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Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Our 3-step Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe is incredibly flavorful and so easy! Serve over brown rice for a healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free dinner. Freezing instructions included.

multi image with instant pot jambalaya in a bowl, in a freezer bag and in the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot jambalaya recipe was inspired by one of my favorite people in the world–my dad! He’s been making and honing this Cajun specialty dish for some time now. In fact, his slow cooker version called “Curt’s Slow Cooker Jambalaya” made it into our first cookbook, From Freezer to Table. Let me tell you, he really knocked it out of the park!

So with dad’s original recipe as my basis and my Instant Pot know-how (Did you know Polly and I published a whole cookbook full of Instant Pot recipes, too?), this Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya came to life.

Why I Love Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

In case you need some convincing, let me tell you why it’s totally worth throwing this dish together.

Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage over rice in a bowl
  1. It’s super easy! This “dump and go” meal only requires three steps, a handful of ingredients, and about 30 minutes from start to finish.
  2. Delicious! The combo of all the vegetables, the andouille sausage, and seasonings create a complex flavor explosion in your mouth without much work.
  3. It makes a LOT. This can feed a large group or you can freeze half a batch for another meal later.
  4. Speaking of freezing, this makes a great freezer meal. I’ll teach you the best method for freezing below.
  5. Really healthy! It’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, full of vegetables, lean protein, and is served over fiber-rich brown rice.

What is Jambalaya and What’s in this Recipe?

Jambalaya was born in Louisiana and is filled with a combo of sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors that make it stand out from other one-pot dishes. The Spruce Eats says, “Although the exact origin of jambalaya is unknown, it is most likely the result of multiple ethnicities mingling in the port city of New Orleans centuries ago.” There are two versions of the dish:

  • Cajun – Called “brown jambalaya” that doesn’t contain tomatoes.
  • Creole – Known as “red jambalaya” that does have tomatoes.
Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage in a freezer bag

My recipe falls under the Creole category because I used tomatoes. I tried to keep it pretty lean and healthy while also packing in big taste! Here are the simple ingredients you’ll find in it:

Onions, Green Bell Peppers, and Celery – This combo of veggies is known as the “holy trinity” in Cajun cooking. It’s also known to make your house smell amazing while they cook.

Andouille Sausage – A Cajun sausage that infuses the other ingredients in the pot with spice and smoke. I opted to slice up some all-natural, fully-cooked andouille as a short-cut for this recipe.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – This lean cut gets infused with flavor and doesn’t dry out thanks to the Instant Pot. But, you can use boneless, skinless thighs instead to add in a little more fat (read: more flavor).

Fire-roasted diced tomatoes – If you can find canned fire-roasted tomatoes in the store, they add complexity to this dish and are my favorite. But, if you can’t, look for petite diced tomatoes instead.

Chicken broth – You can either make your own or buy some at the store. I really like the Swanson brand. It tastes homemade and doesn’t have all the yucky additives.

Cajun seasoning – My dad swears by Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning but use whatever kind you like. This seasoning adds in salt, black and red pepper, chili powder, and garlic.

Dried herbs – A combo of dried oregano and thyme round out the seasoning. Make sure you have these in your pantry.

A lot of jambalaya recipes also call for shrimp. You can easily stir in some pre-cooked shrimp at the end of the cook time, if you want. Or, you can use uncooked shrimp and boil the jambalaya for a few minutes using the “Saute” function, until the shrimp is just cooked through. I decided to keep things simple and exclude it myself.

How to Make Jambalaya in the Instant Pot

Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage in the Instant Pot with a bowl of wild rice on the side
  1. Stir in the Ingredients: Add the chopped veggies, tomatoes, broth, chicken, sausage, Cajun seasoning, oregano, and thyme to the Instant Pot. Stir.
  2. Pressure Cook: Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, then quick release the pressure. (Note: It will take about 10-15 minutes for the IP to come to pressure before starting the cook cycle.)
  3. Serve: Stir and serve warm over cooked rice. Top with hot sauce, if desired.

How do you Freeze Jambalaya?

One of THE best qualities of the Instant Pot, in my humble opinion, is that you can cook frozen meals directly in it. That’s not the case with the slow cooker, according to the USDA! Seriously, don’t put frozen food in your crockpot.

We recommend freezing this jambalaya dish before pressure cooking it, so it turns out tasting just like a fresh meal. Since this is a big batch meal that feeds at least 8 people, one idea is to freeze half the batch and cook the rest for dinner. The cook time will NOT change if you do this.

How to Freeze For Later:

Add the veggies, tomatoes, broth, chicken, sausage, and seasonings to one or two gallon-sized freezer bags or round containers. Seal and freeze. (Tip: If using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.)

How to Prepare From Frozen:

Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Cook at high pressure for 17-22 minutes. (I usually start at the lower time recommendation. Check to make sure the chicken registers 165°F internally or is no longer pink inside. If it’s not done, cook at high pressure another 2 minutes and check again.) Serve warm over rice.

How to Serve Instant Pot Jambalaya

Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage over rice in a bowl with a spoon

Serve over brown rice or quinoa and you will have a delicious, nutritious dinner. If you want to go completely grain-free, try serving it over cauliflower rice. Top with a little hot sauce, if you want to kick up the heat.

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Jambalaya with chicken and andouille sausage over rice in a bowl

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Cajun
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Our 3 step Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe is incredibly flavorful and so easy! Serve over brown rice for a healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free dinner. Freezing instructions included.


Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted, diced tomatoes (Sub: petite diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 11.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes (Sub: boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1214 ounces precooked, all-natural andouille sausage, thickly sliced (Sub: andouille chicken sausage)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (Recommended: Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed in hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed in hand
  • 8 cups cooked brown rice (Sub: cooked long-grain white rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice)
  • Hot sauce, optional for serving

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Into the Instant Pot, add the onion, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, broth, diced chicken, sliced sausage, Cajun seasoning, oregano, and thyme. (Do not add the rice.) Stir to combine. 
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, then quick release the pressure*. (Note: It will take about 10-15 minutes for the IP to come to pressure before starting the cook cycle.)
  3. Stir and serve the jambalaya mixture over rice. Top with hot sauce, if desired.

*This is a good time to make a quick-cooking rice on the stovetop, if you aren’t using the pre-cooked rice from the store.

Freeze For Later:

Add the veggies, tomatoes, broth, chicken, sausage, and seasonings to a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze. (Tip: If using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.)

Prepare From Frozen:

Note: You will need to have cooked rice on hand to complete this meal. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 3, but cook for 17-22 minutes. (Check to make sure the chicken registers 165°F internally or is no longer pink inside. If it’s not done, cook at high pressure another 2 minutes and check again.) Follow step 4.


Notes

Chopping Tip: Be sure to chop the veggies all about the same size and fairly small, since we aren’t sautéing them at the beginning. That way they cook at the same rate and get cooked through. 

Freezing Tip: Since this is a big batch meal, you may want to freeze half the batch for later and make the rest now. Note: If you divide the batch in half, you will NOT have to adjust the cook time. It will cook at the same rate.

Heat Level: I would say this dish is moderately spicy. If you’re sensitive to heat (or are making this for kids), I suggest only using half of the Cajun seasoning. You can always add more hot sauce to individual servings later, if needed.

Can I cook the rice in the Instant Pot with everything else? I did not test it this way because I like the texture of rice cooked on the stove for the exact amount of time better. However, you could throw some Instant Brown Rice (not the long cooking rice!) in with the other ingredients before pressure cooking, and it will work out okay…just not perfectly. And I like perfectly. 🙂 

How to Add in Shrimp: You can easily stir in some precooked shrimp at the end of the cook time, if you want. Or, you can use uncooked shrimp and boil the jambalaya after pressure cooking for a few minutes. To do this, turn on the “Saute” function, stir, and cook until the shrimp is just cooked through. It won’t take long. P.S. I recommend using peeled, deveined shrimp to make your life much easier!

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Instant Pot Chicken Nachos

By Polly Conner

Our Instant Pot Chicken Nachos are a great starter meal for the Instant Pot.

We teach you how to make this easy Instant Pot meal from fresh or straight from frozen. The best part about the recipe is that you can customize it how you want and it is a great recipe for large groups.

