By Melanie Fincher
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Time-saving recipes for busy weeknights.

The Instant Pot is here to stay. The reason for its seemingly overnight success? It really does make meal time easier. In one pot you can pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté, and more in less time than the conventional methods require. With the school year back in full force, having a stash of time-saving Instant Pot recipes on hand for quick weeknight meals is a smart move. Whether you make them ahead of time or the night of, these family-friendly Instant Pot recipes require little prep work but bring a lot of flavor.

"My very first experience with the Instant Pot. It was like it was 1958 and my mother cooked this goulash (no higher praise can be given). Both taste and consistency were spot on," says reviewer jhb1954. Simply sauté the beef, mushrooms, and onions before adding the rest of the ingredients and cooking them using the pressure cooker function.

Photo by My Hot Southern Mess

This comforting one-pot meal has a quick 15-minute prep and is table-ready in an hour. "Winner winner chicken dinner!" says reviewer France C. "This really does taste like it has simmered all day and there is such depth of flavor."

WATCH: Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

This stew can be made the night of or made ahead of time and frozen for a super quick dinner that will feed the whole family. Reviewer MILLICENT OBRIEN says,"This was the first time I used the Instant Pot and the stew was awesome. I couldn't believe I could make something that rich in taste in only 35 minutes!"

Photo by lutzflcat

The Instant Pot cooks the squash to perfect fork-tenderness every time. "This quick and easy acorn squash stuffed with sausage is an irresistible fall dish, and it's all done in an Instant Pot," says recipe creator bd.weld.

Photo by bd.weld

Homemade chili is ready in under an hour with this easy Instant Pot method. Simply brown the beef using your sauté function, before adding the rest of the ingredients and using the pressure cooker function to achieve warm, comforting chili. Recipe creator bd.weld says, "Garnish with lime, cilantro, diced onions, Cheddar cheese, and diced avocado."

Photo by bd.weld

This kid-friendly rice and ground beef casserole is ready in 45 minutes, and makes great leftovers! It can be served with tortilla chips or wrapped in lettuce as recipe creator Cori S. suggests.

Photo by Cori S.

"This was so good! I just got my Instant Pot for Christmas and was looking for a good family-friendly recipe. I am so glad I tried this one. Even my 8-year-old (who hates all food except chicken nuggets and fries) gave it an 8 out of 10 stars! I saved the remaining sauce to use on my lunch tomorrow because it was so delicious," says reviewer Erin.

If you're looking for an easy gluten-free weeknight meal, this crustless chicken pot pie is for you! Some reviewers recommend adding a little cornstarch to reach a thicker consistency. Reviewer NICK says, "Gourmet quality! And the 1st recipe cooked in our new Instant Pot...served it all over cauliflower rice. Super delicious highly recommend!"

Save your energy on school nights and come home to warm chili by using the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot. "White chicken chili using dry great Northern beans cooked in a multi-functional pressure cooker. You can make this ahead of time using the pressure-cook mode and then switch over to slow-cooker mode," says recipe creator bd.weld.

This dish is best to make ahead of time, as it requires you first soak the beans for two hours. After that, simply sauté the sausage and onions before adding in the beans, chicken broth, and spices. Simply reheat it throughout the week and serve it over rice — this classic dish has never been so simple!

Photo by My Hot Southern Mess