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Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This Instant Pot Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese recipe takes just 18 minutes from start to finish, dirties only one pot, and tastes creamy and delicious! Plus, it’s made with all real food ingredients.

whole wheat mac and cheese in bowls on white plates with steamed broccoli on the side

It was 5:30 p.m. and my kids were starving. I was finishing up a work project and hadn’t even given dinner a thought when I began hearing the low-grade whines from the next room. “I’m hunnngrrrreeee!” The Instant Pot to the rescue. I happened to have some whole wheat pasta in the pantry, along with the other few ingredients in this recipe.

whole wheat mac and cheese in the instant pot

How Long Does It Take to Cook Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese in the Instant Pot?

Within 2 minutes I had dumped in my beginning ingredients and locked the lid. It took about 10 minutes to come to pressure, 2 minutes to cook, and another 2 minutes to release the pressure. I ended by stirring in the milk and cheese for another 2 minutes. Voila! An 18 minute recipe from start to finish!!!

whole wheat mac and cheese in the instant pot

How to Make Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese in the Instant Pot

Side Dish Ideas to Go with Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese

Serve up one of these simple and healthy side dishes with your mac and cheese for a well-rounded dinner.

More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love

If you like Instant Pot Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese, we think you’ll love these other recipes…

This Instant Pot Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese is a perfect, no fuss weeknight meal and makes enough to serve an army. Plus, it’s a little healthier than traditional mac and leftovers work well in lunchboxes the next day, too!

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whole wheat mac and cheese in bowls on white plates with steamed broccoli on the side

Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Rachel from Thriving Home
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 68 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Mac and Cheese recipe takes just minutes to pull together, dirties only one pot, and tastes creamy and delicious!


Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 34 cups shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese (or Gruyere for something fancier!) (Here’s how to shred your own cheese.)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, butter, mustard, salt, pepper, and water to the pot and stir.
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for half the pasta cooking time on the package, minus 1 minute. (So, if the directions say 6 minutes: Half is 3 minutes, minus 1 minute, means you’ll cook it for 2 minutes total.)
  3. Use a quick release of the pressure when cooking time is through. Be sure to cover the spout with a dish towel to minimize splatters.
  4. Stir in the milk and half and half. Then, slowly stir in the cheese 1 handful at a time. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts, if needed. Enjoy!

Notes

whole wheat mac and cheese in the instant pot

Instant Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Only 4 ingredients make up this nutritious dinner recipe that your family will love. You’ll have Instant Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti done in about 15 minutes and will only dirty up one pot! Now, that’s my kind of meal.

instant pot with spaghetti

I’ve been knee-deep in learning the ways of the Instant Pot–also known as an electric pressure cooker–for our second cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker for over a year now. There really is a bit of a learning curve that comes along with this convenience kitchen appliance. At first I was so frustrated that there are so few good resources out there for it. Every recipe, blogger, and cookbook uses a different method. Some work and some don’t, from my experience. There really is no standard out there. The manual itself it completely inept.

That’s why we wrote this post

And, that’s why Polly and I have been testing, testing, and testing recipe after recipe for the Instant Pot (and slow cooker) for this second cookbook. Our Recipe Testing Team has been a great help to us, as well! (Want to join? It’s not too late.) It’s an arduous task, but we are learning and creating our own standards for cooking times, pressure release tips, and more. I can’t wait to share all we’ve learned with you in our second book.

Along the way, I’ve been dabbling in fresh meals in the Instant Pot, too. This Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara recipe doesn’t work as a freezer meal, but it is a winner as a fast, family-pleasing recipe for dinner.

I mean look at how easy this is….4 ingredients + 1 pot = a delicious, healthy meal!

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Instant Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara

  • Author: Rachel from Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Only 4 ingredients make up this nutritious dinner recipe that your family will love. You’ll have this done in about 15 minutes and will only dirty up one pot!


