24 Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners

Did you get an Instant Pot this year? Start with these 24 easy and delicious recipes and the pressure cooker will soon be your most used appliance.

IP Recipes for Beginners

Simply Recipes

The Instant Pot is a popular electric pressure cooker that has won over dedicated fans with its ability to cut long cook times in half and make hands-on meals hands-off. They’re energy efficient, quiet, and won’t heat up your kitchen since almost no steam escapes during the pressure-cooking process.

If you’re just getting started with your pot, don’t skip reading the manual and take a minute to read up on this first timers guide. Perform a water test to make sure it’s working properly and to start getting comfortable with the buttons, then try one of the easy recipes below. Dried beans, stock, and rice are all great places to start since they only use the pressure setting, while the other recipes in this list are easy enough for beginners and will open your eyes to the possibilities of the Instant Pot.

Robin Shreeves joins Laurel Randolph in compiling this list.

  • Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

    Instant Pot Chicken Stock - jars filled with chicken stock in front of an Instant Pot
    Nick Evans

    One thing you should be using your Instant Pot to make time and time again is stock. You’ll get flavorful broth in half the time while using less water and you don’t have to babysit the pot. This recipe is easy to adjust and adapt based on what you have on hand and how much stock you want to make—it also freezes incredibly well.

  • Instant Pot Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

    Peeled and sliced Instant pot hard boiled eggs on a plate
    Emma Christensen and Elise Bauer

    Steaming eggs in the pressure cooker results in easy-to-peel, perfectly cooked eggs every time. Using eggs that are a few days old and are still cold from the fridge helps ensure they peel comes off cleanly, as does a quick dip in an ice bath. Use your hard-boiled eggs to make deviled eggs, egg salad, or enjoy as a snack.

  • Instant Pot Chicken

    How to Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot serve the chicken
    Coco Morante

    The Instant Pot is handy for poaching chicken breasts or thighs, whether you’re planning to make chicken salad, soup, or another dish. While the pressure cooker ends up taking about the same amount of time as the stovetop, it’s totally hands off and requires less water. Bonus: you’ll also have homemade chicken broth when you’re done.

  • Instant Pot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon

    Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats
    Coco Morante

    Steel-cut oats have a tendency to stick and even burn on the stovetop if they are not faithfully stirred, but the whole grain breakfast cooks up nicely on its own in the Instant Pot. Apple, brown sugar, and cinnamon add sweetness and spice. For a bit of texture, top with toasted walnuts.

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  • Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Meat

    Instant Pot Chicken Taco Meat
    Coco Morante

    The Instant Pot is a pro at simulating long braises which results in fork-tender meat. Chicken thighs are ideal for braising since they contain more fat than white meat chicken and, after cooking with spices and pineapple juice, they’re taco-ready in under an hour. In addition to tacos, try using shredded chicken on nachos and burrito bowls.

  • Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto

    Risotto with Mushrooms - white bowls filed creamy mushroom risotto
    Alison Bickle

    Risotto is the kind of dish that’s usually reserved for dinner parties and special occasions since it involves plenty of patient stirring over a hot pan. Until now! The Instant Pot does all of the hard work for you, freeing you up for other tasks and turning risotto into a weeknight win.

  • Fast, No-Soak Instant Pot Beans

    How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker
    Emma Christensen

    The Instant Pot is great at cooking tough items that usually require a long cook time, like dried beans. Even without soaking, you can have tender beans in about an hour that would beat their canned brethren in a taste test any day. Note that different varieties of beans require different cook times, so consult our cook time chart before beginning.

  • Instant Pot Rice

    Instant Pot rice in a bowl with a spoon and the instant pot in the background
    Coco Morante

    While the Instant Pot is primarily known as a pressure cooker, it can stand in for a number of appliances, including a rice cooker. The gadget makes excellent rice if you follow a few guidelines: rinse the rice, add less water since almost no evaporation occurs, and use a natural release. If you end up with leftovers, freeze it for later or make fried rice.

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  • Instant Pot Taco Soup

    Easy Taco Soup in Pressure Cooker
    Coco Morante

    After browning the beef and vegetables, this hearty taco soup cooks hands-off and will warm you up on a cold day from your head to your toes. Served with fun toppings like sour cream, green onions, and lime, it’s a meal in a bowl. Serve with crispy corn chips for dipping or crumbling over top.

  • Instant Pot Ginger-Soy Tilapia

    Pressure Cooker Ginger-Soy Tilapia with an Instant Pot set behind it.
    Sally Vargas

    One big perk of pressure cooking is if you forget to thaw something overnight, you haven’t ruined dinner—you can cook thinner items from frozen, including fish fillets like tilapia. The fish is steamed above a flavorful mixture of soy, mirin, and ginger which doubles as a sauce. Serve with crisp-tender asparagus and soba noodles or rice.

