How to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe

How to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe

If you want to make more of a good thing in your pressure cooker, simply doubling the ingredients and cooking time is totally not going to work.  Here’s what you need to do!

1. Stay under the MAXes

Before you even get started cooking, you’ll want to make sure that the recipe you intend to double can fit in your pressure cooker.  Remember that for safety reasons all grain and legume recipes (including their cooking liquid) should not fill your pressure cooker more than half-way; all other recipes no more than 2/3 full. Compare the quantity of these ingredients with your pressure cooker’s size in this handy chart.

2. Keep the same cooking time (or less)

Pressure cooking cooks each piece of food equally.  That means that each piece of chicken (be they 4 pieces or 8) will require the same cooking time, and so will each grain of rice.  So the general rule of thumb is to not increase the pressure cooking time.

However, more items in a pressure cooker will make it fuller which means it will take longer for the cooker to reach pressure.  For time-sensitive recipes that are undesirable when over-cooked (like veggies, risotto or pasta) you’ll actually need to decrease pressure cooking time.  That’s because even while the cooker is reaching pressure the food is already cooking.  The recipes on this website (and my book) are written assuming your pressure cooker will take an average of 10 minutes to reach pressure. So, the rule of thumb I’ve figured out is: for every two additional minutes (after 10) the cooker needs to reach pressure, subtract one minute from the pressure cooking time.

3. Ask yourself: why is the cooking liquid there?

For soup and stew recipes, you can safely double the cooking liquid.  And, you already knew that for steaming recipes, the liquid that goes in the bottom of the steamer basket doesn’t need to be doubled, right?

But for other recipes, it could be tricky.  A reader tripled our pressure cooker bolognese sauce to lackluster results. That’s because that recipe only requires enough liquid for the pressure cooker to reach pressure – so doubling or tripling the recipe would mean tripling everything except for the cooking liquid in that case.  Braises also fall in this “tricky”  category because you don’t want to add so much liquid as to cover the meat or veg completely and boil it, instead.


When in doubt, post a comment under the recipe that interests you and just ask if there are any adjustments to be made  to double a pressure cooker recipe.  We’re here to help!

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3 Tips to DOUBLE a Pressure Cooker Recipe!

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  1. I have a recipe that calls for 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs and 1 cup of salsa. If i doubled or tripled the recipe, would I also have to double or triple the salsa amount?

    1. I think so, it’s there for flavor so you want to increase the flavor accordingly.



  2. Hi! I have a risotto recipe that I would like to double. I plan to increase the liquid (3 cups rice and 6 cups broth), but reading your advice it sounds like I should not increase the suggested 10m cooking time, but decrease it depending on how long it takes to come to pressure- is this right? Thank you!

  3. Hi, I am brand new to pressure cooking and would like to know how to double a recipe for beef stroganoff. I am most concerned about the amount of broth to use…do I double it? Thanks for your help.

  4. I am trying Mac and cheese in my instapot for the first time. Can I put 2 bags of 16 oz Mac noodles in and if so, how long do I cook it and how much water do I use?

    1. I’m not familiar with the recipe you are using. Try asking the author of that recipe, or posting a request in the forums with a link to the recipe.



  5. I just got my instant pot. My very first meal to try will be a simple meatloaf recipe. The recipe is for 1 lb. Of hamburger meat. I’d like to double it. Do I cook it longer or same amount as original recipe? TIA

    1. Rosanne, if you just got your pressure cooker. Please watch my pressure cooking school series – the meat episode explains how to double cooking time for meats, and why.

      I can’t really advise you on a recipe without knowing what it is. If it is a pressure cooker recipe, it likely has some kind of liquid or sauce in which the meatloaf can cook.



  6. I want to double this recipe:

    Based on your article, I should keep the cooking time the same. Do I need to add extra liquid? I’ve madr the recipe before and it seems that the purpose of the liquid is to make a sauce. Thanks!

    1. I would double everything except for the water – the additional meat will release additional liquid so you can count that as “water”.



  7. I have made several IP recipes and find the spices too pundgent. Should I cut the amount of each spice in half?

    1. I’m not familiar with the recipes you are using, but I don’t see that as a problem. Most spices and specifically hot pepper seem stronger because pressure cooking evenly distributes them over the entire recipe.



  8. Hi-

    I’m doubling this and using 3lb chicken quarters with bones. I have the 6qt. How should I adjust the liquid/time? I think I’ll add the chickpeas when it’s done cooking to help prevent it from being too full.

    Thank you!

    1. I can’t see the recipe you’re referring to, but as noted above, if you double the meat you don’t need to adjust the cooking time – adjusting the liquid depends on the type of recipe.



  9. Hello! I am lookin at tripling this chicken taco bowl recipe for a party tomorrow. What are your thoughts on the amount of liquid I will need and cooking time? I have an 8quart instant pot-is that big enough to triple? Any other adjustments I really appreciate the help and look forward to following you!

    1. It looks like a lovely recipe, from the photo, but the instructions worry me and it uses ingredients that I don’t recommend. For example, the instructions say not to stir the rice too much or it will turn mushy (this is a sign of over-cooked rice), and then it uses a packet of taco seasoning which uses thickeners and can prevent the cooker from reaching pressure.

      All I can tell you is to use the same cooking time – I don’t really know how the cook calculated the cooking liquid coming from the chicken breasts in the recipe and if the rice is meant to be boiled or steamed so, I’m sorry, I can’t really help you here.



  10. can I double mac and cheese in a instant pot? And if do I double everything?

    1. It depends on the recipe.



  11. Hi! I’m looking to make this recipe, but doubled:

    Any issues you see with that? And I do NOT increase cooking time, correct?


    1. What you linked to looks like a nearly exact copy of this recipe:

      You can probably pressure cook as many meatballs as will fit in your steamer basket and then cover with twice the sauce. The cooking time should not increase.

      I have not personally tested pressure cooking pre-cooked frozen meatballs – but I trust recipes coming from Barbara of Pressure Cooking Today.



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