InstantPot Meatloaf and mashed potatoes

Tim has challenged me to start blogging again about our DIY stuff, so how about an InstantPot recipe?

If you are a listener of our podcast, then you know we are a super busy family of 6. Yesterday I was faced with an hour and a half window in which to make dinner before getting my kid out the door to play practice.

Not my meatloaf, but looked much like this when done!

(If you’re not familiar with us, here’s the deal in a nutshell: one of my kids has food allergies. I have chronic illnesses. Thus, we eat pretty healthy, almost all the time to keep from screwing up our health. I do a lot of other things, but at the end of the day, I’m pretty much a full-time cook. I think that even if I had no food allergic kids, just having 4 growing kids at home would mean I spent half my time at the grocery store, you know? If you don’t know what I mean, wait til your kids are teens!)

Last night I had a craving for meatloaf, but no time to wait for it to bake–and no lunch meat in the fridge to send play practice kid off for the evening with any protein power. PLUS, he won’t eat eggs. So here’s what I did!

(Foodie friends, please be gentle…this is more of a mom recipe than a haute dining Rx)

Here were my ingredients:

For the smashed potatoes:

  • Two pounds of organic, locally grown potatoes (purple and white)
  • turkey/chicken stock (or water)
  • sour cream
  • butter
  • milk
  • salt & pepper

For the meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs ground beef (ground chuck, I think)
  • 2 eggs from our backyard (one from Jamie, the other from one of those Canadian chickens)
  • I was out of onions, so skipped that and fresh organic garlic (which I have in bulk), because I had a packet of Onion Soup Mix!
  • Old fashioned oats
  • Fresh & fresh-frozen locally grown organic spices on hand (Sage, Basil, Parsley…accidentally almost threw in some lemon balm, fished it back out)
  • carrot/spinach/lettuce pulp leftover from my juicer bc I am sneaky like that
  • ketchup
  • aluminum foil & a loaf pan, or other baking dish that would fit inside your InstantPot

So, what I did was…THOROUGHLY WASH the potatoes. If I were just peeling them and boiling them, then I’d skip this part, but I like smashed potatoes with skins on, and I was on the clock, so I needed everything to be clean, safe, and yummy when the timers went off. If you have a potato scrubber, washing potatoes is pretty fast!

Throw the potatoes into the Instant Pot and add a little water. Like, a cup. If you have turkey or chicken stock on hand, that would be better, but I have used all mine up.

Place the metal rack on top of the potatoes.

I turned my pantry upside down looking for some smallish silicone cake pans that I’m sure I once owned, but to no avail. The clock was ticking! I had to think fast…(wouldn’t this be hilarious as a meatloaf?)

Line your loaf pan with aluminum foil. (My loaf pan is too long to fit in instant pot, so I just ended up shorting the loaf on both sides of the pan by about an inch.Worked out great.)

In a mixing bowl, throw in all your meatloaf ingredients. If I were taking my time to make meatloaf, I would have added diced mushrooms, onions, carrots, green peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and the works! But the DAMN CLOCK WAS TICKING. And these boys, they are growing! They need to eat! Use your (thoroughly washed) hands, man/woman! Mix it up, go go GO!

Put the meatloaf into the lined pan and cover with ketchup or whatever you like on top. I then crimped the ends of my foil, but I didn’t seal the loaf inside or anything…what was the worst that would happen? Some of the tasty drippings would end up in my mashed potatoes? Fine.

Place the foil on top of the wire rack, seal the InstantPot, and turn it on for 30 minutes on manual.

When the timer goes off, let the steam out, dish out a piece of perfect meatloaf, and let your hungry kid salivate over it while you remove the wire rack, add a stick of butter, a glop of sour cream (a half cup?), and salt/pepper to the potatoes, right in the pot. Mix it with a power mixer if you got it! Use a wooden spoon if you don’t! Keep the milk on hand in case you need a splash more liquid. You probably won’t need it, but just in case.

Dip out some potatoes and let your kid eat his awesome dinner on the way to 3+ hour play practice!


It was quick, it was messy, it wasn’t high brow, but the kids said the mashed potatoes were as good as the ones I make on Thanksgiving (their budding palettes have yet to realize I add horseradish to the Thanksgiving ones…which are definitely superior to these, lol). Sam reported that this meatloaf was the best I had ever made. It was certainly the fastest! I generally detest “add packet of soup mix” recipes, but meatloaf and hamburgers are the exception. And those fresh spices were really something else! All of their essence remained trapped in the InstantPot to really pack flavor into that meatloaf.

I didn’t even miss the garlic.

SPEAKING OF THE INSTANTPOT, I love that it’s stainless steel. Cleans up so easy in the dishwasher, or I can scrub it out by hand fairly quickly.

About to go use it right now to replenish my turkey stock! Wish me luck, thanks for reading, and I hope you found this recipe idea useful!


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