Use Your Instant Pot For The Prep Work
Some foods like meat will taste better when browned before cooking. Other foods need to be cooked separately and ahead of time. Instead of doing this step before you eat, take care of it before you freeze.
And when you can, speed up prep work by using your Instant Pot. For example, use the sauté function for browning meat. Or pressure cook then store foods like rice, beans, or bone broth. Leave other foods that you can easily add at the time of cooking like a can of tomatoes in the cupboard.
With this in mind, it helps to see all your prep steps in one place when putting together a massive freezer meal haul. To get a customizable snapshot of what you need, take a peek the Real Plans app where we do the heavy lifting for you.
+ Cook And Freeze Instant Pot Freezer Meals
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Everything you need to know about making nutritious and tasty Instant Pot freezer meals, plus the best pressure cooker recipes to cook now and freeze for later!
I love having a supply of Instant Pot freezer meals to heat and serve to my hungry crowd.
Theres something so comforting about knowing your freezer is stocked with ready-to-eat, nutritious, and delicious meals for your family!
Whether youre wanting to avoid going out right now or once things return to normal and kids activities are running late, these meals are perfect when theres no time to pause to prepare dinner.
With these helpful tips and tricks to storing freezer meals for the Instant Pot, you might just start making double batches of all of your favorite pressure cooker recipes to freeze.
Today were answering your most common questions about making and storing Instant Pot freezer meals. Note that these tips and recipes apply to any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
How To Prep And Freeze Meals With Meat
When assembling healthy freezer meals in the Instant Pot that include meat, there are a few specific things to keep in mind.
The following 4 steps are how I assemble and freeze meat based meals to ensure tender, flavorful, and fully cooked meat.
To show these steps in action, Im using Pepperoncini Beef Sandwich, Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken , and Chicken Fajitas .
Also Check: Is Sear The Same As Saute On Instant Pot
Instant Pot Roast Beef And Potatoes
Chicken and fish arent the only meats you can cook from frozen even frozen hearty, rich beef turns out yummy in the Instant Pot. Youll find just that with this Instant Pot roast beef and potatoes recipe.
Any hearty cut of beef works here, from chuck roast to brisket. This roast gets doused in broth, onions, salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes. It cooks for 90 minutes longer than many pressure cooker recipes, but way less time than a roast in the oven or slow cooker.
To make a quick carrot and potato medley to accompany your roast, simply remove the roast and its drippings , and throw in cubed potatoes and carrots. Add water and salt, and cook them for four minutes. Thats all it takes!
Is The Food Thawed Or Frozen
When it comes to instant pot freezer meals, it is important to determine whether you want to thaw it or cook it frozen. Many individuals prefer thawing it out first especially when it comes to reheating small portions of sauce. What you can do is, decide what food you want to consume the following day so you can pull the frozen meal out of the freezer the night before. Make sure you are placing the frozen food in the refrigerator so it does not go bad.
This way, your frozen food will have plenty of time to defrost so when you wake up, all you will have to do is heat it up which is far easier than defrosting.
Another thing to know is that when you are using an instant pot to heat thawed food, it will take less time compared to frozen food.
Read Also: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
How To Reheat Cooked And Frozen Instant Pot Meals
I like to reheat a frozen Instant Pot meal right in your pressure cooker. The steam and heat ensures that items that tend to dry out stay moist and fresh tasting.
To reheat a frozen meal in a 6-quart pressure cooker: Place a trivet and 1 cup of water in the pressure cooking pot. To reheat a frozen meal in an 8-quart pressure cooker: Because the 8-quart is bigger, I generally recommend using 1 1/2 to 2 cups water in the bottom of the pressure cooking potespecially if youre reheating longer cooking items.
Place your food in an ovenproof dish on top of the trivet.
- If Im reheating a smaller portion, I generally use my 7×3-inch aluminum cake pan.
- If Im reheating a large portion and I need a deeper dish, I love using the cooking pot from my Instant Pot Mini inside my 6-quart pressure cooker.
Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and an appropriate cook time for the size of your item. I like to start with 5 minutes at High Pressure, but larger meals, like whole cuts of meat, will take longer.
When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release and check the temperature of your dish inside the pressure cooker.
Note: You may need to return the pot to pressure for another few minutes if your dinner isnt piping hot yet. Or if its close, you can always leave the top off and select Sauté to continue warming your food through.
What Are The Ingredients To Make Instant Pot Frozenmeatballs
To make Instant Pot Frozen Meatballs you are going to need:
- Favorite tomato sauce
- Frozen meatballs
Now, it is important to add water because even withspaghetti sauce without it there is a higher chance of getting a BURN on your InstantPot.
