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My latest strategy for keeping weeknight dinners as easy as possible? Use no more than five ingredients and a single piece of cookware: my Instant Pot. Keeping the ingredient list short means there’s minimal prep involved, and using the Instant Pot means hands-off cooking and fewer dirty dishes — not to mention extra-quick cook times.

This snapshot takes you through five weeknight-friendly dinners that are made in the Instant Pot. From saucy BBQ chicken to ultra-tender salmon, each one comes together with no more than five ingredients — perfect for those nights when you really don’t feel like cooking.

5-Ingredient (or Fewer!) Instant Pot Dinners

Stir 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1/3 cup water together in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Season 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Place on top of the sauce in an even layer, but do not stir. 

Lock on the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook 15 minutes under HIGH pressure. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. When the cook time is up, let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken, then stir into the barbecue sauce.

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Pour 1 (16-ounce) container tomato salsa into a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Season 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Place on top of the salsa in an even layer, but do not stir. 

Lock the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 13 minutes to come up to pressure. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken, then stir into the salsa.

Fit a steamer basket into a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Pour in 1 cup water. Place 2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets skin-side down in the steamer in a single layer and season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Top with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces and 1/2 thinly sliced medium lemon

Lock the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. It will take about 6 minutes to come up to pressure. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Serve immediately. 

Stir 1 (about 24-ounce) jar marinara sauce and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt together a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Scatter 12 ounces dried penne pasta over the sauce in an even layer, but do not stir.

Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the marinara jar, cover, and shake gently. Pour the water over the pasta. Lock the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. It will take about 13 minutes to come up to pressure. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Turn the pressure cooker off. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil with the Sauté function in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker until shimmering. Add 1 (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the pot.

Pour 1/4 cup water into the pressure cooker, scrape up any browned bits, and simmer until almost evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the pressure cooker. Return the roast and any accumulated juices to the pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix and 1 (1-ounce) packet au jus gravy mix. Top with 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces. Pour 1/2 cup pepperoncini pepper brine over the roast. Add 10 pickled pepperoncini peppers.

Lock the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 55 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure. Shred the roast.

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.





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