5 Super Slow and 5 Super Fast Recipes For Long Workdays

all day crockpot recipesIf one of your holiday gifts last year was a new pressure cooker or slow cooker (Instant Pot included), or if you just haven’t been getting enough mileage out of either or both of these kitchen appliances, we thought we’d round up some recipes for inspiration. Here are five all day crockpot recipes and five super fast Instant Pot recipes we’re interested in trying — slow for the long workdays, and fast when you want to make something quick (15 minutes or less) when you get home from work and can’t deal with another meal from Seamless or the freezer. Do you have a new pressure cooker or slow cooker that you’ve been trying out? What are your favorite sources of recipes (or recipes!) for them? Do you have any go-to fast or slow meals?

Psst: We’ve also talked about slow cooker recipes for working women, shared Instant Pot tips, and discussed the best cookware and kitchen appliances — and Kat’s shared some of her easy weeknight dinners in the past as well. 

Here are some workday-friendly recipes to try in your slow cooker or pressure cooker:

All Day Crockpot Recipes: Up to 10 Hours

These work really well for long workdays — a cooker with a timer can keep your meal warm for another 1–2 hours after it’s finished cooking.

  • A Year of Slow Cooking suggests meals with beans — even after hours of cooking, they won’t be dried out. Prep time: soak beans overnight (or 1–2 hours); cook time: 9 hours on low.
  • Recipes that Crock has a recipe for Italian pot roast. Prep time: 5 minutes; cook time: 8–10 hours on low).
  • Skinny Taste shares an easy recipe for jerk pork with Caribbean salsa. Prep time: marinate overnight; cook time: 9 hours on low.
  • The Skinny Fork shares a spaghetti squash Thai “noodle” bowl. Prep time: 1 minute to poke holes in squash, plus a few minutes to prep dressing and steam broccoli; cook time: 8–9 hours on low.
  • Cafe Johnsonia offers a vegan option for white bean stew. Prep time: 20 minutes; cook time: 8–10 hours on low.

Super Fast Instant Pot Recipes: 15 Minutes or Less

If you get home late or just don’t have much time to cook, try these quick and easy recipes.

  • Instant Pot shares a 1-minute pork chops and homemade applesauce recipe.
  • Health Starts in the Kitchen offers a 5-minute salmon and rice pilaf recipe.
  • A Fork’s Tale has a 15-minute orange chicken recipe that can be made while you steam broccoli and prepare rice.
  • The Sausagetarian offers a curried red lentil and sweet potato soup that is ready in about 10 minutes, including prep time.
  • Two Sleevers has a 10-minute recipe for chicken tikka masala. At the end, you remove the chicken and freeze half of the sauce for leftovers. (You’ll probably want to marinate the chicken for 1–2 hours ahead of time.)

Do you have a slow cooker and/or pressure cooker? What are your favorite all day crockpot recipes, or super fast Instant Pot recipes for when you’re short on time in the evenings?


  1. I don’t think these are *quite* as fast as the ones listed here, but my favorite InstantPot recipes all come from Serious Eats. I like the Easy Pressure Cooker Green Chili With Chicken, Pressure Cooker Mushroom Risotto, and the Pressure Cooker Beef Barley Soup. They’re all by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who writes fantastic recipes in my experience.

    • Also, if you’re super concerned about speed remember that pressure cookers take time to come up to pressure. Mine takes about 10 minutes. So a 15 minute cook time really takes 25 minutes.

    • Yes! I love Kenji’s recipes, too!

      • I really enjoyed his cookbook “The Food Lab,” in case you’re into cooking and the science behind it. He’s a really fun writer, too.

        • Agreed! My only complaint with that book is that there’s no overall table of contents for all the recipes – you have to go into each section, but small quibble. If you’re into baking, Bravetart is written by another Serious Eats writer and is like The Food Lab but for desserts.

        • AnonInfinity :


    • Thanks for this rec! I’m always reluctant to try random internet recipes unless I’m familiar with the source or someone says “hey this is good!”
      I’ve been very impressed with Melissa Clark’s Instant Pot cookbook (the chicken pho is amazing and very easy) but nothing in it is quite 5 min. fast.

    • jumpingjack :

      Agreed. I love my Instant Pot, but it’s not instant. The cooking times are deceptive. Most recipes list as the cooking time the amount of time **at pressure.** This leaves out prep time, any sauteing, time coming to pressure, and the natural pressure release time. There are two recipes I’ve made that say they take “10 minutes” – both took two hours. This is one – it was delicious, but dinner was at 9 pm:

      Probably the only Instant Pot recipe I’d be confident in doing on a weeknight is the chicken burrito bowl (there are a bunch of recipes for it online).

