Instant Pot Pot Roast So You Can Cook Once, Eat Three Times
Learn how to cook a pot roast in an Instant Pot with our easy recipe. Then turn the leftovers into takeout-worthy French dip sandwiches and steamy bowls of ramen.
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French Dip Sandwiches, Triple-Duty Instant Pot Pot Roast, and Quick Beef and Vegetable Ramen. Article, recipes, and photographs by Ashley Strickland Freeman.
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Are you a meal prepper, able to plan and prep a week’s worth of meals at one go? If you answered yes, then I admire you. I’ve tried my darnedest, but haven’t had much luck going the traditional meal prepping route.
For starters, with all the convenience these days of meal delivery and take out, it’s too easy to satisfy my craving for wood-fired pizza or what-have-you with a tap on my smart phone. Even take-out gets old, though. And I want to prepare a home-cooked meal for my family as often as possible.
Double-batch cooking is often what I opt for. Because leftovers are great…until they’re not. After the third night of eating the baked ziti that we all loved and craved earlier in the week, we feel like we’re going to turn into pasta.
Enter my solution to cook once and eat three times. This approach lets me do a little bit of meal planning, but not so much my head spins. I’ll make double quantities of a protein like pot roast and reinvent the leftovers to create two or three completely different meals. For busy weeknights, it’s a game-changer.
For this particular set of recipes, I turned to the trendy Instant Pot. I was a little later to the game on the Instant Pot craze, but I finally caved, and I’m so glad I did. I use the Instant Pot to create luscious, tender pot roast complete with veggies and gravy in a fraction of the time it would take in a Crock Pot or oven. (Also, I’m a meat and potatoes girl, so you better believe I serve my pot roast over mashed potatoes.)
But that’s not it. After I cook the pot roast, I set aside half of the cooked meat and most of the cooking broth to use for two separate meals later in the week: French dip sandwiches and beef and vegetables ramen. The two dishes look nothing like their pot roast cousin and each meal is ready in 30 minutes.
For this busy working mom, it’s a strategy to put on repeat. Ready to give it a try? Let’s get started!
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How to cook pot roast in an Instant Pot
Discover how quick and easy it is to make Sunday dinner-worthy pot roast any night of the week.
Tips for cooking pot roast in an Instant Pot
For this pot roast I used a 6-quart Instant Pot. For the best pot roast, are a few things to remember.
1. Get a beef chuck roast. This cut of meat will be on the fattier side and that’s on purpose. Fat equals flavor, and it melts down during the cooking process. After the roast is done cooking, you’ll want to pour the broth into a fat separator or liquid measuring cup and skim off the extra fat so your gravy and broth aren’t greasy.
2. Season the meat. A little onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt add plenty of flavor to the meat.
3. Brown the meat before cooking. Don’t skip browning the roast before you add the liquid. That browned crust equals flavor! Heat up a little oil in the bottom of the pot using the Saute function, and then brown the meat on all sides, and in batches so the meat sears instead of steams due to overcrowding.
4. Fill the Instant Pot two-thirds full. For the best results with the Instant Pot, add food right up to the 2/3 fill line. You'll be adding beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, a couple cloves garlic, large carrots, yellow onion, and celery. If it’s looking like you have too much, take out some of the broth or vegetables.
5. Let the Instant Pot natural release. Once you pressure cook the meat (see more below on the time), turn the pressure cooker off and let it natural-release pressure for 10 minutes. Then carefully release the remaining pressure with the valve.
How long to cook pot roast in an Instant Pot?
Compared to another favorite pot roast recipe, my Slow Cooker Balsamic-Red Wine Pot Roast, which requires 6 hours in a slow-cooker, my pressure cooker pot roast is ready in a fraction of the time. But while this is a speedy recipe in pot roast years, it does take 1 hour and 15 minutes cook time at high pressure once the pot has come to pressure — and coming to pressure takes about 20 minutes.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot pressure cooker, note that after you’ve programmed the pot to the correct time and pressure, you’ll likely get a message on the screen that says ON and then the thing just sits there for a while, seemingly doing nothing. It took me multiple times to get used to that and realize that no, I hadn’t done anything wrong, that the cooker was just coming up to pressure. Not to worry. Once it comes to pressure, it’ll start counting down from the timer. Total time for the recipe is about 2 1/2 hours.
One final tip: Don’t forget the mashed potatoes! I like to serve my pot roast over a large scoop — either ones I’ve picked up from the store and reheated, or maybe my easy homemade Classic Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe. The pot roast recipe tells you how to use a little cornstarch to thicken the juices and make gravy, and you can spoon that over the works.
What do do with leftover pot roast
Remember, the Instant Pot pot roast recipe makes enough meat and broth for three meals. Now that you’ve made the pot roast, you can use those leftovers to make what’s behind door number one or door number two. How about we try my French Dip Sandwiches first?
Make French dip sandwiches
This sandwich is a classic for a reason and is the ultimate solution for dinner on a busy weeknight. It comes together in 25 minutes, including prep time!
Oh boy, I’m getting hungry just thinking about this sandwich — it’s definitely one of my favorites. I like to reheat large chunks of the pot roast in the leftover broth and then use a slotted spoon to set the meat over buttery toasted hoagie rolls. I like to buy the hoagie rolls from the bakery — good crusty ones that stand up to the tender and juicy beef, since the cooking beef broth becomes the dipping jus for the finished sandwiches and the rolls are less likely to disintegrate. But regular French bread sandwich rolls will work as well.
Whichever rolls you use, top the juicy meat with some sliced provolone cheese and toast until it’s nice and melty.
Make a pot of ramen soup
Finally, behind door number two is Quick Beef and Vegetable Ramen. Making this Japanese comfort food favorite at home is easier than you think!
You might say that my family and I are a wee bit obsessed with any kind of Asian food. We especially love steamy bowls of ramen soup, and the leftover pot roast and broth from my Triple-Duty Instant Pot Pot Roast is the perfect base for creating our own ramen at home.
To the pot roast broth, I add ramen broth, an ingredient now available at most grocery stores. (I like Ocean’s Halo or Simply Asia). I also like to stir in white miso paste to pump up the umami flavor a bit more. There are also a ton of dried ramen noodles to choose from — whether the squiggly kind or the bundled variety (which I prefer).
Top off the bowls with tender bok choy, earthy shiitake mushrooms, and a soft-boiled egg for the ultimate bowl of ramen at home. To take it over the top, I also like to add a sprinkling of shichimi togarashi — a spicy dried seaweed and sesame seed seasoning that’s also known as Japanese 7-spice blend.
More time-saving dinner ideas
Now that we’ve covered three whole meals, do you need more double-duty ideas? Be sure to check out this next article, plus the additional tips for making the most of your Instant Pot.