These 31 Instant Pot and slow cooker holiday dishes are perfect for easy meals any time of day, from hearty breakfasts to fun treats for celebrating all month long.
Are you scurrying around like little elves, trying to get your holiday shopping done? Is the Instant Pot on your wish list? If not, it should be! It was the most sold item on Amazon last year, and it’s expected to do the same this year. That’s because this appliance is a beast. It functions as a slow cooker or a pressure cooker, slashing most cooking times in half, and leaving you with minimal cleanup. Or maybe a new Crock Pot is on your Christmas wish list—this sleek slow cooker is on mine.
Isn’t that magic to the ears, especially during the holidays?
This is your Santa-sized list of holiday dishes you can whip up effortlessly in your Instant Pot or or slow cooker. From crowd favorite appetizers and hearty breakfasts to soul-warming soups and beverages, this list will have you covered this holiday season.
December 1: Creamy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Ready in just 5 minutes cooking time, this lush mac and cheese makes for an interactive dinner party with 5 ideas guests can add to make their own favorite mac and cheese fixin’s.
December 2: Decadent Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Sally’s Baking Addiction
Taking an intermission from romping in the snow, or watching Elf with your family just wouldn’t be the same without a piping mug of hot chocolate (and no, the stuff in the blue packet doesn’t count). This homemade version is extra creamy and decadent since it features melted chocolate. Not to mention it’s so much easier in the slow cooker!
December 3: Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup
Mountain Mama Cooks
Soup is the perfect antidote to chilly weather, and it also makes for a soothing lunch when you’re burnt out on holiday leftovers. This creamy, cheesy cauliflower type is rich and velvety, but uses less cream than other recipes, and those buttery croutons on top make you feel like you’re slurping a grilled cheese sammy.
December 4: Instant Pot Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Cookies & Cups
Cheesecake made in the Instant Pot is a huge game-changer, especially when it features a Ritz cracker crust and is topped with a luxuriously sexy salted caramel sauce.
December 5: Slow Cooker Little Smokies
These sweet and smoky little fellas should come with a warning label, because they’re super addicting, and they’re always the first thing to go at a holiday party!
December 6: Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Soup
Creme De La Crumb
This comfort food classic gets soupified in the Instant Pot (or slow cooker), for a cozy dinner your entire crazy, extended fam will love.
December 7: Homemade Apple Cider
Add a Pinch
Not only does this cider fill your home with the most festive aromas, it’s a breeze to make in the slow cooker or on the stovetop, and it will warm you up from head to toe!
December 8: Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts
What’s a proper holiday party without a bowl of mixed nuts to munch on? These guys pack a spicy kick thanks to cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice, and are naturally sweetened with maple syrup.
December 9: Crockpot Breakfast Potatoes
These creamy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside potatoes take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are perfect for easily feeding the masses over the holidays.
December 10: Slow Cooker Apple Crisp
Gimme Some Oven
Why slave over a labor-intensive apple pie when you can have this scrumptious crisp, effortlessly made in the slow cooker? Serve with vanilla ice cream, and your favorite Christmas flick.
December 11: Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
The Recipe Critic
Make this fancy French comfort food dish when you want to impress your relatives with a gourmet home-cooked dinner, but don’t have time to pull a Julia Child. The slow cooker does all the work, but (shhhh), they don’t have to know that.
December 12: Instant Pot Monkey Bread
Gooey, caramel-y monkey bread is a breakfast treat everyone loves to eat, and when you can do it this easily and quickly in the Instant Pot, you won’t want to make it any other way again.
December 13: Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
Pinch of Yum
This stick-to-your-ribs soup tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day, but it actually cooks for just 45 minutes in the Instant Pot. A hearty bowl full is the best way to warm your family’s bellies after a marathon game of Monopoly.
December 14: Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
With Christmas Eve approaching in just a wink of an eye, Maribel commented that she was in need of a recipe that had enough style to impress at the holiday dinner table. This is the recipe I sent to save her.
December 15: Instant Pot Maple Smoked Brisket
Bare Root Girl
This showstopper brisket gets its flavor from smoked sea salt, maple sugar, and a hit of liquid smoke, and it’s guaranteed to leave your family doing the happy food dance.