    • I made the Serious Eats Chile Verde in the Instant Pot last week. It takes just over an hour, including cutting up the meat, tomatillos, onions and peppers and hitting the Stew button, then waiting for it to finish cooking and depressurize. There’s no broth, so you have to wait until the veggies release their liquid before the pressure builds. You get a nice thick salsa verde with tender chunks of pork that is unbelievably good, and it’s even better as leftovers.

    • Canadian CPA :

      Lorna Sass (Queen of the pressure cooker) has a quick pasta I can throw together from start to finish in 20 min. (I don’t let it sit to thicken up) Great for busy nights and the whole family will actually eat it https://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/7730084/pressure-cooker-three-cheese-ziti/

  2. Can the Instapot recipes just be prepared in a regular stovetop pressure cooker? I probably haven’t used mine in a couple years, because I found it so hard to find recipes that I liked and it still seemed to take a while when you accounted for coming up to pressure and releasing pressure.

    • Yep! I think the stove top ones tend to be higher pressure, so you need to adjust cooking time accordingly.

  3. Patty Mayonnaise :

    (Cross-posted from moms’ site): Any suggestions for a nursing-friendly dress (but pref not specifically a nursing dress) to wear to a graduation ceremony later this month? At work, i usually just zip down my regular sheaths to pump, but I’ll def have to feed my 10 month old st this event, so need something that can facilitate that. I also have big boobs, so lots of nursing specific clothing can look inappropriate or frumpy. Thanks, ladies!!

    • Former Retail :

      Would a wrap dress work?

      • Patty Mayonnaise :

        That seems like a decent approach, but my problem is that they often are inappropriate on me…

    • I liked shirtdress for this sort of thing. Wraps always show too much on me without a cami and are awkward to unwrap anyway. A shirt dress just lets you unbutton buttons to the waist and voila.

    • I’m busty and the Karen Kane wrap dress gives me good coverage even without a cami and could easily be pulled open to pump. Plus it’s a gorgeous dress and comes in at least 2 colors (black and navy).

    • NYC dinner suggestion? :

      How about Old Navy maternity? They have a sleeveless dress that is cross front – pair with a jacket or cardigan to dress it up a bit. Looks like some of the other dresses they have might work too.

      • NYC dinner suggestion? :

        Sleeveless cross front one: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1020185&pcid=48687&vid=1&pid=164746002

  4. I haven’t bought an InstaPot, but the frequent postings on the site have been making me reconsider. In fact, last month I pulled out the old CrockPot to do a slow cooker meal…. a chicken chili with black beans that was fairly easy. BUT….

    Does anyone find the flavor/texture of slow cooked chicken a bit funny? One bite, and even with all of the cumin and onions/spices there is still a flavor to slow cooked chicken that doesn’t do it for me. I was instantly taken back to my childhood when my Mom used the CrockPot and remembered I don’t care for it.

    What am I missing here? Does anyone know what I am talking about, and this is just part of the territory?

    I also get the feeling that the chicken seems ?dry, even though it is floating in sauce. How is this possible?

    • I just got one and am a convert. The texture of chicken is so much better. It’s tender, but not pasty. It doesn’t taste overcooked in the Instant Pot.

    • It is absolutely possible to overcook chicken to the point of dryness, and I used to do it quite a lot with slow cooking. I used to love my slow cooker, but got rid of it when I got the IP and honestly have never used the slow cooker function again.

    • I never notice a taste or texture change with chicken.

      As far as it drying out, I’ve definitely noticed that when it cooks too long. I once tried a recipe that called for 4 hours on low, so I did 4 hours on low then it clicked over to keep warm, but it was definitely overdone when I got home that day.

    • Former Retail :

      I only use dark meat in a slow cooker – I’ve never had good results with chicken breast.

      • +1 for slow cooker and instant pot both. I also just prefer dark meat and that’s pretty well all I buy though.

    • Anonymous :

      This is how I feel about basically all slow cooker meals. Boiled tasteless mush.

      • I disagree! Dad gave me a CROCK POT, and he taught me how to use it. He said they had Crock Pot’s in the CIA, b/c he had to be gone all day doing spy stuff, so when he got home, he had a hot meal that was tastey. So I tried the Crockpot over new year’s (I had NO date), and I made beef stew. It was GREAT! I had sweet potatoe’s, carrot’s, leaks, parsnip’s and parsley in it, with a little onion, regular potatoe’s. It was very soft and tastey, so Myrna and I finished the entire crock pot in 2 nights! I highly recomend it to the HIVE, particularly on cold winter nights like new year’s eve. We stayed in and watched TV where it was VERY cold! But we were warm! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Agreed. I just gave away my slow cooker after not using it for a year.

