Instant Pot Dolly Parton’s 5-Layer Dinner—a simple but delicious five layer casserole recipe that’s cooked in the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Dolly Parton’s 5-Layer Dinner
While googling recipes on the internet Greg came across a recipe called Dolly Parton 5-layer dinner. Since I’ve recently listened to and thoroughly enjoyed a podcast about Dolly as well as visited her hometown in Tennessee I was intrigued. What makes a casserole good enough to don the name of Dolly?
I tried to figure out if this was legitimately a recipe that Dolly makes/made but couldn’t seem to find the answer. According to some this recipe is one that she has shared. In an interview with Good Morning America Dolly said, “Every diet I ever fell off of has been because of a potato,” Parton admitted. “Either French fries, or mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. Potato, potato, potato! I never met a spud I didn’t like.” One of the 5 layers of this dinner is potato…so I’m pretty sure that even if Dolly didn’t come up with this recipe she would definitely approve!
The original recipe is made in the oven and has a 2 hour cooking time. I knew this would be a great recipe to make in the Instant Pot since it would be able to cut the cooking time to less than half. I did use the pot-in-pot method for this recipe because there is no liquid in the original recipe. If you’re unfamiliar with how pot-in-pot works you can watch this video…
What equipment do I need? I like to use a 3 quart Instant Pot liner* inside the 6 quart Instant Pot liner for pot-in-pot cooking. I also have the Fat Daddios 7 x 3 inch pan* and Fat Daddios 7 x 4 inch pan* that work great. I love using my OXO sling* to lower pans into my Instant Pot. It also works well as a trivet for hard boiled eggs and many other things. I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1* but you can also use an 8 quart or 10 quart pot.
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Instant Pot Dolly Parton’s 5- Layer Dinner
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
A simple but delicious fiver layer casserole recipe that’s cooked in the Instant Pot.
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 small/medium russet potatoes (about 11 ounces), thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch) into rounds
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced and rings separated
- 1 (15 oz) can diced, stewed or crushed tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- Brown the beef: You can do this step on the stove in a pan or in the Instant Pot. Turn Instant Pot to the sauté setting. When the display says HOT add in the ground beef and break it up*. Add in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Brown the beef for about 5 minutes. If there is any excess grease drain it off. Clean out your Instant Pot.
- Lay the potatoes in an oven safe pan for pot-in-pot cooking (I use a 3 quart IP liner inside the 6 quart IP liner for pot in pot cooking*). Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper (don’t be shy, potatoes love salt).
- Add beef on top of potatoes.
- Add the onions on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper.
- Dump the tomatoes on top of the onions. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
- Layer the green bell peppers on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the peppers with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan with foil. Set the pan on top of a trivet/sling.
- Dump 1 cup water into bottom of Instant Pot. Lower the pan into the Instant Pot.
- Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 40 minutes. When time is up move the valve to venting and remove the lid.
- Remove the foil. Scoop contents of pan onto plates and enjoy!
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I make something similar and do not need pot in pot. Just add a 1/2 cup of water it will be fine. Don’t drain the tomatoes. The onions release liquid.
tthe onions release a lot of liquid.
Karen, thank you so much for publishing this recipe. It does take a lot of time to prep, but worth every bite!! This year, I have been using canned potatoes and ground turkey in the skillet as a quick meal I can cook for my partner and she loves it. I did this recipe in both the oven and instant pot and she was blown away by the flavors plus we now use fresh ingredients and nothing canned. Although, I can see using the canned sliced potatoes in the instant pot and placing it in there for 5 minutes but dang, using fresh potatoes is so much better!
I have made the oven version of this and the instant pot version. With the oven, it’s 350 degrees for 2 hours. The oven version is slightly better, but who wants to wait 2 hours for a really good dish?
The Instant Pot version (this recipe) came out absolutely delicious. In fact, I have the Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans with Sling for Instant Pot that is a Pot in Pot. You can get it on Amazon. So I took this recipe and divided it in half to be placed in each of the steamer pans and actually served the meal that way with my partner. Obviously we didn’t eat it all, so the pans went in the fridge for another day.
