Friday, April 15, 2016

New Obsession and an Instant Pot Recipe

New Obsession, Maybe

Before Christmas, I was reading an email newsletter from where she talked about developing recipes for the Instant Pot. Well, I am the Crock Pot Queen! Seriously, I have SEVEN (yes, 7) crock pots. I use my good Hamilton Beach programmable one for standard dinner cooking, but when I entertain (especially at the Holidays), I use several of them at one time. So when I heard about the Instant Pot, I was definitely intrigued. Once I read more about it as well as the various reviews on Amazon, I decided to put it on my Wish List for Christmas. Lo and behold, Santa (a/k/a my Mom) brought me one for Christmas! Yippee!! One of the reasons I wanted one is that my role at work changed, and I've gotten much busier as a result. Even though I work from home, I don't always have time in the morning to go throw something in the crock pot. By the time I'm done with my conference calls, it's 5:30pm and I have no idea what I'm going to make for dinner, especially when I didn't even have time to take meat out of the freezer. So, the Instant Pot has come to my rescue!

One of the first things I made was a yummy Clam Chowder from the recipe book that came with it. Next, was a pot roast with yummy veggies. Both recipes only took about 30 minutes to cook. I also made some really good, super tender, BBQ ribs. My husband loved them! Cooking in the Instant Pot is far faster than the traditional method for sure.

Since then, through a good friend of mine, I discovered a Facebook group called the Instant Pot Community. These people are far more obsessed about their IP than I am (yes, I've started picking up their lingo), but with good reason! Now that I am seeing all of the amazing recipes and uses for the IP, I think I may end up obsessed as well. Here's a recipe I tried last night.

One Pot Sausage & Pasta Recipe

There is a one-pot Sausage & Pasta Recipe that I really like to make because (1) I usually have the ingredients on hand, (2) it only uses one pot, and (3) doesn't take too long to cook. You can find the traditional method recipe here.  I am also intrigued by making Macaroni & Cheese in the IP, so when I found this recipe, I thought maybe I could use this method to make the Sausage & Pasta in the IP. It came out really great, easy, and fast, so I documented my steps for posterity (and so I remember how to do it again in the future). You're welcome!


  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth (mostly)
  • 1 Cup Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 tsps minced garlic
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 tsps Tony Chachere's creole spice
  • Brown mustard, worcestershire sauce, Tobasco to taste
  • Pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced


So I sliced up the smoked sausage and diced an onion. If you don't have one of these handy dandy gadgets, then do yourself a favor and pick one up at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $20. So worth it! It makes dicing an onion super quick and tear free. Slice the ends off the onion, peel the paper off, cut in half or quarters (depending on the size), then put it on the slicing grate and slam down the lid!

Next, I turned my Instant Pot to Saute and adjusted the temp to high and added the olive oil. Once it was hot, I added the sausage and some creole seasoning. I browned the sausage for about 5 minutes and then added the onions and sauteed those for a few more minutes until translucent, then added the garlic and sauteed for another 30 seconds or so.

I then turned off the IP and added the broth, tomatoes (undrained), pasta, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce and stirred it up. The reason that I didn't use a full 4 cups of broth was because (1) I was adding the tomatoes with juice and I just needed 4 cups of liquid for the pasta, and (2) because I didn't have quite 4 cups left in the open carton I had in the fridge.

Next I put the lid on, closed the vent, and pressed the Manual button and set the minutes to 8 minutes at high pressure.

After the 8 minutes were done and the IP beeped, I put a damp towel over the vent and released the pressure. Once the steam was done and the valve dropped, I opened the pot. I then set the heat back to saute and adjusted it to low. I added the can of milk and stirred until it started to bubble and thicken a little. Next went in the cheese, one cup at a time, stirring after each.

After all the cheese was melted and the sauce had thickened a bit, I added some fresh ground pepper then changed the temp to just Keep Warm. I put the glass lid on the IP that I ordered separate from Amazon for when I want to keep food warm. It's super handy.

I was very pleased with the results! Still a one pot dish, but in half the time, and I wasn't having to stand over the stove stirring from time to time. Another IP success! I'm excited to keep trying new recipes!!

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