How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Cooked spaghetti squash is a great nutrient dense, gluten-free, lower carb alternative to pasta or rice noodles. There are two great methods how to cook spaghetti squash and we’re giving you all the details you need to know!

Bowl of instant pot spaghetti squashHow to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash noodles are probably the easiest alternative to traditional pasta there is. While it doesn’t taste exactly the same, spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense, low carb alternative to pasta (whether gluten-free or not). If you can’t eat pasta or noodles for whatever reason, this is a pretty good substitute. It can take the place of almost any noodle dish, ranging from a classic “spaghetti” and meatballs, to a baked Italian “pasta” dish or even as a Pad Thai. Cooking spaghetti squash is so simple, being a mostly hands off cooking task. The hardest part is slicing it in half, so we are giving tips below.

Safe knife skills with spaghetti squash

How to Safely Cut It:

Your best answer to safely cutting a spaghetti squash is to have a large sharp knife, and a flat stead surface to cut it. With one hand, steady the spaghetti squash, and with the other press the knife into the squash before using your weight to leverage the knife through the squash. Once the knife is at least an inch inside the squash use your other hand to push down on the knife until it cuts through the squash entirely.

We cut the squash in two ways:

  1. Crosswise the the middle: This is our preferred method. This way is easier because there is less squash to cut, and you don’t have to go close to the stem. This results in long strings of noodles.
  2. Lengthwise: This method is harder to cut the squash and results in shorter noodles. Don’t try to attempt to cut through the hard stem. Once you’ve cut to that, take the knife out and use your hands to pull apart the spaghetti squash halves.

Still are afraid to cut the squash? You can always cook the squash whole, and cut after it is cooked. It’s obviously much easier to cut after it is soft, but we don’t prefer this method (see below as to why).

Can you Cook Spaghetti Squash Whole?

Yes you can, but this was not our favorite method of cooking it. If you are truly intimidated by cutting a squash, cooking it whole certainly makes it a lot easier to cut, but if you follow the tips above you should be able to safely cut a spaghetti squash. We didn’t like the result of a whole cooked spaghetti squash because it is harder to scoop out the seeds when they’re soft because you can’t easily distinguish between the inedible seeds and the edible squash strands.

Roasted spaghetti squash

Long strands of spaghetti squash

Our Favorite Way to Cook It

We are fans of cooking spaghetti squash in both the oven and in the Instant Pot. There is a slight difference in taste, and an even greater difference in cook time between these two, but knowing both is useful.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Roasting spaghetti squash in the oven takes longer, but it results in tender caramelized squash noodles. This is definitely our preferred method if we have the time. To make it, all you do is split the spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast until fork tender. More detailed directions are below in the recipe section!

How to Cook Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Steaming spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is by far the quickest method, and great when short on time! The squash noodles have a more straight-forward taste to them since there is no caramelization occurring. We prefer splitting the spaghetti squash and scooping out the seeds before cooking it, but you can steam it whole.

Spaghetti squash meal prep

Do you Eat the Skin of the Spaghetti Squash?

No! While some squash has edible skin, this is not one of them. Simply scoop out the “noodles” and discard the skin.

How to Use it

Treat spaghetti squash noodles like pasta! It can be eaten as is with a little oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese or you can use it in any variety of recipes. Check out below for some of ours:

Recipes using Spaghetti Squash:

Watch the video:


How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time 00:03 Cook Time 00:45 Inactive Time 00:00 Total Time 00:50 Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4lb. spaghetti squash (see note)
  • splash of oil (roasting only)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

For the Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise (for short "noodles") or crosswise (for long "noodles") and scoop out seeds. 
  3. Scoop out seeds and discard.
  4. Brush inside with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Place facedown on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can pierce with a fork.
  6. When cool enough to handle, scrape out "spaghetti" with a fork.
  7. Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.

For the Instant Pot:

  1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise (for short "noodles") or crosswise (for long "noodles") and scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  3. Stack the spaghetti squash on top of each other (cut-side up).
  4. Close the lid and make sure the knob is turned to sealing.
  5. Set to manual high-pressure for 10 minutes (longer time will be needed for bigger squash)
  6. When the timer goes off, turn the vent on the top of the lid to venting to release the steam.
  7. Once the venting knob has dropped, open the lid and shred the spaghetti squash with two forks to turn squash into spaghetti-like noodles!
  8. Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  1. If your spaghetti squash is a different size, you may have to adjust the cooking time, especially for the Instant Pot.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

This Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage comes out so just as tender and flavorful as the stove top version, but in half the time! This corned beef dinner with cabbage, potatoes and carrots is a the perfect dish for a classic for St. Patrick’s Day.

