6 family-friendly Instant Pot meals for easy weeknight dinners

I’m a big fan of slow cookers, but sometimes life is so hectic that prepping food in the morning is next to impossible. Enter: the Instant Pot. This magical device truly lives up to its name, cooking full-on meals in mere minutes. If you own one, congrats. If you don’t, well, what are you waiting for? Here are a few of my favorite easy IP meals for busy nights.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a pretty classic family favorite, and this method will have you chowing down on the sandwiches in a half hour or less. If you’re new to the Instant Pot, don’t be intimidated. Each step is carefully laid in the recipe out so your meat will be safely cooked and the meal will taste delicious. Add a salad or some frozen sweet potato fries and you’ve got yourself an ultra quick weeknight dinner.

Get the recipe at All Recipes.

5 Ingredient Mac and Cheese

Who knew making homemade mac and cheese could be so easy? Set the blue box down and instead whip up this creamy, kid-approved dish for dinner tonight. Eat with a green veggie to up the health factor and pat yourself on the back for not giving into the powdered cheese.

Get the recipe at Food Network.

Chicken Noodle Soup

The weather is still pretty chilly in Chicagoland, so soups have stayed a part of our regular rotation. Not only is this flavorful chicken noodle packed with veggies, but it also can be frozen in bulk (just omit the noodles until you go to defrost). The freezer stash will come in handy down the line when the entire house is inevitably sick or you’re just in need of a quick, hearty meal. Feeling ambitious? Make a loaf of this Instant Pot sourdough bread to go along with the soup.

Get the recipe at Delish.

One Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce

Craving Italian, but tired of eating pasta? This homemade meat sauce and spaghetti squash are so tasty and filling that your kids won’t even miss the carbs. Plus, cooking the squash with the sauce at the same time and in the same pot makes cleanup a breeze. The recipe also includes slow cooker instructions if you’d rather go that route.

Get the recipe at Skinnytaste.

Minestrone Soup

If you have any vegetarians in your family, they’ll enjoy this easy, nutritious minestrone (but I promise my meat-eating husband loves it, too!). Shortcuts, such as using premade marinara in place of tomatoes and herbs, help make the recipe even easier for those nights when you’re too exhausted to do much chopping.

Get the recipe at Pinch of Yum.

Salmon with Garlic Potatoes and Greens

This recipe has all the ease of a sheet pan dinner in a fraction of the time. Garlic can be omitted if your kids aren’t fans of spice, and vegetables can also be adjusted. In just 15 minutes, you’ll have a full healthy meal on the table and zero pans to scrub. Score!

Get the recipe at Food Network.


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