How to Convert Your Favorite Recipes to Cook in the Instant Pot

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My latest book, The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook, will be released early March 2021. In the meantime, people have asked me how they can take their favorite recipes made on the stovetop or in the oven and convert them into super quick instant pot recipes.

Below are some basic guidelines that you can use. In general, dishes will cook in 1/3 the time of traditional cooking, but that is not a hard and fast rule, so look at the list below.

Anything you want crispy should NOT be cooked in the instant pot.

You will need to use less liquid in instant pot cooking a dish, but please do not fill above the fill line inside the inner pot.

You can use the Sauté feature to brown anything the same way you would on the stovetop. Add liquid to deglaze the bottom before adding other ingredients. This is important.

Use the natural release for starchy items such as beans or pasta, or tough cuts of meat, which means let the device remain on Warm after the cooking time is complete to allow the pressure to gradually reduce until the pin drops.

The instant pot does not like tomato sauce because it burns. You should add the tomato sauce on TOP of other ingredients and do not mix it in. If you get the Burn notice, release the pressure and open the lid. Use a wooden spoon to scrape what is stuck on the bottom. Add some more water and try cooking a again, for less time.

The instant pot also does not like dairy so add it to pasta, rice or grits, for example, after the base ingredient is cooked. I add the dairy and cook it using the Sauté feature.

If you are making a cake or kugel and most desserts, it is best to use the pot-in-pot cooking method – place the trivet in the inner pot, add 1 cup water, and then place your pan of batter on top of the trivet.

Please note that if you release the pressure after the cooking time is complete, remove the lid and see that your dish is not yet fully cooked, secure the lid, turn the vent to the Sealing position and cook for another few minutes. It will return to pressure pretty quickly. Make sure to note the amount of total cooking time for the next time you make the same recipe.


The first recipe I ever made in the instant pot was split pea soup, because I wanted to see if the device really saved time. I was amazed how the peas melted into the soup after cooking for only 20 minutes. And then I discovered that vegetable soups could be cooked even faster. Here are some guidelines – and remember that it takes time for

the device to come to pressure, that is in addition to the cooking time.

Vegetable soup, any vegetablesb- 5 minutes

Vegetable soup with barley – 18 minutes

Vegetable soup with farro – 16 minutes

Vegetable stock – 35 minutes

Chicken soup – 45 minutes

Lentil soup – 10 minutes

Split pea soup- 20 minutes

Black bean soup – 1 hour


Chicken cooking times vary depending on whether it is whole, on or off the bone. What is truly amazing is that you can actually place frozen chicken into the instant pot– it will take longer to come to pressure, but will cook for the same amount of time as thawed chicken.

Whole chicken – 25 minutes plus 15 minutes natural release (when the cooking time is done, let the device sit on Warm for another 15 minutes)
Chicken pieces on the bone – 14 minutes

White boneless – 6 minutes

Dark boneless- 10 minutes

Chicken Wings – 5 minutes


The instant pot makes the moistest, melt-in-your-mouth meat, whether cooked in large or small pieces and truly is a time saver. Meat dishes that I used to cook in the oven for 2 ½ hours can be made delicious in half the time.

Brisket – 70 minutes – cut the brisket into large pieces that can fit inside the inner pot

Corned beef – 90 minutes

Beef or lamb stew – 35 minutes

Ribs – 40 minutes

Meatballs – 8 minutes

Cholent – 75 minutes

Whole roast, about 4 pounds, 60 minutes plus 10 minutes natural release


You can save money by cooking dried beans in your instant pot and then freezing them until you need them for recipes.

Chickpeas – 50 minutes

Black beans – 30 minutes

Chili or other stew with canned beans – 2 minutes

Vegetables and Sides

You have to be very careful when cooking vegetables in the instant pot that you will serve as a side or part of a salad. They can go from raw to mush in seconds, if you cook them for too long.

Whole carrots – 2 minutes

Asparagus – 0 minutes

Beets – 9 minutes

Potatoes, 1-inch cubes – 5 minutes

Whole potatoes for mashed potatoes – 10 minutes

Corn on the cob – 3 minutes

Spaghetti squash halves – 9 minutes

Quinoa – 0 minutes


Fish poached in the instant pot comes out very moist. In particular I love the texture of salmon cooked in it.

Salmon – 2-3 minutes

White Fish – 2 minutes


The reason to make pasta in the instant pot is that after you cook the pasta, you add your sauce and do not have to strain the pasta or use another saucepan for the sauce. Some recipes cook the pasta right in the sauce. The result – only one pot to clean up!

Rigatoni – 7 minutes

Macaroni – 6 minutes

Linguine – 6 minutes

Israeli couscous – 6 minutes


Hard-boiled eggs – 7 minutes