Maryland Crab Soup in the Instant Pot

It has been really cold the past few days. Plus our household has come down with the crud. So it is a perfect day for soup. Last week I had Maryland Crab Soup for lunch while out at a restaurant. It cost me $19 for a bowl with a side of hush puppies. I thought I could definitely make it for cheaper than that. Read More »


Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

I am the only person in my house that likes Black Bean Soup. So when I make it, I don’t want a huge pot since I will be sick of it before I can finish it. Every recipe I find seems to call for dried beans and makes way too much. I wanted to see if I could make a simpler batch.

On Sunday, I made myself a small batch that portioned out perfectly for lunches during the week. Honestly, I did not plan on making this ahead of time. It was more looking in the pantry to see what I had and what I could make. I typically keep canned beans on hand and had the tomatoes and chilies just in case. Everything (except the dried cilantro) came from Aldi, so it was a cheap meal that has saved me the cost of lunches for a whole week. Win!

I will caution that I like spicy food. This has quite a kick to it. So if you follow the recipe exactly, be advised. I also did not account for the saltiness of the chips. Different brands might have different levels of salt. This is not exactly a dump soup recipe. Be aware that the same ingredients were added in stages in some places. However, it took under 30 minutes to make. It gave me enough for six servings. Plus everything came from my pantry!

My son even tried it, but it was too spicy for his tastes. You could leave out the chilies and just use tomatoes if you wanted something a little milder.


Instant Pot 6qt Duo


  • 3 12oz cans Black Beans
  • 1 10oz can Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dried Minced Onion
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Salsa
  • 2 tbsp Dried Cilantro
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Tortilla Chips (optional)
  • Lime Juice (optional)


  1. In the Instant Pot, dump chicken broth, tomatoes and green chilies, all dry seasoning except for 1 tbsp dried cilantro, and 2 of the cans of black beans together. Set on Soup for 10 minutes.
  2. When soup is done, carefully release the vent on your Instant Pot. There will be a lot of steam, so be careful not to burn yourself.
  3. Take your immersion blender and carefully blend your ingredients together. Again, be careful! This is very hot. Don’t burn yourself!
  4. Add your salsa and the last can of beans. Stir. I like the texture this adds. Also add that last tbsp of dried cilantro. I love cilantro, so the more the better for me.
  5. Serve your soup with crushed tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. You could also add a squirt of lime juice if you have it. Enjoy!

Sometimes You Have an Instant Pot Winner

So my pasta dinner in the Instant Pot might have been a fail, but my Beef Stew was an insta[pot] success!

This was so good, I forget to take a picture, this is my second helping (I skipped lunch).



  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 16oz can diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 Bay lead
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4-5 small potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup mashed potatoes


1. In the Instant Pot, set on Sauté onion and garlic with olive oil. Cook until onions start to turn translucent.

2. Add beef stew meat, season with salt and pepper first.

3. Add beef broth.

4. Add tomatoes

5. Add packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix.

6. Add bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary.

7. Add carrot, potatoes, and celery.

8. Stir and place the lid on the Instant Pot. Set on Meat/Stew on High for 20 minutes. Make sure vent is closed.

9. Let NPR for 15 min.

10. To thicken, stir in instant mashed potato flakes.

If you have ever had the Beef Stew at Cracker Barrel, this is very similar. The tomatoes break down and the onions disintegrate into the sauce. The potatoes breaking down will make the sauce thicker, but I help things along by adding the mashed potatoes. It tastes better than adding flour or cornstarch.

We ate this served over egg noodles. Because I used the last of my beef bouillon (which meant basically dumping in the remainder of my jar) and added the soup mix, this was a little salty, but it was so good. I have brought the leftovers to lunch at work all week. Perfect for the chilly office!

Ham & Bean Soup for a Cold December Day

Today is sunny, but it is one of those days where it is so cold that you don’t want to leave the comfort of your blankets, steaming mug, and comfy couch. It is the perfect day for soup…especially if you have a ham bone leftover from Christmas dinner.

For Christmas, I got an extra inner pot for my 6qt Instant Pot. This means I can make two things back to back without having to wait until the first pot is cool enough for me to clean out. So I made an attempt at Ham and Bean soup. This recipe starts with dried beans. You could wait over night while the beans soak, but why wait when you can have them in an instant?



  • 16-20 oz Dried Northern White Beans with Ham Seasoning
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups sliced ham (with bone)
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 3 tbs butter


1. So to start, sort your dried beans for any small stones and rinse well. A strainer is helpful for this step.

2. Place beans in your instant pot with 4 cups water. Set at Manual at high for 40 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes for the pin to drop.

3. At this point, I swapped my inner pots. My beans absorbed all the water, but you might need to drain them if you still have water in your pot.

4. Add dried onions, minced garlic, and butter to the inner pot on Sauté. Heat until onions are translucent.

You need to keep stirring so they don’t burn. I got distracted as you can see by the brown onions here, but it didn’t affect the flavor too much.

5. Turn off Sauté. Add diced carrots, celery, potatoes, ham, chicken stock, and seasonings. Mix well. Add your cooked beans and mix it together.

6. Set at Manual on High for 20 minutes and let NPR for 15 minutes.

Yum! Enjoy and try to stay warm today!

Fall Harvest Soup

On my last shopping trip to Aldi, I scored a nice butternut squash. I knew that I wanted to use it in the Instant Pot for something, but I wasn’t exactly sure what. A search on Pinterest had puréed soup recipes popping up, but they were not quite what I was thinking. Then I rembered that Harvest Soup I had at a conference and I decided to attempt a merging of the two. So here is my take on what started as a simple puréed soup.

Tools Needed:


  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

Cooking Steps:

  1. Peel your butternut squash, apple, sweet potato, and carrots. Then chop into 1 inch chunks. Slice your onions into strips. Set your Instant Pot on Sauté. Add your butter, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are semi-translucent. Select Cancel on your Instant Pot.
  2. Add the remaining chopped vegetables to your pot. Add chicken broth to pot. Add salt, pepper, pumpkin pie spice, and ginger to the pot.Secure the lid in place on the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is in the closed position.
  3. Set your Instant Pot on Manual for 10 minutes. When finished, let the pot NPR.Carefully use the immersion blender to purée your soup from chunky to creamy. —Soup is Hot! Be careful with that blender or you may end up with a hot facial. Yummy, but not fun. 
  4. Serve and enjoy! Remember that when using an Instant Pot, you need to account for the time it takes for the pot to heat up just as you would with waiting for a pot to boil. My husband likes to claim that it takes less time when he uses it than when I do. I usually estimate 15 minutes. So this will take you roughly 45 min from start to finish. Honestly, the worst part for me was peeling the butternut squash. All in all, this was a delicious soup using ingredients I already had on hand. Served with a nice buttered crusty bread, it was the perfect dinner for a Fall evening. Plus I had lunch for the next day! Win-win!