Instant pot corned beefInstant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Who doesn’t love a good boiled dinner, also known as corned beef and cabbage? This classic St. Patrick’s Day dish shouldn’t just be relegated to a once-a-year-meal though, because corned beef is so good, especially when you brine it yourself! The leftovers alone are worth making this meal for! We turned to the Instant Pot to make this dish to cut the cooking time in half and ensure the perfect fork tender brisket and from here on out will be cooking it this way.

What is corned beef?

Corned beef is simply salted or cured beef. It’s topically a brisket, but can also be an eye roast. It’s put in a brine with lots of salt, some sugar and spices like juniper berries and mustard seed. Once it’s done brining, typically 5-10 days later, it’s cooked! We delve into more details in this post here!

How do you cook corned beef in the Instant Pot?

It’s as easy as rinsing the corned beef, placing it in the Instant Pot on a trivet with a lot of water, cooking on high pressure for 85 minutes and then a natural release! We place the additional vegetable in the leftover broth for a quick 4 minute cook. Typically it can take 3-6 hours to cook a corned beef, so using the Instant Pot is really a time saver in this recipe.

Corned beef instant pot

What is in the spice packet for corned beef?

Honestly, anything can be in those spice packets that sometimes come with commercially prepared corned beef. Which is why we advocate making your own (or buying a high quality one). If the corned beef is brined properly all of the flavor should already be inside of the meat! If you aren’t sure that is the case with yours, we used these spices in our brine:

  • juniper berries
  • cinnamon
  • whole cloves
  • peppercorn
  • bay leaves
  • mustard seed

We recommend rinsing the corned beef very well to get off the excess salt in the brine before you cook it. This is true whether you make your own brine or buy store bought. Otherwise you’ll end up with a really salty corned beef.

Instant pot corned beef and cabbage recipe

Can you overcook a corned beef?

You can certainly cook it incorrectly! A corned beef, whether it is a brisket or an eye of round cut should be cooked low and slow, unless you are using a pressure cooker, in which case cooking under pressure keeps it tender. Traditionally this type of meat is tenderized first with the brine, and then it is submerged in liquid and cooked slowly over a long period of time. A slow cooker is also a great way to cook this type of meat. If you cook this type of meat very quickly with high temperature it will seize up and be tough.

What can you make with leftover corned beef?

Leftover corned beef was made to be turned into corned beef hash! It’s also great sliced thin when cold and turned into sandwiches. During testing we also used some of the leftover meat for a stir fry and for a soup!

Corned beef and cabbage instant pot

If you like this Instant Pot recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video:


Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 1:29 Inactive Time 00:25 Total Time 1:34 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3-4lb corned beef brisket (look for nitrate free or make your own here)
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ head green cabbage, sliced into 4 wedges
  • 12 ounces small red potatoes (about 8)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias about 2”
  • Parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Rinse the corned beef really well to remove any excess salt.
  2. Place a trivet (preferably one with handles) in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Place corned beef inside with 4 cups of water and cover.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 85 minutes. Release pressure naturally for 20 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
  4. Remove corned beef with trivet and set aside and keep warm.
  5. Place the cabbage, potatoes and carrots inside. Cover and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Use the manual release.
  6. Slice corned beef against the grain and serve with vegetables, mustard and parsley garnish.

Recipe Notes

  1. If using the 6 quart you may need to slice the corned beef in half to fit. Slice in half and stack each piece next to each other, but not on top of one another
  2. After cooking if you wish to remove the fat cap on the brisket, feel free to do so.
  3. Too cook on the stove top:
    1. In a large pot add the brisket and cover with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Check periodically to make sure the water hasn't reduced below the beef, and if it has add more as needed.
    2. Add cabbage, potatoes and carrots and cook for 1 more hour or until the meat is fork tender.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

How to Make the Best Rice Ever (Stove Top and Instant Pot)

If you’ve ever thought rice was a plain-nothing-special side dish, this recipe on How to Make the Best Rice Ever (either in the stove top or instant pot) is for you! It’s the perfect recipe to pair with just about anything, is largely hands-off cooking time and is flavorful thanks to added onion, garlic and toasted noodles. Our LCK Food Editor, Kelli Avila, shares how she came to love and cook this rice weekly.

homemade rice pilafHow to Make the Best Rice Ever

Want to know How to Make the Best Rice Ever? Kelli here, and I know I did after years of eating the rice my husband John, who hails from Colombia (where rice is a staple dish), has cooked for our family. Anybody who has ever eaten it has claimed that it was indeed the best rice they’ve ever had.

