Slow cookers have become incredibly popular recently. However, I firmly believe I have found the slow-cooker that trumps them all: the Instant Pot. The instant pot is an all-in-one cooker; a slow-cooker, pressure cooker, and rice cooker. The best instant pot recipes I've made are now my go-to dishes.

The one function that separates this cooker from the rest is the pressure cooking function. Pressure cookers trap the steam from boiling liquids which dramatically increases the pressure in the pot and allows for very high temperatures. These conditions enable cooking times for soups, stews, braises, and steamed dishes to be significantly reduced while still tasting just as amazing as the classic recipe.

The ability to set it and forget it and for very short times makes this ideal for a student cook needing to prepare dinner in a pinch! I have compiled a list of 7 of the best Instant Pot recipes I have made to date. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, now’s the time to get one. 

1. Beef Chilli

The words slow-cooker and chilli basically go hand in hand. Hours of stewing make for a deliciously flavourful dish. That all changes with the instant pot, which revolutionizes the chilli game by cutting down cook time to a mere 30 minutes. It may seem too good to be true but this is the magic of pressure cooking; it tastes like it was cooking for hours. The spices in this recipe blend with the vegetables and stock making this chilli rich and warming. 

2. Beef Bourguignon

When I tested this recipe I only had one thought in my head – what would Julia Child think? Would she be utterly offended or impressed by the ingenuity of the instant pot? I'm not sure, but either way, this recipe is delicious. The beef is tender, the mushrooms are perfectly cooked, and the red wine gives immense depth to this classic French stew. 

3. Minestrone Soup

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option but still want something as hearty as a beef stew or chilli, minestrone soup is a fantastic option. The beans and vegetables add both flavour and substance to the soup. The broth is full of aromatics including a multitude of different herbs, spices, and vegetables, leaving you with a complex but perfectly balanced spoonful. Click here for the recipe!

4. Moroccan Lentil Soup 

This recipe involves some more adventurous flavours and is absolutely delicious. The addition of turmeric to this broth gives a beautiful orange colour and warmth. Other spices like ground ginger and cumin give depth to the broth making every bite full of flavour. This lentil soup is one of my favourite instant pot recipes—it's my go-to when I’m looking for a healthy, filling, and warming dinner. 

5. Chicken Soup

Healthy Soup photo by Henrique Félix (@henriquefelix) on Unsplash

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Chicken soup always reminds me of home. There was never a Friday night dinner at my Bubby’s house where we wouldn’t have chicken soup. Her soup will always be my favourite, but this one’s pretty good too. The broth is light and the chicken falls right off the bone. For everyone who will inevitably catch a cold this season, this chicken soup will fix it in no time.

6. Korean-style Short Ribs

Argentinian asado photo by Mike Kotsch (@mike) on Unsplash

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Instant pots aren't just for soups and stews. This recipe is for sticky and delicious short ribs. Korean-style short ribs are thinner than normal short ribs but are equally as tender if treated properly. The secret ingredient in this recipe, an ingredient that is a personal favourite of mine, is Gochujang.

Gochujang is a Korean condiment made of fermented red chilli paste with a texture similar to miso paste. This ingredient adds sweetness, spiciness, and a certain funk from the fermentation process. Once you try this delicious spice, you’ll never go back to using plain old barbecue sauce!

7. Salmon with Garlic Potatoes

Fish, food, salmon and meal HD photo by Caroline Attwood (@carolineattwood) on Unsplash

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Last, but certainly not least, is this recipe for salmon. The recipe comes together in a matter of minutes and could not be easier to make. The fish turns out perfectly cooked and the garlic potatoes are a fantastic compliment. This recipe is great for when you need to make a healthy dinner at the last minute

This list of instant pot recipes is certainly not exhaustive. There are tons of different ways to use the instant pot aside from the pressure cooker function. Search the Internet for more instant pot recipes to satisfy all of your cravings. Happy cooking!