We're obsessed with these healthy dishes that can be ready in just 40 minutes or less using your trusty Instant Pot.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a classic slow cooker. But when hunger levels are rising, dinner needs to be ready in a snap. Enter the Instant Pot ($70; amazon.com), a multi-functional electric pressure cooker device that whips up meals much faster than a basic pressure cooker—and works as a slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and yogurt maker, too.
But although the Instant Pot has endless possibilities, it can be a little intimidating to use at first. So we were excited to hear that food blogger Coco Morante was releasing The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook ($20, amazon.com). The new book features more than 75 recipes specifically developed for this awesome appliance. Want a taste? Below, three healthy dishes from Morante's cookbook, including brown butter steel-cut oatmeal, a fiber-rich red lentil soup, and protein-packed turkey meatballs. All three recipes call for seasonal ingredients, making them perfect for fall, and they're sure to warm you up as the temperatures drop. Happy cooking!
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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
1. Select Sauté on the Instant Pot and melt the butter. Add the oats and sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until aromatic and lightly toasted. Add the water and salt and stir to combine, making sure all of the oats are submerged in the liquid.
2. 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.
3. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and stir the oatmeal to incorporate any extra liquid.
4. Ladle the oatmeal into bowls and serve with brown sugar and cream. For an apple-cinnamon variation, stir in 1 apple, chopped, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the water.
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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
1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and salt and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion has softened and is translucent. Add the lentils, water, and bay leaf and stir well.
2. 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 and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
3. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and stir in the lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
4. Ladle the soup into bowl, top each serving with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sumac, and serve right away.
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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
1. To make 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 the tomatoes and water, stir to mix well, and bring to a simmer.
2. To make the meatballs, in a bowl, combine the turkey, rice, ras el hanout, and salt and mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Don’t worry about over mixing, as you want the rice and spices to be evenly incorporated into the meat. When everything is well combined, shape the mixture into 12 meatballs each slightly larger than a golf ball.
3. 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, then select the Poultry setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
4. While the meatballs are cooking, make the chutney. In a mini chopper or in a mortar with a pestle, combine all of the chutney ingredients and process or grind into a rough paste.
5. When the timer goes off, you can perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting, or you can let the pressure release naturally and leave the meatballs on the Keep Warm setting for up to 10 hours.
6. Serve the meatballs in their sauce with a spoonful of chutney on top of each.
Reprinted with permission from The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante, copyright © 2017. Photography by Colin Price. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.