Quick Fixes: 50 Cheap and Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Cheap Instant Pot Recipes


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Cheap Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Eats

The Instant Pot craze is in full swing — and with good reason. These handy kitchen devices are a shortcut to making stews and sauces, tenderizing tough and inexpensive cuts of meat, and making most meals a snap to cook. From breakfast to dessert, the Instant Pot can help make hearty, healthy, and indulgent dishes faster and easier. Here are 50 cheap Instant Pot recipes to try at home.

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Whole Chicken

1. Whole Chicken

A whole chicken is an economical way get a few meals prepped in one go — or, if you're strategic about it, even a month of Instant Pot meals on a budget. Using the Instant Pot to cook one up following this recipe takes the guesswork out of persnickety ovens, and also makes for easy clean-up.

Instant Loss 

Related: 50 Cheap and Easy Chicken Recipes

Baby Back Ribs

2. Baby Back Ribs

These ribs are the ideal centerpiece of a meal. With the Instant Pot, it's possible to cook ribs in 25 minutes without sacrificing flavor or tenderness.

I Wash You Dry 

Related: 15 Fantastic Regional Rib Recipes

Chicken Tikka Masala

4. Chicken Tikka Masala

The most popular Indian food dish in the United States, this takeout all-star can now be made at home in less time than it takes for delivery. The Instant Pot tenderizes the meat while infusing flavors deep into every bite.


Turkey Legs

5. Turkey Legs

Turkey legs can be challenging to cook in the oven without drying out. This method keeps moisture in while cooking the meat with aromatics inside the same pot for extra flavor.

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Beef & Broccoli

6. Beef & Broccoli

Using high pressure to cook beef in a savory sauce means that even inexpensive cuts of meat will get tender and juicy. While this recipe calls for steaming the broccoli separately, frozen broccoli can be rinsed under cool water to partially thaw and then added directly to the beef to warm — no extra cooking required.

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Shepherd's Pie

7. Shepherd's Pie

Another healthy, cheap, Instant Pot recipe? Shepherd's pie. There are just four steps to create individual portions of this vegan meal. Aside from some last-minute broiling, everything for this meat-free meal is done in the Instant Pot.

The Veggie Queen

Fettuccini Alfredo

8. Fettuccine Alfredo

This is an inexpensive Instant Pot meal that takes 20 minutes from start to finish, with no need for colanders or multiple cooking vessels. Omit or substitute the chicken for a vegetarian version or to use as a side dish in this recipe.

Heather Likes Food 

Related: 40 Cheap and Easy One-Pot Meals

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice
5-Ingredient Chili

10. Chili Con Carne

This recipe for Texas-style chili (which traditionally does not include beans) is hearty and meaty, but required long, slow cooking — until the Instant Pot. Not a stickler for tradition? Add some inexpensive beans to make more for less.

Aunt Bee's Recipes 

Related: 13 Regional Chili Recipes  

Mashed Potatoes

12. Brisket

A classic family meal for Sunday suppers or holidays, this Instant Pot brisket recipe makes it a breeze to pull together. The hands-on time is around five minutes, and the results are consistently moist and flavorful whatever the size of the brisket.

Pressure Luck Cooking  

Mac & Cheese
Lauri Patterson/istockphoto
Tortilla Soup

14. Tortilla Soup

Comforting and nutritionally balanced, chicken tortilla soup is an updated spin on classic chicken soup. This simple recipe involves little more than tossing the ingredients into the pot.

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Baked Beans
Stephen Barnes/istockphoto

15. Baked Beans

This baked bean recipe combines inexpensive beans with rich pork flavor. The Instant Pot makes beans taste as if they had been cooking for 12 hours over an open hearth.

This Old Gal

Creamy Squash Soup

16. Creamy Squash Soup

This simple recipe yields a richly flavored squash soup. Cooking everything in the Instant Pot makes the flavor meld quickly, but the creamy consistency requires an immersion blender.

