Quick Instant Pot Dinner Recipes
Using the Instant Pot is the best tool to getting a quick and flavorful dinner on the table. We’ve rounded up a list of 23 of our favorite Instant Pot Dinner Recipes that are sure to be an instant hit for your family!
Looking for some healthy and delicious ways to cook dinner in the Instant Pot? We’ve rounded up 23 of our favorite dinner recipes for the Instant Pot that are sure to please the whole family. From easy Beef Stroganoff to Chicken Parm Soup, we’ve got a little bit of something for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters!
Why We Love the Instant Pot for Quick Dinners
We could sing praises all day about about why we love the Instant Pot, especially for easy dinners or meal prep. This appliance is not only good for making quick work of typically long braised dishes like beef barbacoa or pork carnitas, but it’s particularly good for easy weeknight dinners that don’t actually require much hands-on cooking. We cook meals in the Instant Pot first and foremost because it is convenient, but we also love how certain dishes just taste better in the Instant Pot, such as Mac and Cheese.
Useful Instant Pot Terminology
Manual Pressure: This refers to the actual button that indicates you are using the pressure cooker function on some Instant Pot models. Some just have a button that says pressure cook.
Pressure Release Valve: This is the knob on the top of the lid of the Instant Pot that seals in the steam that creates the pressure. When you are using the pressure cooker, it should be in the “Sealing” position. It doesn’t lock tightly, but merely moves from one position to another. This is also the valve you must move when you are finished cooking to release the pressure quickly (see below).
Quick Pressure Release: A recipe will indicate how you are to release the pressure after the food has finished cooking. If it indicates Quick Pressure Release, you will move the pressure release valve to the “venting” positiong, carefully. The steam will quickly release out of the valve.
Natural Pressure Release: A recipe will indicate how you are to release the pressure after the food has finished cooking. If it indicates Natural Pressure Release, you will keep the pressure release valve to the “sealing” positiong. Sometimes a recipe will say a natural pressure release for only 10 minutes. After the machine indicates an LO 10 on the interface , you will then move the valve to the venting position and release any remaining steam. LO indicated the lapsed time since the pressure cooker timer has finished.
Liner or Pot: This is the actual vessel that you cook food in. It’s the metal inner liner that can be removed from the Instant Pot to clean.
23 Easy Instant Pot Dinner Recipes
Instant Pot Chicken Parm Soup: If you love chicken parmesan, you are going to love this. This soup is made easy in the Instant Pot with our favorite chicken, a flavorful tomato broth and topped with all the classic chicken parm flavors.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo: This is a take on the classic Filipino dish that results in tangy and savory chicken. It’s perfect for nights you need a healthy dinner but don’t feel like cooking. It’s also gluten-free, Paleo, low carb and Whole30 friendly.
Beef Stew: This dish is hearty, flavorful, packed with veggies. This stew is the perfect healthy comfort food for cold days!
Instant Pot Potato Soup: It taste just like a loaded baked potato! It’s creamy and topped with all of your favorite baked potato toppings. We tested out a few different ways to make it creamy, without any cream, if that’s what you need. And it’s made super easy, in the Instant Pot, of course!
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala: Need a great short to a flavorful weeknight dinner! This delicious dinner uses the pot in pot cooking method, which means cooking the dish *and* the rice all together right in the pressure cooker!
Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff: This classic American dish comes together quick, with minimal prep and mostly hands-off cooking thanks to the Instant Pot. It’s made using REAL ingredients and is so hearty! Make sure to omit peas for Whole30 compliance.
Buffalo Chicken Chili: Sundays for me are filled with game day cooking (my favorite)! I always try to prepare healthy game day foods and this Buffalo Chicken Chili will definitely be on the rotation. You can make this buffalo chicken chili recipe in the Instant Pot or on the stove top!
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore: This chicken dish has the best fall-of-the-bone chicken and is packed with veggies and hearty flavor! A healthier version of the classic Italian dish everyone will LOVE.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup: Hearty, warm and inviting, this Instant Pot Lentil Soup is the absolute perfect winter meal. This vegetarian soup is flavored with tomatoes, fresh herbs and a hint of spice that make this soup not only feel-good-food but just plain delicious. It’s made easily in the Instant Pot (or in your Slow Cooker) for a hands-off meal destined to make whoever it is served so happy.
Instant Pot Lemon and Veggie Risotto: This 10-minute risotto is a flavorful, bright, vibrant, and a creamy Meatless Monday meal! Loaded with broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and peas, it is the perfect dairy-free dish to celebrate the abundance of spring veggies!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken: It’s creamy, perfectly spiced and oh-s0-delicious! It’s a great weeknight dinner at the end of a busy day. This gluten and optionally dairy-free dinner is a one pot meal, thanks to the rice that cooks alongside the chicken. It’s guaranteed to be a new family favorite.
Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice: Can you ever go wrong when you add together rice, cheese, chicken and broccoli?It is an easy-to-make dinner that the whole family will love and made with a few simple whole ingredients.
Instant Pot Southwest Chicken Soup: A take on the classic soup with chicken, beans, corn and tomatoes. It is simple to make and can optionally be prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer. It’s as easy as placing all the ingredients in a freezer bag and stashing it away until you are in need of a quick weeknight. Simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight and place everything in an Instant Pot to cook at dinnertime!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese: Who know the easiest way to make Mac and Cheese was in the Instant Pot? This creamy, comforting bowl of goodness is healthier than your favorite childhood boxed kind, but just as delicious and more! This recipe for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is our new go to way of cooking it and we know once you try it, it’ll be yours too!
Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken: Ready for the juiciest chicken breasts, perfectly cooked potatoes and braised kale in sweet balsamic glaze for dinner without even turning on the stove? Then this Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken is just what you need to make tonight! This dish is perfect for those hot steamy summer nights (or cool, lazy fall or winter ones) when you want to eat a home cooked meal but don’t want to heat up the house. It’s also gluten-free, paleo, low carb and whole30 friendly.
Stuffed Pepper Soup: Loaded with all of your favorite stuffed pepper flavors, but without the hassle of having to actually stuff peppers. To make this Whole30 and Paleo friendly omit the white rice. You can substitute in cauliflower rice to cook at the end until heated through.
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Asparagus: Need a delicious light dinner that doesn’t require much cooking and is so DELICIOUS? Then this Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Asparagus is just what you need to make tonight! This seasonal and bright dinner is perfect for a night you still want something delicious but don’t want to cook much. It’s also gluten-free, paleo, low carb and whole30 friendly.
Instant Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta: This pasta comes together quickly in the pressure cooker and is packed with veggies, chicken, and creamy cajun flavor! It’s gluten-free and an easy weeknight cajun pasta recipe everybody will love!
Instant Pot Mongolian Beef: This Instant Pot Paleo Mongolian Beef is made gluten-free, soy-free, paleo-friendly, low carb, and whole30-compliant! It’s a perfect healthier version of the classic take out dish that everybody will love.
Paleo Chicken and Broccoli: This easy Chinese American style Paleo Chicken and Broccoli in the Instant Pot is so delicious and comes together so quickly! It’s gluten-free and is truly a fan favorite for good reason!
Classic Chicken Soup: There is no better cure for anything than Chicken Soup. The chicken and broth warms the soup, and the vegetables brighten everything up. It’s a classic for a reason!
Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken: Ready for the juiciest chicken breasts, perfectly cooked potatoes and braised kale in sweet balsamic glaze for dinner without even turning on the stove? This dish is perfect for those hot steamy summer nights (or cool, lazy fall or winter ones) when you want to eat a home cooked meal but don’t want to heat up the house.
Turkey Chili: This healthy comfort food in a bowl is hearty and satisfying for all of those chilly days. It is perfect for a big gathering, football Sunday festivities, or for a good weekly meal prep option since there are tons of leftovers! Make sure to omit the beans for Whole30 compliancy.
See more Instant Pot recipes here!
