Jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon, huh? Took you long enough. Welcome!
The only question that remains is, um, what do you do with it? With the Instant Pot’s wide range of cooking abilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out the functions: Rice? A pork roast? Eggs? Freaking yogurt? *Sweats nervously*
Sure, there are healthy-eating vloggers who put their recipes on Instagram, but those sped-up videos are way too hard hard to follow — and when your meal doesn’t end up looking (or tasting) as perfect, getting frustrated is inevitable.
Luckily, there are still ~physical paper versions~ of cookbooks that slow down the process — and most are under 15 bucks. Well, actually, most of the good ones also have Kindle versions, but I digress — it’s the same idea. (Psst: If you’re not a Kindle Unlimited member yet, just know that on Prime Day, you can get three months for $0.99 — and it’s usually nearly $30.)
There are a ton on Amazon, but we’ve picked out the ones with the best reviews — so you can be sure that the books actually teach you stuff and don’t make you more confused than before. There are, of course, the general use cookbooks with traditional American dishes and dinners that even the pickiest eaters will like, as well as books that home in on a specific diet or cuisine like Indian food or a vegan or ketogenic diet. There’s even an official Weight Watchers Instant Pot cookbook.
Otherwise, you’ll end up yelling at your oven like this:
Amazon will give a preview of most of the books, so you can scroll and take a look at the table of contents and some pictures and whet your appetite a bit — which will also give you a sense of whether you’d actually use the book or not.
Here are our favorite picks:
These are your “traditional” recipes that would probably be found on the menu of any American restaurant: BBQ ribs, soups, seafood, bacon and egg breakfasts, the works. Most aim to be healthy and cut down where they can, but they’re not specifically about any certain diet or weight loss plan. If you’ve got picky eaters in the house, these are the books you’ll want.
After reading that this book has 1,000 days of recipes, do you really need any more convincing? You could have a different food experience every single day for over two years.
With the Instant Pot Cookbook: 1,000 Day Recipes Plan, you’ll whip up butternut squash soup, collard greens, chicken tandoori, turkey legs, balsamic and rosemary roast beef, shrimp paella, and more (including desserts for those with a sweet tooth). Seriously, even the world’s pickiest eaters (me included) can find multiple things to eat in here.
Amazon customer Pam S-G writes:
The variety of recipes is outstanding. There aren’t a thousand recipes, but in the back of the book there are menu plans for 1000 days (which matches the title of the book. Cruising through the cookbook makes me hungry. Many of the recipes are gluten free (I’m cutting carbs to loose weight) which helps the way I’m living now. These recipes are not the same recipes borrowed from other recipe books and pinterest pages. They are different and original. I’m looking forward to cooking them. I’ll update my review with the (sure to be delicious) results.
Even if you live in the most divided household on the planet when it comes to favorite foods, this book has got you covered with a variety of traditional beef and pork dishes, soups, vegetarian recipes, seafood, and more. Regardless of the mood everyone is in, you’re covered.
The book has a rating of 4.5 out of five stars and is a #1 best-seller, so you can be pretty sure that your meals from now on are gonna be on point. The physical book runs for $8.99, but you can also download the Kindle version for free here.
Another bestseller comes in the form of the The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook — claiming to have sold over 500,000 copies, this book is not messing around when it comes to recipe variety. You’ll make things like chicken tikka masala, corn on the cob, pulled pork, lamb curry, beans and rice, and a cinnamon raisin French toast bake. You can preview a good amount of the book on Amazon, and you’ll see that everything is hella detailed and laid out with easy-to-understand comparison charts, and they’ll let you know which recipes are vegetarian. This is a book officially endorsed by Instant Pot, so you know you’re in good hands.
Amazon customer Kindle Customer writes:
“So easy even a dumb husband like me can make great meals. This pot is amazing and I love it. I got it for my wife, but so far I’ve done all the cooking in it. My first meal was a Sunday pot roast dinner. I’ve never attempted to cook a meal like this in my life. My wife has always done this in the oven. I was stunned to have this pot roast come out about as perfect as you could get it. The inner cooking pot is easy to clean and you’ll want to do more and more with it with each success you have. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a new adventure in cooking. Do what the book says and you’ll have amazing meals right from the start. You should buy this.”
As we learned in the reviews, we’ll warn you that this is not the recipe book for a family of picky eaters. Many of the recipes aren’t traditional American foods, which isn’t likely to go over well with kids who won’t eat anything past BBQ ribs or chicken noodle soup.
This book does, however, list out specific recipes and pages for holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, and Jewish holidays, which I thought was a nice touch. It also has a 4.0 out of five star rating and has been reviewed by over 2,000 people, so even if some of the recipes are a little quirky, it’s definitely still worth trying. The physical copy goes for $9.36, and you can get it on Kindle Unlimited for free.
