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30 Best Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners

Pressure cookers have a long history in cooking, but the Instant Pot took the stage in 2010 as more than a pressure cooker.

The Instant Pot is a multicooker that allows you to steam, sear, sauté, and even create desserts, yogurt, rice, and bake bread all in one device!

30 Best Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners

With an Instant Pot, you can create elaborate, hearty meals in a fraction of the time compared to traditional cooking methods.

So, whether you’ve just brought home your first Instant Pot or you’re a seasoned pro looking for new ideas, here are 30 recipes to help spark some inspiration.

We will break down this list of recipes into six categories: chicken, beef, comfort food, healthy, vegetarian/vegan, and family dinners. Let’s get started!

The Best Chicken Instant Pot Recipes

Chicken recipes are a great place to start if you’re new to cooking with an Instant Pot. Let’s take a look at five Instant Pot meals with chicken.

Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken and potatoes are the perfect combination for a “toss in and forget it” Instant Pot meal. And this meal is ready in 30 minutes or less!

The chicken and potatoes are seasoned with the classic buttermilk Ranch flavor, along with oregano, thyme, basil, and garlic powder for extra flavor.

You can cook chicken thighs instead of breasts if you prefer, but you’ll want to reduce the cooking time by about ten minutes if you’re cooking thighs.

After cooking, sprinkle with more Ranch seasoning and parmesan cheese to taste. Serve with a side salad, corn on the cob, beans, or a dinner roll for the perfect meal.

Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

This chicken and rice recipe is not a soup, but it will have a thick and creamy texture. And a splash of lemon gives this dish an even more memorable taste along with the creamy texture.

Use fresh parmesan cheese or use any shredded cheese you have on hand.

Be sure to release the pressure manually at the right time, or the result will feel “gluey.” Serve with a side salad or all on its own. Dreamy indeed!

Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Looking for a way to cook some chicken to use for another recipe? Here you go! Getting the chicken juicy and moist is the hardest trick to master when cooking chicken.

Use this Instant Pot recipe to help with this! Don’t toss out the leftover liquid in the Instant Pot—reuse it by making gravy!

You can use this recipe to help cook frozen chicken or bone-in, skin-on chicken, or any chicken you have on hand.

Serve with your favorite side or use it in another dish, such as casseroles, pasta, or quesadillas.

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Craving some Chinese takeout? This recipe is the perfect homemade Chinese-style dish that tastes delicious over a bed of white rice.

The secret ingredients are honey garlic sauce made with honey, soy sauce, garlic, onion, ketchup, and oil.

You will need to dissolve the cornstarch in water in a separate bowl before adding it to the Instant Pot.

This will help thicken the sauce as it’s cooking with the chicken.

Serve over a bed of white rice, top with sesame seeds and green onions.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is a dish known as “murgh makhani” in India. Traditional butter chicken requires spices and ingredients commonly used in Indian cuisine, but don’t worry!

This recipe has been created with staple pantry ingredients in mind, like tomato sauce, heavy whipping cream, and unsalted butter.

You’ll need garam masala for the spice mix, which is a spice blend you can buy at a grocery store or make yourself.

This recipe calls for heavy cream for the sauce, but you can use half-and-half or coconut milk if you’re looking for a dairy-free option. Serve with naan bread or any rice you have on hand.

The Best Beef Instant Pot Recipes

Beef is another meat you can cook in many different ways in your Instant Pot. Check out these Instant Pot beef recipes:

Instant Pot Braised Beef

Braising is a cooking method where you cook meat in a covered pot with liquid like broth or wine.

It’s a slower process, so as expected, the cooking time for this recipe is 60 minutes.

The secret ingredient here is red wine, but you can use beef broth if you want. The best way to serve this dish is by adding it to rice bowls, tacos, enchiladas, or cabbage slaw.

You can also serve it with your favorite side dish, like mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, or biscuits.

Drizzle some of the sauce before serving for extra flavor. Delicious!