Freezer friendly Instant Pot nachos on a baking sheet

“I have an Instant Pot. Now I just need things to make in it.”

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve encountered who have an Instant Pot but feel a little stuck. Either they are too intimidated by all of the functions or simply don’t know what recipe to start with.

As cookbook authors of, From Freezer to Cooker, we can assure you that we have tested loads of amazing Instant Pot recipes (which are also freezer friendly). We’ve learned the ins and outs of the Instant Pot and have even perfected how to prep freezer meals for the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot Chicken Nacho recipe works both from fresh and from frozen!

How Long do I Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts don’t need long in the Instant Pot. You’ll pressure cook the chicken breasts and sauce for just 7 minutes. Then, use a quick release of the pressure. That’s usually all you need, otherwise you’ll dry out your chicken. But, be sure to check to make sure the chicken is done using a meat thermometer. It should register 165°F internally. Or, another way to check for doneness is to make sure there is no more pink inside when you cut into it.

Shredded chicken on a cutting board

During our two years of research and testing, we learned EXACTLY how long to cook meals in the Instant Pot both from fresh OR from frozen. Be sure to download and print off our Cheat Sheet here. It’s so helpful to have inside your cabinet.

Close up of Instant Pot chicken nachos

Can I Make These in the Slow Cooker?

We know you love versatility! Yes, these can easily be made in the slow cooker as well. Just follow the recipe below and instead of cooking them in the Instant Pot, just cook them on low in the slow cooker for about 3. 5 hours. Just make sure you don’t overcook your chicken!

How to Serve Instant Pot Nachos

For dinner of course! Why not? It has protein, veggies, and each family member can customize their portion with a variety of Mexican toppings, like shredded lettuce, guacamole, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc. 

Side dish ideas include cut up fruit, raw veggie sticks with our Creamy Southwest Ranch Sauce, or our Fiesta Chopped Salad

Close up of instant pot chicken nachos

How to Make it a Freezer Meal

Nachos? A freezer meal?

Yes! Well, kinda. To make Instant Pot Nachos a freezer meal, you’ll just prep and freeze the seasoned chicken before cooking it in the Instant Pot.

Freeze For Later: Place seasoned chicken, salsa, lime juice, and cilantro into a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. (Make sure to not stack the chicken.) Seal and freeze alongside a bag of shredded cheese. Tip: Set the freezer bag in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours to help it freeze in the shape of the Instant Pot.

Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need chips and your favorite suggested toppings to complete this meal. Turn on the Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press Cancel. Cook for 15-20 minutes with a quick release.

Instant Pot Nachos Freezer Meal

Mix It Up!

The chicken in this nacho recipe is really versatile! Try one of these alternate ways of serving the cooked chicken.

  • Create a Chicken Burrito Bowl by serving the chicken and your favorite Mexican toppings over rice or quinoa. 
  • Make quesadillas with the chicken and cheese on whole wheat, corn, or gluten-free tortillas. 
  • Top a salad with this chicken, corn, black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Use our Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette as the dressing.
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Instant Pot Chicken Nachos

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Mexican
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Instant Pot Chicken Nachos: A simple, lime-infused marinade for chicken breasts produces flavorful and moist shredded chicken with a hint of heat. Use it atop baked nachos, which come together in just minutes.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (p. ?)
  • 2 cups of mild salsa (or medium, if you want a little more heat)
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 small limes)
  • ⅓ cup of chopped cilantro
  • Half a bag of tortilla chips
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional Toppings: avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, salsa, lime wedges, fresh chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Season all sides of the chicken with taco seasoning. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place chicken, salsa, lime juice, and cilantro in the pot and give it all a stir. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 7 minutes at high pressure and then quick release the pressure. (Check to make sure the chicken is done, which means no more pink inside and/or registers 165°F internally.)
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot and either shred it, using two forks, or dice it. Place the chicken back into the juice. Stir it around so it picks up a lot of that flavor and stays moist.
  4. Preheat the broiler. Cover a sheet pan with parchment or foil for easy clean up. Spread out the tortilla chips on the pan. Top the chips evenly with the shredded chicken (use a slotted spoon to drain excess liquid) and the cheese.
  5. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has fully melted. 
  6. To serve, top with additional fresh toppings, as desired. Serve immediately.

Freeze For Later: Follow Step 1. Place seasoned chicken, salsa, lime juice, and cilantro into a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. (Make sure to not stack the chicken.) Seal and freeze alongside a bag of shredded cheese. Tip: Set the freezer bag in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours to help it freeze in the shape of the Instant Pot.

Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need chips and your favorite suggested toppings to complete this meal. Turn on the Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press Cancel. Follow Steps 2-6, except cook for 15-20 minutes with a quick release.

Instant Pot Chicken Nachos with toppings

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders

By Rachel Tiemeyer

With only 5 main ingredients, you’ll have these Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders on the table in less than 20 minutes! They are the perfect, healthy weeknight meal for adults and kids alike. Freezing instructions included.

Some affiliate links are within this post.

Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan for the Din Win!

If you find yourself coming home from work bone-dead tired or running kids around on weeknights, this Instant Pot meal is made for you. I know, because that’s my life I just described. 🙂

These mini sandwiches taste just like Chicken Parmesan. They are absolutely tender, flavorful, and a family favorite! You will make this again and again. In fact, be sure to double and freeze a batch for later.

IP chicken parmesan sandwiches are a winner dinner because they…

  • Taste just like Chicken Parmesan. They are absolutely tender, flavorful, and a family favorite!
  • Only require 5 ingredients!
  • Make a well-rounded and healthy dinner. Serve with a side salad or vegetable of choice and that’s it. Sometimes I toss in some chopped spinach to the meal, too, and no one even knows!
  • Are freezer-friendly! Just double and freeze the second batch for another meal. (See our freezing instructions below.)

Ingredients You’ll Need

You only need 5 ingredients on hand. Hooray! Check your fridge and cabinets to see if you have these items already…

Marinara SauceWoo hoo for store-bought short cuts! This is one you can feel good about if you select a sauce that’s organic or all-natural. Be sure to read the ingredients and try to avoid “natural flavors”, a lot of added sugar, and other weird ingredients you’re not familiar with. I personally love Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce. Or, try making your own with our Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe. It’s cheap, budget-friendly, freezable, and amazing!

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – We get our chicken from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves.

Grated Parmesan Cheese – This cheese gets stirred into the hot shredded chicken and sauce to add in wonderful salty, cheesy flavor.

Wheat Slider Buns or Dinner Rolls – I find whole wheat slider buns in the bakery section at the store. Another idea is to use store-bought wheat dinner rolls in the bakery or frozen food section. Or, try making your own wheat dinner rolls.

Provolone Cheese Slices – You’ll top each sandwich with this mellow cheese. You can place the open faced sliders on a sheet pan under the broiler for a minute or two, if you really want to get it nice and gooey and melty.

How Long Do I Cook Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts don’t need long in the Instant Pot. You’ll pressure cook the chicken breasts and sauce for just 7 minutes. Then, use a quick release of the pressure. That’s usually all you need, otherwise you’ll dry out your chicken. But, be sure to check to make sure the chicken is done using a meat thermometer. It should register 165°F internally. Or, another way to check for doneness is to make sure there is no more pink inside when you cut into it.

Did you know we published an Instant Pot cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker? During our two years of research and testing, we learned EXACTLY how long to cook meals in the Instant Pot both from fresh OR from frozen. Be sure to download and print off our Cheat Sheet here. It’s so helpful to have inside your cabinet.

How to Make This Recipe Into a Freezer Meal

Here’s where you can get even smarter. Make the best use of your time by doubling and freezing a batch of this dinner. That way you have one for tonight and another for later. The best part is that you can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen! Here’s how…

Freeze For Later: Place raw chicken breasts and marinara in a gallon-sized freezer bag or round freezer container. Seal and freeze. (Tip: Freeze the bag inside a medium-sized bowl until solid, so it’s the shape of the Instant Pot.) Freeze a small bag of the Provolone and a small bag of the Parmesan cheese along with the chicken to create a meal kit. Place all of the meal components in a grocery sack or 2.5 gallon freezer bag to keep it together in the freezer.

