Dinner time cooking has two modes: relaxing and fun – usually with music and a glass of something on the weekends, and that weekday rush at the end of the day before it’s time to head to an activity or start the bedtime shuffle.
We do our best to eat well and sit at the table together with gratefulness and intention. But the reality is that when I’m planning dinner and trying to feed my family good, nourishing food, I have to be intentional with my time and energy.
Enter the Instant Pot.
With inflation blowing our minds with every trip to the grocery store, and our grocery budget not rising to match it, I’m leaning heavily on cheap and healthy Instant Pot meals with simple ingredients. They’re budget-friendly, loaded with real food, and they maximize my time and energy in the kitchen.
These are the best Instant Pot recipes for saving money and eating healthy. Whether it’s comfort food, gluten-free meals, soup recipes, ground beef, plant-based recipes, or Instant Pot chicken, I’ve got something for everyone.
Here are 30+ budget-friendly, healthy Instant Pot dinner ideas.
BONUS: Nearly all of these are gluten-free!
Easy Dinner Ideas for the Instant Pot
- Chicken Burrito Bowls (add a variety of veggies and toppings to mix it up every time you make it!)
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese (gluten-free side dish)
- Hamburger Soup (grain-free)
- Make Ahead Chicken (this easy, make-ahead chicken recipe goes with EVERYTHING (tacos, salads, soup, sandwiches, pasta, casseroles, etc.)
- Turmeric Lentil Soup (vegan)
- Easy, Flavorful Vegetable Soup (vegan)
- Pesto Chicken & Rice (one-dish dinner)
- Hamburger Helper (gluten-free)
You’re Just *7 Days* Away From Easier Meals with Your Instant Pot
Whether you have a few fav meals in your Instant Pot or still aren’t using it regularly yet, I can show you the secrets to SAVE time (and money) with my favorite appliance!
May I send you my best hacks to maximize my fav appliance so you can spend more time with your family AND nourish them well?
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Healthy Instant Pot Recipes
- Turmeric Chicken & Rice (warm spice flavor, but not spicy at all)
- Budget Burrito Bowls (super flexible and easy to make vegetarian or vegan)
- Greek-Style Beef Roast (serve with mashed potatoes and a salad for an easy meat and potatoes meal)
- Quick Pot Roast
- Easy, Frugal BBQ Chicken (tender, shreddable chicken with one of your favorite BBQ sauces. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or school lunches)
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry
- Smoky Mexican Chicken Soup
- Vegetarian Taco Quinoa Chili
- Nightshade-Free Chili (Instant Pot chili with no tomatoes or peppers!)
- Curried Lemon Coconut Chicken
- Hard-Boiled Eggs (prep ahead for egg salad sandwiches or snacky meals)
- Spicy Chicken Curry
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Cheap & Healthy Instant Pot Dinner Ideas
- White Bean Chili (chicken optional)
- Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans) (vegetarian and vegan options!)
- Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats (breakfast for dinner)
- Lentil & Rice Taco Filling (great for vegetarian tacos!)
- Cumin Beans & Cornbread
- Bean Soup (one-pot)
- Cook a Whole Chicken (use for anything and make broth with the bones!)
- Golden Rice (serve with shredded chicken, salad, etc.)
- Apple Cranberry Steel Cut Oats (breakfast for dinner)
- Cook Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot (use in anything!)
- Italian Lentil Lasagna (gluten-free because it doesn’t contain lasagna noodles)
Where to Buy an Instant Pot
This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I started out with. After a few years, we added an 8-quart partly because I knew I would use two at the same time often enough, partly because it was the Prime Day sale, and also because I wanted more space for certain recipes. Both are a pretty basic model and you don’t need more bells and whistles than that!
If you’re deciding on size, most people say it’s better to get a deal on the 6-quart and just have 2 rather than go big, BUT if your family has 5 or more people or you really like to batch cook or do more than a pound of beans, the 8-quart may be the best choice. My full Instant Pot review and buying guide for features, size, and model.
If you’d like to shop directly at Instant Pot’s website instead of Amazon (or just compare prices), check them out here.
If you’re still on the fence about adding an Instant Pot to your kitchen appliance arsenal here are my Instant Pot pros and cons.
BONUS: How to Convert Any Soup Recipe to the Instant Pot!
If you already have a favorite soup recipe for the stove top or slow cooker, but you wish you could streamline it for an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I have good news! It’s easier than you might think. Here’s how to convert any soup recipe to an Instant Pot recipe!
Dinner time is coming every day. Make it a smart, stress-free experience by stacking some cheap and healthy Instant Pot dinner recipes that taste great into your menu.
What are your favorite go-to cheap and healthy Instant Pot dinners?