Swear By Your Instant Pot? Here’s How To Pressure Cook Your Way To A Perfect Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is officially here! I don’t know about y’all, but Thanksgiving can get really stressful for me. While the holiday should be about spending time with your family, watching the parade, and sneaking food, it can get a little hectic in my kitchen. 

All my childhood memories of Thanksgiving place my mom in the kitchen and stressing while everyone’s having a fun time. Not this year!

While I love Mamma Linda’s dedication, cooking all day is exhausting and it’s no one’s favorite task. So today, we’re bringing you Instant Thanksgiving! All of the best parts of a classic Thanksgiving meal can be made in an Instant Pot, all you have to do is turn it on, dump in the ingredients, and you’re ready to go! Because, honestly, who really has the time (or desire) to cook all day?


Instant Pot Turkey

Thank you Bacon is Magic for the recipe!

instant pot turkey


  • 8 lb. turkey (fresh or defrosted)

  • 1 medium onion (quartered)

  • 1 stalk celery (quartered)

  • 1 medium carrot (quartered)

  • 2 cloves garlic (cut in half)

  • 1 dried bay leaf 

  • ½ cup water

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel and season it with kosher salt and black pepper. 

  2. Put half of the onion and one clove of garlic in the cavity of the turkey. Put the remaining ingredients in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place a trivet in the pot with the turkey on top.

  3. Cook on manual for 48 minutes (6 minutes per pound of the turkey). Naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. 

  4. Carefully remove the turkey from the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole

Thank you Pressure Cooking Daily for the recipe!

instant pot sweet potato casserole


  • 2 large sweet potatoes

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp butter (melted)

  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1 egg

  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream


  • 1 Tbsp butter (melted)

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp flour 

  • ⅓ cup pecans (chopped)


  1. Grease a 1 +½ quart oven-safe baking dish or 7×3-inch cake pan. 

  2. Peel the sweet potatoes by halving them lengthwise and cutting them into ¼-inch slices. 

  3. Place a steamer basket in your Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water and the sliced potatoes. Lock the lid in place, select “High Pressure”, and cook for 8 minutes. 

  4. When the cook time ends, turn the pressure cooker off and do a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. 

  5. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl with brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer until it’s smooth. Add the egg and cream and mix well. 

  6. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish.

  7. Make the topping: combine the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecans with a fork in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole. 

  8. Place a trivet in the pressure cooker pot. Add 1 cup of water and use a sling to lower the casserole dish onto the trivet. 

  9. Lock the lid in place and select “High Pressure’ and a 15 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and do a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. 

  10. Optional: If you’d like to brown the topping, preheat your oven to ‘Broil’ and place your dish in the oven for a couple of minutes until the topping starts to caramelize and brown. You can also use your air fryer lid set to 350°F. The topping will brown quickly — check at 2 minutes, then again each minute after that until your casserole is done.

Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole

Thank you A Couple Cooks for the recipe!

green bean casserole


  • 8 oz. baby Bella mushrooms 

  • 1 large shallot 

  • 2 lbs. green beans 

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 

  • 2 tsp cornstarch

  • ½ cup heavy cream 

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 garlic clove (grated)

  • 1 tsp ground dried thyme

  • ½ tsp dried sage

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp kosher salt 

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • ½ cup gourmet potato chips, sour cream, and onion flavor


  1. Finely chop the mushrooms, mince the shallot, and trim the green beans. 

  2. Turn on “Sauté” mode and add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. When it’s heated, add the mushroom and shallot and sauté for 6 minutes until they’re tender. Then add the green beans and ½ cup of water. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot and place the pressure release handle in the “Sealing” position. 

  3. Cook on “High Pressure” for 1 minute. Press the “Pressure Cook” button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected and set the time. 

  4. Quick-release and vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting,” covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. 

  5. Stir in the cornstarch until everything is coated. Add the cream, Parmesan cheese, grated garlic, thyme, sage, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Turn on Sauté mode and cook for 1 minute until it’s thickened and bubbly. Taste and add more salt, as desired. 

