Let your imagination run wild with these best instant pot slow cooker meal recipes
Most of you have heard about instant pots, those miraculous slow cooker ‘chefs’ in the kitchen with so much convenience packed into them. It’s no wonder they sell like hot cakes! Even though pressure cookers have been around for a long time, these slow-cookers, pressure cookers, and yogurt makers come with many more options. You just have to do your research to find the right one that suits your needs before you buy one. Some have slow cooker functions which would be perfect for slow cooker recipes, whilst others don’t; some have non-stick bases for easy cleaning and are made from aluminum whilst others are stainless steel. And naturally, all the different features change the price as well. Your family and friends are sure to enjoy these best instant pot slow cooker meal recipes!
As the instant pot is self-regulating, you decide whether you want to have a quick dinner or whether you want your dinner slowly cooking until you get home. That’s it, the instant pot adjusts; it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is because they have sensors that self-regulate the pressure and temperature. That means if you dunked a large piece of meat into your pot, you can still expect a tender juicy result; in fact in a mere 40-90 minutes. Bottom line is, you can cook practically anything in your instant pot.
A whole range of indispensable features
Did you know that your instant pot is most likely Bluetooth friendly too? It can be wirelessly connected to your phone! Another thing to bear in mind though is that this ‘chef’ likes a bit of space in your kitchen; it needs quite a bit of counter space. Tests done on them showed that there are certain amounts of lead found in some, which some people obviously object to. If you are concerned about that, maybe this kitchen appliance is not for you. All of the specific functions of the pot will be determined by which model you buy, but these functions are what you will find in most models:
✓ Slow cooker
✓ Rice cooker
✓ Pressure cooker (you decide to either cook on high or low pressure) – it will depend on the meat, etc.
✓ Yogurt maker
Some models have additional programs like cake making, sterilizer, etc., whilst some are bigger, some are smaller. Generally the 3-quart size one suits a small family whilst the 8-quart ones are better for the larger family. With your instant pot, you will be able to cook an entire meal in one pot. That’s the bottom line, and you’ll be saving time and effort in cleaning up.
People also wonder about nutrients being lost in the process of this type of cooking with the temperatures being so high, but this is not the case. The pressure cookers of today allow the heat to be distributed evenly and quickly. Food is not immersed in water, so vitamins aren’t dissolved away – they are retained for consumption. Also, the steam inside that surrounds the food prevents oxidization from exposure to the air which means your greens stay looking just as green as when they went in, as well as retaining their flavors.
And yes, they are safe – these aren’t the pressure cookers our grandmothers cooked with back then. The ones of today come with modern safety features with anti-blockage vents that allow steam to be released; with automatic temperature controls that keep everything safe at all times. After cooking, users just release the pressure manually or naturally. Because the pressure cooker heats foods to temperatures that are higher than the boiling point which helps to kill off harmful micro-organisms, many people like to use their pressure cookers to clean baby bottles and jam bottles, for instance, to ensure they are clean and germ-free.
Here are 10 delicious slow cooker recipes to see if you aren’t tempted to get your own instant pot!
ONE: Healthy Chicken & White Bean Soup
Cooking time: just 25 minutes
o Warmed chicken broth, 4 cups
o Chicken thighs 1-¾ lbs. skinless and boneless
o 4 Cloves of garlic, minced
o 1 Onion, diced finely
o 30 oz. of white northern beans (2 cans, rinsed and drained)
o 4 oz. green chilies, diced (1 can undrained)
o 1 tsp. ground cumin
o 1 tsp. dried oregano
o ½ tsp. chili powder or chili flakes
o 2 tsp. kosher salt
o ½ tsp. pepper
o Sour cream to garnish with (optional)
o Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
1. Add all the ingredients to your instant pot, stirring to combine everything.
2. Then secure the lid and make sure the vent is closed.
3. Select Manual or Pressure Cook function. Use the + or – sign to program your pot for 10 minutes.
4. When the time is up, allow your pressure cooker to naturally release for 5 minutes, and then quickly release the pressure remaining.
