This week I had a hankering for a baked potato (smothered in chili no less), but I didn’t have the hour it takes to bake it in the oven. So I pulled out my new-ish Instant Pot and was able to make 4 large baked potatoes in 20 minutes!
That is exciting to me because if I went with my initial plan (microwaving) it would have taken at least that amount of time, probably more and you just don’t get the same baked potato-y goodness with a microwave.
Instant Pot baked potatoes, however, are perfectly cooked, tender and delicious without any of weird microwaved texture. I also had enough time to pop them in the oven for 10 minutes (at 400 degrees) and crisp up the skins while I heated some broccoli in my Instant Pot and warmed up my chili. Voila! Dinner done in 30 minutes.
What I did to cook the potatoes was add about a cup of water to the pot. I inserted the steam rack and placed my washed potatoes on top. They were snug for sure, but just fit. I used the “Manual” mode and set it for 10 minutes. I checked my potatoes and decided one more round was needed. That was the perfect amount for tender, delicious potatoes.
My son said they were his new favorite! Win! I got to thinking about how quick and budget-friendly potatoes are and all the different ways you can make a potato into a meal. It doesn’t just have to be a standalone side dish next to a piece of meat. For variety you could…
- Top with broccoli and cheese
- Make potato skins or twice baked potatoes by scooping out the insides and adding bacon, cheese, sour cream chives, etc.
- Top with beans, cheese avocados and salsa for a tex-mex twist
- Top with BBQ or Buffalo chicken and serve with some coleslaw
- Saute onions, peppers and sliced lean beef or lean ground beef and top with provolone or mozzarella cheese for a Phylly cheese steak-style spud
And while many people fear potatoes because they are packed with carbs, did you know that they’ve (those sciency types) discovered that as potatoes cool they produce resistant starch, an amazing starch that’s full of prebiotics that help your intestines grow good bacteria and improves insulin resistance. Yay potatoes!
So I hope this encourages you to pull out your Instant Pot and give it a try on baked potatoes. They are a wonderful, healthy way to bulk up a meal without bulking up your waste-line and budget-friendly, too.