Soooooo, you’ve taken then plunge and got an Instant Pot?! Welcome to the wonderful world of Instant Pot cooking, where you can whip up delicious home-cooked meals in far less time and with minimal amount of effort.
While it may sounds too good to be true, I assure you it’s absolutely the real deal. With the Instant Pot, it’s possible to make pretty much anything and everything, from healthy and tasty breakfasts, satisfying main dishes, and even desserts and beverages. #instantpotforthewin
And I am here to help. Yeap, I’ve eliminated the guesswork and rounded up what I think is the very best collection of Instant Pot Beginner Recipes. These dishes require a minimal amount of ingredients, budget-friendly and come together with a minimal amount of effort. Friends, I’m talking totally fail-proof recipes that you will absolutely looooove!
What is an Instant Pot and How Does It Work?
An Instant Pot is a sealed pot with a valve that controls the steam pressure inside. It cooks food by creating heat under a tight seal, creating a temperature much higher than the boiling point of water. This higher temperature cooks food faster than stovetop or oven methods.
Instant Pots are available in 3-quart, 6-quart, and 8- quart sizes. It’s helpful to know what size you have so you can make any recipe adjustments before starting to cook.
Why You’ll ♡ It
- Cooking with the Instant Pot means you can serve up a delicious, home-cooked meal in less time than it takes to hit the local drive-thru or order takeout. It really is faster than fast food!
- It’s soooooo easy. Add your ingredients to the Instant Pot and then just set it and forget it while the Instant Pot does the rest of the work for you.
- Meal Prep is a breeze! The Instant Pot makes it so quick and simple to whip up all sorts of dishes in advance so you can eat affordable, healthy meals all week long.
Instant Pot Basics
While you should definitely make sure you review the instruction manual that comes with your pressure cooker, following are some of the terms you should become familiar with:
- Cooker Base – this is the outer housing of the Instant Pot that contains the heating element and microprocessor.
- Inner Pot – the inner pot that is positioned inside the cooker base, where the food and liquid are placed.
- Steam Release Handle – this is the moveable valve on top of the lid.
- Float Valve – the silver or red pin on the lid next to the steam release handle. When it is up, the Instant Pot is fully pressurized, and when it drops down it is no longer pressurized and is safe to open
- Sealing – the process of putting the lid on, locking it, and turning the steam release handle to the sealing position.
- Sealing Ring – the silicone ring that is placed along the outer edge inside the lid. It must be in the proper position in order for the Instant Pot to build pressure.
- Venting – the process of turning the steam release handle to the venting (not sealed) position.
- Steam Rack / Trivet – this is the stainless steel rack that comes with the Instant Pot. It is placed inside the bottom of the inner pot and used to keep food or dishes out of the water when cooking.
- Quick Pressure Release (QPR) – also referred to as a manual pressure release, Flipping the steam release handle to “venting” to let steam out manually.
- Natural Pressure Release (NPR) – when cooking time is done, allowing for the Instant Pot to fully depressurize on its own.
The First 3 Things You Should Cook in Your Instant Pot
To make your foray into Instant Pot cooking a total success, I recommend you make these 3 must-try recipes first. They are the type of no-fuss, simple dishes to build your Instant Pot confidence. And trust me when I say that once you discover just how quick and easy these recipes are, you’ll be ready to try many more!
Recipe #1: Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
Cooking frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot is fast, incredibly easy, and turns out perfectly moist and tender every time.
Recipe #2: Instant Pot Broccoli
Making broccoli in the Instant Pot is so incredibly simple. It seriously takes no time at all (really, you set the timer for 0 minutes!) to whip up gorgeous green broccoli.
Recipe #3: Instant Pot Rice – 4 Ways
The Instant Pot creates an ideal environment for cooking rice that turns out perfect every time. With almost no effort at all (simply add you ingredients, set it, and walk away), you can cook up all sorts of delicious rice dishes.
Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
Yeap, you can make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. Easy to make in than 45 minutes, you’ll love this moist and flavorful rotisserie style chicken.
Smoky Instant Pot Chicken Thighs (using fresh or frozen)
Make deliciously juicy chicken thighs from fresh of frozen right in the Instant Pot. An easy main course that’s perfect for weekly meal prep too.
This one-pot dish is affordable, quick, and easy to make, yet full of amazing Mediterranean flavors. Sunday suppers just got a whole lot simpler, thanks to the Instant Pot.
Super Simple Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Pork Chops are juicy, fork-tender, and super flavorful. Make this easy pork chops recipe using fresh or frozen pork chops.
Flavorful and juicy meatballs in a herby tomato sauce all cooked up in the Instant Pot in just 5 minutes? Yes please!
This easy Instant Pot Applesauce tastes just like warm apple pie. After one taste, you’ll never go back to the store-bought variety again.
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes are incredibly easy to make with only 2 ingredients and less than 30 minutes. A perfect side dish, you can also serve them as a main course or even dessert.
Just 5 ingredients and 25 minutes are all that’s needed to make the fluffiest, most delicious Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.
No need to turn on the oven, this recipe for making delicious Baked Potatoes in the Instant Pot is quick, easy and totally fuss-free.
Adoreb by kids and adults alike, this is homemade creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese that’s easily made in the Instant Pot in less than 10 minutes.
This easy Instant Pot Oatmeal recipe packs an extra delicious punch with the addition of chocolate. Serve it as a warm and comforting breakfast or an indulgent dessert.
This hearty breakfast casserole is easily made with just 6 ingredients and can be enjoyed warm or cold.
This is iconic comfort food at its best. Instant Pot Meatloaf is easy to make and full of flavor. And this version is suitable for gluten free diets, since it uses almond meal instead of breadcrumbs.
Making Instant Pot Brownies is so easy, you may never want to turn on the oven again! These decadent brownies, made with pumpkin, turn out incredibly fudgy and super moist every time.
Looking for a healthy treat? These delicious Instant Pot Baked Apples comes together with 5 minutes of cook time and just 4 pantry staple ingredients.
Easy Instant Pot Soup Recipes
Thick, hearty and comforting classic tomato soup is an easy to make dump and start Instant Pot recipe.
Packed full of delicious vegetables, juicy chicken, and zesty Mexican flavors, this Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup is an easy recipe the whole family will love.
Easy to whip up and packed full of flavor, this creamy vegan butternut squash soup is satisfying, filling and good for you!
This hearty, satisfying split pea soup is simply bursting with classic Moroccan spices. Easy to make and suitable for vegan and gluten free diets.
Extremely easy to make with affordable pantry staples, this classic chili is ready to serve in just 25 minutes.
Instant Pot Dump and Start Recipes
Instant Pot Bacon Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. This is a one pot, dump and start recipe that is ready to serve in just minutes.
Made with everyday pantry essentials, this is a true dump and start recipe that is super satisfying and super delicious.
This is dish is full of complex flavors, yet is so simple to make. If you like peanuts and chicken, you will absolutely love the traditional African flavor combinations in this quick and easy recipe.
A healthier take on a traditional Southern side dish, Instant Pot Collard Greens is packed full of soul food flavor and ready in half the time of the stovetop method.
Instant Pot Rice Recipes
Super easy, budget-friendly, and so versatile, this delicious Instant Pot Rice and Vegetables recipe is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.
This fail-proof easy Instant Pot brown rice recipe requires minimal effort and turns out perfectly cooked and fluffy every single time.
Instant Pot Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) is a quick and easy way to indulge in a traditional sweet treat. This recipe comes together so easily, and with just a few everyday ingredients.
More Instant Pot Resources
A comprehensive collection of my favorite accessories, cookbooks, and some fun unique gift ideas.
This collection of 18 Instant Pot Tips and Tricks will help you get the most out of your Instant Pot.
Thank you for reading my Instant Pot Beginner Recipes post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.