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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.Continue to 21 of 24 below.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Lettuce Wraps
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
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
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
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.