Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Stupid Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Start to finish cook time: 36 minutes (2 prep + 7 saute + 13 pressurization + 8 high pressure + 6 pressure release)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 5

This maybe one of the easiest and most rewarding recipes for the Instant Pot, all IP'ers will agree. I watched chef get three heaping bowls the first time I made this, which is his silent nod of approval. There are so many Spaghetti recipes out there though, what sets this recipe apart? My signature combination of seasoning, I've been making meat sauce since I was little and make it so good Chef always has me make the sauce. Also I went with the half box of pasta, I like there to be adequate sauce there is nothing worse than dry pasta without enough sauce. Most of the IP spaghetti recipes out there are under seasoned and under sauced in my opinion, I can promise this recipe is neither. If you are cooking for a larger group you can double the recipe and use the full box of pasta but be sure to double meat/sauce/seasoning too. The rule of thumb is 1/2 cup water for each 1/4 of the box, that is the most important step of this recipe. 

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

  • 1lb ground beef, 90% lean
  • 1/2 box spaghetti (8oz, which is half, since a full box is 16oz)
  • 24 oz jar pasta sauce (traditional or plain, nothing overly seasoned as this is just a sauce base and we are doctoring to be above and beyond any store bought sauce)
  • 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried onions
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red peppers


  1. Turn Instant Pot to high saute for 12 minutes (likely won't use all this time, but set to this so it doesn't turn off on you). Put in ground beef and using a wooden spatula or spoon break into plies. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook until beef is browned.
  2. Turn off saute. No need to drain fat if you got 90% lean, if you got a fattier meat though you will need to drain fat. Pour 2 cup water over beef, using wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the IP to get off any burnt remnants that could set off the burn notice. 
  3. Take half box of spaghetti and break in half. Layer over the ground beef and water, criss crossing to avoid pasta sticking together as it cooks.
  4. Drain diced tomatoes and add over the dry pasta.
  5. Add all seasoning to the jar of sauce, not the pot. Mix using a spoon in the jar, so that sauce is evenly seasoned. Poor over the pasta making sure all pasta is covered, but don't go mixing it with the layers below. 
  6. Seal and set to high pressure for 8 minutes, be sure steam vent is in the sealed position. Also hit "keep warm". Allow for 13 minutes to build pressure.
  7. Once Instant Pot beeps it's done cooking, let natural pressure release for 6 minutes before releasing remaining pressure. 
  8. Mix and enjoy!
On high saute, cook ground beef until brown. Turn off,
add 2 cups water and make sure to scrape bottom with
wooden spoon to free debris to avoid burn notice.
Add seasoning to the jar of pasta and mix with a spoon,
this way the seasoning is evenly dispersed in the sauce. 
Add pasta on top of water and beef, make sure to stack in
opposite directions as you stack to avoid sticking. 
Add drained tomatoes on top of pasta.
Add seasoned sauce on top of pasta, making sure all pasta is covered.
Do not stir though. Seal and set for 8 minutes on high pressure. Once it
beeps, allow for 8 minute to de-pressure before releasing remaining pressure.
Mix together. 
Time to eat and enjoy!

Instant Pot Strawberry & Raspberry Go-Gurt

Start to Finish Cook Time: 12.5 hours (8 hours yogurt function, 4 hours fridge, 30 minutes tube prep) 
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 24 (2inX5in) Tubes
Yields: 6 cups of yogurt total

After much success with my Plain Overnight Yogurt recipe, I was compelled to try homemade go-gurt. I love go-gurt, it's easy mobile snack and easier to eat than yogurt out of container. I also love fruity yogurt, it's nature's sugar. Recently I discovered that using strawberry go-gurt as your yogurt starter not only works, but is so good!! It gives this hint of strawberry, and sweetness, it's my new favorite. Use a store bought go-gurt though for starter not your homemade, you will always need store-bought starter.  I wanted to include below some tidbits from your original plain yogurt recipe, as they are still very applicable to making go-gurt.

