I just bought an Instant Pot, and now I’m obsessed. I’ve made a breakfast, a lunch, and 4 dinners in a row with it. I’ve never had a pressure cooker, so I’m still learning, but it’s so FAST! I mean, obviously, it’s fast. That’s the whole point, right? I just didn’t realize how fast.

The first meal I made was Pressure Cooker Beef and Macaroni from This Old Gal. I halved the recipe and found that it easily fed myself and my husband and the kids with plenty of leftovers.  I also made a couple of changes. I just used a can of whole tomatoes that I just crushed my hand instead of puréed tomatoes and tomato sauce. I didn’t have dried parsley and wasn’t about to buy any. I didn’t use red wine because my baby was eating this too and I still don’t know what to believe about the alcohol cooking out. I used the Sauté function on the Instant Pot to brown the meat and onions, but next time, I’ll just use a frying pan on the stove. It would have been a lot faster. Here is my version:


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced small
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 pound dried pasta (I used elbow macaroni)


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet
  2. Brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon as it browns.
  3. When the meat is no longer pink, add the onions and sauté until the onions are soft and the meat is brown.
  4. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.
  5. Transfer meat to the Instant Pot.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients
  7. Lock the lid and cook on High pressure for about 5 minutes.
  8. Natural release for about 5 minutes, and then quick release.


My entire family loved this. That would include my 1 year old, my very picky 3 year old, and my pickiest eater- my husband! I’ll definitely make this again. It is perfect for days that I can’t get to the grocery store (I shop for food almost every day) or when I want to make sure everyone eats dinner.