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If you’re wondering what to do with your new Instant Pot, first of all, congrats! Whether you scored a pressure cooker on deep discount for Prime Day or were gifted one by some kind friend or family member, you’ve officially been indoctrinated into the Instant Pot cult.

But you’re probably wondering how to get started. Well, lucky for you, there’s plenty to do with your Instant Pot—from quick and easy meals to throwing a party solely using your pressure cooker. Keep reading for our suggestions on how to best wield your Instant Pot.

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Add Instant Pot Accessories for Healthy Eating 


Sure, you can use your Instant Pot without any additional accessories, but then you’d be missing out on the real fun. The Instant Pot can easily be transformed into a host of other appliances: slide in a steamer for eggs and vegetables, attach a Mealthy lid to air fry all your favorite foods, and attach a yogurt rack to make your own yogurt at home. Check out the best Instant Pot accessories.

Stock Up on Instant Pot Cookbooks


The easiest way to make the most of the Instant Pot is by investing in Instant Pot cookbooks. The many books out there will guide you on how to use one of the most popular kitchen appliances in the world, from crafting classically French recipes to baking desserts.  

Try Making the Unexpected

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Instant Pot/Walmart

There are plenty of classic dishes you’ll end up constantly using the Instant Pot for, but there are also a wealth of items that you wouldn’t necessarily think of. You can cook dried chickpeas within an hour, prepare your own baby food, make your own wine, and brew your own vanilla extract. See 11 unexpected things to make in your Instant Pot.

Try Making Instant Pot Bread

Instant Pot bread and other unexpected things to make in your Instant Pot


Speaking of unexpected—you can use the pot to proof dough, or even to fully bake a loaf. Plus, find seven more surprising Instant Pot recipes, including homemade limoncello and an easy orange-lemon marmalade.

Don’t Forget Instant Pot Pizza Dough

Rich Brown/CNET

The yogurt setting is also perfect for proofing homemade pizza crust. See CNET’s overview of how to make Instant Pot pizza dough.

Make Instant Pot Mozzarella Too

Instant Pot mozzarella recipe

Kimberley Hasselbrink

Yes, you can make your own cheese in your pressure cooker—learn how to make Instant Pot mozzarella.

Be the Weeknight Cooking Hero


You likely already have your own roster of weeknight dishes you riffle through, but weeknight dinners can be so much easier (and just as quick!) with the Instant Pot. Try making southwestern chicken and rice, baked potato soup, beef stew, and mac and cheese, or any of these 15 easy Instant Pot dinners.  

Make the Whole30 Challenge Super Easy

Whole30 Instant Pot recipes


Whole30 certainly doesn’t have to be so dire now that you can make all your meals in your trusty Instant Pot. Whip up a plate of Whole30-compliant beef and broccoli, seafood gumbo, and chicken burrito bowls in no time. Try these Whole30 Instant Pot recipes.

Throw an Instant Pot Dinner Party

chicken tikka masala over basmati rice


Dinner parties can be far less stressful if you make everything in the Instant Pot. Not only will clean-up be easier, but the cooking time will be so much faster. You can find a laundry list of Instant Pot dinner party recipes here, buoyed by mushroom risotto, asparagus soup, and chocolate lava cake. 

Level Up Your Kids’ Lunch Boxes


After all, it’s likely your kids have grown tired of the trusty peanut butter and jelly. Wield the powers of the Instant Pot to prepare creamy mac and cheese, perfectly plump hard-boiled eggs, and baked potatoes. These Instant Pot school lunch recipes are all kid- and parent-friendly.

Be the Queen of Breakfast


Say good-bye to soggy cereal and burned toast. Whip up steel-cut oatmeal, gooey cranberry French toast, and breakfast egg muffins studded with your favorite vegetables. These Instant Pot breakfast recipes will get you going in the morning—fast.

Master Meal Prep

perfect hard boiled eggs


Meal prep is easier than you think, at least when you have an Instant Pot as your secret weapon. Here are seven great ways to use your Instant Pot for meal prep.

Turn Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer


Sure, you could invest in your own air fryer, but perhaps your kitchen doesn’t have any more space for another hefty appliance. Enter the Mealthy CrispLid, which transforms any Instant Pot into an air fryer. Read our executive editor’s Mealthy review.

Use You Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker

how to make the most of Instant Pot


It’s not just a quick hitter; it can also be used in place of an old-fashioned Crock-Pot. Learn how to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker.

Learn How to Clean Your Instant Pot

Instant Pot

Take in these tips to properly clean your Instant Pot so it smells like new no matter what you make in it.

Header image courtesy of Amazon.

Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is decidedly pro-chocolate.
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