The First 12 Recipes to Make in Your Instant Pot

updated Nov 15, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

So you just got an Instant Pot. Congrats! It’s going to be a game changer for weeknight dinners and your meal prep routine — not to mention dessert!

I’ve had my Instant Pot for nearly five years, but I lean on it so regularly that it feels like I’ve been using it forever. I remember, however, how confusing it can seem at first. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been using it for a couple months, bookmark this handy FAQ. It will help answer practically any question you have, from “what’s this button do?” to “who invented this thing?” and more.

When it comes to breaking your Instant Pot in, it’s a good idea to start with some basic foods and simple meals you’re already familiar with, then slowly expand your Instant Pot repertoire from there. Try making staples like eggs, sweet potatoes, rice, or lentils using just the pressure cooker function. Then move on to a recipe that uses both the sauté and pressure cooker functions, like Kalua pork, or spaghetti with meat sauce (hands down my favorite Instant Pot recipe). Once you’re familiar with how it works, then you can start really branching out and see what that thing can do.

Ready to get cooking? Here are the 12 recipes to make when you’re just getting started with an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Recipes

1 / 12
The Best Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
You'll never forget the 5:5:5 method!
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2 / 12
Instant Pot Rice
Here's how to cook any kind of rice in your Instant Pot with manual pressure.
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3 / 12
The Best Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
Instant Pot sweet potatoes cook up with irresistibly tender, creamy centers, and pressure cooking them takes half as much time as baking them in the oven.
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4 / 12
Beans in an Electric Pressure Cooker

Once you cook dried beans using the pressure cooker function on your Instant Pot, you’ll never make them on the stovetop again. A “rapid soak” of just one minute at high pressure eliminates the overnight soak, and an average cook time of 10 minutes means that you can have a fresh pot of most kinds of beans in less than an hour.

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5 / 12
Lentils in an Electric Pressure Cooker

Cooking up a batch of lentils in my Instant Pot has become a regular part of my Sunday meal prep. They’re ready in a flash, and I can use them throughout the week for salads, tacos, and grain bowls.

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6 / 12
Steel-Cut Oatmeal in the Pressure Cooker

When the Instant Pot is involved, a bowl of creamy steel-cut oats instantly becomes a weekday breakfast possibility. Get it started before going about your morning routine, and within 15 minutes breakfast is ready. Take a minute to lightly grease the pot before cooking — it will prevent excess foam and make for easier cleanup.

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7 / 12
The Best Instant Pot Spaghetti
How to make a luxurious, family-friendly spaghetti and meat sauce in your Instant Pot.
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8 / 12
Chicken Stock in an Electric Pressure Cooker

If you have an Instant Pot, using it to make chicken stock is a no-brainer. The high pressure helps get all the delicious collagen out of the bones, and after only two hours, you’re rewarded with a rich, flavorful broth that tastes like it simmered all day.

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9 / 12
Potatoes in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Remember the recipe for these tender, creamy potatoes the next time you realize you forgot the side dish, and you’ve only got about fifteen minutes. These satisfying spuds come together fast with very little effort.

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10 / 12
Pressure-Cooker Kalua Pig

I first made this ultra-tender pork shoulder recipe when I did a round of Whole30, and I’ve been making it regularly ever since. You can eat the shredded meat as is, turn it into fried rice, or add it to other recipes. I like to make everything from tacos, salads, and grain bowls, to soups, sauces, and more.

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11 / 12
Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls
Filled with chicken, rice, black beans, corn, and salsa, these burrito bowls come together quickly with an Instant Pot.
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12 / 12
The Best Hummus in the Instant Pot
Use your electric pressure cooker to turn dried chickpeas into the smoothest, creamy hummus with just five ingredients.
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