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The Original Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp

Grab a collection of over 30 electric pressure cooker Freezer Meals with this Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp! These are easy recipes that can give you dump and go meals for a month. Includes printable freezer meal labels and grocery lists for healthy make ahead dinners.

Grab a collection of over 30 electric pressure cooker Freezer Meals with this Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp! These are easy recipes that can give you dump and go meals for a month. Includes printable freezer meal labels and grocery lists for healthy make ahead dinners.

Want to know something awesome? I've barely turned on my oven this month. And I've had a wholesome, home-cooked meal made from simple recipes for my family each night.

Let me introduce you to my little secret…

Grab a collection of over 30 electric pressure cooker Freezer Meals with this Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp! These are easy recipes that can give you dump and go meals for a month. Includes printable freezer meal labels and grocery lists for healthy make ahead dinners.
(Affiliate links used in this post.)

Guys. I am absolutely obsessed with my Instant Pot. If you haven't heard of this little miracle worker, let me introduce you to all that it does. It is a…

  • pressure cooker
  • slow cooker
  • steamer
  • yogurt maker
  • saute pot
  • rice cooker
  • warmer

Basically, most anything you can do in the kitchen can be done with this beauty. My favorite thing about it is having the ability to cook foods from frozen (I'm talking frozen-to-table in an hour or two) and how little you have to babysit it. With a very busy (almost) one-year-old who likes to melt down around dinner time every night, this is clutch. I also love that lyust about any slow cooker recipe can be prepped in the Instant in a fraction of the time. The one draw-back I've seen is that you can't get foods browned or crispy with the Instant Pot…but that can easily be fixed by popping your dish under the broiler to finish!

Grab a collection of over 30 electric pressure cooker Freezer Meals with this Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp! These are easy recipes that can give you dump and go meals for a month. Includes printable freezer meal labels and grocery lists for healthy make ahead dinners.

So, just after New Year's, I decided to really see what this guy could do. I've done a Freezer Meal Boot Camp in the past and loved having meals ready to go for a few weeks. This time around, I decided to change it up and make freezer meals that could be almost completely prepped by popping them in my Instant Pot.

And the Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp was born! With this system, I was able to make over 30 Instant Pot freezer meals with about a day's worth of work. Including all of the mini weekly trips I had to make to replenish my fridge for the meals, the groceries for these meals cost me around $300…not too shabby for (roughly) 130 servings of food! And, while I am in no way claiming that these meals are any kind of health food, I was easily able to fit them into my current diet (with a little bit of portion control). I think they have a good mix of healthy ingredients and things that families will actually eat. ?

Without further ado, here's how I did it!

(And, if you're interested in making a smaller version of this boot camp, I also have a mini session…click here to see!)

Step 1: Prep your ingredients and supplies.

This is the key to making this process as easy as possible. You don't need a ton of supplies for this (besides your Instant Pot, obviously…this is a link to my model). The main purchase I'd urge you to make is a set of storage containers that fit into your Instant Pot. (Editor's note: these are currently unavailable, but this is a great alternative on Amazon.) That way, you can freeze your meals in the containers, thaw them just enough to pop them out of the container, and drop the frozen meal in the Instant Pot to prep (this way, it will fit in the pot without thawing)!

This set from the Dollar Tree is perfect (currently not available online, but still in limited quantities in store. See below for alternative). If you choose to buy just one set, you can set gallon freezer bags in the containers to kind of shape your meals to fit in the pot while freezing them…I'll show more on that later! And, if you're an Amazon shopper that would rather put that Prime membership to good use, this is a similar set – since the Dollar Tree one's aren't available, this is the best alternative I've found.

If you choose to buy only a few containers, gallon freezer bags are essential. I would also make sure I had my bag/container labels printed (scroll down for those printables) and cut…be ready to label those as soon as you finish making the meals (before they go in the freezer). I recommend sticking the labels on with packing tape, so make sure there's a roll of that handy. There's also a specialty Freezer Tape that's made for sticking labels onto freezer dishes and has incredible reviews.

One note about freezer space…you need a lot for this. We currently have two fridges (long story) and a chest deep freezer (similar sized one here), and these took up just about all of that space. It is totally possible to cut down on the amount of meals you make if you're short on space! I had a big freezer clean-out for a week or two before I make these meals to make sure I had enough room for everything.

