7 dishes Isa no longer prepares without her Instant Pot

After writing an article in May 2016 about how much I fell in love with the instant pot, it got very quiet. But finally, at Christmas the same year, I became a proud owner of an instant pot. Halleluja! So I've tried out all the programs of the multifunctional cooker, and since then, it's a part of my kitchen that I don't want to miss anymore.

Three years later, it's time to show you for which dishes I'm using the instant pot for. Just remember, an Instant Pot can not only cook, but also fry, saute, cook rice, steam with and without pressure, and even make yogurt. Jesus! Many of the features I use almost every day. And some of them I've never tried, for example, I have barely used the slow cook mode or made yogurt by myself. So there is still a lot to catch up with!

Before we start: Each sort of rice and vegetable has a different cooking time, which you can easily read in the recipe booklet you get handed out when buying an Instant Pot. So this won't be a problem at all. So moreover, I would like to give you an understanding of the way you cook with an Instant Pot. If you want specific recipes, text us!

In the picture, upper row: rice scoop, soup spoon, measuring cup; bottom row: steamer basket, steam rack with handles, recipe booklet

1. Rice & Cereals

I can’t remember the last time I cooked rice in a regular pot. Cause there are three big advantages of cooking rice in an Instant pot: 1) The Instant Pot saves you space on the hob 2) You don’t have to stir constantly, and 3) You can’t miss the desired doneness.

I take all cooking times from the recipe booklet, which always works out perfectly. You will find the exact ratios of rice and grain to water, as well as the exact cooking times. For example, basmati rice needs 4 minutes at a rice-to-water ratio of 1: 1. And wild rice needs 20-25 minutes at a ratio of 1: 2.

How does it work?

  1. Measure out the desired amount of rice or grain and then add it to Instant Pot’s inner pot.
  2. Add the water (and salt if desired).
  3. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  4. Select the “Manual” program and set the desired pressure cooking time.
  5. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, open the steam release and let it evaporate. Then remove the lid and turn off the instant pot.

2. Fresh vegetables

The procedure with fresh vegetables is very similar to the preparation of rice or grain: you measure the ingredients, add water, put on the lid, and steam it all until your Instant Pot beeps loudly and ends the cooking process. In the meantime, you can fry tofu or prepare your sauce or dip.

But there is one main difference: Fresh vegetables are cooked in a steam basket, which you simply place in the pot of the instant pot. In this way, you steam your veggies instead of cooking them in water. If you do not have a steam basket, then just use the steam rack and place a bowl on it.

A big advantage that I quickly noticed when preparing veggies in an Instant Pot is that the cooking process retains most of the nutrients and vitamins in your food. By gently steaming the veggies, they remain fresh and don't taste watered-down.

By the way: You can, of course, also prepare rice or cereals and fresh vegetables together in an Instant Pot. You should only pay attention to similar cooking times. For example, quinoa and broccoli go together very well, because both have a cooking time of one minute. Or jasmine rice and pumpkin, as well as basmati rice with sweet potato, spinach, kale, and eggplant. You prepare the rice or cereals in the pot and simply place the steamer basket on top. Voila!

How does it work?

  1. Prepare the veggies: Wash and chop if needed and add it to Instant Pot’s inner pot.
  2. Add at least 250 ml / 1 cup water (and salt if desired).
  3. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  4. Select the “Manual” program and set the desired pressure cooking time.
  5. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, open the steam release and let it evaporate. Then remove the lid and turn off the instant pot.

3. Dried Lentils & Beans

Dried lentils or beans are not prepared in the steamer basket, but cooked directly in the water, like rice and grain. You can find all the different cooking times in the recipe booklet. Make sure that the dried lentils and beans are sufficiently covered with water. Besides, you should not fill the pot more than half, because lentils and beans double their volume during the cooking process.

How does it work?

  1. Measure the desired amount of lentils or beans and add them to Instant Pot’s inner pot.
  2. Cover the lentils or beans with enough water (and salt if desired).
  3. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  4. Select the “Manual” program and set the desired pressure cooking time.
  5. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, turn off the Instant Pot and wait for another 5-10 minutes. Then remove the lid.

