Instant Pot Cookbook For Dummies
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One of the main benefits of the Instant Pot is its ability to use just one pot to feed your family in a matter of minutes. That’s why we’ve taken timeless classics and put them in this article. These recipes are our way of gifting you time! Although the recipes vary in preparation and cook time, we’re certain you’ll find a few that fit nicely into your schedule.

All these recipes pair beautifully with a simple salad using your refrigerator staples. Plus, a good salad will help balance out some of the cheesy goodness from the more decadent dishes you’ll enjoy from this article. Enjoy!

Shepherd’s Pie

shepherd's pie settings

Instant Pot function: Sauté (High), Pressure Cook (High), Keep Warm (On), Quick Release, Natural Release

Special tools: Pot-in-pot 3-inch-deep Instant Pot–friendly baking dish

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 26 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups water, divided

1/2 pound new potatoes or baby Yukon Gold potatoes

4 ounces cream cheese

1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound lean ground beef or lamb

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely diced

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup beef stock or chicken stock

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup of the water in the bottom of the pot. Place the trivet in the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes to the pot. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook (High) and set the timer to 7 minutes using the +/– button, with Keep Warm (On). Do a Quick Release, and remove the potatoes from the pot and place them in a mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with the cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper.
  2. Dump the water out of the Instant Pot, and place the trivet to the side.
  3. Select Sauté (High) and add the ground beef, onion, and carrot. Brown the mixture, about 8 minutes. Stir in the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste; stir for 1 minute.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the stock and cornstarch; then stir this mixture into the meat mixture and cook for 1 minute. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and add the frozen peas. Press Cancel.
  5. Pour the beef mixture into the bottom of an Instant Pot–friendly casserole baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top, and cover the pan loosely with foil.
  6. Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups of water to the pot and insert the trivet. Lower the casserole dish onto the trivet (see following figure) and secure the lid. Set the valve to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook (High) and use the +/– button to set the timer to 10 minutes with Keep Warm (On).
  7. Do a Natural Release of the pressure for 10 minutes; then do a Quick Release. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

If you prefer a crunchy top, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and broil for 3–5 minutes.

Pot-in-pot cooking. Pot-in-pot cooking.

Nancy’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

stuffed peppers settings

Instant Pot function: Sauté (High), Pressure Cook (High), Keep Warm (On/Off), Natural Release, Quick Release

Special tools: Pot-in-pot 3-inch-deep Instant Pot baking dish

Fits diets: Mediterranean

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 16 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups water, divided

3 medium red bell peppers, sliced in half across the equator

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 cup jasmine rice

1 egg

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped carrots

2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup of the water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the bottom of the pot. Place the bell peppers in the pot and set to Pressure Cook (High) and Keep Warm (Off) and set the timer to 0 minutes using the +/ button. Do a Quick Release when finished and place the peppers in a large bowl full of ice water to halt the cooking process.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix together the ground beef, rice, egg, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Divide and stuff the filling into the 6 pepper halves.
  3. Add the remaining 1 cup of water into the pot. Position the stuffed peppers into an Instant Pot–friendly casserole dish, standing upright. Pour the remaining 1 cup of spaghetti sauce over the tops of the stuffed peppers. Lower the casserole dish onto the trivet. Secure the lid and set to Sealing.
  4. Press Pressure Cook (High) and use the +/– button to set the time to 15 minutes, with Keep Warm (On).
  5. When it’s finished, do a Natural Release of the pressure for 10 minutes; then do a Quick Release.

Leftover cooked rice can be used in place of uncooked rice, but don’t adjust the time.

For a low-carb version of this recipe, opt for cauliflower rice in place of jasmine rice.

Sloppy Joes

sloppy joes settings

Instant Pot function: Sauté (High), Pressure Cook (High), Keep Warm (Off), Quick Release

Fits diets: Keto

Prep time: None

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 pound lean ground beef

2 cups frozen riced cauliflower

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

One 28-ounce can tomato puree

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup beef broth

8 buns, for serving

2 cups shredded cabbage, for garnish

Directions

  1. Press Sauté (High) on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and begin to brown for 6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Scrape the bottom of the inner pot to ensure no ingredients stick to it (this will help prevent a BURN error message). Press Cancel.
  2. Secure the lid, set the valve to Sealing, and press Pressure Cook (Normal) and Keep Warm (Off). Use the +/– button to set the timer for 5 minutes.
  3. When cooking completes, use Quick Release, and remove the lid.
  4. Stir and serve on a bun. Garnish with shredded cabbage if desired.

For a gluten-free version, substitute tamari sauce for the soy sauce.

Not a fan of cauliflower? Substitute diced mushrooms to increase the fiber!

Georgia’s Chicken and Dumplings

chicken and dumplings settings

Instant Pot function: Sauté (High), Pressure Cook (High), Keep Warm (Off), Quick Release, Sauté (High)

Fits diets: Mediterranean

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cups diced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 quarts chicken broth, divided

3 teaspoons black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon allspice

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground garlic powder

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Shredded cabbage slaw, for garnish

Directions

  1. Press Sauté (High) on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil. Sauté the onions, carrots, and bell peppers for 5 minutes. Add in the chicken and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth; cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in 2-1/2 cups of the chicken broth, 2 teaspoons of the black pepper, and the allspice.
  2. Secure the lid, set the valve to Sealing, select Pressure Cook (High) and Keep Warm (Off), and set the timer to 10 minutes using the +/– button.
  3. While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, make the dough. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon of black pepper, the poultry seasoning, the paprika, the garlic powder, and the flour.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture into the eggs, creating a dough. Divide in half and roughly roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4-inch thick, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut the rolled dough with a pizza roller into squares (about 1 to 1-1/2 inches); set the dumplings aside.
  5. When cooking completes, press Cancel and use Quick Release to remove the pressure from the pot. Remove the lid and press Sauté (High); set the timer for 10 minutes using the +/– button. Add the remaining chicken broth to the pot and begin to slowly mix in the dumplings, stirring frequently so they don’t end up in one large chunk. If needed, add in an extra 1/4 cup of chicken broth to make sure the entire recipe is covered and still below the maximum fill line labeled on the inner pot. Dumplings should take no longer than 10 minutes to cook in the broth. When the sauté timer completes, the recipe has completed cooking.
  6. Portion into 6 bowls and garnish with a vinegar-based cabbage slaw, if desired.

Tight on time? You don’t have to roll out the dough and drop by the teaspoon into the broth.

Sara’s Lightened-Up Macaroni and Cheese

mac and cheese settings

Instant Pot function: Pressure Cook (High), Keep Warm (Off), Quick Release

Fits diets: Vegetarian

Prep time: None

Cook time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

8 ounces dry macaroni pasta

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup milk

1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Salt, to taste

Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Place the macaroni, broth, and butter inside the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid, set the valve to Sealing, and press Pressure Cook (High) and Keep Warm (Off). Set the timer to 5 minutes using the +/– button.
  2. When cooking completes, press Cancel and use Quick Release. Remove the lid.
  3. Sir in the milk, cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt until the cheese has melted and the macaroni is coated with cheese sauce.
  4. Portion into 4 bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Increase the fiber by using whole-wheat macaroni noodles. Have a picky group? Start with a 50/50 white and wheat blend.

For a southwestern twist, add in bell peppers, green chilies, and black beans.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Wendy Jo Peterson MS, RDN, enhances the nutrition of her clients, ranging from elite athletes to pediatric patients, and teaches culinary arts at San Diego Mesa College. Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT, is a dietitian, personal trainer, nutrition professor, and media authority on TV and in print.

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