Let me tell you, once you taste this creamy fluffy homemade yogurt you won't ever want to eat the kind of yogurt you buy in a store. Let me also tell you a story about the first time I made this though, a cautionary tale. When it's done incubating, there is a bit of condensation that sits at the top layer of the yogurt. I came up with this brilliant idea to try to pour out that bit of condensation, and just when I thought it was perfect "FLOP". There goes half my yogurt in the sink. After 8 hours, this is quite devastating. However, the yogurt that survived was amazing. The next time I made this, I didn't do anything with the condensation for fear of having the same thing happen. And then it turned out too liquidy. Attempt 3, I found the sweet spot. If you dab a paper towel, it soaks up that excess liquid while keeping the yogurt safe. It's not a ton of liquid, but if you leave this it messes with the texture in my opinion. So don't be me, don't give your yogurt to the sink gods.

The true test if you made a good batch of yogurt is what the IP'ers call "the spoon test". If you put a spoon in it, the spoon will sit upright without assistance. When you get your standing spoon, you will be filled with joy. I prefer to cook this overnight since it has to sit for many hours (although you can cook during the day if that is more convenient for you). There are many variations out there, some without condensed milk and others with chocolate milk but personally those attempts did not come out as good as this recipe always does.

Do note you will need a food processor, a Instant Pot with Yogurt function, a funnel, and BPA-free plastic popsicle tubes for this recipe. I used these Popsicle Tubes off of Amazon, these were a tad shorter than expected but work, you are welcome to use whichever kind you want though just be sure it seals. Also, do yourself a favor and make sure to get the right funnel! It needs to be small enough to fit into tube but big enough that the chunks of fruit don't get stuck.

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Yogurt Ingredients
  • Carton of Lactose Free Fairlife 2% Milk (Blue Bottle) *you can use Fairlife Whole Milk (Red Bottle) if desired but I prefer the 2% for health and consistency reasons*  
  • 2 tbsp yogurt starter (anything with an active culture, I've used 5% Fage or even strawberry go-gurt)
  • 1/2 can condensed sweetened milk (optional but highly recommended)

Go-Gurt Additional Ingredients
  • 6 oz raspberries, washed and food processed
  • 1/2 container of 16 oz strawberries, washed-tops cut off- and sliced in half then food processed
  • Crystal Light*If you want to do instead of fruit*


  1. Pour gallon of Fairlife Milk, 2 tablespoons of your yogurt starter, and sweetened condensed milk into the instant pot.Whisk thoroughly!
  2. Seal and hit your yogurt button.  Make sure the steam vent is in the sealed position. Leave for 8 hours.
  3. Once done, it will read "YoGt" on your IP. Open the pot, trying to not pour the condensation on the lid onto the yogurt.
  4. Take a paper towel and dab all the excess moisture off (do NOT tilt and pour out condensation, as that is how you get a sink full of yogurt). This is an important step to creamy (not watery) yogurt.
  5. Take the stainless steal pot out of the IP, cover with a top or tin foil, and leave in your fridge for at least 4 hours. Dab any excess moisture still left with paper towel.
  6. Using a food processor, add full container of raspberries and pulse until in small chunks. Add to one bowl. Rinse processor and add 1/2 container of strawberries to repeat the process. For the strawberries be sure to cut off the tops and slice in half before adding to processor as you don't want leaves and you want as small as possible once pulsed. Add pulsed strawberries to a different bowl.
  7. Divide yogurt into the two separate bowls of fruit, 3 cups of yogurt to each bowl. Mix each bowl of yogurt and fruit until blended. 
  8. Using a funnel, poor fruit mixtures into tubes. It should make roughly 12 strawberry tubes and 12 raspberry tubes. I like to mark which kind it is and date it.
  9. Fridge or freeze, and enjoy!

Be sure to use Fairlife Whole Milk, any yogurt started so long as it has active
cultures, and you can use a 1/2 can condensed milk.
Add all to the pot and whisk WELL. You want active cultures mixed.
Hit yogurt and let it incubate 8 hours. Once done it
will say "YoGt".
This is what it will look like.
Dab excess moisture with paper towel, important to
remove extra liquid but DO NOT tilt over sink.

Add raspberries into a food processor and pulse until small.
Add 3 cups yogurt with raspberries and mix in bowl.