Prepare From Frozen: Turn on the Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Follow Steps 2-4, except cook for 15-20 minutes with a quick release.

How to Serve Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan

To serve, add some of the shredded chicken parmesan with sauce to a small bun. I find whole wheat slider buns in the bakery section at the store. Another idea is to use store-bought wheat dinner rolls in the bakery or frozen food section. Then, top each sandwich with a small piece of Provolone cheese before placing on the top bun.

Add in a simple side dish to complete your meal. Here are a few ideas…

Can I Make Chicken Parmesan Sliders in the Slow Cooker?

Absolutely! Just follow our Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders instructions here.

Bottom Line

When I make these sliders for my crew, I hear the best sound a mom could ever hear at dinner–no complaining. Whether you want a healthy, kid-friendly dinner or a freezer meal on hand for later, we think you’ll love the simplicity of these Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan.

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Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Sliders

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 12 mini sandwiches (about 6 servings) 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this freezer-friendly recipe. These sandwiches taste just like Chicken Parmesan. They are absolutely tender, flavorful, and a family favorite! You will make this again and again.


Ingredients

  • 1 (28 ounce) jar of marinara sauce (Recommended: Newman’s Own Marinara) or 3 1/2 cups of Homemade Marinara Sauce
  • 1 1/22 lbs fresh or frozen medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we love the ones from Butcher Box)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 mini wheat buns
  • 12 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Place marinara and chicken in the Instant Pot.
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 7 minutes at high pressure. (Note: If using frozen chicken, cook for 15 minutes at high pressure). When cook time is done, use quick release of the pressure. (Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internally or no longer has pink inside.)
  3. Remove the chicken to a wooden cutting board and shred with two forks. Return to the pot. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Serve warm on a mini bun and top with a slice of cheese.

Freeze For Later: Place raw chicken breasts and marinara in a gallon-sized freezer bag or round freezer container. Seal and freeze. (Tip: Freeze the bag inside a medium-sized bowl until solid, so it’s the shape of the Instant Pot.) Freeze a small bag of the Provolone and a small bag of the Parmesan cheese along with the chicken to create a meal kit. Place all of the meal components in a grocery sack or 2.5 gallon freezer bag to keep it together in the freezer.

Prepare From Frozen: Turn on the Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Follow Steps 2-4, except cook for 15-20 minutes with a quick release.


Notes

Tip: Open the buns and place on a sheet pan with the insides facing up. Then, broil for 1-2 minutes to get them toasted. This helps prevent a soggy bun when you build your sandwich.

Slow Cooker Instructions: You can make these in the slow cooker using these directions.

Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free buns/rolls.

Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our chicken from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves.

Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce

By Rachel Tiemeyer

With only 6 main ingredients, this Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce couldn’t be easier or tastier! Serve over pasta, zoodles, or spaghetti squash for a delicious and healthy dinner. Freezing instructions included.

Some affiliate links are within this post.

Instant Pot Meat Sauce = No Whining at Dinner

You know those meals you make for your family where everyone is content? (I know, I had to sit and think for a minute, too.) It’s not easy cooking for 5 different people with different palettes. But, I can safely say, this meaty marinara sauce makes the “winner dinner” cut for us!

a hand with a fork twirling a bite of spaghetti on a plate

Here’s why I make this recipe at least once a month:

  • Hearty, delicious, and versatile!
  • A well-rounded and healthy dinner. Serve over whole grain pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or even quinoa. Sometimes I toss in some chopped spinach, too, and no one even knows!
  • Requires only 6 main ingredients, including a short-cut from the store (jarred marinara sauce).
  • Freezer-friendly! Just double and freeze the second batch for another meal. (See our freezing instructions below.)
  • Gluten-free and dairy-free.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a simple-tasting sauce just because the ingredients are simple. Check out the heavy-hitting line-up of complex flavors…

ingredients for meat sauce for pasta on a cutting board

Yellow Onion – You’ll start building big flavor right off the bat by sauteing diced onion in the Instant pot. The high heat brings out the sugars in the onion.

Fresh Garlic – What pasta sauce can go without garlic? Add this in at the end of sauteing the onion for a little pungent kick.

Lean Ground Beef – I use grass-fed, organic lean ground beef, but you can easily sub ground turkey or ground chicken. Here’s where Polly and I both get our grass-fed beef.

Ground Italian Sausage – Oh man, sausage takes this sauce to a whole new level! You can use mild or spicy Italian pork sausage, but make sure it’s ground (not pre-cooked in a link). You can also substitute ground turkey or chicken sausage here. I get my Italian sausage from ButcherBox, because it’s hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and has no icky additives.

Red Pepper Flakes – This is a favorite pantry seasoning for me. It easily adds a little heat to sauces, soups, and dry rubs. Feel free to add more than the recipe calls for if you like your food spicy. (I’m looking at you, Mom and Dad.)

Marinara Sauce – Woo hoo for store-bought short cuts! This is one you can feel good about if you select a sauce that’s organic or all-natural. Be sure to read the ingredients and try to avoid “natural flavors”, a lot of added sugar, and other weird ingredients you’re not familiar with. I personally love Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce. Or, try making your own with our Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe. It’s cheap, budget-friendly, freezable, and amazing!

We’ll talk more about what ingredients you’ll need to serve the sauce a little later.

How to Make Spaghetti Sauce in the Instant Pot

Watch this 1 minute video to see how easy it is to make meat sauce in your electric pressure cooker…

How Long Do I Cook Spaghetti Sauce in the Instant Pot?

Once you’ve sautéed your veggies and meat, which takes about 15 minutes total, you’ll pressure cook the sauce for 5 minutes. Then, use a quick release of the pressure.

spaghetti sauce being ladled out of the Instant Pot

Did you know we’ve published an Instant Pot cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker? During our two years of research and testing, we learned EXACTLY how long to cook meals in the Instant Pot both from fresh OR from frozen. Be sure to download and print off our Cheat Sheet here.

How to Make This Recipe Into a Freezer Meal

When you combine the magical powers of the Instant Pot AND freezer cooking, you practically set yourself up for hands-free cooking. That’s because you can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen! Here’s how…

meaty marinara sauce in a freezer bag in the Instant Pot

Freeze for Later: Follow steps 1 and 2. Pour the meat sauce into a gallon-size freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen; see page 20).

Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need to have cooked whole-grain pasta, zoodles, etc and (optional) Parmesan on hand to complete this meal. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen sauce to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 3, but cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Follow step 4.

Fully Cook and Freeze It” Option: Another option is that you can fully cook and cool the sauce and then freeze it. When you’re ready to use it, throw it in the Instant Pot from frozen, saute the frozen block of sauce for 5 minutes to release some liquid, and then pressure cook for 3 minutes, or until warmed through.

Can I Cook Spaghetti in the Instant Pot with the Sauce?

Yes, you can cook spaghetti in the Instant Pot with your sauce!

  1. After you saute the onions, garlic, and meat (Step 1), add 1 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pot. This will help prevent the burn signal later.
  2. Then, break one package (16 ounces) of spaghetti noodles in half. Layer them in the pot in a few crisscrossing layers over the meat and veggies.
  3. Cover the noodles with 2 more cups of water and all the marinara sauce. Do not stir!
  4. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure and stir the pasta and sauce together. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

How to Serve Instant Pot Pasta Sauce

This sauce works to serve over any pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or even quinoa. It’s super versatile like that! Here are a few ideas of side dishes to serve along with your main dish:

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Garlic Bread (Done Right!)

Cheesy Pesto Bread

Bottom Line

Whether you want a healthy, kid-friendly dinner or a freezer meal on hand for later, we think you’ll love the simplicity of this Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce!

Whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce and parsley on top
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a hand with a fork twirling a bite of spaghetti on a plate

Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 8
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

With a few simple ingredients, this hearty Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce couldn’t be easier or tastier! Serve over pasta, zoodles, or spaghetti squash for a delicious and healthy dinner. Freezing instructions included.


Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1⁄2 pound mild ground Italian sausage or Italian turkey sausage
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 (24-ounce) jars marinara sauce (or make your own)

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Set the 6-quart Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Pour the oil into the pot and heat until shimmery. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened, stirring in the garlic during the last 30 to 60 seconds of cooking. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning lightly with the red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper while it cooks. Using pot holders, carefully lift the inner pot and drain off the grease.
  2. Add a 1/2 cup of water and scrape the bottom with a spatula to help prevent the burn signal. Add the marinara sauce to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Press “Cancel.” (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  3. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
  4. Serve the sauce over whole-grain pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or quinoa, topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Freeze For Later:

Follow steps 1 and 2. Pour the meat sauce into a gallon-size freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen; see page 20).

Prepare From Frozen:

Note: You will need to have cooked whole-grain pasta, zoodles, etc and (optional) Parmesan on hand to complete this meal. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen sauce to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 3, but cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Follow step 4.


Notes

To Make With Spaghetti Noodles in the Sauce: Complete Step 1. Add 1 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pot. (This will help prevent the burn signal later.) Then, break one package (16 ounces) of spaghetti noodles in half. Layer them in the pot in a few crisscrossing layers over the meat and veggies. Cover the noodles with 2 more cups of water and all the marinara sauce. Do not stir! Follow Steps 3 and 4.

    Want to Stock Your Freezer with 6 Meals in 1 Hour?

    Try our SUPER POPULAR 1 Hour Freezer Prep sessions. We give you everything you need to throw together 6 delicious, family-sized freezer meals in just 1 hour! Anyone can do it with our simple instructions, organized shopping list, and pre-filled out freezer labels.

    Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas

    By Polly Conner

    It’s hard to not like Carnitas made in the Instant Pot. In fact, pork shoulder is one of my favorite cuts of meat to cook in electric pressure cookers! Coming from someone who has tested hundreds (yes, hundreds) of Instant Pot recipes, that means a lot. Carnitas can be prepped in minutes, they make a great freezer meal, and they feed a large number of people.

    Instant Pot Carnitas

    Instant Pot Carnitas | A One Minute Video

    Instant Pot Carnitas

    These Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas are by far one of my family’s favorite recipes. The seasoning and marinade, plus the Instant Pot cooking method, pack some serious tangy-smoky-citrusy flavor into the meat. After being pressure cooked in the Instant Pot and shredded, you’ll pop the meat under the broiler and broil until it begins to crisp up on the edges. You’ll find yourself going back to this recipe again and again!

    Instant Pot Carnitas shredded

    How to Cook Pork Carnitas in the Instant Pot

    The secret to getting divine Instant Pot Carnitas is cooking the pork just right.

    After testing hundreds of recipes for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, I’m pretty convinced that a pork roast (also known as a pork shoulder or pork butt) is one of the best cuts of meat to cook in the Instant Pot.

    1. Cut the pork into 4 equal pieces. Pat dry and rub seasoning over each piece.
    2. Cook in the Instant Pot.
    3. Transfer meat to a cutting board and shred. Broil the shredded meat

    It’s worth noting that we’ve tested pork in the Instant Pot a lot of different ways and found that pork roast cooks best in the Instant Pot when it is cut into a few pieces. In all of our Instant Pot pork recipes, we instruct you to cut it into four equal pieces. Not only does this make the cooking time go faster, but the meat gets more evenly cooked and shreds very easily. This is especially true when cooking pork roast from frozen!

    Pork shoulder cooked in an Instant Pot

    How Long do I Cook a Pork Shoulder in the Instant Pot?

    If making a pork shoulder in the Instant Pot, you’ll want to cook it at high pressure for 45 minutes with a 10 minute natural release.

    If you want to know how long to cook other cuts of meat, I’d strongly encourage you to download and print off our Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart. Tape it up in your pantry for future reference. You can thank us later. 

    Can I make Carnitas is the Crock Pot? What About a Dutch Oven?

    You bet! We have all of the instructions written up for you in this post.

    The Perfect Instant Pot Freezer Meal

    As if our Instant Pot Pork Carnitas weren’t good enough, I have even better news. They make an amazing Instant Pot Freezer Meal. Simply doubling the recipe and freezing a portion before cooking it will set you up for an incredibly easy dinner down the road.

    Here are some great tips on making Instant Pot freezer meals if you want to learn more on that. We also have a printable Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart that would be helpful for anyone who uses their pressure cooker regularly.

    Pork Carnitas as a freezer meal

    How Serve with Pork Carnitas

    • One of the beauties of this meal is that it can be easily customized and served in so many different ways. That’s why I love this meal as one for large groups. Here are some ideas:
    • Change up taco night by using this filling instead of ground beef.
    • Top a leafy green salad with it and other toppings like roasted fresh corn shaved off the cob, diced bell peppers, red onion, and crunched up tortilla chips.
    • Throw this shredded pork in a quesadilla or on top of a “burrito bowl” with brown rice, beans, and your favorite Mexican toppings.

    So many options! I personally almost always serve it with our Avocado Lime Salsa.

    Instant Pot Pork Carnitas in wraps
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    Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas

    • Author: Polly
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
    • Yield: 1012 1x
    • Category: Main Dish
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    Seasoned, marinaded pork roast gets cooked in the Instant Pot and then broiled until crispy in this easy, freezer friendly, and delicious recipe for a crowd.


    Ingredients

    • 12 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (4–5 pounds) pork shoulder (also known as pork butt or Boston butt), trimmed of excess fat 
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup lime juice* (juice of about 4 limes)
    • 3/4 cup orange juice* (juice of about 3 oranges)
    • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
    • chopped cilantro (optional for garnishing)

    *Freshly squeezed is the best!


    Instructions

    Make It Now:

    1. Turn on Saute function and heat the oil.  Saute the onion just until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper while it cooks. Stir in the garlic during the last 30-60 seconds. Press “Cancel”. 
    2. In a small bowl, combine the oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. 
    3. On a cutting board, cut the roast into 4 or 5 equal pieces. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and then rub the seasoning all over each piece. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
    4. Add the seasoned meat, lime juice, orange juice, and hot sauce into the Instant Pot. 
    5. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 45 minutes at high pressure. Naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes (or more if you prefer) and then use a quick release.
    6. Remove the pork to a cutting board, and shred with two forks.
    7. Preheat the broiler. Broil the meat on a rimmed baking sheet for 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn the meat over and spoon about ¼ cup of the juices from the Instant Pot over the meat. Broil another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the edges of the meat start to crisp up and turn brown. Remove from the oven and spoon another ¼ cup of the juices over the cooked pork.
    8. Serve immediately in tacos, burritos, or salads, or enjoy a la carte. If serving in a corn tortilla, we suggest topping with diced avocado, pico de gallo, Cojita cheese crumbles, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges. If serving on a salad, use those same toppings and try our Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette as the dressing.

    Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-3. Place the onion/garlic mixture, seasoned pork, lime juice, orange juice, hot sauce into a gallon-sized freezer bag or round freezer container. Seal and freeze. Tip: Set the freezer bag in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours to help it freeze in the shape of the pressure cooker.

    Prepare From Frozen: Turn on Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press Cancel. Follow Steps 5-8, except cook at high pressure for 45-50 minutes with a natural release for 10 minutes and then a quick release. (The frozen meat will cook approximately the same amount of time as from fresh.

    Instant Pot Pork Carnitas in wraps

    Make sure to swing by and check out our other Instant Pot recipes.

    Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken

    By Polly Conner

    A little sweet and a little spicy, this EASY Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken recipe is BIG on flavor and takes just minutes. It’s a fan favorite and also freezer friendly!

    Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken Pin Image

    Why This is One of My Favorite Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

    With all of these perks, what’s not to love about easy Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken?

    1. It’s super simple to throw together. Simply dump the ingredients in the Instant Pot and cook it for 7 minutes. After it’s done, you can quickly thicken up the sauce using what’s called a cornstarch slurry. It’s optional yet quite easy.

    2. It’s complex in flavor thanks to ingredients like fresh ginger (just keep some in the freezer to have on hand), soy sauce (or substitute gluten-free coconut aminos), honey, green onions, and, of course, bourbon. (More on the bourbon in a minute.)

    3. My kids love it! It’s a little spicy, but you can always pull back on the spice if your family has a sensitive palate.

    4. It’s been very well-tested by Polly and me, as well as, our 500 person recipe-testing team for our cookbook! In fact, we spent nearly two years developing and refining the recipes in From Freezer to Cooker. This recipe is actually one of the few on our site that is also in our cookbook!

