25 Incredible Instant Pot Recipes for Busy Days

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Feeling the pressure to whip up yet another family meal in between work, school, sports and the myriad of other demands on your time? Sure, slow cookers are simple and hands-off, but they also require foresight and six to eight hours of cook time. Enter the latest culinary craze: The Instant Pot.
For those who don't have the time or inclination to spend hours cooking, or are simply spent on all your slow-cooker recipes, this modern-day pressure cooker is nothing short of a culinary miracle. When steam is trapped inside the pot, pressure builds up and cooks the contents two to six times faster than conventional ovens, while also preserving more nutrients and flavor. First invented in the 1600s, conventional pressure cookers have been used on stovetops for centuries, but it's only been within the last couple of decades that the electric pressure cooker has emerged as a staple for busy households.
Stews and soups are just the start—the Instant Pot provides the perfect environment for cooking just about anything edible, from whole chickens to baked potatoes to decadent desserts. We've gathered more than two dozen ideas to help you move your meals from slow to instant.

Breakfast Dishes

  1. Breakfast Quinoa: Packed with protein and fiber, quinoa is a healthy, delicious way to start your day, especially when topped with maple syrup, cinnamon, sliced almonds and fresh berries.
  2. Pressure Cooker Yogurt: Creamy, silky-smooth yogurt at the push of a button? Yes, please. Top with your favorite fruit, granola or almonds.
  1. Egg Muffins: Seeking a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast option? These light, fluffy egg muffins are perfectly portable, yet supremely satisfying.
  2. Baked Apples: This is one of those versatile dishes that works equally well for breakfast, as a side or for dessert. Raisins, red wine and cinnamon create a wonderfully warm, inviting flavor.
  3. Cheesy Egg Bake: It's like a deep-dish pizza, morning style. Keep it simple with the five core ingredients, or add some va-va-voom with your favorite veggies. 

Main Dishes

  1. Chicken Tortilla Soup: Enjoy this cozy comfort soup as described, or load it up with added vegetables for extra goodness. Making it in an electric pressure cooker is about 30 percent faster and keeps your hands free for veggie chopping.

Image via Flavorrd
  1. Kale Tacos with Caramelized Onions: Flavored with sautéed onions and red pepper flakes, meaty kale greens can be loaded on a tortilla or mixed with black beans. Finish with salsa and crumbled queso, or your own fave toppers.

Image via Dad Cooks Dinner
  1. Balsamic Basil Wheatberry Salad: The Instant Pot isn't just for hot dishes. This refreshing salad is made from unprocessed whole wheat berries, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic and some other veggie goodness.

Image via Flavorrd
  1. Corn Soup: As chef Mike says, it's summer in liquid form. Just add bacon, sautéed onion, salt and pepper and revel in the fabulous corn flavor.

Image via Dad Cooks Dinner
  1. Korean Beef Stew: Step outside your culinary comfort zone and into this bold, savory fusion of Korean flavors, tender beef and simmered veggies.

Image via Dad Cooks Dinner
  1. Texas Red Chili: You don't have to hail from the Lone Star State to enjoy authentic southern chili—and thanks to the Instant Pot, you don't need four hours, either. This hearty chili will be ready to satisfy in just 30 minutes.

Image via Dad Cooks Dinner
  1. Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole: This easy-peasy Tex-Mex casserole is layered with chicken, corn tortillas and grated cheese.
  2. Pork Carnitas: Mexican beef is cooked to tender perfection and ready to enjoy in tacos, salads, burritos or mixed with cilantro lime rice.

Image via Skinny Taste
  1. Paleo Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo: Warm up chilly nights with this savory and satisfying stew.

Image via Foraged Dish
  1. Round Roast: Next time you prepare a roast, speed up the tenderizing process with this easy pressure cooker recipe. Carrots, red wine vinegar, beef broth, herbs and spices infuse it with flavor. 

Side Dishes

  1. Mashed Acorn Squash: The pressure cooker creates perfectly caramelized squash in just 20 minutes. Add brown sugar, butter and nutmeg for a delightfully warm, cozy comfort food.

Image via Dad Cooks Dinner
  1. Sun-Dried Tomato Herbed Polenta: In this flavorful, gluten-free dish, Italian corn porridge melds with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs.
  2. Refried Beans: Simple, yet satisfying, this filling and flavorful side dish is a perfect companion for your favorite tacos, burritos or quesadillas. The Instant Pot creates a wonderfully smooth, creamy texture.
  1. Punjabi Chana Masala: This North Indian spiced chickpea curry dish is delicious served with a puri or batura, along with sliced onions, tomatoes and cucumber salad.
  1. Cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin: Sliced potatoes, creamy cheese sauce, savory chicken broth and panko bread crumb topping are a recipe for pressure cooker perfection.
  2. Sweet and Orangey Brussels Sprouts: Flavored with orange and maple syrup, this vegan and gluten-free side dish adds a healthy (yet delicious) element to Thanksgiving dinner or any meal.