His version of rice, also called arroz con fideos is similarly close to a what Americans would know as rice pilaf (or in Egypt is known as bil shareyah). It’s basically rice enhanced with onions, garlic and fried noodles. We use gluten-free spaghetti, and it’s quickly fried in oil that transforms it into something different with a  nice toasted flavor. Over the last few weeks I’ve asked John to cook a few batches so I could watch how he made it. Lexi and I then got in the kitchen to test our own take on it, and are so happy with the results. There isn’t anything difficult to cook in this recipe, but it is all about building flavor with a few tricks to make the best rice ever.

This dish is so good it could be eaten simply on it’s own, or in our family with two toddlers topped with a fried egg and happily eaten as dinner (and then remade into a new dish the next day such as a stir fry). You can also make a really large batch and freeze mini portions of it to take out as needed for a quick dinner side dish. And in the next few weeks we have some new amazing leftover rice recipes we can’t wait to share.

How much salt do you put in 1 cup of rice

Tips on How to Make the Best Rice Ever

  • Start with long grain white rice. Alternatively we also tested this with jasmine and basmati rice and it works similarly with a slightly different flavor profile. Do not use short grain white rice or brown rice for this recipe.
  • Wash the rice REALLY well, like wash it more than you’ve ever washed rice before. This is probably the most critical step when making the best rice ever. Washing the rice rids it of excess starch that can make the final dish sticky. To wash, place the rice in a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Agitate the rice with your hands and then empty out the water. Fill it back up and repeat. You’ll do this several times until the water starts to get clearer, and then you can drain the rice and give it one more rinse until no cloudy runoff remains.
  • Brown the noodles until it is almost burnt. The more you toast the noodles, the more flavor they will impart on the final dish. Just be careful because it can go from toasty, to burnt really fast.
  • Mince the onions and garlic really well. The finer you can mince the aromatics the less bitter and harsh they come off in the final dish. The finally minced onions and garlic almost melt into the background of the dish instead of the rice very clearly having chunks of onion in it.
  • Let the water boil down before you cook it. This recipe calls for boiling down the water until it has completely evaporated below the rice before you reduce the heat and cover. This deviates greatly with traditional recipes, but it results in a more pleasant texture in the final result. You’ll know you let the water boil down far enough once the little bubbles coming up through the rice disappear completely. Then you lower the heat and cover the rice for the remainder of the cooking.
  • After the rice has finished cooking, uncover and let the heat remain on if you wish to get a crispy bottom. The crispy bottom is referred to as the pega. In my husband’s Colombian family everybody fights to get the pega because it’s so tasty. It’s basically a fried rice stuck to the bottom of the pot that is crunchy.

What is the ratio of water to rice?

For long grain white rice on the stove top, the ratio is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. For long grain white rice on in the Instant Pot the ratio is 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water.

What can you serve the Best Rice Ever with?

Just about everything. But if you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few:

If you like this how to, check out these others:


How to Make the Best Rice Ever

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:30 Total Time 00:35 Yields 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅓ cup dried (GF) spaghetti, broken into 1” inch pieces (about 40 pieces spaghetti or 1.75 ounces)
  • ½ small onion, very fine dice (about ¼ cup diced onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced fine
  • 2 cup long grain rice
  • 4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice: Place rice in a large bowl and fill with cold water and move the rice around with your hands. Drain the rice and repeat this step until the water inside the bowl is clear.
  2. Heat a medium to large pot and add oil. Once hot at the dried pasta and toast, until the pasta is light brown. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion and garlic and cooking, stirring,  for 3 minutes until just slightly beginning to soften.
  3. Add the rice, salt and water and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until all the water has evaporated below the rice and the bubbles have disappeared, about 10 minutes.
  4. Cover and reduce temperature to the lowest heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Once done, fluff with a fork and serve immediately. If you’d like to make a pega (crispy fried rice bottom) you can leave the rice with the low heat for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

  1. We really love the flavor of the full 2 teaspoons of salt, but if you prefer you can reduce it slightly to about 1-1/2 teaspoons, though it will be a little more bland.
  2. To cook in the Instant Pot (note the different amount of water added than on the stove top, all other ingredients stay the same):
    1. Rinse the rice: Place rice in a large bowl and fill with cold water and move the rice around with your hands. Drain the rice and repeat this step until the water inside the bowl is clear.
    2. Press saute on instant pot and and add oil. Once hot at the dried pasta and toast, until the pasta is light brown. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes until just slightly beginning to soften.
    3. Add the rice, salt and 2 cups of water (this amount is different than the remainder of the recipe) and press the rice button (or cook on manual pressure for 12 minutes).
    4. When done use the quick release function.
    5. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately or cool down to use for meal prep.
  3. The rice will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively you can freeze in single serve portions to use for a quick weeknight dinner. To reheat place rice in a medium pot with 2 tablespoons of water and place on low heat with a cover. Cook for about 10 minutes until the rice is completely heated through and the water has been absorbed.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Kelli Avila Bio

How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot (Greek Yogurt Style)

It’s here! Homemade GREEK YOGURT. Made right in your Instant Pot. Now we know that for many things it’s easier to buy product at the store instead of making at home, but sometimes the resulting homemade product is SO GOOD that it’s 100% worth the effort, which is why we’re talking all about How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot, specifically GREEK YOGURT. Mike is so in love with this one, he couldn’t believe it was homemade!

Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot (Greek Yogurt Style)

How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot is definitely one of those recipes we could not wait to share with you. Of course, there are a few more steps than usual to complete this recipe, because after all it is making yogurt at home., but trust us when we say the resulting yogurt, which is strained to make greek yogurt is so worth the effort. It’s so incredibly delicious and creamy, it’s super filling and doesn’t contain any sugar or additives! It’s made with two ingredients only: milk and probiotic bacteria. It’s worlds-away-different from anything you’ll buy at the store! We are so in love with this greek yogurt and are so excited for you to get your hands on this recipe!

We also love that homemade yogurt has way more probiotics than most anything you can buy at the store, because you can control how long you ferment the yogurt. The longer you ferment the more probiotic bacteria you have! We also can attest that making yogurt is so much cheaper than it is to buy at the store.

Prefer to make non-dairy coconut milk yogurt? Check out this post.

Instant Pot Greek YogurtWhy make homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot?

As if there aren’t enough ways to love our Instant Pot, using them to make yogurt is just another one of them! We loved the idea of doing it in the Instant Pot because it means we don’t need to buy a separate gadget to incubate the yogurt (and we know there are ways to do it without any gadget, but we’d prefer the controlled temperature). Of course, we are talking about an Instant Pot that has a yogurt function button. However if you do have a dedicated yogurt maker, you can certainly use it with this recipe as we opt to heat the milk on the stove because we didn’t like that heating it in the Instant Pot left the milk stuck to inner pot and in turn left the resulting yogurt chunky. If you prefer to skip this and just do the whole thing in the Instant Pot you can! All you need to do is hit the yogurt button until it says boil, and then let the Instant Pot do the rest. You follow the remainder of the steps after that.

What does it actually mean to make yogurt or ferment food?

In a nutshell, when you are making yogurt you are introducing bacteria cultures to milk and creating a warm and comfortably environment for them to grow for a specified period of time, or ferment. The culture is either a purchased yogurt culture or probiotic capsule that is combined with the milk to inoculate the batch with bacteria. You can also make yogurt with a previously inoculated batch of yogurt. The introduced bacteria feed off of the sugar in the milk and will thrive and multiply in an environment around 110 degrees or so, and the Instant Pot Yogurt setting keeps the milk at that temperature consistently.

If you’ve never made yogurt or fermented food before this can seem a little daunting. But once you get the hang of it making it will seem easy and can be done every week for an unending supply of yogurt.

How do you sanitize an instant pot

Tips on How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot

  1. Read through the entire post and follow all of the recipe instructions. This is the type of recipe where the directions sound so specific and it’s all for a reason!
  2. If you are making this for the first time purchase a starter culture. After you’ve made the yogurt for a few times and have a feel for it you can start saving a tablespoon of yogurt to make new batches, but wait to do that until you’ve got the hang of making yogurt.
  3. Clean all your utensils and cookware and anything else you are going to use with hot soapy water, or place in the dishwasher. Generally speaking whenever you are fermenting food you want to make sure your cookware and utensils are sanitary so you don’t encourage the growth of bad bacteria. We also remove the inner seal from the Instant Pot lid because it has a tendency to hold on to odors, and they will definitely transfer to the yogurt.
  4. Use an instant read thermometer (we love our Thermapen: it’s an investment but one that will last forever) to make sure you have the correct temperature when heating up the milk and cooling it down so you don’t accidentally kill the starter culture by placing it in liquid too hot. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer make sure the milk is warm, but not hot by pickup up a couple of drops and putting them on your inner wrist. If it feels very warm it’s likely too warm for the bacteria.
  5. The longer you ferment the yogurt the tangier it will be. But you CAN ferment it too long. Check the package of your yogurt starter to see what it recommends. We found a sweet spot between 12-16 hours, but if your package says something different start out with that time and see how your yogurt tastes. If it isn’t very tangy try fermenting it for longer than next time you make a batch to get the yogurt you think tastes best.
  6. Strain your yogurt to turn it into greek yogurt! When your yogurt has finished fermenting it should definitely be thickened up, but you have to strain the yogurt if you want it to get greek style! The whey will separate from the milk and produce a super dreamy and creamy greek yogurt. Don’t throw away the whey though! You can use it in smoothies for some extra protein!

