By Ariel Knutson
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer is a gift, but sometimes you need something more. Sometimes you need something cooked — even though it’s hotter than a jalapeño outside, and you’re cursing yourself for not buying an additional AC unit. In those instances, you need your Instant Pot. Yes, you might associate the trendy appliance with all sorts of stews and hearty meat dishes, but it’s also the perfect tool for summer because it won’t heat up your home. You can make pulled pork, the most delicious potato salad, and so much more. Here are some of our favorite summer Instant Pot picks for the warmer months ahead.
1. Instant Pot Shrimp Boil from Damn Delicious
Every time I come across this recipe on Pinterest (which is a lot), I have to stop and stare. You mean to say you can make an entire shrimp boil without lugging out a stock pot? It turns out, it really is a matter of just adding potatoes, sausage, onion, and seasoning into an Instant Pot, letting that cook, then adding your shrimp at the last minute. Then, you simply serve with melted garlicky butter. The real question is: why aren’t you making this all the time?
2. Tender Instant Pot Pulled Pork from Fit Foodie Finds
Burgers get all the love during the summer, but what I really look forward to making is pulled pork sandwiches. Most pulled pork recipes require you turn on the oven, but this recipe is obviously done completely in the Instant Pot. If you want, swap the brown sugar in the rub for coconut sugar — or leave it out entirely. And make sure to choose a low-sugar barbecue sauce (like Annie’s).
3. Instant Pot Potato Salad from Simply Recipes
Don’t wait for your water to boil to cook both your potatoes and eggs — just use your Instant Pot and get them both done at once! It only takes about 20 minutes. From there, mix in the rest of your ingredients (things like parsley, carrots, celery) and then your creamy elements (Dijon mustard, mayonnaise).
4. Instant Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta from Eating Instantly
Go ahead and bookmark this recipe for all your summer lunch needs. The main ingredients are chicken, pasta, and pesto. From there you can get creative with your vegetables, although the blogger behind Eating Instantly uses broccoli and red onion. The entire thing is cooked in the Instant Pot — starting with the chicken and pasta before adding your vegetables at the end to steam.
5. Instant Pot Collard Greens from Bon Appétit
Collard greens are a year-round staple, especially in the South. They’re equally great at summer backyard parties or on New Years Day alongside some black eyed peas. Many collard green recipes take upwards of two hours (or more) to make, but thanks to the Instant Pot, you can enjoy this recipe in about 30 minutes or so.
6. Instant Pot Chicken Tacos from Isabel Eats
When you have a batch of this super flavorful shredded chicken in your fridge, you never have to wonder what you’re having for dinner. This IP recipe takes one hour total to make, and there are bound to be plenty of leftovers. Serve it with warm tortillas, onions, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.
7. Instant Pot Peach-Raspberry Crisp from Wife Mama Foodie
This vegan and gluten-free dessert is a must-make summer recipe. It’s one of those things that looks like it takes longer than it actually does. You cook the fruit in the Instant Pot on high in just one minute (!!) while the crisp topping takes about five to seven minutes on the stovetop. Serve with vegan ice cream.
8. Clean Eating Instant Pot Summer Soup from Pinch of Yum
I know what you’re thinking. Hot soup…during the summer? But hear me out: This soup takes less than an hour to make and it’s full of vegetables, chicken, and grains. It’s filling and nutritious without feeling hearty. It’s also easily adaptable, so if you have some vegetables you’re trying to use up that are wilting in the fridge, throw them in there.
9. Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Bowls from Skinnytaste
This is an excellent recipe for meal prep. It’s easy to double and then pack in meal prep containers to enjoy all week. You can cook both the salsa-y chicken and the quinoa in your Instant Pot, then add to a bowl with cherry tomatoes, corn, and avocado. It’s a great, healthy dinner or lunch for summer.
10. Instant Pot Ribs from Well Plated
That’s right, you don’t need to turn on your oven or your grill to eat the most delicious ribs this summer. To make, you simply add your rub to the ribs, and then add your trivet to the bottom of your Instant Pot alongside some apple cider vinegar and water. Then, add your ribs and cook on high for 23 minutes. Take ‘em out, and go to town.