How to Instant Pot: Mastering All the Functions of the One Pot That Will Change the Way You Cook — $11.36
Pause: It’d be nice if you actually understood all of the things your Instant Pot can do, right? Though the other cookbooks will obviously explain steps, if you’re new to this, somehow being able to make yogurt and roast chicken in the same gadget can easily get a tad overwhelming.
Rejoice, newbies: How to Instant Pot is your ticket to the ins and outs of this fancy contraption, basically acting as an “Instant Pot for Dummies” manual. Yes, “Instant Pot” is totally a verb.
Amazon customer Susan writes:
“This is a well-written, practical book about Instant Pot cooking that gave me confidence in using the Pot right out of the box. Each recipe walks you through how to use and set each Pot feature (particularly with the Pressure setting), and while this might seem redundant to repeat these things at first glance, it actually reassured me that I was doing it right. Eventually that knowledge will become second nature, but in the meantime….I feel confident in just following the clear instructions. The recipes are delicious and varied. I highly recommend this book as a first Instant Pot guide, with the added benefit of outstanding recipes…it actually may be all the Instant Pot book you’ll ever need!”
You’ll have the option to make a spread of things, from meat and potatoes beef stew, to chorizo, to corn on the cob, to squash soup, as well as a ton of mouth-watering desserts. That’s lava cakes in the picture up there, by the way.
Not only are you getting a ton of really good recipes, but you’re getting a detailed breakdown of how to do everything — down to what each button means, what the numbers on your LCD screen mean, and even how to clean it correctly. Thanks, Daniel Shumski.
Overall, the book has a 4.5 out of five star rating, and you can tell just by reading the reviews that this book is a lifesaver for people who have no idea what they’re doing. Get the Kindle version for $8.61 or the paperback version for $11.36 here.
Diet and cuisine-specific cookbooks
Not a meat eater? You’re covered. On that old school paleo diet? Gotchu. Watching your weight? Yup. Love Indian food? Yup, there’s a book on that, too.
Think keeping up with a vegan diet is hard? Think again, pal. Best-selling author Kathy Hester brings The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot: 80 Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes to your kitchen, taking the intimidation of eating vegan off the table. As the title suggests, you’ll get to choose from 80 vegan recipes that involve sautéing, steaming, pressure cooking, and slow cooking — AKA frozen vegetarian chicken nuggets and bread are no longer your only cheap options.
Whip up things like southern-style pinto beans, creamy mushroom curry, cornbread, and Tres Leches-inspired dessert tamales. Dang, that sounds like a fancy restaurant menu.
You’ll also learn how to make your own homemade condiments like soy yogurt, marinara sauce, and almond milk.
Amazon customer Melissa V. writes:
“I am new to the “Instant Pot” world – this book is AWESOME! Using ingredients that you can find and understandable steps – makes for a successful recipe every time! Pretty pictures add to each recipe and love the snips and stories! If you are vegan and have an instant pot – this book is an IDEAL addition to your cookbook stash!”
Compared to a lot of the other books where the Kindle version is free, this one’s a little pricier at $11.99 for Kindle — if you consider 12 bucks to “pricey”. The book has an impressive 4.3 out of five star rating, so you can at least know you’re getting your money’s worth. At any rate, paying a little extra will be worth it when you can actually prepare your own vegan meals and don’t have to eat at Whole Foods all the time. You can also get the physical copy for $13.99 here.
If you’re attempting a paleo diet or have even done a pinch of research, you know that it’s a challenge and a half. You’re eating gluten-, grain-, and dairy- free — the idea is pretty much “If a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you.” So, meats, fish, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are your palette, and it can get tiring trying to think of new meals that don’t involve any bread or pasta.
Many claim that the health benefits really do outweigh the hard parts, though, and Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot: 80 Incredible Gluten and Grain-Free Recipes makes this ancient way of eating suddenly feel modern AF.
Amazon customer Sara writes:
“I have every book she has done and this one is just as amazing as the rest! For a crazy busy mom this is the perfect way to be able to make a healthy meal and fast for my family. So many amazing recipes from dinners to even desserts using your instant pot! We made the beef stew and it was a hit!! Excited to make something else tomorrow. Highly recommend this book and would be great gift for anyone else as well!!”
Finally, some damn variety. Choose from 80 recipes that involve sautéing, steaming, pressure cooking, and slow cooking. Some reviews do warn that the cooking times in this book are a little short, so if your gut is telling you to cook something a little longer, you’re probably right. “Instant” can only mean so much. However, it’s the only paleo Instant Pot cookbook available right now (and still has 4.5 out of 5 stars) so don’t let that sway your decision too much.
The Kindle version is $9.99 instead of free with this one, but that’s still pretty cheap IMO. You can also snag the paperback version for $12.84 or a spiral bound version for $28.99 here.
Author Urvashi Pitre, or should I say, the literal queen of recipe books, brings you the taste of a traditional Indian restaurant with the Traditional Indian Instant Pot Cookbook. That is, without the expensive price and your waiter forgetting to bring more water. (Seriously, Pitre is great — almost every single review pays homage her books and her blog.)
