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30 Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Quick Weeknight Dinners

Get ready to set it and forget it!

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

If you’re expecting a new Instant Pot for the holidays, or if you still have to put last year’s gift to good use, boy do we have a recipe collection for you. In this roundup you’ll find more than two dozen easy Instant Pot recipes for quick weeknight dinners

While these dishes take several hours to come together, your trusty slow cooker does the lion’s share of the work. In fact, for many of these recipes, such as Instant Pot Risotto With Peas and Crispy Salami and Slow-Cooker Pork With Peppers and Olives, your job is done in 30 minutes or less. Since the Instant Pot and other slow cookers work, in part, by cooking food slowly at a low temperature, you can rest assured that the final result will be tender, comforting, and undoubtedly tasty. Keep reading for easy Instant Pot recipes to make tonight!

Related: 21 Late Night Food Recipes That Satisfy Midnight Cravings

Slow-Cooker Brisket With Melty Onions and Chimichurri

<p>Victor Protasio</p>

Victor Protasio

Technically this dish comes together in a little over eight hours, but we promise your trusty slow cooker does most of the work. All you have to do is sear the brisket and onions in a hot skillet before tossing them in the appliance, which takes about 20 minutes. Then, several hours later, the resulting meal is tender and hearty, while a zesty parsley-and-horseradish sauce you can make in the meantime adds freshness.

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Instant Pot Risotto With Peas & Crispy Salami

<p>Greg DuPree</p>

Greg DuPree

Yes you can use your Instant Pot to make risotto, and yes the results are downright delicious. This hearty dish has a Spanish flair thanks to the salty salami and smoked paprika, while sweet peas and tart lemon zest balance out the richness. It’s hard to believe that this restaurant-quality dish calls for a mere 20 minutes of hands-on work.

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Cuban Pork Tacos With Orange Slaw

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Tacos are an easy weeknight staple, and this recipe utilizes the slow cooker by calling on it to cook the pork. The meat, which is flavored with orange juice, lemon juice, and cilantro, cooks in the appliance before getting shredded and broiled. The only thing you really need to do is prepare the orange slaw, which pairs well with the rich meat and includes juicy orange segments, green cabbage, and a dash of zesty white wine vinegar.

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Instant Pot Spiced Short Ribs

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Short ribs typically need to cook for hours on the stove in order to deliver that melt-in-your-mouth goodness, but if you use your Instant Pot you only need to push a button. Once the meat cooks alongside some veggies and spices, go ahead and stir in a can of white beans. The beans add plenty of protein and heft to the dish, and are ideal for sopping up the flavorful sauce.

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Instant Pot Beef Ragù With Pappardelle

Pasta with meat sauce is the perfect meal for a cozy night at home, and it’s even better when you don’t need to spend hours simmering the ragù on the stove. For this recipe, all you have to do is toss chuck roast, canned tomatoes, aromatic onion and thyme, and a few other ingredients in the Instant Pot and let it do all of the work. Then, once the rich sauce is done, serve it with ribbons of pasta, creamy polenta, or even mashed potatoes.

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Instant Pot Lamb Tacos With Feta

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

The Instant Pot comes in handy yet again for these colorful and flavorful tacos. You’ll start by cooking cubed lamb shoulder until tender, and once the meat is done it’s all about the toppings. In addition to the seasoned lamb, each taco is filled with feta, pomegranate arils, yogurt, and mint. We’re big fans of this original and delicious recipe that comes together with just 20 minutes of hands-on time.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Tostadas

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

In this recipe, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are cooked in a slow cooker with onions, tomatillo salsa, and poblano chiles. The result is ridiculously tender meat with a tangy taste, which is the perfect tostada topper. While the slow cooker is handling the chicken, all you need to do is make a quick pico de gallo and sprinkle some crumbled queso fresco on the finished product, which takes about 15 minutes. Easy enough, right?

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Instant Pot Chicken Pho

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

Sure, you can order a bowl of chicken pho from your local Vietnamese restaurant, or you can make a hearty helping for yourself in the slow cooker. This version, which sports a flavorful broth made with star anise, coriander seeds, ginger, and more, also includes shredded chicken thighs, rice vermicelli noodles, and bold serrano chiles. Consider making extra if you can, because these soup leftovers are especially delicious.

