Whether your Instant Pot is still new in the box or has found a permanent home on your kitchen counter, these Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners will help build your confidence so you can go from newbie to novice.

Once you start using your Instant Pot, I know you will come to love it as much as I do! Soon you will be making yogurt in Instant Pot, Instant Pot long grain white rice and Instant Pot hard boiled eggs right in your pressure cooker!

A photo collage of best Instant Pot recipes for beginners.

These tried and true recipes are perfect for your first Instant Pot cooking session! They have been tested over and over again as well as are highly rated by readers who were once like you- new to Instant Pot. They are the best Instant Pot recipes for beginners!

These easy Instant Pot recipes are perfect for the modern day electric pressure cooker. Most are quicker than you can get takeout delivered (healthier, too!), can save you time and effort on everyday dinners and even keep your house cool by making summer Instant Pot recipes.

The trickiest part, though, is that it can be daunting to determine what first to make in your new pressure cooker. While we are huge fans of learning how to cook the basics, like Instant Pot basmati rice and Instant Pot kidney beans, your Instant Pot is capable of so much more!

Once you master these beginner Instant Pot recipes, I have all confidence that you will be making Instant Pot stuffed peppers and Instant Pot egg bites.

Why These Instant Pot Recipes Are Perfect for Beginners?

  • Step by step instructions guide you through each Instant Pot recipe so you can feel confident in the kitchen with your new appliance.
  • They take the guesswork out of what to cook in your Instant Pot for the first time, choose from a variety of recipes and pick one or two to start with!
  • Perfect results every time adds to your ease in using your new kitchen gadget!
  • Flavorful recipes yield tender meats, delicious soups and better basics like fluffy rice and quinoa.


What is the first thing I should make in my Instant Pot?

That really depends on you! Any of these easy Instant Pot recipes are a great place to start. For some, though, starting with dried beans, brown rice or simple chicken breast is the best the way to ease into becoming familiar with the Instant Pot. Browse through this list and I can’t wait to hear what you make first!

What cannot be cooked in the Instant Pot?

While the Instant Pot can really cook so much, there are a few foods that might not turn out the best due to the steam the Instant Pot creates. This includes fried or ‘crispy’ food – you will want to use an air fryer for those items.

Also, cookies and breads won’t quite be the same. Quick cooking foods like quick oats or minute rice are not suitable either. Sauces – beware! They need to be diluted or follow our directions on how to layer the ingredients to avoid burn.

Can I leave the house with Instant Pot on?

Yes. You can walk away from the Instant Pot and leave it unattended. I like to make sure it comes to pressure first to avoid the Burn message. Also be mindful of which recipes can get overcooked and which are fine to leave in the Instant Pot for hours.

Can you put frozen meat in the Instant Pot?

Yes, it’s the most magical way to use the Instant Pot. Whether you are cooking frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot or even a whole frozen chicken in Instant Pot, the pressure from the pressure cooker thaws, tenderizes and cooks your meat.

Why is my Instant Pot counting backwards?

Instant Pot counts down once it has come to pressure and counts up after cooking when it switches to warm mode.

Serving Recommendations

This selection of Instant Pot recipes for beginners contains a variety of recipes to choose from whether it be one pot dinners, Instant Pot soups and stews or learning how to cook pantry staples. And as such, each recipe post will have the best pairings for that particular recipe.

In general though, most of the Instant Pot recipes listed here pair well with the below items:

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Chicken breast cooked from fresh or frozen is one of the best ways to use your Instant Pot. This simple Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe uses minimal seasoning yielding essentially a chicken ‘blank slate’ to be added to any recipe. Hands off and ready in 25 minutes!

Cooked Instant Pot chicken breast in blue bowl.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Meal prep perfection is what you get with Instant Pot Shredded Chicken. Skip buying frozen shredded chicken and make this easy recipe for tacos, skillets, stir-fry and salad. Really the options to use this chicken are endless!

instant pot shredded chicken

Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes

One pot meal or thick stew? No matter what you decide to call it, your family will love this down home comfort food meal of Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes. Tender chicken, soft potatoes and carrots then combined with seasonings and Instant Pot does the magically cooking method of turning this into a wonderful hearty meal!

instant pot chicken and potatoes

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

One of my most requested recipes! Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is simple, tasty, hearty and amazing. Serve with a green salad for a delicious meal.

instant pot chicken and rice

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Move over take out menu, there is new guy in town and it’s name is the Instant Pot! Readers call this Instant Pot Butter Chicken ‘authentic’- it’s that good. Also, ready in 30 minutes, faster than the take out guy can deliver.

instant pot butter chicken

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo

Another reason you can skip take out! Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo is restaurant quality but without all the heavy calories and fat that comes with restaurant dining. Add peas for a bright pop of color or broccoli if peas aren’t your thing!

