7 easy Instant Pot dinner recipes chefs and food pros love

Break in your new Instant Pot or other pressure cooker — or liven up your current repertoire — with these easy, tasty dinner ideas from food pros.
With the pressure cooker doing most of the work, this Thai curry dish can be ready, start to finish, in under an hour.
With the pressure cooker doing most of the work, this Thai curry dish can be ready, start to finish, in under an hour. Marcus Nilsson / Martha Stewart
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By Megan O. Steintrager

There's no question that Instant Pots and other pressure cookers are wildly popular — Instant Pots currently hold the top two spots on the small appliances best sellers list on Amazon and the gadgets are high on many holiday gift lists. But even super-fast recipes are annoying if they don't turn out right, so we asked pressure-cooker experts — including Martha Stewart and the authors of "The Instant Pot Bible" — for their guaranteed tasty pressure-cooker recipes.

They shared their favorite pressure-cooker dinners, including basics like chicken soup and enticing international dishes like Thai red curry, that are ready in well under an hour. So whether you are looking for the very first recipe to break in that pressure cooker you got for a holiday gift or you're an Instant Pot devotee looking to liven up your current repertoire, we've got the quick dinner answers you need.

Chicken, Black Bean and Rice Burrito Bowls

Chicken, Black Bean and Rice Burrito Bowls

If you're a new pressure cooker user and you've also resolved to eat out less this year, try this recipe from Elizabeth Barbone, a cookbook author and the creator of the pressure-cooker blog Cook Fast, Eat Well. "This is a great recipe for new Instant Pot users and it helps break your Chipotle habit," says Barbone of this all-in-one-pot recipe. " In less than 20 minutes, you can make easy burrito bowls that are loaded with chicken, black beans and rice. This simple recipe is one I turn to again and again. I like to serve it with burrito toppings — like shredded cheese, pickled red onions and sour cream — and let everyone create their own favorite bowl."

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Getting a little tired of the chill of winter or fighting off a cold? "Nothing beats a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a cold day," says Elizabeth Barbone, who shared this recipe for classic chicken noodle soup with celery, carrots and dill. "However, after a busy day of work, I usually don’t have the time to make it. Thanks to the Instant Pot, I’m able to enjoy a bowl of soup that tastes like it simmered all day long. The cook time? Ten minutes. Seriously. Homemade chicken soup in 10 minutes? You can’t beat that."

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10-Minute Chicken Stew

10-Minute Chicken Stew

If you want to go heartier than chicken noodle soup while still capturing all the feel-good power of that standby, try this super-fast chicken stew from Brittany Williams, author of the new cookbook "Instant Loss," based on her wildly popular Instant Loss blog. "This tasty chicken stew comes together in under 30 minutes, which makes it a perfect busy weeknight dinner!" says Williams, who also shared this tip: "Pre-chop your chicken and vegetables so when you get home after work all you have to do is toss everything into the pot and enjoy dinner."

Dan-Dan Noodles

Dan-Dan NoodlesInstant Pot Bible

Expand your noodle repertoire beyond Italian-style spaghetti dinners with these sweet, spicy and savory Chinese-style noodles with pork, ginger, garlic and chili sauce from the "Instant Pot Bible" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. "I love the fact that you can make pasta in the Instant Pot with raw pasta — no need to cook it first," says Weinstein, who also offers this hot tip: "I like to serve it with extra hot sauce as cooking under pressure tends to take the edge off the spiciness."

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

"Sloppy Joe’s have fallen a bit out of fashion and I’d love to see them make a comeback," says Elizabeth Barbone. "This recipe, with it’s tangy and not-too-sweet sauce, is a twist on the classic Sloppy Joe. Make it with ground beef or turkey and serve on lightly toasted buns. After one taste, I bet it makes a regular appearance on your weeknight menu plan." These Sloppy Joes take just 5 minutes of active prep time and 15 minutes to cook, meaning you've got a family friendly meal in a mere 20 minutes.

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash

Thai Red Curry with Butternut SquashMartha Stewart

“In this warming red-curry stew that’s perfect during the winter, butternut squash melts into tender, mouthwatering pieces that mingle with mushrooms, shallots, curry paste and coconut milk," says Martha Stewart, who shared this recipe from her book "Martha Stewart's Pressure Cooker." Stewart adds, "To complete this comforting bowl, stir in rice noodles, which cook in five minutes in the pot’s residual heat, and keep things lively with a shower of cilantro and roasted peanuts.” The recipe is ready, start to finish, in under an hour — once you've chopped up the ingredients and sauteed them briefly, you can leave the rest of the work to the pressure cooker.

Kick-Butt Carnitas

Kick-Butt CarnitasInstant Pot Bible

If you've ever made traditional Mexican carnitas — in which pork is braised until tender and then often crisped up in a pan — you know that it's not hard but it is time consuming."There is nothing like citrus and garlic braised pork crisped up in a skillet afterwards, but it takes hours," says Bruce Weinstein, who shared this 40-minute carnitas recipe from the "Instant Pot Bible. "In the Instant Pot it’s so easy." Weinstein adds that marmalade is the "secret ingredient" in this recipe — it adds sweet and sour flavors and helps the pork crisp up. Add some tortillas and a few toppings and your taco party is ready to go in less than an hour.

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