10 Easy Instant Pot Dinner Recipes for Beginners | Real Food Whole Life

10 Easy Instant Pot Dinner Recipes for Beginners

collage of soups in bowls with ingredients in instant pots and post title on pink background

If you’re looking for easy weeknight dinner recipes using the instant pot, you’re in the right place!

We all know what it’s like to try something new in the kitchen and these 10 instant pot dinner recipes are the perfect place to start learning how to cook delicious pressure cooker meals.

instant pot cooking is such a time saver

It’s no secret that I love easy slow cooker recipes, but when I’m extra pressed for time I turn to my instant pot to get dinner done fast.

Pressure cookers are such time (and sanity) savers on busy weeks. I find myself leaning on them more and more these days.

Each recipe only needs a few minutes of hands-on prep time. Then simply add your real food ingredients to the pot, set to pressure cook, and let it do the work for you.

The convenience of crock pot cooking, with the added perk of a quicker cook time. What’s not to love about that?

I am all about simplifying meals. As I talk about a lot in the Feel Good Effect book – using an instant pot is a really great way to simplify dinner. Reducing decision fatigue by going on a “decision diet” is a big part of my feel good effect approach.

it’s okay if you’ve never used a pressure cooker before

I know how intimidating it can feel to use a new appliance for the first time.

If you’ve been thinking about getting an instant pot (or already have one and are scared to take it out of the box) – start with just one easy recipe. It’s the best way to learn how to use your pressure cooker, get over your fears, and (most importantly) get cooking!

To get you inspired, I gathered some of my favorite beginner-friendly instant pot dinner recipes for you here. They’re all light on prep steps and big on flavor. The ingredients are easy to find and you’ll fall in love with how much this will simplify home cooking for you.

These easy recipes will help you learn how to cook everything – including eggs, veggies, chicken, soups, main dishes and more. Your confidence will grow in the kitchen as you cook through each recipe. And before you know it, you’ll be a total instant pot pro.

simple recipes that are easy to make

All of these recipes are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and refined sugar free – so everyone can enjoy them! Including some paleo friendly, whole 30 friendly, or vegetarian options included too. Each recipe has simple adaptations and tips waiting for you (like ingredient swaps and making these meals kid-friendly).

I hope you’ll make these delicious dinner recipes soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

If you like these recipes, I’ve got many more instant pot recipes waiting for you to try next. I’ll leave you links below for exactly which type of instant pot I use (and other kitchen tools that’ll make prepping these recipes even easier).

5-Ingredient Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili (Slow Cooker, Instant Pot)
5-Ingredient Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili is simple to prepare, totally nourishing, and absolutely delicious.
Check out this recipe
Photo 5-Ingredient Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili (Slow Cooker, Instant Pot)
Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Turmeric Chicken No-Noodle Soup
Packed with chicken, veggies, and good-for-you turmeric, Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Turmeric Chicken No-Noodle Soup is warming, nourishing, and so delicious!
Check out this recipe
Image of Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Turmeric Chicken No-Noodle Soup
One-Minute Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
One-Minute Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs is the simplest, best method to achieve perfect hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot, every time.
Check out this recipe
Image of One-Minute Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Instant Pot 5-Ingredient Enchilada Chicken
This 5-Ingredient Enchilada Chicken is one of my favorite easy instant pot dinner recipes (perfect for beginners!)
Check out this recipe
The Best Golden Glow Red Lentil Soup (Instant Pot, Crockpot, Stove Top)
The Best Golden Glow Red Lentil Soup is an easy one-pot meal that’s bursting with nourishment. Simple to make in the Instant Pot, Crockpot, or stovetop, you’re going to love this gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian recipe.
Check out this recipe
Image of The Best Golden Glow Red Lentil Soup (Instant Pot, Crockpot, Stove Top)
3-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Stuffed Potatoes
The easiest, most delicious, crazy simple recipe, 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Stuffed Potatoes is your new go-to for weeknight cooking.Everything cooks at once, so dinner’s done in minutes! Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, paleo, and Whole30 friendly.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot + Crockpot Sunshine Lemon Chicken Chowder
Light, healthy, and bursting with flavor, Instant Pot + Crockpot Sunshine Lemon Chicken Chowder makes for an easy weeknight dinner.
Check out this recipe
Image of Instant Pot + Crockpot Sunshine Lemon Chicken Chowder
Instant Pot Peach Chicken & Basil
Full of fresh summer flavors and ready in a matter of minutes, Instant Pot Peach Chicken & Basil is just the thing for a healthy, simple dinner any night of the week.
Check out this recipe
Image of Instant Pot Peach Chicken & Basil
Instant Pot Loaded Mexican Chicken Soup
Super fresh and packed with flavor, Instant Pot Loaded Mexican Chicken Soup in a one-pot dinner you’ll want to make again and again. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe.
Check out this recipe
Image of Instant Pot Loaded Mexican Chicken Soup
Instant Pot Chicken, Apples & Cabbage
Instant Pot Chicken, Apples & Cabbage is a super simple one-pot meal that’s packed with flavor, but with little prep or fuss. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe.
Check out this recipe
Image of Instant Pot Chicken, Apples & Cabbage

best kitchen tools to use for these instant pot recipes for beginners

6-Quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Programmable 6-Quart Crockpot 8-inch chef knife My Favorite Cutting Board

you’ll also love these instant pot recipes for beginners

this post contains affiliate links

Image of Instant Pot Loaded Mexican Chicken Soup
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10 Instant Pot Dinner Recipes for Beginners, Plus Mexican Chicken Soup

Yield 4 -6
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 24 mins
Total Time 29 mins

Super fresh and packed with flavor, this Instant Pot loaded Mexican Chicken Soup is a one-pot dinner that you’ll want to make again and again. Plus 10 more Instant Pot dinner recipes ideas, perfect for those learning how to cook delicious pressure cooker meals.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 small zucchinis sliced in half the long way, then sliced into 1-inch half moons
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 3 cups baby spinach or baby kale
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 limes juiced
  • Optional toppings: chopped cilantro chopped scallions, sliced avocado, lime wedges, hot sauce

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil to an electric pressure cooker. Turn to saute, add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder, stirring to combine.
  • Add the chicken, tomato sauce, zucchini, remaining 1 ¾ teaspoon salt, and chicken stock, stirring to combine.
  • Secure the lid, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • When the pressure cooker timer is done, quick release the pressure.
  • Remove the chicken, chop or shred into bite sized pieces and add back to the pot. Stir in the spinach or kale, cherry tomatoes, and lime juice. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Top with any toppings you like and serve.

Notes

Want to make this recipe in the Crockpot? Check out this variation.
Make it vegetarian by swapping 2 (15-oz) cans drained and rinsed chickpeas for the chicken and vegetable stock for chicken stock
Skip the chili powder if you prefer to avoid spicy.
Double the spinach or kale for an extra boost of goodness.

did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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