Everyone enjoys a carefully prepared meal that’s been cooking in a slow cooker all day.
But when hunger needs to be satisfied ASAP, you need a quick and delicious solution.
Enter the Instant Pot ($70; amazon.com). The multi-functional, electric pressure cooker expedites meals at a much faster rate than your average pressure cooker. Plus, it acts as a slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and yogurt maker, depending on your taste.
But if you haven’t used it before, it can get to be a bit intimidating. Thankfully, books like The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by food blogger Coco Morante, can help you get the most out of your flexible appliance.
Curious for a taste? Check out three Instant Pot recipes courtesy Morante’s cookcook, including brown butter steel-cut oatmeal, a fiber-rich red lentil soup, and protein-packed turkey meatballs! Best of all, each recipe utilizes fresh fall ingredients, keeping you warm and full even when temperatures drop.
All recipes courtesy Coco Morante’s The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook ($20, amazon.com).
Brown Butter Steel-Cut Oatmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Brown sugar, for serving
Heavy cream, for serving
- Select Sauté on the Instant Pot, and melt the butter. Add the oats and sauté, stirring consistently for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Throw in the water and salt, and stir to combine, making sure all of the oats are submerged in the liquid.
- Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Porridge setting and set the cooking time for 12 minutes at high pressure.
- Now, let the pressure naturally release for at least 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to let out any remaining steam. Open the pot and stir the oatmeal to incorporate any extra liquid.
- Ladle the oatmeal into bowls, and serve with brown sugar and cream!
Related: 3 Smart Ways to Eat Squash
Red Lentil Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil, for serving
Ground sumac, for serving
- Start on the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot, and heat the olive oil. Toss in the carrots, celery, onion, and salt, then sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion has softened and is translucent. Add the lentils, water, and bay leaf. Stir well.
- Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Soup/Broth setting; set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
- Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any leftover steam. Open the pot and throw in the lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning with salt to your taste.
- Ladle the soup into a bowl, and top each dish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sumac. Be sure to serve immediately!
Momo Meatballs With Cilantro Chutney
Serves 3 to 4 (makes 12 meatballs)
2 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil with high smoke point
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can or (24-ounce) jar crushed tomatoes (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup water
1 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean)
1/2 cup long-grain white rice or quick-cooking brown rice
1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice blend
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro (2 ounces), leaves and stems
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large green onion, white and green parts cut into ½-inch lengths
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Starting with the sauce, select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown. Add tomatoes and water, stir to mix well. Bring to a simmer.
- To make the meatballs, in a bowl, combine the turkey, rice, ras el hanout, and salt. Mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. When everything is well mixed, shape the concoction into 12 meatballs, roughly the size of golf balls.
- Place the meatballs in a single layer in the simmering sauce, and spoon a little of the sauce over the top of each one. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program; select the Poultry setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
- While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the chutney. In a mini chopper or in a mortar with a pestle, combine all of the chutney ingredients. Process or grind into a rough paste.
- When the timer goes off, you can perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting, or let the pressure release naturally and leave the meatballs on the Keep Warm setting for up to 10 hours.
- Serve the meatballs in the sauce with a spoonful of chutney on top of each. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Health.com; Coco Morante/The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook; natashamam/BigStock