Finally get that Instant Pot you’ve heard everyone raving about? Or want to get one but are afraid you’ll never use it? Here are some of our favorite simple recipes that will help make cooking the easiest thing you’ve ever done! (Seriously – 6 minute spaghetti?!)
We got our Instant Pot several months ago when it went on sale, and it was one of the best decisions that we’ve ever made! Mrs. Crazy really hates cooking, so anything that decreases the amount of work is a necessary addition to our kitchen! It took us a little while to get used to it, but we’ve finally got it down! Here are some of our favorite ways to use our Instant Pot:
Note: when we say “Manual” we are talking about high pressure (in case you have a different brand pressure cooker).
Now, this has probably never happened in your house, but one of the most difficult things about having a Monthly Meal Plan is remembering to take the chicken out of the freezer to defrost. Luckily, the Instant Pot is awesome at this! No matter what recipe you are making, if it calls for chicken (whole breast, shredded, etc.) then the Instant Pot is your best friend! Just put in a cup of water, throw in a few frozen chicken breasts, and set on “Manual” for 10 minutes. Voila! Perfectly cooked chicken that you can use as a whole breast or to shred for tacos or casseroles.
- Add one cup of water
- Put in frozen chicken breasts
- “Manual” for 10 minutes
Need ideas for what to use the chicken for? Check out these cookbooks for chicken recipes:
This is a favorite meal at our house – spaghetti and meatballs. One of the biggest things Mrs. Crazy hates about pasta dishes is the time you spend cooking the pasta, stirring over a hot stove, and then cleaning said stove because the pot always boils over. But spaghetti in an Instant Pot is simple! Just put 1/2 cup of water on the bottom, then put in a bag of frozen meatballs. Add 16 oz of spaghetti noodles (we break ours in half and lay them flat) and top with a 24 oz jar of pasta sauce (like Ragu). Fill up the empty sauce jar with water, and add that to the pot. Stir everything around a little bit. Set on “Manual” for 6 minutes, and you can walk away!
- 1/2 cup water on the bottom
- Add a bag of frozen meatballs
- Layer 16 oz spaghetti noodles
- Top 24 oz pasta sauce
- Fill pasta sauce jar with water and add
- “Manual” for 6 minutes.
Want to jazz up your spaghetti with fun sauces and other additions? Here are some great recipes:
It’s so difficult to make hard-boiled eggs – they crack on the stove pot as they roll around in boiling water and make a mess! It’s also impossible to get them cooked at just the right time.
And there is that one extremely embarrassing time where I (Tiffany) put them on the stove and forgot about them. The water boiled away, and they literally ended up exploding all over the kitchen! (True story.)
But an Instant Pot makes things so much easier! Put a cup of water in the bottom and place eggs on the steamer rack. Cook at “Manual” for 5 minutes, then do a quick release and put eggs in cold water.
- 1 cup water
- Eggs on steamer rack
- “Manual” 5 minutes
Need some other ways to do hard-boiled eggs? Here are some ideas:
Wash, peel, and quarter 2.5 lbs of potatoes. Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and place potatoes on the steamer rack. Cook on “Manual” for 8 minutes, then do a quick release. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warmed milk and 2 Tbsp melted butter, then mash with a potato masher.
- 1 cup water
- 2.5 lbs of peeled/quartered potatoes on steamer rack
- “Manual” 8 minutes
- Put potatoes in separate bowl and add 1/2 cup warmed milk with 2 Tbsp melted butter
Need some frugal ways to cook with mashed potatoes? Here are some ideas:
Clean and prick 2.5 lbs potatoes. Put 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot, and place potatoes on the steamer rack. Cook on “Manual” for 10-12 minutes (depending on size of potatoes), then allow a slow release (which means don’t turn the vent to release the pressure at the end). If you want your potatoes to have a crispier skin, then you can brush them with oil/salt and cook for 10 minutes at 350* in the oven.
- 1 cup water in bottom
- 2.5 lbs cleaned/pricked potatoes on steamer rack
- “Manual” 10-12 minutes
Are you a potato lover? Here you go:
Mac & Cheese
We love homemade macaroni and cheese at our house, but making the sauce always was a bit of pain. Not anymore! Put 4 cups of water into the Instant Pot with a pound of elbow macaroni. (You may want to add a tablespoon or two of butter, but keep in mind that if you do a quick-release, the steam will be a bit messy.) Set to “Manual” for four minutes. After de-pressurizing, mix in 4 oz of cream cheese and 16 oz of shredded cheese (we like sharp cheddar, but you may want to experiment with different flavors.) Lastly, add in 1 cup of whole milk. Stir everything together until cheeses are melted. At this stage, we like to add in a bag of microwaved veggies.
- 4 cups water in pot
- Add 1 lb elbow macaroni noodles
- “Manual” 4 minutes
- Mix in 4 oz cream cheese, 16 oz shredded cheese, 1 cup milk
Need something different to try with this kid favorite? Here are some ideas:
An updated version of this post with more recipes that Tiffany wrote is on Saving Talents.