Check out this list of Instant Pot appetizers– real food ingredients, quick and easy to make, and sure to please the guests at your next party!
The Super Bowl is just a week away, and so is my middle son’s birthday party. I have visions of heaps of kids, big burly men, and spreads of party food dancing in my head.
Planning the food is always one of my favorite aspects of party and event planning. Figuring out the best food for the occasion, how to maximize my budget, and still serve delicious eats that will make everyone happy is energizing to me.
I had a lot of fun testing recipes and putting together this list over the weekend. We ate a lot of party food, but I didn’t hear much complaining. Actually, I’m still snacking on cheeseBEERburger dip right now.
These are all Instant Pot recipes, because, of course, I want to put my new favorite appliance to work.
(If you are looking for non-Instant Pot recipes, you can check the appetizer recipe page, and this menu for feeding a party of 50).
All of these recipes come together quickly with little effort. No special equipment is needed, with the exception of a steamer basket for the eggs. If you are planning to use your Instant Pot for multiple dishes, I highly recommend a second stainless steel inner pot. I use mine allllll the time, and having a second pot came in handy for preparing appetizers, and storing them in the refrigerator (especially useful if you want to make appetizers ahead of time).
Many of these recipes are not just for parties– they can be used for everyday meals, too. The lentil sloppy joes and meatballs in particular will be frequent additions to our weekly menu plans.
And, as with all the recipes I share here, these appetizers are made with whole ingredients (nothing processed) that can easily be found in your kitchen or favorite grocery store.
Crowd-Pleasing Instant Pot Appetizers
1. CheeseBEERburger Dip
A rich and filling meaty dip cooked under pressure in beer and topped with sharp cheddar cheese.
- 1 C mushrooms, chopped
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/3 C IPA beer (I used Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the Instant Pot on Sauté. Add the onions, mushrooms, and beef. Sauté the beef mixture for 3-5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften and the ground beef is mostly browned. Drain the grease from the beef mixture. Stir in the salt and garlic powder. Pour in the beer. Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
2. Quick release the pressure. Add the cream cheese and one tablespoon of flour across the top of the dip, stir to combine. Return the Instant Pot to Sauté and cook 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the dip is thickened.
3. Top the dip with the shredded cheese, and cover for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Serve with corn chips.
2. Chili & Potato Wedges
Chili is a classic Super Bowl food, and great for any party where you want to serve a crowd a warm and filling dish.
We love the chili recipe on this list. It is packed with meat, beans, chunky tomatoes, and peppers. Top it with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and it’s perfect.
If you and your guests want to save room for the rest of the delicious Super Bowl food, then an entire bowl of chili may be overkill. Instead, try cooking some potato wedges to top with the chili.
To make potato wedges in your Instant Pot: place the wedges on the steamer basket with a cup of water below, cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release the pressure. Finish the potato wedges in the oven to get them crispy.
3. Buffalo Chicken Scalloped Potatoes
It is your call whether you make this dish with a hint of spice or a real kick. It is easy to make and perfect to share at a party!
- 1/2 C ranch dressing
- 1/4 C Franks RedHot sauce (or more to taste)
- about 8 red potatoes
- 2 C cooked shredded chicken
- 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1. Mix together the ranch and Franks to make buffalo ranch sauce. Slice the red potatoes with a mandolin slicer (about 1/4″ thickness– I used the second setting on my slicer).
2. Pour 1/2 C of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Layer the ingredients: half the potatoes, 2 Tbsp buffalo ranch, half the chicken, and 1/2 C shredded cheese. Repeat layers once. Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure.
2. Transfer the potato mixture to a shallow baking dish. Top with the remaining buffalo ranch and the remaining cup of shredded cheese. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned in spots.
3. Serve. Add additional hot sauce to taste.
4. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a party must. They are even easier with the Instant Pot. Try a new variation for your next party!
Hard boiled eggs are so easy to make in the Instant Pot. After you cook and peel them, you can stick with a classic recipe or try something new. I love the variations of zesty deviled eggs and bacon barbecue eggs shared here— the author of the recipe even substitutes Greek yogurt for some or all of the mayonnaise, which is something I have been doing for a while too.
5. Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Another classic appetizer, creamy and full of veggies. Ready to eat in thirty minutes or less!
