We've collected some of the best Instant Pot Christmas recipes to help you create a delicious holiday menu for your family and friends. From appetizers to sides, to festive main dishes, to desserts, we've got it all for you! We have options for vegan and gluten-free/paleo dishes too.
CHRISTMAS MENU WITH INSTANT POT
When it comes to the holiday season, one thing we can all agree on is that food is something everyone is most excited about. Our favorite comfort dishes and tasty drinks make their annual appearance and it's probably one of the few times that you don't have to feel guilty about eating them. At least that's what we tell ourselves.
But, with big appetites comes the stress of festive menu planning, shopping and preparing all those delicious holiday dishes. One thing we're thankful for during this season is the Instant Pot because it can really lighten the load when it comes to Christmas meal prep. For us, it acts as an additional stove or oven, so we can have a few dishes on the go at the same time.
To help you with festive menu planning and cooking, we've put together a few essential Instant Pot Christmas recipes you can make using the pressure cooker. Perhaps you only make one thing from this list, but we hope that you can try a dish or a drink from each of the categories as many of them can be made ahead of time.
Oh, and we have included a few vegan and gluten-free/paleo-friendly options as well.
INSTANT POT APPETIZERS
Every festive table needs a few appetizers to get things started. It might be something as simple as crackers and dips but if you want to step it up a notch, here are some ideas for appetizers you can make using the Instant Pot.
When it comes to finger food, you can't go past succulent chicken wings. Glazed with sweet and tangy maple-mustard and lemon sauce, these are perfect to serve at the festive table. You can add a touch of cinnamon or cranberry sauce/jam to the glaze for a more festive feel. Get the recipe on our blog.
Deviled eggs are a classic recipe and perfect for the holidays, potlucks, parties and other gatherings. They are inexpensive and made with ingredients you always have on hand. Making hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot will give you perfect, easier to peel eggs every time. For something a little different, you can also try our tasty Egg & Cheese Salad Dip (we make the eggs in the Instant Pot to save time and space). Recipe from Skinny Taste.
This artichoke and spinach dip is just like your favorite restaurant appetizer, but you can make this one at home in just a few minutes. It's great for gluten-free and KETO friendly diets. Recipe from Ruled.me.
Creamy, cheesy dip with a signature hot sauce butter flavor. Dip your favorite crackers, corn chips, or celery sticks and enjoy over the holidays. Get the recipe here.
For a vegan dip option, try this Instant Pot dairy-free cheese sauce from Cook With Manali
Juicy, tomato meatballs, squishy mozzarella, fresh tomato and aromatic basil are sandwiched together for a perfect bite in this Instant Pot recipe. These Caprese meatball sandwiches are great for a party appetizer or weekend family lunch. Get the recipe on our blog.
INSTANT POT CHRISTMAS MAIN DISHES
While you can't really make a whole turkey in the Instant Pot, there are lots of other smaller mains you can whip up in a pressure cooker. In fact, doing something like a family pot roast or turkey breast and gravy is quick and easy in the Instant Pot. Here are some ideas for mains to get you started.
Tender, well-seasoned turkey meatballs and gravy make for a satisfying weeknight meal or you can serve them with a side of cranberry sauce for a Christmas holiday menu. Get the recipe here.
This Roast Beef and Gravy recipe is warm, hearty and full of flavor. Chuck or topside beef is seared and pressure cooked pot-roast style in a delicious red wine brown gravy resulting in fall apart, tender meat. Get the recipe here.
The perfect solution to a smaller dinner! It has an easy overnight marinade of butter, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and garlic, and is cooked in your Instant Pot in 35 minutes. Then you make the gravy right in the Instant Pot! Recipe from Greens & Chocolate.
For something incredibly easy yet delicious this Christmas, try our beginner-friendly recipe for pork shoulder with gravy. Get the recipe on our blog.
Tender Instant Pot Pot Roast and Potatoes with gravy makes the perfect family-friendly dinner. This easy one-pot dinner recipe will please everyone in the family this season. Recipe from Creme de la Crumb.
