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How to use an Instant Pot® and 3 Easy Recipes

How to use an Instant Pot® and 3 Easy Recipes

How to use an Instant Pot® and 3 Easy Recipes

Cooking trends shift all the time – whether it is an ingredient phase (hello, avocado toast!), or a new appliance like air fryers and, at one time, pressure cookers. Today, we have the Instant Pot® which is designed to take the place of multiple kitchen devices and, based on the model, may include a pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker and a slow cooker feature.  

Check the available features and settings on your Instant Pot® to really explore all that it is capable of. The rave reviews are mostly for the ability to reduce the number of pots and pans you use in the kitchen, which means less clean up and getting a delicious homemade meal on the table quickly! 

So, what can you cook in your Instant Pot®? 

Almost everything and anything! Make sure to check your specific model for available uses and safety guides. Here are a few easy and tasty recipes to get you started. 

Instant Pot® Breakfast

Just because this section is about breakfast, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare these dishes for any meal of the day. These are perfect for breakfast for dinner nights, brunch, or whenever you need the warmth and comfort of cinnamon. 

Comforting Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of water  
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk 
  • 1 cup of heavy cream  
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 
  • 1 loaf of day-old bread, cut into 1” cubes 

Optional Toppings: 

  • Maple syrup 
  • Confectioners’ sugar 
  • Chopped walnuts 
  • Fruit – bananas or fresh berries 
  • A dollop of whipped cream, with an additional sprinkle of cinnamon 
  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream (if using this recipe for a warm dessert) 

Directions  

  1. Place a greased baking dish on the trivet inside the Instant Pot® and add the water.   
  2. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. 
  3. Add the bread to the wet ingredients and make sure all the bread is wellcoated. 
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish then cover tightly with aluminum foil. 
  5. Place covered dish inside the Instant Pot® and seal. 
  6. Cook on Pressure Cook setting for 30 minutes on high.  
  7. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for quick release.  
  8. Remove baking dish to cool for about 10 minutes. 
  9. Top as desired and enjoy! 

Instant Pot® Lunch

Whether you have little ones at home or not, some days you just need the comfort macncheese brings. Its like a hug in a bowl, and this recipe is designed to satisfy the feeling of making it yourself with the ease and familiar feel of the classic box style. This recipe can also be an amazing side dish for many dinners, including meatloaf, pulled pork or whenever a bit of homestyle cheesy goodness is required. 

Better than Boxed MacnCheese

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound of uncooked pasta (recommended: elbows, cavatappi, or small or medium shells) 
  • 4 cups of water (or vegetable broth) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 tablespoons of butter (separated into pats) 
  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (sharp cheddar on its own or in combination with your favorite shredded cheeses like jack, swiss and/or parmesan) 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk 

Directions  

  1. Place pasta, water, and salt into the Instant Pot® and cook using the manual function for four minutes. 
  2. Carefully quickrelease the steam so the pasta does not overcook.  
  3. Gently stir in the butter, one pat at a time, until it melts.  
  4. Add the cheese and a few tablespoons of milk (add more milk if desired) until the desired consistency is reached.  

 Instant Pot® Main Course

One of the hardest things about deciding on a dinner menu is figuring it out in the morning and then forgetting to defrost the main ingredient! The Instant Pot® can rescue you by being able to handle frozen ground meat in time for taco night. Try ground turkey, chicken, pork or beef in this quick and easy recipe, that does not require the requisite envelope of store-bought seasoning mix.  

Tasty Tacos Any Night

 Ingredients for taco filling: 

  • 2 pounds of your choice of ground meat 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 2 cloves of chopped or minced garlic 
  • 1 finely diced onion (white or yellow) 
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

To complete taco night: 

  • Choice of hard or soft taco shells 
  • Shredded lettuce 
  • Diced fresh tomatoes 
  • Shredded cheese 
  • Sour cream 
  • Salsa 
  • Sliced or mashed avocado 
  • Cilantro 
  • Taco sauce or hot sauce 

 Directions: 

  1. Place water and ground meat into the Instant Pot® on high pressure on the pressure cooker setting for 10 minutes. 
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for quick release. 
  3. Adjust setting to sauté and add onion along with seasonings to the ground meat. Stir to combine while crumbling meat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the sauce is thickened. 
  4. Remove from the pot and serve. 

Whether you are a seasoned Instant Pot® user or a beginner, having a few easy recipes to turn to when youre asked, “What’s for dinner?” will make life easier and tastier and who doesn’t need that right about now?  

Remember, these recipes can be customized and you can make substitutions to suit you and your family’s preferences, so feel free to try some swapouts or add-ons that you know will be enjoyed. Want to sneak some cauliflower into the Better than Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese? Go for it. Want to put a splash of Egg Nog in the French Toast – why not? Thinking about making a taco salad with the cooked taco meat? Great idea! You can even rename them to include your own spin – I won’t tell. Bon appetit 

About The Author

Sharon MacGregor

Writing from her desk in New York, Sharon MacGregor is a contributing reporter, freelance writer, and blogger with a passion for human interest stories as well as meals shared with friends and family. Her blog, Fed Well includes recipes with upcoming tips to prepare foods for infants and toddlers, simple and seasonal cocktails, and easy modifications to create dishes respecting dietary restrictions including dairy and gluten intolerances. She loves entertaining for the ones she loves including her new grandbabies!

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