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (half package) of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I used our Homemade Marinara)
  • 2 cups water
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Break the spaghetti in half and add to the pot. Top with the marinara sauce and water. Stir around very gently until the pasta is covered.
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for half the pasta cooking time on the package, minus 1 minute. (So, if the directions say 9-11 minutes, you’ll cook it for about 4 minutes. I would recommend doing the least amount of time, so your pasta doesn’t get overcooked and mushy.)
  3. Use a quick release of the pressure when cooking time is through. Be sure to cover the spout with a dish towel to minimize splatters. (I didn’t have any when I tested this, but you never know.)
  4. Serve warm and topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

By Polly Conner

This freezer-friendly Loaded Potato Soup is rich, delicious, and can be thrown together in your Instant Pot right before dinnertime.

Freezer meal Instant Pot Potato Soup

By Alyssa Nitz of Always Overdressed, Contributing Author

Like many people these days, I’m enamored with my Instant Pot. When I first got my Instant Pot, I would talk to anyone who would listen about it’s wonders. Frozen to fully cooked chicken in a mere ten minutes. Fully cooked rice, pasta, or beans in a snap. You can even make yogurt in this thing. I mean, I’ve never done it, but it’s pretty impressive that I can if I want to. In the post, Instant Pot 101, Polly shares the basics of this handy contraption if you’re interested in learning more.

I haven’t done much research about the inventor of the electric pressure cooker, but I imagine it was an individual who wanted to give a gift of grand convenience to busy moms everywhere, or to people like myself who simply cannot remember to set the meat out to thaw.

One of my favorite things to cook up up in my Instant Pot is soup, and this Loaded Potato Soup is every bit as yummy as you might imagine. Who doesn’t get excited when you hear that Loaded Potato Soup is for dinner? Everyone loves it and wonders the same thing, will there be bacon? Oh yes, friends. There will be bacon.

How to Make Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

Here’s how I made up this creamy, dreamy treat of a dinner.

First I peeled six large Idaho potatoes, and cut them into large chunks. Then I set them aside for later. (Tip: Be sure to submerge them in a bowl of water so they don’t turn brown.)

cut up potatoes on a cutting board

Then, using the saute function of the Instant Pot, I softened about a cup of diced, yellow onions and a couple of cloves of minced garlic into a combination of butter and olive oil.

onions cooking in Instant Pot

Once the onions and garlic were translucent, I added in a couple tablespoons of flour, creating a roux, and stirring until nice and thick.

roux with onions and butter in Instant Pot

Then I added a quart-sized box of chicken stock and all my chopped up potatoes. I gave everything a good stir to combine it all, locked and sealed the lid on my Instant Pot, and set it to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. Then, as always, I waited for the magic to happen. Keep in mind that the soup will take about 15 minutes or so to come to pressure.

potatoes in chicken stock

I let my soup sit about 10 minutes (what IP devotees call NR or Natural Release of pressure) before unsealing and releasing the rest of the pressure. Then I ran away, scared, like I always do at that part. (Another tip: Use a towel to unseal to protect your hands from the steam.)

Your house will fill with incredible smells of cooked onions and garlic, and your potatoes should be completely tender. Then you get in there with your potato masher, and mash to your desired consistency. I myself prefer my potato soup to have a little texture rather than being completely pureed.

potato masher in soup

Then, get out your sour cream, and spoon a giant-sized dollop right into that hot soup. Watch it melt gloriously as you stir, and be really happy about your life. I suppose you could use plain Greek yogurt to lighten it up a bit, but please don’t do that to yourself.

potato soup

All you have left to do is top it to your heart’s content. Our must haves are green onion, cheddar cheese, and of course, bacon. (We get our favorite uncured bacon from here.) Maybe you’d like to add some cheddar jack and red onion? Maybe you want to get crazy with some broccoli and chopped ham? If you can dream it, you can top it.

Instant Pot Potato Soup

Lastly, the leftovers freeze up beautifully and make a great lunch down the road.

Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

Affiliate links included. See full disclosure here.