As for what type of frozen meatballs to use with your Instant Pot, we love Sams Club Members Mark Italian Meatballs or Members Mark Italian Beef Meatballs. These meatballs are already cooked so keep that in mind.
Of course, you can use your favorite frozen meatballs.
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How Long To Cook Frozen Pork Tenderloin In The Pressure Cooker
- Since we are cooking frozen meat the cooking time will be longer than normal.
- As a general rule, I like to cook 30 minutes per pound for frozen pork tenderloin on high pressure, and it turns out great.
- For fresh or thawed meat, cook for 20 minutes per pound on the high-pressure setting.
- Please note, you will have to allow for an additional 10 minutes of NPR .
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How To Reheat Frozen Food In The Instant Pot
Making your instant pot freezer meals at home is a whole new experience. While it takes more effort and time, when you finally get to dig into the food you have made, it is the best thing ever.
However, the issues arise when you are unable to reheat the instant pot freezer meals you made in the instant pot pressure cooker.
Since we know it can be a difficult task, we have a few steps that can help you reheat your delicious meal with ease.
There are many individuals that swear by freezer meals, especially the ones made in instant pots. Moreover, these freezer meals have become a lifesaver for when you do not have anything to cook at home for dinner or when you are just too lazy to do anything. With these meals at hand, all you have to do is reheat them and they are good to go.
Frozen meals are even better for homeowners that do not have any take-out restaurants nearby. Therefore, to do justice to all the hard work involved in making these meals, here is all you need to know about reheating the food.
How To Convert Slow Cooker Freezer Meals To The Instant Pot
The Ultimate Guide To converting your favourite slow cooker freezer meals to the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
It was delicious, but it felt like I was in the kitchen all day making freezer meals but lets face it the slow cooker is SLOW.
I had been busy with both my slow cookers on and I was cooking from morning until early evening and it was tiring.
It was nothing like the slow cooker freezer meals thateveryone was raving about.
The next day I made the same slow cooker freezer meals in the Instant Pot Pressure cooker and I was done in an hour.
One hour to 52 Instant Pot Curry Freezer Meals. It was heaven and made me realise we all need to be converting our favourite slow cooker freezer meals to the Instant Pot.
The Slow Cooker has been around for years and the slow cooker freezer meals trend has been going on a long time, compared to the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker that has only been in fashion for the last 3 years.
Because of this there is an endless supply of Slow Cooker Freezer Meals but not as many for the Instant Pot.
I have decided today, to bring them together and show youjust HOW EASY it is to convert yourfavourite slow cooker freezer meals to the Instant Pot.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Layered Reheating From Frozen Ie Combine Both Methods Described Above
1. For example place a lump of curry straight in the inner pot after coating it with water, place a tall trivet in the inner pot, and the second frozen dish in a container on top of the trivet. Lock the lid in. Steam Release Handle pointing to Sealing. Manual, 15 minutes , either natural or quick release. I tend to do natural when layered like this.
Note that in newer, more powerful, Instant Pots, as little as 5 minutes with 5 minutes NPR does the trick . Play with the timings.
I’ve also made a handy video so that you can get an idea of how to reheat frozen food in your Instant Pot while you have your feet up.
I have an awesome taller trivet from Instant Pot that unfortunately isn’t on sale but I am told the one linked below works well.
You’ll find all my Instant Pot recipes here, the Lamb Tagine featured in the photo above is right here and my Pressure Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas group here. Of course, as Instant Pot UK’s social media girl, you can also find me in the Instant Pot® UK Community.
**This post contains affiliate links, that means that if you buy a product after clicking through them, I may get a kickback to help me maintain Feisty Tapas and its communities. You also get a huge thank you from me and perhaps one day I may even buy you a cup of coffee at one of the Feisty Tapas meetups**
Ways To Cook Meat From Frozen In Your Instant Pot
You get home from a long day of work and realize you havent thawed anything for dinner. What do you do? Grab takeout? Scrounge up a sad meal of whatever you can find in the pantry?
Have you tried, well, cooking the frozen food you have?
Conventionally, weve been taught that we have to thaw food before cooking it, but its completely safe to cook meat from frozen, and, when done properly, it still results in a hearty, satisfying, and tasty meal.
When cooking from frozen, you have to account for some extra cooking time about 50 percent more. However, if you use an electric, programmable pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, that added time can actually be negligible.
