21 Instant Pot dinner recipes that will save your life this winter

21 Instant Pot dinner recipes that will save your life this winter

At least half the week, dinner is a struggle around here.

We’ve been out all day hiking, or at the zoo, or it’s a school day with practices and rehearsals and…you get the idea. Maybe you’ve even been there?

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So we walk in the door at 5:30 with famished kids and nothing to eat sometimes. And this is why I love my Instant Pot. I didn’t think I needed another kitchen gadget, I really didn’t. I already have a slow cooker I love. But this thing saves my life on so many days, it pretty much sits permanently on my counter and I use either the pressure cooker or slow cooker option more nights than not. If you’re still on the fence about the Instant Pot, I’m a fan. I have one similar to this – it looks like they upgraded the display a little, but everything else is the same. I love it so much and it’s been worth every penny.

instant pot dinner recipes

And now – you need some dinner recipes to put in it! My two favorite and most used settings on our Instant Pot are the slow cooker and the pressure cooker settings, and most dinners I make fall into one of those categories. You can either get up, toss everything in the pot first thing in the morning and go about your day, or you can wait til the last minute…toss everything in the pot and have dinner ready in about 20 minutes (a few take longer, so be sure to check your recipe).

For your convenience, I divided the recipes up into those two categories for you.

Hamburger Stroganoff by Julie’s Eats and Treats

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes:


  • Hamburger Stroganoff by Julie’s Eats and Treats is a wonderful standby for busy nights, and stroganoff is popular with all the kids I know!
  • Butter Chicken from The Typical Mom is a delicious Indian dish that would be tasty with some naan and is not too spicy for the kids.
  • Pressure cooker carnitas from Dude That’s Dope. These aren’t too spicy for the kids – score!
  • Easy Mac & Cheese from Center Cut Cook is better for you than the powdered stuff and takes about the same amount of time.
  • 10 Minute Mongolian Beef from Adventures of a Nurse introduces new flavors a lot of kids haven’t tried before…but they had me at “10 Minutes.”
  • Chicken Enchiladas are a favorite at our house, and Number 2 Pencil has a quick, easy recipe.
  • Creamy Mushroom Chicken from Instant Pot Eats is a fast, delicious weeknight meal.
  •  General Tso’s Chicken from Adventures of a Nurse will make
  • Healthy Burrito Bowls from My Crazy Good Life let kids add their own toppings, which they generally appreciate.
  • Baked Potato Soup from Living Locurto with maybe a side of garlic bread will give you all the hygge feels.
  • Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo by Heather Likes Food looks fancy but is done fast. Yes.
  • Chicken and Spinach Ramen from Half Baked Harvest is another healthy dish kids can customize to their own taste.
Cheesy Enchilada Rice from 365 Days of Crockpot

Instant Pot Slow Cooker Recipes:

  • Cheesy Enchilada Rice from 365 Days of Crockpot – it may be rice, but this is a whole meal right here in one pot.
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup from Peace but Not Quiet is fast to throw together in the morning, and delicious served with warm, buttered tortillas.
  • Chicken Pot Pie from Better Homes & Gardens is warm, tasty comfort food.
  • Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches from Lauren Greutman- toss the ingredients in first thing in the morning and have an easy meal when you get back later (makes awesome lunch leftovers, too!)
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken from Delish – a good, healthy dinner recipe that cooks all day while you’re out.
  • Healthy Fabulous Fajitas from Taste of Home – I like using my slow cooker, but a lot of the recipes I find feature creamy sauces so the meat doesn’t dry out. I always get excited when I find healthy recipes everyone will like.
  • Stephanie’s Slow Cooker Stew from Taste of Home – a great one for chilly winter days.
  • Mushroom Barley Risotto from Food Network – risotto is one of those dishes I love to eat, but it requires you to stand right there and watch it. I’m pretty excited about this slow cooker recipe.
  • Beef Stroganoff – a dinner my kids love that’s now super-easy.

Do you have any go-to meals for busy days? I’d love to hear about them!



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