ONE: Healthy Chicken & White Bean Soup
Cooking time: just 25 minutes
- Warmed chicken broth, 4 cups
- Chicken thighs 1-¾ lbs. chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
- 4 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Onion, diced finely
- 30 oz. of white northern beans (2 cans, rinsed and drained)
- 4 oz. green chilies, diced (1 can undrained)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- Sour cream to garnish with (optional)
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Add all the ingredients to your instant pot, stirring to combine everything.
- Then secure the lid and make sure vent is closed.
- Select Manual or Pressure Cook function. Use the + or – sign to program your pot for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow your pressure cooker to naturally release for 5 minutes, and then quickly release the pressure remaining.
- Remove chicken from pot to a cutting board and shred it.
- Use a fork or one of those immersion blenders to break up around half of the beans.
- Return the chicken to the pot, stirring to combine and then serving hot, garnished with the sour cream and chopped up cilantro.
Doesn’t that sound delicious?!
TWO: Instant Pot Creamy Vegan Pasta
Cooking time: just 4 minutes
- 3 cups of Homemade Vegetable Broth
- ½ tsp. basil
- 1 can (15 oz.) of full-fat coconut milk
- 1½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. parsley
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. chopped up onion
- ½ tsp. oregano
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (but only if you like spicy things, otherwise leave it out)
- 8oz chickpea pasta shells
- 2 cups frozen Mixed Vegetables (such as peas, corn, green beans)
- 2 cups spinach (you decide – optional)
- Add all of the ingredients to your instant pot.
- Put the lid on, making sure the vent valve shows that it is sealed.
- Put the display panel to Manual/Pressure Cook and use the plus-minus (+/-) sign to set your pot for 4 minutes.
- After the time is up, open the vent valve so that the pressure is released quickly.
- Remove the liner and allow the pasta to cool off – the noodles will absorb more water, becoming thicker, like gravy.
Most of us know about the very well-known doctor, Dr. Josh Axe; doctor of natural medicine, a qualified chiropractor as well as a clinical nutritionist. Use your instant pot to make his delicious chicken broth, one of the top most anti-aging foods you can take, doing wonders for your health. Here it is!
THREE: Chicken Bone Broth recipe (fit for a king!)
Cooking time: 48 hours
- 4 pounds chicken wings or necks
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 medium-sized onions, keep the peel on, slice in half lengthwise and then quarter
- 4 garlic cloves, leave the peel on, chop or grind up
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns, whole
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 5–6 sprigs of parsley
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 18–20 cups of cold water
- Place all the ingredients in a 10-quart instant pot.
- Add in the water.
- Simmer for around 24–48 hours, skimming off the fat occasionally.
- Then remove from the heat, allowing cooling.
- Discard the solid pieces and then strain through a colander into a bowl, allowing cooling down to room temperature. Cover and chill, using within the week. You can also freeze this for up to about 3 months.
Bone broth is probably one of the most healing foods to consume, packed with nutrients like collagen, glycine, and gelatin, it is known to protect and heal the gut lining, improve your skin health and improve your joint function.
FOUR: Instant Pot Baked Spaghetti
Cooking time: just 10 minutes
- 1 pound of ground beef, drained & browned
- 1 cup chopped up onion
- 1 can (28 oz.) cut up tomatoes
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 8 oz. sliced up fresh mushrooms
- 1 box spaghetti (12oz.) broken in half
- 1 can cream mushroom soup (10 oz.)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup cheese, Parmesan
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Turn your instant pot to the Sauté mode to brown the beef, adding the onion and chopped bell paper. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add all the other ingredients except the cheese, closing the lid. Make sure the valve is set to Sealed and turn to Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes
- Next, do a quick release, stirring the cheese into the spaghetti. Serve.
FIVE: Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 2 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp pepper and salt
- 2 carrots, sliced
- ¼ onion, diced
- 48 oz. chicken broth
- ¼ tsp basil
- 2 cups uncooked noodles
- ¼ tsp oregano
- Add chicken breasts and olive oil to the pot.
- Pressure cook for 10 minutes. Quick release.
- Turn pot off, adding chicken broth, celery, carrots, onion, spices, and uncooked noodles.
- Put the lid on; close the valve, setting to Manual High Pressure for 4 minutes.
- Use the natural release when done; carefully lifting lid after steam has been released.