4. Risotto

Cooking risotto in an Instant Pot works very similar to cooking rice.
However, before cooking the rice, we roast onions and garlic and deglaze with white wine. For this, we use the function "Sauté", which is perfect for frying.

I usually use a ratio of 200 g risotto rice, 100 ml white wine, and 1 l veggie broth.

How does it work?

  1. Prepare all the veggies: Peel and finely dice onions and garlic and prepare more veggies like peas or pumpkin if needed.
  2. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot.
  3. Select the “Sauté” program and add oil or plant-based butter. Fry onions and garlic until translucent.
  4. Measure out the desired amount of risotto rice and then add it to the inner pot. Also, add the veggies.
  5. Deglaze with white wine and add the veggie broth.
  6. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  7. Select the “Manual” program and set the desired pressure cooking time (5 minutes for risotto).
  8. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, open the steam release and let it evaporate. Then remove the lid and turn off the instant pot.
  9. Now add vegan cheese, salt, pepper, herbs, and season to taste.

5. Soups

The procedure for soups is very similar to the preparation of risotto. The advantage of cooking soups in an Instant Pot is that you get the nutrients and vitamins of the vegetables and thus have a more tasteful dish at the end. For soups, simply puree the vegetables after the cooking or steaming process.

How does it work?

  1. Prepare all the veggies: Peel and finely dice onions and garlic and prepare the veggies like carrots or pumpkin.
  2. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot.
  3. Select the “Sauté” program and add oil or plant-based butter. Fry onions and garlic until translucent.
  4. Add the veggies to the inner pot and let it roast for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with the veggie broth (and cream or coconut milk if desired), so the veggies are fully covered.
  6. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  7. Select the “Soup” program.
  8. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, open the steam release and let it evaporate. Then remove the lid and turn off the instant pot.
  9. Now puree the soup and add herbs, salt, pepper, and season to taste.

6. Curry

The way of cooking a curry in an Instant pot is very similar to the preparation of rice or risotto. At first, we use the function "Sauté" to fry onions and garlic, and then we use the program "Manual" for cooking the veggies. Of course, you can vary the ingredients.

How does it work?

  1. Prepare all the veggies: Peel and finely dice onions, ginger and garlic and prepare more veggies like peas or pumpkin if needed.
  2. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot.
  3. Select the “Sauté” program and add oil or plant-based butter. Fry onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste until translucent.
  4. Add the veggies and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with coconut milk and veggie broth. The veggies should be fully covered.
  6. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  7. Select the “Manual” program and set the desired pressure cooking time (5 minutes).
  8. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, open the steam release and let it evaporate. Then remove the lid and turn off the instant pot.
  9. Now add salt, fresh lemon or lime juice, fresh herbs (mint and cilantro), and season to taste.

7. Rice pudding

I am a very impatient person, which can be catastrophic when it comes to the preparation of rice pudding. Preparing rice pudding is all about stirring, stirring, and stirring the pudding. At least for about 20 to 30 minutes. Washing the dishes or taking out the garbage will be instantly punished with burned milk. Rice pudding wants all of your attention! So preparing rice pudding in an Instant pot is quite relaxed: put the rice and the plant-based milk in the pot, put the lid on, and that's it! I mostly use a ratio of 1: 4. For example (for 2 servings), 100 g of rice pudding, and 400 ml of plant-based milk. Add 2-3 tbsp of sugar or agave syrup.

How does it work?

  1. Measure out the desired amount of rice and add it to the Instant Pot’s inner pot.
  2. Add the plant-based milk and sugar/agave syrup if needed.
  3. Place the inner pot into the cooker base, then plug in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, and set the steam release to the “Seal” position.
  4. Select the “Manual” program and set 10 minutes of pressure cooking time.
  5. Once the instant pot is ready and beeps loudly, don’t open the steam release. Wait for another 10 minutes and then remove the lid and turn off the instant pot.
  6. Stir the rice pudding well and serve with morello cherries, berries or sugar, and cinnamon.
Zucker ↦ Jagdwurst Donut
Hej, we are Julia&Isa!

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