11 Instant Pot Meals That Prove Autumn Is the Best Season

From pressure-cooking quick meals, slow-cooking while at work, or even baking cakes, it's all done in one place with the instant pot. At around $100, an instant pot is going to pay for itself pretty fast. In my experience, I actually cook more often using the pot, because it's so easy. Make a big batch of chili or spaghetti sauce, and you'll have lunch-ready leftovers, or you can freeze them for another meal.

A tried-and-true method of saving money on groceries is to shop seasonally. As we head into autumn, there are plenty of fall foods to make in your instant pot that'll make you happy summer is over. (See also: 12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money)

1. Applesauce

What do I love about making my own applesauce? I can make it without sugar or preservatives. I can also make it smooth or chunky, depending upon my mood. Looking to add a little extra seasonal spice to it? My mother used to stir some candy red-hots into hers, which does give it a pretty color and cinnamon-y flavor.

2. Rotisserie chicken, sort of

How great is rotisserie chicken when you need to throw dinner together in a flash? Plus, I love the leftovers on day two. Try making this "faux-tisserie" chicken in your pot. The chicken is super-tender and moist.

3. Baked potato soup

For this baked potato soup recipe, you'll need five pounds of potatoes. That's OK, though, because when you're done (after only 10 minutes of cooking), you have dinner for eight to 10 people! We like to sip this soup in big mugs while watching old movies. It's killer comfort food.

4. Apple cake

When you first got an instant pot, did you realize you could make cake in it? That blew my mind. Chocolate cakes are dense and moist, but check out this apple and ricotta cake, which is super dense and moist. I like raisins, so I kept those in, and also used pecans. A dollop of whipped cream infused with a little bourbon really dresses it up, too.

5. Chili

What's better when the weather turns cold than a hot bowl of chili? Chili that you can make in 45 minutes! We're watching calories, so I substituted ground turkey and turkey sausage for the beef in this recipe. Finally, pile on your favorite toppings: sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar, or tortilla chips.

6. Sunday pot roast

Enjoy a family meal on Sundays? No need to start this pot roast early in the day, though. You can procrastinate and still serve up tender pot roast, potatoes, and carrots in just two hours. Pass the gravy!

7. Pear cider

Here is a different twist on cider — it's made from pears! I used Bartlett pears, which were slightly bruised, but it mattered not, as this was delicious. It'll perfectly hit the spot on blustery days.

8. Greek yogurt

It took a little experimentation to get my instant pot yogurt as thick as I wanted it. I whisk in one packet of plain gelatin with the milk. Then, before I add in the plain yogurt (the culture, or starter), I also add one cup of dry milk powder and whisk that in. That makes a thicker yogurt, which is also nice to use in place of sour cream. Give the yogurt some fall flavor with toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and honey on top.

9. Butternut squash risotto

This instant pot risotto is a delicious fall meal, and it's also vegan and gluten-free! What's more, it looks beautiful and it makes enough for you to take for lunch the next day. Risotto is not something I make every day, due to all the work involved. However, in the instant pot, it goes together quickly. This calls for butternut squash, but I had kabocha squash on hand, so I used that instead.

10. Oatmeal

A bowl of oatmeal on a chilly fall morning is a good way to start your day. This is a great pumpkin spice oatmeal recipe explaining how to make it in an instant pot. You can use either rolled oats, or steel cut, although those do take longer. I thought it was very creamy using just water, but you can substitute milk. Add extra fiber with toasted walnut bits and dried fruit topping.

11. Dulce de Leche

This dulce de leche sauce is good on just about everything, including the oatmeal mentioned above. However, if you can stop yourself from eating it all, a jar of it makes a great gift.

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11 Instant Pot Meals That Prove Autumn Is the Best Season

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