I was on the fence about getting an Instant Pot for several years and finally decided to take the plunge on an Amazon Prime Day when three separate bloggers emailed me screaming that they were on sale and a must buy that. I happened to have been on a flight to Seattle at the time, but I still used the magic of in-flight wi-fi to place the order (I blame the altitude for my impulsivity).
It was at my house before I got home and then it sat in the closet for months because I wasn’t sure how to get started. Once I finally broke the seal though, I was completely addicted. I’ve never been much of a crockpot person because I don’t typically prep my food eight hours before I want to eat it and somehow it all tastes the same to me, but an Instant Pot somehow is completely different.
The food tastes better for starters. It does more than a crock pot in 25 percent of the time and clean up is easier. It couldn’t be a bigger win. So to make the start up easier for other Instant Pot newbies, I wanted to pull together a few quick pointers to tried and true recipes and resources to help you get started. I consider these all to be staples that help you get some of the basics down, and from there it will be easier to modify your current favorite recipes that you may have done on the stove, in a dutch oven or with a slow cooker.
I do a lot of experimenting with mine where I throw in onions, parsnips or sweet potatoes with a beef or pork roast and spices and cook it on manual for 20-75 minutes depending on the cut (longer for larger, tougher cuts and if I want it to be fork tender), but if you want to get fancy, there are plenty of options out there including rice, breakfast casseroles and meatloafs, this is just more the type of foods my family prefers. Here are some links to other ideas, and note that the links work best with Chrome. Safari and IE doesn’t support them for some reason.
- Hard boiled eggs – you can shorten the time to only three minutes and make easiest to peel eggs ever
- Whole Sweet potatoes
- Spaghetti squash
- Whole chicken
- Pork Shoulder with cabbage
- Bone broth – From the chicken scraps to have a store of broth on hand to use for future cooking. Adapt the recipe for the Instant Pot by just cooking on the soup setting for 85 minutes. Then it’s ready to strain and use. I freeze mine in sandwich-sized ziplock bags to use as needed. A lot of Instant Pot recipes require broth for moisture and it’s so much better and cheaper to make it yourself.
- Homemade Vanilla
- Paleo Chili (adding beans optional)
- Kabocha Squash & Beef Stew – To make this I would follow the directions in the recipe, but sautee directly in the Instant Pot and then instead of leaving in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours, put the stew setting at 60 minutes and then enjoy. This is the magic of the Instant pot.
- Beef and Veggie Stew – This is a good approach to any type of veggie stew you’d like to make
- Chili Lime Chicken Breast – Use this recipe as a model for how to cook chicken breast. Any of your favorite seasonings will do and then it’s ready in 11 minutes.
- Honey Balsamic Pork Chops
- Honey Bourbon Chicken
- Lemon Grass & Coconut Chicken – I follow her directions, but cook it with a whole chicken instead of just drumsticks, so we get some white meat to eat too.
- Maple Smoked Brisket – Reduce the sugar to 1 tbsp, decreased stock to 1 cup, increased brisket weight to 2.5 lbs, and cooked for 90 minutes. Get the non-fatty brisket end.
- Shrimp Scampi Paella – I cut the butter in half and then sub quinoa for the rice for more protein and nutrient dense grain.
Resources and other recipe lists