9 Favorite Instant Pot Recipes for the Newbie

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So, you are the proud new owner of an Instant Pot and are finding yourself overwhelmed when looking for Instant Pot Recipes.

You aren’t alone. It’s been one of the hottest small kitchen appliances on the market for over a year, and it seems that everyone is grabbing them for delicious (and fast) weeknight meals.

But it can be a little overwhelming! You may worry about it exploding, like our parents’ stove-top pressure cookers. Or maybe you just don’t know where to start – what can you actually cook in this thing?

As the proud owner of an Instant Pot for years, I’ve found myself fielding lots of questions about what to cook in it since the holidays. I’ve been sharing my favorite, tried-and-true Instant Pot recipes with friends and family, and now I’m here to share them with you.

First, a couple notes about the electric pressure cooker.

Just like any kitchen appliance, I want you to use this correctly to be safe and find success. I’m not an expert, but someone who uses it several times every week with good results.

A few things I’ve learned:

  • Before you start, take a quick gander at your owner’s manual. It will tell you what all the parts are and how to use them. Nothing is rocket science, but you will need to know how to set the timer correctly, seal the lid, and close/open the steam release. A 2-minute gander at your manual will get you up to speed.
  • Liquids are key. When you feel comfortable enough to make your own recipes or experiment, the key is liquids. Soups and stews will always include them, but if throw in a few frozen chicken breasts, you’ll need to add liquids, too. A safe bet is to start with 1 cup of water or broth.
  • Make sure to clean the appliance well after every use. That means removing the seals and valves to wash in soapy water. And also scrub the bottom of the stainless steel inner pot thoroughly. This will ensure you’ll have a well-working unit whenever you use it.
  • Most cook times on recipes DO NOT include the time it takes for the pressure cooker to build up pressure or release pressure at the end. Depending on the recipe, this can can take 10 minutes or even 30 minutes. So when making a recipe for the first time, build in some extra time for this.

And now, a few favorite, tried and true Instant Pot recipes.

My recommendation for using the instant pot for the first time is to use a recipe. You can totally wing it, but I think that using a recipe that you know is going to be great is a surefire way to build your confidence and in turn, use the Instant Pot more often.

But I know it can be overwhelming. The Internet is FULL of Instant Pot recipes to try – but how do you know that they are any good?

I’m only sharing our very favorite, tried-and-true recipes. These are all recipes we make on rotation and get rave reviews. If you hit Pinterest or Facebook, you’ll be bombarded with recipes, but these are some that have been hits in our household, so they may be a good place to start.

Hard boiled eggs

via All the Nourishing Things

This is a wonderful first-time item to make in the Instant Pot. Once you’ve boiled eggs in an Instant Pot, you’ll never go back. That’s because they are quick and painless – and the eggs are perfect every time.

But the very best part – NO HASSLE PEELING. The steaming in the Instant Pot means that the shells come off in one piece. Magic!

Twice baked potatoes

via Eating on a Dime

We have basically stopped making any potatoes except for these. Make the potatoes in the Instant Pot and then you’ll finish them to perfection in a 9×13 pan. They are so hearty that they can easily be an entire meal (thanks, bacon). This Instant Pot recipe also makes enough to be great for a large family, potluck, or holiday meal.instant pot twice baked potatoes

Ham and bean soup

via Pinch of Healthy

This is the perfect way to use leftover ham and ham bones. Hold onto this after Easter dinner – you’ll love it more than the neverending ham leftovers. It’s the perfect comfort food dinner and seems much more difficult than it is. (Literally just dump and walk away.) The best part – no soaking beans! That’s right, you just put the dried (and rinsed) beans right into the pressure cooker.

Instant pot stroganoff

via A Bountiful Kitchen

If you’ve ever tried to make beef stroganoff, you know it’s a bit of a production. But this is the easiest way – and it’s even yummier than any other recipe I’ve tried. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Perfect with egg noodles. (And even better the next day.)

Mushroom rice

via Recipe Tin Eats

Technically, not written as an Instant Pot recipe, I make it solely in the pressure cooker. Simply follow the instructions in your Instant Pot (sauté function). When it’s time to add and cook the rice, just cover the Instant Pot and cook on the rice setting. Comes out yummy every time! The perfect side dish for a fancy-feeling meal.

Teriyaki fried rice with chicken and broccoli

via Life Made Sweeter

This is such a delicious and quick alternative to takeout. It’s packed with flavor and has plenty of veggies. (Bonus: It makes plenty for leftovers the next day.)

Wild rice soup 

via Little Spice Jar

This was a recommendation from my friend Amanda and it’s become part of our rotation. It’s so hearty and delicious. And it makes the perfect meal for company, too.

Healthy chicken and rice 

via iFood Real

This is a favorite of fellow writer Lauren – quick, simple and healthy. It’s the perfect choice for a quick and yummy weeknight meal.

Biscuits and gravy

via 365 Days of Crockpot

I couldn’t leave this off the list – it’s a weekend staple at our house. In my opinion, biscuits and gravy are at the top of the yummy breakfasts list. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make it in the Instant Pot – just a few minutes. You can make homemade biscuits or just go with canned. Either way, this will be a hit for breakfast lovers like me!

Do you have a favorite meal you’d like to add?

Leave it below! I am always looking for new Instant Pot recipes to add to the dinner rotation.

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A recent transplant to the country, Kim lives with her husband Ryan, son Henry, and daughter Lucy in rural Geneseo. She is a work-from-home mom with a passion for creating a beautiful, unconventional home - without sacrificing life or budget. Her perfect day includes generous doses of laughter, coffee and red wine. For more about Kim's home, projects and adventures, visit NewlyWoodwards.com.

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