This is the first post in our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker recipe series. This countertop appliance is popular among our Whole30 community, and Whole30 compliant Instant Pot recipes are one of our most-requested resources on social media. Sarah Steffens, our in-house recipe creative, is sharing her favorite recipes for nourishing, delicious Instant Pot dishes—Whole30 compliant, of course!
The Instant Pot: Your Shortcut to Whole30 Magic
Like many Whole30 cooking enthusiasts, I learned of the Instant Pot from reading the mouthwatering and stunning recipes from Nom Nom Paleo. Prior to watching her use this amazing device, I have never had even the slightest interest in pressure cooking my food. Now, cooking Whole30 meals in my Instant Pot is one of my greatest joys. How else could you serve decadent and tender meals that taste like they have been slow cooking all day long in an hour or less?!
I add Instant Pot recipes to my menu each week, and when I batch cook for clients, I routinely have an Instant Pot recipe pressure cooking while I spend time chopping veggies for salads and building other Whole30 compliant goodies. In summary: The Instant Pot saves time, saves work, and saves my dinner table, time and time again.
The recipe shared below is one of the simplest Instant Pot recipes I make on a regular basis. Many of the ingredients needed to make this Spicy Carob Beef Chili are likely already in your freezer and pantry. If you have 5 minutes to add these ingredients to your Instant Pot (and another hour to do whatever you want while the Instant Pot quickly turns those ingredients into a delicious stew), you’ll have a Whole30 dinner that fills your belly, warms your soul, and will give you the confidence to add Instant Pot recipes to your menu on a weekly basis.
Spicy Carob Beef Chili
1.5 lbs. of organic beef stew meat
1 yellow onion, diced
2 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 tsp. of sea salt
2 Tbs. of dried oregano powder
1 tsp. of dried garlic powder
2 Tbs. of carob powder (or cocoa powder)
Fresh cilantro, to garnish
ADD all of your ingredients to your Instant Pot and stir well to combine with a baker’s spatula, keeping the sides of the Instant Pot clean. Plug in your Instant Pot and place its lid on, making sure the steam valve is set to “Sealing”.
PRESS the “Meat” button and ensure the time is programed to 30 minutes. My Instant Pot defaults to 35 minutes when I press “Meat,” so I use the minus symbol button to adjust the time to 30 minutes.
ONCE set to 30 minutes, the Instant Pot will begin cooking after a few seconds. You will hear it beep and the time will update to read “On”. This means that the Instant Pot is building pressure. You do not need to do anything while this is occurring. You can simply let the Instant Pot work its magic.
AFTER the Instant Pot reaches the pressure needed to cook your chili, the timer will go back to reading “30” minutes, and this number will reflect the remaining cook time. At any moment, you can check this number see how many more minutes your chili is pressure-cooking.
WHEN it reaches 0 minutes, the timer will read “LO:00” and make a beeping noise. This means that it is done pressure-cooking and now is naturally releasing its pressure.
ALLOW the timer to reach “LO:30” (it’s OK if it goes above 30, but wait until it reads at least 30) before switching the steam valve to “Venting” and releasing the lid (because the pressure released naturally for 30 minutes, it will be very easy to remove the lid. If it is ever difficult to remove the lid, do not attempt to remove it and allow it more time to release steam. This is very important to remember!).
STIR it with a wooden spoon and serve between 4-6 bowls, garnishing with fresh cilantro. You can enjoy this dish right away and save it to enjoy over three days. You can also allow it to cool and then freeze it for up to six months.
I hope you enjoy this first of four Instant Pot recipes! Stay tuned for the next installment.
Sarah Steffens has a B.A. in Business Administration, Public Relations from The Master’s College in Southern California. After years of experimenting with nutrition and recipes in her own kitchen, she now works as a Personal Chef in Los Angeles, cooking meals that support her client’s intention to physically and mentally thrive. She has catered several independent film sets, making it her goal to optimize the energy and well-being of each creative crew. She is the in-house recipe creative for the Whole30, and the creator of the Savor and Fancy blog. When Sarah is not cooking Whole30 and Autoimmune Protocol meals, she is likely exploring mid-century sites in L.A., taking photographs, listening to an audio book or hiking at Griffith Park.
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