Do you have an Instant Pot and are unsure where to begin? I felt the same way for a while, in fact it sat in the box on my dining room table for longer than I’d like to admit.
Once you start tinkering with this appliance, I promise you’ll get the hang of it. The first time I used it was to make spaghetti squash, and since then I’ve used it quite a few times to cook up mashed potatoes, soup or chili, shredded chicken and the most perfect hard-boiled eggs. What I’ve been loving about the Instant Pot is that I can use it in almost the same way as a slow cooker, but in less half the time. For those with busy after-school schedules (like us!), it really helps get dinner on the table without worrying too much about leaving a slow cooker on all day.
A few tips I’ve learned along the way:
- Use tongs to turn the release knob to avoid burning yourself with the release steam.
- Always include at least 1 cup of water when using – I learned this the hard way. I’ve made shredded chicken in the slow cooker using a small amount of water and natural juices from the chicken, this is not the same in an Instant Pot. It needs liquid to pressurize.
- Always check your release knob to make sure it’s set to “sealing” before using.
This recipe for Carrot and Sweet Potato Mash is one I’ve made several times as a side dish and my family loves it. I was inspired by a recipe I saw around the holidays that combined sweet potatoes and carrots in a casserole and I thought it was a great way to add a bit more variety of veggies into our meal.
Instant Pot Carrot and Sweet Potato Mash
Prep Time: 25 minutes
- 3 – 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs), peeled, cut into 1” cubes
- 6 carrots (about 1 lb), peeled, cut into 1” slices
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Place sweet potatoes and carrots into Instant Pot insert. Add broth. Close lid (make sure release valve is set to “sealing”).
2. Press Manual button and set time to 5 minutes. (Note: It will take about 15 minutes for Instant Pot to build pressure and heat before 5 minutes cook time begins).
3. After 5 minutes, allow to slow release for 2 minutes before turning release knob to venting setting (quick release). Be careful to not burn yourself on the steam when releasing knob (use tongs).
4. Carefully drain potatoes and carrots in a colander and place back into insert. Mash with until mostly smooth. Add, salt and pepper and stir well.