Instant pot greek yogurt recipes

Tools we used to make this recipe:

If you like this how to post, check our these others:

Want to make dairy-free yogurt in the Instant Pot? We have you covered here!


How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:05 Inactive Time 12:00 Total Time 12:10 Serves 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk (see this post for dairy free)
  • 1 Packet Yogurt Starter (ours was 5 grams) or 1 tablespoon prepared yogurt with live cultures

Directions

  1. In an Instant Pot with a yogurt function, remove the seal from the lid. Clean the lid and the inner pot with hot soapy water, or place in the dishwasher, and dry thoroughly. Set aside. (see note)
  2. Heat milk in clean medium pot over medium heat until it has started to steam and bubble around the edges, to 180ºF (we like to use our Thermapen for this).
  3. Place the hot milk in the Instant Pot inner liner, and let cool until it reaches 105ºF - 110ºF, about 40 minutes.
  4. Once it has cooled enough, in a small bowl add the live culture together with about ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until it is fully combined. Add it back to the inner pot, whisk until combined.
  5. Press the Yogurt function on the Instant Pot until it displays a timer. Set for 8-16 hours, depending on how tangy you want your yogurt and close the lid (without the inner seal). It does not matter whether you press sealing or not.
  6. Once finished, smell the yogurt. It should be pleasantly tangy. 
  7. To make greek yogurt: Line a fine mesh strainer with either a clean cotton kitchen towel, a coffee filter and two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the finished yogurt inside and let it drain for 2-6 hours, or until desired consistency.
  8. Yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Recipe Notes

  1. Read the entire article on How to Make Coconut Milk in the Instant Pot.
  2. You want to make sure the Instant Pot is clean for two reasons: the first is because you are fermenting food and you want to make sure there is no bad bacteria on your Instant Pot. The best way to do this is to put all of your equipment through the dishwasher right before use, or wash with hot and soap water. The second is because if there is any smell leftover on your lid or inner pot, which is known to happen in an Instant Pot, it will likely transfer to the yogurt. So clean it really well.
  3. You heat the milk up for two reasons: the first is to kill of any bad bacteria, the second is because heating it up changes the protein structure of the milk and allows for the resulting yogurt to thicken up.
  4. We are heating up the milk in a pot on the stove because we do not like the cooked milk solids that occurs when it is heated in the Instant Pot because it results in chunky yogurt. If you wish to use the function on the Instant Pot that brings the milk to the proper temperature you can do that.
  5. You want your cooled milk temperature to be accurate before adding your culture because if it’s too hot, it could kill the live culture but if it is too cold it might disturb the fermentation. If you wish to speed up the process of the milk cooling down you can place the pot in a ice bath. Just make sure to watch the temperature as it will cool quickly, around 10-15 minutes depending on how cold the ice bath is. If you cool off the milk in ice in the IP inner pot make sure to dry it off thoroughly before using.
  6. There may be a thin skin that has formed on the milk after it has cooled. This is normal, but we remove it to make for a smoother yogurt.
  7. The longer you ferment the yogurt, the tangier it will be as the bacteria consumes all of the sugar and the more probiotic bacteria will grow. We tried the yogurt at 8 hours, which was not very tangy at all, to 16 hours which was a bit too tangy for us. We preferred the yogurt on the higher end of fermentation around 12 hours. However depending on the type of culture you are using it may give a different length of time, so be sure to check the instructions on how long to ferment the yogurt.
  8. Depending on what yogurt starter you used will change how long you need to strain the yogurt to get thick greek style. If it goes too long and is too thick for your liking you can always add back in some of the whey.
  9. Don't throw away the whey! It's full of protein. You can use it in smoothies or as cooking liquid in pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.
  10. If at any point in the process your yogurt starts to smell bad, taste bad, or has any gray or pink liquid something has gone wrong and you will want to throw it out. Yogurt should be pleasantly tangy, but not taste “bad”.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

How to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt in the Instant Pot (Dairy Free)

For many things it’s easier to buy product at the store instead of making at home, but sometimes the resulting homemade product is SO GOOD that it’s worth the effort which is why we’re talking all about How to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt in the Instant Pot! Made in partnership with our friends at Vital Proteins!

Dairy-Free Instant Pot YogurtHow to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt in the Instant Pot

Sometimes we are so excited about a recipe that we absolutely cannot wait to share, and How to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt in the Instant Pot is definitely one of them. There is no hiding the fact that there are a few steps needed to complete this recipe, because after all it is making yogurt at home. But trust us when we say the resulting Coconut Milk Yogurt is so worth the effort. It’s so incredibly delicious and creamy, it’s super filling and only contains a very minimal amount of maple syrup. It’s worlds-away-different from anything you’ll buy at the store and you control the amount of sugar that goes in it! It’s dairy-free and even compatible with low-carb diets. We are so in love with this dairy-free yogurt and are so excited for you to get your hands on this recipe!

