Despite how strange the last year was, some things never change—and the Super Bowl is one constant. It may look a little different in 2021, but if you’re anything like me, you were mostly in it for the food anyways (and you don’t need a crowd to make a giant batch of mac and cheese). It’s also the perfect time to break out some of the cooking gadgets you were gifted over the holidays: Fill those air fryers with chicken wings, break in your Dutch ovens with a huge pot of chili, and of course, plug in the real star of Super Bowl Sunday when it comes to kitchen tools, the Instant Pot.
This game day, use your Instant Pot to cook everything from classic chili and wings to dessert(!). Whether you’re cooking for the whole house or throwing a party for one, here are 11 Super Bowl Instant Pot recipes that’ll take your taste buds to the end zone.
You simply can’t have a Super Bowl without chili. It’s the golden standard for wintry game day grub. Melissa Clark’s Instant Pot chili is a simple but classic take, plus it’s done cooking in under ten minutes. You can’t argue with that. I like to top my chili with sharp cheddar, sour cream, chopped pickled jalapeños, and the Elote Corn Dippers from Trader Joe’s.
For a more complex chili, try this chili con carne from columnist and certified Instant Pot-whiz Ella Quittner. With the addition of a smart pantry pull in the form of achiote rojo paste, this chili is beefy, deeply-spiced, Tex-Mex perfection. Side note: if The Parent Trap taught us anything, it’s that we all wish we had a Jessie, and that you can’t have chili without cornbread. While you can make cornbread in an Instant Pot, that doesn’t mean you should: the device essentially steams the cornbread, giving it more of a pudding-like texture than the crumbly and cakey bread we love. For me, nothing beats a classic skillet cornbread, so I’ll stick to baking my cornbread in cast iron for now.
If you’re looking to branch out from chili but are still craving something warm and slurpable, kimchi jjiggae is a perfect place to start. The spicy kimchi and gochujang-flavored Korean beef stew is typically boiled on the stove, but translates to the Instant Pot nearly seamlessly. This deeply comforting dish ticks all the boxes to warm you up on a chilly winter night (regardless of whether or not the game is on).
Baked potatoes are a building block for the ideal Super Bowl spread. Whether for potato skins, housing chili, the foundation of a loaded baked potato bar, or just as a side, baked potatoes are super-versatile, no matter what else is on the menu. How to bake potatoes when the oven is packed with other food, you ask? Luckily, columnist Eric Kim came up with a way to free up oven space and make perfectly baked potatoes every time with (what else!) an Instant Pot.
Whether you’re a regular Rancho Gordo subscriber or made a few impulse-buys during the Great Bean Renaissance last March, we all still have that bag of dried beans in our pantry. Instant Pots are my ideal bean-cooking method, since they cut the time way down and require zero soaking. For game day I like to cook a batch of black beans for a bean salsa or “cowboy caviar” dip.
Speaking of beans, for an easy vegetarian option, this black bean soup brings all the smoky familiarity of chili with none of the meat. It’s another a great way to use up all those dried beans you invested in at the beginning of quarantine—no pre-soak required.
The only warning that comes with this mac and cheese recipe is that if you serve it during the Super Bowl, you will find yourself distracted from what’s happening on the field. Ella Quittner pulls through yet again with this creamy, rich, über-cheesy recipe that comes together in a fraction of the usual cook time with no stovetop-babysitting, roux-stirring, or 30-minute bake time. Don’t skimp on the panko topping (in fact I usually double it.)
For many, it’s not the Super Bowl without chicken wings. If you fall in this camp, try out the tangy sauce on these wings. The recipe can easily be adapted for an Instant Pot’s slow cooker setting (I refer to this guide for settings), but the sauce would also be killer on this Instant Pot cauliflower cauliflower if you don’t eat chicken.
If you’re the type of person that feels Taco Tuesday is superior to Super Bowl Sunday, 1.) Let’s be friends and 2.) This recipe is for you. While these melt-in-your-mouth tender Instant Pot carnitas make perfectly delicious tacos, they actually make even better nachos—swap the carnitas for the chicken in this recipe.
Yup, you can “bake” desserts in an Instant Pot. Since it relies on steam and pressure to cook, the Instant Pot is an ideal vessel for moist desserts puddings, cheesecakes, and custards. If you’ve never attempted a dessert in your multi-cooker, look no further than this bread pudding. A cross between croissant bread pudding and tres leches cake, it is a guaranteed game day winner.
This chocolate-peanut butter cheesecake is pretty close to heaven on Earth, both in flavor and technique. Master baker and recipe developer Jessie Sheehan wrote the recipe to require zero(!) oven time, even for the crust. In an even more brilliant move, she recommends you dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder. This not only hides myriad sins that finicky cheesecake tops can hold, like cracks, bubbles, or uneven browning, but it also adds a slight bitterness to cut through the luscious peanut buttery filling.
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