15+ Instant Pot Recipes for Holiday Entertaining
Turkey might be the table centerpiece, but make no mistake—these easy, holiday-inspired Instant Pot recipes for side dishes, desserts, and more will steal the show at Thanksgiving dinner and beyond.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup with Candied Pepitas
This velvety smooth soup is easy to make and easy to freeze. The crunchy pepitas steal the show, and are a nice contrast to the spicy, creamy base. Serve with sourdough bread for a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner, or in small shooters as a holiday party appetizer.
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
This powerful cranberry-apple sauce carries enough flavors to make it go far. Keep it traditional and serve with turkey, or think outside the box and use a dollop on this Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup. Although it's quick and easy to make, we'd suggest prepping it a few days in advance—this Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce only gets better with time.
Instant Pot Salted Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake
Rich, creamy, and smooth, this cheesecake "bakes" surprisingly well right in the Instant Pot. Drizzle your remaining caramel sauce on top after the dessert cools to make this showstopping cake look as amazing as it tastes.
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad
Hearty and filling, this easy Instant Pot side dish was an instant hit in our test kitchen. For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon, saute the Brussels sprouts in olive oil, and cook the farro in vegetable stock.
Instant Pot Sausage-Cornbread Stuffing
You can't have Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing. Classic flavors, a moist-but-not-soggy texture, and a touch of sweetness will make this Instant Pot stuffing a new family favorite.
Instant Pot Apple Sauce
Is there any food more wholesome than homemade applesauce? Doubt it. Thankfully, wholesome comes quick and easy with this Instant Pot Apple Sauce.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Chorizo
For an easy and elegant fall entertaining dish you can make in your Instant Pot, look no further than our savory butternut squash soup. This Instant Pot butternut squash soup is a perfect recipe for effortless autumnal vibes. Featuring chorizo sausage and spices like cumin and chili powder, matched with butternut squash’s inherent sweetness, this Instant Pot soup exudes seasonal warmth. It’s excellent when served with crusty bread and a green salad for a light entree, but also makes for a fantastic appetizer served in smaller portions. A speedy and flavorful twist on classic butternut squash soup, our Instant Pot version delivers a delightful blend of textures and flavors in each bite thanks to toppings that make the dish as beautiful as it is delicious.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts
Yet another way to enjoy pumpkin spice this season. Gift these to friends as a festive treat, or enjoy them yourself with an autumnal beer. Make sure to use pure maple syrup, as pancake syrup will taste artificial and will likely overwhelm the spiced flavor.
Instant Pot Peppermint Brownie Cake
This festive cake will make you smile. The tiny pieces of peppermint candy offer a delightful crunch that plays well with the gooey chocolate, while their red and white colors look beautiful against the deep, dark chocolate.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash
Instant Pot Butternut Squash is the easy fall side dish recipe that everyone needs in their repertoire. This simple recipe is similar to your go-to roasted butternut squash, yielding browned edges and a melt-in-your-mouth tender interior, but made in your go-to countertop appliance. Make your own by adding your favorite spices and herbs to the cubed butternut squash.
Instant Pot Melting Potatoes
You’ve seen the Internet-famous “melting potatoes;” now here’s how to do them in your Instant Pot—i.e. without cranking your oven up to 500°. Buttery, creamy, perfectly salty Instant Pot Melting Potatoes make for a divinely decadent celebration of potato—no cream or cheese necessary. If you want to double the recipe, you’ll need to brown your potatoes in batches, but can steam them all together. Feel free to garnish with a sprinkling of whatever herbs you desire; parsley, sage, or rosemary are all great options.
Instant Pot Paleo Gravy Will Save Thanksgiving
I'm not here to ruin your holiday. I just want to be able to sit down to a nice meal with people I love, and enjoy some food that won't make my stomach feel out of sorts. Folks avoid gluten for all manner of reasons—me in particular because of a gut condition—but that doesn't mean we should be relegated to chomping on baby carrots in the corner while everyone goes to town on the rest of the feast. And that starts with a flavor-packed, flour-free gravy that comes together like magic in your Instant Pot.
Smoked turkey legs do most of the heavy lifting, seasoning-wise (just check the label to make sure that the ingredients align with your particular restrictions). This recipe calls for fresh pork belly as well, but feel free to go with thick-cut, uncured, smoky bacon and a fresh turkey leg if that's what you've got on hand—just add a second trip through the poultry cycle in the Instant Pot to make sure the meat is cooked all the way through and releases those precious, delicious drippings.
Instant Pot Paleo Gravy
Instant Pot Beef Stew
This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light's wildly popular Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew to create a simple, speedy version of a comfort food favorite. As the original recipe notes, a nutty dark beer adds richness and depth to the stew, but be careful not to choose a beer that's super-hoppy; it will taste too bitter.
Instant Pot Peanut Brittle
This Instant Pot candy recipe delivers a classic candy shop treat with no intimidation factor. In fact, you don’t even need a candy thermometer to make this perfectly porous and crisp brittle. While it makes a scrumptious treat any time of year, our Instant Pot Peanut Brittle is especially awesome to make during the holiday season. Being that the recipe produces a generous yield of candy, it’s an excellent goody for gifting. A key factor in candy cooking is making sure you sugar granules are completely dissolved. If you want to give your brittle a little test as it cooks, take your wooden spoon or rubber spatula (whatever you’re using to stir the mixture) to scoop a small amount of the melted sugar mixture and spread a thin layer onto a paper plate. This allows you to see any sugar crystals that may still be in the mixture, as well as observe how the mixture hardens as it cools. If the mixture hardens like glass and cracks easily, you know it’s ready.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Easy enough for a weeknight meal, impressively decadent enough for a holiday dinner—the Instant Pot has done it again. Beyond their creamy texture and richly savory flavor, we love these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes for the time they save. With this method, your potatoes cook in half the time and there’s no need to drain—saving an extra step and a strainer to wash. You could also apply this technique for mashed sweet potatoes.
Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole
This take on green bean casserole removes the add-ins you’d encounter with canned soup and frees up the stove and oven for all the other Thanksgiving dishes. Browning the onions adds so much flavor to the gravy while maintaining a Thanksgiving side that’s still somewhat light—there’s just enough sauce, but plenty of flavor. This casserole is also great reheated, or even chopped up and mixed in to a stir-fry.