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bowl of loaded potato soup

Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

  • Author: Alyssa
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Loaded Potato Soup is decadent, creamy, and will come together in your Instant Pot right before dinner.


Ingredients

  • 6 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced into 11/2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart (32 ounces) low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Topping ideas: Bacon (we get our bacon here), green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, etc.

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Submerge the peeled potatoes in water in a bowl (to prevent browning) and set aside.
  2. Set Instant Pot to Saute function, and add butter and olive oil until melted and sizzling. Add onion, stirring until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic during the last 30 seconds of cook time.
  3. Add flour, stirring until thickened to create a roux, about 1 minute or so. Turn off the Saute function.
  4. Stir in chicken stock. Drain the potatoes from the water they were sitting in and add to the Instant Pot. Lock and seal the lid, and set to cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
  5. Allow natural release of pressure for 10-15 minutes, then carefully release the rest of the pressure by opening the vent.
  6. Use potato masher or immersion blender to combine ingredients to desired consistency.
  7. Stir in sour cream until completely melted. Taste and add salt and pepper, to your preference.
  8. Top with bacon, cheddar cheese, green onion, or toppings of your choice.

Freeze For Later: After fully cooking the soup, let it cool. Store in an air tight freezer container and freeze. Prepare From Frozen: To reheat, thaw the soup using one of these methods and then warm over low heat on the stove or in the microwave.

bowl of loaded potato soup

About the Author

Alyssa and family from Always Overdressed

Alyssa is a former English teacher turned stay-at-home mama to a three year old little wildflower named Lucy, and one year old, Jacob, with fire-engine red hair. She married her high school sweetheart and still thinks he’s dreamy. She likes to write about, talk about, make, and most importantly eat delicious, nourishing food. You can follow her journey at alwaysoverdressedbyalyssa.com where she passionately writes about her faith, family and parenting, mama style, and, of course, food.

Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer
chicken sandwich with cheese on plate

You may have tried our Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders and loved them. All ages do! But, now we’ve converted this super simple, kid-friendly recipe to work in the Instant Pot both from fresh and from frozen. With only five ingredients and the magic of the Instant Pot, you’ll have this healthy dinner on the table in about 15-20 minutes from start to finish!

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this freezer-friendly recipe. These mini sandwiches taste just like Chicken Parmesan. They are absolutely tender, flavorful, and a family favorite! You will make this again and again. In fact, be sure to double and freeze a batch for later.

Serve Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders alongside some Basic Roasted Vegetables or Roasted Brussels Sprouts and some fruit. When I make these for my crew, I hear the best sound a mom could ever hear at dinner–no complaining.

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Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 mini sandwiches (about 6 servings) 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this freezer-friendly recipe. These sandwiches taste just like Chicken Parmesan. They are absolutely tender, flavorful, and a family favorite! You will make this again and again.


Ingredients

  • 1 (28 ounce) jar of marinara sauce (Recommended: Newman’s Own Marinara) or 3 1/2 cups of Homemade Marinara Sauce
  • 1 1/22 lbs fresh or frozen medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we love the ones from Butcher Box*)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 mini wheat buns
  • 12 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese

*affiliate


Instructions

  1. Place marinara and chicken in the Instant Pot.
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 7 minutes at high pressure. (Note: If using frozen chicken, cook for 15 minutes at high pressure). When cook time is done, use quick release of the pressure.
  3. Remove the chicken to a wooden cutting board and shred with two forks. Return to the pot. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Serve warm on a mini bun and top with a slice of cheese.

Notes

Freeze For Later: Place raw chicken breasts and marinara in a gallon-sized freezer bag or round freezer container. Seal and freeze. (Tip: Freeze the bag inside a medium-sized bowl until solid, so it’s the shape of the Instant Pot.)

Prepare From Frozen: Turn on the Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Follow Steps 2-4, except cook for 15-20 minutes with a quick release.

Need a side dish idea? Serve these up with our simple 3-Minute No-Boil Corn on the Cob!