Welcome to Dinner Sisters. We believe in less stress, better food. 

Join us on Mondays for the Dinner Sisters podcast, where we cook and review easy-to-make meals from your favorite food bloggers! 


Kate (Right) & Betsy (Left)

P.S. Shout out to our sister, Mary, who is center... but is in grad school and too busy for podcasting! 

Episode 58:  Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Episode 58: Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Slow Cooker Tortellini Minestrone Soup, Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Chicken, and Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Ribs

When the Dinner Sisters first started getting into the podcast business we really hadn’t delved too deeply into the worlds of the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot. We’ll spare you the Internet Rabbit Hole that is the tens of crock pot fanatics and Instant Pot devotees. (Although they do have some pretty good tips! Be prepared is all we’re saying.) At the end of the day, we’re always more about what works for you in your kitchen. Which means three recipes this week that can go either way. Maybe make a big batch of soup for the week with tortellini and tons of vegetables? Or make a quick weeknight batch of spinach and artichoke chicken and feel all the healthier for it? Our last option, a sticky batch of ribs, works a treat in either the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Whatever you choose, we hope you find a recipe that works for your very own kitchen.

Slow Cooker Tortellini Minestrone Soup by Cafe Delites

A minestrone soup full of beans and veggies, and tortellini? Sounds good to us. We liked the variety of vegetables in this soup, from green beans to zucchini to butternut squash. The tortellini put it over the top. Served with a generous amount of parmesan cheese and we could eat this all week. (Ask Kate how she knows!)


  • Instant Pot Adaptation:

    • Add all ingredients except for spinach and tortellini.

    • Cook for 12 minutes on manual pressure and quick release.

    • Take off lid and start saute function. Add tortellini and cook until soft. Fresh takes 2-3 minutes, dried takes 12-15. Consult your packaging.

    • Add spinach and stir until wilted.

  • Betsy cooked this stovetop and it worked well there, too! This recipe is a triple threat.

  • If you do think you’ll eat this for lunch, etc., consider boiling the tortellini on the side. Add them to the soup and reheating later means the pasta soaks up a lot of the broth. Keep the tortellini in a separate container and add when you reheat individual servings.

Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Chicken from the Kitchn

One of our favorite appetizers is a gooey, cheesy spinach artichoke dip. Eating that for dinner sounds decadent and delicious but not sustainable for long term health. Take the lighter parts - the spinach, lemon, and artichoke- and add them to some chicken breasts and you have a less rich but still tasty dinner idea. The punch from fresh lemon plus vibrant spinach makes for an especially pretty dish.


  • Instant Pot Adaptation:

    • Add all ingredients except for spinach to Instant Pot.

    • Cook 12 minutes on manual pressure. Natural release.

    • Add spinach and stir until wilted.

  • Kate served this with couscous; Betsy served it with linguine pasta. Both were delicious.

Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Ribs by The Food Charlatan

Ribs made on an outdoor smoker, over hours of time over cherry wood coals, is obviously our favorite ribs. But since we do have the time or space to smoke ribs at the moment, a slow cooker or Instant Pot might be our best bet. These ribs are first coated in a mustard and herb rub, then finished with honey and balsamic glaze. We thought the extra step of broiling the ribs was worth it for the slightly sticky, caramelized result.


  • Instant Pot Adaptation:

    • Pour the water into the Instant Pot.

    • Rub the ribs with mustard and herbs and place in the Instant Pot.

    • Squeeze the lemon over the ribs.

    • Cook 22-25 minutes on manual (Kate did 23 and ended up with tender but not falling off the bone ribs). Natural release.

    • Glaze according to recipe directions.

  • Don’t skip the glaze! Broiling the ribs is what gives it that hit of color and smokiness and a final layer of flavor.

From the Smorgasbord:

A little thought- be kind to yourself in the kitchen! Cooking dinner for you and your loved ones can be a chore. Rely on leftovers, the occasional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and even the drive through if needed. We average cooking 3-4 times a week and that’s plenty. Dinnertime can be a much loved way to gather your family together but it is not the only way. Cook when you can and how you can. That’s all.

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Episode 59:  Cookbook Review: Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan

Episode 59: Cookbook Review: Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan

Episode 57:  Make Ahead Meals

Episode 57: Make Ahead Meals