Were talking boneless, skinless chicken breasts and salmon filets that can be cooked from frozen in around 10 to 15 minutes. You can even make whole chickens and pot roasts with frozen meat in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven or slow cooker.
The Instant Pot is a magic device for cooking meat from frozen, as youll find in these recipes.
Instant Pot Chicken And Cheese Taquitos
This kid-friendly Instant Pot Chicken and Cheese Taquitos recipe goes from frozen chicken breasts to a delicious dinner on the table in 45 minutes with very minimal hands-on work. You can easily double and freeze these for later.
Freeze For Later: Follow recipe instructions but do not bake. Place rolled up tortillas in a freezer bag or freezer container in a single layer. Separate the single layers with parchment paper. Seal tightly and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen: When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place frozen taquitos on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or foil. Cover them lightly with a piece of foil . Bake for about 25 minutes or until warmed through and cheese is melty. Remove foil and bake about 5-10 more minutes until golden brown on top.
Converting Slow Cooker Recipes To Instant Pot Recipes:
Many of our favourite recipes are freezer to crock pot recipes. If you want to use one of those recipes in the Instant Pot, you can, but you will have to adjust the times significantly.
Things cook much quicker with pressure cooking. In a slow cooker recipe that calls for 8 hours of cook time on low , the cook time in the Instant Pot in the sealed setting will be 25-30 minutes. You will of course need to allow extra minutes for the pressure to release.
Instant Pots need liquid to cook things properly, so if your original recipe doesnt have at least one cup of liquid , youll have to add some.
Dont add freezer to slow cooker recipes that have milk or dairy in them . You can add the milk or dairy in at the end, but because of the high pressure, you dont want to include them for the full cook time.
One last note about this: Instant Pots can also function as a slow cooker, so if you only have an Instant Pot, its easy to use your crock pot recipes in there using that feature.
Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Meat In Instant Pot
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
Much like the roast, the Instant Pot can cook frozen pork tenderloin effortlessly and quickly too. All youll need is frozen pork tenderloin, chicken broth and bay leaves.
While the pork is cooking you can prepare the delicious homemade sauce. This is made from honey, soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, and cornstarch to thicken. Serve the pork with a side of your favorite veggies and rice. Learn how to cook rice quickly using our Instant Pot Hack: Cooking Perfect White Rice.
Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #2
- 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1-2 bell peppers, chopped
- BEFORE COOKING: Add 6 cups water or low sodium broth.
- INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 20 minutes, wait 10 minutes and do Quick Release.
- SLOW COOKER: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
- AFTER COOKING: Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Using an immersion blender, puree soup right inside the pot. Return chicken back to the pot along with peanuts, lime juice, cilantro and bell peppers . Stir and serve hot.
Instant Pot 20 mins, 10 mins NPR, after QR OR Slow Cooker Low 6 hrs, High 3 hrs. Before 6 cups water. After shred chicken and puree soup, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 limes, 1 cup peanuts.
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Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Pork Tenderloin
Remove the silverskin from 2 pork tenderloins, then place in a gallon zip-top bag fitted over an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker insert. Add 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, the finely grated zest and juice of 1 medium lemon, 4 smashed garlic cloves,and 1 stick cubed unsalted butter. Seal and freeze until solid in the bag , at least 6 hours or overnight.
To cook, remove frozen ingredients from the bag and place back into the Instant Pot. Cook under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Serve the pork sliced 1/2-inch thick, with the cooking liquid, black pepper, and lemon slices if desired.
Cooking Time As Determined By Weight
- 14 oz. chicken breast should be cooked at 15 minutes manual high pressure , plus 5 minutes natural pressure release
- 12-13 oz. chicken breast should be cooked at 14 minutes MHP, plus 5 minutes NPR
- 11-12 oz. chicken breast should be cooked at 13 minutes MHP, plus 5 minutes NPR
- 7-9 oz. chicken breast should be cooked at 11 minutes MHP, plus 5 minutes NPR
As all meat does, the chicken will continue to cook while it is resting, and this is a good thing. After the chicken has finished cooking in the Instant Pot and the pressure has been released, check the temperature. It should ideally be around 160ºF or so. Close the lid, and let the chicken sit for an additional 5 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests. Double-check one more time that the temperature has risen to 165ºF after it has rested, and remove from the Instant Pot, while you make the pan sauce.
Quick Tip: If for some reason the chicken is below 155ºF once it has finished cooking, you can close the lid and cook the chicken on manual high pressure for 2 more minutes, with a quick release.
For sure its a delicate balance when cooking chicken between making sure its fully cooked, but not overcooked!