Cut tops of strawberries and cut in half, add to food processor.
Pulse into smallest chunks possible.

Add to remaining 3 cups yogurt in a separate bowl and mix.

Raspberry yogurt on left, strawberry yogurt on right.

Using funnel, fill each tube. You should have
roughly 24 total (12 of each)

Label, date, and enjoy.

Instant Pot Hot & Sour Soup

Start to finish cook time: 34 minutes* (3 prep + 20 pressurize + 6 high pressure + 2 high saute + 3 sitting covered) *If using pork and or wood ear mushrooms add 20 minutes of prep*
*reaching pressure time is based of a 6QT*
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 4-5 servings (2 cup portions)
Yields: 8-9 cups total

I have had this hot and sour soup recipe for years, it's my go to when I don't live near a Chinese place that can make a good version. Just a solid recipe. I have been craving this, so I thought it's time to create the IP version! This makes my already good recipe just that much easier.

One crucial step not to skip, you must use white pepper and vinegar. This is what makes it spicy and sour, so it's a key step and black pepper is not the same. Trust me!

There are a few variations of this recipe you can tweak depending on your needs. I personally prefer shredded dried Wood Ear (black) mushrooms, however they can really only be found in a Chinese market. So, in a bind you can sub in sliced Bellas or Shiitake mushrooms. I also prefer it with pork tenderloin, which you can get small amounts with a butcher, but if you are at a store where you can only buy prepackaged you may not feel like buying a whole think of pork for just a bit. So, you can always skip the pork and have a vegetarian version it's still tasty. The day I made this I actually did skip pork and the specialty mushrooms, just because I was lazy, and it turned out great anyway!

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

  • 16 oz firm tofu container, drained and sliced into strips (only use 1/2-2/3 container of tofu if using pork too, if not using pork use 2/3-full container depending on how much tofu you like)
  • 3 ounces pork tenderloin, sliced into little strips (can skip if you prefer vegetarian)
  • 4 tbsp shredded dried black wood ear mushrooms (if desired, can sub instead 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms or 8 oz sliced shiitake mushroom instead)
  • 5 stalks green onions, finely sliced
  • 8 oz sliced bamboo shoots, drained 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 cups water 
  • 8 chicken boullion cube or 8 tsps chicken better than bouillon 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce for soup and also 1 tsp soy sauce for pork marinade if using pork
  • 1 tsp sesame oil for soup and also 1/2 tsp sesame oil for pork marinade if using pork
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 6 tbsp water for thickener for soup and also 1 tsp cornstarch for marinade if using pork
  • 5 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot chili oil or Sriracha (optional) 

  1. If using pork, thin slice pork into little strips. Mix 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp cornstarch to make a marinade for pork. Marinate pork for 20 minutes. If skipping pork, you can skip this step.
  2. If using wood ear mushrooms, soak in warm water for 20 minutes in a bowl or cup. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel. If using sliced shiitake mushrooms or bellas, you can skip this step.
  3. Add to your Instant pot water, bouillon, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, sliced pork (if using), salt, sugar, remaining soy sauce, both vinegars, remaining sesame oil, white vinegar, and hot chili or Sriracha. Stir. DON'T add egg, green onion,  remaining cornstarch, or tofu- this will happen later.
  4. Seal and set to high pressure for 6 minutes and allow 20 minutes to reach pressure. Be sure the steam vent is set to the sealed position.
  5. While soup is cooking, cut tofu into small strips. Slice green onions into strips. In a small bowl, scramble one egg with a fork. In a small container mix the cornstarch and water.
  6. Once your IP beeps that it's finished on high pressure, quick release steam. Set your Instant Pot to high saute. 
  7. Once boiling,  pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup stirring while it is being added to avoid clumping or burning. Sauce will thicken, immediately turn off and set to keep warm. Drop in the beaten egg into your soup, stirring in one direction to disperse. You will see the egg quickly cook.
  8. Add diced tofu and chopped green onion, stir and cover. Allow to sit for 3 minutes just to let tofu warm up. Serve and enjoy!

