Best Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners

This collection of the Best Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners is exactly what you need to start cooking in the Instant Pot! Whether you’re just starting your Instant Pot journey or a seasoned pro, these easy Instant Pot recipes are fast, affordable, and so simple, you’ll want to make again and again.

A collage of instant pot meals

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.

In addition to pressure cooking, most Instant Pot models can also act as a slow cooker, and many have additional function settings such as sauté, stew, rice, and yogurt.

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.

Instant pot quick start guide image

Why You’ll ♡ It

  1. 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! 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Tools Needed

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.

the completed instant pot frozen chicken breast recipe served in a ceramic dish

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.

instant pot broccoli with chilli and lemon

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.

overhead view of large black bowl containing white rice with a spoon sticking out

Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken

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.

Learn how to EASILY cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot in less than 45 mins. This is a simple and easy-to-follow Instant Pot recipe that can be modified to suit your needs. Paleo, Keto, and Whole 30 diet friendly. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #instantpotwholechicken #pressurecookerwholechicken

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.

overhead shot of instant pot chicken thighs on a plate

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – 2 Ways

This flavorful shredded chicken recipe is made even easier thanks to the Instant Pot. A versatile dish that can be turned into so many different meals.

A bowl of instant pot shredded chicken

Instant Pot Really Easy Chicken Curry

This flavorful Instant Pot Chicken Curry is easy to make and way better than takeout!

spoon inside large bowl of instant pot chicken curry on top of countertop

Easy Mediterranean Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes

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.

the best instant pot chicken and potatoes inside the instant pot insert

Easy Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken and Rice.

Flavorful Hawaiian Chicken and Rice is a family favorite meal that’s ready to serve in 30 minutes.

the finished instant pot chicken and rice served on a white plate and next to the instant pot

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

This flavorful authentic Filipino dish is a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

instant pot adobo chicken served in a ceramic dish

Super Simple Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Pork Chops

Instant Pot Pork Chops are juicy, fork-tender, and super flavorful. Make this easy pork chops recipe using fresh or frozen pork chops.

overhead shot of instant pot pork chops in a salad bowl with a fork in a piece of pork chops

Easy Instant Pot Meatballs

Flavorful and juicy meatballs in a herby tomato sauce all cooked up in the Instant Pot in just 5 minutes? Yes please!

Instant Pot Applesauce

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.

2 jars of instant pot applesauce with a teaspoon

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes

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.

Instant Pot Sweet Potato with almonds and raspberries

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Just 5 ingredients and 25 minutes are all that’s needed to make the fluffiest, most delicious Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.

Looking for the best Instant Pot Mashed Potato recipe? These dreamy Instant Pot mashed potatoes are creamy, fluffy, and come together in just about 30 mins. #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #mashedpotato #mashedpotatoes #instantpotmashedpotato #instantpotmashedpotatoes

Perfect Instant Pot Baked 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.

An instant pot baked potato in a bowl with some butter and a spoon

Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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.

blue bowl containing instant pot mac and cheese with a spoon inside

Instant Pot Oatmeal with Chocolate

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.

3 bowls of instant pot oatmeal with chocolate

Instant Pot Breakfast Casserole

This hearty breakfast casserole is easily made with just 6 ingredients and can be enjoyed warm or cold.

pressure cooker breakfast casserole

Instant Pot Meatloaf

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.

Instant Pot Brownies

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.

Instant Pot Brownies On a table

Instant Pot Baked Apples

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. 

Instant Pot Apple Cider

Instant Pot Apple Cider is so simple to make and full of amazing flavor.

two glasses filled with instant pot apple cider

Easy Instant Pot Soup Recipes

Creamy Instant Pot Tomato Soup

Thick, hearty and comforting classic tomato soup is an easy to make dump and start Instant Pot recipe.

Instant Pot Tomato Soup servved in a ceramic bowl and topped with sliced almonds and chopped fresh herbs

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

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.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Easy to whip up and packed full of flavor, this creamy vegan butternut squash soup is satisfying, filling and good for you!

A bowl of instant pot butternut squash soup

Instant Pot Moroccan Split Pea Soup

This hearty, satisfying split pea soup is simply bursting with classic Moroccan spices. Easy to make and suitable for vegan and gluten free diets.

overhead view of instant pot split pea soup with a spoon sticking out of the soup

Easy Instant Pot Chili

Extremely easy to make with affordable pantry staples, this classic chili is ready to serve in just 25 minutes.

overhead view of instant pot chilli in a large pot

Instant Pot Dump and Start Recipes

Dump and Start Instant Pot Black Bean Stew

Dump and Start Instant Pot Black Beans Stew is easy to make and full of great Mexican flavor.

a bowl of instant pot black beans stew served with sliced avocado

Dump and Start Creamy Bacon Pasta

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.

Instant Pot Creamy Bacon Pasta served in a ceramic bowl with a large spoon

Dump and Start Garlic Butter Spaghetti

Made with everyday pantry essentials, this is a true dump and start recipe that is super satisfying and super delicious.

Instant Pot Spaghetti served on a blue ceramic plate with a silver fork and cloth napkin

Dump And Start Instant Pot African Cinnamon Peanut Butter Chicken

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.

instant pot peanut chicken served in a blue bowl and garnished with parsley

Dump and Start Instant Pot Collard Greens

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

Easy Instant Pot Rice and Vegetables

Super easy, budget-friendly, and so versatile, this delicious Instant Pot Rice and Vegetables recipe is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.

the finished Instant Pot Rice recipe inside the Instant Pot

Easy Instant Pot Brown Rice

This fail-proof easy Instant Pot brown rice recipe requires minimal effort and turns out perfectly cooked and fluffy every single time.

Here is how to make the perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice with only 3 ingredients and less than 30 mins. It is easy, aromatic and fail-safe. #instantpotbrownrice #instantpotrice #pressurecookerbrownrice #howtocookbrownbasmatirice #howtocookbrownrice #glutenfree #vegan #veganrice #rice

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

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

Must Have Instant Pot Accessories

A comprehensive collection of my favorite accessories, cookbooks, and some fun unique gift ideas.

Instant Pot Tips and Tricks

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.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Bintu,
    I hope you had a great Christmas, and Santa brought most of what you wanted. I don’t remember if I mentioned to you the last time I texted you, I have a “Crock Pot Express”, mine was the model that was recalled, (I’m still awaiting the replacement lid). With your vast amount of followers, could you PLEASE advise your flock, to check with Sunbeam, (the manufactures) of the recall. This could save them from being scalded.