instant pot chicken alfredo

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

A must make for Instant Pot newbies! Instant Pot Whole Chicken is your favorite grocery rotisserie chicken made at home. You know this will make your house smell amazing, it’s a no brainer to make.

instant pot whole chicken

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Tacos just make everyone happy, it’s a fact! These Instant Pot Chicken Tacos will be a crowd pleaser, not only with your family but with the one cooking, too. Only 3 ingredients and you have the most tender chicken taco meat ever.

instant pot chicken tacos

Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Thighs

Chicken turns out amazing in the Instant Pot and it’s the same for these Chicken Thighs. Tender chicken only 5 ingredients and done in 30 minutes. Use the leftover ‘juice’ at the bottom of the Instant Pot to make a gravy and serve with rice or potatoes to soak it all up. Cue the comfort food swoon!

instant pot chicken thighs

Instant Pot Stir Fry

I love to call this Instant Pot Stir Fry my ‘Costco dinner’ as it features frozen veggies and chicken (which I bought at Costco). In reality, you can buy these ingredients at any supermarket – but the point is this fantastic meal uses everyday ingredients with only 5 minutes prep! A fantastic dinner that is way healthier than any takeout.

Instant Pot stir fry in white bowl.

Beginner Instant Pot Side Dishes

Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables

There is no excuse not to have veggies at dinner any longer! Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables are ready in only minutes and retain more nutrients because of the steaming process. A little butter, a sprinkle of Everything But the Bagel seasoning and these veggies will be gobbled up!

instant pot vegetables served in white bowl

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

No draining makes these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes a win-win-win! Easy enough for weeknights and fancy enough for the holidays, these spuds are ready in 30 minutes and they are quite simply the best way to make mashed potatoes IMHO.

instant pot mashed

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes

Tender, perfectly fluffy Instant Pot Baked Potatoes in half the time it takes to bake them! This foolproof recipe works for any size of potatoes, keeps the house cool, and will amaze family and friends.

instant pot baked potatoes

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Ten minutes is all you need for this perfectly cooked Instant Pot Corn on the Cob! Steam helps lock in the sweetness of the corn, making this oh-so-perfect for when corn is in season. Eat the corn whole as a side to your favorite grilled recipes or cut it off the cob to use in your favorite recipes, like Mexican street corn salad.

instant pot corn on trivet inside the pot

Instant Pot Basics to Master

Instant Pot Long Grain White Rice

Make dinner and meal prep easy with Instant Pot Long Grain White Rice. It’s a quick, hands-off way to cook perfectly fluffy rice every time!

Instant Pot long grain white rice with wooden spoon in a pot.

Instant Pot Basmati Rice

Instant Pot Basmati Rice cooks up light and fluffy every time! It takes only 1 minute of prep time and 20 minutes of total cook time.

Instant Pot basmati rice in pressure cooker with wooden spoon in it.

Instant Pot Quinoa

No more standing over the stove keeping an eagle eye on your quinoa! Instant Pot Quinoa turns out perfectly fluffy every time. Say goodbye to mushy overdone or crunchy underdone quinoa by following this step-by-step guide.

perfect instant pot quinoa

Instant Pot Brown Rice

Another pantry staple to learn how to cook Instant Pot style – Instant Pot Brown Rice includes directions on how to cook a variety of brown rice! Whether your preference is long grain, short grain or brown basmati rice, you will be a brown rice pro after mastering this cooking method.

instant pot brown rice

Instant Pot Jasmine Rice

20-minute Instant Pot Jasmine Rice is fragrant, fluffy, and easy to make. It’s the perfect side dish to any meal or double the recipe for easy meal prep!

Instant Pot jasmine rice in a pot with a spoon.

Instant Pot Kidney Beans

This easy Instant Pot Kidney Beans recipe is a foolproof, no soak method for perfectly tender beans. A quick way to add flavorful plant-based protein to any dish!

Instant Pot kidney beans in liquid in the pot with a spoon.

Instant Pot Black Beans

Need your dried beans ready in a flash? Look no further than Instant Pot Black Beans! No pre-soaking makes this way of cooking beans a favorite, and ready in only 15 minutes! No standing at the stovetop for hours any longer waiting for your dried beans to get finished.

instant pot black beans

Instant Pot Chickpeas

Another legume favorite, Instant Pot Chickpeas also requires no soaking! Whether you are batch cooking or meal prepping, this method of cooking your chickpeas is a no-brainer.

instant pot chickpeas

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

Forget to thaw your ground protein for dinner? Thaw it quickly in the Instant Pot! Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef thaws quickly and is recipe ready for burgers, tacos, skillets and more.

instant pot frozen ground turkey or beef

Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

Recipe ready (or eat as is) Instant Pot Eggs recipe includes directions for soft, medium or hard-boiled eggs. These are also perfect on a brunch charcuterie board.

instant pot eggs

Instant Pot Applesauce

A staple anytime of the year, but especially during apple season! Instant Pot Applesauce is customizable and freezer friendly and tastes so much better than store bought. From healthy BBQ sauce to healthy quick breads, you will love having applesauce on hand for all your recipes favs.

applesauce in bowl

Easy Instant Pot Soups for Beginners

Instant Pot Taco Soup

Instant Pot Taco Soup is one of the easiest dinner you’ll ever make with pantry staples, in one pot and full of Mexican flavors!

