My Friend the Instant Pot

I held out buying an instant pot for a long time. I hesitated to buy yet another appliance to fill my kitchen shelves or take up counter space. Counter space is truly special; I must really love the appliance for it to earn countertop space. My Cuisinart mixer, toaster, and coffee pot have all earned counter top space. And now, my instant pot has earned it’s special place on the counter. I just made space for it last week after I decided enough was enough of brining it out of the cabinet so often. I use it at least once a week if not more.

Now, I know some of you have also not purchased an instant pot, yet. Maybe for the same reason. I get the hesitancy especially if you have a small kitchen. Luckily, I have a fair amount of cabinet space, which is one of the main highlights of our kitchen. You must wonder if you’ll use it enough. Is it worth the price? Well, my opinion is yes…but to each his own opinion.

One thing you should know: it’s not instant. Sure, it’s fast, but it ain’t instant. One of the first things I learned was that it needs time to build up pressure before the cooking time begins. Oh, and it also sometimes needs time to release the pressure. So if something takes 4 minutes, it will be more like a 10 minute process. But it is faster than a crockpot. And it builds lots of great flavor.

If you want to learn more, Simply Recipes has a great guide for starters.

Single Ingredients that rock the IP:


This is maybe my favorite thing in the instant pot. They turn out so creamy and delicious. I love to make these soft boiled eggs and put them on toast with avocado for breakfast. Or, serve with roasted veggies for dinner (this is a frequent meal in our household).

Chicken Stock

Never ever without a doubt throw away the chicken bones after you roast a chicken. It makes a delicious broth. Josh will just drink the broth (eh, not for me), but you can use it in soups and stews and it just adds an extra special touch to your soup.

Sweet Potatoes

This competes as a top thing I made in my instant pot. It makes such a quick and easy side for dinner. I just made these last night to go with our meatloaf and broccoli for dinner. After cooking, I unpeeled them and mashed with salt and pepper. That’s it. Or you can serve them liked baked potatoes. The texture is so smooth and makes a wonderful side.

Spaghetti Squash

I can’t lie, I’ve not been a huge fan of spaghetti squash. I’ve tried it a few times and just didn’t see the hoopla about it. But then last week for dinner I made this spaghetti squash bake and it changed me. Also, after talking with a friend, I learned the trick is to squeeze out the spaghetti squash. Holy cow is there a lot of water in there! I think with the right recipe and getting all that excess moisture out is what converted me. And now I have an easy way to make spaghetti squash.


The amount of time of rice on the stovetop versus in the instant pot is negotiable, but I think the rice that comes from the IP is more flavorful. Plus, it’s more set it and forget it than the stovetop. I will make the rice earlier in the day and then just warm it up at dinner. Bam, rice is done.


Game changer: you can cook frozen chicken in the instant pot. It’s more shedded type chicken, but it works great in so many things. Sometimes you just want to add chicken to something and this is your answer. Plus, it’s quick! Like this Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup recipe…much more filling with chicken and so delicious!


I just made this for the first time, but it was awesome. A while ago I was totally into making homemade ricotta because it’s hugely, and I am hugely, better than store-bought. This is so easy and so worth it.

Awesome Meals thanks to your IP:

You’ll notice many of these are soups or stews. That’s because the IP does them so well…not unlike your slow cooker. Both appliances are good for soups and stews. The advantage of the instant pot is it’s a bit quicker. I have an entire Pinterest board of IP recipes, but let me rattle off some favorites…

Green Chili Chicken Verde - Uhh yea.

Life Changing Beef Stew or Easy Sunday Beef Stew - I really can’t decide which is better…

Wild Rice Soup - Love this one! I definitely add chicken to make it more hearty.

Oven Braised Beef with Garlic and Tomatoes - So tender and good.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower and Peas - I add some greek yogurt on top and some rice or quinoa.

Chicken and Gravy - Ohh, the gravy. Freeze the leftover gravy. I did and used it at Thanksgiving.

Healthier Coq au Vin - I made this when my parent’s visited and topped it over some delicious IP mashed potatoes. Viola, a meal to impress!

Chicken Parmesan - Simple for a week night!

And some photos of these meals from the recipe creators themselves…in order that I listed above (going from left to right):