This story is part of with tips on the best ways to manage the holiday season.
Although Thanksgiving is a celebration of family, friends and general gratitude, it is also notorious because it is a source of stress, especially for the cook. It doesn't have to be that way. You can approach holiday cooking as a meditation, make sure you have a detailed plan to tackle all the details, use kitchen gadgets that make the meal easier and prepare as much food as possible in advance.
If you add a pressure cooker for that mix of methods, you can organize a truly epic party with virtually no stress – at least when it comes to food, your family members are a different matter.
Almost every individual course can be prepared in the Instant Pot. Yes, you can only do one thing at a time (assuming you only have one device), but not only can each course be completed quickly, almost everything can be prepared in advance and carefully warmed up for the big day. For many, that should sound much more attractive than juggling with a lot of different cooking times and temperatures when the company is coming (or is already there).
It is not surprising that some ingredients are better suited for pressure cookers and instant pots than others, making every part of the Thanksgiving dinner in a shortcut-friendly device is probably more of a stunt than a necessity – but that makes it not a bad thing! People enjoy glasses, most people also enjoy the convenience, so why not combine the two? Or consider including at least one or two of the recipes below in your Thanksgiving repertoire to help yourself relieve pressure.
Instant Pot turkey breast  Admittedly, the star of the show may be a bit of a challenge; if you want a large, photo-perfect bird with crispy skin, your best guess is the proven method of roasting (a high temperature turkey recipe helps save time if that is a priority, and then you can make a great pressure cooker turkey soup from the carcass).
If you are determined (and you need a very large pressure cooker or just a smaller turkey) you can sacrifice the whole thing in the pot in just one hour, nothing but the skin – and you can roast it to make it a little crispy afterwards.
But we recommend going with a turkey breast for the best results from the pressure cooker, such as this Instant Pot turkey breast recipe.
But again, if you happen to have a very small group for the holidays, you can make turkey legs, mashed potatoes and gravy in your Instant Pot in one go!
Read more about Chowhound: How to make a Thanksgiving dinner for one (or two)
Instant Pot grav y
If you keep roasting your bird in the oven (or by the way with a fried turkey or smoked turkey on the grill), you can still use the pressure cooker to make gravy for smothering the meat, mashed potatoes and all other sides.
This recipe uses the entrails (aka, the turkey organs usually packed in a bag in the cavity), but if you are determined to throw that bag away, make a pressure cooker with a pack of turkey wings instead, and use that to make your gravy. Receive the pressure cook sauce recipe.
Instant mashed potatoes
Make smooth, creamy but fluffy mashed potatoes in 15 minutes, in a single pot, without seeing if they are drained or cooked? Yes! Make mashed potatoes every night now that you have this recipe? Could be! Receive the Instant Pot mashed potato recipe.
Instant Pot filling
Okay, this could be one of those cases where the Instant Pot is and not your best bet; to paraphrase Ian Malcolm, sometimes you are so concerned with whether or not that you don't stop thinking about whether you should – because it doesn't save any noticeable time or effort, and you still have to make it crispy in the oven.
However, if you want to try it and you actively want your filling in a ring loaf shape or just don't mind, go ahead and break out the pressure cooker for these too. Receive the recipe for filling Instant Pot.
Instant Pot cranberry sauce
The fastest way to make cranberry sauce is of course by opening a can. However, homemade is extra easy in a pressure cooker, whether you like a thick texture or smooth and gelled. Made in the Instant Pot, this cran-apple version contains a bit of apple brandy – because cranberries and liquor are a perfect pair. Get the Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe.
Instant Pot Casserole with Sweet Potatoes
Although it is wonderful potato puree, the pressure cooker is also great for sweet potatoes. This casserole cooks in just eight minutes (plus a little chopping and mixing time) and is topped with candied pecans instead of mini marshmallows. Roasting is optional. Get the Instant Pot sweet potato casserole recipe.
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts
You need at least one green vegetable on the table, and Brussels sprouts have been in fashion for a while now – because if they are cooked well, they are really good. Bacon also helps. For something spicy, try this variation, or for a vegan version, you can go with these maple mustard sprouts also made in a pressure cooker. Super simple, perfectly cooked and without hassle, these Brussels sprouts will be delicious with everything on your table. Get the Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts recipe.
Instant Pot green bean casserole
Green bean casseroles are a must for many families on Thanksgiving. If you are not in that camp, in five years the Instant Pot can make crunchy green green beans for you while you take care of other things, but it also makes a green bean casserole in an instant – without even calling for canned soup. Get the Instant Pot green bean casserole recipe.
Instant Pot pumpkin pie
Yes, you can even make a dessert in your pressure cooker. If you need a traditional flaky crust, you should probably skip the Instant Pot (although you can use it to make your own pumpkin puree for pie filling). If you are fine with a nice crumbly penetrating crust made from cookies and pecans, then this quick-cooking pumpkin pie is perfect for you. Get the Instant Pot pumpkin pie recipe.
Instant Pot pecan pie cheesecake
Although there are several sources for Crock Pot pecan pies (and of course you can also use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker), there are not too many quick cooking pecan pie recipes there. However, there are many Instant Pot cheesecakes recipes, including this low-carb version that is especially perfect for a Keto Thanksgiving. It is also ready in just 30 minutes. Get the Instant Pot pecan pie cheesecake recipe. (And here is a non-keto version.)
Instant Pot apple cider
Don't forget drinks! Slowcider apple cider is a perfect set-it-and-forget-it treat, but if you forget to set it far enough in advance, it will not be as tasty as it can be. This version with pressure cooker solves that problem by producing a large amount of warm, deliciously spiced apple cider in no time.
It is alcohol-free and stays warm indefinitely, so that the entire group can enjoy it at their leisure (although adults who are so inclined can certainly make their cups a little extra cheerful – and it is served as well as chilled if you eat it) in advance). Get the Instant Pot apple cider recipe.