5 Healthy Meals to Make with Your Instant Pot

Pittsburgh Dietitian Blog Posts
January 20, 2020

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage Meat Sauce

Recipe Adapted from: Keto In an Instant Cookbook By Stacey Crawford


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp fine grind sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 lb spaghetti squash washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated parmesean cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil ribbons (optional)


  1. Select Sauté (Normal). Once the pot is hot, add the olive oil, chicken sausage, garlic, and onions. Sauté, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, parsley, sea salt, black pepper, and chicken broth to the pot. Using a wooden spoon, stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the bay leaf.
  3. Using a paring knife, pierce the spaghetti squash 4 or 5 times on each side to create holes for venting the steam. Place the squash in the pot and on top of the sauce.
  4. Cover, lock the lid, and flip the steam release handle to the sealing position. Select Manual or Pressure Cook (High) and set the cook time for 8 minutes. When the cook time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.
  5. Open the lid. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the squash to a cutting board and set aside to cool.
  6. Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir. Select Sauté (Less or Low), replace the lid, and let the sauce simmer for 6 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is simmering, slice the cooled squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Using a fork, scrape the flesh to create the noodles.
  8. Transfer the noodles to a colander to drain, pressing down on the noodles with paper towels to expel any excess moisture. Transfer the noodles to a serving platter.
  9. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Ladle the sauce over top of the noodles and garnish with the Parmesan and basil ribbons (if using). Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 230
Fat: 12g
Net carbs: 9g
Protein: 19g

Bone Broth

Credit: Laine Greenawalt, MS, RDN, LDN


  • 3-4lb chicken or beef bones
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1 medium parsnip, scrubbed and into large chunks
  • 3 celery ribs, with ends and leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered with skin and root end intact
  • 6 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8–10 peppercorns
  • Handful of fresh sage, rosemary, thyme and/or parsley
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4-5 cups Water
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Place bones, vegetables, aromatics, peppercorns, herbs and vinegar into the pot of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add enough water to just cover the bones and vegetables in the pot.
  3. Place lid on Instant Pot and lock into place.
  4. Select ‘Manual’ setting and adjust the time to 120 minutes. When cooking is done, allow pressure to release naturally (10-20 minutes).
  5. Release any residual pressure using the vent valve before removing the lid.
  6. Strain the broth into a large bowl to separate the liquid from the solids.
  7. Transfer broth to glass jars with lids, leaving the lids off until the broth has cooled enough to be refrigerated, usually 1.5-2 hours. Makes 3 quarts of broth.

Steel Cut Oats

Recipe Credit: Cooking Light


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans


  1. Stir together water, milk, oats, cherries, and kosher salt in bowl of a 6-quart programmable electric pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot. Cover Instant Pot, and fasten lid. Lock and seal steam valve. Set to HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.) When cooking program ends, carefully release pressure by turning Pressure Release to VENT. (Steam is fully released when pressure valve drops.) Remove lid.
  2. Stir oats to incorporate any liquid on top; stir in 4 tablespoons brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until fully incorporated. Spoon about 3/4 cup oatmeal in each of 6 bowls. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information: Calories 357 Fat 8g Protein 10g Carbohydrate 63g

Vegetarian Chili

Recipe Credit: McCormick


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into 1/2 inch chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed, 15 1/2 ounces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes undrained, 14 1/2 ounces
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 package McCormick® Original Chili Seasoning Mix


  1. Heat oil in Instant Pot on SAUTÉ function. Place pepper and onion in pot. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add water. Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn and Seasoning Mix. Close lid. Set Valve to Seal.
  2. Select PRESSURE COOK (MANUAL); cook 7 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE. When done, quick-release the pressure. Open the lid once pressure inside the pot is completely released. (Check manufacturer’s manual for safe operating instructions.) Makes 6 servings.

Coconut-Blueberry Chia Pudding

Recipe Credit: The Healthy Meal Prep Instant Pot Cookbook by Carrie Forrest


  • 14 oz full fat coconut milk 1 can
  • 1 cup Water
  • 12 oz frozen blueberries 1 bag
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • fresh berries for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine the coconut milk, water, blueberries, chia seeds, oats, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in the inner pot.
  2. Lock the lid into place. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; set the pressure to High and the time to 3 minutes. Make sure the steam release knob is in the sealed position. After cooking, naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  3. Unlock and remove the lid. Pour the pudding into individual serving cups and refrigerate until it sets, about 1 hour. Serve cold garnished with berries, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 390 Fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 42g Protein: 8g

Click the link for tips on how to use your instant pot to reduce waste:


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