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Slow-Cooker Beef and Noodle Curry

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

In this slow cooker recipe, a jar of red curry paste clings to chunks of stew meat, like chuck or round. You’ll also find sweet potato and onion here, which mingle with finishing ingredients like basil, coconut milk, and lime. Once the spicy curry is complete, serve it over rice noodles with a shower of fresh basil for good measure, and dig in.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Congee

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

Making this congee recipe in the slow-cooker not only allows for hands-off cooking, it infuses the coconut milk base with even more flavor. Plus, the recipe only calls for 10 minutes of your time. Suggested toppings include cilantro and Sriracha, but almost any savory element tastes great on top—roasted mushrooms, a fried egg, even avocado would all be equally at home here.

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Slow-Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast Rice Bowls

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

In this set-it-and-forget-it recipe, a boneless pork shoulder cooks with shallots, beef broth, and butter, while pepperoncini and a packet of ranch dressing mix deliver some serious flavor. The roast is served in bowls with rice, shredded romaine lettuce, and cilantro for an easy meal that’s perfect for a group.

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Slow-Cooker Birria Bowls

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

Birria is a rustic Mexican stew made with marinated meat and plenty of spices. In this version, which comes together in the slow cooker, you’ll find pieces of boneless chuck roast that are flavored with canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and diced tomatoes with jalapeño and cilantro. The pantry staples help ensure that this warming meal requires just 30 minutes of hands-on work.

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Slow-Cooker Pork With Peppers and Olives

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Cuban ropa vieja meets irresistibly tender pork in this easy slow-cooker recipe that asks for just 20 minutes of your time. The dish also includes a tomato-y bell pepper and onion sauce, along with pimiento-stuffed olives, and generous amounts of oregano, cumin, and garlic. The result is a deeply satisfying and flavorful meal that you can ​​serve with black beans and white rice to soak up every last bit of the delicious sauce.

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Slow-Cooker Coq au Vin

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Coq au vin is typically a very labor-intensive meal to prepare, which is why it's a great dish to make in the slow cooker. By using the appliance in this case, all you need to do is prepare the bacon and chicken before tossing those ingredients into the slow cooker with everything else. The result is a decadent meal that's ridiculously easy to make.

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Related: 27 Essential, Easy Chicken Recipes for Every Day of the Week

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

Con Poulos
Con Poulos

The slow cooker does wonders for tenderizing meat, and this chili recipe proves that the same is true for vegetables. The vegetarian dish is loaded with sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and a variety of beans, along with a litany of other ingredients you just have to toss in the slow cooker. Top each bowl of chili with sour cream, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips and you're all set.

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Slow-Cooker Deep Dish Pizza

<p>Victor Protasio</p>

Victor Protasio

Slow-cooker pizza? You bet! And you don’t even need one of those fancy pizza ovens. To make a deep-dish pie, all you have to do is stretch the dough to fill a large slow cooker insert, then top it as you like. Just make sure to cover the top of the slow cooker with a long piece of paper towel—it'll absorb the steam that evaporates during cooking, creating a practically perfect pizza.

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Slow-Cooker Mexican Beef Sliders

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Making barbacoa (as seen in these sliders) typically requires hours of slow-roasting and basting, but that's not the case if you dust off your slow cooker. Instead, the appliance melts the seasoned beef into fork-tender submission. Once the meat is done cooking, you'll shred it and pile it onto slider buns with a quick slaw and pickled jalapeños. Dinner is served after just 15 minutes of hands-on work!

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Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie

Marcus Nilsson
Marcus Nilsson

Pot pie is perfect for cold nights, and it’s even better when you can pop most of the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning and return home to a nearly finished meal. Once the mushrooms, carrots, and chicken cook, all that’s left to do is cut flaky puff pastry into rounds so you have that classic, golden pot pie topper.

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Slow-Cooker Puttanesca With Roasted Broccolini

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

While nothing beats a homemade tomato sauce, the near-constant stirring the spaghetti topping requires doesn't leave room for you to do much else during the day. However, if you use a slow cooker to make tomato sauce (in this case a puttanesca) the appliance does all the hard work for you. While the slow cooker is ensuring your noodles will have a rich and tangy sauce, you'll have plenty of time to prepare the easy broccolini side and cook the pasta.