Quick Instant Pot Dinner Recipes
Homemade popcorn is a thousand times better than any alternative and is really simple to make. We’re talking all about the magic of how to make stovetop popcorn at home (without any fancy equipment) that you can customize to your taste.
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
If you’ve never made popcorn at home before, it may feel a little intimidating. Sure it’s easy to buy it premade, or even use packets you make in the microwave but I’m sure you can already guess what we’re going to say about that: it doesn’t taste even a fraction as delicious as homemade, it likely contains ingredients that aren’t that healthy and it’s expensive!
Making it at home is so economical (even the organic heirloom popcorn is inexpensive) and OF COURSE it tastes infinitely better–plus you can customize it at home to suit your tastes with different flavoring. We also talk about how to make Maple Kettle Corn over in this post, so be sure to check that one out too. Careful though, once you learn to make it once you might find it happening everyday!
A word on what popcorn to buy:
We don’t always recommend buying organic everything, but corn crops in this country are often sprayed with harmful chemicals. With that said, we recommend buying an organic (and non-GMO) brand of popcorn, and there are many, and if possible choosing an heirloom variety. These are available in a lot of stores, and also on Amazon. We like the brand Tiny but Mighty or Arrowhead Mills.
What you need to make homemade popcorn:
- Popcorn Kernels
- Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil
- A heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid
Tips for Making Homemade Popcorn
There are a few key factors to making sure you are successful at making homemade popcorn:
- Use a heavy bottom pan. A heavy pan conducts heat evenly and will ensure all the kernels will pop and that you won’t burn any popcorn.
- Don’t skimp on the oil! This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons coconut oil. It make seem like a lot but it is needed in order to create enough steam and heat in the pot to pop all the popcorn.
- Give the pan a good shake once the kernels have started rapidly popping. This ensures all the kernel pops.
- If at any point you see smoke–not steam, immediately turn down the heat. While this never happened during testing for us, if you accidentally cook it too high and the oil burns you’ll want to start over. This will flavor the the whole batch of popcorn like burnt.
- Keep the pan covered until the popping starts to slow down. Then you want to leave a small space to let the steam escape so you don’t get soggy popcorn.
- Season the popcorn after it’s cooked! Place it in a large bowl and immediately add the seasoning to the popcorn while it’s still hot.
- It’s best consumed while fresh.
Toppings for Homemade Popcorn
- Salt (under salted popcorn tastes bland)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Butter or ghee
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Spices (garlic powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, celery salt, oregano, curry powder, cayenne)
- Nutritional yeast
- Grated parmesan
- Truffle oil
- Balsamic vinegar or white vinegar
- Lime or lemon zest
- Make it sweet: check out this post
If you like this How To recipe, check out these others:
- How to Make Maple Kettle Corn
- How to Make Cashew Cream
- How to Make the Best Rice (Instant Pot or Stove Top)
- How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
- How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- How to Make Marshmallow Fluff
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
Homemade popcorn is a thousand times better than any alternative and is really simple to make. We're talking all about the magic of How to Make Stovetop Popcorn at home (without any fancy equipment) that you can customize to your taste.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil and two popcorn kernels and cover the pot.
- Once the popcorn has popped the oil is ready. Add the remaining popcorn kernels and return the cover. Remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds. This ensures the oil doesn't overheat.
- Return the pan to heat. Give the pan a shake every few seconds as you wait for the popcorn to start popping. Once it starts to pop rapidly give the pan a good shake to make sure the kernels pop evenly.
- Once the popping has slowed down, and let the steam vent by moving the cover on the pan slightly.
- Once all the popping has stopped, pour into a large bowl.
- Add toppings while hot and toss until it coats the popcorn evenly.
- Serve immediately.
- You can use another oil such as avocado oil.
- If at any point you smell smoke, or you see smoke (not steam) shut off the heat. You will have to start over as the oil and kernels have burned and the smell will permeate the popcorn.
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
Happy Foodie Friday with American Express! I’ll often whip up some healthy fried plantains to go along with breakfast, Mexican night dinner, lunches, and so on. Whenever I make plantains and share photos on my Instagram page, I get asked over and over how exactly I make them!