6 Instant Pot Meal Preps That’ll Save Your Sanity (6 foods, 1 Instant Pot, less than 3 hours!)
Here are 6 Instant Pot meal preps — 6 things you can make in your pressure cooker TODAY to save time all week long! This is a GENIUS Instant Pot plan for meal prep days — 6 foods, 1 Instant Pot, under 3 hours.
“How do you do it?”
“I don’t have time for all that.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those statements over the past 10 years. (yes! That’s how long I’ve been doing this healthy living thing!)
And, I get it.
You want to feed your family nourishing foods. You want to toss out all the junk and cook everything (or most things) from scratch.
But, you also want to sleep and spend time with your family and put your feet up to read a book. (And you should do self-care, Momma!)
So, you feel like you have to choose between family time and dinner, between that book and that sink full of dishes. That’s a hard choice!
You need fast and easy and nourishing all in one pretty package!
You need an Instant Pot.
There’s a reason why everyone and their great aunt is raving about it. (After I’d had mine for a year, I wrote an honest review. You can read that and see for yourself.)
Yes, the IP is big. Yes, it’s slightly pricey — though depending on the day, you can often find the 6-quart DUO for less than $100.
- How much is it worth to spend extra time with your family?
- How much is it worth to put your feet up and read that book?
- What about the money you’ll save when you don’t have to keep relying on the drive thru?
See? The Instant Pot could easily pay for itself in a week or two!
For me, the easiest way to save time in the kitchen is to cook ahead.
By having meal components — like chicken, broth, and rice — I know I can always reach into the fridge and come up with something.
It may not be fancy, but it will be nourishing, it will be quick, and it will be cheaper and healthier than anything I could order from a restaurant!
Meal Planning & Prepping — What’s your day?
Sundays are my meal planning and prepping day.
I set aside a couple of hours to prep for the week, including what I’m going to have for my own lunches at home and to send with my hubby to work and kids to school.
My Instant Pot is one of my most trusted allies in this process because I can prep quickly, and my hands are free to do other things while it cooks!
Do you have a meal planning and prepping day? If not, I highly encourage you to make that part of your weekly routine. If Sundays aren’t a great day for you, choose another day. Make it work for you, Momma!
Scrolling through my own Instant Pot recipes here on the blog is part of my weekly prep fest. Since I generally cook with the same ingredients, I know I have the stuff I need to make my own recipes.
I don’t just post recipes on here and never make them again! I make them over and over because I don’t do complicated and I’ve already figured out the easiest path for myself — and subsequently share my path with you! 🙂
There are a couple of foods I make every, single week because they’re easy, fast, healthy, and reliable: boiled eggs and blended soup. Those are included here, as well as 4 more meal components you can make in one 6-quart Instant Pot TODAY and save time all week long!
And hey, while you’re here and meal prepping is on your brain, go ahead and grab my free 7-Day Instant Pot Real Food Dinners Meal Plan!
6 Instant Pot Meal Preps That’ll Save Your Sanity
This is using one 6-quart Instant Pot!
No need to drag out the Crock Pot, skillets, stock pots, or a second Instant Pot!
While one thing is cooking, you can be prepping for the next thing.
Or make something else — hey, you’re already in the kitchen, so maximize your time!
(Speaking of maximizing your time… how about letting me plan dinner for you this week? Grab your FREE download: Real Food Instant Pot Dinners — 7-Day Meal Plan!)
Here are 6 Instant Pot meal preps you can make today to save time all week long! 6 things, 1 Instant Pot, less than 3 hours!
Pro Tip: Make these 6 things in this order for best results, fastest cook times, and easiest clean-up!
#1 — Boiled Eggs
The easiest, fastest thing you could make is boiled eggs. And you’ll get the biggest return on your investment. Instant Pot boiled eggs are perfect for…
- quick breakfast
- adding to school lunches — here are 11 sandwich-free ideas for school lunches!
- after-school protein snack
- deviled eggs
How to boil eggs in the IP?
- Place the trivet inside the stainless pot.
- Add 1 cup of water, place the lid on the pot, and seal the vent.
- Press Manual and adjust the time to 4 minutes.
- Once it beeps, release the pressure immediately.
- Remove the lid. Use tongs to transfer the hot eggs to a bowl and cover them with cold water.
- Peel them whenever you’re ready.
Remove the hot trivet (using the tongs) from the pot and dump the water. Now, you’re ready to move on to…
#2 — Instant Pot No-Peel Applesauce
Next up, applesauce!
Need a quick and healthy snack or side for your kids’ school lunches or snacks? Applesauce!
In fact, I frequently stir a scoop of grass-fed collagen into my kids’ applesauce for a fast, protein-rich, gut-healing snack!
Plus, applesauce is a great staple ingredient to keep in your kitchen for making quick muffins, brownies, or my Soaked Apple Breakfast Cake!