The Veggie Queen

Baked Potatoes

17. Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are a nutritious, delicious, and cheap addition or main star of casual weeknight meals. Making them in the Instant Pot is super easy and fast, putting dinner on the table with less prep and wait time than is normally needed for potatoes.

A Mind “Full” Mom


18. Frittata

Frittatas usually require a two-step process of stovetop and oven cooking, plus a watchful eye on temperatures. This recipe yields a golden-brown top and fluffy interior every time, with unlimited options for mix-ins.

Wondermom Wannabe

Candied Sweet Potatoes

19. Candied Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are inexpensive and healthy, making them a go-to treat. With this cheap Instant Pot recipe, this sticky and indulgent dish is done in just five minutes, making it a great way to satisfy a craving.

Flour on My Face

Crispy Chicken Carnitas

20. Crispy Chicken Carnitas

Cooking the chicken in the Instant Pot is quick and easy, and works with any cut of chicken. The chicken is delicious as is, but popping it under the broiler just before serving gives it crispy edges.

Little Spice Jar 


21. Risotto

Risotto is dirt cheap to make and always feel sophisticated. The biggest drawback is usually that it takes a lot of hands-on time stirring and adding broth to get the texture right. The Instant Pot can do the work with consistent results. This recipe lays out the process step by step.

Hip Pressure Cooking

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

22. Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Steel-cut oats are the most nutritious and inexpensive way of making oats, but they also take nearly a half-hour of constant stirring. This cheap and easy Instant Pot recipe is quick and, more importantly, hands-off.

Life Made Sweeter 

Blueberry Jam

23. Blueberry Jam

Traditionally, jam is a condiment that needs careful attention while cooking. This Instant Pot version takes the guesswork out of the process and uses only two ingredients: fruit and honey.

Traditional Cooking School

Split Pea Soup

24. Split Pea Soup

Keeping a dollar bag of split peas in the pantry can translate into dinner in 20 minutes with this recipe. The combination of staple vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onion makes a wholesome and heart-warming bowl of soup any time of year. 

Recipe: Simply Happy Foodie  

Roasted Garlic

25. Roasted Garlic

Roasting garlic is easy, but can take a lot of time. This hack uses the Instant Pot to get roasted garlic fast, but with the same sweet taste, which will speed up recipes that use it.

Hip Pressure Cooking

Hard-Boiled Eggs
Ricotta Cheese

27. Ricotta Cheese

Homemade ricotta cheese is a simple and inexpensive delicacy that adds flavor and texture to all kinds of dishes. This simple method makes cheese out of just three ingredients, with a little help from the yogurt function of the Instant Pot.


Couscous & Vegetables

28. Couscous & Vegetables

Couscous is quick-cooking by nature, and even quicker-cooking in the pressure cooker. This cheap Instant Pot recipe uses a method of sauteing aromatics before adding the couscous to build layers of flavor. Adding vegetables makes this a complete dish. 

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Salsa Verde Chicken

29. Salsa Verde Chicken

This recipe calls for making your own salsa verde, which is a money saver. But using an inexpensive jarred version also works if speed is essential.


Coconut Fish Curry

30. Coconut Fish Curry

Fish curry is a specialty dish that may seem intimidating to many home cooks. This recipe makes it easy with step-by-step instructions. The high-pressure cooking ensures that curry flavor permeates the fish in minutes.

Spice Cravings

Wild Rice Soup

31. Wild Rice Soup

A dense and creamy soup, this recipe combines wild rice, vegetables, mushrooms, and a roux for a stick-to-the-ribs meal. Make the roux on a stovetop and combine with the finished Instant Pot mixture.

Pinch of Yum

Sesame Tofu

32. Sesame Tofu

This lightning-fast entree is just four steps and can be adapted to use almost any ingredients on hand. Opening the lid and repressurizing allows ingredients to cook for different amounts of time to avoid soggy or overcooked food.

The Veggie Queen

Chana Masala

33. Chana Masala

This vegetarian Indian staple combines tender chickpeas and a rich, spiced gravy. The low-cost ingredients come together in just a few minutes in the Instant Pot, mimicking the flavors of a dish that has been cooking for hours.