Forget using an oven, the Instant Pot makes for the juiciest and most flavorful ham you’ve ever had. Using an oven to heat ham can dry the ham out, especially a pre-sliced spiral cut ham. By using an Instant Pot, the flavors of the glaze infuse into the meat. You can still finish it under broil for that crispy finish. Check out this Christmas-style ham from Life Made Sweeter.
You can also try spiced honey glaze ham from My Heart Beets.
This meatloaf is made with ground chicken and a host of simple ingredients and seasoning to form a moist, satisfying, and deliciously glazed loaf. The honey mustard topping adds a unique twist to a traditional meatloaf normally served with tomato or BBQ glaze sauce. Get the recipe here.
Savory, rich ground meat with veggies and gravy topped with creamy mashed potatoes and a little golden cheese crust on top; this casserole dish is true comfort food. Get the recipe here.
VEGETARIAN MAIN DISHES
Portobellos have a rich juicy, deep meaty texture that, although will never be mistaken for meat, can be equally satisfying to vegans and omnivores alike. This pot roast is made with portobellos, carrots, and potatoes, all cooked inside an Instant Pot for the ultimate easy meal. Recipe from My Darling Vegan.
This hearty Instant Pot shepherd’s pie is vegan and gluten-free friendly and is made with nutritious lentils, mushrooms, and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes. It's a perfect side dish for a balanced meal. Get the recipe here.
A whole head of cauliflower is perfectly pressure cooked with a delicious spice rub, then finished with a sweetened glaze and garlic, thyme bread crumbs. It's beautiful, impressive, festive and easy to make. Serve it as a plant-based, vegetarian main or as a side for Christmas. Get the recipe on our blog.
INSTANT POT CHRISTMAS SIDES
From simple mac'n'cheese to scalloped potatoes and Brussels sprouts, making your festive side dishes in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy option and will free up the stove and oven for other dishes like roasts and desserts. Try some of our favorites here.
These Brussels sprouts are healthy, quick, easy and so amazingly tasty to balance out a heavy menu. You can make it with fresh or frozen, with bacon or sun-dried tomatoes for a vegetarian version. This recipe is Low Carb, Keto, Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly. Get the recipe here.
These ranch potatoes are red potatoes cooked in a delicious mix of flavors. To make things even better, warm ranch potatoes can be transferred to a casserole dish and baked with grated cheese on top. Get the recipe here.
This cabbage dish is tasty, super easy and affordable, so it's great to make for a crowd or just a small gathering. Finished with creamy garlic sauce and croutons, it hits a lot of festive notes. Get the recipe on our blog.
Loaded with three types of beans, ground beef, bacon, onions and bell peppers, this tangy and sweet Southwestern classic is a family favorite. Perfect for holiday gatherings and potlucks. Get the recipe here.
Not only do these creamed beets add a pop of color to your table spread, but they are also delicious and easy to make with the Instant Pot. Finished with a touch of cream and salty feta for the contrast of flavors, this is a fantastic side dish for Christmas. Get the recipe here.
Hearty, flavorful, and nutritious, these Instant Pot white beans with rosemary, garlic and olive oil are the perfect example of healthy Mediterranean cuisine. It's gluten-free, vegan-friendly. Weight Watchers: 7 Smart Points (green) or 6 points without olive oil. Get the recipe on our blog.
Super creamy, perfectly sweet and savory and so easy to make that you will never buy canned creamed corn again! Serve this classic Southern side dish at your next holiday table spread. Get the recipe here.
Don't fall into the trap of pre-made canned mushroom soup for the sauce. This delicious side dish is from scratch with whole ingredients. Homemade creamy mushroom sauce and crispy fried onions made with gluten-free flour (not in the Instant Pot!). It tastes so much better and is super easy. Get the recipe here.