December 16: Homemade Crock Pot Chex Mix with Honey Mustard
Food Faith Fitness
Chex Mix is the mascot of holiday parties. It’s the best of both worlds—the ultimate balance of sweet and salty. This one gets some added pep from hickory liquid smoke and honey mustard, for a mega crowdpleaser.
December 17: New York-Style Instant Pot Cheesecake
Little Spice Jar
Forget visions of sugar plums, you’ll have visions of this unbelievably creamy and fluffy New York-style cheesecake haunting your dreams long after the holidays are over.
December 18: Slow Cooker Overnight Breakfast Casserole
House of Yumm
This casserole is packed with all of your favorite breakfast goodies—sausage, eggs, hash browns, veggies, and plenty of cheese. Throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker before bed, and wake up to the incredible smell of a homemade breakfast filling your house. It doesn’t get easier than that!
December 19: Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine with Pomegranate
With warm spices of cinnamon, star anise, clove, and nutmeg, mulled wine tastes like Christmas in liquid form, and this version is extra festive thanks to some pretty pomegranate arils and orange slices. Your entire home will smell incredible, and inviting, and this beverage is the perfect thing to serve to party guests.
December 20: Slow Cooker Sriracha Meatballs
Speaking of parties, meatballs of some sort are pretty much a mandatory appetizer, and these sticky-sweet ones with just the right amount of heat are always a hit. Seriously, try just eating one…or two…or three.
Our Table for Seven
There’s nothing like homemade cinnamon rolls, especially when they’re made super easy in the crock pot! The best thing about this recipe though? These babies don’t have yeast, so there’s no rising time required. Plus, the caramel cream cheese frosting they’re slathered with is absolutely dreamy.
December 22: Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes
Gimme Some Oven
There’s something so sophisticated about steamed artichokes, and who knew you could make them in the Instant Pot? These take less than 30 minutes to prep and cook, are full of flavor, and feature a butter lemon dipping sauce that’s to die for. Serve these up as a Christmas Eve or New Year’s treat!
December 23: Pressure Cooker Cranberry Baked French Toast
Pressure Cooking Today
Your holiday breakfast doesn’t get much more festive than this cranberry-studded French toast topped with a heavenly orange sauce.
How Sweet Eats
Who says you can’t have a restaurant-worthy meal at home, let alone one that can be made in your slow cooker? This comforting holiday dinner is warm, welcoming, and totally great for impressing guests. And don’t even get us started on that mascarpone polenta.
December 25: Instant Pot White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake
Simply Happy Foodie
This cheesecake is all dolled up for the holidays, and would make a merry addition to your Christmas feast.
December 26: Instant Pot Applesauce
Thanksgiving is for cranberry sauce, but Christmas is for applesauce, and this recipe takes just 30 minutes in the Instant Pot.
December 27: Slow Cooker Ham with Honey Marmalade Mustard Glaze
Good Life Eats
Ditch the Honey Baked Ham, and opt for this show-stopping version which looks like it could be straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. It slow cooks all day and gets lacquered with a gorgeous honey marmalade mustard glaze.
December 28: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
This 5-ingredient creamed corn is a family favorite, and proof that sometimes the best dishes are the simplest ones.
December 29: Instant Pot Banana French Toast
As far as holiday breakfasts go, you can never go wrong with French toast, especially when it’s loaded up with bananas, pecans, cream cheese, and it takes just 25 minutes to cook.
December 30: Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
I Heart Naptime
Everyone’s favorite dip is made extra easy in the slow cooker, and is wonderfully cheesy, creamy, and just as addicting as ever!
December 31: Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs
Skip the grape jelly meatballs this year, and make these for a NYE appetizer folks won’t be able to stop eating.
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Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Use a combination of sharp cheddar with creamy white cheeses to create a mac and cheese with plenty of cheese flavor but won't become chalky.
- 1 pound macaroni pasta such as shells or cavatappi
- 4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt optional
- 1 5- ounce can evaporated milk
- 4 cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups soft white cheese such as gouda Swiss, fontina, or provolone
In the insert of an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, add the macaroni, water, butter, kosher salt, ground mustard and garlic salt. Cook in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes on high, then quick release. Add the evaporated milk and half of the cheeses and use a wooden spoon to vigorously stir until the cheeses have melted then repeat with the rest of the cheese, stirring until the sauce is creamy. Add any additional toppings or mix-ins below at this time. Serve warm.
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