SIX: Quick Leftover Chicken Pizza
Cooking time: 22 minutes
- 4 pieces frozen leftover chicken, cooked –any chicken is fine
- ¾ cup buffalo sauce
- 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ white onion, chopped
- Spread buffalo sauce inside the instant pot. Place chicken over wet sauce, setting pressure cooker onto High for 10 minutes
- While the chicken is cooking, heat your oven to 350F, laying the pizza dough on the pan.
- Quick release, and shred chicken, spreading evenly over dough.
- Sprinkle cheese and onion over spread chicken and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes (until dough is crisp and browned).
The next few recipes are really quick, go-to recipes, none require precise measurements and nearly impossible to mess up.
SEVEN: Soy Sauce Chicken
Serves around 4-6
Cooking time: around 25 minutes
Rinse a whole chicken, inside and outside, patting dry. Add 2 Tablespoons of your favorite oil, brewing the chicken on all sides on Sauté. Then add 4 whole cloves garlic, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole star anise, and 2 inches of sliced ginger, ½ cup soy sauce, 4 cups water, and ½ cup brown sugar. Put to Manual High Pressure for 25 minutes. Quick release pressure. Serve with delicious rice and some vegetables for a wholesome meal.
EIGHT: Chicken and Vegetables
Serves around 4
Cooking time: around 10 minutes
Add to your pot, or Sauté around 4 cups vegetables cut into chunks, adding in a drizzle of cooking oil, pepper and salt. Good veggies can be carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, garlic, and mushrooms –all good options. Then layer around 4 pounds of chicken parts such as legs, thighs, quarters, breasts (with or without bones), adding some more salt and pepper to each layer. Add some herbs and a bay leaf for lovely flavor. Set to Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes (only 15 minutes if using boneless chicken). Then natural release until the lid opens on its own (± 20 minutes). Garnish with some chopped parsley
Variation: Instant Pot Coq Au Vin: Make the main recipe, just adding around 4 slices of bacon, chopped into your sauté mix. Add some glugs of red wine, following the same pressure instructions.
NINE: Tomato Soup
Serves approx. 2 people
Cooking time: around 12 minutes
Simply sauté about 6 cloves of crushed up garlic and a roughly chopped up onion in a couple tablespoons of cooking oil. Add a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, liquidizing them. Add some oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes. Quick or natural release. Then blend with an immersion blender until it is silky smooth.
TEN: Beef Stew
Serves approx. 4 people
Cooking time: around 35 minutes
- 2 lbs. beef, chuck roast, trim off fat, cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced in thick pieces
- 6 carrots, sliced in thick pieces
- ½ cup tomato juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Place everything in your instant pot. Choose the stew/meat setting; 35 minutes at High Pressure. After it’s done, let it stand for a further 10 minutes before using the quick release. The beef stew is done at this point, but it is recommended placing it in a casserole or other serving dish and finishing up for a quick browning in the oven, say for around 10-20 minutes in a hot oven (400-F.), uncovered. This gets the meat nice and caramelized on top, also helping to thicken the gravy.
Valentine’s Day sorted!
People today are obsessed with the instant pot because, instead of buying a whole lot of appliances, you’ve got them all in the instant pot. And guess what – it has also become a winemaker!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, here is your chance to follow this recipe, start soon, because you need about 10 days to do it. Here is the recipe I found for you and your loved one to enjoy!!! The specific flavor of the wine will depend a lot on the type of grape juice you use. It might not win the top wine making awards, but it has been reported to taste a whole lot better than some of the cheap wines around.
Obviously, people are saying, wow, if you can make wine in the instant pot, what else is possible! But to answer that, it’s the reason it has become such a sought after appliance. But hey, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without chocolate, right? So to end off with, try this delectable chocolate cake I stumbled that deservedly belongs to special events where you want to make an impression – a real winner!
I hope you will find this post useful in your quest for an easy week night dinner meal or any day of the week. Maybe you can come up with your own top 10 instant pot meal recipes. If you already have, maybe you can share it here!
This single appliance, the instant pot, has made cooking to be so much faster and more convenient for us, and everybody wants to use it. It’s lovely to be able to cook your breakfast oats in a fraction of the time compared to on the stove, or extra rice for your stir fry in just minutes.
Anyone who buys an instant pot might be a bit skeptical about it in the beginning, but when you’ve really used it to make some of the above recipes – a few months down the line you will understand all the praises you have read about it in the reviews.
As a matter of fact, we have used it to steam vegetables and shrimp and as a rice cooker first. Maybe a good one month, before we felt a bit comfortable trying the above recipes. And you will realize that your secret ingredient to all your meals being successful was simply that 1 teaspoonful of love! Bon Appetit!
Go get cooking!