Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I made Chicken and Wild Rice Soup yesterday when the temperature lows were in the 40s here in the Northwest. Creamy, hearty, and yummy!! And SOOO easy--cut up the veggies the night before and the soup will go together in minutes.  And with the wonders of an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, it can be done in minutes.  No thickenings to make--Ultra Gel stirs in to just the consistency you want, with no danger of curdling the fragile milk base.




134 cal


4 g


15 g


9 g
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Yields 16 cups

Serves 16


Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

20 min

20 min

40 min

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  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 c. celery, chopped
  • 1 c. carrot , chopped
  • 1 c. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 c. wild rice
  • 1 T. chicken bouillon (paste or powder)
  • 1 qt (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 1/2-3/4 c. Ultra Gel


  • Place chicken breasts in the bottom of an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker). If the breasts are very large, I cut the into 2 or 3 pieces for even cooking.
  • Add chopped onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms on top of the chicken breasts.
  • Add wild rice, chicken bouillon and chicken broth.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and set to cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow to Naturally Release for ten minutes, then vent any remaining pressure manually.
  • Break the chicken pieces up with a fork or remove them to a plate and cut into cubes or shred. Add chicken back to the soup.
  • Stir in half and half, then thicken by adding 1/2 c. Ultra Gel gradually, stirring constantly. Allow to thicken for five minutes, then add another 1/4 c. if you want it thicker.
  • Stir in half and half

Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) and Ultra Gel®?  What a great combination!  The Instant Pot relies on superheated steam to cook food quickly, which means there has to be a source of liquid.  That means that there is usually a sauce or gravy as a part of the Instant Pot dish.  But that raises the eternal question--if I don't like to make gravy ANYTIME, why would I like it any more with the Instant Pot?  I mean, you still have to make a cornstarch slurry or flour thickening, and there's still the lump thing to worry about. . .  

Ultra Gel® to the rescue!  Because Ultra Gel can be poured directly into hot cooking liquid, it's incredibly easy to get a meal on the table quickly and without drama!

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a great choice for Instant Pot meals.  Because dark meat has a higher fat content than breast, it's more forgiving  and stays moist much more gracefully.  Boneless, skinless thighs often need a little trimming, but don't get carried away--trim out the large fat globules, but don't worry too much about every piece of fat--much of it will cook out.



8939 cal


514 g


751 g


203 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Thighs
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  • 2 T. cooking oil
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 c. onion, large dice
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 c. pineapple juice (I save this from a can of chunks when I drain them--freeze for later use)
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 5 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. Sriracha (this is pretty mild--add up to 2 T. more if desired)
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce
  • 6-8 T. Ultra Gel®
  • cilantro


  • Set the Instant Pot to the "Saute" function.
  • Add the oil.
  • When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs a few at a time to brown. For best flavor, don't crowd them. Remove to a plate when browned (the chicken will not be cooked at this point!) and add more pieces until all are browned and removed to the plate.
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
  • Add the chicken pieces back to the Instant Pot.
  • Combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, and hoisin sauce in a cup, stirring until the brown sugar is largely dissolved, then pour the sauce over the chicken in the Instant Pot.
  • Add the lid to the Instant Pot, close the steam valve and set to manual, pressure, high for 14 minutes
  • When done, release the steam slowly, then lift the lid.
  • Remove the chicken to the serving platter, and gradually stir in the Ultra Gel®, using a wire whisk, until the desired consistency.
  • Pour the sauce over the thigh pieces, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

Start by browning the meat pieces on manual in the electric pressure cooker.  You can add a little oil to the Instant Pot to keep the meat from sticking at first, but fat will begin to accumulate, so keep any added oil to a minimum.  Brown both sides well, working in batches if necessary, then remove the meat to a plate.  It won't be fully cooked at this point!

Add the onions to the fat and browned meat bits in the Instant Pot pan. Continue cooking on manual, stirring occasionally, until the onion pieces are translucent and tender.

Measure the pineapple juice into a measuring cup, then add the soy sauce.  

Add the brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, and sriracha sauce to the pineapple juice/soy sauce mixture.  Add the meat back to the Instant Pot pan and pour the sauce over all.

Add the lid to the Instant Pot, and set to high pressure for 15 minutes.  Release the pressure, slowly, then remove the lid.  Remove the chicken from the pan.

