Ahh, fall. The most magical — and most hectic — time of year. Between getting back in the school zone, holiday prepping, and trying to hit as many pumpkin patches as you can before the end of October, it can be hard to find time to eat, let alone cook for yourself and your family. Thankfully, the pressure cooker gods have blessed us with a plethora of fall Instant Pot recipes that make autumn dinners a snap, giving you time to squeeze in one more pumpkin spice latte before hitting that corn maze.
Fall is all about comfort, from wearing leggings every day to watching the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special, and I dare you to find an Instant Pot recipe that isn't comforting. From creamy stews to one stop casseroles, pretty much everything you can make in a pressure or slow cooker will have you feeling comforted and happy by the end of your meal—even this Instant Pot Limoncello recipe that I will be trying immediately.
To all my fall/Instant Pot lovers, read on for 21 fall recipes you can make in the convenient appliance that will change your family's dinner game. And if you're still on the fence about buying an Instant Pot, I have a hunch that at least one of these tantalizing recipes will convince you that you need one ASAP.
1. Creamy Rotisserie Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Nothing says fall quite like the warmth and comfort of a hearty soup, except for maybe rotisserie chicken, which is why a recipe that combines them makes for the perfect fall meal. Courtesy of Kitchen Confidante, this soup only takes 10 minutes to prep and 35 to cook, so you can have a filling dinner ready for your family in under an hour. Plus, it's great for nights when you have leftover chicken you're not sure what to do with.
2. Beef Stew
Beef stew makes me think of dinners cooked by someone's grandma and cold nights when only a hot meal can warm me up. Mel's Beef Stew from Mel's Kitchen Cafe would definitely do the trick. Plus, it can be ready in under an hour. Try it out on the first truly cool night of the year to get into the fall spirit, and save a plate for me, please.
3. Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes are good in any form, but mashed potatoes is definitely one of my favorite things to eat when I'm craving starch during the colder months. Making this fluffy dish has never been easier thanks to the invention of the Instant Pot, and I love this recipe from No. 2 Pencil. The whole things only takes 35 minutes from start to finish. I can't think of a reason you shouldn't make this every day this season.
4. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Spaghetti and meat sauce is a classic comfort food, and it just got even easier to make thanks to this recipe from Meatloaf and Melodrama. This dish is also done in under 30 minutes, and the Instant Pot gives the pasta a really soft texture. It's a perfect weeknight meal for busy families with picky eaters.
5. Dairy Free Lasagna Soup
My mom made lasagna often during weeks she knew she'd be too busy to cook for us everyday, and this recipe courtesy of Mindy at Once A Month Meals would have made mom's meal prepping even easier. It's one of Once A Month's "dump and go" meals, so it's designed for you to just throw all of the ingredients in the pot and not worry about it while it cooks for a mere 10 minutes. Plus, the lack of dairy makes it great for families dealing with lactose sensitivity.
6. Chicken Tacos
I'm always a big fan of food I can eat with my hands during busy weeks (hello, less dishes), and who doesn't love tacos? These chicken tacos from Two Peas and Their Pods are perfect for families with multiple dietary needs because the recipe is designed for most of the toppings to be optional, so your picky eater can keep his taco as plain as he wants. They take 35 minutes from prep to ready-to-serve, so you can fit them in on even your busiest nights.
7. Beef and Broccoli with Rice
This Beef and Broccoli with Rice dish puts a twist on a traditional comfort food. Erin from Well Plated combined a Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe with a Mongolian Healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe to make an Instant Pot dish that offers incredible flavor with minimal effort. The result is a flavorful one-stop dish that can be made in under 35 minutes that your whole family will love for this fall.
8. Honey Butter and Herb Roasted Chicken
I'm from the South, where honey butter anything is deemed a comfort food, so I find this Pressure Cooker Honey Butter and Herb Roasted Chicken recipe from Table for Two truly mouthwatering. The simple approach to cooking a whole chicken makes it even more appealing: just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, and you're ready to go. If you're thinking you don't want to make the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving this year (or if your family is like mine and you need at least two options for dinner because at least 30 people will be at your house on turkey day), this Instant Pot chicken dish is a great choice for you.
9. Smoky Lentil and Potato Soup
If you're a vegetarian household, this Smoky Lentil and Potato Soup is the comforting combination of yummy stuff your family has been waiting for. Courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe, the recipe just takes 20 minutes to complete thanks to the Instant Pot, and you'll love the flavor of the smoked paprika. Try adding kale or spinach to give it extra heartiness.