Summary: Make sure you have:

  1. Instant Pot-shaped containers (1 or 2 sets)
  2. Labels (scroll down for printables)
  3. Packing Tape or Freezer Tape
  4. Gallon Freezer Bags (at least 1 box if you don't purchase 2 sets of containers)
  5. Freezer space

You might also need…

  1. An extra Instant Pot inner pot insert (so you can still prep dinners even when your other pot is dirty/in the fridge storing something else).
  2. An inner pot lid (helps you use your inner pot as storage after dinner!)
  3. An extra Instant Pot sealing ring (food flavors can really soak into the silicone sealing ring that's tucked in your lid of your pot. I have two rings…one for savory foods and one for sweet. That way, my sweet foods don't end up tasting funky!)
  4. A small pot for Pot In Pot cooking (see more on that in the notes section below)…I use a cake pan that is the same size as this one and it works great!

 

Step 2: Make your grocery run.

Now, you could go through all of the recipes and make your own grocery list for this, but guess what…I've done all of that work for you!

I went through the recipes and made a full grocery list for everything you'll need for meal prep day. The grocery list is also sorted by food type for all of those organizers out there. 😉This list is included in a full pack of labels, printable recipe cards, meal plans, and complete prep  instructions for this post…and it's all absolutely free! That's included  in the Lamberts Lately printable collection, which is  only available to Lamberts Lately email subscribers! Sign up to receive the password with the form below (or click here if the form doesn't appear). Once you sign up, access instructions will be in your email inbox.

 

After you make the big grocery run outlined in that list, you'll need to make a very small trip to the store for the filler/perishable/side items you'll need each week. The meals plans and shopping lists for those weeks are included in that pack in the printable collection as well. I bought my first week worth of small trip items when I did the big grocery trip for the Instant Pot freezer meals.

I am a huge fan of using Walmart's Grocery Pickup service for bigger trips like this…just order your items online using the grocery list I have in the printable collection and pickup from your local store at no extra charge! It's incredibly convenient and a great way to organize your groceries to ensure you get everything. Click here to get a $10 off coupon for trying it out!

Once I got those items home, I definitely didn't have the fridge space for everything…so I went on and just organized on my counter! You're about to prep all of it, so as long as you act somewhat quickly, it shouldn't go bad. I made a section for non-perishable items, a section for produce, and a section for meats (I did stick those in my fridge).

Step 3: Print and cut your labels.


I've got you covered in this department! These label printables cover each and every meal you'll make for this boot camp. All directions for final cooking of each meal, side item ideas, and extra ingredients needed for the meal are printed right on this label.

After the labels are printed, just cut them out (I love this paper cutter for making the process easier) and have them ready to attach to your containers with packing tape or painter's tape before you freeze. I made the mistake of waiting until after they were frozen to try to attach the labels…doesn't work. The frost made the tape fall right off. So make sure they're labeled before they ever go in the freezer. (I might or might not have a couple of mystery meals now because I didn't label them first…)

Step 4: Go on and start dinner for tonight!

No sense in freezing the first meal you'll make…after all, you need dinner for tonight! So, tonight's dinner will be pulled pork sandwiches.

In your Instant Pot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and turn on the saute function. Rub a 3-4 pound pork butt with pork dry rub. Once the pot is hot, add the pork butt and brown on all sides.

Once browned, add 2 cups of BBQ sauce and 2 cups of chicken stock. Lock your lid on and use the manual setting on the Instant Pot and set on high for 100 minutes.

Once the cycle is finished, allow the pot to NPR (see notes at the bottom) for 10 minutes. Open and shred the meat into a bowl. Add about a cup of the juice from cooking to the meat.

Put half of this in one of your freezer containers, label, and put in the freezer. The other half can be dinner tonight! Just serve with buns and frozen french fries (cooked, of course ?).

Step 4: Prep your veggies.

Once you've got dinner for tonight going, it's time to start prep work for the Instant Pot freezer meals. I'll go on and tell you…this is the time-consuming part. It took me a good couple of hours to prep all of the veggies. Something like this Vidalia Chop Wizard (c/o) would have made life SO much easier. I'll definitely be buying something like this for my next Instant Pot freezer meal prep session!

