It’s been years since a cooking appliance has drawn such a loyal following as the Instant Pot. Besides some Amazon tech, the top-selling product in July’s Prime Day was the discounted Instant Pot (hundreds of thousands of people bought one). And many cookbooks now focus on recipes that this kitchen gadget can create.
So what’s all the fuss about? This multi-purpose electric pressure cooker — like the lovechild of a plug-in slow cooker and a stovetop pressure cooker — makes it much easier to skip the drive-through. Healthy versions of everything from stews to pastas to side dishes can be on your table in less than 45 minutes. Before diving into the recipes, check out a few of our favorite Instant Pot buys.
3 Instant Pots for Every Type of Cook
Best for: Purists
From the OG Instant Pot company, this pot works as a pressure cooker, rice-maker, steamer, yogurt-creator, slow cooker and more. Bonus: It promises to get dinner done in 70 percent less time — and using 70 percent less energy — compared to typical prep methods.
2. Best for the Budget-Conscious: BLACK+DECKER 6-Quart Programmable Pressure Cooker ($62)
A meal prepper’s dream, this wallet-friendly find is a pro at cooking rice, beans, soups and meat. Try the delayed-start mode so you can walk in the door after a long day to a perfectly-timed, freshly-cooked meal.
3. Best for Tech-Savvy Chefs: Instant Pot Bluetooth 6-Quart Programmable Pressure Cooker ($160)
A little computer inside this high-tech cooker tracks and regulates the temp and doneness level of your dinner. In other words, you’re almost guaranteed to end up with just-right results.
8 Instant Pot Recipes for Quick, Healthy Meals
Found an Instant Pot you love? Get cooking with these skinny Instant Pot recipes for every meal of the day.
Don’t feel like fussing over breakfast — or resorting to a plain ol’ bowl of yogurt? Follow this formula for foolproof and fiber-rich steel cut oats that requires only five minutes of cook time. (Bonus: it’s one of the most IG-worthy Instant Pot recipes we’ve seen.) Photo and recipe: Lorena / Green Healthy Cooking
Anyone who has tried to cut up some butternut squash knows it’s one tricky vegetable. Luckily, a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot can coax it into immersion blender-ready form in about 30 minutes. No separate roasting step required! Photo and recipe: Laura Pazzaglia / Hip Pressure Cooking
With this slimmed down recipe, you get all of the umami flavors you love from Asian takeout, plus all of the tender, tasty steak. The only things missing? The diet-busting calorie count and cute cardboard container. Save even more calories by cutting the brown sugar in half. Without it, you’ll still find that satisfying sweet and savory quality you know and love. Photo and recipe: Barbara Schieving / Pressure Cooking Today
Speaking of DIY Asian fare, this Instant Pot chicken teriyaki gets a hint of natural sweetness from fresh pineapple and juice from the tropical fruit. A variety of potent spices — ginger, garlic, mustard powder, white pepper — ensure that each bite of the lean white meat packs plenty of flavor. Photo and recipe: Lisa Johnson / Cooking with Curls
Risotto is almost always a laborious process: add stock, stir, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Enter the Instant Pot to save you plenty of time. This rice recipe requires nearly no hands-on time and cooks to the perfect al dente texture in just 13 minutes. Photo and recipe: Halle Cottis / Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Featuring a handful of trendy, health-boosting ingredients like apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast and zucchini noodles, this well-balanced cheese-less recipe is made for everyone. Even those with gluten or lactose allergies or the Paleo crowd will devour it. Photo and recipe: Cristina Curp / The Castaway Kitchen
For the creamiest hummus ever, cook a batch of dry garbanzo beans in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes, then blend with typical bean dip fixings like tahini, olive oil and garlic. A splash of the water from the bean-cooking process infuses each bite with the perfect amount of starch. Photo and recipe: Alyssa Brantley / Everyday Maven
8. Baked Apples
Craving something sweet — and want it stat? Instant Pot recipes aren’t limited to savory. Cook cored, raisin-stuffed apples in a sauce of red wine and cinnamon-sugar in an Instant Pot for 10 minutes for a sweet, low-cal dessert. A scoop of frozen yogurt or light ice cream on top is optional (but highly recommended). Photo and recipe: Laura Pazzaglia / Hip Pressure Cooking