    5. It’s naturally dairy-free and can be made gluten-free with our substitutions. (According to Beyond Celiac, most bourbon is gluten-free due to the distillation process.)

    Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken with Vegetables

    How Long Does the Chicken Breast Cook in the Instant Pot?

    Now here’s the key to delicious Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken: Do not overcook your chicken! If you follow our recipe, you’re good to go. But…be sure to download and print off our Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart that we spent two years developing for our cookbook. This guide will help you pressure cook both fresh and frozen meals perfectly! It’s our gift to you!

    A FEW IMPORTANT REMINDERS ABOUT COOKING CHICKEN BREASTS IN THE INSTANT POT:

    • In order for the 6 quart Instant Pot to work, it needs a minimum of 1 cup of liquid. If you have an 8 quart Instant Pot, it needs at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
    • Because chicken breast is so easy to overcook, we always use the quick release method. Quick release is when you turn the pressure release valve to “open” or “venting” (depending on IP model) at the completion of the cooking cycle. This forces the steam to release from the Instant Pot quickly.
    • Do not stack chicken when cooking in the Instant Pot. It will cook unevenly. This is especially true for frozen chicken. Try to spread it out evenly along the bottom as much as you can.
    • Use a meat thermometer like the one we recommend here to determine doneness. All poultry must cook to the safe temperature of 165°F internally (or no more pink inside). You don’t want to cook it longer than that or it will get dried out.
    • If cooking chicken from frozen, make sure to read our post about how to prepare and cook freezer meals in the Instant Pot. Seriously, don’t skip it.
    • If you have more questions about the Instant Pot, swing by and browse Instant Pot 101.
    Chicken breast with honey bourbon sauce in the Instant Pot

    What Should I Know About Cooking with Bourbon?

    I personally don’t drink or enjoy the taste of bourbon. However, when used in cooking, I’ve found that the bourbon lends a smoky, caramel-like sweetness that’s hard to replicate with another ingredient.

    If you have kids, don’t worry, the alcohol will almost entirely evaporate when the sauce is simmered at the end. Look for small bottles by the liquor counter, if you don’t have some at home in your cabinet.

    Wondering what you can use as a replacement for bourbon? One of our readers said she used chicken stock as a replacement with decent results.

    How to make Bourbon Chicken Into a Freezer Meal

    Like most of our recipes, this freezer-friendly chicken dish is one you can easily double, eat one for dinner tonight, and freeze the other for later. Here’s how easy it is to make ahead and freeze:

    FREEZE FOR LATER: Make the sauce. Place the sauce and chicken into a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen.)

    PREPARE FROM FROZEN: Note: Have cornstarch, and (optional) cooked rice and stir-fried veggies on hand to complete this meal. Set the Instant Pot to “Saute.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Lock, seal the lid, and cook at high pressure for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Then, thicken the sauce using a cornstarch slurry in Step 3 of the recipe. Serve over rice and with stir-fried veggies.

    Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken in a freezer bag

    Can I Make Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken in the Slow Cooker?

    You bet! In fact, we have a whole post walking you through how to make Bourbon Chicken in the Slow Cooker.

    How to Serve Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken

    I like to round out this spicy-sweet chicken and sauce by serving it on top of some brown rice (or quinoa or cauliflower rice) and stir-fried veggies. There’s a lot of sauce to spare, so whip up a big pot of rice and a pan of stir-fried veggies to help soak up all that delicious sauce. To save time, buy pre-made brown rice at the store and use the frozen stir-fry vegetable mix.

    Close up of Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken with Vegetables

    More Easy Instant Pot Recipes Like This One

    If you’re on the prowl for more easy Instant Pot recipes that you can freeze, here are some others that we love in our homes…

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    Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken

    • Author: Thriving Home
    • Prep Time: 5 min
    • Cook Time: 7 min
    • Total Time: 12 minutes
    • Yield: 46 1x
    • Category: Dinner
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Diet: Gluten Free

    Description

    A little sweet and a little spicy, this EASY Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken recipe is BIG on flavor and takes just minutes. It’s a fan favorite and also freezer friendly!


    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (For Gluten-Free: Use coconut aminos or GF Tamari soy sauce.)
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup organic or all-natural ketchup
    • 1/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey (For Gluten-Free: Omit or use chicken stock/broth instead.)
    • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (decrease to 1/8 teaspoon, if sensitive to heat)
    • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
    • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless medium chicken breasts
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • Cooked basmati rice or brown rice, for serving
    • Stir-fried vegetables, for serving

    Instructions

    Make It Now:

    1. In the Instant Pot, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, bourbon, oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and green onions. Add the chicken and stir to coat. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

    2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, then quick release the pressure. (The chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and/or registers 165ÅãF internally.)

    3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, dice or shred the meat, and set aside.

    4. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Stir this cornstarch mixture into the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes. Press “Cancel.”

    5. Stir the chicken back into the sauce to combine. Serve over basmati or brown rice. Garnish with green onions and serve with stir-fried vegetables, if desired.

    Freeze For Later:

    Follow Step 1. Pour the sauce and chicken into a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen).

    Prepare From Frozen:

    Note: Have cornstarch and (optional) cooked rice and stir-fried veggies on hand to complete this meal. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Transfer the frozen meal to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel.” Follow step 2, but cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Follow steps 3 through 5.

    Want more easy Instant Pot recipes? See all of them in our recipe index!

    Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches

    By Rachel Tiemeyer

    This well-seasoned, fall-apart shredded BBQ Beef takes under an hour in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Instructions for how to make ahead and freeze included!

    Find our recipe for Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches here.

    bbq shredded beef sandwich on a plate with corn and grapes

    Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.

    Whether you’re a beginner or veteran cook, you’ll appreciate how simple yet complex-tasting this shredded beef recipe is. Only a few ingredients are needed to make this pot of melt-in-your mouth sandwich filling.

    Video Tutorial: Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches

    What Ingredients You’ll Need

    ingredients for bbq shredded beef on a cutting board

    Stock your pantry with these seasonings and stock your freezer with roasts when they go on sale, so you can make shredded BBQ beef anytime.

    • onion powder
    • garlic powder
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 (3 lb) boneless beef chuck roast
    • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (homemade or store-bought)
    • 8-10 whole wheat hamburger buns

    How to Make BBQ Beef in the Instant Pot

    Here’s the quick and dirty overview for making shredded beef in the pressure cooker. See the recipe below for more details.

    BBQ shredded beef in an Instant Pot with BBQ sauce.

    Step 1: Make dry rub with your seasonings.

    Step 2: Cut meat into 2×2 inch pieces. Pat dry and toss with the seasonings in the Instant Pot.

    Step 3: Pour 1 cup BBQ sauce over the top.

    Step 4: Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes with a natural release.

    Step 5: Shred the meat and stir back into the sauce.

    Step 6: Serve the meat onto of toasted buns with more BBQ sauce.

    How Long Do I Cook a Chuck Roast in the Instant Pot?

    While researching for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we quickly learned that there are a LOT of varying opinions on how long to cook a chuck roast in the Instant Pot. After numerous tests in our own homes, we found the fastest and most reliable way to yield fall-apart tender shredded beef in the Instant Pot:

    Cut a beef chuck roast into evenly-sized smaller chunks, trimming the fat off as you go. We recommend 2 x 2 inch pieces. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes and then use a natural release for at least 10 minutes. After that, you can quick release the rest of the pressure.

    We found that this method works well every single time. However, cooking a whole chuck roast takes at least an hour if not more to tenderize somewhat in the Instant Pot. Even then, our roasts often weren’t very easy to shred. So we stand by the “cut your beef into small chunks first” method all day!

    shredded beef on a cutting board

    Tips for Making Perfect BBQ Beef in the Instant Pot

    Like I mentioned, we tested this recipe A LOT for our cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker. Along the way, we learned several tips for the perfect BBQ shredded beef in the Instant Pot.