Instant pot taco soup with beans, corn and ground meat with soup ladle.

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

This easy Instant Pot White Chicken Chili becomes a family favorite with just a few chicken breasts, pantry staples and only 20 minutes of cook time!

Instant Pot white chicken chili in the pressure cooker garnished with lime.

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Full of Southwest flavor Instant Pot Black Bean Soup is a nutritious recipe that’s high in plant protein, fiber, and tastes great. Hearty, healthy, and time saving with no soaking of dried beans required!

Instant Pot black bean soup with avocado, cilantro, lime and cheese in a bowl.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Five minutes prep is all you need for this hearty Instant Pot Lentil Soup. This soup works with either brown or green lentils, features a light tomato broth base and simple spices, plus a pop of green from kale or spinach. Hearty, nutritious and comforting!

instant pot lentil soup

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup is creamy and flavorful. Loaded with fall flavors and ready in under 30 minutes. Naturally gluten-free and vegan, it is perfect bowl of comfort for cooler days!

Instant Pot butternut squash soup on a ladle.

Instant Pot Pork or Beef Recipes for Beginners

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Tender fall apart pork in under 2 hours! No need to wait for the low and slow pulled pork any longer. Make this Instant Pot Pulled Pork for game day, summertime picnics or meal prep. Perfect on a sandwich bun with healthy coleslaw.

Close up of shredded Instant Pot pulled pork in BBQ sauce.

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

Bring a taste of Mexican street fair food into your home with these Instant Pot Pork Carnitas. Seasoned pork is perfect for nachos, tacos or even in a bowl paired with this Mexican Kale Salad.

pork carnitas

Easy Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

Instant Pot Spaghetti

A lot of flavor with little effort is what you get in this one pot Instant Pot Spaghetti dinner! Only a few simple ingredients and minimal instructions are what will make you love this spaghetti even more.

instant pot spaghetti

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

A kid favorite (and who are we kidding adult approved, too!) this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is easy to make in one pot and made healthier with just 1 cup of cheese! It’s a hands off recipe, making it perfect for any party you might serve it at.

Instant Pot mac and cheese with wooden spoon.

Instant Pot Lasagna

Ready in 30 minutes and without a springform pan! You will love this easy to make Instant Pot Lasagna. Layers of pasta, spinach and sauce topped with melty cheese and you will never be baking lasagna in the oven again.

Instant Pot lasagna cut into square in pressure cooker pot.

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes to Try

instant pot chicken tacos

Best Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners: Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

One of the Best Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners are these easy chicken tacos! Minimal ingredients yield delicious seasoned and tender shredded chicken taco meat. Serve with your favorite taco ingredients for a complete meal to impress your family!
4 from 4 votes
Servings 12 tacos
Calories 117
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs boneless & skinless
  • 1 tbsp low sodium store bought or homemade taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 10-14 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Diced avocado tomato, red onion and shredded lettuce, fixings for serving
  • Guacamole cheese and yogurt, for serving (pick and choose)


  • Add chicken breasts to any size Instant Pot, sprinkle with taco seasoning and place salsa on top.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 12 minutes for fresh chicken breasts or 15 minutes for frozen.
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a release valve, then float pin will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After it is finished, release pressure immediately by turning valve to Venting position, wait until the float pin drops down and open the lid.
  • Remove chicken breasts into a medium bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid from Instant Pot and stir.
  • Warm up tortillas on a hot skillet for 1 minute or so per side. Or directly on a gas burner.
  • Assemble tacos with desired toppings.



  • Store: Refrigerate leftover shredded chicken (without toppings) in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Make sure frozen chicken pieces are separated – not one blob. It helps to place them in a bowl with hot water for 5 minutes.
  • You can double the recipe and keep same cook time.
  • Fresh salsa should work as well.


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 207mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Do you have cookbooks? I love having the recipes all on paper and in one place.

    LOVE your attitude towards food and cooking. I am a new Instant Pot owner and and completely obsessed.

    1. No cookbook, yet! Thank you for the kind words and congrats on the new Instant Pot. Glad to have you following along here!

  2. 5 stars
    Never thought of doing lasagna in the Instant Pot before! Turned out amazing, I will be working through this whole list for sure over the next few months.

  3. Also on Vancouver Island! So happy to find your site. Just discovered the Instapot and excited to try cooking things in it. Your recipes look amazing.

  4. Thank you so much for posting all of this. I just started back using the IP and I am so looking forward to starting all over again with simple recipes.

4 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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