Getting your kids to eat your Pinterest-inspired creations isn’t always easy, right? Often times those recipes aren’t based in a kid-friendly reality. These, though, are Instant Pot recipes for kids. Each recipe pulls from a dish your kiddo is already obsessed with and simply aims to either shake it up a bit or simply make it easier to make at dinnertime. Easy, one-pot and pantry recipes have never been more important than now, when most families in the US are hunkered down in a coronavirus self-quarantine trying to work from home and entertain the kids. And between all that you have to feed them, too!
Luckily, this is one part of the pandemic you can control. Got a taco-loving toddler? We found two amazing taco-inspired Instant Pot recipes. Is your tween on an Easy Mac kick but you want something slightly healthier for their growing body? We got you.
Our recipe starts in an Instant Pot, meaning it’s easy-peasy to make, and makes a hefty, freezer-ready batch so all your kiddo has to do is heat it up when they get a craving. What could be better? Oh, ya know, just ten or so other deliciously simple recipes to try, as well.
1. Instant Pot Taco Pie
Bold statement: Everyone loves taco Tuesday. Some of us, though, enjoy a bit more variety than just beef tacos one night a week. Variety isn’t always something that’s easy to come by, though, when you have picky eaters in your house. This taco pie is fun and total winner in our rotation of Instant Pot recipes for kids.
2. Instant Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
Another take on taco night is the option to add pasta and turn it into a casserole. Most taco pasta recipes like this one call for mini shells, but there’s no reason you can’t use bow ties, cavatappi swirls or even dino-shaped pasta.
3. Instant Pot Meatballs
Another staple on any kids’ menu is the meatball. Sure, you can buy the delicious frozen ones and we totally won’t judge. (There may or may not be a couple bags in our freezer right now.) But, if you’re feeling slightly ambitious and want to cook together with your kids, they’ll love following along with this instant pot recipe from TheKitchn and getting to roll their own meatballs.
4. Instant Pot French Dip Recipe
As a kiddo, and even now, I always felt so cool dipping my French Dip sammy into a crock of au jus. Mine was usually the Arby’s version, but making your own with an Instant Pot will guarantee plenty of leftovers. Plus, you have the chance to get your kids to participate.
5. Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
Anthony Bourdain once referred to Kraft Mac & Cheese as “nuclear orange.” He wasn’t wrong. While a DIY Instant Pot version may not be so colorful, it’s certainly bolder in flavor.
6. Healthy-ish Chicken Parm – Instant Pot Edition
If you’re feeling especially Italian and can’t afford to take the whole fam-bam-ily out to eat, there are tons of good Instant Pot recipes for chicken parm. Not all of them are as healthy or kid-friendly, though.
7. Instant Pot Meatloaf and Potatoes
Dinner can’t get any more classic than meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Did you know that you can make both in the Instant Pot?
8. Instant Pot Pulled Pork
When May hits, it’s BBQ season… even if the weather isn’t cooperating. Don’t get access to your grill keep you from summer’s best food, though. You can make pulled pork in the Instant Pot and your kids will love helping to tear apart the cooked meat.
9. Instant Pot Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal
Sure, we’ve offered lots of dinner Instant Pot recipes for kids, but what about something for breakfast? While Instant Pot breakfast recipes run the gamut, oatmeal will probably be the most popular in your house.
10. Instant Pot Corn Dogs
If your kids are quite impressed with French Dips or chicken parmesan, it’s totally fine. We get it. For every kid who’s up for anything there’s another one living on chicken nuggets and easy mac. Both sets of kids probably love corn dogs, though.
11. Popcorn… in the Instant Pot
Hi. Hello. Did you even consider that you might be able to make popcorn in an Instant Pot? Whatever genius first tried this deserves a dang medal.
12. Rootbeer Chicken Wings
Rootbeer chicken wings combines two of kids’ favorite things: Pop and chicken wings. These suckers are so delicious, you won’t be able to feel guilty about the sugar.
13. Entirely Instant Pot Spaghetti
You made the meatballs earlier, but don’t forget the spaghetti and sauce! Now you have the whole meal.
14. Boxed Brownies In the Instant Pot
Did someone say dessert? No? We’re just hearing things? Entirely possible. Also possible? Making yummy, gooey brownies in your Instant Pot.
15. Chicken and Rice
This one pot chicken and rice recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen Blog calls for some carrots, peas, and onions as an accompaniment to the two main stars, and it all cooks so quickly and tastes so good. Best part is kids will love chowing down on this for a school lunch or on the weekends. Replace with brown rice or buckwheat if you want to pack the nutrients.
16. Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
Alfredo sauce is obviously delicious, but it’s also heavy. Skimp on the fat without cutting out the flavor by replacing Alfredo sauce with sour cream (and lots of garlic). Trust us, the kids won’t know the difference, especially when they’re chowing down on yummy chicken and spaghetti squash. This recipe comes from 365 Days of Crockpot and is already a favorite.
17. Bakhsh (Bukharian Rice and Beef)
This super easy Bukharian recipe for what we like to call green rice and beef works just as well in the oven as it does in the Instant Pot. It calls for very few ingredients and is a great way to teach older kids how to chop up onions, wash and chop cilantro (or parsley if that’s your jam), and learn about spices that are not just salt and pepper. This link to a bakhsh recipe is for an oven version but we’ll give you pointers for how to tailor it for your Instant Pot.
Step 1: Chop up one large onion.
Step 2: Chop up 2 bunches of cilantro.
Step 3: Sauté onions and beef chuck (or ground beef if you don’t have chuck) in the Instant pot in half a cup of oil until the onions get translucent.
Step 4: Rinse 1.5 cups of rice (sushi style, basmati, or jasmine all work) and layer in a single thick layer on top of the meat and onions.
Step 5: Sprinkle the cilantro on top and mix.
Step 6: Add enough water to just cover the top of the mixture.
Step 7: Put on high pressure for 11 minutes. 15 minutes if you want it to reach risotto creamy texture.
Step 8: EAT!
18. Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes make for a perfect freezer meal. You can make ahead of time and defrost just in time for lunch or dinner. The ingredients are surprisingly simple to pull together, all you need is some ground beef (or any other ground meat you prefer), a bell pepper, diced onion, tomato paste and ketchup, and your preferred seasonings to round out the flavors. Serve on a burger or brioche bun and prepare to be asked for seconds.
19. Instant Pot Jambalaya
Bring out your inner Emeril and fish out that cajun spice mix from the back of the cupboard, it’s time for some fiery jambalaya. This recipe from Boulder Locavore is the pressure cooker take on the classic New Orleans dish with andouille sausage and shrimp serving as the main players. If you don’t have shrimp handy, you can also make it with chicken breast cut in cubes. Kids will love helping out chopping veggies and if they’re old enough they can even help sauté the sausage. All in all, this is a great dish for the whole family no matter the season.
20. Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
Kids will be kids and will always ask for “fun” foods for dinner. But every once in a while, a mama has to step in and make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to grow big and healthy. Enter, soups. They’re a great and delicious way to introduce a variety of ingredients, flavors, vitamins, and minerals into any child’s diet without sacrificing on flavor. And if you make it in an Instant Pot, the bonus is that it’ll get done quicker and you won’t have a huge mess on your hands in the kitchen. This recipe from Bowl Of Delicious will get the job done if your kids love split pea soup.