Freezer meals are perfect for new moms, busy weeknights, and days when you’re just feeling a little crazy. Combine that with the one-pot convenience of a programmable pressure cooker, and you’ve got yourself the best and easiest make-ahead recipe hack ever.
Imagine having your favorite healthy and delicious pressure cooker meals stocked in your freezer right now. It’s absolutely possible! A little prep work goes a long way with this kitchen hack, so you can stock your freezer with meals that can go directly into your pressure cooker. No thawing, just heat and serve!
So how does it work?
It’s as simple as placing a one or two-gallon size freezer bag, depending on volume of food, inside the steel pot of your pressure cooker. Fill the bag with uncooked solid foods and seasonings, squeeze out any air from the bag, seal it, and place the pot with the freezer bag of food inside your freezer. Once frozen, remove the bag from the pot and place the bag back inside your freezer until you’re ready to cook.
Sound too good to be true? Try this pressure cooker freezer meal recipe out for yourself!
Whole30 Creamy Chicken Taco Soup
Taco soup made with shredded chicken and seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder is a family-friendly recipe that’s also Whole30 compliant. Add the ingredients to a Ziploc bag and toss into the freezer until you’re ready to cook.
*FYI - a different soup is featured in the photo!
3 medium boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
4 bell peppers, chopped
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
8 ounces diced green chilies, drained
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 ounces coconut milk
jalapeño, green onions, cilantro, lime, and avocado for toppings
- Place a 1 gallon freezer bag in the steel pot of a pressure cooker. Open bag and fold down top edges.
- Arrange chicken in the bottom of the bag in a single layer. Place bell peppers, onion, and diced chilies on top of chicken.
- Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Squeeze out any air from bag and seal. Place pot with bag of food inside freezer.
- Once ingredients are frozen, remove pot, and return bag to freezer.
- When ready to cook, cut bag down the sides for easy removal.
- Place block of frozen food inside the steel pot of your pressure cooker. Add chicken broth.
- Seal lid on pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Release pressure through the quick release valve.
- Remove chicken from pot and transfer to a bowl. Shred using two forks.
- Stir in tomatoes and coconut milk to pot.
- Return shredded chicken to pot and serve. Top with jalapeno, green onions, cilantro, lime, and avocado as desired.
Want to adapt some of your favorite pressure cooker recipes to freezer meals? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started:
- Always place your ziploc into the steel pot of your pressure cooker, and freeze the ingredients within that shape. This will ensure that everything can fit in the pot when it's time to cook.
- Do not freeze water, broth, or other cooking liquids in the bag with your solid foods and seasonings. You will pour the liquid into the pot when you’re ready to cook your freezer meal. This is so that the pressure cooker can boil pressure efficiently.
- A general rule of thumb when cooking frozen food in your pressure cooker is to add 50% time to the overall cooking time. For example, if the original cook time was 30 minutes, add 15 minutes to cook your frozen meal.
- Don’t freeze dairy ingredients, pasta, rice, or other grains.
- Avoid storing meat in acidic marinades such as lime juice, lemon juice, and vinegar.
- When cooking several pieces of meat, spread them out on the bottom of the freezer bag in a single layer.
- Cut large roasts into smaller pieces and press into a flat layer in the bottom of the freezer bag like the tip above for more even cooking.
- Foods like meatballs and meatloaf should be frozen first, then placed into a freezer bag so that they maintain their shape.
- Don’t forget to label your bags so that you know what it is when it’s time to cook them.
Now you’re ready to stock your freezer full of healthy, delicious, and easy meals that can be made in your pressure cooker!