The Instant Pot Is A Meal Prep Master—And These 6 Recipes Prove It

The Instant Pot, a giant electric pot that can function as a pressure cooker, sauté pan, steamer, rice maker, slow cooker, and more, is basically a kitchen wizard—so it’s no wonder Instant Pot recipes have been taking over Pinterest and Instagram lately.

The Instant Pot’s many talents—and the fact that you can easily fit a week’s worth of food in it—make it a meal prepper’s dream. It’s like a crock pot with wings!

With a few tried-and-true meals in your arsenal and an Instant Pot on your countertop, you can transform your Sunday meal prep from an all-day affair to ‘fill the pot and chill.’ Here are six popular recipes to get you started.

photo: The Girl On Bloor

1. Instant Pot Chicken Pad Thai

Keep your meal prep repertoire interesting with this chicken Pad Thai recipe from The Girl On Bloor. You can cook all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot (yes, even the noodles), which is a major perk for anyone who’s had to wash an entire kitchen’s-worth of pots, pans, and tools after a meal prep session. This recipe keeps health in mind by using chicken breasts and plenty of colorful veggies like carrots and peppers. If you’re keeping your meals lower-carb, you can even swap in spiralized carrots or zucchini noodles for the rice noodles. Once everything’s in the pot, you’ll have a week’s-worth of meals in just 30 minutes flat!

photo: I Breathe, I’m Hungry

2. Instant Pot Balsamic Beef Pot Roast

When you’re craving comfort food but don’t feel like waiting all day as a pot roast cooks up in the Dutch oven, try I Breathe, I’m Hungry’s Instant Pot Balsamic Pot Roast recipe. You’ll quickly brown the meat using the Instant Pot’s ‘sauté’ feature and then stew it to tender perfection along with balsamic vinegar (try Walden Farms’ Balsamic Dressing for calorie-free flavor), onion, and spices. Once the meat’s done, you can even use your Instant Pot to steam up some cauliflower for a nice mash to serve it over.

photo: A Pinch of Healthy

3. Instant Pot Red Beans And Rice

Andouille sausage spices up A Pinch of Healthy’s recipe for this already-flavorful classic meal. Just dump in everything except for your sausage and your rice (which you can also make in the Instant Pot), and cook for about half an hour. Then, throw your sausage in for another 15 minutes, and voila, you’ve got yourself a balanced, flavorful meal you can enjoy all week long. Don’t forget to top your beans and rice with plenty of your favorite hot sauce (6 Pack Fitness makes four flavors and we love them all) and serve them with a side of something green, for good measure.

photo: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

4. Instant Pot Pho

That’s right, you can even make super-trendy Pho (a Vietnamese soup made with bone broth, rice noodles, some sort of meat, and veggies) in your Instant Pot with this recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. You’ll prep by charring some veggies and parboiling your beef bones, and adding them to your Pot along with a number of fragrant ingredients, like apple cider vinegar (Bragg is our go-to), cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom, to cook up homemade bone broth. Pressure cooking the bone broth sucks up about an hour, but considering this would cost you a full day on the stove, we’ll take it. From there you’ll deck out your broth with a protein, like sirloin steak, rice or veggie noodles, bean sprouts, hot sauce (try 6 Pack Fitness’ Chipotle Hot Sauce for this one), and fresh herbs. Store your soups in big Mason jars for easy transport throughout the week.

photo: I Wash, You Dry

5. Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup

Done in 35 minutes, flat, this chicken taco soup from I Wash, You Dry is the perfect base for all sorts of toppings that you can mix and match to keep your taste buds happy all week long. Simply add all of your ingredients—chicken breasts, onion, broth, beans, corned, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, and ranch seasoning—to the Instant Pot, watch an episode of Parks And Recreation on Netflix, and you’ll be ready to deck out this Mexican-inspired meal. Top with anything from salsa, to avocados, to tortilla chips, to shredded cheese, to ranch dressing, and enjoy! If dairy is not your friend, try Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning for a dose of umami instead.

photo: Oh Sweet Basil’s

6. Award-Winning Instant Pot Chili

C’mon, we had to include a chili recipe…But this isn’t your average slow-cooker chili. First of all, it’s loaded with bacon! Second of all, it takes just 40 minutes to cook, making it much easier to execute than the usual slow-cooker recipe that has to stew for six hours. (Raise your hand if you’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by the ding of your slow cooker.) Oh Sweet Basil’s chili recipe features all of the usual staples, like beans, tomatoes, ground beef, jalapeños, and plenty of spices, like paprika, chili powder, and garlic. (Oh My Spice’s Sweet And Savory Seasoning tastes ah-mazing in chili.) Just cook your bacon, beef, and veggies in the Instant Pot first, add the rest of your ingredients, and you’re golden.

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