I wasn’t an easy convert to the Instant Pot and when I finally jumped in, to be completely honest, it was hard to find the best beginner Instant Pot recipes. Actually, it was hard to even find good Instant Pot recipes at all — and I still think there are a lot of janky IP recipes out there.
Though the Instant Pot is great at some things, it’s just not good at everything. Still, I admit that that the great Instant Pot recipes have changed the way that I cook.
So I’m sharing my original list of all-star, must-try beginner Instant Pot recipes that I first discovered when I was first starting out — perfect for those of you who may have gotten a new Instant Pot for the holidays, or are just new to the growing community of Instant Pot converts.
This post has been updated for 2022
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Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli | Pressure Cooking Today
The big promise of the Instant Pot is that it will cook, well, nearly instantly. The truth is, while it dramatically cuts cooking time, some of the best IP recipes can still take 30, 40, or even 50 minutes. While the cooking time is hands off, that can’t always compete with take out. However this Pressure Cooker Beef and Broccoli recipe from Pressure Cooking Today is a different story. With a cook time of just 12 minutes, you can whip this up on even your craziest nights making it a terrific beginner Instant Pot recipe.Pressure Cooker Chili | Alton Brown for The Food Network
Of course Alton Brown has mastered the Instant Pot! And even better, he did so with a classic dish so that you can return to over and over, with this Pressure Cooker Chili recipe at Food Network. I especially love that you can make it with any kind of meat you want, so that you can keep changing this up.
Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowl | Wondermom Wannabe
This Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowl at Wondermom Wannabe may look unassuming, but a few of our team members swear by it as a wonderful beginner Instant Pot recipes that will please all kinds of families. Using chicken breasts as the work horse, it couldn’t be easier to make and serves up a super tasty meal in minutes that has kid-approved written all over it.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Stew | Chelsea’s Messy Apron
This Instant Pot recipe for Sweet Potato Stew (with meat) at Chelsea’s Messy Apron is another CME team-approved find that’s great for beginners who want to go beyond the usual. The recipe was written for a slow cooker, but you can easily adapt it for your Instant Pot.
Tip: Before doing anything else, jump to step five and toss the meat with flour, salt, and pepper. Then, using the saute function on your Instant Pot, brown the meat. Remove the meat and set aside before sautéing the onion and celery. Finally, return the meat to the Instant Pot with the onion and celery, add everything else, and use manual mode to cook the stew for the last 20 minutes.
Instant Pot Moroccan Sticky Chicken | Bare Root Girl
You can never go wrong with drumsticks when feeding a family, and I love the global twist on this recipe for Instant Pot Moroccan Sticky Chicken at Bare Root Girl. The thing is, drumsticks tend to be best with crispy skin, something that the Instant Pot doesn’t generally do well. This recipe takes two precautions to make sure that these drumsticks are tasty even without oven-crisped or deep-fried skin: browning the drumsticks before cooking and glazing them in a sauce — all done in the IP. Genius.Instant Pot Maple Smoked Brisket | Bare Root Girl
While at Bare Root Girl (can you tell I love her recipes?), you should also check out this Maple Smoked Brisket, which is a terrific beginner Instant Pot recipe! That’s because brisket is exactly the kind of thing that cooks perfectly in the Instant Pot, and the smoky-sweet combination of flavors makes this version irresistible. Serve up with this meal on one those lingering cold nights with mashed potatoes, or creamy whipped parsnips; or if you live where it’s warm these days, shred the meat for BBQ sandwiches.
Instant Pot Picadillo | SkinnyTaste
I love Cuban food — like really love it — and am all over the Instant Pot Picadillo that I found at SkinnyTaste while putting together one an early weekly meal plans. This instantly (ha, see what I did there?) became an easy instant pot recipe that I keep in regular rotation for super quick weeknight meals. All it needs on the side is white rice (or another grain) and lots of fresh avocado, my favorite no-cook weeknight veggie that, yes, I know is technically a fruit.
Instant Pot made Pot Roast | Pressure Cook Recipes
If the sound of Pressure Cooker Pot Roast sounds boring, I dare you to give the recipe at Pressure Cook Recipes a try. A couple of unexpected ingredients turn this ordinary sounding dish into an umami-rich work of genius that even beginner Instant Pot users can master. Remember what I said about some Instant Pot recipes being fast only relatively speaking? This is one of them. Don’t forget to give yourself a couple of hands-off hours to prep this before cooking.
While on the Pressure Cook Recipes site, you have to try the One Pot Pressure Cooker Pasta Bolognese! (See photo, up top/bottom right.) I first discovered it while searching for Instant Pot holiday recipes. But that’s the thing about the Instant Pot — it levels the playing field, turning long-cook, holiday-worthy meals into everyday meals the family will love. While I admit that this is not the kind of recipe that’s going to serve up perfectly al dente pasta (so skip it if you’re a stickler for how your pasta is cooked), it will make a family favorite dinner in just minutes — 30 to be exact — and that includes prep time. Plus the benefit of one pot and done makes this Instant Pot recipe a keeper.
Instant Pot Chicken Pho | Nom Nom Paleo
Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo was one of the first professional food writers to convince me that an Instant Pot was worth giving a shot. Now that I’ve been using mine for a while, I know why — Michelle uses her own Instant Pot for exactly the kinds of dishes that it’s great at making, like this Instant Pot Chicken Pho. This recipe, from a cookbook author widely considered an authority on Vietnamese cooking, is divine. In fact, it’s already become my go-to, all-purpose chicken soup recipe for my family.