With so many recipes, techniques, and kitchen tools to learn about, cooking can seem daunting to beginners. However, the path to becoming an accomplished home cook is not as difficult as it may appear. With the right guidance and recipes, anyone can whip up delicious meals with ease. This is especially true with the rise in popularity of multi-cooker appliances like the Instant Pot, which streamline cooking processes that once seemed time-consuming and labor-intensive.
With the ability to pressure cook, slow cook, and sauté in one pot, it’s no wonder busy home cooks have embraced this versatile appliance. The Instant Pot’s preset buttons and functions make cooking foolproof even for complete novices. All you need are simple recipes specifically designed for the Instant Pot to get started.
Here are ten must-try Instant Pot recipes perfect for beginners.
1. Chicken Noodle Soup
Nothing beats a steaming bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup when you’re feeling under the weather. Cook chicken breasts in an Instant Pot along with vegetables like carrots, celery, and onion. Remove the chicken and shred it, then return it to the pot along with egg noodles. Pressure cook for just a few minutes until the noodles are tender. You’ll have soothing, soul-warming soup ready to be ladled into bowls and enjoyed.
2. Cannellini Beans
A steaming bowl of cannellini beans is a great side dish option. You can also serve it as a healthy snack for your kids.
To prepare this Instant Pot cannellini beans recipe, place some beans in a strainer, give them a thorough rinse, and allow them to drain. Transfer the rinsed beans to an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Mix in 8 cups of water, one teaspoon of fine sea salt, rosemary, and garlic. Secure the lid of the pot and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking beans. Once cooked, the beans will be tender and flavorful, ready to be used as a side dish or in your desired culinary creations.
3. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs make for a quick, protein-packed breakfast or snack. Simply place eggs in the pot with a cup of water, secure the lid, and use the Egg function. In just a few minutes, you’ll have eggs ready to peel and enjoy. The shells slip right off, and the yolks come out perfectly cooked.
4. Beef Stew
For a hearty, comforting meal, beef stew is a classic choice. But traditional beef stew recipes require hours of cooking on the stove to let the flavors develop. With the Instant Pot, you can have fall-apart tender beef and vegetables ready in a rich sauce in under an hour.
Start with searing the beef to brown it, then add your vegetables and seasonings and cook on high pressure for 25-35 minutes. The results are just as delicious as stovetop stew but with a fraction of the hands-on time. This is a great recipe for chilly nights when you want a filling dinner without spending all day in the kitchen.
5. Mac and Cheese
Nothing says comfort food like some delicious mac and cheese. While stovetop versions require constant stirring, this Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe couldn’t be simpler.
Combine dry pasta and cheese with milk and butter. Pressure cook for just 4 minutes, then stir until smooth and creamy. For extra decadence, mix in shredded cheese once cooked. You’ll have the ultimate cheesy pasta ready in under 30 minutes. This quick mac and cheese is sure to become a dinnertime staple.
6. Butter Chicken
Butter chicken is an Indian takeout favorite, but it can take quite some time if you make it on the traditional stove. Beginners don’t need to get intimidated by this dish anymore. They can master it at home with the Instant Pot.
Simply marinate chicken thighs in yogurt, spices like garlic, ginger, coriander, and garam masala. Pressure cook until tender. Make an easy tomato butter sauce and add the cooked chicken. Serve over basmati rice for a flavorful meal that the whole family will love.
7. Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes make a simple, satisfying side dish, but baking them in the oven takes over an hour. With the Instant Pot, you can have perfectly cooked baked potatoes in a fraction of the time.
Rub scrubbed, dried russet potatoes with oil and prick several times with a fork. Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot and place a steamer basket with potatoes inside. Pressure cook on high for just 15-20 minutes. When done, the potatoes will be fluffy on the inside with crispy skin on the outside. Top them with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, or anything else you crave.
Creamy risotto is comfort food at its finest. Skip all the stirring required for stovetop risotto by making this easy Instant Pot version. Sauté aromatics like onion and garlic, then add arborio rice and broth. Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese for a rich flavor and texture.
9. Pork Carnitas
Traditional carnitas require hours of braising, but this Instant Pot recipe cuts the time way down. Start with rubbing pork shoulder with Mexican spices. Marinate it for an hour, then add the mixture to the pot with chicken broth and orange juice. Pressure cook, then broil or pan-fry to crisp it up. You can serve the fall-apart tender pork on tacos, burritos, or nachos for an easy weeknight meal.
Yes, you can make cheesecake in an Instant Pot! For a silky smooth texture, blend cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into a greased pan and place on a trivet in the pot. Pressure cook, then chill overnight. The result will be a decadent, classic cheesecake everyone will love.
With the right recipes tailored for the Instant Pot, even novice cooks can whip up amazing meals with ease. The Instant Pot takes the guesswork out of cooking times and methods, delivering perfect results every time. From side dishes like beans and baked potatoes to mains like butter chicken, the options for beginner-friendly Instant Pot meals are endless. Give some of these recipes a try to enjoy tasty homemade meals your whole family will love.