I finally broke down and purchased the highly acclaimed (in our mom circle) Instant Pot. I have been thinking about buying one for a few months now – more so after a said moms starting give the kitchen appliance rave reviews. To validate my new toy, I felt the need to make something in it. I owned it less than 24 hours before I tried our meal for the boys – here is the rundown on my first attempt at spaghetti.
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Spaghetti is my default meal. When we have little time and nothing ready I bust open a jar of sauce, box of noodles and voila! Dinner is served. How I could I really improve on my less than 20 minute meal?
Let me explain.
First – my spaghetti is nothing to write home about. No one comes running to the table for my spaghetti. It really is noodles with whatever sauce I have on hand. If I really have the time and want to get fancy I throw in some frozen meatballs from Costco. Grab a glass of milk, some parmesan cheese & consider your meal complete. I had been searching Pinterest the last week or so on what spaghetti recipe would work well with the Instant Pot. After gathering about 2-3 different ones I picked the best parts of each and gave it a whirl.
Here are the steps for the spaghetti & what I was able to do in 30 minutes. The important part (for me) is what it took to do this. One pot in the instant pot (you know, where all the goodness goes to cook) and the utensils involved.
- Turn on Instant Pot to “Saute” & add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Dice 1/2 red onion & one clove of garlic (Knife/Cutting Board).
- Saute onion & garlic in Instant Pot (Spatula).
- Add 1lb ground beef, cook through (Spatula).
- Add one jar of spaghetti sauce.
- Add two cups of water (I filled the jar almost 2 inches from the top to rinse the remaining sauce out, so no dirty measuring cup).
- Read instructions on how to pressure cook (highly recommend doing this before you steps 1-6 unless you love living on the edge)
- Turn Instant Pot to Pressure High.
- Add 1/2 box of noodles (about 8 oz that I broke it in thirds), push into liquid to cover but don’t stir (not certain why, but every recipe said this so just don’t stir it).
- Secure lid, adjust cook time to 9 minutes.
- Sit in other room & warn husband that something bad *might* happen.
- Text friends asking what should I be looking for – display read “ON” and it had been about 10-11 minutes already.
- Read reply from friend that “ON” means it is building up pressure & be patient as it isn’t a microwave. Was told that the display will start counting down once “cooking”.
- Make mental note to read the instructions in greater detail for next time.
- Excited display started to count down. Still sitting well outside of kitchen.
- Updated husband that nothing *bad* had happened yet but still not out of the woods.
- Timer beep alerts me that my meal is done.
- Quick Release of steam valve. YES – there is A LOT of steam. Cover it with a towel.
- Open lid slowly (check out the video here: Instant Pot Release )
- Stir spaghetti (pasta fork)
- Shock husband that kitchen is still intact & shock boys with the BEST tasting spaghetti ever. Have enough leftovers that I will even look forward to lunch tomorrow.
Aside from the ease of cooking and taste – I cannot get past the fact that I only used FIVE things in my kitchen to make this amazing meal. FIVE. Cutting board, knife, spatula, pasta fork, and the Instant Pot. I didn’t have two pots and a colander PLUS the cutting board, knife, spatula and pasta fork dirtied in my quest to make dinner. Just FIVE pieces that made their way into the dishwasher in a matter of seconds. There wasn’t any bickering on who would clean the kitchen with the boys – there was nothing to clean up. The plates/forks/cups involved eating the meal outnumbered the items that took part in creating the meal. That is a mom win if I ever heard of one.
If you have been on the fence about investing in an Instant Pot – get out there and grab yourself one. In the meantime I will be over in the corner trying to read the instructions on all the other things I will be able to do with my Instant Pot!