The Instant Pot can be a lifesaver when you’re strapped for time. So we’ve assembled three easy — and comforting — Instant Pot recipes to help you beat the cold and save time in the kitchen. The best part? The irresistible smell that will fill your house as a result.
1. White Bean and Kale Soup with Frizzled Leeks and Paprika Oil
Serves 6 to 8
This vegan soup is full of flavor and texture. A garnish of crispy fried leeks and a drizzle of paprika oil adds something extra, but if you're pressed for time, you can streamline the recipe by leaving these elements out.
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
1 small bunch kale, tough stems stripped out, leaves cut into thin strips (about 6 cups)
2 bay leaves
1 leek, white and light-green parts, only split lengthwise and rinsed well
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons paprika (your choice mild, hot or smoked)
1 large tomato, diced (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Turn an Instant Pot to high sauté setting. When hot, add olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until just soft, about 5 minutes. Turn off sauté setting. Add broth, beans, kale and bay leaves. Attach the lid to the pot, seal, set to high pressure and make sure the pressure valve is in the "seal" position. Set timer to 30 minutes. Press start.
Meanwhile, cut leek lengthwise into thin strips, each about 3 inches long. Pat dry. Heat canola oil in small skillet over medium heat. When oil is very hot, add half of the leeks a small handful at a time and cook, turning with slotted spoon, until browned and very crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining leeks. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the oil from the leeks and allow to cool; discard remaining oil. Stir paprika into reserved oil and set aside.
Allow pressure to release naturally from the Instant Pot. When released, remove lid. Discard bay leaves. Use a potato masher or large fork to mash some of the beans so you have a creamy soup. Stir in tomato and salt. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with paprika oil and top with frizzled leeks.
2. Citrusy Pork Carnitas in Cabbage Leaf "Tacos"
Juicy pork carnitas make for a great paleo-friendly filling. Wrap the tender meat in colorful red cabbage and add your choice of fresh garnishes.
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3-inch cubes
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño pepper
1 large head red cabbage
Garnishes of choice: shredded cabbage, diced onion, pico de gallo, cilantro, diced avocado and lime wedges
In a cup, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over all sides of the pork. Set an Instant Pot to the high sauté setting. Add oil; add pork and cook, turning chunks occasionally, until very browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour in orange juice and lime juice and add garlic, jalapeño and remaining spice mixture. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure and make sure the pressure valve is in the "seal" position. Set timer to 35 minutes. Press start.
Meanwhile, preheat oven broiler to high and position rack at the top of the oven. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Peel leaves from each half, discarding the core, and wash and dry each cabbage leaf to use for the taco shells. When cooking is complete, allow pressure to release naturally (about 15 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and shred with two forks. Place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes to crisp up the edges. (Watch it like a hawk and don’t walk away!) Remove, toss the pork with some of the remaining juices, then broil again for just 2 to 3 minutes this time. You want a combination of crispy pork and tender, juicy morsels. Just before serving, drizzle more cooking liquid over the carnitas and serve hot, stuffed in crunchy cabbage shells and topped with garnishes of choice.
3. Veggie Noodles with Instant Pot Tomato Sauce
Serves 4 with about 4 cups sauce leftover
This recipe will be ready in about 40 minutes and will give you a generous amount of sauce, plenty for meals later in the week.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 small onion, diced
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Parmigiano Reggiano rind (optional)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound (about 6 cups) veggie noodles, such as zucchini, butternut squash or carrot noodles
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup basil or parsley leaves, thinly sliced or chopped
Set an Instant Pot to high sauté setting. Add oil, garlic, carrot and onion and cook, stirring, until vegetables are just softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano rind (if using), pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Set the pot to high pressure and make sure the pressure valve is in the "seal" position. Set timer to 25 minutes. Press start. When cooking is complete, allow pressure to release naturally. Open pot and discard rind, if using.
Place veggie noodles in a steamer basket and set over simmering water. Cook until heated through and tender, 2 to 5 minutes depending on type of vegetable. Divide noodles between bowls and top each bowl with about 2/3 cup tomato sauce and sprinkle with basil. Extra sauce will keep refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen up to 6 months.
Instant Pot is a registered trademark of Double Insight Inc.