When you’re pressed for time and need to make dinner in a matter of minutes, here are some quick and simple ideas.
Many of us consider ourselves instant pot lovers due to the simple and fast way of cooking foods such as pasta, noodles or rice those appliances allow.
An instant pot not only is a good choice to prepare single-ingredient dishes but cooking a complete and nutritious lunch is an easy task as well. For example, one dish you can easily make on this device is chicken and rice instant pot. This delicious meal can provide you with many of the nutrients your body needs for getting enough energy to perform all daily activities.
Today you will learn how to make a complete nutritious dinner with the instant pot, which will be ready to serve in just a few minutes, and best of all, it will be delicious.
One of the Best-Known Meals in the World
Chicken and rice is a very traditional dish in Spain and some Latin American countries and it’s known respectively as Paella and Arroz con pollo. Even in many popular restaurants this dish will be found in every meal.
Also, each of them has its version of this meal. For example:
In Ecuador, it is made with achiote to give a yellow hue to the rice and it is customary to add raisins.
In Argentina, the chicken is served in pieces, accompanied by vegetables, and mixed in a tomato puree called “tuco“.
And in Peru, it is common to find this dish served in a sofrito of aji panca, which gives it an unmistakable red color. and the same as Chinese Arborio Rice
Chicken Breast and Rice
- 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- 1 chopped medium onion.
- 2 diced carrots.
- 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 2 diced stalks celery.
- 3 minced cloves garlic.
- 1/2 diced red bell pepper.
- 2 tsp of Italian seasoning.
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper.
- 1 tsp of salt (or to taste).
- 2 cups of chicken stock.
- 1 cup of long-grain white rice.
- 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts.
- 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley.
- 1 cup of thawed frozen peas.
How to Prepare
- Pour the butter and the olive oil into the instant pot and select the sauté function. When the butter melts, add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until translucent.
- Add the carrots, garlic, and celery. Stir fry for two minutes or more, stirring well until the vegetables are softened and the garlic releases its fragrance.
- Add the red bell pepper, salt, chicken stock, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot.
- Pour the rice into the pot and stir well to mix with the vegetables. Add the chicken breast pieces on the top. Then place the lid on, lock it carefully, and seal the steam vent. Select the pressure cooking mode at high pressure and let the rice cook for 18 minutes.
- At the end of cooking, let the steam escape naturally for 10 minutes, and then use the quick-release function to remove the remaining steam.
- Place the chicken breast on a plate and chop or shred it.
- Add the peas and 1 tbsp of parsley to the pot. Stir.
- Add the diced chicken breast back to the pot. Add salt or more Italian seasoning until it gets the desired flavor.
- Serve the rice and chicken portions in a bowl using the wooden spoon and top with the remaining parsley for garnish. Enjoy!
- You can add your favorite sauces to this dish and it will make this meal a contrast of flavors. Some recommended sauces to add are: teriyaki, ketchup, or hot sauce.
- To remove the starch from the surface of the rice, it’s recommended to soak the uncooked rice in cold water by placing it in a bowl and changing the water two or three times until the rice grains can be seen through it.
- You can accompany this delicious lunch with toasted bread, biscuits, or your favorite salad.
- Replace or add in addition to the Italian seasoning, some fine herbs, or a poultry blend. This way you will get better flavors.
Using Brown Rice for Making a Healthier Meal
One change that can be made when preparing this dish to make it more natural is to switch from long-grain white rice to brown rice.
The amount of fiber in brown rice is essential for improving the digestion process that occurs in the small intestine and will make you feel fuller, as well as more nutritious, especially because of its manganese and selenium content.
You can accompany brown rice with chicken thighs and cook them following the same procedure explained in the “How to prepare” section, changing the cooking time in the instant pot from 18 to 35 minutes.
Pasta with Sauce
Boil pasta (such as spaghetti or penne) according to package instructions. While it cooks, heat up store-bought pasta sauce in a separate pot or microwave. Once the pasta is done, drain it and mix it with the sauce. Add some grated cheese and herbs for extra flavor.
Heat oil in a pan or wok over high heat. Add your choice of protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu) and quickly cook until browned. Add pre-cut vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, snap peas) and stir-fry for a few minutes. Season with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Serve with rice or noodles.
Place a tortilla on a heated skillet or griddle. Add shredded cheese, leftover cooked chicken or beef, and any desired fillings (sliced bell peppers, onions, etc.) on one half of the tortilla. Fold it over and cook until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese melts. Repeat with more tortillas as needed.
Eggs are quick and versatile. Make scrambled eggs by whisking eggs with salt, pepper, and any desired additions (chopped vegetables, cheese, ham). Cook in a non-stick pan until scrambled and cooked through. Serve with toast or as a filling for a breakfast burrito.
Salad with Protein
Toss together a quick salad with pre-washed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and any other veggies you have on hand. Add protein like canned tuna, grilled chicken, or chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Butter two slices of bread. Place cheese slices between the bread slices. Cook the sandwich on a heated skillet or griddle until the bread is golden and the cheese melts. Serve with a side of tomato soup for a classic combination.
Keep some frozen meals or pre-packaged meals in your freezer for emergencies. Look for options with minimal processing and healthier ingredients. Follow the package instructions for cooking or heating.