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instant pot

6 Reasons I Love My Instant Pot


Remember when your mom had a pressure cooker? I was freaked out by my mom’s gyrations with her pressure cooker back in the ‘olden’ days. Between the steam, the hissing, and the warnings to stand back, I never considered having one in my life…until a month ago when my darling daughter came for a visit and brought me an Instant Pot.

INSTANT POTUnless you’ve been stranded on an island the last year, cut off from all communication, you’ve probably heard about the Instant Pot. This device does it all—and really freakin’ fast. It’s like a pressure cooker and a crockpot on steroids, while still being simple to use. My “new best friend” cooks meat, chicken, and dried beans at lightning speed; it moonlights as a yogurt maker and a rice cooker. (If it did laundry, I’d marry it!) The manufacturers probably should’ve named it the Only Pot instead of the Instant Pot.


Cooking healthy, mouthwatering meals has never been easier. Here are six of my favorite Instant Pot recipes you have to try.

Instant Pot Easy Mac and Cheese

instant pot

You’ll never pull out that boxed variety again! Instead, make a homemade version of this comfort food in an Instant Pot in less time as the boxes. It gives you all the gourmet feel of a home cooked dinner

Recipe from CenterCook.com

Prep Time: 5mn

Cook Time: 5mn


  • 1 lb Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp dry ground mustard
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Add macaroni, butter, water, mustard, salt, and pepper to your Instant Pot. Secure the lid, select manual, and high pressure for 4 minutes please note: if the directions on your boxed macaroni have a boil time that is less than 6 minutes, cook on high pressure for only 3 minutes).
  2. Once complete, use a quick release. Open the lid and check that the pasta is cooked completely. If not, select saute, and cook for another 2 minutes until pasta is cooked.
  3. Add in evaporated milk and each of the cheeses. Continue to mix and stir until creamy. Add any extra salt to taste.
  4. Serve hot.

Servings: 6-8 servings

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Instant pot

Recipe from: MyPlantBasedFamily.com

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the time to make a batch of hearty steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast on any old weekday morning? This recipe for simple oatmeal calls for just a handful of ingredients and takes only three minutes to make.



  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • optional spices – (cinnamon shown)
  • toppings of your choice – (apples shown)


  1. Dump oats into the Instant Pot followed by the water.
  2. Close the lid and close the vent.
  3. Press manual and use the arrow buttons to go down to 3 minutes.
  4. After the oats finish cooling, press the off button or unplug the Instant Pot so the pressure will release naturally.
  5. After the pressure releases, open the lid and give the oatmeal a good stir. It will probably have extra liquid, this will absorb as it cools.
  6. Add cinnamon or other additions and allow to cool slightly before serving.
  7. Top oatmeal with fresh fruit of your choice, apples are shown.

Instant Pot Faux-tisserie Chicken

instant pot

This golden brown bird looks like it hung out in the oven all day, right? Wrong. Stuffed with aromatic veggies, slathered with olive oil and savory spices, and cooked it in an Instant Pot for 25 minutes. This Faux-tisserie chicken is pure goodness.





  • 2 1/2 to 3-pound whole chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil {divided}
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 5 large cloves fresh garlic, peeled and left whole
  • southwest seasoning mix {recipe below} or 2 Tablespoons of your favorite seasoning {lemon-garlic, paleo powder, etc.}
  • 1 cup chicken stock/broth, or water

Southwest Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil


  1. Rub chicken with one Tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the onion wedges and garlic cloves inside the chicken. Use butcher’s twine to secure the legs.
  3. Turn on the pressure cooker and press the Saute button.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil to the metal pan. When hot, add the chicken and sear/brown both sides, about 4 minutes per side. {included in cooking time}
  5. Remove the chicken and set aside. Place the trivet at the bottom of the metal pan and add the chicken stock.
  6. Sprinkle seasoning mix over the entire chicken, rubbing it in and spreading it around to cover the entire chicken.
  7. Place the chicken, breast side up on top of the trivet and secure the lid. Make sure the lid is in the “Sealing” position.
  8. Set the pressure cooker to Manual and set the timer for 25 minutes.
  9. When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. If the lid will not open, quick release the remaining pressure and remove the chicken.
  10. Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

French Toast/Bread Pudding a la Instant Pot

instant pot

A delightful and moist French Toast with a texture of bread pudding, topped with cinnamon, chocolate chips, bananas and maple syrup. The grandkids will be clamoring for this yummy dish.

