Monday, January 2, 2017

Instant Pot One Pot Pasta

This is a form of baked ziti with meat sauce, but all made in one pot. No more cooking in 2 pots on the stove and then in the oven in a third dish. The family loved this! 

Ingredients:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (or these amazing frozen garlic chunks)
  • italian seasoning (I just eyeball this, but I'm guessing I used 1 tsp of salt, pepper, 1 tbsp dried parsley, 2 tsp dried basil, or these fabulous frozen basil chunks)
  • 1 lb ground beef (I prefer lean just so you don't have to drain it but up to you; could also use turkey, sausage, or no meat)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I like the Trader Joe's tomato & basil marinara)
  • 1 jar of water
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or more of the jar, but this is how I made it tonight so those are the ingredients I'm listing)
  • 1 lb your favorite tube pasta; we used penne pasta (tube just holds more stuff inside and tends to be better for this type of recipe)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, optional


  1. Select the saute function of your instant pot. Once heated, coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 2-3 mins. Then add the meat and break up as you cook it. I also added the seasoning here. I defrosted mine first to make it easier, plus then I could drain some of the fat before adding it. 
  2. Add garlic and basil if adding the frozen kind. Give it a good stir.
  3. Next layer in this order:
    1. pasta
    2. jar of sauce
    3. fill jar with warm water and pour around the sides of the IP, try not to dilute the pasta sauce on top. Just to be safe, I added the water before adding remaining tomato sauce.
    4. tomato sauce
  4. Do not stir it; you want it to cook with everything layered this way. Don't ask me why, but it worked really well this way. the meat even got a little crispy at the bottom, which we liked. Plus then the sauce isn't watery, the water cooks the pasta below and helps the bottom of the IP not burn.
  5. Secure lid on top; make sure pressure valve is on seal. Cancel the saute function and hit "manual" and adjust time to 7. Mine took about 10 minutes to build enough pressure to start the cooking time. So I would give yourself 20 minutes for this to cook.
  6. Once it is done cooking and beeps, using a towel, turn the pressure valve to release and do a Quick Release. It may overcook the pasta if you let naturally release.
  7. Once the pressure is released, take the lid off, and stir in the cheese. (Or do it after you serve it but this makes everything cheesy). Make sure to stir well as all the meat is at the bottom. 
  8. Enjoy!!

Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I kind of copied this recipe but took ideas from multiple recipes, so here's how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of the IP; I added more when I added the chicken)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced (we ommitted this to make it not spicy but added sauteed anaheim pepper as a garnish and it was yummy!!)
  • 1 large poblano pepper (or bell pepper), chopped (we ommitted this too, but it would be good!)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into chunks (I used 3 good size chicken breasts); you could also use shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken. I also seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder before putting it in the pot. The chicken definitely needs seasoning, so use whatever kind of seasoning you like - spicy would work great here!
  • Enchilada sauce; recommended is: 1 12 oz jar red enchilada sauce (about 1.5 cups) and 1 12 oz jar/can green enchilada sauce (about 1.5 cups). I prefer Rosarita red sauce and used 1.5 of the small cans and 1 12 oz can of some mild green sauce. You could use whatever kind/style you prefer here though for sure!
  • 1 14 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (you could use any kind of beans though)
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • Garnish ideas: sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped peppers (sauteed ahead of time makes them so much better), avocado, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, crumbled tortilla chips or even fried tortilla strips.


DIRECTIONS
1. Select the saute function of your instant pot. Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 2-3 mins.
2. Add in diced chicken to brown/sear until most sides are browned. If you haven't seasoned the chicken, do so as you add it to the IP. If adding cooked chicken, I would add this last, with the beans.
3. Add in minced garlic, peppers if you are adding them, and corn. Saute for another 2 minutes.
4. Mix in both enchilada sauces, beans, and chicken broth. Give it a stir.
5. Secure the lid and select manual. Cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes, depending on how uncooked your chicken is.
6. Use a quick release and remove the lid. Keep the instant pot on, add in cream cheese. Stir for another 3-4 minutes, or until the cream cheese melts. I actually put the lid back on and kept it on warm for about 10 minutes because the cream cheese wasn't melting all the way. It will leave some small bits, but that's ok.
7. Serve hot, and garnish with yummy goodness!!

Notes: I messed up on my settings and realizing how pressure cookers actually cook, LOL...it was only our 2nd dish in it. I didn't realize how long it took for the IP to build pressure BEFORE the cooking time actually starts. So I cannot promise you we actually cooked it for 8 minutes because I stopped it in the middle and opened it, then I set it again. But I think it will be plenty of time, especially with small pieces of chicken or precooked chicken. You can also let it naturally release instead of doing a quick release. We ate it for 2 days as leftovers and also froze a container of it. Joe & I loved it; felicity went with it for one meal but never asked for it again; Callie barely tried it but I knew she wouldn't want it. They are not big soup fans ;) But for a winter weeknight, especially when we were all battling sickness, it was so good!