If you own an instant pot, you’ll know just how useful they are! There’s nothing better than a tasty meal that you can leave in the pot and know it’ll be cooked to perfection by the time you return! Instant pot dishes, in one way or another, have been around for centuries – in medieval Europe, pots were actually prepared in the morning and then put in the woodfired ovens at the local bakery once they had finished baking for the day! The townspeople would then return in the evening to their slow-cooked pot full of flavor and goodness! Of course, modern instant pots are a bit more sophisticated, but the theory is the same. At NetCost Market, we thought we’d bring you some great instant pot recipes!
Spiced Bulgur Wheat Salad
Bulgur wheat is a popular staple in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It soaks up the flavors of whatever it’s cooked in, and if full of fiber and vitamins. This dish uses classic herbs to give the salad a deep flavor and is ideal as a side at a summer cookout!
1 cup bulgur wheat, 2 ¼ cups water, ¼ cup cucumber – chopped, ¼ cup parsley – chopped, 2 tbsp. fresh mint – chopped, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 5 cherry tomatoes – chopped, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp. za’atar spice blend.
- Place the bulgur wheat and 1 ¼ cups water in a heatproof bowl that fits inside your instant pot. Add a little salt. Pour the other cup of water into the inner pot if your model has this feature. Select “pressure cook” and cook for 2 minutes on high.
- Once done, release the pressure for 5 minutes.
- Allow the bulgur wheat to cool for at least 20 minutes.
- In a large salad bowl, add the cucumber, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and za’atar seasoning. Add the bulgur wheat and mix gently until all the liquid had been dispersed.
- Serve immediately.
Instant pot beef chili
Beef chili is delicious and comforting, but we’re always told it needs hours to slow cook if you want a real chili – not anymore! This quick and easy chili recipe is perfect for when you get home late from work but still crave the delicious comforts of homemade beef chili.
¼ cup brown rice, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 6 oz. ground beef steak, 2 tsp. chili seasoning, 1 tsp. beef stock, ½ cup onion – sliced, 2 cloves garlic – chopped, 1 can kidney beans – drained and rinsed, 1 can diced tomatoes, lime wedges, fresh cilantro.
- Cook the brown rice according to the instructions on the packet.
- In an instant pot, choose the “sauté” program and the “normal” setting. Once the temperature has been reached, add the oil.
- Next, add the beef – cooking it until golden brown.
- Add the chili seasoning, beef stock, garlic, and onions, and cook for a few minutes – stir frequently.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Close the lid and the vent. Select the “meat” and “stew” program and the “normal” setting. Set the timer for 20 minutes and the quick release according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Serve with the rice, lime wedges, and plenty of cilantro.
Instant pot mac & cheese
Mac & cheese is a great side, but it’s also a great comfort food if you want it as a main! This recipe is dangerously tasty and easy, so make sure you are able to restrain yourself once you know how it’s done!
1lb. macaroni, 4 cups water, 4 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. salt, ½ cup ground mustard, ½ tbsp. smoked paprika, 1 can evaporated milk, 3 ½ cups shredded cheddar, 2 cups shredded fontina, ½ cup shredded parmesan, salt, pepper.
- Add macaroni, water, butter, salt, mustard, and paprika to your instant pot. Secure the lid and set to “manual”, on high pressure. Cook for 4 minutes.
- For the release, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure you wait until the cycle is completed before removing the lid.
- Stir in the evaporated milk and the cheeses until fully melted and combined.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving.
Instant pots are designed to give you more time to yourself! What’s more, many of the recipes above can be set ahead of time so your meal is waiting for you when you walk through the door! Here at NetCost Market, we know just how convenient instant pots are, and if you want to explore what yours can do, head down to your local NetCost Market and stock up on quality ingredients!