We also love that homemade yogurt has way more probiotics than most anything you can buy at the store, because you can control how long you ferment the yogurt. The longer you ferment the more probiotic bacteria you have! We also can attest that making yogurt is so much cheaper than it is to buy at the store.

Prefer to make dairy yogurt? Check out this post.


Why coconut milk yogurt and why in the Instant Pot?

Buying a dairy-free yogurt in the stores usually means choosing one that is heavy on the sugar or is flavored and sometimes we’d just like a plain dairy-free, lower-carb yogurt that isn’t going to feel like we’ve eaten a candy bar. We loved the idea of doing it in the Instant Pot because it means we don’t need to buy a separate gadget to incubate the yogurt (and we know there are ways to do it without any gadget, but we’d prefer the controlled temperature). Of course, we are talking about an Instant Pot that has a yogurt function button. However if you do have a dedicated yogurt maker, you can certainly use it with this recipe as we opt to heat the milk on the stove because we didn’t like that heating it in the Instant Pot left the milk stuck to inner pot and in turn left the resulting yogurt chunky. If you prefer to skip this and just do the whole thing in the Instant Pot you can! All you need to do is hit the yogurt button until it says boil, and then let the Instant Pot do the rest. You follow the remainder of the steps after that.

how to make coconut milk yogurt in instant pot

What does it actually mean to make yogurt or ferment food?

In a nutshell, when you are making yogurt you are introducing bacteria cultures to milk and creating a warm and comfortably environment for them to grow for a specified period of time, or ferment. The culture is either a purchased yogurt culture or probiotic capsule that is combined with the milk to inoculate the batch with bacteria. You can also make yogurt with a previously inoculated batch of yogurt. The introduced bacteria feed off of the sugar in the milk (see below for difference with coconut milk) and will thrive and multiply in an environment around 110 degrees or so, and the Instant Pot Yogurt setting keeps the milk at that temperature consistently.

If you’ve never made yogurt or fermented food before this can seem a little daunting. But once you get the hang of it making it will seem easy and can be done every week for an unending supply of yogurt!


How is coconut milk yogurt different than dairy yogurt?

There are a few tricks needed to make yogurt out of coconut milk that don’t apply when you are making dairy milk. Namely that coconut milk does not have a lot of natural sugar in it so it needs the addition of maple syrup to feed the bacteria and that it does not thicken the same as dairy once it’s fermented so we use gelatin to create the consistency we want.

how long does it take to make yogurt in the instant pot

Tips on How to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt in the Instant Pot

  1. Read through the entire post and follow all of the recipe instructions. This is the type of recipe where the directions sound so specific and it’s all for a reason!
  2. If you are making this for the first time purchase a starter culture. After you’ve made the yogurt for a few times and have a feel for it you can start saving a tablespoon of yogurt to make new batches, but wait to do that until you’ve got the hang of making yogurt.
  3. Clean all your utensils and cookware and anything else you are going to use with hot soapy water, or place in the dishwasher. Generally speaking whenever you are fermenting food you want to make sure your cookware and utensils are sanitary so you don’t encourage the growth of bad bacteria. We also remove the inner seal from the Instant Pot lid because it has a tendency to hold on to odors, and they will definitely transfer to the yogurt.
  4. Use an instant read thermometer (we love our Thermapen: it’s an investment but one that will last forever) to make sure you have the correct temperature when heating up the milk and cooling it down so you don’t accidentally kill the starter culture by placing it in liquid too hot. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer make sure the milk is warm, but not hot by pickup up a couple of drops and putting them on your inner wrist. If it feels very warm it’s likely too warm for the bacteria.
  5. Don’t skip out on the maple syrup. It is needed to feed the probiotic bacteria, without it your yogurt will never become yogurt but will instead be just a spoiled batch of coconut milk.
  6. The longer you ferment the yogurt the tangier it will be. But you CAN ferment it too long. Check the package of your yogurt starter to see what it recommends. We found a sweet spot between 12-16 hours, but if your package says something different start out with that time and see how your yogurt tastes. If it isn’t very tangy try fermenting it for longer than next time you make a batch to get the yogurt you think tastes best.
  7. Whisk the finished coconut yogurt while it’s still warm until it is fully emulsified. It will not be very thick when it is warm though because the gelatin needs to set up.

