To buy/use an Insta-Pot or Crockpot, that is the question. Whether is it nobler to go with the tried and true old standard crockpot (slow long term heat around since the 1950’s) or embrace the multi-functional jack of all trades newest steal my countertop space invention (hello reinvented pressure cooker, it debuted around 2010) is the question of the day. Simply put, both can simplify your life and make cooking ez simple and clean up a breeze. The crockpot allows you to program a specific temperature for a long and low simmer cook. This type of cooking helps develop deep complex flavors and is the perfect method for making soups, cholent and stews. It is also, depending on the size and number of settings it has, about half the cost of the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is a terrific appliance even if it is just an updated, tricked out version of an old fashioned pressure cooker. You can absolutely cook most anything 3 to 4 times faster by controlling the temperature, time and pressure. It also is incredibly energy efficient.

These appliances (and the following recipes) can be used interchangeably, both work for any schedule so your choice should depend on your budget, how many culinary creations requiring different times and cooking styles and most importantly, how much time you have start to plates on the table. If you are a late night or early morning prep person go with the crock pot, create, set and go on to the next thing. I you get home and have a bit of time to create a meal for your rampaging hoard, Insta-Pot all the way.


A ragu is a thick meat-based sauce (usually with minced vegetables) that is served with pasta

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground lamb

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 minced carrots

2 stalks minced celery

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 cups water

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 lb. elbow, rigatoni or small shell pasta

salt and pepper to taste

fresh parsley, chopped coarsely for garnish

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

In a large skillet saute the onions, celery, carrot and garlic in the olive oil. Cook over a low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Add and cook for about 10 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the soy sauce and honey. Mix to combine and pour the mixture along with the water and tomatoes into the crock pot or instant pot. Cook on low for 6 hours or High for 3 hours in the crockpot. In the Instant Pot cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours. In the crock pot, 30 minutes before you want to serve, add macaroni and mix to combine and continue cooking. In the Instant Pot add the pasta 15 minutes before the end time (continue cooking) and serve. Or, if you prefer you can cook the pasta separately and toss with the sauce just before serving and garnishing with parsley and the toasted pine nuts. Serves 6 to 8


1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion, chopped coarsely

1 red pepper diced

1 yellow pepper diced

1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 can (19 oz) red enchilada sauce

1 can (15 oz) corn drained

1 can (15 oz) black beans rinsed thoroughly and drained

2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes (do not drain)

4 cups chicken broth

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Pareve sour cream, for garnish

fresh chopped parsley (or cilantro), for garnish

Chopped avocado for garnish

Crushed tortilla chips for garnish

In a skillet saute the onions, garlic and peppers in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder. Add the enchilada sauce to the vegetables and mix to combine. Spoon the mixture into the Instant Pot or Crockpot and add the corn, beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and mix to combine. Place the chicken breast on top, cover and cook. Crockpot on low for 6 hours 3.5 for high or 45 minutes to an 1 hour for the Instant pot. When ready to serve shred the chicken breasts and divide them between 8 bowls and then spoon the soup on top. Garnish with parsley, avocado crushed chips and pareve sour cream. Serves 8

© Eileen Goltz crockpot20


  • Laurie Press

    My condolences on all your losses. May they rest in peace and may their memories be for a blessing.

  • Rose Ann Elton

    I have both a crock pot and insta pot. For some reason the insta-pot intimidates me! I stick to the crock pot, even tho the other cooks faster. I have no desire to come hone from a day with our grandchildren and cook dinner- no matter how quickly it cooks., I tend to cook on week ends and stick with the tried and true.

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