The key to cooking carrots in a pressure cooker is to do it very quickly. That’s why we love Instant Pot for veggies because you can have a side dish ready in no time at all. You will notice that the time for cooking is set to ZERO minutes and set to LOW pressure. That’s correct! Get the recipe here.
Creamy macaroni and cheese is a dish that everyone should master. Who doesn’t love a good, creamy, cheese pasta? Macaroni and cheese is a definite crowd-pleaser. It pairs beautifully with roast meats, especially chicken or turkey but can also stand on its own. Get the recipe on our blog.
This creamy, yet dairy-free and vegan-friendly mac'n'cheese can be a side dish or the main dish - you decide! It's a real crowd pleaser and won't make your guests feel heavy or bloated from too much cheese. Get the recipe here. You can also check out this recipe if you want a regular Instant Pot mac and cheese.
It's a desert disguised as a veggie side dish. But no one is going to complain about that. It's loaded up with marshmallows for sweetness and walnuts for some crunch. If scalloped potatoes are more your speed, make sure to check out our recipe for Instant Pot potatoes au gratin. Recipe from Zen & Spice.
Fluffy and flavorful, this side dish of mashed potatoes with cream cheese and dill is a great addition to every festive table. Loved by kids and grownups alike, it's quick and easy to whip up in the pressure cooker. Get the recipe on our blog.
Made with almost 10 veggies and healthy ingredients, this nutritious stew is vegan and gluten-free friendly. It’s great for batch cooking and meal prepping as it keeps well and can be used over a few days. Get the recipe here.
This dish is a crossover between brussels sprouts au gratin and a good old creamy veggie bake. The Brussels sprouts are cooked in a creamy broth in the Instant Pot, then transferred to a baking dish and finished cheese under a broil. Get the recipe here.
If you’re looking for a change from the classic mashed potatoes, try our creamy, delicious loaded mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon, made directly in your Instant Pot. You can get that final melted result with or without the oven, giving you extra space for roasting or baking. Get the recipe on our blog.
Coated in the most delicious balsamic orange dressing and can be served cold or warm. It is perfect for any time of the year and for a festive table. It’s vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Get the recipe here.
This Instant Pot gravy recipe is a shortcut version of traditional gravy that requires no drippings or roasted meat and can be done directly in the pressure cooker using the Saute function, giving you extra stovetop space for other dishes. It’s the combination of chicken and beef stock that gives it the best flavor and that lovely color. Get the recipe here.
Mushrooms can take a long time to cook down and brown in a pan for the right flavor. They cook faster under pressure. If you use less liquid in the dish, then they also brown and pick on a caramelized flavor under pressure which is perfect for gravy. Recipe from Vegan Richa.
FESTIVE DESSERTS IN THE INSTANT POT
Let's move on to the sweet part of celebrations with these delicious cakes and desserts you can make in the pressure cooker.
A cross between a Christmas pudding and the classic baked fruit cake with delicious and festive flavors of dried and candied fruit, citrus, and spice. Our version has no added alcohol and contains less sugar but it’s just as decadent tasting and heady as the traditional fruit cake. Get the recipe here.
For a dessert with the holiday spirit, make this fabulous Instant Pot eggnog cheesecake with gingersnap crust and caramel drizzle. Spiked with a little rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this pressure-cooked cheesecake is creamy and decadent, perfect with a little whipped cream or ice cream. Get the recipe on our blog.
Instant Pot stewed apples in mulled wine. It’s exactly as it sounds – apples stewed with brown sugar in red wine and spices – resulting in soft, sweet, spiced, and slightly boozy-flavored fruit (but not alcoholic!). You can serve these pressure-cooked apples as a dessert with delicious vanilla ice cream. Get the recipe here.
Why only have cranberry on the side when you can have it on top. Better yet on top of a ginger molasses cheesecake! Serves well on the dessert table next to the traditional pumpkin and pecan pie. Get the recipe from Kitschen Cat.
It's all about the presentation when it comes to impressing. This cake is decorated with figs and is nut-free. There's plenty of substitution options to make all your guest satisfied. Get the recipe here.