Vital Proteins Gelatin

The biggest difference between making yogurt with coconut milk and dairy milk is that it doesn’t quite thicken the same way dairy does. Because of this coconut milk yogurt needs a thickener and we love using gelatin for this. To be sure, even though this yogurt is dairy-free, it is not vegan because it uses beef gelatin. We use our favorite Pasture-Raised Beef Gelatin from Vital Proteins in our yogurt and love that it gives it an added boost of nutrition thanks to the collagen.  Vital Proteins is known for their Collagen Peptides, which is great to use in everyday drinks like your morning coffee or food, but we love being able to use their good quality gelatin here in this yogurt. Adding collagen to your diet can be a great way to improve and promote bone and joint health, aid in healthy digestion and gut health, improve sleep and nourish your skin. We love adding it to overnight oats, smoothies, and more.

For this recipe, make sure you’re grabbing the green container. While gelatin does have collagen, it isn’t the same as the Collagen Peptides (blue container) as it has special attributes that transform liquid and is perfect for jello, marshmallows, homemade candies/gummies, and of course thickening up this amazing yogurt!

Making Yogurt in Instant Pot Dairy Free

Don’t be intimidated to make your own yogurt, simply watch the video:

If you like this How To, check our these others:

Tools we used to make this recipe:


How to Make Coconut Milk Yogurt in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:05 Inactive Time 12:00 Total Time 12:10 Yields 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 5.4 ounce can coconut cream
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut cream
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin
  • 1 Packet Dairy Free Yogurt Starter (ours was 5 grams, but yours might differ) or 1 tablespoon prepared dairy free yogurt with live cultures
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

  1. In an Instant Pot with a yogurt function, remove the seal from the lid. Clean the lid and the inner pot with hot soapy water, or place in the dishwasher, and dry thoroughly. Set aside. (see note)
  2. Place coconut milk and cream in clean medium pot, reserving ¼ cup of the coconut milk in a small bowl. Heat coconut milk over medium heat until it has started to steam and bubble around the edges, to 180ºF (we like to use our Thermapen for this).
  3. Meanwhile add Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin to the small bowl with coconut milk and stir to combine and let it soften.
  4. Once coconut milk has reached 180ºF, take a few tablespoons of hot milk from pot and whisk into the bowl of softened gelatin until it is completely dissolved. Add the dissolved gelatin mixture to the pot of coconut milk and whisk together.
  5. Place the hot coconut milk in the Instant Pot inner liner, and let cool until it reaches 105ºF - 110ºF, about 40 minutes.
  6. Once it has cooled enough, in a small bowl (you can use the same one as gelatin) add the live culture together with about ¼ cup of the coconut milk and whisk until it is fully combined. Add it back to the inner pot, add maple syrup and whisk until combined. (see note)
  7. Press the Yogurt function on the Instant Pot until it displays a timer. Set for 8-16 hours, depending on how tangy you want your yogurt and close the lid (see note). Close the lid (without the inner seal). It does not matter whether you press sealing or venting.
  8. Once finished fermenting, whisk the coconut yogurt until it is fully emulsified. It will not be very thick right now because the gelatin needs to set up.Transfer to containers and into the refrigerator to set up at least 4 hours.
  9. Yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Recipe Notes

  1. Read the entire article on How to Make Coconut Milk in the Instant Pot.
  2. You want to make sure the Instant Pot is clean for two reasons: the first is because you are fermenting food and you want to make sure there is no bad bacteria on your Instant Pot. The best way to do this is to put all of your equipment through the dishwasher right before use, or wash with hot and soap water. The second is because if there is any smell leftover on your lid or inner pot, which is known to happen in an Instant Pot, it will likely transfer to the yogurt. So clean it really well.
  3. We are heating up the milk in a pot on the stove because we have found that the milk can get burned when it is heated in the Instant Pot and results in chunky yogurt. If you wish to use the function on the Instant Pot that brings the milk to the proper temperature you can do that.
  4. Coconut yogurt does not thicken the same as dairy milk. That is why you need the help of the beef gelatin. If you wish to skip this to keep it vegan the resulting yogurt will be thin and like a smoothie.
  5. You want your cooled coconut milk temperature to be accurate before adding your culture because if it’s too hot, it could kill the live culture but if it is too cold it might disturb the fermentation. If you wish to speed up the process of the milk cooling down you can place the pot in a ice bath. Just make sure to watch the temperature as it will cool quickly, around 10-15 minutes depending on how cold the ice bath is. If you cool off the milk in the IP inner pot make sure to dry it off thoroughly before using.
  6. There may be a thin skin that has formed on the coconut milk after it has cooled. This is normal, just whisk it together.
  7. The longer you ferment the yogurt, the tangier it will be as the bacteria consumes all of the sugar and the more probiotic bacteria will grow. We tried the yogurt at 8 hours, which was not very tangy at all, to 16 hours which was a bit too tangy for us. We preferred the yogurt on the higher end of fermentation around 12 hours. However depending on the type of culture you are using it may give a different length of time, so be sure to check the instructions on how long to ferment the yogurt.
  8. The finished yogurt will not be as smooth as dairy yogurt because it hasn’t been homogenized in a factory and there are no additives in it! If it does separate, you can whisk it together or use an immersion blender until it is smoother.
  9. If at any point in the process your yogurt starts to smell bad, taste bad, or has any gray or pink liquid something has gone wrong and you will want to throw it out. Yogurt should be pleasantly tangy, but not taste “bad”. We have experienced the yogurt turning bad during one testing phase when we forgot to add the maple syrup and we assume it’s because the bacteria didn’t have any sugar to feed on so they died and the yogurt turned.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% ours! We love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support us and the brands we love and work with!

