Seems like a whole lot of you were lucky enough to get an Instant Pot this holiday (or bought one for yourself – yay!)…and now you are probably searching Pinterest trying to decide what to cook first.
What should I cook first in my Instant Pot?
In fact, it’s the number one question I get on a daily basis from new Instant Pot users, so you are totally not alone.
Honestly, what you cook doesn’t matter all that much – what matters is that you do actually pick something and get started. And since I know this is sometimes easier said than done, here is a list of easy, beginner friendly recipes for the new Instant Pot user, as well as those of you who have had one for longer than you want to admit, but still haven’t taken it out of the box (you know who you are).
The idea of this list is to get you familiar with different types of no-fail recipes that utilize different aspects of the IP – really just to help you fall in love with it like I have! So let’s get cooking!
Easy Instant Pot Recipes for beginners
Honestly, I didn’t understand what the big deal was about making hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot was until I actually made them for myself. I mean, I didn’t buy myself an extra appliance to boil eggs, right? But then I made my first batch of hard boiled eggs and oh my word, I totally get it now. No more mangled egg whites, just perfectly peeled eggs in just a few minutes of cook time.
THE 5-5-5 METHOD FOR HARD BOILED EGGS
The 5-5-5 Method for Hard Boiled Eggs is really simple!
- Add 1 cup of water to your Instant Pot
- Place your trivet in your Instant Pot. Place eggs on top of your trivet. Lock your Instant Pot Lid.
- Cook your eggs for 5 minutes on the manual/pressure cook setting. If your Instant Pot has a egg setting, you can use that! Some of the newer models have this setting and I’ve heard it works awesome.
- After cook time, you want to do a 5 minute Natural Pressure Release which means you do nothing after cook time ends for 5 minutes and let the pressure begin to release on it’s own. I usually set a timer because these people I live with will interrupt me a million times before that 5 minutes is over and I will forget.
- After the 5 minutes, release the pressure the rest of the way. Then you give your eggs a nice little ice bath for 5 minutes.
This will result in the easiest to peel, more beautifully cooked hard boiled eggs ever!
This was the actual first Instant Pot recipe that I ever made – a remake of one of my super easy Crock Pot recipes. I didn’t even do the water test, I just jumped right to this dinner and even bravely filmed it for the blog. And it came out perfect!
What I love about this recipe is it introduced one of my favorite aspects of the IP – the saute function. In the Crock Pot version of this recipe, I just dump all the ingredients. Because the IP has a saute button, I can saute the red onions in this version and allow them to caramelize a little, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish. It’s still incredibly simple to make, as you pretty much dump the rest of the ingredients in and you are good to go.
But seeing how easy it is to saute and then pressure cook right in the same pot was exactly what I needed to see as a new Instant Pot user to realize the awesome potential of this magical pot! Soon you will be using the saute function for other one pot meals like in this Buffalo Chicken Chili and searing meats like in this 21 Day Fix Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. I’m not kidding when I say it’s my favorite aspect of the IP!
This was the most popular recipe on my blog in 2017 for good reason – the soup is incredibly easy to make and the Instant Pot makes it even easier, plus it intensifies the flavors in a way the crock pot just can’t do! You simply add all the ingredients to your Instant pot, and with 15 minutes of cook time (plus about 10-15 to come to pressure) you have shredded chicken and an amazing soup. This recipe calls for canned beans, but the cool thing about the IP is you can make dry beans very quickly! So if you want to use dry black beans in this recipe, simply change the cook time to 25 minutes! Amazing!
If you like the ease of this soup, you need to try some of my other IP favorites like my popular 21 Day Fix Zuppa Toscana and my Butternut Squash Soup,or this yummy looking Lemon Chicken Soup from the Foodie and the Fix! You really can’t go wrong with soup in the IP!
There is nothing difficult about this recipe, but it takes the saute function to the next level of awesomeness! Not only will you use it to saute your veggies for this Chicken Marsala, but you will use at at the end of the cook time to make a simple and delicious gravy. One pot magic, I tell you! I use the same sauce thickening technique in my 21 Day Fix Instant Pot Maple BBQ Chicken and in my 21 Day Fix Instant Pot Asian Chicken.
Watch this video to see how it’s done!
So freaking easy and, again, one of my favorite reasons to own an Instant Pot!
Before you talk yourself out of this recipe, please know – there is NOTHING difficult about it. It actually is a great beginner recipe because you truly can’t mess this up and once you see how easy it is to layer your food in the Instant Pot, the potential mealtime awesomeness is endless! For this meal, you will just follow my instructions and layer potatoes, carrots, and meatloaf in the Instant Pot and BOOM. Let the magical pot do all the work! I made this recipe in my 6 quart pot without a problem and you don’t need any fancy equipment or pot-in-pot bowls for this. Just some foil and the trivet that came with your pot.
And not only does everything cook in the Instant Pot, you can mash your potatoes RIGHT in the Instant Pot afterwards. So you will literally dirty only one pot to make this delicious, family friendly dinner.
Have I convinced you to open your Instant Pot yet? I hope so – because the sooner you start cooking, the sooner you will fall in love! And if you are looking for an easy way to print all of my favorite recipes, check out my printable Instant Pot Cookbook in my Etsy Shop!
More Instant Pot Deliciousness!