In the oven, I used onions cut in rings and in the Instant Pot, chose to cut the rings in fourths for easier eating. As one person recommended, I added the onions to the ground turkey two minutes before the ground turkey was browned.
Because I am working with the Instant Pot, I have a bit more flexibility plus wanted to ensure that I have a way to gauge if the potatoes were done or not. I did 30 minutes for the Instant Pot with a 10 minute Natural Release, but found about 6 potatoes al dente so next time will go for the full 40 minutes as indicated in the recipe.
I used cajun seasoning for the potatoes.
In order to get a hamburger-like taste, for the ground turkey and other veggies, used a seasoning blend I created: brown sugar, domestic paprika, sea salt, grains of paradise (use equal parts of ground black pepper, ground cardamom, and ground ginger), oregano, marjoram, onion, garlic, rosemary, and mustard powder. I then added some medium chili powder to get a slight heat.
I added one extra layer of potatoes at the top for the Instant Pot version and so glad that I did! The extra potatoes helped by balancing out the ratio better and also providing potatoes at the top so one doesn’t have to dig to the bottom.
The recipe s great for pot lucks for two reasons… one is the flavor and that it is kinda unique. Second, is that when people ask for the recipe, it’s easy to tell them the five ingredients and the oven temperature and time to cook or 40 minutes in the Instant Pot and not have to overwhelm them with the seasonings unless they want to kick it up a notch! People can typically remember five ingredients!
Thanks so much for your awesome review! This is so helpful for anyone who makes it!!!
I am making this for dinner tonight and doubled the recipe…. oops for me because I could not fit it all in the pit lol I am ending up omitting the bell pepper. Here is to hopefully a still delicious dinner ♡
I hope so too Misty!
Thanks for all of the great information!!! I just got an insta-pot with and air fryer. Do you have any good tips for it? Thanks again
I don’t have one like that but I am sure you will love it. Here is a vid that may help: https://youtu.be/WyUBacN6k34
Kathleen West says
In pictures your pot in pot looks to have a good depth to it. Mine is not that deep. Could you send a link to purchase one? By the way Dolly casserole turned out yummy. Thanks.
I use the fat daddios 7 inch by 4 inch pan or the 3 quart IP liner inside the 6 quart IP liner.
Fat daddios pan: 7 inch by 4 inch http://amzn.to/2Eji6Jn
3 quart liner: https://amzn.to/3djcQ73
Just curious because it is what I have on hand at the moment…wondering how sweet potatoes would taste instead? Obviously it would sweeten it up a bit, but wondering if anyone else has tried it? Thanks in advance!
I haven’t tried that but I think it would be tasty! I love sweet potatoes.
I have no 3 qt oven safe dish to make this recipe. Would it work to use heavy foil with all of the ingredients layered as the recipe indicates, seal the foil tightly and place it on a trivet with the 1 cup of water in the bottom of the 6 qt pot liner?
I like your innovation! Yes that would work.
Wink Hobbs says
Karen I cook many of your recipes. You’re the best ! Should the tomatoes be drained ?
No not drained. And thank you!
My Instant Pot Duo has a slow cooker setting. Would I still need to use an insert pot and water if I use slow cooker setting?
No you don’t need to use an insert pot and water with slow cooker setting. Make sure to use the highest slow cooker setting.
Kim t says
Not dissing Dolly, but…!!
I tried recipe last night, and the only thing I did not have was the green pepper (and I could have used a bigger pot for my inside pot, but I used what I had, and everything fit). Otherwise, I followed recipe exactly. Cooked it for 40 minutes, and contrary to what others said, there was alot of liquid still in the pot (I wasn’t supposed to drain tomatoes, was I?) and the potatoes were even a tiny bit undercooked. Frankly it didn’t look anything like your pictures. My partner and I found the flavour very bland (and I don’t think green peppers would add that much flavour).
We will fry up the leftovers, and that should absorb the rest of the liquid.
I am not sure if my instant pot just doesn’t work…shouldn’t the moisure have been absorbed? but I bought it new and I’ve used it less than 10 times. Often the recipes are not done/fully cooked if I used the time and pressure indicated. Not sure what is going on, but when I saw this called for 40 minutes cook time, I was at a loss why one wouldn’t just cook it in the oven like a casserole?