5. Remove chicken from pot to a cutting board and shred it.
6. Use a fork or one of those immersion blenders to break up around half of the beans.
7. Return the chicken to the pot, stirring to combine and then serving hot, garnished with the sour cream and chopped up cilantro.
Doesn’t that sound delicious?!
TWO: Instant Pot Creamy Vegan Pasta
Cooking time: just 4 minutes
o 3 cups of Homemade Vegetable Broth
o 1 can (15 oz.) of full-fat coconut milk
o 1½ tsp. sea salt
o ½ tsp. black pepper
o 1 tsp. parsley
o 1 tsp. chopped up onion
o ½ tsp. garlic powder
o ½ tsp. oregano
o ½ tsp. basil
o ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (but only if you like spicy things, otherwise leave it out)
o 8oz chickpea pasta shells
o 2 cups frozen Mixed Vegetables (such as peas, corn, green beans)
o 2 cups spinach (you decide – optional)
1. Add all of the ingredients to your instant pot.
2. Put the lid on, making sure the vent valve shows that it is sealed.
3. Put the display panel to Manual/Pressure Cook and use the plus-minus (+/-) sign to set your pot for 4 minutes.
4. After the time is up, open the vent valve so that the pressure is released quickly.
5. Remove the liner and allow the pasta to cool off – the noodles will absorb more water, becoming thicker, like gravy.
THREE: Chicken Bone Broth recipe
Cooking time: 48 hours
o 4 pounds chicken wings or necks
o 3 celery stalks, chopped
o 3 carrots, chopped
o 2 medium-sized onions, keep the peel on, slice in half lengthwise and then quarter
o 4 garlic cloves, leave the peel on, chop or grind up
o 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
o 1 teaspoon peppercorns, whole
o 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
o 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
o 2 bay leaves
o 5–6 sprigs of parsley
o 1 teaspoon of oregano
o 18–20 cups of cold water
1. Place all the ingredients in a 10-quart instant pot.
2. Add in the water.
3. Simmer for around 24–48 hours, skimming off the fat occasionally.
4. Then remove from the heat, allowing cooling.
5. Discard the solid pieces and then strain through a colander into a bowl, allowing the soup to cool down to room temperature. Cover and chill, using within the week. You can also freeze this for up to about 3 months.
Bone broth may be one of the best instant pot slow cooker meal recipes to consume, packed with nutrients like collagen, glycine, and gelatin. It is known to potentially protect and heal the gut lining, possibly improve your skin health and potentially improve your joint function.
FOUR: Instant Pot Baked Spaghetti
Cooking time: just 10 minutes
o 1 pound of ground beef, drained & browned
o 1 cup chopped up onion
o 1 can (28 oz.) cut up tomatoes
o 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
o 2 tsp dried oregano
o 8 oz. sliced up fresh mushrooms
o 1 box spaghetti (12oz.) broken in half
o 1 can cream mushroom soup (10 oz.)
o 1 cup water
o ½ cup cheese, Parmesan
o 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Turn your instant pot to the Sauté mode to brown the beef, adding the onion and chopped bell pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
2. Add all the other ingredients except the cheese, closing the lid. Make sure the valve is set to Sealed and turn to Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes
3. Next, do a quick release, stirring the cheese into the spaghetti. Serve.
FIVE: Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Cooking time: 30 minutes