Not pictured- pork and mushroom prep, see instructions. Once
complete add to your pot mushrooms, bamboo shoots, both vinegars,
soy sauce, salt, sugar, sesame oil,  white pepper, and hot chili or sriracha.
Mix and set to 6 minutes high pressure, allow 20 minutes to build pressure.
While soup is cooking, do remaining prep. Chop green onions into thin slices.
Cut tofu into strips. Scramble egg in small container. In separate container, mix
water and cornstarch. 
Set to high saute and once boiling add the cornstarch mix, stir
until thicken and shut back off. Set to keep warm. 
Mix scrambled egg in and stir in same direction, it will quickly cook. 
Add green onions and tofu, stir and cover for 3 minutes allowing
tofu to get warm. 
Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot Veggie Meat Sauce & Pasta

Start to finish cook time: 37 minutes (2 prep + 8 saute + 14 pressurization + 10 high pressure + 3 pressure release)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 6
Yields: roughly 4 cups pasta cooked

Once you get the hang of pasta in your Instant Pot, it's pretty hard to go back to cook on the stove (extra pots and effort ahh!). I'm trying to eat more veggies these days, so sometimes I will try and sneak in veggies like I decided to with this recipe. If I was trying to not be healthy, I would omit the mushrooms and spinach to make my famous meat sauce but those are for cheat days or days where I just need comfort food. Either way, I may never go back to stove top, this is so easy!

You can use the pasta of your choice, most will be right around the cook time of this recipe. We had a bunch of left over pasta so we did a mix of penne and cellentani. The only pastas I would caution you on are spaghetti and fettuccini, pastas that are long, because they tend to stick together in the IP. It's not that you can't do these kinds of noodles, but you will notice the difference in an IP vs stove top unless you got the extra mile of unsticking them.

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

  • 1 pound ground lean beef (90 or 93% lean)
  • 3 cups Penne pasta (can sub in most shaped pastas)
  • 33.5 oz box of Hunt's Tomato Sauce (4 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 of a 10 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 8 oz container of sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp olive oil (1 for water, 1 for cooking vegetables) 
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt (1/2 for water,  3/4 for sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red peppers


  1. Dice onion into small squares. Dice garlic. 
  2. Add onions, garlic, sliced mushroom, and 1 tbsp oil to your pot. Turn Instant Pot to high saute for 12 minutes (likely won't use all this time, but set to this so it doesn't turn off on you). Stir frequently to prevent burnin, break down beef into small chunks. Cook until until onions are translucent and beef is brown (this should take 5-7 minutes). 
  3. Turn off saute. Remove IP contents, strain excess liquid/fat, and put in large bowl or pot. Add tomato sauce and all seasoning with your cooked meat, mushrooms, and onions (again in separate bowl or pot, not in IP yet).
  4. Pour 1 1/2 cup water and 3 cups pasta in your Instant Pot. Add remaining 1 tbsp of oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix.
  5. Top with your sauce mix. Top with baby spinach. This is important, DON'T change order and DON'T STIR. Red sauces will set off the burn seasoner if they get to close to the bottom of the pot, keep your spinach from not overcooking, and also you want pasta to be mostly covered so it cooks without drying out.
  6. Seal and set to high pressure for 10 minutes, be sure steam vent is in the sealed position. Also hit "keep warm". Allow for 14 minutes to build pressure.
  7. Once Instant Pot beeps it's done cooking, let natural pressure release for 3 minutes before releasing remaining pressure. 
  8. Mix pasta and sauce, top with grated parmesan cheese or provolone. Enjoy!

Dice onion and garlic.
Set to high saute. Add oil, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and ground beef.
Break ground beef into small chunks.  Cook until onions are translucent
and ground beef is brown. Turn off saute.
In a separate bowl combine tomato sauce, meat mushroom mix,
and all seasoning together. Mix.
Add 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 cups pasta, and 1 1/2 cups pasta
to your instant pot. Stir.
Add pasta sauce on top of pasta, DO NOT MIX.
Add spinach on top of sauce, DONT MIX. Seal and set to 10 minutes,
allow for 14 minutes to build pressure. Once done, let sit for 3 minutes
before releasing pressure.
Mix together, as your spinach will be still sitting at the top. Use a wooden spoon,
freeing any pasta that may be stuck to the bottom (it will be minimal).
Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, shredded provolone, dried parsley.

