If you happen to follow me over on Instagram, and have seen my stories this past week, then you know that I recently hopped on the bandwagon and purchased an Instant Pot. I’ve literally had one in my online cart since before Christmas, and kept going back and forth on whether or not to pull the trigger. You see, I love my crock pot, and I’m all about a good one-pot meal, but I can’t tell you how often I forget to get a crock pot dinner started before it’s a little too late in the day. I’ve seen the Instant Pot being used virtually everywhere, and I’ve heard countless people proclaiming their love for it, but I just wasn’t sure if I needed one more big appliance taking up valuable real estate in my pantry. Well, I’m a total sucker, because I bought into the hype and decided to go for it, and let me tell you something, I’m really glad that I did. I’ve only had it for a few days, but I can safely say that the Instant Pot is a total game changer!
I have a deep affection for salsa chicken made in the crock pot, however it takes about 6 hours to make. Not anymore… last week, I made salsa chicken in about 20 minutes! This weekend, we made maple brown sugar oatmeal in 3 minutes! Now I have to confess, that when the Instant Pot arrived on our doorstep, I was totally intimidated. Upon running the initial run through/test that they recommend, I went into a full blow panic attack that I might just blow up our house. Once it was done however, I felt a lot more comfortable, and after using it a few more times, I can safely say, I’m not afraid anymore!
This weekend, I even felt so confident that I decided to attempt a one-pot pasta dish without following a recipe. I did a little bit of research to see how some similar dishes were made, and then I decided to wing it and go for it! The result? A creamy and tangy pasta dinner in under 15 minutes that my kids totally gobbled up! Success!!!
The pasta gained some added flavor because I used chicken broth, but you could certainly use vegetable broth or water. I threw in some peas because well, for one they pair well with lemon and anything creamy, and secondly, I’ll do anything to get my kids to eat some veggies! The part of this recipe that makes me the happiest is that it’s a one-pot dish, that requires little fuss, and it’s ready fairly quickly!
- 1 box (1 pound) of elbow macaroni (or your favorite pasta)
- 4 cups of chicken broth (or water)
- 4 ounces of cream cheese
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
- the juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup of frozen sweet peas
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1. In the pot of an Instant Pot, mix together the macaroni and the broth.
- 2. Lock your lid in place and select the high pressure mode, setting the cook time for 4 minutes, and then press start.
- 3. When the timer beeps, indicating that the macaroni is done, allow a natural pressure release for 1 minute, and then do a quick pressure release to release the remaining pressure.
- 4. Once the valve drops, carefully open the pressure cooker.
- 5. Stir in cream cheese, evaporated milk, parmesan cheese, and peas.
- 6. Select the simmer mode, and stir until cheese and macaroni is combined and creamy.
- 7. Turn off cooker and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and stir into macaroni.
- *** optional: top with additional parmesan cheese and serve