Indulge in a creamy filling sweetened with brown sugar on a shortbread pecan crust with a decadent caramel topping studded with toasted pecans. This recipe is from the Instantly Sweet Cookbook. Get the recipe here.
Look at this beauty with strawberries and raspberries garnishing the top with a hint of mint. The silky chocolate ganache shines and couldn't be easier with just two ingredients and five minutes. Recipe from Rainbow Plant Life.
PS. You can find more vegan Instant Pot desserts here.
Why make a cake in an Instant Pot when you have an oven? Because your oven is already full of other things baking and you want a foolproof failsafe moist fudgy paleo chocolate cake you can rely on. Recipe from Thriving on Paleo.
It’s dark, rich, fruity, moist & boozy & so much lighter than the dense, heavy puddings you might have tried in the past! This Vegan Christmas Pudding is excellent eaten right away. There is no need to make it weeks or months in advance. However, it will get even better with age and you can make it up to 6 months in advance, as long as you make it with alcohol in it. The alcohol is what preserves it. It also freezes well and will keep, if wrapped properly, for up to one year. Recipe from A Virtual Vegan.
INSTANT POT HOLIDAY DRINKS
Finally, we have a few options for Christmas drinks for the Instant Pot. From mulled wine to hot cider, these will warm up the belly and the soul.
Mulled wine is the perfect winter’s drink for a festive party or cozy get-together. This recipe will serve 12, but you can increase it for more. Since the spices in this recipe are divisible by three, and not two, when adding another bottle of wine (half recipe), err on the side of more, and not fewer spices. Recipe from Hip Cooking.
This homemade hot apple cider is made from fresh apples. Citrus and fall spices are added to it to make it a perfect spiced treat for a winter night. It’s naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Recipe from Curry Tail.
This rich, Real Food version of white hot chocolate is creamy and warming on a cold day. It is loaded with nourishing ingredients and extra protein. Enjoy it with someone you love! Recipe from Traditional Cooking School.
Hot Cocoa for the Instant Pot https://www.theidearoom.net/hot-cocoa-recipe/
After a long day up in the mountains skiing or after an afternoon of playing in the snow or sledging in the backyard. It is so easy to make this hot chocolate drink to warm up your fingertips. Recipe from The Idea Room.
One of the most difficult things to do when changing eating habits, especially for kiddos is having to tell them they can no longer have something they enjoy eating. Hot chocolate is a tradition for winter for most family's hands down. Instead of cutting out this winter treat, here is a dairy-free substitute. Recipe from Instant Loss.
INSTANT POT RECIPES USING UP LEFTOVERS
This stew is a Southern dish made with beans, vegetables and meat cooked in a tomato base. The stew is usually finished with barbecue sauce and has a touch of cayenne pepper or chili to give it a rich flavor and sweetness. It’s a great recipe for using up leftover meat and vegetables. Get the recipe here.
This chicken lemon soup is also known as avgolemono, referring to the egg and lemon sauce that is used to thicken the soup at the end of the cooking process. The soup has a lovely lemon tang and aroma but isn’t sour. It’s rich and creamy, even though it’s low in calories and saturated fat. Get the recipe on our blog.
This casserole features diced leftover turkey, a trio of onions, carrots and celery, white rice, frozen peas and corn, and a touch of rosemary and garlic – all cooked in stock in the pressure cooker. The dish is then finished with a splash of cream and Parmesan cheese and topped with buttery pan-toasted crumbs. Get the recipe here.
Got too much leftover turkey after the holidays? Don’t let it go to waste! You can use up the meat and bones in many delicious leftover recipes. We’ve got recipes from bone broth to stews and casseroles. PS. You can also use chicken! Get the recipes here.
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Make something special for everyone to enjoy without getting burnt out in the kitchen. Your time and energy are precious so with the help of your Instant Pot, more memories can be made with family and friends. Each moment should be cherished, so let's spend them wisely.