15 Best Budget Instant Pot Recipes [Cheap Pressure Cooker Meal Ideas]

Check out these best instant pot recipes if you’re on a budget. Vegan, gluten-free, and keto-friendly recipes, as well as simple meat options.

Budget Instant Pot Recipes

Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you’ve most likely heard of Instant Pots. If you don’t know what they are, electric pressure cookers offer an upgrade on pressure cookers of the past.

If you’ve already joined the Instant Pot community, do you regularly use yours? By using your electric pressure cooker regularly, you can save time cooking! Although these pots are not really “instant,” they are still time savers. There is no need to stand by the stove and stir your food while it cooks.

Your Instant Pot can save you money on food, as well! Of course, we could all use some help with that! The Instant Pot can create flavorful, delicious meals from inexpensive ingredients you might already have in your pantry.

Below, we have listed some of the best instant pot recipes for those on a budget. They include vegan, gluten-free, and keto-friendly recipes, including simple meat options. Scroll through the recipes for some tasty, budget-friendly ideas!

Teriyaki Beef

instant pot teriyaki beef recipe

There’s nothing quite like the teriyaki glaze on meat, and this teriyaki beef recipe perfectly demonstrates why. The rich flavors of the flank steak are coated with our homemade teriyaki sauce, all of which are elevated by being pressure cooked. Best of all, this recipe only takes 30 minutes to cook from scratch.

Turkey Kielbasa & Beer

turkey kielbasa slow cooker beer onions

This turkey kielbasa recipe is made with turkey sausage, beer, onion, and mustard. The key to this take on Polish sausage isn’t to grill or oven cook it, but to let it stew in sauce for hours to soak up as much flavor as possible. So why not soak it in beer?

Black Lentil Curry

instant pot black lentils

This delicious black lentil curry features only a handful of vegetable ingredients and spices before being pressure cooked to perfection. A simple and healthy vegan dish that’s perfect as a curry side or delicious by itself.

Orange Chicken

Chicken with garnish and orange presented on kitchen table

This Instant Pot orange chicken recipe combines zest and tang in abundance, with slow-cooked chicken pieces and a reduced orange juice and sriracha sauce. Serve over steamed rice, this easy dinner is filling without ever being decadent.

Healthy Mac & Cheese

Healthy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

If you like macaroni and cheese, you will love this recipe. Fast, easy, and all in one pot! What’s not to like? And since it is made with the Instant Pot, there is no waiting around for water to boil or pasta to cook!

This recipe uses white cheddar cheese, but you can substitute yellow cheddar cheese if you prefer. What makes it healthy? Broccoli!

Peanut Tofu

Peanut Tofu

Tofu is at the heart of so many of the best vegan curry recipes, and it’s not hard to see why. The versatile Chinese bean curd soaks up flavor superbly in this peanut tofu dish and replicates the feel of meat seamlessly before being paired with a peanut sauce for a strong flavor. See the peanut tofu recipe.

5-Ingredient Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

5-Ingredient Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

You will be amazed at how easy this chili is to put together! Using sweet potatoes in chili gives a unique touch of color, flavor, and texture. 

The base ingredients for this recipe include salsa, sweet potatoes, and black beans. Robyn’s recipe has instructions for the Instant Pot or a slow cooker. Either way, meal prep for the recipe is minimal. Prepare your tastebuds for deliciousness!

Greek Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot Greek Chicken and Rice

This Instant Pot take on Greek chicken will have you eating a complete meal in no time at all! The recipe includes chicken and rice, of course, but also vegetables: peppers and zucchini.

The Greek flavors come from lemon, olive oil, oregano, garlic, and onion. Layer your ingredients in the proper order into your Instant Pot, pressure cook for 4 minutes, add the veggies, let it all sit, and soak up more flavor, and dinner is ready!

Check it out here

Korean BBQ Beef

Freezer Meal Korean BBQ Beef

Have you done freezer meals before? Freezer meals allow you to do all the recipe prep in advance (when you have extra time) and freeze it. When it is time to cook, remove your prepared meal from the freezer, add to your Instant Pot, and cook. No mess, no hurried food prep. Just dump and cook.

This recipe features the flavors of chuck beef. Delicious! If you have never had Korean BBQ beef, you need to try this recipe. It’s slow-cooked in sesame oil and soy sauce for a rich taste. If you like a kick of spice, try adding some homemade gochujang to the pot.

Check it out here

Vegan Pasta Marinara

Vegan One Pot Pasta Marinara

This dish will surprise you with how simple, delicious, and nutritious it is, making it one of our favorite vegan pasta recipes. If you have the time to saute the veggies for just a few minutes in the Instant Pot, you can up the flavor even more. Veggies, pasta, and a tomato-based sauce work together to bring you a quick and healthy meal that even picky kids will enjoy.

Check it out here

Baked Potatoes

Instant Pot Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes cooked in the Instant Pot come out fluffy and creamy in less than 30 minutes. Wash your potatoes, prick them with a fork, and go! And while the potatoes are cooking, you can prepare anything else you plan to eat with the potatoes. Again, dinner in 30 minutes or less!

Eat these baked potatoes as a side dish, or smother them with a variety of toppings. Either way, Instant Pot baked potatoes are potato perfection.

Check it out here


Instant Pot Meatloaf

Have you been craving comfort foods these days? Meatloaf is one of those foods that remind us of home, moms, grandmas, and simpler times. Combine those memories with recent technology, and you are ready for this Instant Pot Meatloaf.

This meatloaf recipe is full of flavor, easy to assemble, and stays moist as it cooks in your Instant Pot. The recipe also includes a tasty glaze to brush over the meatloaf.

Check it out here

Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala

If you have been looking for a delicious vegan Indian cruise, this recipe is for you! Instead of using meat products, this recipe uses cauliflower. 

Spices, tomatoes, cauliflower florets, onion, garlic, and ginger all come together to make this flavorful recipe. With minimal prep and cook time, you will have dinner ready in a short amount of time!

Check it out here

5-Ingredient Cheesy Egg Bake

5-Ingredient Pressure Cooker Cheesy Egg Bake

Invite your Instant Pot to breakfast or have breakfast for dinner. Whenever you eat this Cheesy Egg Bake, you are sure to love its flavor and simplicity. 

Using eggs, cheese, bacon, hash browns, and even some vegetables, this recipe is sure to satisfy any hungry appetite. The fact that the recipe comes together quickly and easily adds to its appeal.

Check it out here

Vegan & Gluten-Free Dump and Start Mexican Quinoa

Vegan & Gluten-Free Dump and Start Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa

The recipe describes this as a “dump-and-start” dish. As in, dump the ingredients into the Instant Pot and start! 

If you are looking for a flavorful, easy, quick, and versatile recipe, this is for you! Add the fact that this is healthy, full of protein and grains, and you have a winner! It’s an inventive way to use quinoa that is packed full of spice and flavor.

Not only does this recipe use quinoa, but it also includes corn, peas, black beans, salsa, peppers, and onions. You can use this as a meal on its own, as a Mexican quinoa bowl, in a burrito, or even on nachos!

Check it out here

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