Thanksgiving In An Instant

It's Thanksgiving in half the time thanks to the Instant Pot!

Stressed out housewife with curlers in her hair checking on her burning turkey in the oven.

Stop slaving away in the kitchen on Thanksgiving & start spending time with your loved ones

With the success of the Instant Pot comes a revised round of recipes you can use to make your holiday dinners less stressful and more fulfilling

There’s nothing quite like family traditions, especially Thanksgiving. More likely than not, on this special day either you or someone you love spends hours in the kitchen with a single oven slaving away over tried and true family recipes.

Luckily for the modern family, the Instant Pot made quite the impression this year. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or know someone with one, it’s a pressure cooker with a cult following. Each recipe requires a certain amount of liquid which is needed to create the steam to build pressure. And since the water inside the post can boil up to 248 degrees F, it cooks faster than normal stovetop methods. Plus, you save on both water and energy use.

Side #1 Green Bean Casserole


  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz mushroom, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 16- 24 oz green beans
  • 1-2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup french fried onions
  • 1 tsp salt + to taste
Green bean casserole topped with french fried onions.


  1. Set your Instant Pot to sauté and add butter to melt.
  2. Slice the mushrooms, dice the onions, and add them to the pot. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, salt, and green beans and stir.
  4. Place on manual pressure for 15 minutes. After the time is up, do a quick release.
  5. The mixture will be soupy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the mixture. PRO TIP: Don’t just dump cornstarch in one spot. It globs quickly, and you don’t want cornstarch balls in your casserole. If the mixture isn’t thickening to your liking, turn on the sauté feature and reduce the liquid. Do a quick taste taste; if the mixture needs more salt, add it now.
  6. When thickened, pour into a side casserole dish and top with french fried onions.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce for the Holidays

This is a dish that is best served cool so get it done & out of the way early on

Side #2 Cranberry Sauce


  • Zest and juice 1 large orange (1/3 cup juice and 1 tsp zest)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lb cranberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)


  1. Using a zester or fine grater, zest the orange. Don’t go too deep with the grater or you will hit the bitter white part of the peel.
  2. Firmly roll the orange on the counter with the palm of your hand breaking up the insides of the orange. This makes it easier to juice. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the liquid into a measuring cup. If you can’t get 1/3 cup of juice, fill up the rest of the way with water.
  3. Turn on the low sauté setting of the Instant Pot and add the orange juice and sugar. Stir until dissolved, and then cancel the sauté setting.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients – cranberries, orange zest, and cinnamon. Stir and make sure the lid and steam release is sealed, and set the pressure cooker to manual for 2 minutesYou don’t have to watch it thicken or stir it the whole time.
  5. Let the cranberry mixture naturally release for 5 minutes (to let the foam inside rest), and then manually release the rest of the steam.
  6. Stir the sauce, put it in a side casserole dish if desired, and let cool.

Side #3 Dressing (or Stuffing)


  • 12 ounces stuffing mix
  • 2.5 cups turkey broth
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • Optional: 1 egg, beat
  • Optional: pinch ground sage
A baking dish of cornbread stuffing with celery and turkey bits.


  1. Chop up vegetables into small pieces and beat the egg.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl except 1 1/4 cup of turkey broth. The optional egg will make the dressing a bit fluffier and the sage adds a little flavor. It is recommended that you add both. Pour your mixture into a greased casserole dish, but don’t pack it down.
  3. Pour the rest of the broth into the bottom of the Instant Pot and set the trivet on top. Place the dressing dish on the trivet and close the lid.
  4. Cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. After the timer goes off, let the valve natural release for 10 minutes, and then quick release the rest of the pressure.
Bowl of mashed potatoes in a white bowl on a wooden surface.

Side #4 Mashed Potatoes


  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1.5″ pieces
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter
  • Optional: 1/2 cup sour cream
  • additional salt and pepper to taste


  1. Without using a trivet, add the chopped potatoes to the pressure cooker pot.
  2. Pour in the chicken broth, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir.
  3. Close the lid and set it for 10 minutes on high pressure. After the timer ends, let the pot natural release for 5 minutes and then finish with a quick release. The potatoes should be soft if poked with a fork.
  4. Add butter (and sour cream if desired) and mash or hand mix until your desired consistency. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Bonus! Turkey Breast & Gravy

While a turkey breast isn’t practical for a large family, it will suffice for a small family of say two or three. One of the most common complaints about Thanksgiving turkey is that it’s often dry. But cooking it in a pressure cooker makes the turkey moist, tender, and packed with flavor.

As with any pressure cooker, the cook time you set the pressure cooker for is not the total time the food will be in the pot. After you put the lid on, the timer doesn’t start counting down until the pressure has built up inside the pot. And that time depends on how full the pot is, whether the food is frozen or not, how much liquid there is, and the size of your Instant Pot.

Therefore, a frozen turkey breast will take the longest time to come to pressure. Because the pot is fuller, there’s a bunch of liquid, and it’s frozen solid, the turkey breast will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure.

As a general rule, meats also usually require a longer natural release method to ensure it stays tender. Even after the timer is done, let the turkey rest for 20 minutes inside the Instant Pot.

While it isn’t practical to cook your entire dinner in an Instant Pot, it’s a handy tool when you’re going to a gathering where you know the oven or stove top is going to be crowded.


  • 1 (3lb) frozen* turkey breast roast
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into pats
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 turkey gravy packets
Open face turkey sandwich with green beans, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes with gravy pouring over turkey breast meat.


  1. Cut the vegetables into large pieces and place in the Instant Pot. You don’t need to worry about cutting into small pieces because the veggies are only added to flavor the gravy and turkey. They will be removed in the end.
    • TIP: To cut a garlic clove, slice off the rough ends, lay your knife blade or spoon over the clove and press down until you hear a crackle pop. The peel should fall right off.
  2. Pour chicken broth over the vegetables in the pot and set metal trivet on top. This will keep the turkey off the vegetables.
  3. Remove the turkey from its plastic bag. Under the wrapper the turkey should be secured with a cotton netting and a gravy pack attached to it. Remove the gravy packet; if you’re having trouble, run under warm water. Leave the netting on for now as it will help the turkey keep its shape.
  4. Rub poultry seasoning all over the turkey and set on top of the trivet in the pot. Add butter pats and rosemary sprigs on top.
  5. Close the lid and set on manual pressure for 55 minutes. After the timer is done, let the sealing valve naturally release for 20 minutes. After that you can quick release.
  6. Check the internal temperature all around the turkey to ensure it’s 170 degrees F. Remove the turkey and set aside to rest. Once it rests for 10 minutes, you can cut off the netting.
  7. Optional: If you want a crispy skin on your turkey, you can pop it in the oven on low broil for a few minutes to give it a little color. I added a couple pats or butter to the top to give it the ultimate crisp. Cut into 1/4-1/2 slices.
  1. Remove the vegetables from the pot. You can use a strainer, but I just used a slotted spoon and dumped the veggies in a waste bowl. Reserve as much liquid as possible for gravy!
  2. Add both gravy mixes and turn the pot to sauté. Whisk continuously.
  3. Once the gravy starts to boil, whisk 3-5 additional minutes until the sauce thickens. Turn the cooker off and set aside. The gravy will continue to thicken while cooling.

*If your turkey breast is thawed, you can decrease the cook time.

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