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

My Favorite Easy Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Start to finish cook time: 34 minutes (1 prep + 9 pressurize + 12 high pressure + 12 depressure)
*reaching pressure time is based of a 4QT*
Effort Level: Low

If you have made any of my recipes that feature rice as an ingredient, it's no secret I love Parboiled Rice. Parboiled Rice is a secret weapon Chef introduced to me a long time ago because I used to be the person that screws up rice every time I cooked it. Parboiled is the friendly cooperative version of rice, every time it comes out perfect without fail and it's super fast! I've been a believer of Parboiled Rice on the stove top ever since, but I recently took the plunge in the Instant Pot and was happy to realize it translates to IP too (there wasn't much online telling me if it was going to work out, so now I feel like I'm Columbus discovering new islands).

So this is my Mexican style version, it's just one additional step and I swear it's as good as it is at restaurants. Fun tip, I often make black beans in my IP and when I have leftovers I mix with the Mexican rice as a combo. It's really good if you are wanting something more than rice, although just the rice on it's own is just as good. You can get as creative as you want on additional garnishes!

I have a 4 quart mini that I bought specifically for sides and rice. I generally will throw on rice in my mini, while my main dish is cooking in my 6 quart. If my rice finishes first, it can sit on "warm" for about up to an hour and still be pipping hot (don't let it sit on "warm" longer than an hour as it will eventually burn to the bottom if you don't have a model that auto-shuts off. If you have only one IP you could cook the rice before your main dish and put in a glass Tupperware container in the microwave, to be given a 30-60 second nuke when your dish is ready.

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 cup enriched parboiled rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 packet of Mi Arroz Rojo/Red Rice Seasoning Mix, usually they sell in a box for $1-2 and comes with 4 packets in the box (I buy at Walmart)
  • 1 can Rotel (drained, optional)


  1. Pour 1 3/4 cup water and 1 cup parboiled rice into your Instant Pot. Add contents of one Mi Arroz packet and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir. Optional- add a can of drained rotel and DONT stir, just leave on top.
  2. Seal and set to high pressure for 12 minutes and allow 9 minutes to reach pressure. Be sure the steam vent is set to the sealed position and that keep warm is selected
  3. Once it beeps that it's finished on high pressure, allow to sit for 12 minutes before releasing remaining pressure.
  4. That's it, perfect rice each time!
  5. Serve as a side to tacos or burritos, mix with beans as a rice/bean side dish, garnish with any Spanish toppings (avocado, tomato, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, beans ect).

Add water, parboiled rice, mi arroz packet, and salt. Mix.
Seal and set to 12 minutes, allowing 9 minutes to build pressure
and 12 minutes to natural release pressure before releasing
remaining pressure.
Stir and serve! Great as a side to tacos, can be mixed with black beans for rice/bean
mix, or could be topped with fun garnishes (avocado, shredded lettuce, shredded
cheese, and or taco sauce).

Instant Pot Italian Veggie Soup

Start to finish cook time: 40 minutes (2 prep + 8 saute + 20 pressurization + 10 high pressure + QR)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 6

If you know me, you know work lunch is all about soups! This week I wanted to focus on eating something with deep leafy vegetables like kale and up my protein intake with beef. At the same time, if you are eating something 5 days in a row you have to have something a bit sinful like pasta and cheese to keep me still eating it. So I came up with a recipe and gave it a whirl, it turned out really well!

We have storms rolling through Chicagoland on Memorial Day weekend, so strangely it's the perfect weather to curl up with a hot bowl of soup!

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 85% or 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped small
  • 1 zucchini, quartered
  • 1 bunch of kale, leave ripped into smaller bits from stem (dispose of stems)
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry uncooked tricolor rotini pasta 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 8oz fresh mozzarella ball, shredded
  • 33.5 oz Box of Hunts Tomato sauce (4 cups)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning 
  • 1/8 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


