Let this genius appliance steal the show this holiday season.
Mom's Smashed Mashed Potatoes
Credit: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Paige Hicks

If you’ve still yet to hop aboard the Instant Pot train, there’s no time quite like Thanksgiving to understand why there is such a strong following behind this appliance. Whether you’re hosting this year’s festivities and feeling a little overwhelmed by all the dishes you’re trying to get on the table, or you’re attending and not quite sure how you want to shake things up this year, there’s certainly a time and a place for your Instant Pot to come in clutch and make this Thanksgiving the best one yet (or at least the best tasting).


Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Apples

Arguably one of the most overlooked parts of the Thanksgiving experience, let's not forget that you actually need to eat breakfast that morning. You'll still have space for dinner, trust me. That said, a hearty bowl of steel cut oats or french toast casserole are both very legitimate ways to fuel yourself, and your crew, for a long day of cooking (...and eating).

Mashed Potatoes

For the creamiest, most decadent bowl of mashed potatoes you’ve ever laid on your holiday table, you better believe that you should let your Instant Pot do the work for you. Serve them as is, or dress them up a bit more with fresh herbs, sour cream, and of course, plenty of butter.


Treat your Instant Pot like a saucepan on the stovetop and make your favorite Thanksgiving gravy there. Whether you go vegetarian or make a gravy with turkey drippings, your cozy Instant Pot is just the appliance to create such a crucial condiment for your Thanksgiving spread and keep it warm until dinnertime. That's just one more burner on the stove, open for use.

Cranberry Sauce

If the canned stuff just doesn’t float your boat, you can start from scratch on some raw cranberries and build a flavorful, sweet sauce all in your Instant Pot. This favorite recipe, featuring fresh ginger and orange, is easily made using the slow cooker settings on your Instant Pot. Beware, once your family gets a spoonful of this vibrant version, they’re never going to want to see that cylindrical mass of canned cranberry gel on the table again.

Stuffings and Breads

You can either take your favorite stovetop stuffing recipe and convert it to an Instant Pot classic You’ll have to toast your bread cubes in the oven, but from there, you can do the rest in your favorite appliance. Alternatively, you can give this elegant Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing a try by, again, using your Instant Pot's slow cooker function. Of course, if you're wanting to get your carb on with a homemade loaf, look no further than this easy Instant Pot beer loaf to get things going.

Veggie Sides

Lemon, Wheat Berry, and Chickpea Salad

Don't worry guys, we didn't forget about vegetables. From a cozy butternut squash soup, to grain and chickpea salads, to pressure cooked beets (perfect for tossing into a lovely beet salad), your Instant Pot has got you covered. Additionally, you can use your appliance to speedily cook through squashes, gourds, potatoes, and other root vegetables, which you can then use in other dishes. BOOM is right!

Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re going for a casserole-esque mac and cheese, then you’re probably better of sticking to a casserole dish and your oven in order to achieve that crunchy, crackly top. However, for a creamy pasta dish that’s ready in a heartbeat, go ahead and cook your noodles, followed by your cheese sauce in the Instant Pot and be done with it!


Okay, so I’m not going to outwardly lie to your face and encourage you to cook a turkey in the Instant Pot, because...no. However, if your Thanksgiving crowd is a small one this year (how pleasant and intimate), you can definitely get away with cooking a turkey breast in the Instant Pot. Or if you're open to going with a different bird, you can cook a whole chicken in your Instant Pot.


Chocolate-Espresso Pudding Cake

Yes, you can and you should fall back on this trusted appliance to help you round out dessert. It might not be able to churn out an apple or a pecan pie, but it sure as heck can go to town on a cheesecake. Go rich and chocolatey with this Instant Pot cheesecake masterpiece or go for these individual cheesecakes (scaling the recipe up if you need) if you have a small group. Spice your cheesecake filling to be pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or your favorite seasonal flavor. If you're looking to take the warm and gooey route, go ahead and fix this Chocolate Espresso Pudding Cake, and call it a day because you just rocked out an entire holiday in the same dang appliance. The Instant Pot gods would be proud.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane