So You Got an Instant Pot. Here’s What to Do with It

Cook, Learn, Product Spotlight, Recipe Roundup

The Instant Pot has become a pop culture phenomenon that people simply can’t stop talking about. Think of the kitchen electric, which burst onto the scene a few years ago, as the Swiss Army knife of countertop appliances: With over a dozen smart programs, it can slow cook, pressure cook, make rice and so much more.


There’s the original Instant Pot, and now there’s the new Instant Pot Duo Plus, which offers the added benefits of sterilizing, steaming and making cake. In fact, Williams Sonoma carries four different InstantPot models — shop all our Instant Pots here.

Why People Love The Instant Pot

1. It makes pressure-cooking easy
Let’s be honest: Vintage pressure cookers—with their steam dials, multiple latches, and robot-like silver exteriors—are the opposite of intuitive. Instant Pots boast easy-to-remove lids, safety features, preset buttons, and even searing functionality that offers a simpler way to pressure cook.


2. And it slow-cooks, too!
If you’re in the mood for low and slow—whether it’s a braise, a delicate soup, pulled pork, or beef stew—your Instant Pot can get you there. Its slow cooking side is the cherry on top of all the wonderful things it can do.


3. It saves counter space
Neat and trim, with a removable cord, this gadget is a svelte addition to your countertop that could easily replace a rice cooker, a slow cooker, or your old, wonky pressure cooker. (Throw those back into storage!)


4. Operates at the push of a button
Craving homemade yogurt? Porridge? Beans, or beef stew? There are buttons for all of those, which makes it easy to experiment, whip up staples or work without a recipe.


5. Seasons and cooks evenly
What cook hasn’t frowned to see some black beans melting into nothingness, while others remain stubbornly tough? Or noticed that a roast is unevenly cooked? An Instant Pot shines when it comes to even cooking and seasoning: beans are cooked to equal tenderness and salt, miraculously, is distributed perfectly throughout the whole dish.


So you’ve jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon—now what? With seemingly countless settings (and dinner opportunities), it can be daunting to think about what to make first with your new machine. From soups to entrees to dessert, here are a few ideas we’d suggest tackling to start.


Our Favorite Instant Pot Recipe Ideas

Looking to keep things healthy? We also have a collection of healthy Instant Pot recipes to peruse.


Instant Pot Thai Chicken Noodle Bowls


Amp up your average chicken dinner with this colorful, healthy noodle bowl. The trick to cooking ultra flavorful chicken in the Instant Pot is a bit of thinking ahead – the marinade (which also doubles as a noodle sauce) infuses the meat with flavor as it sits overnight, making this the perfect weeknight meal.





Instant Pot Ropa Vieja


In Cuba it’s common for home cooks to use a pressure cooker in order to save electricity while braising since it takes much less time (and therefore energy) to get a similar effect. For example, for the traditional Cuban stew ropa vieja, the beef must be cooked for hours before it becomes tender enough to tear into the shreds. With an Instant Pot, however, the beef becomes meltingly tender in a fraction of the time.



Instant Pot Sloppy Joes


Perfect for Game Day entertaining, these Sloppy Joe’s are a sophisticated take on the classic beef sandwich. Plenty of seasonings and spices help make the 10-minute cook time required by the Instant Pot seem like hours of simmering. Plus, thanks to the Instant Pot’s sauté function, everything can be made right in the unit, so you only have to dirty one pot.




Instant Pot Risotto with Pancetta, Peas and Mushrooms


If you’ve ever spent the better part of an hour stirring risotto and meticulously adding half cups of liquid, you know what a game-changer an Instant Pot risotto will be. Or, if you’ve been hesitant to try making your own risotto because of the work involved, the Instant Pot will be your unlock: Ten minutes of cooking on high pressure (no stirring required) will result in perfectly tender risotto.



Yes, the Instant Pot Duo Plus is so versatile that you can even bake a lemon cheesecake in it (and a beautiful one, sans cracks, to boot). Bonus: It’s ready in half the time of a normal cheesecake.



Chicken Noodle Soup


Take advantage of different modalities, like both the Instant Pot’s “Sauté” mode and its “Steam” mode, by preparing a comfort food classic like chicken noodle soup from scratch.




Preserve anything with ease by using the “Sterilize” setting on the Instant Pot Duo Plus. New to canning? Check out our step-by-step guide, then get to work creating your own apple butter, strawberry preserves and more. 




Homemade yogurt is so much better than the store-bought kind, and now it’s incredibly easy to prepare, thanks to a one-touch “Yogurt” setting on the Instant Pot Duo Plus. Looking for a little guidance before you get started? Try this basic homemade yogurt recipe.




Tell Us Your Go-To Instant Pot Dish

What’s your favorite thing to make in your Instant Pot? Tell us in the comments below!

14 comments about “So You Got an Instant Pot. Here’s What to Do with It

  1. Jackie Rowand

    I cook up 3 chicken breasts on Sunday night in my Instant Pot. That’s lunch all week for me and my hubs. Put the shredded chicken on a salad, in a tortilla with cheese, tomatoes, onions and some cilantro, add a little bbq sauce and you’ve got some yummy lunches. No fuss, no muss.

  2. Hajnal

    I got one instant pot for Christmas and now I am learning how to use it. Every recipe, advise is a bonus in my learning .

  3. Susan Stone

    Does the Instant Pot Multi Cooker come with the jars for preparing yogurt? Or do you prepare it in the liner?

  4. Kathy Davis

    I just got the new Instant Pot Duo Plus. I have a wonderful Beer Stew that calls for a can of beer, can of diced tomatoes and can of cream of mushroom soup plus beef and vegetables. My question is can I make this in my Instant Pot with that mushroom soup? I have always made it in my slow cooker but I’d like to use the pressure cooker for it in the Instant Pot.

  5. 5 Breakfast Recipes to Make in the Instant Pot – Recipes

  6. Brenda Franceschini

    I purchased yesterday your instant pot lemon and saffron risotto starter and it was terrible! The ratio is so wrong, it was soupy. 7 cups of liguid to about 1 1/2 cups of rice is too much liquid. Hoping the tortilla soup mix won’t let me down. B


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