If you’re new to the Instant Pot or don’t have one you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. “It’s just a pressure cooker, right?” Just give it a shot. You have to try making these particular foods in the Instant Pot and then you’ll understand why the craze.
The Foods you MUST cook in an Instant Pot
“I’ll never make it any other way again!” I asked the 365 Days Facebook group, “what foods do you make in the Instant Pot now that you won’t make any other way again?” I got 239 comments on that post. People love their Instant Pots 😂. Here are the most common answers from (least amount of votes to greatest):
Steel Cut Oats/Oatmeal
Steel cut oats are a hearty grain that take quite a bit of boiling on the stove. I like to make them in the Instant Pot. I use 1 cup oatmeal to 2 cups water ratio and then pressure cook for 4 minutes with a natural pressure release. Try my pumpkin pie steel cut oats this fall.
Old fashioned oats also work well in the Instant Pot. Try Instant Pot cinnamon banana oatmeal for a delicious and hearty breakfast.
Mac and Cheese
Nothing beats homemade macaroni and cheese! And when you use the Instant Pot for mac and cheese there’s no draining of the water. Try my Instant Pot 3-cheese mac for the ultimate cheesiness!
Yogurt is something that I had never even considered making before I got an Instant Pot. Homemade yogurt? What? But now I make it every couple weeks or so. It’s the best! And so much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store. Try my Instant Pot Greek Yogurt that’s super thick and creamy and tangy.
No more simmering your chili on the stove for hours. Make it in your Instant Pot in less than an hour. Try my down home Instant Pot chili with cornbread for a hearty supper. Or you can try the popular white chicken chili too!
Quite a few responses were chicken recipes. Many of those were just shredded chicken to use in other recipes. I do have to say throwing chicken into a pot with some broth and walking away is a pretty awesome way to cook chicken! I like Instant Pot Seasoned Shredded Chicken for all sorts of recipes! It’s so flavorful. I like to use a combination of chicken breasts and thighs.
If you’ve made risotto on the stove before you know how laborious it is. Lots and lots of stirring. The Instant Pot changes all that and makes creamy risotto with hardly any work at all. This is a game changer. Try Instant Pot Parmesan Risotto and you’ll never go back to the stove again.
Risotto! So much easier than stir, stir, stir on the stove and turns out perfect every time!Kathy
Cheesecake was a popular answer. Cheesecake in the Instant Pot turns out with no cracks on top, it’s lighter and creamier too. There are all sorts of cheesecake recipes out there but I’m partial to my Instant Pot turtle cheesecake recipe.
Corned beef from an Instant Pot turns out incredibly tender. It’s much faster than a slow cooker or oven. Try my Instant Pot corned beef with a creamy dijon mustard sauce.
So many of you said you make spaghetti in the Instant Pot. You know what’s crazy? I’ve tried spaghetti with marinara a few times in the Instant Pot and haven’t been able to get it to turn out quite right. But I do make pasta dishes all the time in the Instant Pot and love that there is no water boiling over on the stove and no draining of the water. It’s my favorite! Try Instant Pot rigatoni and sausage or Instant Pot cheater lasagna.
Corn on the Cob
Once you try Instant Pot corn on the cob you’ll never go back to boiling it on the stove again. For amazing flavor try my Instant Pot Garlic Butter Corn on the Cob.
Potatoes/Mashed Potatoes/Potato Salad
Whether it’s baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or potato salad you will love using your Instant Pot to cook potatoes! Try my Instant Pot potato salad trick where you cook the eggs and the potatoes at the same time or Instant Pot baked potatoes for a baked potato bar dinner.
Potato salad! I hated making it until I started using the Instant Pot! So fast and easy.Julie
If you’re going to cook dried beans I really don’t think there’s a better and faster way than the Instant Pot. Try Instant Pot Appalachian Soup Beans for a comforting bowl of creamy pinto beans flavored with smoky ham.
From Instant Pot Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup to vegetable soup to split pea soup there’s just not an easier and faster way to make soup than the Instant Pot. I love using the saute function to saute the onions, carrots and celery of a soup. It’s so handy!
Most soups and stew! Tonight I made Zuppa Toscana. Two nights ago it was Italian Meatball wedding soup. Leftovers w/b going into to freezer and come out when I don’t feel like cooking (just 2 of us). Love my IP and the recipes here.Lessley
Cooking Instant Pot ribs involves coiling the rack of ribs inside the Instant Pot liner. They turn out so tender! Many people like to finish them up on the grill or in the oven.
Ribs! The best ever in a quarter of the time.Diane
I’ve never owned a rice cooker so I can’t compare the Instant Pot to a rice cooker. However I do know that cooking rice in the Instant Pot instead of the stove is like magic. Especially brown rice.