Image via Foods for Long Life

Dessert Recipes

  1. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake: Cheesecake in a pressure cooker? Yes, you read that correctly. It actually provides the perfect environment for moist, evenly cooked cheesecake. Made with whole milk Greek yogurt and less cream cheese, this one contains about 40 percent less fat than traditional cheesecake.

Image via Flavorrd
  1. Creamy Rice Pudding: Cut the prep time in half when you make this rich, creamy rice pudding in your Instant Pot. Ramp up the deliciousness with cinnamon or whipped cream.
  2. Upside-Down Apple and Ricotta Cake: This moist confection gets its flavor from apples, lemon juice, soaked raisins, crushed walnuts and a hint of cinnamon.
  3. SparkPeople Banana Bread: Make it worth the splurge by glazing with homemade chocolate ganache. 

Which of these have you tried (or would you like to try)? What are your favorite pressure cooker recipes?

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KOALA_BEAR 10/10/2020
Want to try both the corn soup & Brussel sprouts in orange sauce. Report
I absolutely love my Instant Pot! Thank you so much! Report
These look very good. I don't have an instant pot but I do have an air fryer and I love it. Report
Great recipes! Report
Looks good. Report
Can some of these be made on the stove top instead. No money for another gadget that will just sit around. Report
Thank You. Report
We just got an Intsapot but haven’t taken it out of the box yet! Great list of things to try! Report
thanks Report
I don’t have the brand instapot, but do have an electric pressure cooker that also browns food, and has a slow cooker, and rice cooker, I like setting my own times, it makes it more useful. The best part is the timer to automatically stop cooking, plus the keep warm cycle so when I come up from chores dinner is hot. So much easier then my old pressure cooker that needed watching throughout the cycle. Report
I need to try several of these recipes! Report
Some are not that easy, but great suggestions. Report
Yawn. I have two CrockPots, and they do the same thing. Report
Misleading! I saw "Instant Pot Recipes" and thought "Far out, man, something besides smokin' Report
We're still considering the purchase of an insta pot. I'd try some of these recipes BUT will not add sugar. Sugar and processed foods = cause of most chronic disease, IMHO. Report
Everything looks delicious. Report
thanks - looks great Report
Would like to try the rice pudding. My daughter uses her pressure cooker all the time so I think she would make this for us. Thank you. Report
Well, I probably won't try any of these until I get me an instant pot! Report
Thanks for sharing some really good information Report
I don't mind kale even raw. Report
Love my slo cooker! Report
Im in love.Hardly use my stove since I got my instantpot.I like it because it turns itself off and I feel safer in my kitchen and it makes good food. Report
I'm back to try a few more ideas...Thanks! Report
Amazon Prime Day ... just ordered one. Looking forward to trying some of these recipes. Report
I'm pleased with our Instant pot - today made a second batch of hard cooked eggs soooo fast and soooooo easy to peel. Then I steamed some potatoes to make a potato salad with later. Also cooked up some veggies for dinner. All these recipes look really yum, and I'm sharing this blog with a friend who just got her first Instant Pot. Report
Going to try quite a few of these Report
Mine sits in the corner, recipes made family say yuck!!!!! Report
I don't consider this an advertisement mommagini. It is a great article full of good ideas for those of us that have Instant Pots. I am constantly looking for recipes for the IP. I found several here I will try. Report
Yet another advertisement disguised as an educational article. SPARKPEOPLE, please get the message - advertising is one thing - use the side spaces for all the ads you can fit. But PLEASE stop claiming to help new weight losers by pushing expensive housewares and needless supplements within the articles that are supposed to help them learn to be healthy - this practice is destroying the reason I always kept coming back to this site. Report
This sounds interesting and I would like to try it out. Does it work for canning? Pressure cookers are recommended for many kinds of low acid canning, beans for instance and fish. Report
I got my IP during the Amazon Black Friday sale this year(2016) and I love it! It has made preparing healthy meals a lot easier! I am going to try the breakfast quinoa this morning! Report
Thank you! I've had my Instant Pot since July 2016 and love it. I will get a lot of use out of these recipes.
Interesting but I would like to know how the "Instant Pot" compares to an old fashioned pressure cooker (which I have used most of my life as cooking at high altitude works better with pressure). Do the silicone muffin cups come with it? I don't think a bundt pan would fit in my pressure cooker. Report
I would have liked to know before I read the article that this was about a pressure cooker as I don't have one or intend to buy one. I read the article anyway and some of the recipes sound interesting. It would be great if up front we were told whether the 'regular' cooking method was also included in the recipes if we don't have or don't intend to get an instant pot. Report
i love kale chips. I rub a bit of coconut oil on a cookie sheet. Rub large kale leaves on the sheet. Little bit of sea salt. Nice crunch Report
Kale is lovely and cook very quickly Eat for 10 days and you will love it.

That goes for other foods as well Report
The kale tacos were so awful, kale is horrible and should only be used to scrub your sink out, not to eat! They are like a Brillo Pad! Report
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I got an instant pot back this past summer (6 quart) when Amazon had a summer "Black Friday" type of sale. My husband loves using it and fixes us LCHF style breakfasts with steamed/cooked veggies and then incorporates them into a cheesy omelet. I won't try all of these recipes but many of them look and sound great!! Report