Instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce 

Like guys. My mind is blown over this instant pot. I am obsessed with it. As a working mom of 2, it is a serious game changer for dinnertime. We make spaghetti and meat sauce or baked ziti a lot in my house. It’s so delicious, quick, and I can keep it healthy and organic when I have control over the ingredients. But one downside is all the dishes. Usually I have to brown the meat in a skillet, then boil pasta in another pot, and drain it in a colander. And if I’m making ziti, I usually bake it in a Pyrex for a while too. That’s a lot of dishes to clean up. I made the most delicious ziti tonight and I only had to clean my stainless steel bowl from the instant pot. Freaking AMAZING. 

Ingredients:
1 lb ground organic turkey or beef 
1 lb organic pasta (I used penne but you could use ziti or whatever you like)
1 25 oz jar organic spaghetti sauce 
25 oz water 
Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning 

Method:
Turn the instant pot on sauté mode. Brown your beef with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. 


Once the meat is browned, add the sauce. Then fill up your sauce jar with water and pour that in. 


Then add your pasta and make sure the pasta is all under the liquid. 


Turn the instant pot off and then back on on steam and set the time for 5 minutes. 
After the time is up, do a natural release for 5 minutes and then carefully do a quick release. 

To make this into baked ziti, top each individual bowl with 3 tablespoons of ricotta and 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella. Mix the cheese while the pasta is hot. 

If desired, top with Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes! 

Shrimp Pasta with Lemon and Spinach

This shrimp pasta with lemon and spinach recipe is so easy, fast, and absolutely DELICIOUS. I’ve been making some version of it for the past few weeks at least once a week because it’s so easy and fast, my entire family (toddler and baby included) will eat it, and it’s healthy and sticks to our current diet plan. 

I really love using sautéed shrimp in weeknight recipes because it’s so fast and can take on any flavor you pair with it. Even though lemon, shrimp, and spinach remind me of a summery dinner, I love it because it’s light and we are having a very healthy month since it’s January and we are trying to kick off the new year right! 

I always buy wild caught shrimp because the farmed ones are YUCKY. Trust me, you don’t want to eat what they are feeding the farmed shrimp. Get shrimp from their natural habitat – THE OCEAN. Always keep an eye out for deals on frozen wild caught shrimp. Whenever I see a good sale, I grab a bag or two to keep in my freezer. That way, I can run the shrimp under cold water in my sink for about 5-10 minutes in a colander to thaw them out and dinner is ready in a flash! 

Ingredients:
1 lb wild caught shrimp (if you can find it already peeled and deveined, I usually pay the extra couple bucks for this because with a baby and a toddler – I think it’s worth it!) 

6-8 oz organic pasta of your choice. Lately we have been using a lot of spelt pasta

1 lemon 

3 large handfuls of organic baby spinach 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Salt, pepper, garlic powder 

Method:

1. Thaw out your shrimp by running cold water over them in a colander in your sink. Or if you’re thinking ahead, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator. Then dry them with paper towels. Season both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

2. Boil water for pasta and cook according to the instructions on the box. 

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on one side and an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side. When the shrimp start to curl up and become pink, they are done. Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside. 

4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. It’s okay that it’s still dirty from the shrimp. It will all ended up married together later anyway. Add spinach and allow to cook down for about 5 minutes or until it’s all sautéed to the same consistency. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. 

5. In a large bowl or your pasta pot, combine your cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, sautéed spinach, the zest and juice from one lemon, and your last tablespoon of olive oil. Stir together carefully and check for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed. Your shrimp pasta dinner is coming together!

I have been experimenting with all different kinds of pasta lately. We loved this spelt penne too:

 

If you have any other ideas for quick weeknight dinners, please share in the comments below!  Also, try out this shrimp pasta with lemon and spinach recipe and let me know what you think.