Between running my full-time business, holding leadership roles in several organizations, and training jujitsu 3-4 days a week, it’s an understatement to say that there isn’t much room for cooking. Last year, I made two decisions that have freed up a lot of mental white space around meal planning and eating healthy:
- I started using Prep Dish service that provides me with a grocery list and meal plan every week for Paleo dinners.
- I purchased an Instant Pot.
Purchasing an Instant Pot last summer during Amazon Prime day was probably one of the wisest decisions I could have made for our cooking lifestyle. My slow cooker was great, but it required more planning and time in the morning than I had to give. If I forgot to get that crockpot going, then dinner that evening wasn’t going to happen.
With my Instant Pot, I have more wiggle room. I can still use my slow cooker recipes, but I love the pressure cooker option. I can set my meal up in the morning, but if I forget or something comes up, I can get things going before I leave for martial arts class. And there’s no way we would have survived our January Whole30 without the assist from my Instant Pot
I have the 8-Quart Instant Pot Duo80, and I now find that I’m using my Instant Pot so often that I’m seriously considering purchasing a 3-quart or 6-quart model as well. This would allow me to prepare a side dish in my smaller pot while cooking the main dish in my larger pot.
If you’re getting started using your Instant Pot or just looking for new recipes to try, here are some favorite Instant Pot recipes at our house:
Instant Pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken
When I’m in my meal-planning groove, I roast a chicken every Sunday afternoon. We have a nice family meal, and then use the leftovers for lunches the rest of the week.
This Instant Pot whole “rotisserie” chicken was the first thing I cooked in my Instant Pot. The bird was so tender that it was falling off the bone. The kitchen wasn’t blazing hot, and I didn’t have stay in the house all afternoon because the over was on. In my book, that’s a win.
Instant Pot Kalua Pig
We live in the South, and pulled pork barbeque is basically a food group, but I would never make it because of time commitment. My mother-in-law would cook hers in the crockpot overnight, then “pull” it, add liquid and cook it for 3-4 more hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
With this Instant Pot kalua pig recipe, the Mister and I have a complete meal in just a few hours. We make this meal at least every other week. I’ve even converted my mother-in-law to this recipe after giving her an Instant Pot for her birthday.
Instant Pot Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes
Gone are the days of me babysitting a boiling pot of water to make mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. One cup of water and seven minutes under pressure, and my sweet potatoes were “boiled;” then I followed this recipe for mashed rosemary sweet potatoes as usual.
This side dish was the easiest piece of Thanksgiving last year, and everyone raved about how tasty these potatoes were.
Instant Pot Chicken Taco
We were introduced to this recipe recently at a Tables of Grace church dinner; basically, our church has a rotating dinner club to allow members of the congregation to get to know each other better. Our hostess also follows a Paleo diet, and she had set out a fabulous taco bar spread.
Her upgrade to the recipe was adding a package of frozen chopped peppers to the recipe instead of the jar of salsa, which was a great way to increase the veggies. What I know is that these Instant Pot Pot chicken tacos were delicious, fast and easy — perfect for a busy weeknight.
Instant Pot “Garbage” Soup
Okay, I admit that I’m a Nom Nom Paleo fangirl. My favorite thing about her garbage soup is that I can basically make it every week to use up extra veggies in the fridge before so they don’t wind up in the compost bin and whatever leftover protein (usually Kalua Pig) that we have on hand. Same recipe every week, lots of variety so the soup doesn’t get boring.
To make the soup in the Instant Pot, I simply use the saute function to start and then cook the soup under pressure for five minutes. [Tip: I prefer the instructions in the Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not Cookbook over the online recipe; the book approaches the soup from more of a building block style, which makes it easier to customize.]
Do you love your Instant Pot as much as I do? Drop me a comment or send me a quick email to share your favorite Instant Pot recipes. Let me know if you try any of these; I want to know how you like them.