Instant Pot Beef Tips

Beef tips refer to smaller cuts of meat left from breaking down larger, more tender sections of beef like sirloin, flank, ribeye, or tenderloin.

These leftover cuts of meat are perfect for cooking in gravy to serve as a meal with rice or mashed potatoes.

Sirloin is recommended, but you can use any beef tips you prefer.

If you don’t have any red wine on hand, substitute with beef broth instead. Serve over rice, mashed cauliflower, or biscuits.

Best Ever Instant Pot Beef Stew

This stew is packed with veggies and deliciously tender beef and is an excellent way to warm up for a cozy evening indoors.

Unlike traditional stew and soup methods that often take hours to cook, this beef stew takes less than an hour to make.

Sear the meat first for extra flavor, as opposed to throwing it in raw. Add the cornstarch while the stew is hot for the best thickening.

You can double the cornstarch if you want extra thick gravy. Serve with rolls or biscuits.

Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli

Chinese food, anyone? Here’s another classic Chinese dish you can make in your Instant Pot! This is the perfect option for Instant Pot newbies, and it’s ready to serve in thirty minutes!

Use flank steak or London broil for chuck roast (or even skirt steak, though it is chewier). Substitute non-toasted sesame oil for toasted sesame oil if you prefer.

You can omit the sesame oil if you want, though the sesame oil is highly recommended for maximum flavor.

Serve with noodles, white rice, or brown rice. For a healthy, low-carb option, serve with steamed broccoli or spiralized zucchini noodles.

Instant Pot Stroganoff

Here’s a great “dump it and forget it” option for Instant Pot recipes and another great option for first-time Instant Pot users.

Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed beef served in a sauce with smetana and is often served with pasta.

This Stroganoff recipe is way easier than others since you won’t need to cook the meat separately before adding it to the pot.

All you have to do is sauté the beef, add everything else after draining the fat, and cook!

Serve this Stroganoff recipe with your favorite side or all on its own, topped with sour cream.

The Best “Comfort Food” Instant Pot Recipes

Yes, you can cook your favorite childhood meals in an Instant Pot – and make them taste even better than you remember! Here are some great recipes to try.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Here’s the perfect Instant Pot version of a classic American meal. For this recipe, you’ll cook the pasta in chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor.

You’ll find hot sauce in the list of ingredients, but don’t worry. The mac and cheese won’t be spicy; it’ll just be more flavorful!

For mac and cheese, a combination of cheeses produces the best results. Keep stirring as you are adding in the cheeses to create smoothness and avoid clumps.

The size of this recipe is super customizable. Freeze leftovers for later or add as a side for future meals.

The Best Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Meals like this one are perfect for converting into pressure cooker recipes.

Chicken and dumplings is a broth-based soup with chicken, veggies, cream, and biscuits as the dumplings.

A recipe for dumplings is included if you want to make dumplings from scratch, or you can substitute them with canned biscuits.

Be sure to cut and add in the dumplings at the right time to avoid overcooking. Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve.

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Did you know you can cook dry pasta in an Instant Pot? That’s right! The pasta will absorb the chicken broth and heavy cream as it cooks with the chicken, so no need to strain the liquid or keep an eye on a boiling pot.

For thick, creamy alfredo sauce, you’ll want to use heavy cream instead of substituting it for whipping cream.

Pre-shredded parmesan cheese does not melt as easily and can cause clumps, so this recipe calls for freshly shredded parmesan cheese.

The alfredo sauce will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if the consistency isn’t thick right away. Serve with more pepper, shredded parmesan, and sprinkle with parsley.

Award-Winning Instant Pot Chili

Homemade chili from scratch couldn’t be any easier if you have an Instant Pot!

This award-winning recipe is created so you can use the chili and beans setting on your Instant Pot.

If your Instant Pot has no “Chili/Bean” setting, don’t worry—you can use the manual setting. And what’s an award-winning chili recipe without bacon? Keep an eye out for enough fat when cooking the bacon. Add oil if needed to avoid burning.