      • I feel this way about my slow cooker, but love my instant pot. I’m not sure why it’s so different but I feel like the Instant pot intensifies flavors whereas the slow cooker always ends up a bit watery.

        • There’s science behind it! http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/10/why-pressure-cookers-are-better-than-slow-cookers.html

    • The only crock pot recipe I’ve tried with chicken breast that I actually like is Salsa Chicken. It’s ridiculously easy and so good, and you can cook it all day without drying out the chicken. Other than this recipe, chicken breast always comes out really dry if you cook it all day in the crock pot. Chicken thighs come out much better when cooked all day, due to the increased fat content.

      Salsa Chicken
      Chicken breasts (three or four works best), one large container of your favorite salsa (I like Pace Medium), one package of taco seasoning (or use homemade taco seasoning, which I prefer). Put all of this in a crockpot, cook 8 – 9 hours on low (although I have found 6 hours is generally enough, using a meat thermometer to ensure chicken was done, and have had good results even after 9 hours with chicken not drying out), or 3-4 hours on high. Serve in tortillas, salad, or taco shells, or over rice. You can top with fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese, lime juice, or just eat as is.

      Taco Seasoning
      1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
      1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
      1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
      1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
      1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
      1/2 tsp. Paprika
      1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
      1 tsp. Sea Salt
      1 tsp. Black Pepper (optional)

      • I do this same thing a lot (though I usually use thighs), and don’t even use the taco seasoning, to make it eve simpler. I might add a little cayenne if I want more heat than the salsa gives, but I’ve never thought that it needed more seasoning than that. Super-simple!

    • Anonymous :

      I have fixed the dryness problem by always cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs for 6 hours on low or thinly sliced light meat for 3-4 hours on low or high. There is still always a vaguely metallic flavor to anything cooked in the crock-pot.

    • I have found the flavor of meat to be even better in instantpot.

  5. Last week someone posted about how it is hard for them to hear that their friend is pregnant when they are single. I totally respect that and can imagine it can be very hard to hear those kind of life updates from friends if that is something that you want, but don’t have. I am pregnant and would like to share this news with some single friends. Is there a way for me to do this to not make someone else feel bad? That is obviously not my intention. I think part of last week’s conversation was that the single, childless woman doesn’t have as many significant life updates to share, but i truthfully am just as interested in hearing about a friend’s recent trip, date, work project, fun plans, etc. as I am about another friend having a baby. And I would assume a friend would be hurt if I just didn’t tell them I was pregnant because they would find out eventually. What is the best way to share this news while being sensitive to others?

    • Anonymous :

      I was the OP of that comment. Please do tell them and don’t worry about making your friends feel bad – I am thrilled for my pregnant friends and would be way more hurt NOT knowing. As you said, make sure you continue to show interest in your single friends’ lives even if they aren’t married or mothers. It’s more hurtful to feel like you’re not as important or interesting as a single woman. Continue to maintain these friendships – you get back what you put in.

    • I don’t know that I would assume that all your single friends would be unhappy to hear your pregnancy news, but the standard advice when sharing something like this that may be upsetting is to try to give the person a heads up so they can process the news on their own. So in this case, if I thought a friend might be in some way upset to find out something like this, I might make plans for dinner and casually mention that you won’t be drinking because you’re pregnant or share in a text or something like that. Then you can still have a nice dinner and talk about it as much as your friend wants but there’s no compulsion for your friend to act like it’s the greatest news that she’s ever been told.

    • Anonymous :

      Just tell them… and later in the conversation make it plain that you’re still interested in their lives even though you have this enormous, wonderful news in yours.

      I had heard so many horror stories about friendships ending over one person becoming a mom while the other did not that I fatalistically assumed that that would be the case when the first of my close friends became pregnant with her first. So I dutifully told her how happy I was for her (true!) and when we next got together I asked all about the latest sonogram and the morning sickness and the rest. She asked what was going on in my life. My big news happened to be a new couch, which sounded like an inane thing to mention in comparison to the fact that she was carrying an actual human child in her body. I thought we’d go back to baby discussion. But she acted (and was, apparently) genuinely pleased with my new couch. Which store? Any issues with delivery? What kind, what color, and did I think I was developing my own style now that I was replacing some of my school-era hand me downs? Didn’t it feel surreal to buy furniture like an adult?