With this #1 best-seller, you’ll have access to 50 easy AF recipes that call for minimal ingredients and can be ready in 60 minutes or less. She’ll also give a little background on cooking for her family in India when she was young and how their Punjab and Maharashtra dialects influenced her dishes. This basically lets you know that she knows what she’s talking about — plus, it’s just really heartwarming to read. (You can preview all of this on Amazon.)
Amazon customer AmazonPrime Junkie writes:
“This is my 22nd Instant Pot cookbook (total count across both hardcopy and kindle). So to say I’ve laid eyes upon a few IP cookbooks it a bit of an understatement. The recipes I’ve managed to read through so far are all clearly written in simple easy-to-understand steps; the ingredients are all things I’ve heard of, that I can pronounce, and that I know where to find in my regular grocery store. Seriously, what’s not to love here? Finally, after 21 other Instant Pot cookbooks — the 22nd one is the clear winner!”
After reading through around 500 five-star reviews and seeing a 4.7 out of five star average rating, what we’ve gathered is this: If you like Indian food even a tiny bit, buy this. The book is less than 10 bucks, and the amount of money you’ll save by not eating out 24/7 now that you can cook the fancy dishes on your own will really add up. Snag the paperback version for $9.86 or the Kindle Unlimited version for free here.
(If you’re more of an air fryer person, Pitre also has a stellar book with 100 air fryer recipes.)
The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook — $11.98
Damn, Urvashi Pitre, back at it again with another crazy popular cookbook — this time with the Keto Instant Pot Cookbook. The keto train (high fat, moderate protein, low carb) can definitely have a bit of a learning curve, especially for people who love bread and pasta more than they love their own family members (sorry mom) but this book wants to help take some of that frustration away. Eating keto is no longer just something you see Rachel Ray talking about.
Before getting into the actual recipes, Pitre dives in to what the keto diet actually means: She’ll bust myths, give meal prep and money saving tips, as eating a lot of meat and no carbs can get expensive. Apparently, using a pressure cooker breaks down and tenderizes tougher cuts so you can buy the less expensive ones. Pressure cooking can also melt down fattier cuts (which you previously may have discarded) for a melt-in-your-mouth feel.
Amazon customer Kathleen E. Bowen writes:
“Just Wow! I am SO happy to have ‘found’ Urvashi Pitre and her amazing ‘stupid easy’ recipes (and if you have not yet done so buy her Instant Pot Indian cookbook this very moment). Not one has failed…she has tested tested tested to ensure the recipes will work! I pre-ordered the hard copy of this book and was then able to add the kindle version for 99 cents. And – even though this is a Keto IP book, it is NOT for only those following a ketogenic diet! Nope – you can add carbs as sides, etc. So, it is for EVERYONE!!”
Most ingredients the book calls for are under 12 net carbs per serving: dark leafy greens like spinach, cruciferous veggies like kale and cauliflower, high fat dairy like greek yogurt, as well as assorted cheeses, spices, nuts, and berries.
The book has a 4.3 out of five star rating on Amazon, and is also apparently the only keto cookbook officially authorized by Instant Pot, so you don’t have to doubt if it’s legit or not. Get the paperback version for $11.98 or the Kindle Unlimited version for free here.
Dieting doesn’t have to be a pain in the ass, y’all — not with the convenient AF combo of Weight Watchers and Instant Pot. And surprise, you don’t have to eat salad for every meal: You’ll get 150 recipes for soups, stews, chilis, roasts, side dishes and even deserts — all labeled with their Smart Points value so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
What are smart points, you ask? Well, basically Weight Watcher’s version of healthy eating for dummies. Don’t worry, the intro outlines it all in easy terms, and learning about Smart Points will help you understand the best ratios for fat, sugar, protein, and more, and how the number of calories isn’t the only factor when it comes to weight loss. You know, all that science nutrition stuff.
Amazon customer HAPPY 3 writes:
“Five stars? Is that all I can give? Really, this book deserves so much more.The information provided on these pages, as well as the suggestion it gathered, are worth far more than five stars and I would consider this book to be a great bargain at twice the price. Its various of luscious recipes that strength your body while losing weight!i was actually impressed by how much useful suggestions squeezed in such a short book.”
We’d suggest reading a few more of the reviews for yourself — the book itself has a 4.1 out of five star rating, and customers in the reviews are avidly recommending it to other readers. Losing weight? While eating food that doesn’t taste like cardboard? Is this real life?
Get the paperback copy for $5.38 or the Kindle Unlimited version for free here.
If you’re not a part of the Instant Pot fam yet, you can check out our guide on which Instant Pot is best for you here. (Psst: The brand new Instant Pot Max is also dropping on August 1, so even you’re waiting until then to drop the $200, you can still snag a cookbook now and be prepared.)