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The best Instant Pot recipes you need to try

Do you own an Instant Pot? If you do, you know how versatile these kitchen appliances are. Instant Pots can be used to cook stew, sauté meat, make rice, and a whole lot more. Many models also have special built-in functions to make cakes, yogurt, and eggs. Instant Pots are the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it appliance, as you can toss the dinner ingredients into the pot the night before and come home to a delicious meal the following evening.

Instant Pot recipes are so versatile that you may not know where to start if you’re new to the Instant Pot craze. We’ve rounded up the best Instant Pot recipes you need to try. They will without a doubt make your life easier when it comes to cooking meals.

Holiday recipes

Instant Pot asparagus.
Jenny McGrath/Digital Trends

Many people look forward to holiday parties and family, but they stress overcooking food for such gatherings. Keep things simple with an Instant Pot. Not only can you cook your food quickly, but you also cook everything in a single pot, minimizing mess and making it easy to transport.

3-in-1 Turkey One-Pot Meal — Don’t want to create a mess while cooking up a large Thanksgiving or Christmas meal for you and your significant other? Simplify your cooking without compromising flavor with this one-pot turkey dinner.

Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes — Sweet potatoes are a staple during the holiday season. Some people like them with butter and salt, while others slather them with marshmallows. Regardless of how you enjoy your sweet potatoes, you should cook them in the instant pot and get it done faster.

Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole — Revive this 50’s favorite with some fresh ingredients, a light cream sauce, and a new take on the fried onion topping.

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce — Ditch the canned stuff and make your own cranberry sauce this holiday season. Don’t be intimidated by the tart flavor of cranberries. It’s super easy to dial in the right amount of sweetness in the instant pot.

Instant Pot Apple Crisp — Pies are a staple on the holiday dinner table, but not everyone wants to fuss with pie crust and latticework. Embrace the delicious smells and flavors of apple cinnamon with this apple crisp that is cooked entirely in your instant pot.

Cold weather classics

Instant Pot makes pulled pork fast.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s nothing better than a hot meal on a cold day. Cook up some of these comfort foods and enjoy the stick-to-your-ribs foods we love to eat during the winter.

Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches — Who needs Famous Dave’s when you have an instant pot. Fire up the football game and enjoy these mouth-watering pulled pork sandwiches you can make at home.

Five-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese — A bowl of mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It’s a versatile dish that you can eat alone as a main meal or pair with some chicken as a side dish. Just don’t forget the ketchup.

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites — Blend the two most decadent desserts on the planet in this Instant Pot recipe and take the pain out of cooking cheesecake. This recipe recommends a double boiler for the chocolate topping, but you can use the Instant Pot instead.

Instant Pot Hot Chocolate or Cider — You can do more than cook food in an instant pot. You also can use it to make some fabulous hot drinks. There’s nothing like a mug of warm apple cider after raking some leaves or a cup of hot cocoa to cap off an afternoon of sledding.

Healthy choices

Countertop bird's eye view of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11.
Instant Pot

Oatmeal — Cooking oatmeal in an instant pot is quick and easy. Throw your oatmeal into your Instant Pot before you jump into the shower, and it’ll be ready when you get out. Best of all, you can season it in any way your want. Add honey, fruit, or nuts for a different flavor every time.

Instant Pot Cauliflower Potato Soup — Cut down on carbs with the yummy cauliflower soup that replaces some potatoes with cauliflower. It tastes so good your family won’t even know you snuck some extra vegetables into their meal.

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas — Turn your bland pork shoulder into tender and juicy carnitas. Stuff the flavorful filling into a tortilla and add your favorite toppings. Want to lower the carb count even more? Replace the tortilla with a lettuce wrap for a fresh and crunchy version.

Instant Pot Green Tea Creme Brulee — Look beyond the sometimes-sickly sweet desserts with this delicate coconut creme brulee. Adding a bit of matcha green tea powder will send your taste buds to the moon.

Whole chicken

Instant Pot Chicken — The instant pot makes it easy to cook moist and juicy chicken that you can eat as a meal or use in other recipes. Just drop in a whole chicken, add some liquid, and cook. To prepare the best chicken possible, you should choose a rotisserie-sized chicken under 5 pounds and cook it for 6 minutes per pound.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken and Gravy — Not only can you cook an entire chicken in the instant pot, but you can also make some gravy. Use this winning combination of spices for some of the best damn gravy around.

Fish-tacular dishes

Cooking fish on the stovetop or in the oven can be tricky because fish is so delicate. You may find that your salmon always gets overcooked, while your tilapia just doesn’t soak in the seasonings. A great solution is to cook your fish in an Instant Pot. The steam of the Instant Pot cooker evenly heats the fish while locking in the moisture, producing flavorful, tender, and moist results.

Instant Pot Salmon with Garlic Potatoes and Greens — Making a perfect salmon filet can be difficult. Cook it for too long, and it becomes chewy and rubbery. Cook it for not long enough, and some portions are still raw. With this recipe, you’ll get a wonderfully cooked fish every time.

Pressure Cooker Vietnamese Caramel Salmon — The only thing better than a salmon filet is salmon with a Vietnamese cuisine twist. This recipe packs in distinct Asian flavors that are sure to wow any dinner crowd.

Instant Pot Fish Stew — Sometimes, there’s nothing better than stew on a cold evening. This savory fish stew is the perfect dish to help you warm up while packing in tons of nutrients.