All of this needs to be done before you start assembling meals (trust me, doing this first makes the assembly part tons easier):

1. Chop 2 bags of onions.
2. Slice 1 bag of onions.
3. Mince 13 cloves garlic. (I bought pre-minced garlic for this. Shhh…..)
4. Chop 8 carrots into 1″ pieces.
5. Slice 11 carrots into 3-4” pieces.
6. Slice 3 bell peppers.
7. Chop 2 bell peppers.
8. Chop 2 sweet potatoes into 1” chunks
9. Slice the red onion into 1/4″ slices.
10. Chop 4 stalks celery into 4” pieces.
11. Chop 4 stalks celery into 1/2-1” pieces.
12. Half all of your red potatoes. Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes or so (just to prep them for freezing…they don't have to be cooked all the way!). Slice 8 of the halves into 1/2″ pieces.

Then, I set them all out buffet-style on my counter to make it easy to put everything together.

Step 5: Prep your meat.

Not all of the meat needs to be cooked before you put it in the containers, but some does. Here's the order I followed…

1. Cook 6 slices bacon.
2. Slice the smoked sausage into 1″ pieces and brown.
3. Brown 2 lbs of Italian sausage.
4. Brown 6 lbs ground beef. (Note: I did all of the first four steps in the same pot, one at a time of course. I left the grease in the pan after the bacon and sausages and then just drained it after the ground beef. Not a big deal if the grease mixes together, it just adds flavor! You will need the biggest pot you have for the ground beef.)

**Some users have reported having extra ground beef left over. It's a little hard to estimate how much ground beef everyone will need because of different fat percentages. If your beef is leaner, I'd suggest going with closer to 5 pounds.

5. Brown 1.25 pounds of ground turkey.
6. Cut the large chuck roast in half and brown. (Leave a little bit of grease in the pan from the previous cooking for this one.)
7. Slice 4 chicken breasts.
8. Half 5 chicken breasts.
9. Slice 2.5 lbs chicken thighs.
10. Prepare your broth (you'll need 9 cups of beef broth and 12 cups of chicken broth. I just make mine in the microwave!)

Again, put these out buffet-style to make for easy assembly (preferably away from the veggies to avoid any cross-contamination).

Step 6: Put everything together!

Now the fun part! It's time to start assembling your meals.

You'll see below that I converted most of the assembly process into terms of tablespoons, cups, half cups, etc. It just makes it easier to deal with the cooked meat and chopped veggies. So, have a few measuring cups ready for scooping out and measuring your ingredients before you get started.

Here's what I put in each container:

**Important Note: After several requests, I've also added the info from the printable labels below each recipe, just in case you wanted to make your own labels or get your directions directly from this site! You can click here to download those (and they will be in the full pack in my newsletter section as well). But, as far as freezer prep goes, just put everything from the “in the container” section in your freezer dish, label it with the labels above, and pop it in the freezer.**

#1 and #2 Pulled Pork (Use half of the cooked pork for tonight's dinner and just put half of what it in a container and freezer once cooked and cooled.)

Cooking directions for the day you eat the second meal:
Thaw and serve!

Extra items needed for each meal:
1 pack hamburger buns
1 bag frozen French fries
1 bottle BBQ sauce

Side item: French fries

#3 Asian Meatballs (1 meal)

In the container:
1.25 lbs ground turkey (not cooked)
1 tbsp garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 pack frozen veggie stir fry

Directions for freezer prep: 
Mix all ingredients (except for stir fry) in a bowl and roll into 1” balls. Freeze on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and transfer to a freezer bowl/bag once frozen (about 2 hours). Add stir fry bag into container with frozen meatballs and put the whole thing in the freezer.

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce
3. Add trivet and PIP container filled with 1.5 cups brown rice, 1.75 cups water
4. Set on manual, high pressure, 15 minutes, NPR

Extra items needed for meal:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 bag brown rice

Side item: brown rice

#4 Balsamic and Brown Sugar Pork Chops (1 meal)

In the container:
1c Brown Sugar
1c Balsamic Vinegar
1c Water
1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tbsp fresh Thyme
1/2 tbsp. Dried Parsley
1 1/2 lbs. bone-in Pork Chops

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 25 minutes, NPR
3. Remove a cup of sauce and stir in corn starch
4. Place slurry in the pot, set to saute, bring to a boil to thicken (stir well) and remove from heat

Extra items needed for meal:
1 bag of steam-in-bag green beans
1 container mashed potatoes
2 tbsp corn starch

Side item: Green beans, mashed potatoes

#5 and #6 Pot Roast (2 meals)

For each meal:

Container 1:
Half of a 4-5 lb chuck roast, browned

2 cups beef broth

3 sprigs rosemary

3 sprigs thyme

Container 2:

1 heaping cup sliced onions

1 cup 3-4″ sliced carrots

2 stalks celery cut into 4″ pieces

12 potato halves

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Remove contents of container 1 from plastic container (while frozen). Turn on Saute mode on your Instant Pot and saute frozen meal for 5 minutes.

