You’ve resolved to meal plan, but you need quick meals, and you need to stick to a budget. You quickly realize that so many recipes are full of expensive ingredients that will soon do away with any progress you’ve made on your food budget. Sound familiar? If you need some quick, inexpensive meals, you’re going to love our list of the best Instant Pot Meals on a Budget.
We’ve compiled a list of 21 recipes that should come in under the $10 mark since they use mostly pantry staples and the meats that people typically have on hand, such as chicken and ground beef. Now you can feed your family quickly without throwing money away by going through the drive-thru lines or having takeout delivered.
Best Instant Pot Meals on a Budget
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese from The Inspiration Edit:
You can’t get more budget-friendly or kid-friendly than a simple mac and cheese recipe. This dish uses common household ingredients, such as dried pasta, chicken stock, milk, and shredded cheese for an easy weeknight meal that comes together fast. Add a side of roasted or steamed broccoli to round out the meal.
Burrito Bowls from Deliciously Sprinkled:
Who says you need a tortilla to enjoy burritos? Burrito bowls are a lot more fun (and a lot less messy). They’re made with ground beef, rice, black beans, corn, salsa, and other budget-friendly ingredients that you probably have on hand right now.
Spicy Pasta Marinara from The Inspiration Edit:
Our spicy marinara sauce is frugal and simple. It has a spicy kick to it, so it’s not your ordinary, bland marinara sauce. You may want to double the recipe if your Instant Pot is big enough so that you can freeze some for a quick meal later!
Tuna Noodle Casserole from Love Bakes Good Cakes:
Tuna noodle casserole is a simple and tasty weeknight meal for the whole family. It’s creamy, cheesy, and pure comfort food. Prep and cook time combined is under 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for busy nights when you’ve been running errands with the kids.
Chicken Taco Soup from The Inspiration Edit:
This chicken taco soup is going to quickly become a family favorite. It’s full of flavor, and the leftovers (if there are any!) taste even better the next day. Serve with your favorite taco toppings like cheese, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips or strips, etc.
Instant Pot Chili Mac from The Typical Mom:
Want dinner on the table in about 15 minutes? Yes, it really can be done! This chili mac cooks just 4 minutes, followed by a quick release. All the ingredients are budget-friendly and kid-approved. Use less chili powder or eliminate it if your kids aren’t into “spicy” foods.
Jalapeno Jelly BBQ Chicken Wings from The Inspiration Edit:
Make a pot of wings for your next get-together. Our easy jalapeno jelly BBQ wings are so flavorful and tender. They come out falling off the bone! Make them for game night or anytime you’d like to do appetizers for dinner.
Chicken Fajitas by Recipes from a Pantry:
Use everyday pantry staples and chicken to pull off this easy weeknight meal. Just add the ingredients to the Instant Pot, press Start, and you’re all set. Shred the chicken once it’s done, and pile it high on tortillas along with your favorite toppings.
Instant Pot Loaded Potatoes from The Inspiration Edit:
Sometimes, you need a big, tender potato with all the works. Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, after all. You can easily customize this with your favorite toppings when the potatoes are done. Butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, crispy bacon, and crunchy green onions or chives—does it get any better?
Chicken and Potatoes by Recipes from a Pantry:
This Meditteranean dish is the perfect family meal. It’s affordable, easy to make, and is a one-pot dish, which is always great for minimizing clean-up. There are just 3 WW Freestyle points in a serving, so it’s a terrific meal if you’re watching your points or calories.
Penne Pasta with Sausage from The Inspiration Edit:
Making pasta in the Instant Pot is so easy, and of course, pasta is one of the more frugal meals you can make. Frugal doesn’t mean sacrificing on flavor, though. This penne pasta recipe gets loads of flavor from the sausage and the creamy tomato sauce.
Chicken Noodle Soup from The Inspiration Edit:
You don’t have to wait until you’re feeling under the weather to make this delicious and easy chicken noodle soup. It’s a bowl of comfort any time you need it. It’s an excellent recipe for using up leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken, too.
More Instant Pot Budget Meals
Fettuccine Alfredo from Play Party Plan:
Busy families are going to love this easy, cheesy fettuccine alfredo. And if you want to switch things up, you could always stir in some cooked chicken, broccoli, or mushrooms.
Honey Chicken from The Inspiration Edit:
Skip getting takeout. You can make delicious honey chicken right at home for way less than you’d pay at your favorite restaurant. Serve this over a bed of rice and sprinkle green onions and/or sesame seeds on top to finish it off. Yum!
Instant Pot Hamburger Helper from Skinny Comfort:
Don’t go for the boxed stuff. This recipe is way better! This creamy, delicious one-pot meal will become a regular in your rotation. Kids love it, and it’s easy on the wallet. Using a sharp cheddar cheese makes this dish very flavorful.
Ham and White Bean Soup from The Inspiration Edit:
This is a classic frugal and filling meal. You’ll get lots of protein and lots of flavor. It goes great with a big piece of cornbread on the side.
Chicken Spaghetti from Skinny Comfort:
Chicken spaghetti is the ultimate comfort food, combining two of our favorites: pasta and chicken! The cheesy sauce gets a nice kick from the green chiles. This meal comes together in about 30 minutes.
Sweet and Sour Chicken from The Inspiration Edit:
Here’s another recipe to file away for those nights you’re craving takeout. It’s just as tasty when you make it yourself, and you’ll feel good knowing that you didn’t waste a bunch of money on a single meal.
Risotto with Peas and Carrots from Instant Pot Eats:
This recipe is so budget-friendly and is terrific for those nights when you’ve forgotten to plan for dinner. It uses rice, celery, onions, and frozen peas to make a delicious, nutritious, and cheap meal. The most expensive ingredient is the Parmesan cheese, but it makes the dish oh-so-good!
Instant Pot Cowboy Beans from The Inspiration Edit:
If you’re feeding a crowd of hungry guys, this is a go-to recipe. Beef and beans come together in a flavorful sauce made with BBQ sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and a few other ingredients. Serve with biscuits or cornbread.
Vegetarian Instant Pot Gumbo from Cotter Crunch:
Get lots of plant-based protein with this hearty, flavorful vegan gumbo made right in the Instant Pot. Lentils are super affordable and very filling, and this gumbo is chock full of them.
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About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has studied nutrition for children and has also taught cooking skills to adults. Angela loves to share family meals and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!