My Heart Beets

Cochinita Pibil

34. Cochinita Pibil

This Yucatecan-style marinated pork dish is usually cooked in an underground pit for many hours. The Instant Pot recipe mimics that process in a fraction of the time.

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Vegan Chili

35. Vegan Chili

With a base of beans, this Instant Pot budget meal costs just a few dollars to make and takes less than 10 minutes to cook. The basic recipe is also open to substitutions or additions.

The Veggie Queen

Bone Broth

36. Bone Broth

This old-fashioned but newly popular broth can be made from bones that would otherwise go in the trash. Thanks to the Instant Pot and this recipe, it's possible to create a homemade version if not instantly, in a lot less time.


Quinoa Pilaf

37. Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is a trendy grain because of its health benefits, bouncy texture, and nutty flavor. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to get the proportion of water to grain just right. This recipe cooks the quinoa evenly, resulting in a fluffy texture every time.

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Dal Makhani

38. Dal Makhani

This ubiquitous Indian dish costs around $10 or more at most restaurants, but it can be made with just a few dollars' worth of ingredients. This recipe has a slow-cooked flavor as well as a consistent texture.

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Tom Kha Gai

39. Tom Kha Gai

A traditional Thai soup, the base flavors are lemongrass and ginger, which can be found at most Asian stores. The authentic, slow-simmered flavor is achieved in around 10 minutes from beginning to end.

Pressure Luck Cooking

Curried Goat

40. Curried Goat

This Jamaican staple is full of spicy flavor from the ginger, green onions, thyme, and chiles that complement the meat. Goat meat can be tough, which is why the recipe relies on an Instant Pot instead of hours and hours of cooking.

Chef Lola's Kitchen


41. Biryani

A rice dish from India and Pakistan, biryani is a treat but can be hard for novice cooks to perfect. This recipe makes it an easy meal by managing moisture and cooking time to ensure even cooking.

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Chocolate Pudding

42. 'Healthy' Chocolate Pudding

Pudding can be a mostly healthy dessert when made from scratch, and always tastes better when the recipe is customized. This five-minute process calls for two specialty ingredients, gelatin and collagen.

Recipes to Nourish

Dulce De Leche

43. Dulce de Leche

A thick, caramel Latin American dish is almost too easy to prepare from just one ingredient. Use it over ice cream, waffles, in cookies or cupcakes, or simply grab a spoon.

I Wash You Dry

Bread Pudding

44. Bread Pudding

This is built in a traditional casserole pan and cooked in the Instant Pot. The cooking is quick, even, and consistently produces the soft custardy texture that the best bread puddings have. Flavor it any way you like.

Food Network

Rice Pudding

45. Rice Pudding

This recipe takes 30 minutes to make, which could mean assembling ingredients at dinnertime and serving for dessert. There are vegan substitutions, too.

Instant Pot

Apple Cake

46. Apple Cake

This straightforward apple cake is assembled like any other cake but cooked in the Instant Pot for dense, moist results. The 360-degrees warm cooking environment keeps the cake from drying out even with an hourlong cook time.

Ministry of Curry

Pumpkin Cheesecake

47. Pumpkin Cheesecake

Amazingly, cheesecakes are made easily in the Instant Pot. The key is building the cake in a springform pan and using the Instant Pot as the cooking vessel instead of the oven for maximum creaminess.

Dessert for Two

Apple Crisp

48. Apple Crisp

In under 10 minutes the Instant Pot can turn fresh crisp apples and humble oats into a warm dessert. The apples get soft without losing their shape, while the oat topping gets crispy, just like a traditional crisp.

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49. Flan

By cooking flan in an Instant Pot, temperatures are regulated for a fail-proof outcome every time. Especially since custards can be fussy to cook, this method is easier and faster than traditional ovens.

Cleverly Me

Chocolate Pudding

50. Chocolate Pudding

Traditional chocolate pudding is simple to whip up with the help of an Instant Pot, which takes the guesswork out of the process. It’s as simple as mixing the ingredients and steaming them for a consistently creamy texture.

Instant Pot