    • Be sure to cut your roast into evenly-sized smaller chunks. We recommend 2×2 inch pieces. This yields perfectly tender, shreddable meat at the end of 30 minutes.
    • Trim off as much excess fat as you can, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
    • You must include at least 1 cup of liquid in a 6 quart Instant Pot (and at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid to the 8 quart Instant Pot) to allow pressure to build. So, feel free to add more BBQ sauce if you have a larger pressure cooker than a 6 quart.
    • Serve the shredded meat on toasted buns (see our instructions in the recipe below). This prevents soggy buns…NO ONE LIKES SOGGY BUNS. Lol.
    • Make your own BBQ Sauce using our delicious recipe and you’ll be a hero. 🙂
    BBQ shredded beef sandwich on plates with corn and grapes

    What to Serve on the Side

    Corn on the Cob

    Try our 3-minute no boil method or grill your corn using our easy method.

    Autumn Chopped Salad

    The most popular salad on Thriving Home. It will add beautiful color to your plate and a tasty, tangy bite on the side.

    Oven Baked Steak Fries

    BBQ and fries are a heavenly match. Try these lighter yet still crispy, salty fries on the side.

    steak fries dipped in ketchup

    Recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Beef Sandwiches

    Grab your Instant Pot and just a few pantry staples to transform a chuck roast into something tender and tasty with our recipe! Be sure to double the batch and freeze one for later using our easy freezer meal instructions.

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    BBQ shredded beef sandwich on a plate with corn and grapes

    Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches

    • Author: Thriving Home
    • Prep Time: 10
    • Cook Time: 60
    • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Yield: 810 servings 1x
    • Category: Beef
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    Seasoned, tender shredded beef covered in a homemade BBQ sauce takes minutes in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Freezer meal instructions included.

    Find our Slow Cooker BBQ Beef recipe here.


    Ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 (approx. 3 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
    • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce
    • 810 whole wheat hamburger buns

    Instructions

    Make It Now:

    1. In the 6-quart Instant Pot, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    2. Cut the meat into 2×2 inch pieces, trimming off excess fat as needed. Pat dry with a paper towel and add the meat to the Instant Pot with the seasoning mixture. Toss to combine.
    3. Pour 1 cup of BBQ sauce over the meat. Stir to combine.
    4. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
    5. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Stir the meat back into the sauce.
    6. Position the top rack of the oven 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler.
    7. Place the buns on a baking sheet with the insides facing up. Broil the buns for 1-2 minutes, until golden (watch them closely!).
    8. Using a slotted spoon, top each bun with some of the meat. Spoon over some of the remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and enjoy.

    Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1 and 2. Place the seasoned meat and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce in a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen). Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce into a small bag/container and seal. Freeze the sauce and buns alongside the meat.

    Prepare From Frozen: Set the extra sauce and buns out on the counter to start thawing. Set the Instant pot to “Saute”. Transfer the frozen meat and sauce to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel”. Follow steps 4-8 (the meat will cook at the same time length as when fresh!).

     

    BBQ shredded beef sandwich on a plate with corn and grapes

    Instant Pot Beef Stew {Freezer Meal}

    By Rachel Tiemeyer

    This Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe is easy enough to be a mid-week dinner or fancy enough for dinner guests. What would typically take all day in the slow cooker, only takes about an hour from start to finish in the Instant Pot. You’ll take a short cut by using stew meat (no chopping!) and Yukon gold baby potatoes (no peeling!).

    bowl of stew in white bowl with napkin

    *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Here’s our full disclosure.

    Instant Pot Beef Stew turns out melty-in-your-mouth delicious. Mmmm…the red wine, stock, soy sauce, and tomato paste work together to create a velvety sauce/broth that is full of complexity. While the meat pressure cooks, it tenderizes and soaks up all that sauce flavor.

    bowl of stew in white bowl with napkin

    Now, don’t confuse this Beef Stew, a classic comfort food, with an unhealthy choice, though. Thanks to grass-fed stew meat (or chopped grass-fed chuck roast from our favorite meat source) and all the vegetables included–onion, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, and peas–you’ll churn out a pretty darn nutritious and satiating one-pot-wonder. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and dinner is served!

    bowl of stew in white bowl with napkin

    Instant Pot Beef Stew leftovers can be reheated in the Instant Pot, stove, or microwave, but you may need to add a little extra broth to thin it out again. I think it tastes even better the next day!

    Here’s a smart idea. While you have all the ingredients out, go ahead and prep one Instant Pot Beef Stew for tonight and one for another night or to pass along to someone in need. Freezing instructions are included in this Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe, like all our freezer-friendly meals. You can store it in the freezer for 3-6 months and then–magically!–cook this stew directly from frozen in the Instant Pot later. Check out these tips for cooking freezer meals in the Instant Pot.

    bowl of stew in white bowl with napkin
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    bowl of stew in white bowl with napkin

    Instant Pot Beef Stew

    • Author: Rachel
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 47 minutes
    • Total Time: 57 minutes
    • Yield: 6 servings 1x
    • Category: Beef
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    Comforting and delicious Beef Stew comes together quickly in the Instant Pot. The beef and vegetables melt into the velvety sauce making this meal worthy of guests or a weeknight dinner.


    Ingredients

    • 12 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 12 cups sliced carrots
    • 12 cups sliced celery stalks
    • salt and ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
    • Pinch of red pepper flakes
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1/4 cup flour (I used white whole wheat)*
    • 1/2 cup red wine (recommended: Pinot Noir)
    • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce*
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • About 1 1/22 pounds stew meat (preferably grass-fed and organic)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/23 cups)
    • 1 cup frozen peas

    Instructions

    1. Turn on the Saute function. Heat the oil until shimmering. Saute the onions, carrots, and celery until softened, about 7 minutes. Season lightly with the salt and pepper, to taste, as they cook. Add in the thyme and red pepper, too. Stir in the garlic the last 30-60 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
    2. Stir in the wine, broth, tomato paste, and soy sauce until smooth, scraping the brown bits off the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the Saute function. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
    3. Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper on all sides and nestle into the cooker. Stir in the bay leaf and potatoes. (Do not add the peas yet.)
    4. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes, with a 10 minute natural release and then quick release of the pressure.
    5. Discard bay leaf. Stir in the peas. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

    Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1 and 2. Let the sauce cool and then add to a one gallon freezer bag or pressure cooker-shaped container with lid. Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper on all sides and add to the bag or container, along with the bay leaf and potatoes. Seal, toss gently to combine, and freeze. (Note: Make sure the potatoes are completely submerged in the liquid to avoid browning.) Tip: Set the freezer bag in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours to help it freeze in the shape of the pressure cooker.

    Prepare from Frozen: Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Follow Steps 4-5. (The frozen meat will cook the same amount of time as from fresh.)

    COOKING NOTES:

    *To make this recipe Gluten-Free: 

    • Use coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari soy sauce in place of the soy sauce.
    • Do not add the flour at the beginning of the recipe. Instead, thicken the stew by using arrowroot powder right after Step 4 (before Step 5). To do so, in a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons arrowroot with 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Stir this into the stew. (It will thicken up shortly.) Then, follow Step 5. 

    Instant Pot Tomato Soup

    By Polly Conner

    This freezer-friendly Instant Pot Tomato Soup has it all. Since it is a great freezer meal, I’ve written the recipe to be very large. This meal works well for large groups or simply to freeze as leftovers in small portions for lunches down the road. 

    Instant Pot Tomato soup

    Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here.

    I am all about taking killer recipes and translating them to work in the Instant Pot. Tomato soup is a recipe that the Instant Pot was made for. It comes together incredibly fast and only uses a few dishes.

    When I shared about making this large batch Instant Pot Tomato Soup on our Instagram Stories a few days ago, I didn’t realize what a fan favorite it’d be. 

    “I’m legit scratching down notes during these instastories!”

    [email protected] 

    “This is by far my favorite recipe in your cookbook!”

    [email protected]

    As a former tomato soup hater, I give this recipe credit for my conversion. My dear friends and loved ones, you’ll never go back to eating Tomato Soup from a can again. 

    Instant Pot tomato soup in a white bowl

    Freezing and Storing Instant Pot Tomato Soup

    Now here is the beauty of making a large batch of tomato soup in the Instant Pot: It only gets better after freezing. (At least, in my opinion). I took the leftovers from this batch and froze a few in individual portions and then the rest in a large portion. Now I have a few for quick lunches for myself and another for dinner down the road. Just use one of our three safe ways to thaw food and you’ll be set. 

