NOTE: I am not getting paid by Instant Pot (or Amazon), nor do I have any other reason for this post other than to make it quicker and easier for you to cook healthy food at home. I work long hours, and sometimes I lack the energy / time to cook a traditional dinner. The Instant Pot ensures we eat out less, which saves us both cash and calories.
An Instant Pot is a digital pressure cooker. It’s well engineered to be safe and simple to use, unlike the terrifying stove pressure cooker my Mom used to make jelly when I was a kid. There are a few other brands out there that make similar machines, and if you have one of those you can use these same recipes with minimal changes in fluid amount and times.
The IP can:
- Make hard boiled eggs that peel like a dream, even when fresh.
- Make bone broth / stock in an 90 minutes, not a day and half!
- Make yogurt (some models have a specific button, others require more attention)
- Make rice perfectly
- Steam perfect veggies (just set it for 0 minutes!)
- Cook tender roasts in 1.5 hours or less
- Saute in the pot to reduce your dishwashing load
- Caramelize onions in half an hour (make a bunch and freeze some for later!)
Here’s a handy Cheat Sheet with cooking times for most foods.
My crockpot is now living in the garage, waiting for a party (keeping stuff warm). I’ll probably just give it away at some point (EDIT: yup, I did).
The FIRST thing I ever cooked (I’m a rebel… I never did the “water test”) was this Pork Ribs Adobo recipe, and it was SO GOOD it went straight into my personal cookbook.
I made instant pot french dip au jus for a bunch of people at a party – that was a huge hit (did it again in a hotel room, using slider buns, for a potluck party).
I made a superb split pea hambone soup in a hotel room (great way to save money and eat better while traveling).
I got home one night at 6:30, and people I didn’t need to feed were coming over at 7. I threw a halved acorn squash (smeared with a little butter and a teeny splash of maple syrup) on the IP’s trivet, and added a cup of water. Set it for 5 minutes of cook time on high, and I was literally eating at 6:50. It was amazing. The best part: Once cooked, I just turned the squash upside down and tapped it… the fruit fell off the peel!
Same with halved sweet potato (and a cup of water – remember the Instant Pot works on steam) in the IP for 10 min on high, 15 min NPR – the skin literally lifted off with two fingers. I added butter, allspice, nutmeg, and a hint of cocoa powder… DIVINE on a wintery morning! You can also go savory, and do thyme, rosemary, etc.
You can prep and store things ahead, since you can put FROZEN ingredients into the Instant Pot and it’ll cook them like a champ. I invested in some round (that way the rigid contents fit in the IP) heavy duty storage tubs with lids, and I use a grease pencil to identify their contents.
Here are some great websites to get you going. Note that a lot of these recipes contain Nightshades. Avoid those (or substitute) if you are NS-sensitive or currently in pain from an injury:
Facebook Instant Pot Community
A bunch more recipes from Amy + Jacky
I’m sure I’ll be updating this post frequently. Feel free to send me your favorite non-Nightshade IP recipe!
BTW – with an IP and a cooler, you can eat well all weekend long at a hotel without touching the hotel restaurant or fast food! So much cheaper, quicker, and healthier! It even took on some of the duties of the non-existent microwave, and heated up ravioli and pesto sauce!
Jan 2018: My newest not-so-secret weapon is this strainer, which makes for easy handling of hardboiled eggs and veggies (set for 0 minutes!). But it really shines when it comes to stock. I put all the bones, veg, bay leaves, etc in here. Then when the timer beeps, I can pull this out with all the solids, put it in the sink to cool, and the broth is waiting in the IP ready to become dinner.