Instant Pot

The 17 Best Instant Pot Recipes to Cozy Up With This Fall

Whether you're craving hearty, cheesy pasta or fudgy chocolate cake, we've got you.

August 26, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten

If patience isn’t your virtue, then these hearty fall Instant Pot recipes are perfect for you. Waste no time in the kitchen and make perfectly tender beef, rich chocolate cakes, and comforting macaroni and cheese dishes in a matter of minutes to feed the whole family. If you haven’t already invested in this multi-functional appliance, then these recipes may convince you otherwise!

1. Instant Pot Tomato & Meat Ragu

This flavorful meat-based Italian sauce typically takes upwards of two hours to make on the stovetop to fully develop the flavors of your ingredients. However, the good news is that by using an Instant Pot, you can enjoy this iconic sauce with a bowl of perfectly al dente pasta in just under 30 minutes. Recipe creator Ella Quittner makes bold additions like pancetta to Italian-born cookbook writer Marcella Hazan’s classic ragu—and quite frankly, I am all about it!

2. Instant Pot Chili Con Carne

If you’re looking for a hearty chili to keep you warm during the cold fall nights, this recipe has the perfect balance between heat and richness. Using ingredients like achiote paste (a blend of Yucatan’s dried chiles, annatto seeds, cumin, and jalapeños), this recipe certainly does not lack in the flavor department. Best of all, you can serve this chili with an assortment of any of your favorite toppings, like minced shallots, grated cheddar, sour cream, and scallions.

3. Fettuccine Alfredo With Butternut Squash & Mushrooms

Aside from pumpkins, butternut squash comes in a close second when fall comes to mind. Make the most of this autumnal favorite with this creamy and comforting pasta that will become a go-to weeknight recipe all season long. No need to make a huge mess in your kitchen this time; all you need for this recipe is your trusty Instant Pot to cook everything...from the crispy, umami-rich mushrooms to the al dente fettuccine!

4. Instant Pot Polenta

When looking for the perfect side to complement a heavy dish like braised pork shoulder or pan-fried meatballs, recipe writer Emma Laperruque suggests a warm side of creamy polenta to balance out the flavors. Even better, this comforting side dish takes minimal effort using your Instant Pot and can be kept warm while you focus on the more laborious aspects of your meal. Laperruque also suggests adding Pecorino and lots of black pepper for a cacio e pepe–inspired take on traditional polenta.

5. Sheri Castle's Instant Pot Bourbon & Cola Beef Short Ribs

An ode to the South, this rich and decadent recipe uses cola for sweetness, bourbon for warmth, and fresh onions and herbs to bring it all together and take you back to your childhood dinners. The cane sugar in the cola helps thicken and transform the juices into a gravy that coats the tender pieces of the fall-off-the-bone meat on the short ribs. Make sure to make enough for leftovers, as this dish is like a fine wine—it only gets better with age (we only mean like a day or two, in this case!).

6. Instant Pot Buttermilk & Leek Mashed Potatoes

Fall isn’t complete without copious amounts of mashed potatoes. But, as much as one may love mashed potatoes, the tedious work needed to make them is oftentimes enough reason to settle for store-bought mash instead. Never resort to eating mediocre potatoes again and try this easy buttermilk and leek-infused recipe that will change your perspective on making them from scratch forever.

7. Instant Pot Butter Chicken by Urvashi Pitre

This comforting and buttery chicken dish is ideal for adding excitement to your ordinary weeknight meal routine. Made using high-quality garam masala (which is a spice blend that commonly contains cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cardamom pods), this recipe assures you never serve “boring” chicken again.

8. Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Chili

Get ready to snuggle up with this hearty, one-pot-wonder that has all the makings of a perfect chili. Toss all your ingredients like ground beef or pork, bell pepper and serrano chiles into your Instant Pot for a large batch of warm chili that will last you the whole week.

9. Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon

Though Julia Child may not have originally made her iconic boeuf bourguignon recipe using an Instant Pot, it doesn’t mean you can’t! Get the same results in a fraction of the time and achieve tender, no-knife-necessary beef stews, like this one. You can have it done in under an hour using a multi-cooker without skimping on any of the bold flavors.

10. Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup

This stick-to-your-bones soup features fortifying ingredients like ground beef, green beans, peas, carrots and aromatic spices that will leave you coming back for seconds. Dubbed “hamburger soup” by recipe creator, Eric Kim, this nourishing vegetable beef concoction is the perfect comfort food for when you need a little extra loving.

11. Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

This is the type of recipe every college student wishes they had known earlier. Yes, you heard right, you can actually make mac & cheese in your Instant Pot! Spend less time cooking, more time eating, and best of all, you don’t even need to wait the infinite amount of time it takes for a pot of water to boil! The next time you’re craving some cheesy goodness, this homemade mac recipe (that even has pancetta!) is guaranteed to keep you feeling very satisfied.

12. Instant Pot Beans

Packed with nutrients and extremely versatile, this simple recipe for making black beans or white kidney beans can be dressed up to your liking. Turn your beans into a salad by adding seasonal fruit and herbs to keep things light or add barbecue sauce for a heartier option.

13. Instant Pot Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

Feel like you’ve transported to France in (almost) an instant, using this recipe from Ann Mah’s cookbook, Instantly French. This knockout cold-weather meal is perfect for tricking your guests into thinking you spent many long hours slaving away in the kitchen. Once you’ve mastered the chicken in red wine sauce, also known as coq au vin, make sure to try Mah’s other Instant Pot French recipes like boeuf bourguignon and cassoulet.

14. Martha Stewart's Instant Pot Beef Stew With Dijon & Tomato

Consider your next stay-at-home date night menu planned! This no-frills recipe is guaranteed to set the mood on a cold fall night. Warm up your belly with nourishing ingredients like beef chuck, onions, mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes that are melded together with a touch of tangy Dijon mustard. Don’t forget a glass of Cabernet or Zinfandel to complete the evening.

15. Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Chocolate-Bourbon Lava Cakes

If you can agree that a meal is not complete without dessert, this Instant Pot lava cake delivers on every level. With a touch of bourbon, to give your chocolate cake the excitement it deserves, and bittersweet chocolate to add the decadence we desperately crave, this Instant Pot lava cake is a sure winner in my book. Lastly, get your camera ready for the highly-anticipated, grand-finale moment—the oozing cascade of chocolate lava!

16. Fudgy, Flourless Instant Pot Chocolate Cake

Calling all chocoholics: Learn to make this fool-proof, flourless chocolate cake that even the most novice bakers can easily make. Set it and forget it using your Instant Pot and cook this eight-ingredient batter in a high-pressure, high-steam environment that yields a perfectly moist and fudgy cake every time.

17. Instant Pot Tres Leches Bread Pudding

If the name didn’t already have you drooling, the list of ingredients certainly will. Deviating from traditional bread pudding, this version features the grand dairy trio of evaporated, sweetened condensed and whole milk. Dubbed the “best bread pudding” by recipe creator Urvashi Pitre’s husband, this heavenly dessert is light and airy thanks to its croissant foundation. If you’re obsessed with both bread pudding and tres leches, this was made for you!

What's your favorite Instant Pot recipe for fall? Let us know in the comments.
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Maki Yazawa

Written by: Maki Yazawa

Food Writer & Recipe Developer

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