Easy Instant Pot Recipes & Tips

Easy Instant Pot Recipes & Tips –  tips to learn how to use your new Instant Pot electric pressure cooker; plus 13 easy recipes! Learn what you can cook in the Instant Pot, how much liquid to use, how to clean it, and more! Once you have the basics down, start cooking some of our favorite recipes – pasta, soup, stews, sandwiches, side dishes, and desserts!

photo of instant pot with text overlay

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What is an Instant Pot?

  • What is an Instant Pot? Instant Pot is a name brand of electric pressure cookers. Depending on the model, the Instant Pot can also be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker.
  • What is a pressure cooker? A pressure cooker is a sealed pot with a lot of steam inside that builds up high pressure and helps food cook faster.
    • The high pressure helps force liquid and moisture into the food quickly.
    • Food cooks faster in high pressure.
    • The extra liquid and moisture that the pressure adds help tough cuts of meat get very tender very quickly.

Instant Pot Tips for Beginners

  • Use at least half a cup of liquid when using the pressure cooker.
  • When pressure cooking, always ensure the steam release handle/valve or quick release button is in the “sealing” position.
  • The Instant Pot takes about 10 to 15 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. So if a recipe lists a 30-minute cooking time, it will be ready to eat in about 45 minutes.
  • Recipes may indicate to use of the Manual or Pressure Cook Program. These terms mean the same thing.
  • How do I clean the Instant Pot? The inner pot of the cooker, the sealing ring, the lid, and the steam rack are all dishwasher safe. Clean the exterior of the cooker base with a damp cloth. Be careful NOT to get the inside of the cooker wet. You can wipe it with a slightly damp cloth if necessary.
    • I like to put the lid on the top rack of the dishwasher. Don’t forget to remove the anti-lock shield on the bottom of the lid before washing.
  • Make sure not to overfill the Instant Pot. Do not go above the fill line on the stainless steel pot.

Quick vs Natural Release?

When cooking with a pressure cooker, you have to release the steam that has built up in the cooker. There are two types of steam release: quick release and natural release.

  • When a recipe calls for “quick release” at the end of the cooking time, you are going to open the valve on the top of the cooker to let the steam out of the cooker quickly.
    • Keep the Instant Pot away from cabinets and your face!
    • Quick release is done when the pressure pin drops down.
  • When a recipe calls for “natural release” at the end of the cooking time, you are basically going to do nothing until you see the pressure pin drop down.
    • The lid won’t open until the pressure is low enough, just be sure not to force it open.
    • I like to open the steam valve and release any pressure before opening it to ensure there is no built-up pressure in the cooker.

Which Instant Pot is the Best?

I have the Instant Pot 6qt 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker. Which model you buy will depend on what you want to do with it. My model is an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, warmer, and sterilizer. Some models can also sous vide, air fry, roast, bake, and dehydrate.

Keep reading to get our favorite recipes to make in the Instant Pot. All of the recipes were made in a 6-quart pressure cooker. If you are using a different size of Instant Pot cooking times may vary.

Click on the photo or recipe titles to go to the page with the recipe.

instant pot of chicken bacon pasta

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta

pulled pork sandwiches on a platter

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

bowl of beef stew & cornbread

Instant Pot Beef Stew

sloppy joe sandwiches on cutting board

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

stirring mashed potatoes topped with butter

Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes

bowl of penne a la vodka

Instant Pot Penne Alla Vodka

ladle of southwestern pork stew

Instant Pot Southwestern Pork Stew

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

cheesecake with an instant pot in the background and text overlay

The BEST Instant Pot Cheesecake

bowl of taco pasta in front of an instant pot with text overaly

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

bowl of chicken & sausage jambalaya soup

Instant Pot Jambalaya Soup

twirling fork into a plate of spaghetti

Instant Pot Cream Cheese Spaghetti

cup of boiled peanuts

Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts


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