So, you’ve just bought yourself an Instant Pot. Now what? The idea of pressure cooking can be a little intimidating. Which settings do you use? When should you use quick release versus natural release? Mastering a handful of basic recipes will have you cooking like a pro in no time. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 25 of the easiest Instant Pot recipes to get you started.
You’ll find lots of easy main dishes, a handful of side dishes and snacks, and even a few breakfast recipes if you’d like to start your day with your Instant Pot. It will quickly become your favorite kitchen gadget!
Easiest Instant Pot Main Dishes and Sides
Here are some of the easiest Instant Pot recipes from here at The Inspiration Edit and from some fantastic cooking blogs to help you learn and master your newest kitchen appliance.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese from The Inspiration Edit: Every mom needs a good mac and cheese recipe. We absolutely adore all types of mac and cheese in our home—gourmet mac and cheese, the boxed kind, and especially this Instant Pot version that’s ready in about 30 minutes. It’s cheesy, creamy, and dreamy—you don’t want to miss it!
Shredded Chicken Tacos from Skinny Comfort: Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot easier. Even if you’ve forgotten to defrost your chicken, you can toss frozen breasts in the instant pot and still have an easy meal ready for your family in no time. Shredded chicken is also yummy on baked potatoes if tacos aren’t on the menu tonight.
Spicy Marinara Sauce from The Inspiration Edit: If you don’t have a go-to marinara sauce to pour over pasta for a quick meal, tuck this one into your recipe box. It’s so delicious, and that little kick of heat from the red pepper flakes takes it from “meh” to “marvelous!”
Honey Garlic Chicken from Nourish Plate: Your whole family will devour this sweet and savory chicken that cooks in less than 20 minutes. This dump and start recipe yields juicy and tender chicken every time and is an excellent choice for beginners.
Instant Pot Meatballs from The Inspiration Edit: Turn ordinary frozen meatballs into deliciously-flavored meatballs that are just begging to be put on a hearty sub. Combined with tomato sauce, green bell peppers, onions, and sauteed garlic, they’ll taste just like homemade without all the fuss.
Instant Pot Brown Rice from Feast for a Fraction: Brown rice is a healthy side to add to your meat and veg dinners, so why not make it easier on yourself and cook it in the Instant Pot instead of on the stovetop? In about 20 minutes, it’ll be ready to serve along with the rest of your meal.
BBQ Pulled Pork from The Inspiration Edit: When you can’t get to your favorite BBQ joint, making pulled pork at home is the next best thing. Our BBQ Pulled Pork is tender and delicious and tastes amazing piled high on a soft bun. You could also use it to make BBQ nachos or a loaded BBQ baked potato.
20-Minute Chicken Burrito Bowls from Damn Delicious: Did you know that 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of pressure cooking can result in a winner, winner, chicken dinner for your family?! The chicken is super tender, and the rice is cooked along with the other ingredients, so it soaks up all those delicious flavors.
Pork Chops from Fresh or Frozen from Recipes from a Pantry: Make super easy pork chops that are fresh or frozen. Doesn’t that take the pressure off dinner? No defrosting required! All you need is some bone-in pork chops, seasonings, a little oil, and your favorite sauce or dressing.
Cuban Black Beans from Mae’s Menu: This zesty, saucy bean recipe is going to become a new favorite. Serve them with BBQ, Hispanic dishes, or add them to soups, chili, or stew. Made with pantry staples, this recipe is budget-friendly. If you like your foods on the spicier side, you’ll really like the little kick you get from the cayenne pepper. It’s so easy to double or triple these beans if you’re feeding a crowd.
Easy Penne Pasta from The Inspiration Edit: This easy penne pasta is made with cooked sausage and a creamy tomato sauce for lots of flavor. Once the sausages are sauteed, the rest of the ingredients all cook together in just 4 minutes. How simple is that?