    Frozen tomato soup in bag and in jars in the freezer

    I’m super excited to get this freezer friendly Instant Pot Tomato Soup recipe in your hands. And in my belly. Because I have a jar of it thawing out in the fridge as I type this. Yum!

    How to Make Tomato Soup in the Instant Pot

    Note: If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no worries. Here is how to make the Tomato Bisque on the stove.

    While the exact recipe is below, we wanted to make sure you knew about our Printable Instant Pot cooking times chart. It’s an amazing, well-tested resource that you must have if you own an Instant Pot.

    OK, on to the recipe!

    Print
    Instant Pot tomato soup in a white bowl

    Instant Pot Tomato Soup (Freezer Meal)

    • Author: Polly
    • Prep Time: 5 minutes
    • Cook Time: 7 minutes
    • Total Time: 12 minutes
    • Yield: 10 1x
    • Category: Soup
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    This large batch freezer friendly Instant Pot Tomato Soup has been a huge win in my house over and over again. You won’t even consider touching canned tomato soup again.


    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
    • 2 medium yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
    • 6 carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Salt and ground black pepper
    • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock (sub: chicken stock)
    • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid and all
    • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 4 teaspoons sugar
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 cup half and half, or more to taste
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

    Instructions

    1. Turn on Saute function and heat the oil. Saute the onion and carrots until just beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste, and add the red pepper while they cook. Add the garlic the last 30-60 seconds of cook time. Press Cancel.
    2. Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Season lightly with more salt and pepper and stir until combined. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
    3. Seal and lock the lid. Cook for 7 minutes on high pressure and then quick release the pressure.
    4. Either transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender in the pot and puree until very smooth. (Note: Please be careful during this step! Don’t fill the blender entirely full. Cover the lid with a towel and hold securely while blending, so the lid doesn’t pop off.) Carefully, return the soup to the pot.
    5. Stir in the butter and half and half until butter is melted. Taste and then season the soup with salt and pepper to your preference.
    6. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.

    Notes

    Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-2. Add the uncooked soup mixture to a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze. Tip: Set the freezer bag in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours to help it freeze in the shape of the Instant Pot.

    Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need butter, half and half, and Parmesan to complete this meal. Turn on the Saute function. Saute the frozen meal for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press Cancel. Seal and lock the lid. Follow Steps 3-6, except cook for 12-15 minutes with a quick release.

    Looking for more large meals? Here are 20 Easy Meal Ideas for a Large Group

    meals for a crowd

    The BEST Instant Pot Vegetable Soup {Freezer Meal}

    By Rachel Tiemeyer

    This Instant Pot Vegetable Soup is filled to the brim with hearty vegetables, black beans, and barley. It provides the nutrition you need this winter to boost your immune system and fight off sickness plus amazing taste that will make you want to lick the bowl clean.

    Why is this the very best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup, you ask?

    For starters, you’ll slurp up the very best healthy, vegetable-based foods that are filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and more PLUS enjoy incredible taste in one bowl. I have a hard time stopping eating this soup…but, hey, that’s not a bad problem to have when it’s this good for you! I love that it’s filling and will satisfy even the meat-lover in your life. (I’m looking at you, hubs).

    The Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    You’ll begin building flavor with the classic combination of sautéed onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, which you’ll season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. The red pepper adds a hint of heat in the background that helps to clear the sinuses. (At the end, you’ll stir in kale, which melts into the soup adding the nutritional powerhouse of greens but not adversely affecting the taste.)

    The Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    Then, you’ll throw in vegetable broth (I prefer organic) and fire-roasted tomatoes into the Instant Pot. Fire-roasted tomatoes are my go-to type in soups, because they have a notably more complex flavor than just regular ole diced tomatoes. They add in Vitamin C, fiber, and are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, which is shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular degeneration (poor eyesight as you get older). Whoop-whoop!

    The Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    Heartiness and fiber comes from the black beans and barley in this vegetable soup. At the store, look for pearl barley, which is one of the cheapest whole grains you can find. I found it in the bulk bin in the health food section. The barley holds its texture well in the soup, which surprised me the first time I tested this. It’s does much better than pasta or orzo, which can get mushy pretty quickly. I am officially a pearl barley fan.

    The Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    Lastly, bay leaves and the coveted Parmesan rind (the outside edge of a Parmesan wedge) take this brothy soup to new horizons. Vegans can omit the optional Parmesan rind, but it sure adds depth to the soup that’s hard to replicate. Just ask the cheese counter to cut you off a piece of rind, if you don’t want to invest in a wedge. Mine was less than $2.

    The Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    Time to fill your pot and get cooking the BEST Instant Pot vegetable soup, in my humble opinion. Bonus: you can freeze this soup in small quantities after it’s done to warm up for quick, healthy lunches in the future, too.

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    The Best Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    The BEST Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

    • Author: Thriving Home
    • Prep Time: 5 minutes
    • Cook Time: 19 minutes
    • Total Time: 24 minutes
    • Yield: 68 servings 1x
    • Category: Soup
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    This Instant Pot Vegetable Soup is filled to the brim with hearty vegetables, black beans, and barley. It provides the nutrition you need this winter to boost your immune system and fight off sickness plus amazing taste that will make you want to lick the bowl clean.


    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 34 celery ribs, sliced
    • 34 medium carrots, sliced
    • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
    • Pinch of red pepper flakes
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 quart (32 ounces) all-natural vegetable broth (sub: chicken broth)
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes
    • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • ⅓ cup pearl barley (sub: 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
    • 12 bay leaves
    • 1 (2-3 inch) Parmesan rind*
    • 23 cups chopped kale, packed (sub: chopped baby spinach)
    • Optional Toppings: grated Parmesan cheese*, fresh chopped parsley

    *omit if making a Dairy-Free version


    Instructions

    1. Turn on the Saute function and heat the oil. Saute the onions, celery, and carrots, stirring frequently, until the vegetables softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste, as they cook. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes the last 30-60 seconds.
    2. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, barley, bay, and Parm rind, and stir to combine.(Option 1 freezing instructions begin here.) 
    3. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 7 minutes at high pressure and use a quick release when done. Remove the bay leaves and Parm rind (or leave the rind to add more flavor as it sits, if you want). 
    4. Stir in the kale and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes, until softened. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts, to taste. 
    5. Serve warm in individual bowls, and top with Parmesan cheese and parsley as desired.

    Freeze For Later:

    Method 1 (Before Cooking): Follow Steps 1-2. Transfer the uncooked soup to a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. Seal and freeze. Tip: Place freezer bag in a bowl until frozen to freeze in the shape of the Instant Pot.

    Method 2 (After Cooking): You can also fully cook this soup, freeze in small portions for individual meals, and rewarm in the microwave or stove top. Or you can fully cook it, freeze the whole recipe in a round container or freezer bag. Tip: Place the freezer bag in a round container in the freezer until it freezes in the shape of the Instant Pot.

    Prepare From Frozen:

    Method 1 (Before Cooking): Turn on the Sauté function. Sauté the frozen soup for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press Cancel. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 12-15 minutes at high pressure and use a quick release. Follow Steps 4-5.

    Method 2 (After Cooking):

    For individual portions, thaw and warm up the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop.

    For an entire frozen batch, drop the frozen soup block in the Instant Pot and saute for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Then, lock and seal the lid and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes with a quick release. 

    How to Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

    By Polly Conner

    Prepping meals in bulk and cooking them from frozen in the Instant Pot is the ultimate time-saver. If you can master the art (and yes, it is an art!) of Instant Pot freezer meals, your dinnertime hour will be revolutionized. We have truly pioneered this space of cooking and are thrilled to share everything we’ve learned on our journey so far. 