      I didn’t need an explicit acknowledgement that it was sad for me not to hit those milestones or have those life experiences. I just needed her not to belittle me or indicate that someone in my position isn’t per se an inferior loser. (My next friend who got pregnant, though… yikes. It’s impossible to be around her and her children without feeling awful as she explains how superior she is because she has babies.)

    • Also be aware of any friends that you might have that are struggling with infertility. They would appreciate a cautious heads up like you are planning for your single friends. I’m still very happy for my friends when they become pregnant but it can be so hard because it is something we want so badly.

      • +1 to this. I really appreciate when my friends who are newly pregnant pull me aside from our group of friends to tell me and still treat me like a normal person.

      • +1. If they’ve been open with you about their fertility struggles, it’s nice to acknowledge that the news might be hard for them to hear. You don’t need to belabor the point, but it’s so easy to feel forgotten when you’ve been struggling with infertility – it’s nice to know someone remembers what you’re going through.

        Relatedly, I really hate big group pregnancy reveals where everyone is expected to gasp and jump for joy. It’s such a raw issue for so many people, whether because of infertility, loss, or just life’s path. And you never know who is suffering.

    • Not single, but having gone through years of infertility/miscarriages, I always appreciated learning of my friends’ pregnancies via text. It saved me from having to put on a happy face at a time when I was feeling anything but, and allowed me to respond in my own time with the appropriate enthusiasm after I’d had a minute to process. I wanted to know, and I was legitimately happy for the friend, just sad for myself.

      • OP here: I struggled myself so I try to be very sensitive to this. My husband and I have been married for longer than most before having kids and I really thought I was going to strangle the next person who asked me when we were going to have kids. I do not tell people in groups and try to give them time to process, and tell them that I am genuinely not offended and understand if they do not want to talk/get together for a bit because it is too hard for them. The friends who I know are struggling too I’ve told through text, though some in-person mostly out of circumstances. Struggling with infertility is so hard when you feel like everyone else around you is getting pregnant.

    • I think that it’s less to do with the announcement itself than how you continue to be a friend after you become pregnant and have kids. Obviously you won’t have as much time as before, but when you do have time, try to keep a 50/50 balance in terms of conversation topics – don’t make her listen to you all of the time just because you have a baby to talk about and she doesn’t. And definitely don’t speculate about the extent to which she can’t possibly understand what you’re going through – there’s no better way to make someone feel excluded from your new world than saying things like “you can’t understand because you don’t have kids” or “someday when you have kids you’ll understand.”

      • “I think that it’s less to do with the announcement itself than how you continue to be a friend after you become pregnant and have kids.”

        Thissssss. Your single friends are going to find out eventually. They know you’re married and want kids. It’s not a state secret. We don’t want to be excluded from your life. Just don’t be smug or totally tone deaf (which I’m sure you won’t be).

        Here’s an example: BFF told me she was pregnant via text and in an amusing way. Great, not a problem.
        A few weeks later we’re texting and I was telling her that I had spent the Thanksgiving break alone and she responded by saying that her in-laws were very excited about her pregnancy. I felt awful. Why? I felt ignored and she responded in a way that rubbed salt in the wound.

        • WHOA if thats salt in a wound good thing I am not friends with you or i woudl be sticking my foot in my mouth all the time!

    • This is a little off topic, but I’ve started making a concerted effort to note my single friends’ birthdays and make a bigger deal of them that I otherwise might. I recently realized that a lot of them show up to weddings, showers, etc. but are never on the receiving end. I hope this doesn’t come off as condescending, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately.

      • As the lone single friend in my friend group, I find this very thoughtful! I would be very appreciative if someone went out of their way to acknowledge me like that.

      • +1 – thank you for acknowledging this. To have gone out of my way for so many showers and weddings, knowing that effort may never be reciprocated, is hard. Not that life is all quid pro quo, of course, but the extra thought is appreciated.

      • Anonymous :

        This is really great of you. Never being reciprocated is hard! (Especially since trying to invite married mothers to your birthday parties is hard…husband issues, sitter issues, kid issues, etc.)

    • Anonymous :

      Oh just share it. My hurtness is my stuff to deal with. I am 100% still thrilled for you and want to hear it the same as anyone else.

      • Maybe so, but isn’t it better to try to be considerate? I agree that ultimately there’s not much you can do to change the situation. But I think it’s nice that OP is thinking about her friends’ feelings.

  6. Anon in NYC :

    Instant Pot Repair question. One of the prongs of the metal ring inside the lid of my instant pot (that holds the seal in place) is broken. Is there any way to fix that or do I just need to buy a new lid / instant pot?

