If you’re like me and are not the most knowledgeable when it comes down to cooking, an Instant Pot is the perfect tool to have in the kitchen. From Mongolian Beef to apple cider; this device can do it all! Here are 10 easy Instant Pot recipes to make your life just a tad bit simpler.
1. Acorn Squash
Yummy acorn squash is one of the best comfort foods to make on a chilly fall night. This easy Instant Pot recipe is the go-to for perfectly steamed squash. The good news on this recipe is that it only requires 5 ingredients, water, acorn squash (one to two is good), butter, brown sugar and sausage links or patties. To start, cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and set them to the side. Next, add one cup of water to the Instant Pot liner and place the trivet in the liner. Place the acorn squash on top on the trivet with the cut side face up, and add one tablespoon of butter and brown sugar into each half/halves of the squash. Place the lid on the pot and switch the pressure release valve so that it’s set to sealing, set the pot to manual high pressure for seven minutes. While the squash is being cooked is the perfect time to heat up some sausage on the stove to go with it. I prefer the Jimmy Dean sausage patties, they’re super easy to heat up. When the Instant Pot is done it will beep several times, let the pot naturally release for 10 minutes, and if there is still pressure, quick release the rest (by switching the pressure release valve to venting). Carefully remove the acorn squash from the pot with a large serving spoon and place on a plate. The last thing you want to do is add the sausage on top and presto, you have the perfect fall meal.
2. Hot Apple Cider
Another easy Instant Pot recipe to make is hot apple cider, which is the perfect drink to have any time of the day during the fall and winter seasons. This recipe calls for two quarts of water, 12 apples, one orange, six cinnamon sticks, one tablespoon of whole all-spice and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. To start, wash each of the apples, cut them in half and then into fourths (no worries about peeling or coring them) and set them to the side. Add two quarts of water to the Instant Pot liner, and add the cut up apples, orange along with the cinnamon sticks and whole all-spice. Stir the ingredients in the pot real well while making sure the cinnamon sticks and whole all-spice get down into the water (this is essential for flavoring). Place the lid on the pot, set the pressure release valve to sealing and cook on manual high pressure for three minutes. Let the Instant Pot naturally release for five minutes, and quick release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid and use a potato masher to mash the ingredients really well in the pot, then use a fine strainer to remove the pulp from the cider. The liquid that is left in the pot is your homemade cider, and if the cider is a bit tart, then add the 1/4 cup of brown sugar to sweeten it.
3. Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers can be a pain to make, but with this easy Instant Pot recipe, they don’t have to be. For this recipe, you’ll need four large bell peppers (green are my favorite), one cup of cooked rice, 1/2 pound of 85% to 93% ground beef or turkey (turkey is best for those who are on a diet), one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic pepper, two teaspoons of Italian seasoning, two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, one cup of shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella work) and 14 once can of tomato sauce divided in half. You’ll start with cooking the rice first (I like to use the bag boil rice as it’s simple and only takes 10 minutes to cook). You’ll then rinse the peppers, cut the tops off and deseed them (make sure to remove the membrane too). Add one cup of water to the liner, and place each pepper upright on the trivet. Next in a medium sized mixing bowl, add the raw 1/2 pound of ground beef or turkey along with the spices, Worcestershire, half the can of tomato sauce, cup of rice and 1/2 of the cup of cheese (you’ll use the other half later) and stir these ingredients together until well mixed. Place the mixture into each pepper until they are full, add the remaining tomato sauce on top and place the lid on the Instant Pot while switching the release valve to sealing. Set the manual high pressure for 17 minutes, once the timer goes off quick release the pot, and check the internal temperature of the peppers with a digital thermometer. The temperature should read at least 160 degrees for beef and 165 degrees for turkey. If the peppers are not done, put them back in for an additional five minutes on manual high pressure. Use the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of the pepper and serve right away.
4. Crème Brûlée
A favorite easy Instant Pot recipe to make anytime of the year is Crème Brûlée. All you need is four ramekins (4 ounces), 1/3 cup of granulated sugar (as well as four tablespoons for the topping), four large egg yolks, 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of fine salt. To begin this recipe, place the 1/3 cup of sugar and four egg yolks in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk them together. While whisking, add in the 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Then add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla and pinch of salt and whisk them together. Once the ingredients are mixed, pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a measuring cup and fill each of the four ramekins. Cover each ramekin with foil and set to the side. Next add one cup of water to the Instant Pot, place the trivet inside and set each ramekin down on top of the trivet. Put the lid on, set the switch to sealing and cook on manual low pressure for seven minutes. Once the time goes off, let the Instant Pot natural release for 15 minutes and quick release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the ramekins and set them on a baking sheet and refrigerate them until chilled (about 4 hours or overnight if preferred). Approximately 10 minutes before serving, take the ramekins out of the fridge and sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over the top of each one. Preheat the boiler in your oven, and set the ramekins on the highest rack and broil them for about three to five minutes or until the tops are a golden brown (make sure you are rotating them frequently to cook the tops evenly). Make sure you serve immediately for a wonderful dessert experience.