Top with sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese, and serve with a side of cornbread or biscuits. Or use cinnamon rolls for a sweeter side. Delicious!

The Best Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Cooking with an Instant Pot makes substituting a breeze, whether you’d like to keep things low-calorie, low-carb, gluten-free, or just packed with more veggies. Here are just a few ideas.

Healthy Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Looking for a healthy dish bursting with Italian flavor? Here you go! This Instant Pot recreates the classic Italian dish with healthier ingredients and many ways to add more nutrition.

If you’d like to lower the carbs in this recipe, you can reduce the amount of pasta and broth. For the sauce, you’ll use Greek yogurt and cottage cheese as a good source of protein, probiotics, and calcium.

You’ll need two cups of spinach and half a cup of dried tomatoes for this recipe, but you can add more if you’d like a higher serving of vegetables.

Enjoy this hearty and healthy meal all on its own or with a side salad.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Low Carb)

Remember that butter chicken recipe? This recipe omits the cornstarch, making the same tasty dish low-carb and keto-friendly.

Instead of adding cornstarch, you’ll sauté after pressure cooking to thicken up the sauce. Dark meat in thighs is recommended, but you can use chicken breasts instead.

You’ll need an immersion blender to puree the sauce to a smooth texture. For more low-carb options, serve over cauliflower rice, zoodles, sauteed yellow squash, or on its own.

Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

This Instant Pot recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and can be made in 30 minutes!

Be sure to have all the ingredients prepped ahead of time before you begin.

The secret ingredients are cumin seeds, ginger, and lots of spices! You can use canned tomato puree or blend your own puree at home.

Customize with add-ins like roasted cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, baby spinach, potatoes, or sweet potatoes.

Substitute the chicken for shrimp if you want a seafood alternative.

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Piccata

Here’s a healthier twist on a classic Italian dish! And in only 15 minutes? Capers are similar to green olives in appearance, and they add a floral, tangy, salty flavor to this dish.

Dry white wine is recommended for deeper flavor. Lemon juice gives the chicken extra pizazz!

Serve with orzo or chickpea rice, mashed potatoes (or cauliflower), pasta like fettuccine or angel hair, rice, sauteed zucchini, you get the idea.

Weight Watchers Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Any Weight Watchers members in the house? Here’s the perfect Instant Pot recipe for you!

This recipe requires fat-free cottage cheese and fat-free Greek yogurt. Substitute the chicken for turkey for even lower WW points.

Not a fan of spinach? Here’s a trick: chop the spinach into extra-small pieces to help hide the texture better while still getting lots of nutrition.

Top with fresh basil or basil from your spice cabinet before serving. Either way works!

The Best Vegetarian (and Vegan) Instant Pot Recipes

Who says your meal has to be meat-based when using your Instant Pot? Whatever your needs, these recipes are sure to fit your preferences. Take a look!

Vegan Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Jambalaya is a delicious Cajun-inspired dish that only takes four minutes to cook in your Instant Pot.

The secret ingredients include “the holy trinity” of jambalaya: onions, celery, green peppers.

You can buy Cajun seasoning at your local grocery store or make your own at home. This recipe calls for Field Roast sausage as the meat alternative, which you can omit to make it gluten-free.

For a plant-based option, you can use cooked chickpeas or kidney beans instead of the sausage. Adjust the seasonings before serving if needed, and mix in some fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Vegan Chicken and Dumplings

Here’s another healthy vegan option for a classic American dish.

It’s easy to prepare in an Instant Pot and is ready in just 30 minutes! Butler soy curls are dehydrated soybean strips and are a heart-healthy, natural alternative to meat.

Butler soy curls are used as a substitute for the chicken, but you can use any meat replacement you prefer.

Gluten-free meat alternatives include chickpeas, jackfruit, tofu, tempeh, and cauliflower. Remove bay leaf before transferring to a bowl and serve as is.

Instant Pot Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are the perfect option for a vegetarian dinner.

You can use pesto or meat sauce instead of marinara sauce. This recipe calls for fresh spinach, but you can use frozen spinach if you’d like.

