Instant Pot Meal Plan: 7 Days of Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners
This Instant Pot Meal Plan is perfect for beginners! Each day you’ll make a meal that introduces a new pressure cooking skill and easy pressure cooker recipes. By the end of the week, you should feel much more comfortable using your new pressure cooker!
“I have a new Instant Pot—what recipe should I cook first?”
This is one of the most common questions we get at Pressure Cooking Today. And it’s an important one!
Don’t start your pressure cooking journey with a burn notice! Use these tested recipes to make sure you have a good first week of using your new Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Meal Plan: 7 Days of Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners
Like all of the recipes on our site, the meals in this pressure cooker meal plan will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
7 Days of Easy Instant Pot Recipes
We’ve put together a week of easy Instant Pot recipes that build on skills one at a time to get you feeling confident with your machine!
Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken
This Pulled BBQ Chicken is the perfect first meal to cook in your new pressure cooker or Instant Pot!
Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are about as easy as it gets—just toss 5 basic ingredients in your pressure cooker, set the time, and walk away.
Best of all, it comes together in 30 minutes, including time it takes to come to pressure and release it, which makes it a perfect recipe for busy nights when you need a hands-off, quick meal!
(If you want the detailed, how-to instructions, I've got them listed in my Beginner's Guide.)
Instant Pot Boneless Pork Chops
This Shortcut Boneless Pork Chops recipe will teach you all about the Saute button! You’ll use it twice—once to brown the meat and once to make a flavorful tomato-mushroom gravy!
These boneless pork chops are cooked until they’re fork-tender in an easy tomato-mushroom gravy that’s made super quick from onion soup mix, mushrooms, and tomato paste.
Saute Tip: After you brown meat in the pressure cooking pot, add the water and scrape off ALL of the browned bits from the bottom of the cooking pot. The browning will add a rich flavor to your sauce, and keeping the bottom of the pot clean will help you avoid the burn notice.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
My 1-Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup is one of the most popular recipes in my cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, for a good reason: it is quick to make and serve, and you can a double batch and then freeze any leftovers for future meals!
Dairy can be a tricky ingredient to use in your pressure cooker because it can sink to the bottom and burn if not diluted with broth or water
This soup will teach you to add the dairy after pressure cooking, so you get all that creamy and delicious dairy goodness without the worry!
Instant Pot Bow Tie Pasta in Sauce
Instant Pot Bow Tie Pasta teaches you to make pasta AND pasta sauce at the same time in your pressure cooker, and it gets dinner on the table quickly. Best of all, the pasta cooks right in the sauce, so there is only one pot to clean up.
See more pasta tips here: How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Pasta.
And my homemade pasta sauce doesn’t have any thickeners in it, unlike jarred sauces, so it’s much less likely to give you a burn notice.
If you want to cook the pasta and sauce separately, try my Penne and Homemade Marinara Sauce. Or, for a layered sauce approach, try my Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
This Honey Sesame Chicken is always one of our most popular Instant Pot recipes. It tastes just like your favorite restaurant carry-out meal, with tender chunks of chicken are coated in a sticky-sweet honey sauce.
I recommend trying pot in pot Instant Pot cooking method to cook your white rice. (Just follow the steps in the note at the bottom of the recipe.)
Or, if you'd rather, make the white rice first and transfer it to a serving bowl that’s tightly covered while you make the Honey Sesame Chicken. (If you do cook them separately, I recommend making a double batch of rice and save the leftover rice for tomorrow’s recipe.)
Instant Pot Kalua Pork
This Instant Pot Kalua Pork is where the magic of pressure cooking really shows—it’s a 16-hour oven recipe that’s cooked in just 90 minutes at High Pressure!
This recipe will take a little longer than the others we’ve done this week, so be sure to plan for the time it will take for the pot to come to pressure and then to release pressure. But we promise it will be worth it for this fork-tender Hawaiian favorite!
I think Kalua pork is a great option for a busy weekend. Just brown the meat, put it in the pressure cooker, and come back in two hours to serve it over white rice!
Old-Fashioned Pot Roast Instant Pot Recipe
This Old-Fashioned Pressure Cooker Pot Roast is a classic comfort meal that will definitely be the star at your next Sunday meal!
With a pressure cooker, you can have fork-tender beef roast in less than half the time it takes in the oven.
This recipe will teach you how to handle foods with different cook times!
If you added the carrots and potatoes when you first add the roast, they’d be a mushy mess. Better to cook the roast until it's nearly done, release the pressure and add the carrots and potatoes, then do a short second pressure cook. The carrots and potatoes still take on the flavor of the roast, but they’ll be done to tender perfection.
DESSERT: Instant Pot Rice Pudding
Finish your meal off with this creamy Instant Pot rice pudding recipe made right in your pressure cooker!
Faster and easier than traditional rice pudding recipes, this is comfort food at its very best.
We hope you enjoy these meals for your first week cooking in your new Instant Pot or other brand of electric pressure cooker!
Free Shopping List
We want to make it even easier for you to get started, so we’ve created a shopping list for all of the beginner meals listed above, including the dessert.
Leave us a comment below to let us know how things go this week!
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Just yesterday a lovely woman with gorgeous bright pink nails in the Raleys store told me she just got an IP sand had no idea what to do with it. I put all that in my first sentence just in case she sees it. Wouldn’t that be neat! I showed her your site on my phone and she said she’d look for it.
I am a veteran instant pot user going on three years. I have two now. We remodeled our kitchen and they became my stove!
But all these recipes are familiar comfort foods that will slot right into my 6 day meal plan of chicken x3 beer x 2 or one beef one pork and fish x 2 or one fish and one meatless. I used to make Kahlua pork in a slow cooker. It took forever like you said.
The lasagna looks to die for. Honestly I’ve never used one of your recipes that was not absolutely delicious. For Christmas I got a very nice slow cooker with the braise function. I’m going to put that into play too. Tonight split pea soup is cooking in the slow cooker and cornbread baking in the Nova.
A week’s worth of recipes especially for beginners. What a great idea! Frequently newbies say something like, “I have a new Instant Pot. What can I make?” This gives them a week’s worth of ideas. By the time they’re tried a week’s worth, if they will, beginners are likely to be quite comfortable with their Instant Pots.
I copied most of these recipes off to try at a later date. I like the simplicity of them, and prefer to keep it that way, for the most part; I’m a newbie, so I’m looking to keep it easy as thats what IP means to me, so far! Thanks so much for sharing! PS-nice website!
That’s so nice – thanks Karen! Have fun!