Cooking in the summer is a double edged sword. On one hand, there are a plethora of seasonal ingredients at your disposal. From corn on the cob and sweet peas to peaches and new potatoes, cooking in the summer is delicious. However, when hot weather hits, most of us want to spend the least amount of time as possible in our kitchen. Instead, we tend to reach for lighter bites and whatever is easiest (read: takeout or throwing a few hot dogs on the BBQ). Enter: the Instant Pot.
If you’re trying to curb your food delivery habit or you don’t have access to an outdoor cooking space, this workhorse of a kitchen appliance is your best friend. Whether you’re craving BBQ ribs, peach cobbler, or the perfect homemade taco, look no further than this ubiquitous pressure cooker. These Instant Pot favorites make the perfect summer meal.
Instant Pot 6-Quart 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker, $74.96 at Walmart
An appliance perfect for year-round use.
Bring the taste of your favorite gyro stand to the dinner table with this ultra simple Instant Pot recipe for chicken gyros. Think: tender, juicy, seasoned chicken and onions piled onto soft pita bread and topped with a creamy cucumber yogurt sauce, tomatoes, and lettuce. Pro-tip: for extra tenderness and flavor, try marinating the chicken in the lemon and spice combination for a few hours before you put it in your Instant Pot. Get the Chicken Gyros recipe.
Your usual go-to chicken tacos get a tropical twist with a zesty and sweet pineapple slaw. Jessie Van Slyke of Kitschen Cat says she modeled this recipe after her partner’s favorite pizza—BBQ chicken with red onions, jalapeños, and pineapple—and the result is delicious. Another reason why we’re fans of this recipe: it’s incredibly versatile. Tender and flavorful, the barbecue chicken also tastes great in a pulled chicken sandwich or as a protein-rich salad topping. Get the Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Tacos recipe.
What’s summer without corn on the cob? Kick your cob game up a notch with your Instant Pot and this drool-worthy recipe that uses Cajun butter and lime. Making corn on the cob in a pressure cooker is an incredibly quick and easy way to avoid steaming up your kitchen in the summer. Even better: the Cajun butter can be made directly in the pot. Get the Instant Pot Corn on the Cob recipe.
Looking for the perfect low-carb dish for summer? Meet your new favorite dinner: these orange chicken lettuce wraps. Hailed as being “even better than PF Chang’s,” these tangy, savory wraps combine orange chicken with cucumber, red bell pepper, green onion, carrot, cabbage, minced water chestnut, and radish with all the herbs (mint, basil, cilantro, and even watercress). Add an optional spoonful of rice (or cauliflower rice), fold over, and dip in a delectable sauce. As the author notes, you can use any kind of flavoring for the chicken (or chosen protein—tofu and other meats work great) if you want to make other versions of this easy summer meal. Get the Instant Pot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe.
We love a good one-bowl meal. If you’re trying to reduce your take-out consumption, this easy-to-make Instant Pot Korean beef bowl (a take on bibimbap) fits the bill. Savory beef seasoned with sugar, ginger, and soy sauce is paired with crisp bell peppers and rice. All you have to do is dry rub your beef roast, sear it in the Instant Pot, and then let the pressure cooking do its magic. Want to mix things up? Use the beef in a lettuce wrap, like the recipe above, and add a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Get the Instant Pot Korean Beef Bowl recipe.
If you grew up spending summer in the South, there’s a good chance that you think of ham as year-round food. If you’re craving some of Grandma’s fall-off-the-bone ham but don’t want to overheat your kitchen, try this Instant Pot recipe for boiled ham. Eat it alone with some corn on the cob, bring it to your next family gathering to place next to the potato salad, or pile it high in a sandwich with lots of pickles, mustard, and relish. Get the Instant Pot Ham recipe.
Another food that’s in season: peaches! This sweet and spicy salsa made with fresh peaches and tomatoes is ridiculously easy to make. Use it as a garnish with your favorite meats, add some to sandwiches and tacos, or simply scoop it up with a tortilla chip. Get the Instant Pot Peach Salsa recipe.
A nice piece of salmon makes the perfect light summer meal. However, if you’re bored with your usual lemon, dill, or maple toppings, check out this Vietnamese-inspired salmon recipe which uses a mixture of sugar and fish sauce to flavor the fillets. While pressure cooking salmon won’t save you time, it will give you perfect, flaky, moist fish, without any of that unappetizing white stuff that baking salmon often produces. Get the Vietnamese Instant Pot Salmon recipe.
An amazing shrimp boil that’s ready in six minutes? Yes, please. This super easy Instant Pot recipe pairs more in-season produce—corn and potatoes—with andouille sausage and a buttery sauce that’s to die for. Get the Instant Pot Shrimp Boil recipe.
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BBQ ribs are synonymous with summer cookouts. However, if you’re living in a compact space and don’t have access to a barbecue (let alone a balcony), recreating your summer favorite can be challenging at best. Enter this Instant Pot recipe for Memphis-style dry-rub ribs. Smoked paprika in the rub mimics the flavor the ribs would get from grilling over hot coals. The result is a delicious dish that brings all the flavor without the flames. Get the Instant Pot Memphis-Style Ribs recipe.
If you’re like us and can’t get enough tacos in the summer (or any time of the year really), then you’ll love this recipe for pork carnitas that you can make in your Instant Pot. The juicy and tender pork with crispy edges is perfect for using in tacos, burritos, tamales, rice bowls, or salads. Serve with a dollop of salsa and a refreshing squeeze of lime. Get the Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipe.
Nothing says summer like peach cobbler. Scroll the internet and you’ll find plenty of recipes for peach cobbler that use cake mix. This easy recipe shows you how to make it from scratch using canned or fresh peaches in your Instant Pot. Combine, cook, and garnish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you wish. Get the Instant Pot Peach Cobbler recipe.
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