My choice of a midweek meal has to be something that is quick, tasty and require minimal effort on my end. This selection are speedy, delicious and super easy to make. Family friendly meals designed to be on the table in record time.
You see, my evenings go a little like this “aaaaahhhhhhhhhh” (picture Macauly Caulkin screaming in home alone). If I’m working in the office I get home after 4pm, to 3 children all demanding attention in some way. A baby that wants milk and love, and two boys that are eager to tell me about their days and what they did. I listen and try to connect but I know in the back of my mind I need to decide what to make for dinner asap.
I wish I was one of those people who could decide the night before what to make, but I’m not. It’s almost always a last minute decision on what meat to take out the freezer. Anyone else relate? By 5 pm the prep work needs to start. Baby gets her dinner at 5h30 pm and then its bath and bed time around 6h30 pm for her. That gives me about an hour max to sort dinner out as the rest of us normally eat between 6h30 or 7 at the latest. Safe to say I am ALWAYS looking for quick, tasty, easy meals that can get onto the table in without fuss.
Instant Pot really has changed the way we eat. It has also changed WHAT we eat, with things like stews and dhaal made in record time. These three recipes are on constant rotation in our home, I know they work and I know they are tasty.
Rotisserie style Roast Chicken
You may have seen me mention this one on my “Insta stories”, but 35 minutes (and natural release time), is all you need to create the most juicy, tender, fall off the bone chicken. You will never make your chicken another way again.
It is so versatile, and has so many variations. Serve it on its own or with roast vegetables, I chuck veg into mine to make a hidden veg gravy at the end. It’s made in the Instant Pot completely from beginning to end, with a quick sear on both sides to create that beautiful golden colour.
Instant Pot Roast Chicken
- Instant Pot
- 1 Free Range Whole Chicken
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- Vegetables of choice
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika, garlic and onion powder with a little olive oil. Rub onto the chicken skin and in the cavity.
- Set your Instant Pot to the high sauté setting, add a little oil and brown chicken on both sides, about 4-5 minutes a side.
- Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Place your metal trivet in the bottom and add chicken stock. Place your veggies (if adding) in the bottom and place the chicken back on top. Select Manual, change pressure to high and set time for 35 minutes. Natural release for approx. 10-15 minutes (while you are prepping your sides).
- If you prefer a super crispy skin, you may choose to grill it for another 5 minutes, but it is perfectly fine without it. Use the remaining sauce at the bottom, together with the soft veg to create your gravy.
- Serve with Vegetables of your choice.
Now lets move onto my next “go to” recipe. It’s a winner across any household, and always a firm favourite with kids.
My love affair with Italy knows no bounds. I’m obsessed , and dream of the next time I can return. Any chef knows that a secret to a good Bolognese or Ragu is to cook the mince for hours on a slow, steady stove top. Definitely no time for that mid week! My kids could live off pasta, so bolognese (with as many veg as I can sneak in) is always a winner. When I first heard of “one pot” spaghetti bolognese I was a little more than dubious. The idea of the pasta cooking in the same pot? I wasn’t sold. But this is a game changer! The pasta comes out perfectly “al dente” and absorbs all the delicious flavour.
Instant Pot Spagetthi Bolognese
- Instant Pot
- 500 grams Lean Steak Mince
- 1 tin Crushed Tomatoes
- 500 grams Passata Sauce
- 1 Onion finely diced
- 2 Carrots finely diced
- 2 Baby Marrow (or Celery) finely diced
- 1.5 cups Water
- Salt + Pepper
- 1 tsp Green Chilli
- 1 tsp Crushed Garlic
- 2 tsp Italian Herbs
- Set your Instant Pot to Sauté Mode. Add in some Olive Oil and brown your mince together with garlic, salt and pepper.
- Set aside browned mince.
- Sauté onion, carrot, baby marrow together with garlic, celery salt, pepper and chilli until soft.
- Add browned mince back in, together with tomatoes and passata sauce.
- Break spaghetti in half and place on top of mince, add in one cup of water.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes (depending on your preference) on high pressure with a quick release.
- Voila! Questa Pasta e perfetta !
Lastly we pay homage to our “Taco Tuesday” dish. I put everything out on a big platter in the middle of the table and everyone makes up their own according to their own preference.
Shredded Chicken Tacos
This shredded chicken recipe is possibly the easiest of them all and is perfect for Tacos, Nachos, Sliders. I almost feel guilty calling it a “recipe” because it is so simple to make.
Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot
- 4 Chicken Fillets
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Jar Salsa (of your choice and heat intensity)
- Tortilla's to serve
- Guacamole to serve
- Grated cheese to serve
- Place marinated chicken breast inside the Instant Pot. Add the jar of Salsa on top.
- Seal the lid and set the pressure knob to sealing.
- Press “Poultry” and select between 7 and 10 minutes. (Depending on size of fillet).
- Quick release and then shred the chicken breasts with two forks. Add back into sauce. You may want to saute it a little to thicken up the sauce, but it's completely up to you.
- Serve with toppings and garnish of your choice.
There it is! 3 incredibly easy, low fuss “mid week” meals to inspire you to get creative with your Instant Pot! I honestly find I use mine more and more every single week and it has transformed our meals.
Happy Cooking! I’d love to hear your suggestions.