Cake-a-licious concoctions

Cook pie in the Instant Pot.
Jenny McGrath/Digital Trends

You may be surprised to learn you can cook an entire cake without ever turning on the oven. How? Use an Instant Pot. Many Instant Pot models come with a cake maker setting that produces perfectly moist cakes. Mix up the ingredients and toss them into the Instant Pot. Return a few hours later to a delicious cake that’s ready to be served for dessert. Whether you’re in the mood for adorable cupcakes or a hearty cheesecake, there’s an Instant Pot recipe for that.

Pressure Cooker New York Cheesecake — Think making a cheesecake is difficult? Think again. This Instant Pot creation provides a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that will let you enjoy creamy cheesecake without doing much work at all.

Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake — The chocoholic in you will love this runny lava cake that’s filled with chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Oh, and it’s all cooked in an Instant Pot, so you’ll barely have any post-baking clean-up to do.

Instant Pot Cupcakes — Got a kid’s birthday party coming up? Planning to contribute something at your community bake sale? Make these delicious cupcakes without turning on the oven once.

Stew me some chili

Set it and forget it with an Instant Pot.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many people use the Instant Pot to make delicious stews. That’s because it’s so incredibly easy to make stew in it. Combine the ingredients, pour them into the inner pot, and leave the device alone for a few hours (or even an entire afternoon). When the stew is ready to consume, you’ll find that the results are flavorful and tender. The steam that cooks the food helps to retain moisture and flavor. You may even find that there’s a bit too much liquid in your stew, in which case you can add some cornstarch to thicken it up after the pressure cooking is complete.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili — There’s something really satisfying about chili, and you can enjoy its deliciousness even when you’re a vegetarian. This chili is the perfect savory meal on a cold evening or at your neighborhood chili cookout.

Instant Pot Chicken Stew with Farro — Who says stew has to have beef? Swap out the beef for chicken by following this healthy recipe. The addition of farro adds even more nutrients to this delicious dish.

Best Ever Instant Pot Beef Stew — Beef can be hard to cook on the stovetop. In this Instant Pot recipe, you’ll get tender, fall-off-the-bone beef every time. Let the Instant Pot appliance do the work for you.

Curries of goodness

Like stews, curries have a lot of ingredients that get nicely tender, flavorful, and moist when cooked in an Instant Pot. Most curry recipes also include both meat and vegetables, so you only need the one dish to produce a delicious dinner. Whether you’re looking for a Thai curry, Indian curry, or Malaysian curry, you’ll find a recipe online that suits you.

Pressure Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken — Rich coconut. Spicy curry. Savory spices. Those flavors mesh together to produce the perfect curry in this delicious recipe.

Instant Pot Indian Chicken Curry — Your local Indian restaurant makes a mean curry, but you and your Instant Pot can make something that just might be even better — from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chicken Curry — Who knew that sweet potato could be the perfect complement to that spicy curry flavor? This Instant Pot recipe shows you how it’s done.

Stir-fried awesomeness 

Instant Pot 7-in1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many people enjoy stir-fry because it’s a great way to get your meat and vegetables into one delicious dish. However, stir-frying can sometimes be time-consuming, as the vegetables need time to soften, and the oil used to cook the dish can splatter all over the counter — not to mention your clothing. An alternative solution that saves you time and hassle? Cook your stir-fry dishes in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowl — Skip the Chinese take-out, and make some delicious chicken and broccoli directly in your Instant Pot. No oil splattering on the stove and no excess calories from that delicious-but-greasy Chinese restaurant down the street.

One-Pot Teriyaki Rice with Chicken and Vegetables — Chicken teriyaki is one of the ultimate comfort foods, but you can make a healthier, even more delicious version at home, with the help of your Instant Pot.

Yes to pasta

Who doesn’t love the comfort food we call pasta? But cooking pasta can be time-consuming. You have to boil the pasta, chop up the ingredients, cook them, then toss everything together with the pasta. By the time you’re finished, you’re exhausted enough to go to bed without dinner. But with an Instant Pot, you can save a lot of time, and maybe even catch up on some work while the appliance does the cooking work for you.

Instant Pot Spaghetti — Your kids love spaghetti, but you don’t want to stand over the stove stirring tomato sauce for half an hour. Let the Instant Pot do the work whenever it’s spaghetti night at your house.

Instant Pot Creamy Italian Pasta — Creamy, delicious pasta sounds like the most comforting meal of all time. Make it in your Instant Pot with the help of this recipe, so you don’t have to deal with making a roux on the stove, whatever that is.

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta — The next time you don’t know how to use the leftover chicken thighs in your fridge, pull up with this chicken pasta recipe. Those Tuscan flavors are sure to make this recipe a staple in your home.

Meaty goodness

Meat isn’t easy to cook, regardless of whether you’re using an oven or stovetop. There are a lot of variables to control, including temperature and cooking time. Oftentimes, you may end up with burned steak, rubbery chicken, or pork that hurts your teeth to chew. Instead of struggling to get your meats cooked just right, why not just toss them into an Instant Pot? Most of the time, you’ll end up with meat dishes that are fall-off-the-bone tender.

Instant Pot Fall-Off-The-Bone Chicken — Leave the oven off, and let the Instant Pot help you cook chicken that your entire family will love.

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef — This recipe puts a Mongolian spin on a beef dish, and you’ll want to make this a staple.

Instant Pot Korean Beef — Korean cuisine is delicious, but eating out can get expensive. Recreate your favorite beef dish at home with the help of this recipe and your Instant Pot.

Beef Stroganoff for Instant Pot — Beef stroganoff on a cold winter’s night. What could be better? Snuggle up by the fireplace with some cocoa and a good book, while the Instant Pot does the work for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Gia Liu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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