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, minced
- 12 oz artichoke hearts, chopped
- 3 C chopped spinach (or a combination of spinach, baby kale, baby chard, etc)
- 1/2 C water
- 1/2 C Greek yogurt
- 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Melt the butter in the Instant Pot using the Sauté feature. While the butter is melting, mince the onions. Add the onions to the butter and let them cook while you chop the artichokes. Add the chopped artichokes to the IP, stir, and let the mixture continue to cook while you chop the spinach. Add the spinach to the onion mixture, stir to combine, and pour in the water. Cover the IP and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
2. Quick release the pressure. Stir in the yogurt. Return the IP to Sauté and add the cheeses, stirring and cooking until the cheese is melted.
3. Serve the dip with crackers from the Instant Pot, or transfer to a serving platter.
6. Mexican Lasagna
Layers of beans, salsa, tortillas, sour cream, and cheese make a party food that is both simple to prepare and a hit with your guests.
My crockpot Mexican lasagna just got even easier, which is saying a lot since it was already sooooo simple.
I followed the recipe for making it in a crockpot, with the single addition of a quarter cup of water in the bottom of the pot first. I cooked it in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes on manual. The Instant Pot did not come to pressure because there was not enough liquid, but it was hot enough to melt the cheese, blend the ingredients, and heat it throughout. After ten minutes I removed the lid and topped the Mexican lasagna with yogurt (you could also use sour cream), and guacamole before serving.
A cheesy comfort food, brightened up with green peas and chunks of bacon throughout.
Cheesy macaroni with a smooth creamy sauce pairs well with other popular appetizers like meatballs and barbecue. Bacon, peas, and whole foods make up the ingredient list for this simple Instant Pot dish.
Meatballs are awesome because they can be served up in so many ways. Eat them alone, on top of rice or grits, or on a bun for a meatball sub.
Photo Cred: Skinnytaste.com
A quick search on Pinterest shows a bunch of different variations for meatballs in the Instant Pot. These salisbury steak meatballs from Skinnytaste (pictured above) look amazing. And these buffalo chicken meatballs and these paleo meatballs are made with real ingredients and looks delicious as well.
9. Lentil Sloppy Joes
A classic sandwich with a healthy twist. Keep the sweet barbecue flavor and serve up a healthy, budget-friendly alternative to other heavy appetizers.
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 C green lentils, rinsed
- 1 C water
- 4 C (2 14.5oz cans) of pureed tomatoes (I blended 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
- 1/2 C maple syrup
- 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp each kosher salt, cumin, dry mustard, and garlic powder
- 1 tsp each chili powder and paprika
1. Combine all the ingredients in the Instant Pot. Stir to incorporate. Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
2. Serve with homemade rolls, Hawaiian rolls, or over rice or potatoes, etc.
10. Stuffed Peppers
Who says vegetables aren’t party food? Pick up some fresh bell peppers and stuff them with a filling of your choice. They will cook up quickly and full of flavor in your Instant Pot!
Photo Cred: Confessions of a Fit Foodie
If you’re like me, you’ll want to introduce more vegetables and healthy ingredients into the menu of meat, cheese, and starches to your party menu. Stuffed peppers and the lentil sloppy joes shared above are excellent options to do just that.
I have not tried stuffed peppers in my Instant Pot yet, but I plan to try them this week. I am going to follow this recipe for cooking Instant Pot stuffed peppers, and this recipe from Confessions of a Fit Foodie for healthy Italian stuffed peppers.
Want more Instant Pot recipes??? You can find them here.
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What appetizer are you excited to see (and eat!) at a party?
What is your favorite Instant Pot appetizer to make?
I made the Instant Pot Sloppy Joe Lentils EXACTLY as your recipe listed. I now know the burn function works on my Instant Pot as it went off twice. The first time the burn function lit up, I immediately shut things down, dumped everything into a second pot, cleaned the bottom of the Instant Pot thoroughly, and started again, this time I added about 1/2 cup more water. I set it to pressure cook for 18 min. A few minutes later the burn function went off AGAIN, I dumped everything again, cleaned the pot, and added 1 1/2 cups MORE water. It did finish cooking, but I’m disappointed because I lost a lot of lentils and I’m sure, spices, etc. due to having to clean the pot. I’ve been Instant Potting for a while, first time a recipe failed. 🙁