#TryItTuesday: Instant Pot, Instant What?
A hot item for Christmas this past year was the Instant Pot and similar all-in-one cookers.
Did you get one?
When I first heard of the Instant Pot, my biggest concern was that I’d invest in this new kitchen gadget, and it would sit on the counter ... or in the cupboard. And eventually, make its way to a garage sale or thrift store.
When it came time for meal prep often the hardest ingredient to find during our busy work weeks was time. That’s why the Instant Pot quickly became my favorite kitchen appliance. I continue to use it three to five times a week, even after owning my pot for over a year.
The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that can speed cooking times by two to six times using about 70 percent less energy. It is a multi-functional cooker including a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning pot, yogurt maker, steamer and warmer.
We’ve all been there. We come home from work and forgot to set something out for supper. This is where our Instant Pot becomes a magical machine.
From frozen chicken breast to frozen beef roast, the Instant Pot makes cooking a healthy dinner at home almost easier than going through drive through.
Among my favorite features is pressure cooking...I love to set it and forget it! Often, I’ll peel and cut up sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes), place them in the wire mesh basket, add 1 cup of water, set the Instant Pot on manual for 12 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of potatoes) at high pressure. Biggest bonus: if we get busy and miss the time, we don’t have to worry. Once the potatoes are finished cooking, the pot automatically goes to the warm setting. (This is such a great feature especially on those nights when something unexpected comes up.)
Here are a few of our favorite (and super easy) Instant Pot recipes:
Meatloaf and Potatoes All in One!
- 10-12 small to medium red potatoes
- 1 ½ cup water (or chicken broth)
- Place potatoes and water in instant pot.
- Next place a wire rack/or trivet.
- With some nonstick aluminum foil, make a bowl to fit the Instant Pot.
- Mix up meatloaf. (Your favorite meatloaf recipe should work, or here is one that we love.)
- 1 pound ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 1 cup crushed croutons
- ½ cup chopped onions
- ¾ cup tomato juice or tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg
- Mix ingredients together and form into a loaf in the aluminum foil bowl.
- Place aluminum bowl with meatloaf on top of the wire rack/or trivet.
- Cover and secure the lid and press the manual button. Set the timer for 20 minutes on high pressure. The valve should be set to sealing.
- When the timer goes off, do a quick release by moving the valved to venting.
- Open the lid and lift the foil and place on a pan. Baste the top of the meatloaf with barbeque sauce or ketchup and place under the broiler in your oven for 2 minutes.
- Remove and drain potatoes.
Note: You can either eat the potatoes as is with choice of toppings, or make mashed potatoes by adding 3 tablespoons butter and ¼ cup milk to potatoes. Mash and enjoy.
Chicken Noodle Soup
This recipe is one of our absolute favorites. Just be warned, once we started making this chicken noodle soup, we seldom can eat soup from a can.
- 3 to 4 chicken breasts, cubed
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ onion, diced
- 3 ribs of celery, sliced
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 to 2 ½ cups uncooked noodles (extra wide works best)
- 7 cups chicken broth (We use 7 cups of water mixed with 7 teaspoons of chicken base.)
- Turn pressure cooker on saute.
- Melt butter (or add oil) in pressure cooker (saute section)
- Add cubed chicken, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, thyme, salt, and pepper. Saute for a few minutes until chicken is browned.
- Turn off saute.
- Add noodles and broth.
- Close lid and turn pressure cooker on and cook for 7 to 9 minutes on high.
- Once finished, use quick release.
- Serve and enjoy.
- 4 to 6 red potatoes. (Cut into chunks, peeled or unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic OR ¼ to 1/2 chopped onion
- 1 cup water or broth
- Seasoning of choice, our favorites, like smoked paprika, ground pepper, salt and rosemary are fine - or try your favorites.
- Turn Instant Pot on saute. Add olive oil, potatoes and seasonings.
- Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring as needed.
- Remove potatoes and place in a wire basket.
- Place basket and potatoes back in Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water or chicken/beef broth.
- Close and seal lid. Use manual setting and set time for 12 minutes on high pressure.
- Once done cooking you can use quick release and enjoy.
Note: On occasion, I’ve lost track of time and natural release happened, and our potatoes turned out fine. We like to make extras of this side dish as it warms up great for a second meal.