50 Best Cheap Instant Pot Recipes

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Instant Pot
Photo credit: Courtesy of kohls.com

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.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Photo credit: Mizina/istockphoto

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 recipe is quick and, more importantly, hands-off.

Recipe: Life Made Sweeter

Hard-Boiled Eggs
Photo credit: bhofack2/istockphoto

Hard-boiled eggs aren't all that complicated to make the old-fashioned way, but the Instant Pot makes cooking them a little easier. The real bonus? Peeling the eggs is easier, too.

Recipe: Predominantly Paleo

Bread Pudding
Photo credit: vm2002/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: This Old Gal

Vegan Chili
Photo credit: AlexPro9500/istockphoto

With a base of beans, this heart-healthy recipe 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.

Recipe: The Veggie Queen

Chili Con Carne
Photo credit: LauriPatterson/istockphoto

This recipe for Texas-style chili 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.

Recipe: Aunt Bee's Recipes

Whole Chicken
Photo credit: NightAndDayImages/istockphoto

A whole chicken is an economical way to get a few meals prepped in one go. Using the Instant Pot to cook one up using this recipe takes the guesswork out of persnickety ovens, and also makes for easy clean-up.

Recipe: Instant Loss

Bone Broth
Photo credit: Madeleine_Steinbach/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Mommypotamus

Baby Back Ribs
Photo credit: mphillips007/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: I Wash You Dry

Risotto
Photo credit: Anticiclo/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Hip Pressure Cooking

Mashed Potatoes
Photo credit: mphillips007/istockphoto

Fluffy mashed potatoes can be made from start to finish in the Instant Pot. It's even possible to add less fat and still get the same amount of creaminess. Another bonus? The pot will keep the potatoes warm until they're served.

Recipe: The Veggie Queen

Baked Beans
Photo credit: Stephen Barnes/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: This Old Gal

Brisket
Photo credit: Passover @ Marilyn's 2007 by Joshua Bousel (CC BY-NC-SA)

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.

Recipe: Pressure Luck Cooking

Tortilla Soup
Photo credit: bonchan/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Confessions of a Fit Foodie

Split Pea Soup
Photo credit: Snappy_girl/istockphoto

Keeping a dollar bag of split peas in the pantry can translate into dinner in 20 minutes with this recipe. Even omitting the ham, 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: Kitch Me

Creamy Squash Soup
Photo credit: bhofack2/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: The Veggie Queen

Blueberry Jam
Photo credit: joannatkaczuk/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Traditional Cooking School

Frittata
Photo credit: Olha_Afanasieva/istockphoto

Frittata usually requires 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.

Recipe: Two Sleevers

Quinoa Pilaf
Photo credit: 4kodiak/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Life Made Simple

Couscous & Vegetables
Photo credit: Lemon-Pistachio Israeli Couscous by ljstubbs (None)

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

Recipe: Piping Pot Curry

Candied Sweet Potatoes
Photo credit: NWphotoguy/istockphoto

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

Recipe: Flour on my Face

Wild Rice Soup
Photo credit: lauraag/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Pinch of Yum

Dal Makhani
Photo credit: subodhsathe/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: My Heart Beets

Mac & Cheese
Photo credit: Lauri Patterson/istockphoto

This game-changing recipe takes 10 minutes from start to finish and uses real cheese rather than a package of powder. The noodles cook in a few minutes, and the cheese is added for homestyle results.

Recipe: Pinch of Yum

Coconut Fish Curry
Photo credit: pimonpim/istockphoto

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

Recipe: Instant Pot

Beef & Broccoli
Photo credit: bhofack2/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Adventures of A Nurse

Sesame Tofu
Photo credit: Mizina/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: The Veggie Queen

Tom Kha Gai
Photo credit: Jirakan/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Pressure Luck Cooking

Curried Goat
Photo credit: neiljlangan/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Spice Roots

Crispy Chicken Carnitas
Photo credit: msheldrake/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Little Spice Jar

Shepherd's Pie
Photo credit: OksanaKiian/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: The Veggie Queen

Turkey Legs
Photo credit: kreinick/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Amy+Jacky Pressure Cooker Recipes

Biryani
Photo credit: ivanmateev/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Instant Pot

Tamales
Photo credit: DebbiSmirnoff/istockphoto

Tamales take plenty of work to make, but using an Instant Pot helps cut down on cooking time and guarantee moist fillings.

Recipe: Copy Me That

Cochinita Pibil
Photo credit: Juanmonino/istockphoto

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

Recipe: Dad Cooks Dinner

Fettuccini Alfredo
Photo credit: Robm57/istockphoto

This is a one-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.

Recipe: Heather Likes Food

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Photo credit: DebbiSmirnoff/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: The Cents' Able Shoppin

Apple Cake
Photo credit: aloha_17/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Ministry of Curry

Chocolate Pudding
Photo credit: viennetta/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Recipes to Nourish

Rice Pudding
Photo credit: A70-Photography/istockphoto

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

Recipe: Instant Pot

Dulce De Leche
Photo credit: AlbertoChagas/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: I Wash You Dry

Chana Masala
Photo credit: subodhsathe/istockphoto

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.

Recipe:My Heart Beets

Salsa Verde Chicken
Photo credit: Coast-to-Coast/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Wholesomelicious

Baked Potatoes
Photo credit: cobraphotography/shutterstock

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.

Recipe: A Mind “Full” Mom

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice
Photo credit: ivanmateev/istockphoto

One-pot meals are crowd-pleasing as well as time savers for meal prep and cleanup alike. This balanced dish combines rice with chicken and broccoli for a meal that is nutritious and tasty.

Recipe: I Don’t Have Time For That

Roasted Garlic
Photo credit: jjpoole/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Hip Pressure Cooking

Chicken Tikka Masala
Photo credit: clicksahead/shutterstock

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.

Recipe: Wholesomelicious

Ricotta Cheese
Photo credit: Basilios1/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Tidbits

Apple Crisp
Photo credit: loooby/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Center Cut Cook

Flan
Photo credit: Juanmonino/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Cleverly Me

Chocolate Pudding
Photo credit: franhern/istockphoto

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.

Recipe: Instant Pot

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