5 Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes you'll love

The Instant Pot makes cooking these Thanksgiving essentials faster and easier.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
3 min read
Chris Monroe/CNET

It's no secret that we love the Instant Pot for making dinner fast. It's not just for weeknight suppers though -- this versatile appliance can make cooking your Thanksgiving meal easier too.

This year, try out mashed potatoes, stuffing and even the turkey in the Instant Pot. Here's how to get started.

Read more on Chowhound: Thanksgiving recipes your friends and family will rave about

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This clever poultry dish was cooked almost entirely in the Instant Pot. 

Chris Monroe/CNET


Cooking this traditional holiday bird is no picnic. Big and unwieldy, a typical turkey (14 to 16 pounds) needs 2 to 2.5 hours of roasting time in the oven. Even the roomiest Instant Pot models though (8-cup), can't accommodate a bird that large -- at best you'll be able to fit an 8-pound turkey in its jumbo pot.

If you're cooking for just a few people, an 8-pound bird will be enough. And its smaller size plus the high-pressure conditions of the Instant Pot translate into a much shorter cook time.

Expect 6 minutes of active cooking (under pressure) per pound. That comes to about 48 minutes. To also enjoy crispy skin, factor in a few minutes of conventional roasting in the oven too. Check out this recipe for making whole Instant Pot turkey.

There's another way to get your Instant Pot turkey game on -- use turkey parts instead (think quarter sections and breast meat). It's certainly the way to go if you own a standard 6-quart size Instant Pot. I personally vouch for this this clever recipe. It makes flavorful sauce, mashed potatoes and poultry in one batch.


Make this sausage and sage stuffing almost entirely in your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot


You can't call it Thanksgiving without stuffing. Like when cooking turkey with crispy skin, you'll have to finish traditionally baked dishes like this in the oven. Everything else, however, you do right in the multicooker.

Here's a bread and sausage stuffing recipe the Instant Pot website recommends.


The core strength of the Instant Pot is convenient, high-pressure cooking. Use this to make turkey stock, and ultimately gravy, in a fraction of the time it usually takes.

This gravy recipe calls for turkey parts, wings and neck (if you have it), to develop deep flavor. After sauteing spices and aromatics, you brown turkey pieces in batches. Next combine everything with water, and lock the Instant Pot's lid. After 45 minutes of pressure cooking and a quick strain, your stock is ready. You can also create batches of stock a few days in advance and store them in the fridge.

Transforming this liquid into delicious turkey gravy takes just minutes. That's half the time the stovetop method requires.


Homemade cranberry sauce from an Instant Pot? Yep, that's possible.


Cranberry sauce

I confess that when it comes to cranberry sauce, I'm a barbarian. Ever since childhood, only the artificially smooth, sour-sweet kind from the can will do.

If you prefer the homemade condiment though, the Instant Pot has your back here too. The dynamic blogging duo Amy and Jacky have a recipe that looks extremely tempting. If the results are as good as they look, I just may break my bad cranberry sauce habit.


Yes, making cheesecake in the Instant Pot is a thing.

Instant Pot


The Instant Pot is known for its savory dishes, but it can do desserts too. New York-style cheesecake is a popular option among Instant Pot fans. Two recipes I came across struck me as particularly indulgent.

The first is an eggnog cheesecake. Yes, I said eggnog. The second recipe ups the decadence even further. Honestly, this Oreo cheesecake looks sweet enough to enjoy all year round.

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