    • Buy a new lid if you use it to cook under pressure. It’s a safety hazard to use one that doesn’t seal properly and it also may not come up to pressure. They sell the parts on their website, though it is pretty expensive to replace the lid. If you only use the pot for its yogurt, saute, slow cook functions, then you don’t need a seal and can just use a silicone disk as a lid.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yeah, I do use it for the pressure cooking feature. I went to go buy a new lid from them and they all look sold out! I might need to buy a new pot, which is a bummer.

  7. palmtrees33 :

    Is there a good blog out there about how to come up with outfits using what’s already in your wardrobe? I’m pretty happy with what I have, but would love some creative ideas for how to put different things together, etc.

    • Related question: There’s an app to help you do this right? I remember hearing about an app where you take pictures of your different pieces of clothing or different outfits and it helps you pick what to wear. And I think the app was a few bucks. Does this ring a bell to anybody?

      • Stylebook. I have it and it was nice for a while but I didn’t put new stuff in and it became a lot of work. Just not worth it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve had the best luck just searching Pinterest for items I own. Like “green cardigan outfits” or whatever. You get a lot of good ideas.

    • Get your Pretty on?

  8. NYC dinner suggestion? :

    Hi there – I’ll be in NYC tonight and will be meeting up with my younger cousin for dinner. He is open to anything. I’ll be staying by E 33rd and Park.

    He says he has no Manhattan restaurant recommendations. I’m open to anything – looking for someplace we can have a good conversation, some good food on a cold day, and is not too, too heavy -really open to anything. Would like to treat him to a great meal that’s not too heavy (nothing too fried or fatty, so no pub food, but open to anything else.) We like both vegetarian and nonvegetarian stuff.

    Any ideas on a place that would be delicious and we’d be able to walk into tonight around 6:30 not too far from my hotel? Thanks so much.

    (When I search the blog, I come up with too many hits that don’t relate to this – any search tips are welcome too :) )

    • NYC dinner suggestion? :

      Should have read more closely before I posted, please excuse the repetitive sentences – trying to multitask!

    • Anonymous :

      Kajitsu is walkable and all vegetarian. Def quiet (good for talking, catching up) and interesting food.
      Breslin at Ace Hotel (also semi walkable, more of a scene, might be a wait but you should get in OK, can easily make reservations)
      Hangawi (walkable, upscale korean vegetarian food)

    • Penelope, E 30th and Lexington.

    • Anonymous :

      I have only been there for brunch, but Penelope is nearby – it’s a cute restaurant cafe if you’re looking for something casual. Otherwise I’d probably walk to nearby Koreatown.

    • Barbounia, 20th and Park

  9. Ugh. I just messed up at work…

    Basically, I emailed something to my boss for final review, boss emailed back ‘OK’, I went ahead and submitted it and now it needs to be changed and (apparently?) we can’t pull the submission back.

    It shouldn’t be an issue except that the reviewer is a precious camper who can’t be bothered to actually read what they sign off on.

    • It’s ok, it happens to everyone! Take responsibility and then let it go and never mention it again. It will be fine.

  10. I’ve posted this before – and maybe I got it here? – but this is my favorite all-day (and not just 6 or 7 hours) crockpot recipe. It’s vegan and delish, was a big hit at my omnivore/carnivore family Christmas a few years ago.


    A couple of notes: the pepper amount listed is waaay off, I use ½ tsp. I haven’t measured the mushrooms but toss in two packages (8 oz. each?) of the ready-sliced kind and use fresh onion instead of dried. I have used green lentils but my favorite is black beluga lentils; don’t use quick-cook barley. I also throw in a pound of chopped baby carrots and I soak the lentils first. Even with that step, the recipe is super-fast and easy. I usually toss all the dry ingredients in the crockpot at night and just put in the broth and fresh things in the morning and turn it on. NB: this makes a large amount, use a big crockpot.

  11. If you have an instant pot it’s alwags great to keep a. whole chicken in the fridge. Just this morning I popped one in with cut up veg (onion, celery, carrots and a leek I happened to have – usually don’t) plus a few herbs, a tablespoon of salt and water up to the max line. It took a few minutes to come to pressure. I cooked it on manual for 25 min and now I have chicken soup for my sick daughter.

    I buy organic whole chickens and look for the longest-out sell by date.

  12. Thank you for including my A Year of Slow Cooking site in your lineup. I appreciate the vote of confidence!!
    Happy New Year!

  13. Has anyone successfully prepped freezer meals for instant pot? Any recipe recommendations for prep ahead meals that you just drop in instant pot? Instant pot has already changed (for the better) weeknight meals, but I’m wondering if we could take one step further.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.