The featured picture for this month’s blog is two things. Firstly, it’s an Instant Pot. Secondly, it’s been the main cooking device for my family for the last 6 months since we’ve been without a full functioning kitchen. A result of being deep in home updating. More on our home remodel in last week’s blog.
When I got my Instant Pot a year or so ago, I didn’t really know what to think about it. I had heard from my friends that it had revolutionized the way they cooked especially those that didn’t particularly enjoy cooking. (I don’t mind cooking; if anything I enjoy it but the tricky part is cooking with little kids in the house, at least for me. Trying to measure ingredients with the running soundtrack of “Mom. MOM. MOOOMMMMY!” in the background is a talent. 😎) My Instant Pot stayed in the box for several months until finally I decided to give it the “water boiling” test. Those that have an Instantpot know what I’m talking about.
My only disappointment with it initially was that cooking is not “TRULY” instant. Allow me to explain for those that aren’t familiar with pressure cooking. If a recipe says it will cook in 10 minutes that means 10 minutes AFTER coming to pressure. The time it takes for a meal to come to pressure is based on how full the Instant Pot is and the density of what is being cooked. Nobody told me this before I purchased mine so I was a little disappointed. It still prepares some foods faster than on the stove top/oven and you only have to clean one pot. 😊 All in all, there is a bit of a learning curve but with some practice I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it. That being said, here are my Top 5 Instant Pot meals. I’ll link all of the recipes here and you can also find them on my Pintrest page – as well as my latest blogs. 😉 A plus is that these meals are kid-friendly with the York kids anyway. I’m counting down from 5 to 1 because who doesn’t like a countdown. (Click on the headings for recipe links.)
#5 Chicken Lo Mein
So I made a Chicken Lo Mein recipe that I looooooved and my family did too. It was VERY kid friendly. I think I made it as recently as last week but unfortunately this is not it because it was removed by the blogger.😪 This recipe is similar but pretty veggie heavy which I’m not sure my kids would be game for but I would just switch out the ones we don’t like for something more familiar (like brocolli) or remove them altogether. If you know me, you know that I looove eating non-American foods and the same goes for cooking them. I wish the recipe I tried before was here because that was my true fave so if you try this one please let me know.
#4 Chicken Rice & Veggies
A couples months back on a chilly rainy day, I was in the mood for some comfort food. One of my favorite things about cooking with the instant pot, aside from time, is that you don’t heat up your house which is a plus moving into the warmer months. This has a cozy down home, comfort feel which is sure to keep you coming back for more. My 18 month old daughter love this meal (rice is her love language) and my husband likes it too. It’s not my son’s favorite. It may be that the creamy sauce is a little much for him but 3 out of 4 in my household isn’t bad. (My son will eat it but no seconds.) I personally add some extra salt and pepper since the seasoning of this dish leaves more to be desired.
#3 Chicken Taco Bowl
A meal that is a winner for the four of us is the Chicken Taco Bowl. I made a stove top version that tastes just the same. Give this a try if you don’t have an Instant Pot. This is a great dish if you are in the mood for a twist on the regular taco. You can also top with cheese and sour cream to your liking. 😋 So Yummy!
#2 Bang Bang Shrimp
Another hit meal in my family is Bang Bang Shrimp. If you’ve ever been to a hibachi restaurant and tasted the seafood sauce, that is the sauce for this recipe except it has a bit more kick. I would advise that if you are not a fan of spicy foods or have children that don’t like spicy food to cut down on the sriracha and cut out the red pepper flakes completely. The recipe calls for Thai sweet chili sauce and the first time I made it, I didn’t realize that the one I purchased was “hot” so be sure and check those labels when buying that ingredient.
#1 Sausage Penne Pasta
Winner! Winner! Pasta Dinner! This is the number one meal in my home. We have at least once a week, sometimes once every two weeks if I’m feeling adventurous and make other things. We all eat it well. It is pretty fool proof and tasty.
If you haven’t noticed all of these recipes are “dump dinners” meaning you dump in all the ingredients and walk away. My favorite kind of cooking these days. With a busy life, noisy kids and no kitchen these quick Instant pot meals are my go to! I’d love to hear from you guys. Do you have an Instant pot? What’s your favorite dinner to make in it? Or quick dinners in general? Comment below!