Instant Pot Cooking: Dinner

If your family is anything like ours, spring time means busy schedules and dinners that need to be on the table in little time and with little fuss. While I am a big fan of crock pot cooking, sometimes I need something quicker but doesn’t involve a drive-thru. Cue the Instant Pot — one of my new favorite time-savers on busy weeknights. This modern day marvel means I can have a mouthwatering dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. That’s right, less than 20 minutes. Let that sink in for a moment…I’ll wait.

I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first received an Instant Pot as a gift, and it sat in the package for some time before I was brave enough to even get it out and look at it. Then one day I pulled it out of the box, and with a bit of trepidation I thumbed through the enclosed cookbook. To my surprise I had all the ingredients on hand to make one of the chicken and rice recipes, so I threw caution to the wind and gave it a shot. In less than the time I would have taken me to order takeout and drive to pick it up, I had prepared a home cooked meal (with frozen chicken breasts, by the way!) that my entire family loved!

From that moment on I was hooked. I have made many different meals since then and with the exception of a couple of rice snafus, I have experienced resounding success. Here’s one of our family’s favorites. It’s my go-to recipe when I’m craving the deliciousness that is PF Chang’s but don’t have three hours to drive north or west to the closest metropolis. This dish can be on our plates and in our mouths in no time flat!


General Tso’s Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Adapted From: Adventures of a Nurse


  • 5 -2 lbs. cubed chicken
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 6 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Place pot on Sauté. Sauté chicken cubes in sesame oil for 1-2 minutes or until chicken is white (no need to cook completely).

In a separate bowl mix together rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, hoisin sauce, and brown sugar.  Pour mixture into the Instant pot over the chicken.

Using Manual High power, cook for 10 minutes. Do a quick release. Place your pot back on sauté bring to a slight boil; whisk in cornstarch until mixture turns thick and bubbly (a couple of minutes).

Serve over rice. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.