You’ll want to defrost, drain, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible to keep the shell pasta from getting too watery.

Water is added to help prevent burning, so don’t skip this step! Spoon extra sauce on top while plating. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Salute!

Creamy White Bean Soup with Gremolata

Here’s another hearty, creamy one-pot soup, perfect for a crisp, cool day! You’ll use heat to thicken the soup naturally, so no milk or creamers are needed.

Gremolata is an Italian condiment made with lemon zest, garlic, and chopped parsley.

For this recipe, you’ll make your own Gremolata, which includes basil leaves as well.

You’ll need to blend half the soup to create a creamier texture. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle Gremolata and drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil. Bon appetite!

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Why not combine pasta and Mexican for dinner tonight?

This Instant Pot recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, full of flavor and color, and only takes 20 minutes to make!

Before pressure cooking, do not mix the ingredients! Just make sure they’re evenly spread out; they will cook on their own. Add some cheese and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese dish, broth-based soup traditionally made with broth, rice noodles, herbs, and a protein of your choice.

Pho traditionally takes hours of simmering to help extract flavors, but this Instant Pot recipe cuts time in half.

Tofu is not a traditional ingredient but works well as a vegetarian option.

You’ll be making the tofu and the broth before building the pho. Add or omit any seasonings or ingredients you’d like.

After assembling your pho, add hot sauce or chili flakes, squeeze some juice from a lemon, mix, and enjoy!

The Best Family Dinner Instant Pot Recipes

Some of these meals allow you to double or even triple the recipe for more servings. You can freeze leftovers to help you save time and money on busy weeknights. Here are a few recipes that’ll make your whole family beg for more.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Quick Instant Pot recipes are hard to find, but this one is worth saving!

You only need five ingredients, it only takes fifteen minutes, and it freezes well for future meals.

The key ingredient for this recipe is low-sodium chicken broth to help give the chicken tons of flavor.

Shred the chicken in the liquid, if you can, to help the chicken reabsorb the broth.

This is a great way to add as much flavor to the chicken as possible. Add to soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches, you name it!

Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish dish made with brisket that’s been cured in salty brine, often for days at a time.

With this Instant Pot recipe, your whole family can enjoy that earthy, tangy flavor in only a fraction of the time to prepare it. Guinness beer is used for even more flavor, but you can use beef stock for a gluten-free option.

The brown sugar balances out the savory flavor beautifully. This recipe makes a perfect meal all on its own, so there’s no need for sides if you’re in a rush on a busy work night.

Instant Pot Chicken and Gravy

Yep, you can make gravy in an Instant Pot! You’ll use the handy sauté option at the end to help thicken the gravy.

Instead of a “cream of” soup, you’ll combine cornstarch, water, and a packet of chicken gravy mix to create the gravy.

You can purchase some Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning or make your own ranch seasoning at home.

Serve with mashed or baked potatoes, pasta, rice, or any go-to sides your family loves.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta

“Crack chicken” combines the addicting flavors of bacon, cheese, cream cheese, and Ranch dressing all in one meal your family will love!

After cutting the chicken and cooking the bacon, this recipe only takes twenty minutes to make.

All you have to do is sauté the chicken with the oil and Ranch seasoning, cook it with the broth, water, and pasta, and stir in the cream cheese, bacon, and cheddar cheese. You may have a new favorite go-to with this recipe!

Instant Pot Spaghetti

And now we end this list of Instant Pot recipes with arguably the most popular family meal: spaghetti with meat sauce!

You can also substitute the beef for turkey or Italian sausage. Just reduce the seasoning by half if you’re using sausage.

After pressure cooking, the key to thickening the watery appearance is to stir and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese and serve with a side salad or breadsticks. Yum!


No two Instant Pot meals are the same, so be sure to read the entire recipe through before beginning.

Adding Instant Pot meals to your meal plan can save time and money while still enjoying delicious meals.

Which meals will you add to your list of Instant Pot recipes?

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