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Slow-Cooker BBQ Sweet Potato Bakers

We all know that slow cookers are great for whipping up soups and stews, but did you know that the appliance can also cook and soften potatoes for meals? Here, the sweet potatoes are baked low and slow before being topped with rotisserie chicken, cheese, and barbecue sauce for a complete meal. Top with a dollop of sour cream fresh chives and dig in!

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Slow-Cooker Ragù With Spaghetti Squash

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Our favorite part about this recipe is that you can cook the Bolognese-inspired sauce and the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker at the same time. The result is an easy, hands-off dinner that doesn't skimp on flavor and comes together with just 15 minutes of hands-on work. Shave some Parmesan on top of each plate before serving and you're good to go.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole Chili

ANTONIS ACHILLEOS
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

If you’re not familiar with a mole, it’s a catchall term for a Mexican sauce that contains fruit and spices, among other things. In this recipe, those ingredients include tomatoes, ground cumin, cinnamon, slivered almonds, and just a little bit of semisweet baking chocolate. While these ingredients may not sound like they go together, we promise they do! Top each bowl with creamy avocado, crunchy radishes, and a fresh squeeze of lime juice for even more flavor.

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Brown Rice Congee with Kimchi, Scallions, and 7-Minute Eggs

Brie Passano
Brie Passano

While this rice dish typically takes an hour to cook on the stovetop, preparing it in the slow cooker helps break it down and give it a deliciously creamy texture. This version, which is ideal for those who love savory dishes, is topped with kimchi (a mixture of salted and fermented vegetables), scallion greens, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of tamari. Add a soft-boiled egg for an extra protein boost.

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Slow-Cooker Black Bean Posole

<p>VICTOR PROTASIO</p>

VICTOR PROTASIO

Posole is traditional Mexican soup made with spices, poblano chilies, and hominy. While it typically contains meat, this version calls for a pound of black beans instead. If you’re wary about trying a meat-free dinner, don’t be. We promise that this deeply flavorful, protein-packed meal will leave you feeling full and satisfied. The best part? The whole dish comes together with a mere 10 minutes of hands-on work.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

For this intensely flavorful soup, all you have to do is combine the main ingredients, turn on your slow cooker, and dinner is (basically) done. Once the chicken is finished cooking, you'll just go ahead and shred it and add it back to the soup, along with whatever toppings you like. We're partial to tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

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Slow Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken

Con Poulos
Con Poulos

This easy chicken dinner calls for 10 minutes of hands-on work before the slow cooker steps in. Serve the finished flavorful meal with rice to soak up the delicious sauce made from apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

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Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili

Anna Williams
Anna Williams

Break out two cans of black beans for this big-batch recipe, which all comes together in the slow cooker. In addition to black beans, this chili also features ground beef, fire-roasted tomatoes, diced vegetables, tomato paste, and plenty of spices. Top each bowl with sour cream, sliced avocado, and cilantro to complete the meal.

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Slow-Cooker Cuban Pork Sandwiches

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

For this surprising slow cooker recipe, briny pork, salty ham, tangy pickles, and bright mustard fill crusty bread. The appliance cooks the meat, which is flavored with orange zest, orange juice, and stock, which gives you plenty of time to get all of the other sandwich components together. Serve each sandwich with an ice-cold beer and a side of baked chips for a fast and delicious dinner.

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Related: 20 Quick and Easy One-Pan Recipes For Nights When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

Slow-Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Con Poulos
Con Poulos

The secret to this shepherd’s pie is a whole cup of beer, which goes directly into the slow cooker. Also in the appliance you’ll find beef, carrots, onion, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and potatoes, which get nestled into the flavorful liquid. Once the spuds are cooked through, you’ll mash them with milk, butter, and salt, and serve the meat alongside the creamy mashed potatoes.

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Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

A spicy-sweet coating of brown sugar and crushed red pepper helps seal in moisture in this pork tenderloin recipe. A hint of umami is added by soy-spiked beef stock. Go ahead and use this tenderloin the way we recommend—served over rice with crisp, refreshing cucumbers and carrots, or use it to make quick tacos, a salad topper, or even a burrito bowl.

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