Stir the Ultra Gel into the remaining sauce gradually.  Adjust to your desired thickness by adding a little more Ultra Gel if too thin, a little more liquid if the the sauce is too thick.  Totally adjustable!!  Add more Sriracha sauce to taste if desired.


Arrange the chicken pieces on a plate or serving tray with rice.  Cover with the sauce.  Garnish with cilantro and serve!



The really good news is that Ultra Gel® thickened sauces refrigerate and freeze beautifully, providing a good meal for another day.  It certainly makes it worth making a double batch for a future night off!!


There are some people who, looking at our fridge, think we get a little territorial about these "plan ahead" meals.  I'm not sure exactly how they get this idea!  But when you're competing with two other desk-jockeys for future lunches, everything is fair!

Quick, easy, and delicious!  Plan to try it soon!!

New Instant Pot/Multi-Cooker? Total Control Yogurt!!

Looking for more ways to make that new Instant Pot earn its place on the counter? It's a great time to try the ease and economy of making your own yogurt. And the real advantage is having total control over the end result.

Have you ever taken the time to compare the many types of yogurt in the dairy aisle? You see everything from creamy yogurt made from whole milk and flavored with real fruit and sugar to skinnied-down versions that use a variety of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. With milk prices at an all-time low, vanilla yogurt can be made for between 10 and 15 cents per cup in my area and probably in yours too. You can choose the fat content of the milk used, the flavorings, and the sweeteners. The result can be anything from 80-90 calories per cup to over 300 calories of pure heaven. (For comparison, the standard retail yogurt cup holds 6 ounces--about 3/4 cup).

There are many ways to make yogurt, but if you want to take advantage of the easy functionality of the Instant Pot, try these tips.

1. First, decide how much yogurt you want to make. For 2 quarts or more, plan to add the milk directly to the Instant Pot inner pot. For smaller amounts, you can use containers suitable for a boiling water bath, such as canning jars, for individual portions that can go straight into the fridge without cleanup. I like to use three wide-mouth canning jars because I'm just plain lazy. . . You don't need a lot of fancy supplies, but you DO need a good instant-read thermometer.

2. Measure the milk into the container(s) you have chosen. You can use milk of whatever fat content you prefer--the more fat the creamier, the less fat the less calories. The finished yogurt will have exactly the same number of calories as the milk used in it. The USDA Nutrient Database lists the following calories for one cup of the following products: Whole milk - 149, 2% - 137, 1% - 102, skim 86.

3. I like to add 1/2 to 1 T. of Ultra Gel to each cups of milk for a reliable texture that stays thick even in the lunch bag. Add the Ultra Gel slowly while stirring with a wire whisk and continue stirring until smooth. Cover each jar loosely to keep condensation from thinning the yogurt. (See the photo to compare the thickness of yogurt made with and without Ultra Gel). Ultra Gel is available at or through Amazon Prime--search for "Carnet Foods Ultra Gel".

4. Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot, place the rack in the bottom, and add the containers. Set on the steam setting for 1 minute (takes about 15 minutes) then immediately exhaust. The temperature should be a minimum of 185 degrees F. (Use an instant-read thermometer to check.) Be sure to stir the milk before taking the temperature for consistency.

5. The milk needs to cool to 115 degrees F. You can either let the temperature go down naturally or put the bottles into an ice bath to speed the cooling (handle carefully while they are hot!)

6. When the temperature is no more than 115 degrees, add 1 t. of the innoculant--the live culture per two cups milk and stir in thoroughly. For the initial batch, find some yogurt at the store that lists "live culture" on the ingredient list. I used Fage 0%. After the first batch you can save a few tablespoons of your homemade product to use in the next batch

7. Cover each of the jars and return them to the Instant Pot. Add the lid and engage the "yogurt" button for 8 hours. The temperature should remain between 70 and 77 degrees during the fermentation process. If your Instant Pot doesn't have a "yogurt" button, return the bottles to the Instant Pot and wrap the entire pot in a large towel to stabilize the temperature for 8 hours, then refrigerate.

8. Now for the fun: If you wish to sweeten, you can use sugar, stevia, sugar substitute, etc. If you wish to add fruit, use a cooked fruit or preserve unless it is to be eaten right away, in which case fresh fruit is fine. Granola can be added right before serving. As advertised--you will have total control of your finished product. And that's a really good feeling!