Beef pot roast was a super popular answer. I like making my roast in the Instant Pot and then adding in the potatoes and carrots later so they don’t get mushy. Try Instant Pot Grandma’s Roast to have a childhood flashback.
Hard Boiled Eggs
The number one answer to the question “what food do you make in the Instant Pot now that you won’t make any other way again?” was hard boiled eggs!!! Is it any wonder? The peels slide off like magic and there’s never the gray ring around the yolk. They are perfect protein packed snack and taste great on salads. Try Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.
Some other answers were: artichokes, beets, boiled peanuts, bone-in chicken, cabbage rolls, cauliflower, egg bites, grains, grits, jambalaya, lasagna, meatloaf, pulled pork, quinoa, rice pudding, squash, homemade stock, sweet tea and turkey breast.
What is the #1 food you’ll never make any other way again?
Marni Hentschke says
Hello Karen, I have received your emails for some time (all filed), but i am still nervous about using my IP! I’m not sure what scares me, but i often don’t understand what my options are and then i don’t know what the number on the screen is, ie, timer or temperature or ? I have just requested your 5 Tricks to Master the Instant Pot, so i hope it helps, otherwise my daughter will take it off my hands! Thanks so much. Marni (Queensland, Australia)
You can do this! Watch this video to get started: https://youtu.be/EJd6dC5d62U
Miz Whip says
One thing instant pot doesn’t address in it’s recipe is that higher elevations require more cook time. I have add to add time to every recipe.
What elevation are you at?
Miz Whip says
I have add to add time to every Instant Pot recipe.
Thanks for all the hard work you do to bring us your blog.
I was wondering when your cookbook comes out?
Hi Sheila, it should be out the week of Thanksgiving!
So many things are better in the instant pot, but I gotta say hard boiled eggs, and chicken, so many different ways!
Love your recipes!
Martin Penhale says
Thank you Karen! Looking forward to trying the
Recipes for my Instant Pot!
You’re welcome Martin! Thanks for being here 😊
Denice Sanders says
How do you make polenta in the IP. I get everyone calling out their favorite things to make, but then no one bothers to give a recipe or instruction.
Here’s how I make it Denice: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-creamy-polenta-with-roasted-tomatoes/
Like many instant pit users shredded chicken has been a game changer for many recipes. From chicken tacos, pulled BBQ chicken to just having chicken on hand to spruce up good old rice-a-roni! But the one the kids keep asking for is my own take on a chicken bacon ranch slider. Cook bacon on a burner and take away some of the grease. After the chicken is cooked via instant pot, shred it up. Change pot to “saute” and add a bit of the grease. Proceed to saute chicken, cream cheese and ranch. My kids are salt fiends so I add additional salt. Cook until cream cheese and ranch have mixed smooth. Done. Pop chicken and bacon on buns, wraps, or just on the plate. My boys demolish this every time.
YUMMMM. Melinda, I may have to take your recipe and share it on my site!! Do you use dry ranch dressing mix or actual ranch dressing?
I made coconut rice last week and it was so good. My daughter suggested adding lime or pineapple. I also love cooking chicken and veggies in my ip.
I love her idea of lime or pineapple! Sounds so tasty!
Irene Lear says
Karen, do you have an instant pot cookbook? I have bought 3 of yours that were for crock pot! Ugh help
Hi Irene, I am working on one right now. It will be out in the fall. Make sure to sign up for the emails about it here: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/order-your-cookbook-now/
I cook my steel cut oatmeal with a can of coconut milk. Yum.
YUUUUMMMMM I love this idea 😊
Hi Karen thanks for another great post, An item that I would add to your list although not too common is Polenta ! I spent my childhood watching my mother stir polenta over the stove for long periods of time … making polenta in the instant pot is a game changer, no stirring and it turns out perfect every time!
Just wanted to add my experience to your list!
Yes! I was telling out polenta the whole time I read this article!
I love polenta!!! https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-creamy-polenta-with-roasted-tomatoes/
Yes! Polenta is one of my very favorite foods. I love it creamy with goat cheese and roasted tomatoes. https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-creamy-polenta-with-roasted-tomatoes/
Fresh green beans and new potatoes are so quick and tasty. Always works.
Yum! do you put butter and seasonings in with them?
I’m new to using an insta pot but I love your recipes. Are you writing a cookbook? I’m tired of looking up all the recipes online every time and I don’t have a printer.
Hi Lois, I am writing a cookbook and it will be out this fall! You can sign up here to receive emails about the cookbook: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/order-your-cookbook-now/
I love your recipes and your tips!
Thank you Cyndy! Glad you are here 😊