How to use your Instant Pot to cook two or more things at once

How to use your Instant Pot to cook two or more things at once

Instant Pot Grits With Mushrooms And Chickpeas

Active time:20 minutes

Total time:1 hour


Active time:20 minutes

Total time:1 hour


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When I saw the cover of Richa Hingle’s new Instant Pot cookbook, one sentence jumped out: “With new techniques, including pot-in-pot!”

Jar in jar? I had an idea of ​​what that might mean, but just to be sure, I flipped to the relevant chapter, and sure enough: Hingle, aka Vegan Richaincludes instructions and six sample recipes for a technique where you cook two or even three portions of a meal at once, using an extra bowl and/or rack to stack the elements.

I was immediately sold on the opportunity. After all, the Instant Pot’s greatest gift to home kitchens isn’t its speed; it’s the hands-off cooking. Multiply the number of dishes you can make at once this way, and the efficiency can’t be beat.

Hingle, 43, was an early adopter of the IP because she has long known how beneficial pressure cooking is for two of the key ingredients of her home country’s cuisine: pulses and grains. Growing up in Central India, her mother had several hotplate pressure cookers that she used on a daily basis, and Hingle is no different. Although she loves the Instant Pot, “I still have five pressure cookers in the house,” she told me on a Zoom call from her home in Seattle.

Just as pressure cooking is nothing new in itself, neither is the pot-in-pot technique. Hingle’s mother often cooked several elements – for example daal and rice – in a stacked way in her cooking pots.

Today, the Instant Pot has made pressure cooking so much more accessible, and Hingle hopes it will do the same for a technique she thinks more people should embrace.

Follow this formula to make a velvety smooth soup in your Instant Pot using whatever veggies you have on hand

Most of her book is about more straightforward Instant Pot techniques, with 150 recipes much rooted in Indian traditions, from mushroom masala and vegetable biryani to rajma masala and malai kofta. She devotes an entire chapter to dals, lentils, beans and peas. But she also dives into other world cuisines, with a Cajun-style red beans and rice, West African-inspired peanut stew, and a jackfruit crunch wrap with vegan queso.

When you’re ready for more, try one of the six recipes in her pot-in-pot chapter, like a mushroom bourguignon over a potato-cauliflower mash, Ethiopian lentils over pickled cabbage, or these grits topped with a mushroom – chickpea stew.

Do not assume that you need to order special equipment. When making the grits and stew, I used the long-handled steaming rack/trivet that came with my 6-quart Instant Pot, along with a deep 4-cup stainless steel bowl and some foil. (Make sure to use a bowl that will not only fit in the jar, but will also leave you enough room to grab it when it comes time to get out.)

Saucy gochujang tempeh lettuce wraps are another Instant Pot hit

The stew ingredients went at the bottom and the rack fitted perfectly on top. The grits ingredients went into the bowl and the two cooked together for 15 minutes (plus time for pressure to come on and time for pressure to release naturally).

One bowl came out and then another, and all it took was a little whipping and a little more vegan butter to smooth out the grits, a creamy base for the wine-soaked stew on top.

This is next level Instant Pot cooking – literally.

Instant Pot Grits With Mushrooms And Chickpeas

Storage Notes: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup grits or polenta
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil, if needed
  • Non-dairy milk, if needed

For the mushrooms and chickpeas

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish (can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • One (15-ounce) saltless chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, sliced ​​(about 5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup dry white or red wine (can be substituted for 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar plus 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Make the Grits: In a 4-cup stainless steel bowl that fits your Instant Pot, or an insert designed for it, combine the stock, grits, nutritional yeast (if using), salt, and pepper. Mix well and cover well with foil.

Make the mushrooms and chickpeas: Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE. Melt the butter in the pan, then add the sage and thyme and stir until fragrant, a few seconds. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the stock and add to the pan, along with the chickpeas, mushrooms, wine, salt and pepper and mix well. Select the CANCEL setting.

Place a heatproof trivet or steamer rack, such as the one that comes with the Instant Pot, over the mushroom mixture, then place the container of grits on the trivet or rack. Lock the lid, set the pressure release knob to seal, select PRESS on the high setting and set the cooking time to 15 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, press CANCEL and release the pressure naturally.

Open the lid and use oven mitts or other heat protection to help you carefully remove the bowl containing the grains. Beat the grits vigorously to get a creamy consistency, adding the vegan butter or olive oil and/or some non-dairy milk if necessary to make it creamier.

Divide the grits among serving dishes or plates. Garnish with the mushroom mixture, garnish with sage and/or thyme and serve warm.

Per serving (3/4 cup grits and 3/4 cup toppings)

Calories: 298; Total fat: 5 g; Saturated fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 706mg; Carbohydrates: 49 g; Dietary fiber: 7 g; sugar: 7 g; Protein: 10 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or nutritionist.

Adapted from “Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot Cookbook” by Richa Hingle (Hachette Go, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; e-mail questions to [email protected]

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