One of the reasons why so many people are obsessed with the Instant Pot is because it simplifies the whole cooking process—and shortens it. But if you’ve never used one before, it can still be pretty intimidating. All those buttons, figuring out how to use pressure, wondering how to wash the dang thing when you’re done…it can take some experimenting for sure.
Like with trying anything new, it helps to start with some basics before getting too fancy—which is exactly where these recipes come in. Rounded up here are eight healthy Instant Pot recipes for beginners. They don’t have a lot of ingredients and involve minimal IP know-how. Nail these meals and then you can work up to 201-level recipes (like making yogurt and cheesecake). You’ll be sharing your go-to fave recipes in your Facebook cooking community before you know it.
Keep reading for eight healthy Instant Pot recipes for beginners.
1. Rice & beans
This recipe proves that basic ingredients doesn’t automatically equal a basic dish. Even though this recipe by From My Bowl only has five ingredients (red kidney beans, brown rice, salsa, cilantro, and vegetable broth), it’s full of flavor. The beans and rice get cooked together in the Instant Pot—along with the other ingredients—for 25 minutes. Boom: dinner is done.
One of the major selling points of the Instant Pot is how quickly it tenderizes meat. Ready to give it a shot? Start with this salsa verde chicken recipe from Cookies and Cups. It only has four other ingredients so you can give the chicken your full attention. It only takes 25 minutes to make too, so you don’t have to wait long to celebrate your chicken cooking success.
This is another fool-proof chicken recipe to try. Urban Bliss Life kindly included lots of photos with each step, which is perfect for visual learners. Made with chicken, chickpeas, quinoa, and lots of spices, it’s a major Mediterranean diet win, too.
Another Mediterranean diet-approved Instant Pot dinner is this honey balsamic salmon from The Spicy Apron. The ingredients list is super simplistic and the whole process literally takes five minutes, only two of which are active cooking time.
If you’re in the mood for some comfort food—without the carbs—this is it. All you need for this meal prep essential is the spaghetti squash, salt, and water. Even though it only requires five minutes of active work, the step-by-step directions have plenty of photos to guide you along the way. Easy peasy.
It’s worth it to have one easy Instant Pot soup recipe in your back pocket, and this one from World of Vegan is a great starter. Packed with veggies and protein-filled lentils, all it really entails is dumping the ingredients in the IP, setting it for eight minutes, and that’s it. Seriously, that’s it!
7. Shrimp paella
This seafood dinner from My Forking Life is only in the Instant Pot for five minutes, so there isn’t much time to mess it up. The ingredients list looks a little long, but don’t be intimidated: the majority of it is spices for maximum flavor.
Master two skills—chicken and soup—with one recipe. In a slow cooker, this meal takes four hours to make. With the Instant Pot, Sweet C’s version takes about ten minutes. That’s basically faster than waiting in line at Chipotle.
If you’re vegetarian, here are some Instant Pot recipes just for you. And these Instant Pot hacks will take your know-how to the next level.
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