For this Instant Pot meal prep, you don’t even need to wash the Instant Pot after making your boiled eggs (see #1)! Simply dump out the water from the boiled eggs and start the applesauce.
Alright… after boiled eggs and applesauce, you’re probably about 20 minutes into your Instant Pot meal prepping session (considering the time the Pot takes to come to pressure in addition to cooking times).
Now, let’s get into some REAL Instant Pot meal prep!
#3 — Whole Chicken
Give your Instant Pot a quick rinse after making applesauce.
Unwrap and rinse your whole chicken. Remove neck, giblets, etc. if inside the bird. (While you can cook a frozen chicken in the IP, use a thawed bird for this.)
Place the rinsed chicken inside the Instant Pot. Add water to nearly cover the chicken. If you have chicken feet or other bones, add them to the water also.
Place the lid on the pot. Press Manual and adjust the time to 45 minutes. Make sure the vent is sealed. Once it beeps, release the pressure immediately. Remove the lid. Use tongs to transfer the cooked chicken/bones/feet to a dish.
As soon as the chicken is cool enough to touch, remove the meat from the bones.
Use that meat for another dish this week! Like…
- Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala (just omit the step of cooking the chicken in the Instant Pot)
- Nourishing Mexican Chicken Soup (add the cooked chicken just before serving)
- Simple Salsa Verde Chicken (no need to re-cook — just stir spices in to the shredded chicken!)
You can reuse the bones/feet to make another pressure cooked broth later — like this Instant Pot Chicken Foot Broth.
While the chicken cooks, use that time to chop a bunch of veggies for step #4!
#4 — Quick Meat Broth
Congrats! The liquid leftover from cooking your chicken is a quick meat broth! Don’t toss it out!
Once you’ve deboned your chicken, you can use those bones to make a longer-cooked broth later.
While this broth won’t be as mineral-rich as one that was pressure cooked for 90 or more minutes, it is still nourishing and useful.
Use a towel or oven mitts to lift the hot stainless pot out of the Instant Pot. Strain this broth into a bowl and set aside. You’re going to use it next!
Once again, you don’t even have to wash the Instant Pot! Next up is…
#5 — Blended Soup
While your chicken was cooking, you were maximizing your kitchen time by chopping some veggies for a quick blended soup, right?
Your Instant Pot is already hot from cooking chicken/meat broth, so you want to keep it that way. (It comes to pressure faster when it’s already hot.)
- Press the Saute button and add 4 tablespoons of fat of your choice.
- Then add 10 cups of chopped veggies, 1 cup of the quick broth (#3), and a tablespoon of salt.
- Place the lid on the pot.
- Press Cancel and Manual.
- Set the time to 7 minutes and make sure the vent is sealed.
- Once it beeps, release the pressure immediately.
- Open the lid and puree with an immersion blender.
For complete directions, ideas for vegetables and seasonings, and more, check out How To Make Any Blended Soup In The Instant Pot.
Carefully transfer your blended soup to a glass bowl or quart-size jars. Allow to cool before refrigerating. This Instant Pot blended soup is great for…
- school lunches — just heat it up and put in a Thermos food jar
- quick Momma breakfast (I add a side of nitrate-free sausage or bacon. You could also have boiled eggs on the side!)
- quick and easy lunch (pair with a salad and/or protein source)
- an appetizer or side dish with dinner
Now, you actually do need to wash the Instant Pot. 😉
#6 — Rice Or Quinoa
Last, but not least, rice and/or quinoa make a quick and easy side dish for your week. You can serve them on their own, or mix them with sauteéd veggies for a quick stir-fry.
I prefer to soak my rice and quinoa in water + acid for at least 12 hours prior to cooking to reduce phytic acid, so I’m assuming yours will be soaked, too.
You’ll need to plan a day ahead for this step. Simply place your rice or quinoa in a glass bowl, cover with water by 2 inches, and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar. Then drain, rinse, and add the grain to the Instant Pot.
Pro Tip: Skip the soaking step and use sprouted brown rice. Here’s how to cook sprouted brown rice in your IP!
More Helpful Instant Pot Info, Troubleshooting, & Tips…
- My Honest Review Of The Instant Pot
- My Top 6 Instant Pot Resources
- 11 Surprising Things You Can Make In Your Instant Pot
- 4 Ways The Instant Pot *Really* Does Save Time (+8 tips to speed up & account for pressurizing time)
- All The Nourishing Instant Pot Recipes
- FREE 7-Day Meal Plan of Real Food Instant Pot Dinners
- Buy an Instant Pot!
How do you use your Instant Pot for meal prepping? Will you try these tips to get ahead this week?
7 dinners, 2 desserts, prep steps, & printable shopping list...
All Real Food, all in your Instant Pot!