Score a Touchdown with These Game-Day Recipes Using a Programmable Pressure Cooker

The Big Game is almost here, and you’re excited to impress guests attending your football watch party with your rock star cooking skills. What could you possibly make that’s convenient, delicious and won’t make you miss a moment of the most watched sporting event of the year?

We’ve got you covered. Our Development Chef, Brittany Neisen, helped gather a variety of tasty recipes using one of her favorite home kitchen appliances, a programmable pressure cooker. It’s quickly become one of her go-to gadgets because it offers a wide variety of cooking functions while being easy for at-home chefs to use.

Think of it as an amped-up slow cooker; it’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté pan and warming pot all in one. It also finds your lost car keys and reminds you of your family’s birthday. (Just kidding! But wouldn’t that be nice?)

If you were lucky enough to receive one of these all-in-one tools for the holidays, here’s a few ways you can use it to look like the MVP on Feb. 4. And of course, if you’d rather just relax and enjoy the game, place a To-Go order for Santa Fe Spinach Dip, Chicken Tenders, House Smoked Baby Back Ribs or other signature dishes at your closest Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

Easy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Yield: Serves 24

Ingredients

1 pound ground chicken
¾ Cup panko-style breadcrumbs
1 + ⅓ Cup Louisiana-style hot sauce (divided)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 green onions (finely chopped)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Blue Cheese or Ranch Salad Dressing (optional)

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, Panko, ⅓ cup hot sauce, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, green onions and salt.

  • Using your hands or a 1″ scooper, roll (24) 1″ balls.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot and click sauté.
  • Once hot, add the oil and rotate the pot so the oil coats the bottom of the pan. It must be hot or the meatballs will stick.
  • Working in batches, add the meatballs (do not crowd the meatballs) and brown for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Once a batch is browned, remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Continue until all meatballs are browned.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and make sure no food parts are sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add all the meatballs to the Instant Pot.
  • Pour the rest of the hot sauce over the meatballs.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is turned to sealed.
  • Turn the Instant Pot back on and select the poultry button or 5 minutes high pressure.
  • Once the timer beeps, quick release the pressure.
  • Stir the meatballs to evenly coat and serve immediately.
  • Optional: drizzle with salad dressing just before serving or in a small dipping bowl.
  • Pressure-Cooked Mesquite Ribs

    Yield: Serves 8

    Ingredients

    1 cup water
    2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    4 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into serving-size portions
    2 tablespoons mesquite seasoning
    3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided

    Directions
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, Panko, ⅓ cup hot sauce, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, green onions and salt.

  • Combine water, vinegar and soy sauce in a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. Rub ribs with mesquite seasoning; add to pressure cooker. Lock lid in place; make sure vent is closed. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time to 35 minutes. When finished cooking, naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then quick-release any remaining pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Remove ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat broiler. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce. Broil 4-6 in. from heat until glazed. Serve with additional barbecue sauce if desired.
  • Five-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

    Yield: Serves 6

    Ingredients

    1 pound elbow macaroni
    Kosher salt
    One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3 cups shredded mild or medium Cheddar

    Directions

  • Combine the macaroni, 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt in an Instant Pot® (see Cook’s Note). Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  • After the pressure cook cycle is complete follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid and switch to low saute setting.
  • Stir in the evaporated milk, butter and 1/4 cup water. Then add the Cheddar, a little at time, while constantly stirring, until the cheese is completely melted. Serve hot.
  • Carnitas

    Yield: Serves 4

    Ingredients

    2-pound pastured pork loin
    1 cup (240 ml) water
    1 orange, sliced in half
    1 fresh jalapeño, whole
    1 large red onion, diced
    2 teaspoons sea salt
    1 teaspoons cumin
    1 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoons garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoons black pepper
    1 teaspoons dried parsley
    1 teaspoons paprika
    Handful fresh cilantro

    Directions

  • Place all of the ingredients into the stainless steel bowl of your Instant Pot, squeezing the juice from the orange halves before placing them into the bowl.
  • Secure the lid, close off the pressure valve and press the Meat/Stew button. Now press the “+” button until 40 minutes is displayed.
  • Allow the cooking cycle to complete, and then allow the pressure to release slowly. Remove the lid when safe to do so and use two forks to shred the pork. You may need to adjust the cooking time if the weight of your meat varies.
  • Serve with fresh cilantro, diced tomato, onion and jalapeño slices if desired.
  • Instant Pot Turkey Chili

    Yield: Serves 4 to 6

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound ground turkey
    1 medium onion, finely diced
    1 medium green bell pepper, cored and finely diced
    3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
    1/2 cup water
    3 tablespoons chili powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce (optional)

    Directions

  • Place the oil in an electric pressure cooker. Turn the sauté setting on and heat the oil until shimmering. Add the turkey. Cook, stirring constantly to break up the meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, water, chili powder, cumin, salt, and tamari or soy sauce if using. Stir to combine.
  • Secure the lid and close the vent. Set the cook time for 20 minutes at high pressure. When the cooking time completes, open the valve to release the pressure. Open the lid away from your face. Stir the chili. Taste and add salt and other seasonings as needed. Serve the chili with your desired toppings.
  • Cheesecake

    Yield: Serves 8

    Ingredients

    3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
    2 teaspoons white sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 tablespoons melted butter
    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

    2/3 cup white sugar
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 lemon, zested
    2 eggs, at room temperature
    2/3 cup sour cream

    Directions

  • Pulse graham crackers, 2 teaspoons white sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pour in melted butter; pulse until fine crumbs form. Pat the crust into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 6-inch springform pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Mix cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-low speed until aerated and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add 2/3 cup sugar and salt; mix for 4 minutes more. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest; mix batter for 1 minute more.
  • Crack 1 egg into the batter; mix for 1 minute. Add remaining egg; mix for 1 minute more. Stir in the sour cream; mix until it has disappeared into the batter, about 1 minute. Pour into the crust-lined pan. Make a loose tent over the pan with aluminum foil.
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot(R); add the trivet. Lower the filled springform pan carefully into the Instant Pot(R). Lock the lid into place.
  • Choose the “Manual” setting; select high pressure. Set cook time for 40 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow pressure to naturally release for 18 minutes. Remove the lid. Check for doneness; edges should be set and the center should jiggle slightly when shaken.
  • Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
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