The 6 Starter Recipes That'll Make You Love Your Instant Pot (2024)

So, the internet convinced you to buy an Instant Pot. Or perhaps Santa left one on your kitchen counter. Now what? Do you try roasting some sweet potatoes or do you dive directly into a complicated lamb tagine? To find out, we asked Instant Pot experts and enthusiasts for the best recipes for newbies. Here's what they had to say:

1. Boil Some Eggs, Watch Some Tube

Coco Morante, author of the officially Instant Pot–approved cookbook The Essential Instant Pot and a forthcoming second book called The Ultimate Instant Pot, suggests you start with something very simple, like boiling eggs.

Why boil eggs in the Instant Pot when they're so easy to make on the stovetop? "In the Instant Pot, the eggs are not actually boiled, they’re steamed under pressure," says Morante. "The membrane comes away from the shell much more easily and they end up much easier to peel than regular hard-boiled eggs."

You won't need any special accessories to make hard-boiled eggs, nor are there lots of complicated steps involved: just pour a cup of water into the Instant Pot and place a steamer basket or the trivet into the pot. Gently place up to 12 eggs into the basket or on top of the trivet. Secure the lid and set the pressure release to "Sealing." Select the Manual setting and set the cooking time for 5 minutes at high pressure.

If even that seems a little intimidating, Morante suggests going to YouTube to see the Instant Pot in action. "Instant Pot has its own channel with basic tutorials, and bloggers like Jeffrey Eisner of Pressure Luck and Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo demonstrate lots of Instant Pot recipes on their channels. It makes the pressure cooker a lot less intimidating when you can watch someone else use one first," she says.

2. Make Perfectly Cooked Oatmeal

Morante also thinks that oatmeal is a great starter food for the Instant Pot. Since the electric pressure cooker takes time to come up to pressure, it's not a faster way to make oatmeal, but it is more hands-off. In a 2015 Epicurious piece, writer Nick Kindelsperger noted that making the simplest dishes in the electric pressure cooker, like lentils and oats, were what convinced him of the merit of the machine. "Steel-cut oatmeal became a reasonable weekday breakfast option," he wrote. "I shaved off only a few minutes at most. But the pressure cooker doesn't just save time—it saves effort. [It was] almost comically easy to make. It's akin to using a rice cooker instead of pot on the oven: mindlessly simple, with quality that's practically guaranteed."

Making steel-cut oats in particular is easier when you don't have to watch the pot. "You never have to worry about them foaming up and boiling over on the stovetop or in the microwave," Morante says. She likes to make brown butter steel-cut oats, using the sauté function to brown the butter in the pot before the liquid is added. "It adds depth of flavor and make your house smell amazing." she says. The pressure cooker is also conducive to hands-off batch cooking: you can make a big pot of oatmeal and store it in the fridge, taking out enough for individual breakfasts each morning.

The 6 Starter Recipes That'll Make You Love Your Instant Pot (2)

Brown Butter Steel-Cut Oatmeal

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3. Make Beans (and Hummus!)

"Beans are one of the first things that I cooked when I took my Instant Pot out of its box," Morante says. "Pressure-cooking beans is about twice as fast as cooking them on the stove. Chickpeas in particular are very forgiving, whether soaked or cooked straight from dried. When they're warm, you can blend them up into a super creamy and smooth hummus that's way better than versions made from canned beans, or anything you can get at the store." Plus, pressure-cooked dried beans don't need to be soaked ahead of time.

Kindelsperger agrees: "Black beans take a measly 22 minutes once pressure is reached, and they come out perfectly creamy, with hardly a blown skin in the bunch. Plus, with that sauté button, you can mash the beans in the pot and turn them into creamy refried beans in minutes."

The 6 Starter Recipes That'll Make You Love Your Instant Pot (4)

Instant Pot Refried Black Beans

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4. Braise Meats

Morante loves making braised or other usually slow-cooking meats, like ribs, in the Instant Pot. "Many recipes require par-boiling ribs in water to get them nice and tender, but you can cook them under pressure instead! It's way faster, and the ribs retain more of their meaty flavor this way, too," she says.

The 6 Starter Recipes That'll Make You Love Your Instant Pot (5)

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

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The Instant Pot is also great for long-simmering sauces, soups, or stews, like chicken soup or chili. Not only can you make an amazing chili in only 30 minutes, but the high pressure infuses the dish with a depth of flavor you usually only get after it has rested overnight. Plus there's the bonus, in the hotter months, of not having to have your stove on for hours.

The 6 Starter Recipes That'll Make You Love Your Instant Pot (6)

Instant Pot Chicken Stock

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5. Make Long-Cooking Vegetables

Megan Gilmore, author of the upcoming book The Fresh and Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook loves that long-cooking vegetables, like the lower-carb spaghetti squash she serves with turkey bolognese in lieu of noodles, can be made in an electric pressure cooker in record time.

The 6 Starter Recipes That'll Make You Love Your Instant Pot (2024)
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