If beating the back-to-school blues by serving up delicious dinners every night of the week that your family will love sounds like way too much work for your tired mama brain, think again. There are plenty of Instant Pot recipes for school nights that can be ready in less time than it takes to argue about why your seventh grader absolutely must finish their English paper that's due tomorrow.
When you're rushing from school pickup to violin lessons, baseball practice, or dance class, time is of the essence. Fill your family's bellies with delightful dinner dishes that can be made entirely in an Instant Pot quickly and easily. Pair them with a simple, fresh side dish like a garden salad or some fruit to round out the heavier pasta dishes or cream-based soups, or just enjoy serving these meals as stand-alone dinners.
There is truly something for everyone on this list. From adventurous spiced meat dishes with Spanish flair to comforting stews and classic chicken recipes that will knock your socks off, each of these 15 Instant Pot recipes for school nights are easy to make and will be your new go-to dishes for those busy weeknights all school year long.
1. Instant Pot Chinese Sesame Chicken
One of my kids' favorite weeknight dinners is Chinese food from the frozen section at the grocery store. It's quick and easy, but can be full of really unhealthy preservatives. This Instant Pot Chinese sesame chicken recipe from A Spicy Perspective is going to be my new go-to school night dinner. It includes fresh ingredients and is ready in just 20 minutes.
2. Instant Pot Vegan Chili
If your family lives for vegan comfort foods, this Instant Pot vegan chili from A Cozy Kitchen is going to become one of your go-to weeknight dinners. In just 20 minutes, you can have a hearty chili filled with beans and quinoa topped with fresh avocados for a healthy boost.
3. Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs With Mushroom Gravy
While they make the perfect party bites, these Instant Pot Swedish meatballs by Wholefully can also be served over mashed potatoes or rice for a hearty dinner that your kids will love. The comforting flavors of sage, garlic, fennel, and mushrooms combine in just 40 minutes to give you a comforting classic that is easy to throw together on a school night.
4. Instant Pot Italian Beef
This flavorful Italian beef recipe from A Spicy Perspective comes together in your Instant Pot in under an hour. Throw it on some toasted rolls with melty cheese and you have yourself a hearty sandwich meal that your kids are going to absolutely devour.
5. Instant Pot Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Serving a hearty soup is one way to fill the tummies of your entire family on school nights. Make this creamy chicken and wild rice soup by Foodie Crush and your kids will be lining up for seconds in no time flat. If you have a little more time on your hands or your Instant Pot is currently being occupied, this recipe also includes stovetop directions great for making ahead on meal prep days.
6. Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta
You can have creamy, comforting pasta goodness ready in a snap on a school night with this chicken pot pie bow tie recipe by I Am A Food Blog. The addition of peas and carrots gives this recipe a healthy vegetable boost that your kids won't even mind chowing down on.
7. Perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry
Some curries can take hours to simmer on the stovetop and require a lot of prep work to get the flavors just right. This is definitely not the case with this butter chicken curry dish by A Spicy Perspective. Ready in just 20 short minutes, this is a great choice for a school night dinner when you are looking to expand your kids' palate with a comforting Indian-inspired dish.
8. Easy Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
In just 30 minutes, you can serve up a classic Italian favorite for your family straight from your Instant Pot with this easy chicken fettuccine alfredo recipe by Foodie Crush. Because who doesn't love pasta night, right? It's filling, fast, and perfect for hurried school nights.
9. Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo
In less than half an hour, this Instant Pot herb chicken orzo recipe by A Spicy Perspective comes together to give you a rounded out meal of chicken and orzo pasta with a crushed tomato sauce that can't be beat.
10. Pressure Cooker Red Beans
If you're looking for some bayou-inspired bold flavor to spice up your school nights, look no further than this recipe for pressure cooker red beans by Budget Bytes. Serve over fluffy rice to cool the spice just a bit, and your kids are going to ask for this meal throughout the rest of the school year.
11. Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
With just the right amount of spice, you can step up your tired old taco night game when you make Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup. This recipe by A Cozy Kitchen takes approximately 30 minutes in your pressure cooker and after 10 minutes of prep and garnish, you're ready to have a delicious school night meal in under an hour.
12. The Ultimate Instant Pot Meat Sauce Recipe
A good meat sauce can be served over pasta or globbed on top of a sub roll to eat like a meatball sandwich. This ultimate Instant Pot meat sauce by I Am A Food Blog is no exception. It tastes like you've spent all day cooking, when really you've spent half an hour. Serve it up with a side salad and you have a well-balanced Italian-inspired school night dinner that you and your kids will all love.
13. Instant Pot Indian Masala Pasta
Packed with flavor and healthy vegetables, this Instant Pot Indian masala pasta by My Heart Beets is ready after spending just five minutes cooking away in your Instant Pot. That's right, five minutes. It's a one-pot wonder that will have you wondering how you ever made it through school nights without an Instant Pot.
14. Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
This robust vegetable soup by That's What Che Said cooks in your Instant Pot in just 14 minutes. Your entire family will enjoy a flavor-filled soup packed with healthy vegetables that tastes like you spent all day cooking it, when you really just threw it together last minute after soccer practice.
15. Instant Pot Pinto Beans With Chorizo
Spanish chorizo, garlic, and chicken stock flavor dry pinto beans in just over an hour in this Instant Pot pinto beans with chorizo recipe by Budget Bytes. If your family likes spicier dishes, this one really brings the heat. Serve it with tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream, and you're sure to have a school night dinner hit on your hands.