Sorry it didn’t work out for you. What kind of pressure cooker and model do you have? Did you cover the pan with foil?
I found a lot of liquid also in the pan. Cooked nice but not much flavor. Probably will not make again.
Patricia Hamill says
Can this recipe be cooked in a crockpot? If so, at what setting & for how long. What size crockpot? Thank you, Pat
Yes I think it is a good candidate for the slow cooker. I would use 6 hour cooking time on low.
Patricia Hamill says
Thank you much for the information, Pat
I just made this with two changes: I cooked my onions with my meat and I cut the cooking time in my Instant Pot. I did it for 18 minutes because I really hate mush and it looks a little mushy in the pics… It was almost perfect, but I think I’ll up the cooking time to 22 minutes next time to break the potatoes down a little more.
Good ideas! I like the idea of cooking the onions with the meat.
I think the misconception about timing and liquids is if you’re using the pot-in-pot (PIP) method or you’re directly cooking in the IP liner. From experience, recipes I’ve made using PIP, it does take longer to cook vs dumping the food into the liner. Makes sense—liner only needs to heat up; PIP the liner and the insert pan/stackable pans need additional heat timing.
I’ve made this both ways and my preference is the PIP. No excess liquids and potatoes are cooked evenly.
yes I agree you are right!
I find when cooking potatoes in the instant pot, no matter what… 22-23 minutes is the sweet spot and the potatoes comes out absolutely perfect! Baked Potatoes or even quartered for mash potatoes. 22-23 minutes just seems like the right setting.
I am making this recipe in the oven first, but will repeat in the instant pot. I like your idea of cooking the onions with the meat but I would probably put the onions in the last couple of minutes.
Hi, 40 minutes seems like a long time in the IP. The veggies don’t come out like a big pile of mush? Asking for a friend!!😉
Since it’s a covered pot in pot they do not! It does seem like a long time but I wouldn’t have cooked it any less especially for the onions.
Lillian Lindquist says
Yummy yummy. Its sounds great. Lillian.
It was really tasty!
Brian Fine says
I have the Stack N’ Cook Stackable Insert Pans. Would this recipe fit in just one of the pans?
I just looked them up online and from what I can tell it looks like it will fit.
Lindsey Aaron says
Is this cooked on high or low pressure?
Karen cooks everything on high pressure unless otherwise specified.
Yep Nick, you know me! haha!
It’s high pressure.
James Goacher says
Five Stars because it is nice and simple. I will do this but in a Slow Cooker. Not sure how long for, that will depend upon the potatoes but generally, for me, a whole potao will cook(Jacket) in 3 hours or so so scaloped ones should not be an issue.
Dear Dolly has the sweetest gentlest voice so I expect this will reflect that.
She really does have a great voice! I just love her!
James Goacher says
I never liked what I found to be her song “I will always” etc until I heard her version.
It’s the greatest! I love both version but especially Dolly’s. My kids favorite song is 9 to 5. Mine is Jolene. I also love Tennessee Mountain Home and Hard Candy Christmas…and and and
James Goacher says
I’ll be making this tomorrow in a 3,5L CrockPot probably unless it looks to full (which I don’t think it will and I like the layers) otherwise a 6L version. Al of the ingredients are obtained and I think I will park cook the potato slices for a couple of minutes only for insurance. Don’t know if I can find any space in my Frezzers so I may be eating this all week. Oh! dear.
I noticed someone else asked about Slow Cooker further up the list and you suggested 6 on hours on Low. I am going to go for an initial 2-3 hours on High then drop to low for a couple more depending upon how the potatoes have managed.
Ok! Let me know if it turns out!
My husband has me in stitches. He wants to know why there are no breasts in this recipe. I think I’ll try it anyway.
Oh haha!! I didn’t think of that joke!! Good one.
JETHRO PAUL RAYMER says
CAN YOU PLEASE SING ME UP FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER.
I’ve made this recipe in the oven before and cooking it in the IP is intriguing! Could I use the stainless steel insert from my 3 qt inside my 6 qt? It wouldn’t be non-stick like the one you recommend, but would it work?