5. Teriyaki Chicken Wings
Yet another totally easy Instant Pot recipe to make is teriyaki chicken wings, which is a favorite of all ages! The recipe calls for three packages of wingettes (which serves three to four people), 1/2 bottle of teriyaki sauce, one chicken bouillon cube, 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. To start, add 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 chicken bouillon cube to the Instant Pot liner. Wash the wingetts and place them in a steamer basket inside the pot. Put the lid on, set the switch to sealing and hit manual high pressure for 15 minutes. When the timer is up, natural release for 20 minutes and quick release any remaining pressure. While the IP is naturally releasing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, line two baking sheets with foil and spray Pam cooking oil over the top of the foil. Remove the wingetts with a pair of tongs and evenly space them out on the baking sheet and paint (with a cooking brush) each one with the teriyaki sauce. Depending on how temperamental your oven is (aren’t apartment ovens fantastic?), bake on one side for 12-20 minutes. Remove the wingetts, turn them over and brush the other side with the teriyaki and place them back in the oven for another 12-20 minutes. These babies are best served with dill ranch or creamy bleu cheese.
6. Mongolian Beef
Mongolian beef is an easy Instant Pot recipe done right with minimal effort. You’ll want to make sure you have 1 1/2 pounds of flank steak, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 3/4 cup of soy sauce, two teaspoons of minced garlic, 3/4 cup of water, two tablespoons of cornstarch, one green onion for garnish and sesame oil or vegetable oil. To start off, cut the flank steak into long thin pieces and place your Instant Pot on sauté and add the oil steak and minced garlic. Stir the steak pieces until the brown just slightly on each side, then add the soy sauce, brown sugar and water to the pot while giving everything a good stir. Place the lid on the IP, switch and the release valve to sealing and cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the time goes off, quick release and place the pot back on the sauté function. Bring the liquid inside the pot to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch (whisk for at least three minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the chopped green onion on top of the beef and serve immediately on a bed of fluffy Jasmine rice.
7. Mashed Potatoes
One easy Instant Pot recipe that I always like to keep on hand is mashed potatoes; simple, yet delicious. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of water, four pounds of peeled russet potatoes, two cups of warmed half-and-half or whole milk, one stick of room temperature unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons of salt and a pinch of black pepper. First, add the water to the IP and place a wire rack inside. Set the potatoes on the rack, put the lid on, switch the valve to sealing and cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes. When the timer is up, let the IP naturally release completely and once it does, remove the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add the half-and half- or whole milk and stick of butter to the potatoes and mash them together with a potato masher. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Serve the mashed potatoes immediately with a few pats of butter and chives on top.
8. Juicy Chicken Breast
One of the downsides of cooking chicken is the chicken always seems to lose its juiciness. With this easy Instant Pot recipe, that dried out sad chicken is a thing of the past. All you need for this recipe is three thawed chicken breasts, Italian seasoning, garlic pepper, garlic salt, California lemon peel, one tablespoon of vegetable oil and one cup of water. First, wash and season each side of the chicken breasts, place the IP on sauté and add the vegetable oil. Sauté the breasts on each side for four minutes, remove the chicken once sautéed on each side. Add the water and place the trivet inside the pot, put the chicken breasts on top of the trivet, place the lid on the pot, switch to sealing and set the IP to manual high pressure for five minutes. Once those five minutes are up, let the Instant Pot natural release for five minutes and quick release the remaining pressure. Set the chicken breasts on a place and let them sit for an additional five minutes. Serve the chicken with your favorite side dish (personally I love potatoes)!
9. Cinnamon Apples
One of the best easy Instant Pot recipes to try is cinnamon apples; a comfort food dessert favorite of many. To make this recipe, you’ll want five to six large granny smith apples, one tablespoon of lemon juice, one cup of dark brown sugar, one tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, two tablespoons of maple syrup or honey, one cup of water and three tablespoons of corn starch. To start, peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the seeds and core. Then slice the apples in 1/2 inch pieces, place them in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle them with lemon juice and give them a toss. Set the apples into the IP and add the brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup/honey and mix together. In a smaller mixing bowl combine the water and cornstarch, stir together until smooth (no lumps) and add to the IP. Stir all of the ingredients in the pot well, place the lid on, turn the valve to sealing and set the manual high pressure for two to ten minutes (depending on if you want your apples more crispy or softer). Once the timer goes off, let the IP naturally release for about 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure and gently stir the apples. Serve this mouthwatering dessert by itself or with some vanilla ice cream.
10. Lemon Pepper Salmon
This easy Instant Pot recipe is for those of us who love seafood; specifically salmon. All you need is 3/4 cup of water, some sprigs of parsley dill, tarragon, basil or a combination of the three, one pound of skin-on salmon filet, three tablespoons of ghee, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 thinly sliced lemon, one julienned zucchini, one julienned red bell pepper and one julienned carrot. For this recipe, add the water and herbs to the IP and place the trivet inside. Set the salmon skin down on the trivet and drizzle the top with ghee, salt, pepper and cover with the lemon slices. Place the lid on, set the valve to sealing and set the steam function for three minutes. While the salmon is cooking, julienne your zucchini, red bell pepper and carrot. Once the timer goes off, quick release the pressure, carefully remove the salmon and set on a plate. Carefully remove the trivet from the pot and remove the herbs and throw them away. Add the julienned veggies, put the lid back on and set the IP to sauté and cook the veggies for one to two minutes. Serve the salmon and veggies together for a wonderfully low-calorie meal!