  6. Remove the bean mixture to a serving dish and serve, topped with crushed potato chips.

Instant Pot Turkey Gravy

Thank you Food Network for the recipe!

instant pot gravy


  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • 7 cups turkey stock (plus more if needed)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Add the butter to a 6-quart Instant Pot and set it to “Sauté” on high. Melt the butter completely, then add the flour and whisk to combine until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux is the color of peanut butter — 5-8 minutes. 

  2. Slowly whisk in the warmed stock and bring it to a simmer, whisking until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cool down completely and store covered in the fridge. 

  3. If necessary, reheat the gravy over medium heat.

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Thank you The Spruce Eats for the recipe!

cranberry sauce


  • 24 oz. fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)

  • ⅓ cup maple syrup

  • 2 tsp orange zest

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 stick cinnamon


  1. Rinse the cranberries and pick them over, discarding any mushy or damaged cranberries. Add them to the Instant Pot. 

  2. Add the sugar, orange juice, maple syrup, finely grated orange zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon sticks to the pot with the cranberries. Gently stir to combine the ingredients. 

  3. Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and set the vent to “Sealing”. Choose the manual setting “High Pressure” for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then open the vent to manually release the remaining pressure. 

  4. Remove the cinnamon sticks and turn on the “Sauté” setting and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. 

  5. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a storage container and cool completely. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve it chilled or at room temperature.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake 

Thank you Sweet & Savory Meals for the recipe!

instant pot cheesecake



  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 

  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts (ground)

  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 

  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)

Cheesecake Batter:

  • 2 8-oz. Packages of cream cheese 

  • ½ cup white granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch 

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

  • Pinch ground cloves

  • Pinch allspice


  1. Lightly coat a 7×3-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and set it aside. 

  2. Finely chop the nuts or add them to a food processor. 

  3. Add the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, and melted butter to a bowl. Stir until everything is combined. 

  4. Press the mixture into the prepared springform pan and freeze for 20-30 minutes. 

  5. Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. 

  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed  until it’s light and fluffy. 

  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue beating the mixture until everything is combined and creamy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. 

  8. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cheesecake batter mixture into the prepared pan. 

  9. Place a metal trivet into a 6-qt Instant Pot and add 1 + ½ cups of water.

  10. Gently transfer the cheesecake pan on top of the trivet. Cover the top of the cheesecake pan with foil. 

  11. Select the manual setting and adjust the pressure to high. Set the timer to 40 minutes. 

  12. When the cheesecake has finished cooking, release the pressure naturally for about 30 minutes. 

  13. Carefully open the pot and transfer the cheesecake to a cooling rack. Let it cool for 1 hour, then run a paring knife around the edges. 

  14. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight before slicing and serving.

Instant Pot Bourbon Pecan Pie

Thank you Kitchn for the recipe!

pecan pie



  • 1 + ½ cups water

  • Cooking spray

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 + ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 Tbsp honey

  • ½ tsp kosher salt


  • 3 large eggs

  • ⅔ cup light corn syrup

  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp molasses

  • 2 Tbsp bourbon (optional)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 + ¼ cups pecans halved

  • Whipped cream for serving


  1. Make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a steam rack in the bottom of a 6-qt Instant Pot. Add 1 + ½ cups of water and coat a 7 or 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap the inside of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the filling from leaking. 

  2. Melt 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large bowl and let it cool slightly. Add all the crust ingredients and stir until they’re evenly moistened and transfer to the pan and press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides in an even layer. Bake until it’s golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Let it cool completely. 

  3. Add all the filling ingredients in an even layer in the crust. Pour the filling over the pecans. 

  4. Cover with a paper towel and a piece of aluminum foil. Make a handle by folding a 16-inch long sheet of aluminum lengthwise into a 1 + ½-inch wide strip. Place the strip under the pan and lower it onto the steam rack. 

  5. Lock the lid on and make sure that the valve is set to seal. Cook under high pressure for 28-32 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and remove the lid and use the foil handles to remove the pie. Uncover and let it cool to room temperature.


Who’s ready for the easiest Thanksgiving meal ever? I know I am! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food to make? Comment below!

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