BBQ Pulled Chicken from Babaganosh: You’ll want to make a big batch of this BBQ pulled chicken. It’s great on sandwiches, tacos, sweet potatoes, or served over rice. The onions and additional seasoning are optional—you can simply use chicken and BBQ sauce if you’d like. The recipe is easy to double without increasing the cooking time.
Corn on the Cob from The Inspiration Edit: Buttery, juicy corn on the cob is a favorite side for BBQs, potlucks, and just about any summertime family get-together. Make it in your instant pot to get that corn tender quickly! It only needs to cook for 6 minutes, followed by a natural release.
Teriyaki Meatballs from Mooshu Jenne: If you’re tired of meatballs with marinara sauce, try pineapple teriyaki meatballs instead. You can still use frozen meatballs, and the pineapple can also be fresh or frozen. Serve the meatballs over brown rice and garnish with green onions for extra flavor.
Acorn Squash from The Inspiration Edit: This would be an excellent dish to serve on Thanksgiving or anytime during the fall. While it’s technically a side dish, it’s definitely sweet enough to be a dessert. With brown sugar, butter, dates, and pecans, it has all those warm, comforting flavors you’d expect on Thanksgiving. Add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg if you’d like—pumpkin spice would be a nice addition, too.
Mexican Pot Roast from Home Cooking Memories: Make tender beef with a flavorful, tomato-based sauce right in your Instant Pot. Made with only 7 ingredients, you’ll love how easy it is. Serve the beef with simple sides or in tacos, burritos, or on your salads.
Brussels Sprouts from The Inspiration Edit: This powerhouse side dish is good for you and super quick to make in the Instant Pot. Cook them along with sauteed onions for extra flavor.
Refried Beans from Allergy Free Alaska: Ditch refried beans in a can. It’s so easy to make them in your Instant Pot without all the preservatives found in the canned variety, and it tastes even better fresh. This recipe is budget-friendly and freezes well. Make one large batch and enjoy it with your lunches or dinners all week.
Broccoli Cheese Soup from The Inspiration Edit: Looking for a keto-friendly soup for fall or winter? This creamy, delicious broccoli cheese soup needs to be added to your must-make list. It’s warm, hearty, and super cheesy.
Honey Buffalo Chicken Wings from Flavor the Moments: The sweet and spicy flavor of these sticky chicken wings is irresistible. In just 8 minutes, the chicken wings are done and ready to go under the broiler to crisp the skin. Talk about a fast appetizer or snack!
Hard-Boiled Eggs from The Inspiration Edit: Check out our deviled eggs recipe to learn how to make hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. They’re ready in just 5 minutes and are easy to peel. Eat them as is or turn them into deviled eggs, per the instructions.
Instant Pot Popcorn from My Heavenly Recipes: Enjoy a movie night at home with some super easy homemade popcorn popped right in your Instant Pot. Each batch only takes a few minutes, so even if you’re making it for a crowd, the IP is a great tool. Melt some additional butter to pour over it after it’s popped. Yum!
Easiest Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes
Perhaps you want to use your Instant Pot in the mornings. Here are a few simple breakfast recipes to get you started making your first meal of the day in a pressure cooker. Enjoy!
Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal from Project Meal Plan: This hot and hearty made-from-scratch breakfast is sure to start your mornings off right. Dump all the ingredients in, put the lid on, set it, and let it cook while you get ready for work, school, or whatever the day brings. This recipe calls for real maple syrup, so make a note of that when shopping for ingredients.
Instant Pot Grits from The Typical Mom: Cheesy grits are a southern staple for breakfast or for a side to go with dinner. No matter what time of day you serve them, you’ll love making them quickly and easily in the Instant Pot.
Banana Steel Cut Oats from Delightful Adventures: These steel-cut oats taste just like banana bread, so who wouldn’t love that first thing in the morning? Add your ingredients to the IP, set it, and forget it while you get ready. When it’s done, stir in your nuts, raisins, milk, and sweetener. It’s easy, warm, and filling.
Pin this list of the easiest Instant Pot recipes to get you started, so you’ll have plenty of simple meals to make along your journey.