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

If you’ve ever wondered How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot, this post has you covered. It tastes just like a rotisserie chicken you buy at the store, only you get to control the ingredients! It’s largely hands-off cooking time and the chicken is so juicy! This chicken is perfect to serve as is for dinner, or you can use for meal prep or for other chicken recipes.

Can you roast a whole chicken in instant potHow to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

It’s How to Wednesday and today we’re talking about: How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot! The rotisserie chickens you find in the grocery stores often have such tender juicy chicken, and they definitely are convenient, but we always love to be able to control the ingredients in our food. When you cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, using our blend of spices, it comes out just as tender and juicy as a store-bought whole rotisserie chicken. It’s great to serve as-is with a few sides like Mashed Potatoes, Herbed Cucumber Salad or Honey Glazed Carrots or you can use it for meal prep for the week. You can turn it into Chicken Salad, Soup or Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Hummus Dip.

How long does it take to cook chicken in instant pot

Now we aren’t saying we don’t enjoy an Oven Roasted Chicken, because we do, but there are definitely a lot of advantages of cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.

  • The first is that it is quicker. It takes about an hour to roast a chicken in the oven, but then you also have the prep time, the time it takes to heat up an oven and the cooling time. Cooking in the Instant Pot does speed up the time.
  • The second advantage is because there is no guess work as to when your chicken is done! Roasting a chicken in the oven can have so many variants, and if you leave it in too long it will be dry. But in the Instant Pot it will most definitely be done at the time it states on the recipe.
  • And third, the chicken is SO JUICY and fall-off-the-bone tender. Hands down a chicken that is cooked in the Instant Pot is way more tender and juicy than one that is brined and roasted in the oven, because that is what makes cooking in a pressure cooker so magical.

How do I cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot?

And the best part is, it’s so easy to do!

  1. Season the chicken
  2. Sear the chicken
  3. Add onion and remaining seasoning to chicken
  4. Place trivet inside of the Instant Pot with 1/2 cup broth
  5. Cook on manual pressure for 24 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound)
  6. Natural release for 15 minutes and then release remaining pressure
  7. And then your chicken is READY!

P.S. you can also cook a chicken in the slow cooker or in the oven!

How do I cook a whole chicken in pressure cooker

If you like this How to Recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video:

What to do with leftover chicken bones/carcass? Reuse them and make HOMEMADE BROTH!


How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:24 Inactive Time 00:35 Total Time 01:14 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Using a paper towel, dry off chicken.
  2. In a small bowl mix together all of the spices. Place half of the spices in another small bowl and add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to create a paste.
  3. Carefully rub the paste underneath the skin on the chicken breasts. Take care not to break the skin.
  4. In a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot press the saute function.
  5. Once hot add remaining oil and sear the whole chicken, breast side down about 3-4 minutes. Then flip and sear on the other side. Press cancel on the saute function.
  6. Remove chicken, and season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper and place ½ an onion inside of the cavity. Rub the remainder of the dry spices all over the chicken breasts and thighs and set aside.
  7. Place the trivet inside of the Instant Pot and pour in chicken stock. Place chicken back inside on the travel and close the lid with the vent set to sealing.
  8. Cook on manual high pressure for 24 minutes (or 6 minutes per pound)
  9. Natural release for 15 minutes, then use the manual release function to release any remaining pressure.
  10. Let chicken sit until it has cooled down slightly, about 10 minutes. Butcher the legs, wings and finally the breasts and serve along with your favorite sides!

Recipe Notes

  1. If your chicken is a different size than 4 lbs. adjust the cooking time to be 6 minutes per pound.
  2. Update 6/2019: We've had a few commenters that have experienced a "burn" notification on their instant pot, likely due to too much evaporation of the broth. We didn't experience this in testing but as some reader suggestions we're going to increase the called for amount of broth, since the amount doesn't really affect the final dish. We've increased it from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of broth added. 
  3. If you experience a burn notification add 1/2 cup more broth to your put and start again.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!