10. Sloppy Joes
There will always be something comforting about the foods you ate as a kid, so Sloppy Joes on a chilly fall night will be sure to bring a smile to your face — and your kids'. This recipe courtesy of Dara at The Skinny Pig NYC is a great fall Instant Pot option for your family, especially on a busy weeknight or weekend game day. Plus, the kids can have a blast eating the messy goodness that's supposed to fall apart in their hands.
11. Poblano and Tomatilla Shredded Pork and Quinoa
If you're a fan of meal prep, this Poblano and Tomatilla Shredded Pork and Quinoa Instant Pot recipe is perfect for you. The dish, courtesy of Table for Two, only takes 30 minutes to prep, but it cooks for eight hours; you can make it in the morning and leave it to cook while you do a million other things throughout the day. You'll come home to a meal your whole family will love, and the jalapeño kick will wake you up after a long day. Win, win.
12. Autumn Persimmon Arugula Pasta
This recipe from Maryanne Cabrera at The Little Epicurean is made with the fruits of fall in mind, specifically persimmon, whose sweet taste will add a fun twist to a typically savory pasta dish. Cabrera combines other classic fall flavors in the recipe, like cheddar cheese, arugula, and caramelized onions, for an easy Instant Pot dish that will have you feeling like fall from the inside out.
13. Curried Vegetable Stew
To all my gluten-free, vegan fall-lovers, this is the Instant Pot recipe for you. Courtesy of Tori Avey, the dish is chockfull of hearty vegetables, and cooking it will make you feel like a cuisine queen even though it only requires 15 minutes of prep on your end. Psst: it takes four hours to cook, so it's a great weekend option for Saturdays spent enjoying the fall air during the day and getting cozy at home for the night.
14. Creamy Thyme Chicken
Another one from Once A Month Meals, this Creamy Thyme Chicken is made with only 10 ingredients, and it's perfect if you're looking to meal prep and freeze for later in the week. The chicken will be warm in 20 minutes from frozen, so it'll come in handy for the busy week nights of fall.
15. Broccoli Cheddar and Zucchini Soup
Another fall night calls for another delicious fall soup, and this cheddar and broccoli concoction from Half Baked Harvest will make you want to it be fall all year round. Seriously, though, this soup is kind of perfect: your kids will taste cheesy goodness, and you'll know they're getting a healthy, filling meal thanks to the veggies. The pièce de résistance? It only takes 30 minutes of cooking for you.
16. Chile Verde
This Chile Verde from I Am A Food Blog combines the comfort of a pork stew with the kick of tomatillos and jalapeños for a filling Instant Pot meal that can keep you warm all fall long. It takes three and a half hours to cook but only 30 minutes to prep, so you can feel like a master chef while you take care of other things around the house or at work, giving you the best of both worlds.
17. 30-Minute Creamy Chicken Pasta
Pasta is without a doubt one of the ultimate comfort foods. For me, pasta just gets better with the more cream and cheese you add, so I love this Creamy Chicken Pasta recipe from The Butter Half that's ready in less than 30 minutes using under 10 ingredients. Plus, you can use the vegetable of your choice for the recipe, so it's great if your kids are a little picky about veggies.
18. Herb Chicken Orzo
Orzo has been one of my favorite comfort food discoveries in the past few years, and the Italian flavors A Spicy Perspective combines in this Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo recipe makes for an easy fall dinner the whole family will love. It's made in under 30 minutes and offers a fun alternative to typical spaghetti. Bonus: it covers at least three food groups, so you can feel good about giving it to your kids.
19. Pork and Green Chili
If your family loves spicy meals, you'll be dying to try this Pork and Green Chili recipe from A Beautiful Plate for your next Instant Pot meal. You'll love the combination of jalapeños, tomatillos, and cumin with the pork, and it only takes 30 minutes of prep. Why not try it?
20. Congee (Jook)
This Congee recipe, a porridge from Budget Bytes, only needs 10 minutes of prep, but it's got a whole lot of flavor. With ginger, mushroom, cilantro, peanuts, soy sauce, and more, this one-stop dish will make your taste buds happy and give you comfort when the chill of fall really sets in.
21. Instant Pot Chicken Piccata
Chicken piccata combines everything I think of when I think of comfort food: pasta, something creamy, and a warm protein. The fact that this recipe from Cookies and Cups combines all three components makes it a sure bet in my book. Plus, though it's a comforting meal, it's not too heavy, so consider it for a pre-trick-or-treating dinner for the kids.