  • Instant Pot Potatoes

    How To Cook Potatoes in the Pressure Cooker
    Coco Morante

    Steaming potatoes in the Instant Pot makes for effortless meal prep. The perfectly tender spuds can be used as-is for potato salad, mashed, crisped in the oven or air fryer, or tossed into a hash.

  • Pressure Cooker Green Pork Pozole

    Pork Pozole in the Pressure Cooker
    Coco Morante

    A base of tomatillos, jalapeños, pepitas, garlic, onion, and cilantro are all blended together before it’s added to the Instant Pot along with pork and hominy to make this easy pozole. While the soup cooks, prep your crunchy and creamy toppings like radishes, avocado, and lime wedges.

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  • Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chicken

    Moroccan Chicken in the Pressure Cooker
    Coco Morante

    You can use store-bought or homemade ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend) for this chicken recipe, and garlic, lemon, olives, and raisins add even more texture and flavor. Serve with couscous or rice and drizzle the cooking liquid over top.

  • Instant Pot Whole Butternut Squash

    Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
    Coco Morante

    If you hate peeling raw butternut squash (you’re not alone), try steaming it in the Instant Pot. Simply cut into four pieces, remove the seeds, and add to the steamer rack. After cooking, let cool for a few minutes and then simply scoop out the flesh, leaving the peel behind. Serve the squash tossed in butter and herbs or blend up in a soup.

  • Instant Pot Refried Beans

    Pressure Cooker Refried Beans in a white bowl with lime wedges and sliced jalepenos nearby. The instant pot is in the background.
    Coco Morante

    From-scratch refried beans are less than an hour and a half away thanks to the Instant Pot. The beans cook from scratch in record time in the pot before being combined with sautéed onions, a little fat, and enough cooking liquid to make a creamy, savory mixture. Feel free to skip the blending step and leave them chunky if you prefer them that way.

  • Instant Pot Beef Chili

    Pressure Cooker Chili with beef in bowl
    Coco Morante

    This classic chili comes together quickly in the pot and it won’t heat up your kitchen as it cooks. Truly one pot, the veggies and meat sauté in the Instant Pot before the chili is pressure cooked. It’s easy to put your own stamp on it—swap the beef for shredded chicken, use fire-roasted tomatoes, or add some cumin.

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  • Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

    Instant pot white chicken chili seen overhead in the open pot
    Instant Pot White Chicken Chili.

    Prefer your chili a different color? This white chicken chili hits all the notes of the stovetop version and is always a crowd-pleaser at home or potlucks.

  • Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

    Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes in a bowl with chives
    Coco Morante

    If you’re running out of room on the stovetop, make this classic side dish in the Instant Pot and free up some valuable real estate. It’s an especially attractive option when prepping a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner, and the Instant Pot can do double duty by keeping the spuds warm until serving time.

  • Instant Pot Baked Beans

    Pressure Cooker Baked Beans
    Coco Morante

    Save 6 hours when you make your baked beans from dried beans by using the instant pot. Start with par-cooked beans, then sauté bacon and onions, then combine all the ingredients to make a side dish that's perfect with BBQ, meatloaf, or any other meaty main dishes.

  • Instant Pot Potato Salad

    instant pot potato salad with egg and raw vegetables
    Coco Morante

    Cook potatoes and eggs together in the pressure cooker. When they're done, peel the eggs, and then chop them up with the potatoes. Finally, combine them with a dressing full of pickles and crunchy raw vegetables. Serve it warm or chilled.

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  • Pressure Cooker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Lettuce Cup recipe in the Instant Pot
    Coco Morante

    If you need a quick dinner or party appetizer, these chicken lettuce wraps are the answer. Sauté chicken and seasonings in a simple sauce and use it as a filling for lettuce wraps topped with green onions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro. Easy AND healthy.

  • Instant Pot Chicken Soup

    Instant pot chicken noodle soup in a bowl with the instant pot in partial view behind it.
    Coco Morante

    A giant pot of comfort in a fraction of the time it takes to make it on the stovetop. This recipe uses a whole chicken, but you can use any bone-in chicken parts you want (the bones add tons of flavor to the stock). Bulk it up by serving with cooked rice or noodles.

  • Instant Pot Beef Brisket

    Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket
    Coco Morante

    Braising a big hunk of meat under pressure is genius. It takes the classic hands-off Jewish beef brisket and makes it even more hands-off. It cooks with aromatic vegetables that you blend into a savory gravy.

  • Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Insta Pot Corned Beef - corned beef, cabbage, potato, carrots on plate
    Coco Morante

    This recipe introduces you to the technique of adding vegetables to the pot midway through the process of cooking the meat, which keeps them from getting mushy. As the cooked brisket rests, you cook the veggies in the flavorful broth.