Instant Pot Meal Plan: 7 Days of Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners

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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!

collage of Pulled BBQ chicken, Bow-Tie pasta, and kalua pork, all easy beginner pressure cooker recipes

“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!

We’ve put together a week of easy Instant Pot recipes to get you loving your new machine. 

☑️ Plus, subscribe to our weekly recipe updates, and we’ll send you the full shopping list for free!

Interested in having us teach you how to start cooking in your Instant Pot?

Our Instant Pot 30-Day Jumpstart beginners course is OPEN for new students until January 14th!

Click here for details and learn how to register.

Pinterest collage for the Instant Pot 7-Day Meal Plan, with photos of pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, bow tie pasta and meat sauce, and kalua pork

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 PotNinja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

 Shredded BBQ chicken sandwich on a bun served in a brown basket

Day 1: Pulled BBQ 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!

pork and gravy served on a white plate with  green beans

Day 2: Boneless Pork Chops

This Instant Pot 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 1: When you brown meat in the pressure cooking pot, be sure to 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.

Pressure Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup, dished up and ready to serve with additional shredded cheese and breadsticks

Day 3: Broccoli Cheese Soup

My Pressure Cooker 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!

A plate of food on a table, with Cook and Pasta

Day 4: 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!

This recipe for Pressure Cooker Bow Tie Pasta is not only one of the easiest and fastest on our site, it is also one of the most popular!

And for good reason—it is a delicious easy meal that 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.

I prefer to start new cooks off with Bow Tie pasta instead of spaghetti, which can tend to clump together. (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.

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Honey Sesame Chicken

Day 5: Honey Sesame Chicken & White Rice

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. 

For this meal, make the rice first and transfer it to a serving bowl that’s tightly covered while you make the Honey Sesame Chicken.

If you’re ready, you can also try using the pot in pot Instant Pot cooking method to cook your rice. (Just follow the steps in the note at the bottom of the recipe.)

Or, make a double batch of rice and save the leftover rice for tomorrow’s recipe. 🙂

Insta Pot Kalua Pork recipe, plated and ready to serve with pineapple and macaroni and cheese

Day 6: 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!

Pot Roast. potatoes and carrots served in a white bowl with fork

Day 7: Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

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 add them at the very end of the pressure cook time. The carrots and potatoes still take on the flavor of the roast, but they’ll be done to tender perfection.

The Best Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Rice Pudding in short glasses

Dessert: The Best 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!


🥘 Browse our collection of the best pressure cooker / Instant Pot recipes.

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👥 Join our Electric Pressure Cooker Facebook Group. Our positive community of pressure cooking fans use all brands of electric pressure cookers, so it’s a great resource if you have questions about your particular brand.

🥧 If you’re interested in more than just Instant Pot recipes, follow us at Barbara Bakes. There we post amazing breakfasts, breads, and the best dessert recipes

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Pinterest collage for the Instant Pot 7-Day Meal Plan, with a close up shot of the broccoli cheese soup
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originally published February 9, 2020 — last updated November 23, 2021
Categories: Roundups