    Freezer Meal and Instant Pot

    To make this easy to digest, we’ve chosen to break it down into two parts:

    1. How to Prepare Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot

    2. How to Cook Freezer Meals in the Instant Pot

    How to Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

    Tips on How to Prepare Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot

    • Find the right recipes. Most recipes that can be made in the slow cooker will work great in the Instant Pot. The difference is, the 6 quart Instant Pot needs at least 1 cup of liquid for the contraption to work. If you have a freezer meal recipe that doesn’t have 1 cup of liquid, we recommend adding water or stock to the Instant Pot before cooking it.
    • Freeze your meals in a circular form. While many are accustomed to freezing meals in a nice flat square shaped freezer bag, this shape won’t work when trying to cook a freezer meal in the Instant Pot. It simply won’t fit. My preferred method is to freeze the meal in a zip top freezer bag, and place the meal in a bowl (or something that is a round shape). After it’s frozen, I snatch my bowl back and leave the meal in the freezer. Then when you want to make your meal, it’ll plop right into that Instant Pot!
    • If possible, don’t stack your meat when freezing. We have learned this the hard way. Because the Instant Pot cooks so fast, if meat (especially fast cooking boneless chicken) is stacked, it’s really hard for it all to cook evenly. The outside gets WAY done and the instant remains pink as a pig. (Is that a phrase? It is now.)
    • Large cuts of meat should be cut into small pieces. We’re talking pork shoulders and beef roasts. Kind of that same concept above but in order for meat to cook evenly, it’s better if it’s not in one big chunk. We recommend quartering our pork shoulders and cutting our chuck roasts into 2 inch cubes. It’s some work on the front end but worth it. Chicken breast and thighs seem to do fine as they are.

    Freezer meal in front of an Instant Pot

    How to Cook Freezer Meals in the Instant Pot

    • Sauté the meal for 5 minutes before cooking. One trick that we have learned about cooking a freezer meal in the Instant Pot is to let the frozen meal simmer for about 5 minutes. Simply turn on the sauté function, place the meal in there and let it do its dang thing. The point of this is to release some liquid from the frozen meal which will help the Instant Pot come to pressure more quickly.
    • Allow extra time to come to pressure. I’ve found that freezer meals take almost twice as long to come to pressure than a thawed meal does. Make sure you allow for that time when prepping or you’ll have a hangry family.
    • Add extra time to cooking (sometimes). I wish there is a one size fits all pattern to freezer meal cooking times in the Instant Pot this but the trend but there just isn’t. One trend we see is that the longer it takes a meal to come to pressure, the less additional time you need to add to cook a frozen meal. It seems counterintuitive, I know. You’ll just have to trust us on this one.  So for example, in our recipes for a large batch of soup, we don’t add any additional cooking time when cooking from frozen. On the flip side, we add 10+ minutes to a small chicken recipe. It’s counterintuitive but our tests have confirmed the theory over and over again.

    Our Freezer Meal Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart will come out on Wednesday. Stay tuned!

    Ready to get started? Swing by and browse all of our Instant Pot recipes in our recipe index. Also, make sure to sign up for our email list so you’ll be alerted when our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker: 75+ Freezer Meals for Slow Cooker and Electric Pressure Cooker releases.

    Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

    By Polly Conner

    This freezer-friendly Loaded Potato Soup is rich, delicious, and can be thrown together in your Instant Pot right before dinnertime.

    Freezer meal Instant Pot Potato Soup

    By Alyssa Nitz of Always Overdressed, Contributing Author

    Like many people these days, I’m enamored with my Instant Pot. When I first got my Instant Pot, I would talk to anyone who would listen about it’s wonders. Frozen to fully cooked chicken in a mere ten minutes. Fully cooked rice, pasta, or beans in a snap. You can even make yogurt in this thing. I mean, I’ve never done it, but it’s pretty impressive that I can if I want to. In the post, Instant Pot 101, Polly shares the basics of this handy contraption if you’re interested in learning more.

    I haven’t done much research about the inventor of the electric pressure cooker, but I imagine it was an individual who wanted to give a gift of grand convenience to busy moms everywhere, or to people like myself who simply cannot remember to set the meat out to thaw.

    One of my favorite things to cook up up in my Instant Pot is soup, and this Loaded Potato Soup is every bit as yummy as you might imagine. Who doesn’t get excited when you hear that Loaded Potato Soup is for dinner? Everyone loves it and wonders the same thing, will there be bacon? Oh yes, friends. There will be bacon.

    How to Make Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

    Here’s how I made up this creamy, dreamy treat of a dinner.

    First I peeled six large Idaho potatoes, and cut them into large chunks. Then I set them aside for later. (Tip: Be sure to submerge them in a bowl of water so they don’t turn brown.)

    cut up potatoes on a cutting board

    Then, using the saute function of the Instant Pot, I softened about a cup of diced, yellow onions and a couple of cloves of minced garlic into a combination of butter and olive oil.

    onions cooking in Instant Pot

    Once the onions and garlic were translucent, I added in a couple tablespoons of flour, creating a roux, and stirring until nice and thick.

    roux with onions and butter in Instant Pot

    Then I added a quart-sized box of chicken stock and all my chopped up potatoes. I gave everything a good stir to combine it all, locked and sealed the lid on my Instant Pot, and set it to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. Then, as always, I waited for the magic to happen. Keep in mind that the soup will take about 15 minutes or so to come to pressure.

    potatoes in chicken stock

    I let my soup sit about 10 minutes (what IP devotees call NR or Natural Release of pressure) before unsealing and releasing the rest of the pressure. Then I ran away, scared, like I always do at that part. (Another tip: Use a towel to unseal to protect your hands from the steam.)

    Your house will fill with incredible smells of cooked onions and garlic, and your potatoes should be completely tender. Then you get in there with your potato masher, and mash to your desired consistency. I myself prefer my potato soup to have a little texture rather than being completely pureed.

    potato masher in soup

    Then, get out your sour cream, and spoon a giant-sized dollop right into that hot soup. Watch it melt gloriously as you stir, and be really happy about your life. I suppose you could use plain Greek yogurt to lighten it up a bit, but please don’t do that to yourself.

    potato soup

    All you have left to do is top it to your heart’s content. Our must haves are green onion, cheddar cheese, and of course, bacon. (We get our favorite uncured bacon from here.) Maybe you’d like to add some cheddar jack and red onion? Maybe you want to get crazy with some broccoli and chopped ham? If you can dream it, you can top it.

    Instant Pot Potato Soup

    Lastly, the leftovers freeze up beautifully and make a great lunch down the road.

    Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

    Affiliate links included. See full disclosure here.

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    bowl of loaded potato soup

    Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup

    • Author: Alyssa
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 13 minutes
    • Total Time: 23 minutes
    • Yield: 46 1x
    • Category: Soup
    • Method: Instant Pot
    • Cuisine: American

    Description

    This Loaded Potato Soup is decadent, creamy, and will come together in your Instant Pot right before dinner.


    Ingredients

    • 6 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced into 11/2 inch pieces
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1 quart (32 ounces) low sodium chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • Topping ideas: Bacon (we get our bacon here), green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, etc.

    Instructions

    Make It Now:

    1. Submerge the peeled potatoes in water in a bowl (to prevent browning) and set aside.
    2. Set Instant Pot to Saute function, and add butter and olive oil until melted and sizzling. Add onion, stirring until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic during the last 30 seconds of cook time.
    3. Add flour, stirring until thickened to create a roux, about 1 minute or so. Turn off the Saute function.
    4. Stir in chicken stock. Drain the potatoes from the water they were sitting in and add to the Instant Pot. Lock and seal the lid, and set to cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
    5. Allow natural release of pressure for 10-15 minutes, then carefully release the rest of the pressure by opening the vent.
    6. Use potato masher or immersion blender to combine ingredients to desired consistency.
    7. Stir in sour cream until completely melted. Taste and add salt and pepper, to your preference.
    8. Top with bacon, cheddar cheese, green onion, or toppings of your choice.

    Freeze For Later: After fully cooking the soup, let it cool. Store in an air tight freezer container and freeze. Prepare From Frozen: To reheat, thaw the soup using one of these methods and then warm over low heat on the stove or in the microwave.

    bowl of loaded potato soup

    About the Author

    Alyssa and family from Always Overdressed

    Alyssa is a former English teacher turned stay-at-home mama to a three year old little wildflower named Lucy, and one year old, Jacob, with fire-engine red hair. She married her high school sweetheart and still thinks he’s dreamy. She likes to write about, talk about, make, and most importantly eat delicious, nourishing food. You can follow her journey at alwaysoverdressedbyalyssa.com where she passionately writes about her faith, family and parenting, mama style, and, of course, food.