Recipe: Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

updated Jan 29, 2020
Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Here's how to use your Instant Pot to cook meatloaf and mashed potatoes at the same time in less than an hour.

Serves4 to 6

Prep25 minutes

Cook45 minutes

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Have you discovered pot-in-pot Instant Pot cooking yet? The technique, which allows you to make two distinct dishes in your Instant Pot in just one round of cooking, is especially revolutionary for weeknight dinners.

My favorite of these pot-in-pot recipes is meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The potatoes are boiled to tenderness in the bottom of the pot, while homey meatloaf is cooked in a cake pan set atop the Instant Pot’s trivet. With pot-in-pot cooking, you can have homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes in under an hour. Here’s how to do it.

What Is Pot-In-Pot Cooking?

Pot-in-pot cooking is a simple way to create layers within your electric pressure cooker’s insert. You’ll use a trivet (the one that came with your Instant Pot is ideal) to elevate a pan over another dish cooking in the Instant Pot at the same time. Cake pans or disposable aluminum pans are the most popular “pots” for pot-in-pot cooking.

Perhaps the most crucial step in pot-in-pot cooking is ensuring that once you set your pan inside your pot, there is enough room around it for steam to move freely and help build pressure. A six-inch cake pan is idea for this endeavor because it easily slides in and out of the Instant Pot.

It’s also helpful to create a sling for your pan, which makes it easier to remove from the hot Instant Pot. You can buy a silicone version or make a simple aluminum foil one for a single use.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

This is a pretty basic — albeit delicious — meatloaf and mashed potatoes adapted to the Instant Pot (meaning there are no special ingredients exclusive to this method). However, it’s important that you cook the potatoes in water, rather than broth or milk, which prevents receiving a “burn” message from your pot and ensures the pot reaches pressure.

As for getting a gorgeous glaze on you meatloaf, don’t attempt this in the Instant Pot! There’s too much steam and quite a bit of fat rendering off the meatloaf while it cooks. Instead, move the cooked meatloaf to the oven to achieve a glossy finish. This will give you just enough time to finish the potatoes anyway.

Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Here's how to use your Instant Pot to cook meatloaf and mashed potatoes at the same time in less than an hour.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


For the meatloaf

  • 2 pounds

    lean ground beef

  • 1/2 cups

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/3 cup

    whole milk

  • 1

    small yellow onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater

  • 1

    large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup


  • 2 tablespoons

    packed ight brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 2 pounds

    large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 2 cups


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup


  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter


  1. Place the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, onion, egg, and salt in a large bowl. Use your hands to gently combine until homogeneous. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf, about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, and set inside a 6-inch round cake pan; set aside.

  2. Combine the potatoes, water, and salt in the Instant Pot insert and stir to combine. Place a trivet over the potatoes.

  3. Create a sling for the meatloaf pan by folding a 12-inch long piece of aluminum foil lengthwise into a 3-inch wide strip. Place the meatloaf pan in the center of the strip and then fold up the sides — you should have 3 to 4 inches of overhang (handles) on either side.

  4. Lower the meatloaf pan into the Instant Pot and place on top of the trivet. Seal the Instant Pot and set to MANUAL pressure on HIGH for 35 minutes. While the meatloaf cooks, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Stir the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small bowl to make the glaze.

  5. When the cook time is over, let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure. Open the Instant Pot and use the foil sling to carefully remove the meatloaf — there will be quite a bit of fat and juices around the meatloaf, don’t worry if any of this drips into the potatoes. Carefully drain off the fat and juices around the meatloaf. Brush the meatloaf with the glaze and bake until it is glossy and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.

  6. While the meatloaf bakes, add the half-and-half and butter to the potatoes and mash to desired consistency. Slice the meatloaf and serve with the mashed potatoes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.