Now that school is back in session, getting dinner on the table before the hangry meltdowns begin can feel pretty challenging. Whether you work at the office or are a stay-at-home mom, the truth is, you only have a small window of time to figure out dinner before a code red situation goes down. If I'm not prepared, I end up doling out crackers to buy myself some time, and then just like that, I've torpedoed my chance of getting my girls to eat their veggies. Fortunately, there are some unbelievably tasty Instant Pot recipes for school nights that can be made in 30 minutes or less and will preserve your sanity this school year.
I knew my Instant Pot ($85, Amazon) was worth its weight in gold when I discovered an arsenal of "dump and go" recipes for it. These particular concoctions don't require any dicing, slicing, and sauteeing ahead of time, but rather require you to simply toss in the ingredients and walk away. It's pretty effortless, and yet everything comes out tasting insanely flavorful — like you've been crushing it in the kitchen all day. It's remarkable how fast you can whip up a meal when you've got a pressure cooker as your sous chef.
Plus, you don't have to limit yourself to "traditional" weeknight meals. The 10 Instant Pot recipes below are globally inspired. From Indian Mexican fusion, to bright Thai flavors, to sticky Korean chicken, you can have fun eating your way around the world with minimal prep and cooking time.
1. Instant Pot Taco Soup
This Instant Pot taco soup from The Girl on Bloor is gluten-free, vegetarian, and 100 percent delicious. It only takes 15 minutes to prep, and then just 15 minutes to cook, which means you've got a fiber and protein-packed family dinner ready to serve in just 30 minutes.
2. Indian Pulled Pork Tacos
This unique pulled pork recipe from Two Sleevers is Indian Mexican fushion at its finest. It combines rich Indian flavors, the convenience of tacos, plus the speed of a pressure cooker, and the result is an exotic dinner on the table in 20 minutes.
3. Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
This easy Instant Pot recipe from Well Plated, which can be made in less than 30 minutes, will seriously elevate your mac and cheese game. It's so creamy and cheesy, and healthier than an out-of-box option. The best part is that even the pickiest toddler won't be able to detect the secret ingredient of grated cauliflower.
4. Easy Instant Pot Pepper Steak
You can serve your hangry family scrumptious steak in 30 minutes, with this Instant Pot pepper steak recipe from The Girl on Bloor. It's loaded with bell peppers, onions, and an addicting soy-pepper sauce that will have your entire family asking for seconds and thirds.
5. Instant Pot Curried Coconut Lentil Soup
There's nothing better than a bowl of warm soup on a cold night, but when you don't have all day to chop, dice, and simmer, soup can seem out of the question. But with this delicious Instant Pot curried coconut lentil soup recipe form Table for Two, all you need is 25 minutes, and you've got yourself a deliciously creamy vegetarian stew.
6. Instant Pot Sticky Korean Chicken
This sensational sticky Korean chicken Instant Pot recipe from Half Baked Harvest is all about the sauce (sweet, sticky, and spicy all at once). It only takes 20 minutes to make, and it's oh-so-good. It will be one recipe you'll want to eat every week — okay, every day. Just make sure you have Gochujang in the pantry, because it's a key ingredient.
7. Instant Pot Spaghetti
Spaghetti night is always a winner. This meaty, saucy Instant Pot recipe from Mel's Kitchen Care requires only 10 minutes of prep and just 12 minutes to cook, so your family can be tucking into this yummy noodle dish in no time.
8. Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
BBQ season might be winding down but that doesn't mean you have to give up those glorious BBQ flavors. This delectable Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe from Meatloaf and Melodrama can be ready to serve in under 30 minutes, and it's seriously finger-licking good.
9. Instant Pot Thai Lemongrass Chicken
I will never tire of Thai flavors, and this Thai Lemongrass Chicken recipe from Half Baked Harvest is bursting with bright notes, thanks to the lime, lemongrass, basil, cilantro, and ginger. It only takes 25 minutes to make in total, so it's faster and fresher than takeout.
10. Instant Pot Pasta Cajun Chicken Alfredo
This hearty pasta recipe from Number 2 Pencil had me at 'cajun alfredo.' It's creamy, spicy, meaty and best of all, ready to eat in just 17 minutes.