  1. Chop onions, garlic, and zucchini. Rip bits of kale from stems, dispose of stems.
  2. Turn your IP to high saute for 13 minutes (you likely won't use all this time, but I do this so I know it won't ever turn off early and waste time with reheating).
  3. Add oil, onions, garlic, and ground beef to pot. Break ground beef into chunks, cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. You shouldn't need to drain fat as long as you get at least 85% lean (ideally 90% lean).
  4. Turn off saute and add in this order- chopped zucchini, water, pasta, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, creole, garlic salt, regular salt, dried basil, chili flakes, and then kale bits. DO NOT MIX and DO NOT CHANGE ORDER. This is to prevent the burn notice from the red sauce, to make sure the pasta is covered to not dry out, and also keep the kale from overcooking. Don't add any cheeses yet.
  5. Seal and set to high pressure for 10 minutes, be sure steam vent is in the sealed position. Allow 20 minutes to reach pressure. 
  6. While soup is cooking, shred mozzarella.
  7. Once your IP beeps, quick release pressure.
  8. Add shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan. Stir and enjoy!
Dice onions, fine chop garlic, quarter zucchini, and rip kale into small
bite sized parts ripping from stems (discard stems).
Turn on high saute and add oil, onion, garlic, and ground beef. Break beef into
small chunks with spatula. Cook until ground beef is browned and onions are
Turn off saute. Add 1 quartered zucchini.  
Add remaining in this order: 3 cups water, 4 cups tomato sauce,
and all seasoning. 
 Lastly, top with ripped up kale. DO NOT STIR, you want the tomato sauce
undisturbed and the kale sitting on top. Seal and set to 10 minutes high pressure,
allow for 20 minutes to build pressure. Be sure steam vent is sealed. While soup
is cooking, shred mozzarella.
Once it beeps done, quick release pressure. Your Kale will look cooked through like
Add 1/2 8 oz mozzarella block (shredded) and 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese.
Stir and serve. 

Instant Pot Deconstructed Chicken Parmesan

Start to finish cook time: 40 minutes (5 prep + 7 saute + 15 pressurization + 10 high pressure + 3 pressure release)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 5

I love chicken parm, but who ever has the time to make it? To be honest, when I want chicken parm the traditional way I make Chef cook it lol. But deconstructed chicken parm, is a whole different story because it's so much easier. You still get all the flavors in the traditional dish, but without the work. To be honest, my creation turned out far better than I expected, it may be my new favorite pasta dish! No boiling water, no creating sauce in a separate pot, no breading the chicken- but it's so good!!

Although you could probably use a lot of different pasta shapes, Cellentani is a great pasta for this dish because it's not going to stick together and the spirals let the sauce really get in there. There is nothing I hate more than really dry pasta.

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: Concept loosely inspired by

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 8 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese (damp to the touch, comes in a ball usually), shredded 
  • 2 cups Cellentani pasta (they look like curly spirals)
  • 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)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp better than bouillon chicken or 1 cube chicken bouillon 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 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 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (1/4 for topping and 1/4 for sauce after cooking)


  1. Dice onion into small squares (1 inch roughly). Dice garlic. Cut chicken into cubes. 
  2. Add onions, garlic, chicken breast cubes, and 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 burning. Cook until until onions are translucent and chicken is a bit browned. 
  3. Turn off saute. Pour 1 cup water over chicken. Add in this order- all seasoning, bouillon, then pasta, and then sauce. 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, also you want pasta to be mostly covered so it cooks without drying out.
  4. Seal and set to high pressure for 10 minutes, be sure steam vent is in the sealed position. Also hit "keep warm". Allow for 15 minutes to build pressure.
  5. While dish is cooking, shred fresh mozzarella. 
  6. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (save 1/4 cup parm cheese for later), and 1 tbsp butter. Mix thoroughly, cook in microwave 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir and set aside. IMPORTANT- be sure to not skip mixing before microwaving, I did this once and the parmesan sticks together like glue instead of sticking to bread crumbs and will make it very chunky rather than something sprinkable.
  7. Once Instant Pot beeps it's done cooking, let natural pressure release for 3 minutes before releasing remaining pressure. 
  8. Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix.
  9. Add remaining mozzarella cheese and then parm/bread crumbs to garnish as a top layer. Let sit for 30 seconds until cheese has melted and enjoy!

Dice onions and garlic. 
Cut chicken into small cubes. 
On high saute add oil, onions, garlic, and chicken. Cook
until onions are translucent and chicken is brown (on outside,
doesn't have to be fully cooked). 
Turn high saute off and add in this order: 1 cup water,
all seasoning, bouillon cube, then pasta, and then pasta sauce.
DO NOT STIR. Seal and set to 10 minutes high pressure. While
pasta is cooking, shred mozzarella.  
Mix 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and 1 tbsp butter.
Mix the cheese and crumbs well, to avoid rock clumping, and cook for 30 seconds
in microwave. Mix again and cook 30 more seconds. Mix again, set aside. 
Once IP beeps it's done cooking, let sit for 3 minutes depressurizing
and then quick release remaining pressure. Add 1/2 the shredded mozzarella
and remaining 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Mix.
Top with remaining 1/2 of shredded mozzarella and parm/bread crumb mix, creating
a garnish layer. Let sit for 30 seconds so cheese melts. 
Plate and garnish with dried parsley, enjoy!