Instant Pot Beans
We love beans and have been eating a ton of them. With an instant pot there is no need to pre-soak the beans before cooking. For us, the secret to good beans in the instant pot is to use 3 cups of water to 1 pound (approximately 2 cups) of beans, 1 teaspoon of salt, and then whatever spice combo sounds good to you. Any less water and the beans don't get cooked all the way through, and when reheating you will need to add more water. I usually cook up 2 pounds of beans which lasts for several days.
Additionally, you may need to experiment with the cooking times for different kinds of beans in your instant pot. We've found that beans need to cook at least 15 minutes longer than recommended in most recipes and in your instant pot's instruction booklet. The depressurizing time at the end can take up to 45 minutes, so be sure to plan plenty of time for cooking.
We are discovering just how good bean broth can be, and let me tell you it can be soooo good. I've read lots of recipes for beans online and have developed my own combos for cooking beans. For instance, Jesse does not like bay leaf in anything. I discovered a good substitute for bay leaf is oregano, which deepens the flavor of a pot of Navy beans to levels of unknown to me deliciousness. I no longer miss seasoning with bay leaf.
I love adding greens to pots of soup and beans. I usually keep bags of frozen kale, spinach and collard greens on hand. Adding frozen greens to the beans is a simple way to get more vegetables into meals, and they usually cook down enough that they aren't noticeable, especially spinach.
Here are some of our favorite seasoning combos for instant pot beans. I don't really have recipes written out for these because I put things together that sound good to me and eyeball the spice measurements.
- Black beans - Add your favorite taco seasoning packet to 1 lb of beans.
- Pinto beans - In addition to the water and salt I mention above, add: 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 2 beef bouillon cubes, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
- Navy beans - 1 chopped medium onion, 4 cloves fresh garlic minced, 3 large carrots chopped in 1 inch cubes, 3 stalks of celery, bag of frozen kale, Italian seasoning mix.
- Split pea soup - Use whatever recipe you like, and add smoked paprika to the mix. This flavor combo is die for.
- Lentils - Ina Garten's Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes was big hit for us. For the instant pot, it's only 20 minutes on high pressure. (https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/stewed-lentils-tomatoes)
Founding Farmer's Carrot Cake - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeOjLj5jp64
We have their cookbook. Jesse asks for this cake regularly. This video shows their recipe. We make half the recipe in a 9x13 pan, and smother it with cream cheese frosting topped with chopped pecans instead of putting walnuts in the batter. It's a hit at work too, and I let people add their own pecans due to allergy concerns.
I went searching for an orange cake recipe because I had some oranges I wanted to use up. I kept finding recipes that asked for Greek yogurt or sour cream which I didn't have on hand. When I saw this one didn't ask for any dairy in the cake, I went with it. It was light and airy with a deep orange flavor. I do recommend greasing and flouring the pan before baking.
Chocolate Wacky Cake aka Depression Cake - https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/king-arthurs-original-cake-pan-cake-recipe
No eggs, butter or milk, and yet it's the best chocolate cake recipe ever. Jesse's favorite cake. We add chocolate chips sometimes.
Vanilla Wacky Cake - https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/vanilla-cake-pan-cake-recipe
Yes, it's pretty good too, especially with berries on top.
I found I had 12 cans of pumpkin in my cupboard, so it was time for pumpkin pie in the spring. I used the Better Homes and Gardens classic cookbook recipe a couple of times and decided to go looking for some variations. I found The Luna Cafe's collection of various pumpkin pie recipes and dove right in. The Perfect Pumpkin Maple Pie was my personal favorite. The spice flavors were very pungent and delicious on the first day. However, the second day was the most amazing pumpkin pie I've ever had. Definitely making this one again!
Pie Crust - "Art of the Pie" by Kate McDermott https://artofthepie.com/
Jesse and I experimented a few years ago with making pie crusts and still wanted to find a good crust recipe. I got this e-book from the county library and loved it. Her approach to pie making made sense to me. I asked for the book for Christmas and got it last year. I finally had time to experiment with her crust techniques and recipes. I will always use her tip for chilling everything -- the bowl, flour and salt, water, butter and shortening -- before even making the dough. My crusts are flaky and beautiful now. Her butter and shortening crust recipe is fool proof, which means even I can make it. Her pumpkin pie recipe is a solid winner, and I can't wait to try her cherry pie.
Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza - https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/crispy-cheesy-pan-pizza-recipe
Ya bake this one in a cast iron skillet deep dish style. It's now our favorite homemade pizza style with any toppings we have on hand. We've made this a few times and each time we like it more and more.
The Easiest Pizza You'll Ever Make - https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/the-easiest-pizza-youll-ever-make-recipe
We had pizza coming out our ears, but leftover pizza is the best! We made 4 pizzas on parchment paper. We used the parchment paper to slide our pizzas onto the pizza stone and baking sheets. Super easy to manage and slide onto hot baking pans. Clean up afterwards was a breeze.
Jesse also learned about making 100% wholewheat sourdough bread. I'll share some of his tips and recipes in another post.