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8 Actually Instant Recipes for Your Shiny New Instant Pot

General Tso's Chicken, BBQ pulled pork, and Italian Pasta.
Jo Cooks/Creme de la Crumb/Unicorns in the Kitchen

The majority of us bought an Instant Pot for quick convenient cooking, but with thousands of recipes out there, finding some that are actually instant is a challenge. If you’re looking for easy meals with minimal steps that actually make good on the promise of a relatively instant dinner, you’ve come to the right place!

The promise of the Instant Pot is all in its name—instant cooking. However, many recipes involve so many extra steps, both before and after you actually use your Instant Pot, it makes the process feel only marginally faster.

Below you’ll find eight delicious recipes that don’t require any obscure ingredients or tedious prepping.

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles

Two side-by-side images of instant pot Swedish meatballs. The left image is of the bag of frozen meatballs with a bowl of the meal and a cut off section of the instant pot and the right image displays the finished dish.
Wildly Charmed

This dump-and-go recipe is filled with the comforting flavors of a homecooked meal with minimal effort. You layer broth, milk, egg noodles, and meatballs in the order the author describes, then set your instant pot for 12 minutes.

The cream of mushroom boxed soup combined with beef broth and milk create a rich sauce. The egg noodles and cooked meatballs round out this recipe for a meal you’ll love.

Get the Recipe: Wildly Charmed

General Tso’s Chicken

A bowl of general Tso's chicken, topped with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
Jo Cooks

We’re not sure which is more convenient: Making your favorite takeout meal with the press of a button, or actually ordering out and picking it up? We’ll let you decide after you’ve tried this delicious General Tso’s Chicken recipe.

In less than 30 minutes, you can prep and sauté the chicken, then dump in the rest of the ingredients (excluding the cornstarch and water). Your Instant Pot will do the rest. Serve this with white or fried rice, and don’t forget the eggrolls!

Get the Recipe: Jo Cooks

Quick and Tasty Chili

Two side by side images of instant pot chili from Dinner at the Zoo.
Dinner at the Zoo

Chili is a winter classic, but especially when it’s filled to the brim with comforting homestyle flavors. This recipe only takes about 10 minutes of prep, then your fave kitchen sidekick will finish it all off.

Most of the prep is just cooking the meat and onions, then measuring out the spices, which makes this recipe weeknight dinner gold. Be sure to prepare your favorite toppings for a delicious chili dinner party fit for the whole family.

Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo

Creamy Mac and Cheese

A bowl of macaroni and cheese topped with chopped parsley.
The Salty Marshmallow

Creamy, cheesy macaroni is an ultimate crowd-pleaser, and now, the cook can enjoy making it, too! This recipe takes a whopping five minutes to prepare, and the bulk of that is just measuring ingredients.

You add your macaroni elbows, broth, butter, hot sauce, and spices to the pressure cooker, then set it on high for five minutes and quick release. Add in the milk and cheese, then stir. The only problem with this recipe is you don’t have time to do anything else before it’s ready.

Get the Recipe: The Salty Marshmallow

Easy Chicken and Rice

Two side by side images of instant pot chicken and rice made by Natasha's Kitchen.
Natasha’s Kitchen

This cheesy, creamy meal delivers comfort to your table in under 30 minutes. In just a fraction of the time this dish would take on the stovetop, you’ll have delicious results the whole family will love.

This recipe resembles a risotto thanks to the creamy texture, but the best part is you don’t have to stand and stir. Instead, let your Instant Pot do all the hard work.

Get the Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

BBQ Pulled Pork

A barbeque pulled pork sandwich on a plate.
Creme de la Crumb

Imagine indulging in the most tender, fall-apart barbecue pulled pork sandwich you’ve ever had without having to wait all day for it. The pressure cooker was designed to give you the same results in about a quarter of the time things usually take, so it’s time to take advantage of that!

Not much thought has to go into making this delicious meal. Just add your pork and a can of Coke (we use Dr. Pepper) to your lightly greased Instant Pot. Combine the barbecue, sugar, vinegar, and spices, then pour it all on the pork shoulder. In under an hour, you’ll have a sweet, savory treat the entire family will love devouring.

Get the Recipe: Creme de la Crumb

Easy Beef Stroganoff

Two side by side images of instant pot beef stroganoff.
Tastes Better from Scratch

This classic stroganoff is both easy to whip up and inexpensive to make. We especially love that this scratch recipe calls for aromatic onions and fresh mushrooms. It’s also ready in a flash!

Serve this up with some warm dinner rolls and/or a side salad.

Get the Recipe: Tastes Better from Scratch

Italian Sausage Pasta

A bowl of Italian pasta with sausage topped with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Unicorns in the Kitchen

Here’s another quick fix to weeknight dinners the entire family will appreciate. In under 20 minutes, you’ll have supper on the table! The bulk of prep is chopping the veggies.

Add a little protein in the form of your favorite Italian sausage, and be sure to add some cheese for a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Each bite delivers an insta-worthy cheese pull that’ll make everyone jealous.

Get the Recipe: Unicorns in the Kitchen

You bought that Instant Pot to spend less time cooking, so it’s time to make it worth the investment. These recipes are so quick, easy, and delicious, at least a few of them are sure to become regulars on your table.

Wanna save yourself even more time? Start chopping and prepping as many ingredients as possible for the week ahead in one day!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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