Instant Pot Recipes

A few friends have asked me recently for recommendations for recipes to use in their Instant Pot. I thought I would consolidate my suggestions here for ease of linking!

Starting with two book recommendations:

  • Pressure Cooker Perfection – from America’s Test Kitchen. I love their recipes and cookbooks generally and this one is no exception. It is fairly meat heavy (a vegetarian friend asked) and their pressure cooker recipes tend to be a bit more fiddly than others, just like their regular recipes. This book contains one of my current favorites recipes, Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Cranberries. Everyone in my family enjoys that recipe, which is not usual. The apples in the picture are big chunks but when I make it they come out more like apple sauce, just FYI.
  • Great Food Fast – by Bob Warden. I think I have only made the whole chicken recipe from this book, but I would still recommend it. That recipe is delicious and I use it all the time. I’m sure when I branch out I will enjoy some of the others. The recipes in this book are less fiddly and more likely to be made with things you have on hand.

Recipe links:

  • IMG_3596Mongolian Beef – another favorite in my house. I think the meat is more tender if you use slightly less than 2lbs, so that is what I usually do. I aim for 1.5lbs but I buy whatever size the beef vendor at our farmer’s market happens to have.
  • Macaroni and Cheese – I generally prefer my baked macaroni and cheese recipe but this one is a close second! It is faster and requires less time standing at the stove. I think the texture is best when you use sour cream and/or half and halfas the “liquid” dairy but it is good with the evaporated milk too. I don’t put on any toppings. Three out of four of my family members like this one.
  • Chicken Stock – much quicker than on the stove and I think even more flavorful. I add black peppercorns and garlic cloves when I make it. I have been known to use a squirt of ketchup when I don’t have a tomato or open canned tomatoes. The chicken vendor at our farmer’s market says she uses vinegar and I have thought about trying that too.
  • Zuppa Toscana – only one step of this soup is actually pressure cooked but it is very tasty. I use zucchini sautéed after the sausage instead of spinach and it is still tasty. Another one that three out of four of us like but I really really like it. (I just bought sausage to make it yesterday, so this is in this week’s plan!)
  • Teriyaki Salmon – the pickiest member of my household enjoys most things cooked with teriyaki sauce, so this dish works for him! I usually wrap the salmon in foil packets instead of using pans since I didn’t have any that fit but I got some steamer pans that might work. I haven’t tried it yet.
  • Pressure Cooker Eggs – guidelines for timing the various hardness of the yolks. I always make hard yolks and these are perfect and super easy to peel.
  • Teriyaki Chicken – I tried this one for the same reason I tried the salmon recipe above and it worked! I personally prefer breast meat from the chicken so I usually use two thigh/legs and a whole breast which I cut into four pieces. I also cheat and use bottled teriyaki sauce. One of these days I will try the from scratch sauce in this recipe but it works well with a bottled sauce too. (And it is much faster that way!)
  • Chicken Breasts – tried this recipe one night when I was scrambling for dinner and my whole chicken was frozen. I actually used the Trader Joe’s frozen breasts for this (defrosted them in the microwave for a few minutes first) and they were really good. I used herbs de provence instead of the oregano and basil. Very tasty and very fast for a week night meal.

Okay, I think that is it for my favorites right now. I hope that helps some of you fall as in love with your instant pot as I am with mine. You might notice that I don’t talk about rice. People have told me that they like making rice in theirs, or dishes where the rice is cooked in. My picky eater doesn’t like things pre-mixed and some nights the rice is the only thing he eats so I have a rice cooker (that I also love) that is often going at the same time as the Instant Pot. Your mileage may vary, of course!


ending with a beginning

I didn’t do a good job of knitting instead of mindlessly swiping today. I spent the morning helping in the sewing class at my sons’ elementary school for the LED cuff day. I was a “guest teacher”. Being in an elementary school classroom even just for a couple of hours reminded me of some of the benefits of older kids. For example, they don’t generally want to be in your personal space like a kindergartener does. It was fun to see the other parents but I am definitely looking forward and not back.

After the kids were in bed I decided to watch This Is Us and knit, finally. I ordered some yarn recently for the Little Hats, Big Hearts project. They are collecting baby sized red hats for American Heart Month. I picked the very apt Baby Hearts Hat and, thanks to how tiny baby heads are, I’m already almost to the decreases.

baby heart hat

I got three balls of this yarn and it seems like I will get two out of each ball, so I guess I am knitting six hats!

So that is NaBloPoMo for this year. I missed a couple of days and posted very short entries on others. I enjoyed the exercise of trying to find something to say each day. I would like to say that I’ll be blogging more regularly after this, but I think we all know that is not true. See you next November, at least!

more leftovers

I ate leftovers again today. See?


After lunch, we went to a friend’s house and played games. I love board games and card games and really enjoy that my kids are old enough to play fun ones and still let me play with them!

I also wanted to share this picture of Docker’s grumpy face earlier today. I think all our going out and visiting friends has him antsy. Hopefully he’ll settle down when school starts back up again.


leftovers and serger

A friend invited my family over today for “leftovers brunch”, which, frankly, is a brilliant idea. I didn’t get any photos of the beautiful food, including some nuts roasted with herbs and garlic that I ned to try to make myself. I also didn’t get any photos of the wonderful people who were there. I did get a picture of our dogs playing.

Rainbow and Docker

They spent a lot of time running around and chasing each other but didn’t find the tug of war toy until it was almost time to leave. Silly dogs.

As I mentioned, I was planning on getting a serger. Well, yesterday the serger I wanted was Amazon’s deal of the day so I ordered it and it arrived this evening!


Craftsy was having a Black Friday sale on their classes so I signed up for a beginning serger class that someone recommended on Facebook as well as a couple of other classes. I still need to order thread, then I can start watching the videos for the serger class. I am very excited!

beach and knitting

I managed to drag my kids out away from the computer for at least part of one of the days of this vacation. We went to my favorite off-leash dog beach. Look how beautiful it is there!


Also, my dog loves it. He even let his feet get wet this time. Usually he avoids being wet at all costs.

dog beach

We all had fun. The kids and I watched the dog run around and play with other dogs and dig and roll around in the sand. Dogs are pretty entertaining when they are off leash and having fun.

Just because this is a knitting blog and I have posted a picture of it in a while, here is my poncho in progress. It’s getting longer, at least!

the poncho grows

missed a day, movies, joys of homeownership

I missed yesterday, thinking I didn’t have anything to write about, but I sort of did and forgot. I went to see Bad Moms Christmas with a couple of friend’s yesterday. It felt like an excuse to see my friends, turn off my phone, and eat popcorn. All things I generally enjoy. The movie was okay. It seems like since Bridesmaids they have really ramped up the raunch factor on some of these movies starring women, just for the sake of raunch. I laughed a few times, I was glad when characters resolved their issues, and I got to eat yummy popcorn.

After the movie I went to a friend’s house to play with her puppy for a bit. She was going to be alone all day and needed a bit of a break. That was fun. She is really cute and loves playing with my dog, which I enjoy watching.

Before the movie and early this morning we had a plumber over to check some drain issues. A couple things needed replacing (which is why he had to come back today) and right now there is water dripping under my kitchen sink (I have something there to catch it) so I guess I’ll be seeing the plumber again tomorrow!

Isn’t homeownership fun?