Lately I’ve been on the hunt for classic dinner recipes for my Instant Pot. Because as much as some people think of this pressure cooker ninja as a one-trick pony, it can whip up so much more than soups, stews, and chilis.
So I’ve started stepping up my dinner game, all without spending the time, energy, or fuss — and did I mention time? — that these classic dinner recipes used to require. As if we busy parents needed one more reason to love our Instant Pots!
Top: Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon recipe via The View from Great Island
Instant Pot Meatloaf
I usually consider meatloaf a weekend dish since it usually takes a full hour to cook in the oven. Au contraire, says Jennifer Branz, who created this genius Instant Pot Meatloaf recipe. The use of a slow cooker cuts the cooking time in half, plus it eliminates the scrubbing-meat-crust-out-of-the-loaf-pan phase altogether. Yes!
Instant Pot Chicken with Rice
Discovering that my all-time favorite Indian dish can be made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot is an experience I can only describe as thrilling. And so, so delicious. I can vouch for the exceeding yumminess of the Instant Pot Butter Chicken from “Butter Chicken Lady” Urvashi Pitre (recipe on the Chicago Tribune), and for the fact that making it will take no longer than ordering takeout.
Alternatively, check out Uvrashi’s own site, Two Sleevers, for an Instant Pot Chicken Biryani (shown above) that takes just 15 minutes of prep. She lays out the ingredients and instructions so clearly and easily, right down to the brand of basmati rice she likes. Plus, she offers a helpful tip for a spice shortcut using ready-made Garam masala.
Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon
I’m a big fan of this classic French dish, and while the results of Julia Child’s perfect recipe is totally worth the 3 to 4 hours of work it requires, that time commitment is not always possible for a busy parent. Happily, Sue at The View from Great Island has gifted us with this Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon (also at very top) so we can enjoy this dish without having to wait until, you know, the kids go off to college. Hers includes carrots, onions, celery and potatoes, plus mushrooms if you’d like. She also describes why the cognac and red wine don’t cook off in the same way as the traditional method, which I find really helpful.
Instant Pot Chicken Ragu
As picky as he is, my son can’t seem to resist a tomato sauce, which is why the Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Ragu recipe from Girl Gone Gourmet jumped out at me right away. And when I saw that it only requires 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cooking, it just became part of my weekly meal plan. Just make sure you double or triple this recipe; it’s designed to make two servings, and I have a feeling you’re going to want more. Also, skip the red pepper flakes if your kids don’t do spicy. You can always add them in later to your own serving.
Instant Pot Ratatouille
If you’re a fan of the classic, hearty, stewed vegetable ratatouille, you’ll be twice the fan of this Instant Pot Ratatouille recipe from Flavor the Moments. The sped-up version of the classic Mediterranean dish takes just under 30 minutes to prepare and cook in total, and now that the weather is (finally!) cooling off it’s a perfect weeknight meal. Keep this recipe on hand if you’re looking for a meat-free dinner that still satisfies.