How to Convert Recipes : Slow Cooker to Instant Pot

Bust out all of your favorite slow cooker recipes and your Instant Pots! Here is how to convert recipes: slow cooker to Instant Pot!

How to convert recipes slow cooker to instant pot

Before the rise in Instant Pot cooking, slow cookers ruled our kitchens. We all have our loved slow cooker recipes that we are not ready to part with, but we want to try them in our Instant Pots.

Every time I teach an Instant Pot class, I am asked how I convert slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot! So, here are the 5 things I think about when I do conversions from slow cooker to Instant Pot.


Look at the liquid ingredients – are there THIN liquids?

A big difference between slow cooking and pressure cooking is the need for a thin liquid. Pressure cookers work by getting hot, creating steam in a closed vessel, which creates pressure.

Thick liquids (think BBQ sauce texture) will just burn and your pot will never come to pressure. Ingredients such as cream of anything soup are also not good choices for instant pot cooking.

If your slow cooker recipe has only thick liquid ingredients, consider a swap or adding a thin liquid like broth or water (depending on the recipe, of course)


Is there enough liquid?

How to Convert Recipes Slow Cooker to Instant Pot


With pressure cooking, you need at least 1 cup of liquid (for a 6 quart model) or 1.5 cups for the 8 quart model to come to pressure.

If your recipe doesn’t have that much THIN liquid, you will need to modify it by adding broth or water.

Are the ingredients of similar cook time?


I can tell you have putting a roast in a pressure cooker with the carrots is going to end badly. The cook times are just too different. The pressure will basically disintegrate the veggies.

One strategy I use is to cook the longer cook time item and then add the quicker cook time items later. See how I do that with this Instant Pot Stew post.

I also use this strategy with my Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli recipe.

Add thickeners after the pressure cycle.

How to Convert Recipes Slow Cooker to Instant Pot-4

A common thickener in cooking is cornstarch.

Don’t put this in during your pressure cycle.

Remember for pressure cooking you need thin liquids. But, you can always add it after the pressure cycle and just the residual heat will make your sauce thicken up.

You absolutely can use thickeners in your instant pot cooking, just always add it in the end.

Adjust cook times… way down!

New Magnet Photo

By turning your slow cooker recipe into an instant pot recipe, you just drastically reduced the cook time. For example, a chicken recipe that was 4 hours on high in your slow cooker, is now 8-10 minutes in your instant pot.

If you don’t know what to adjust the time to you can search your recipe but add instant pot to the search and you can see how others have timed similar recipes, or head over to the Meal Plan Addict Community and ask and here are a ton of people, including myself, that can help you.

You could even snag one of my cook time sheet magnets to help!

So, there you have it, no need to abandon all of your fav slow cooker recipes. Just use my 5 tips on how to convert recipes slow cooker to Instant Pot!

Have you converted any of your recipes? How did it go? Tell me in the comments below!

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One Comment

  1. Great tips, thanks!! We used to do slow cooking all weekend but with the kids it just doesn’t seem to fit our schedule anymore.
    One thing I’ve been trying to figure out is how to use those bags of frozen “skillet meal” in the Instant Pot for pressure cooking. Those bags with all the vegetables, meat and sauce all frozen together that you just dump and simmer in a skillet. Some of them are pretty healthy, made from whole foods and simple sauces. I’m hoping can sometimes save me when I under-plan food for the week. A cup of broth and dump them in the pressure cooker for about a third of their stovetop time, maybe? Would love to hear anyone’s insight on this :*

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