8 Instant Pot Dinner Recipes You Can Make in 25 Minutes or Less

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September 6, 2022
instant pot vegan lentil gumbo in a bowl
Courtesy of Cotter Crunch

Pressure cookers have been around for centuries, but the Instant Pot is the one that put them on the map and in the homes of Americans. Pressure cooking enables food to cook ultra-fast by heating it from the inside, which means that an Instant Pot can be an incredible tool for weeknight dinner recipes that are fast to prepare but taste slow-cooked.

Thanks to the Instant Pot, you can have slow-cooked tasting full meals on the table in a fraction of the time as it would take to cook them on the stove, in the oven, or on a grill. We’ve gathered together ten different recipes that all make for excellent dinners, and not one of them is chili. Those recipes abound, so we dug a little deeper for more interesting takes on pressure cooking with these Instant Pot dinner recipes, like a pear gorgonzola rosé risotto and Thai vegan ramen.

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1. Chicken Fajitas

instant pot chicken fajitas

Courtesy of Recipes From A Pantry

Taking a scant twelve minutes from start to finish — including prep — this chicken fajitas recipe lets you enjoy a TexMex dinner in a flash. The peppers and onions are cooked in the Instant Pot along with the chicken, and a store-bought fajita seasoning is used to save you time on crafting your own. Of course, if you prefer to do it yourself, you could just mix up this blend of spices and seasonings and you won’t have to worry about any commercial additives.

Try the recipe from Recipes From A Pantry.

2. Salmon Dinner

instant pot salmon dinner

Courtesy of Everyday Maven

You don’t need to have just run to the grocery store in order to get this salmon and rice dinner on the table in under twenty, because it allows for the use of frozen salmon. The basmati rice cooks along with the salmon in the Instant Pot, and you’ll want to be sure to use that type of rice, as brown rice would take significantly longer. Serve with the suggested salad tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, and you’ll have a balanced meal on the quick.

Try the recipe from Everyday Maven.

3. Pear Gorgonzola Rosé Risotto

instant pot pear risotto

Courtesy of A Duck’s Oven

Dry wine, punchy cheese, and fresh fruit make this risotto recipe different from all others. It’s an inventive take on a classic dish, and thanks to the Instant Pot, you won’t be stuck stirring rice endlessly for nearly an hour. Instead, you’ll begin by sauteing the pears in a dollop of butter and let that mixture coat the rice, then the pressure cooker will do the cooking in just six minutes. Stir again at the end to break down exterior starches, and you’ll have a creamy, fragrant main dish ready in no time.

Try the recipe from A Duck’s Oven.

4. Sweet Potato Curry

instant pot sweet potato curry in a bowl

Courtesy of Cooking Carnival

This vegan and gluten-free sweet potato curry are hearty as can be thanks to ingredients like chickpeas and coconut milk. With a spice mix you’ll whip up that includes cumin, smoked paprika, and curry powder, this Instant Pot dinner recipe is as healthful as it is delicious. Be sure to use fresh ginger and garlic rather than powder, as they’ll brighten the taste of the curry. Because there’s lots of starch in this thanks to the root vegetables and beans, you may enjoy it as is or with a side salad than over rice.

Try the recipe from Cooking Carnival.

5. Thai Vegan Ramen Noodles

instant pot thai vegan noodles

Courtesy of The Belly Rules The Mind

Twelve minutes is barely long enough to make the lousy-for-you instant ramen, so it’s pretty remarkable that you can make your own much healthier version in that time using one of our go-to Instant Pot dinner recipes. There are a lot of ingredients in these Thai vegan ramen noodles, but it’s easy to put together and full of vegetables like broccoli and zucchini. Thai red curry paste is the secret to the sauce being so delectable, and it’s heightened further with chili garlic oil, tamari, and coconut milk.

Try the recipe from The Belly Rules The Mind.

6. Spicy Orange Beef

instant pot spicy orange beef

Courtesy of Delicious Obsessions

Orange beef as a takeout dish isn’t always healthy, as it’s generally full of corn syrup and fried meat. But this fresh take on it certainly is! Suitable for paleo dieters thanks to ingredients like coconut aminos, arrowroot powder, and fresh orange juice, this beef dish also uses flank steak, which is a less expensive (and leaner) cut of beef than many other steak options. That means it’s budget-friendly, too! Ready in only 25 minutes, we love the orange zest and scallions added at the end for a take-on takeout that’s vibrant and fun.

Try the recipe from Delicious Obsessions.

7. Vegan Lentil Gumbo

instant pot vegan lentil gumbo in a bowl

Courtesy of Cotter Crunch

Sick of making the same ol’ chili? This vegan lentil gumbo is a flavorful alternative, and it’s one of our favorite Instant Pot dinner recipes! Lentils as a gumbo protein took us by surprise, but by the end of this recipe, we found ourselves fully on board — and excited to try vegan lentil gumbo. Okra remains the star of the show, and this recipe lets you use a frozen version if it isn’t in season fresh. Other vegetables include onions, bell peppers, celery, cauliflower, and heaps of fresh herbs like thyme and oregano ensuring there’s no shortage of classic gumbo flavor.

Try the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

8. Spaghetti Squash

instant pot spaghetti squash

Courtesy of My Culture Palate

There’s no sauce included in this Instant Pot dinner recipe, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you about this genius spaghetti squash hack. While it takes upwards of an hour to bake spaghetti squash in the oven in order for it to be tender enough to pull apart and use in lieu of pasta, thanks to the Instant Pot you can have it hot and ready in just 20 minutes. Medium-sized spaghetti squash can easily serve four and topped with a sauce such as petso or bison bolognese, it’s a satisfying main dish.

Try the recipe from My Cultured Palate.

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