Prep time:  5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 7 slices of French Brioche bread or any french bread cut into cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk whole or 2% I used whole milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange marmalade optional
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Lightly grease a round cake pan with butter or oil. I used butter spray. (I have a 7” springform pan, that does not have a seal proof base, so I put aluminum foil to avoid any liquid from dripping out. Time to get a new pan).

  1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, brown sugar, marmalade, vanilla and 1 tsp ground cinnamon until smooth.
  2. Add bread cubes to the bowl and mix gently, so that all the bread pieces are covered with liquids.
  3. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Line up the top layer by hand so they sit flat in the pan.
  4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil (time to dig out my stainless steel plate instead to cover the pan). If you prefer to not use aluminum foil, cover the pan with a few paper towels instead. This prevents any additional water from getting into the pan.
  5. Add 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot. Place the cake pan on the trivet.
  6. Gently put the trivet in the pot. Close Instant Pot lid with a pressure valve for sealing.
  7. Cook on Manual (Hi) for 15 mins. QR.
  8. Open Instant Pot. Carefully lift the trivet with the pan, and take it out. I use paper towels to hold the trivet.
  9. Allow to sit for 5 mins. (optionally broil for 5 mins)
  10. Sprinkle more cinnamon and spread a tablespoon of butter (love salted butter here)
  11. Serve with your favorite toppings – fruit, nuts, chocolate chips and maple syrup!


Depending on the thickness of the brioche bread, you may need more or fewer bread slices. I used Trader Joe’s brioche bread which is very thick. When you mix the bread in the liquids, there should not be too much excess liquids leftover. About 1/4 -1/2 cup of excess liquids are fine. But if you have more, add another slice or 2 of the bread.

Risotto Primavera

instant potThis light, creamy risotto is packed with asparagus, fresh fava beans, spinach, and lemon. It’s just the dish to celebrate the arrival of spring.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 teaspoon teaspoons thyme chopped fresh or 1/2 dried
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
  • 8 ounces asparagus tough ends snapped off and discarded, stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fava beans peeled fresh or frozen, or peas
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper


  1. 1. Put the oil in the pot, select Sauté, and adjust to Normal/medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the vermouth and simmer for 1 minute to burn off some of the alcohol. Press Cancel.
  2. Add the broth, stir to combine, and lock on the lid. Select the Pressure Cook function and adjust to High pressure for 8 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the “Sealing” position and that the “Keep Warm” button is off.
  3. When the time is up, quick-release the pressure and remove the lid. Add the asparagus and fava beans or peas. Select Sauté and adjust to the Normal/medium heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Add a bit of water while cooking, if necessary, to keep the risotto loose and saucy.
  4. Add the spinach, cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Press Cancel. Season with salt and pepper.


Thai Red Curry Chicken

instant pot

This Thai red curry chicken is quick, easy and so delicious with red curry, chicken, onions, peppers and fresh Thai basil leaves, cooked in creamy coconut milk.


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2-4 tablespoon red curry pasta (I like Maesri brand)
  • 1.5 pound thin chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 can low-fat coconut milk unsweetened (I like Trader Joe’s)
  • 1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeno or Thai chili sliced (optional for spicy curry)
  • 1 cup yellow onion sliced
  • 1 cup red peppers sliced
  • 1 cup yellow peppers sliced
  • 1 cup orange peppers sliced
  • handful Thai basil leaves


  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute(more) mode. Once the ‘hot’ sign displays add oil and 2 tablespoons of red curry paste. Saute for 30 seconds.
  2. Add Chicken and mix it well with the red curry paste.
  3. Add coconut milk (Note for a less soupy curry, add only half the can).
  4. Close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing.
  5. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 2 minutes followed by Natural Pressure Release. (Increase cook time for thicker chicken breasts to 4 mins)
  6. Open Instant Pot, stir in fish sauce and brown sugar.
  7. For spicier curry add remaining red curry paste and hot peppers.
  8. Add onions, red, yellow and orange the peppers. Stir in well.
  9. Set Instant Pot to Saute mode and bring the curry to a gentle boil (about 2-3 minutes). This will allow the veggies to stay crunchy. Garnish with the Thai basil leaves.
  10. Enjoy hot with Jasmine rice.



Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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