Instant Pot Spicy & Creamy Chicken Orzo Soup

Start to finish cook time: 60 minutes (3 prep + 4 saute + 26 pressurize + 10 high pressure + 10 depressurize + 7 saute)
*reaching pressure time is based of a 6QT*
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 6 servings (2 cup portions)
Yields: 12 cups total

Continuing on my quest to find all things soup for Instant Pot, this week is a show stopper. It has a creamy and spicy undertone, paired with great lean proteins and colorful veggies. I barely got through taking pictures before I sat down to eat this one, it's that good. Bonus, you don't have to worry about really thawing the chicken and there is minimal prep time.

If you want to reduce BPA, swap canned black beans for my dried black bean recipe! It's an extra step but way healthier and I always keep dried black beans on hand.

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Source: Inspired by

Soup Ingredients 
  • 2 med- large frozen or semi-thawed chicken breasts 
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, drained 
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup medium salsa 
  • 8 oz block Philadelphia (light or original) Cream Cheese
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 (7 oz) can mild diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt's petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3/4 tsp of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning 
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp regular salt
  • 3/4 tsp paprika

Optional Garnish Ingredients 
    • Shredded white cheese
    • Taco sauce
    • Diced avocado 


    1. Before starting prepping, take cream cheese and frozen chicken breasts out and set on plates. The cream cheese will slowly get to room temp while your soup is cooking and the chicken breasts don't need to be thawed much at all.
    2. Chop yellow onion and green bell pepper into small squares. Add onions, bell peppers, and olive oil to your Instant Pot.
    3. Set Instant Pot to high saute for 13 minutes (you won't use nearly this amount of time I just set it for longer than I ever need so it doesn't turn off while cooking). Cook until onions are translucent (3-5 minutes) and turn off saute. 
    4. Add water, bullion, green chiles, all seasoning, black beans, and chicken. Lastly, add salsa and tomatoes. DONT STIR. Red sauces tend to set off the burn sensor so that is why you want to add last and not stir.
    5. Seal and set to high pressure for 10 minutes and allow 26 minutes to reach pressure. Be sure the steam vent is set to the sealed position and that keep warm is selected
    6. Once it beeps that it's finished on high pressure, allow to sit for 10 minutes before releasing remaining pressure.
    7. Using a fork or tongs, remove chicken and set aside. Shred chicken using 2 forks.  
    8. Cut cream cheese that has been sitting out into 1 inch squares. Add cream cheese squares and uncooked orzo into your Instant Pot, set to high saute and stir frequently to avoid burning. If you have cream cheese chunks that aren't fully melted you can use a wooden spoon to push cream cheese up against metal liner and this will help speed the creaming process. After 6-7 minutes, orzo should be cooked and cream cheese should be melted into a cream sauce.
    9. Turn off saute and add shredded chicken back to pot. Stir and you are ready to serve. Garnish with shredded cheese, diced avocado, taco sauce, or desired topping!

    Dice onion and bell pepper. Set frozen chicken and cream cheese on plates, to start
    to soften and thaw. 
    Saute on high heat olive oil, onions, and bell peppers.
    Cook until onions are translucent and then turn off saute. 
    Add water, bouillons, undrained green chilis, all seasoning,
    black beans, and chicken. 
    Lastly add salsa and undrained diced tomatoes. DO NOT
    STIR, you want these sitting on top to prevent setting off burn sensor.
    Set to 10 minutes high pressure, allow 26 minutes to reach pressure.
    Once cooked, allow 10 minutes to natural pressure release
    before releasing remaining pressure.
    Remove chicken breast with tongs and place on place. Shred
    with 2 forks until chicken is in small shreds. 
    Cut cream cheese into small squares. Add orzo and cream cheese
    squares into Instant Pot. Set to high saute and stir frequently.
    Use a wooden spoon to crush any cream cheese chunks until
    a cream is created and without chunks. Add shredded chicken back.
    Garnish with shredded cheese, taco sauce, chopped avocado, or desired topping. Enjoy!