o 2 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
o 2 tsp olive oil
o ½ tsp pepper and salt
o 2 carrots, sliced
o ¼ onion, diced
o 48 oz. chicken broth
o ¼ tsp basil
o 2 cups uncooked noodles
o ¼ tsp oregano
1. Add chicken breasts and olive oil to the pot.
2. Pressure cook for 10 minutes. Quick release.
3. Turn pot off, adding chicken broth, celery, carrots, onion, spices, and uncooked noodles.
4. Put the lid on; close the valve, setting to Manual High Pressure for 4 minutes.
5. Use the natural release when done; carefully lifting lid after steam has been released.
SIX: Quick Leftover Chicken Pizza
Cooking time: 22 minutes
o 4 pieces frozen leftover chicken, cooked –any chicken is fine
o ¾ cup buffalo sauce
o 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
o 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
o ½ white onion, chopped
1. Spread buffalo sauce inside the instant pot. Place chicken over wet sauce, setting pressure cooker onto High for 10 minutes
2. While the chicken is cooking, heat your oven to 350F, laying the pizza dough on the pan.
3. Quick release, and shred chicken, spreading evenly over dough.
4. Sprinkle cheese and onion over chicken and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes (until dough is crisp and browned).
The next few best instant pot slow cooker meal recipes are really quick, go-to slow cooker recipes, none require precise measurements and are nearly impossible to mess up.
SEVEN: Soy Sauce Chicken
Serves around 4-6
Cooking time: around 25 minutes
Rinse a whole chicken, inside and outside, patting dry. Add 2 Tablespoons of your favorite oil, brewing the chicken on all sides on Sauté. Then add 4 whole cloves garlic, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole star anise, and 2 inches of sliced ginger, ½ cup soy sauce, 4 cups water, and ½ cup brown sugar. Put to Manual High Pressure for 25 minutes. Quick release pressure. Serve with delicious rice and some vegetables for a wholesome meal.
EIGHT: Chicken and Vegetables
Serves around 4
Cooking time: around 10 minutes
Add to your pot, or Sauté around 4 cups vegetables cut into chunks, adding in a drizzle of cooking oil, pepper, and salt. Good veggies can be carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, garlic, and mushrooms –all good options. Then layer around 4 pounds of chicken parts such as legs, thighs, quarters, breasts (with or without bones), adding some more salt and pepper to each layer. Add some herbs and a bay leaf for some extra lovely flavor. Set to Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes (only 15 minutes if using boneless chicken). Then natural release until the lid opens on its own (± 20 minutes). Garnish with some chopped parsley.
Instant Pot Coq Au Vin: Make the main recipe, just adding around 4 slices of bacon, chopped into your sauté mix. Add some glugs of red wine, following the same pressure instructions.
NINE: Tomato Soup
Serves approx. 2 people
Cooking time: around 12 minutes
Simply sauté about 6 cloves of crushed up garlic and a roughly chopped up onion in a couple tablespoons of cooking oil. Add a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, liquidizing them. Add some oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes. Quick or natural release. Then blend with an immersion blender until it is silky smooth.
TEN: Beef Stew
Serves approx. 4 people
Cooking time: around 35 minutes
o 2 lbs. beef, chuck roast, trim off fat, cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks
o 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
o 2 stalks celery, sliced in thick pieces
o 6 carrots, sliced in thick pieces
o ½ cup tomato juice
o 2 teaspoons salt
o 1 tablespoon sugar
Place everything in your instant pot. Choose the stew/meat setting; 35 minutes at High Pressure. After it’s done, let it stand for a further 10 minutes before using the quick release. The beef stew is done at this point, but it is recommended placing it in a casserole or other serving dish and finishing up for a quick browning in the oven, say for around 10-20 minutes in a hot oven (400-F.), uncovered. This gets the meat nice and caramelized on top, also helping to thicken the gravy.
This single appliance, the instant pot, has made cooking so much faster and more convenient, and everybody wants to use it. It’s lovely to be able to cook your breakfast oats in a fraction of the time compared to on the stove, or extra rice for your stir fry in just minutes. Anyone who buys an instant pot might be a bit skeptical about it in the beginning, but when you’ve really used it to make some of the best instant pot slow cooker meal recipes – a few months down the line you will understand all the praises you have read about it in the reviews. And you will realize that your secret ingredient to all your meals being successful was simply that 1 teaspoonful of love! Bon Appetit!