The Instant Pot is the perfect appliance for busy families because it allows you to whip up healthy, delicious meals in record time. Here are 10 tasty recipes your kids (and you) are guaranteed to love.
The Instant Pot makes meal prep a total breeze. Most recipes allow you to just dump all the ingredients directly in the pot—even stuff that needs to be sautéed. This minimizes the need for extra pots and pans.
And even better, you can put practically every piece of your Instant Pot in the dishwasher.
Finding the Perfect Instant Pot
While most people are at least passingly familiar with this popular cooking appliance, let’s take a quick look at the Instant Pot before we dig into some recipes. This electric pressure cooker has tons of cool features that allow you to use it for slow or rice cooking, or even making yogurt.
You might be tempted to buy some off-brand pressure cooker, but it’s wise to stick with a company that has dialed in and tested safety features. The Instant Pot features a stainless-steel interior pot, state-of-the-art functions, and a solid locking lid.
Plus, all the recipes below have been tested with an authentic Instant Pot. If you have another brand, keep in mind that cooking times might be different.
Here are the most popular Instant Pot sizes:
- Six-quart: This is the perfect size for families of three to five people, and all the recipes below will work with it.
- Eight-quart: Ideal for larger families, this size is also perfect if you want to make double batches of recipes.
- Three-quart: This one is ideal for one person or couples. If you have any kids, though, we suggest sizing up to accommodate increasing appetites.
Most importantly, make sure your Instant Pot has a yogurt function. The wonderful world of homemade yogurt will change your life (and save you money).
Considering getting an air fryer, as well? You’re in luck because you can now turn your Instant Pot into an air fryer for an extra $80.
Seriously, the Instant Pot can do it all!
Mac and Cheese
This classic kid’s dish is an all-time favorite, bound to satisfy the pickiest of kids (and adults).
Even though the boxed kind is cheap and easy to make, there’s nothing quite like a fresh pot of homemade mac and cheese. Trust us: dinner is a breeze when you let the Instant Pot handle the cooking. Try this simple recipe from Pinch of Yum.
Want to sneak more veggies into your child’s diet? Try this tasty Hidden Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese recipe, which has options to make it vegan or gluten-free if desired. Your kids won’t even know it’s healthy!
If you do a cost comparison of homemade versus store-bought applesauce, you don’t save much.
The real benefit of making your own is being able to tweak the flavors. For example, you can stick with the basics or transform it into delicious Strawberry Applesauce. You can also toss in some mangoes, blueberries, or whatever you want!
Plus, you can teach your kids how to make food from scratch. Have them peel a barrel of apples. They can even do the chopping, if they’re old enough. Sprinkle on some cinnamon, push the buttons, and let the magic happen!
Then, try making this moist Applesauce Cake. Yes, you can even make a cake in your Instant Pot. Cool!
Summer is the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of Sloppy Joes. Enjoy them outside, then you can just toss your messy kids in the inflatable pool afterward (a regular hose will do the trick, too).
All you need for this recipe is beef, onions, garlic, and a few condiments. You cook up the beef first, using the “sauté” button on your Instant Pot. Then, add in everything else, and let the Instant Pot keep the mess contained.
This basic Sloppy Joes recipe will get you started, but don’t forget the buns!
Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice
This simple recipe is perfect for busy families craving a satisfying, no-hassle, home-cooked dinner. Within five minutes, you can have a piping hot meal ready for your hungry family. That’s what we call convenience!
We love this recipe because it’s a one-pot dish, meaning you don’t have to make the rice separately.
For recipes that require the rice to be made separately, follow these instructions. Also, be sure to use the Pressure Cook button, not the Rice button!
As we mentioned above, make sure you get an Instant Pot with a Yogurt function. Worried you might never use it? Well, we’re here to tell you it’s crazy easy! And yes, the yogurt tastes absolutely divine.
To get started, you’ll need ultra-pasteurized whole milk and unsweetened Greek yogurt. That’s it! There’s no need for fancy yogurt starters, gelatin, or even sweeteners (you can add those later if you want).
It’s really easy to make your own creamy, rich yogurt. Just mix 6.5 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt. Then, cover your Instant Pot with a glass lid and set the Yogurt button for 8 hours. Chill it in the fridge afterward, and then enjoy!
You can even use your yogurt to make scrumptious homemade popsicles—perfect on those hot summer days.
Spaghetti with Sauce
No longer do you have to worry about carrying huge pots of boiling water to the sink with toddlers scrambling underfoot! You can cook a full spaghetti dinner safely in your Instant Pot. Just make sure to keep those curious little fingers away, since the Instant Pot can release a lot of hot steam during the cooking process.
With this easy recipe from The Salty Marshmallow, you simply add the beef, dry noodles, and sauce. Set the pot, and then let it do its work. Easy! You can even sub gluten-free noodles if you want.
If you want to skip the meat, check out this tasty vegetarian version.
Making mashed potatoes has never been easier. Simply peel and chop the potatoes, and then add them to the Instant Pot. Afterward, you can mash them right in the pot, keeping those dirty dishes to a minimum.
Going carb-free? This Mashed Cauliflower recipe is so yummy, your kids won’t even know it’s not potatoes. Score!
Chicken Noodle Soup
Looking for some warm, nurturing comfort? Nothing beats a steaming cup of chicken noodle soup. It’s a soothing, feel-good addition to any meal, no matter the season. Try this easy recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can still enjoy the chicken noodle taste with this vegan recipe.
Did you know you can make desserts in the Instant Pot, too? We love this Blackberry Cobbler recipe because it’s so simple, yet incredibly delicious.
Plus, it’s got berries, so it’s totally healthy! Pair it with your homemade yogurt, and you’ll have the makings of a wonderful breakfast, snack, or dessert.
You can check out the video above for step-by-step instructions.
Deciding whether to feed your baby homemade or store-bought baby food is a personal decision. If you’re on the fence, we’re here to tell you that making baby food is incredibly fast and easy with an Instant Pot.
Once the baby food mixture cools, transfer it to some silicone baby food trays, and then freeze it for individual servings. You can make enough baby food in one weekend to last for months!
Once you start exploring the world of Instant Pot recipes, you’ll be amazed at how easy they are to prepare. You can even get the kids involved (just keep those little hands away from the steaming lid). And definitely double the batches to enjoy the yumminess all week long (or freeze for later).