2. Set IP on manual, high pressure, 90 minutes, NPR.

3. Once pressure is released, add contents of container 2 and cook on high pressure for 10 more minutes, with a NPR.

(Note: this meal makes about 3 servings…if more are needed, cook both pot roast meals at once.)

Extra items needed for meal: n/a

Side item: n/a (veggies included in the meal)

#7 and #8 Egg Roll Bowls (2 meals)

In each container:
1 cup ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
Half of the coleslaw mix
1/4 bag matchstick carrots
Half of the mushrooms
2 tbsp green onions
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 6 min, QR
3. Add about 7oz of rice noodles (half of the box) and 1 cup water
4. Set on manual, high pressure, 4 min, QR
5. Stir in basil

Extra items needed for meal:
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 14oz pack rice noodles

Side Item: Basil Rice Noodles

#9 Italian Beef Sandwiches (1 meal)

In the container:
1 3lb boneless chuck roast
10-12 pepperoncini peppers, 1/4 cup juice from the jar
2 packs Italian dressing mix
2 cups beef broth

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes.
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 100 minutes, NPR
3. While meat is cooking, cut and combine fruits.
4. Shred finished meat and serve on buns with cheese.

Extra items needed for meal:
1 pack hoagie buns
1 pack sliced provolone cheese
2 apples
2 cups grapes
1 pineapple

Side item: Fruit Salad

#10 Beef Ragu (1 meal)

1 cup chopped onion
3 tbsp minced garlic
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 lb boneless chuck roast
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
2 cups beef broth
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 100 min, NPR
3. Shred beef in sauce once cooked
4. Cook grits according to package directions. Stir in parmesan and cheddar.
5. Serve ragu over grits, top with parmesan.

Extra items needed for meal:
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 slices American cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
2 cups Quick Cooking grits

Side Item: Cheese Grits

#11 and #12 Veggie Beef Stew (2 meals)

In each container:
1/2 bag (12oz) frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 bag (10oz) frozen cut green beans
1/2 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 chicken bullion cube
1/2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 46 oz bottle Spicy V8 Juice

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 30 minutes, NPR
3. Prepare cornbread according to package directions

Extra items needed for meal:
1 pack cornbread (with eggs/milk to prepare)

Side item: Cornbread

#13 Ground Beef/Sausage Spaghetti (1 meal)

In the container:
1 1/2 cups ground beef
1 1/2 cups Italian sausage
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup beef broth

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Add 1 cup beef broth
3. Set on manual, high pressure, 10 minutes, QR
4. Add rest of broth and noodles, stir lightly
5. Set for manual, high, 5 minutes, QR
6. Toast bread

Extra items needed for meal:
16oz spaghetti
4 cups beef broth
1 salad kit
1 box frozen garlic bread

Side Item: Garlic Bread, Salad

#14 and #15 Zuppa Toscana (2 meals)

In each container:
Half of the sliced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
3 slices bacon, crumbled
3/4 cup Italian sausage (cooked)
1.5 cups chicken stock
3 cups kale

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 30 minutes, NPR
3. Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream once cooking is finished
4. Prepare biscuits according to package directions

Extra items needed for meal:
1 pack cheddar garlic biscuit mix
1 8oz container heavy cream

Side item: Cheddar garlic biscuits

#16 Beef & Bean Burritos (1 meal)

In the container:
1.5 cups browned ground beef
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups dry pinto beans
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 55 minutes, NPR (Note: this time cooks the beans, but doesn't make them very soft. If you want softer beans, add 5 minutes to this cook time.)
3. Add 1/3 cup filling to each burrito. Top with cheese and roll.
4. Serve with chips and guacamole.

Extra items needed for meal:
1 pack burrito-sized tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag chips
1 container guacamole

Side item: Chips & guacamole

#17 and #18 Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili (2 meals)

In each container:
Half of the cooked ground turkey
Half of the diced sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 can chick peas
1/2 can chili beans
1 cans Rotel
14 oz of diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 pack chili seasoning

Cooking directions for day you eat:
1. Saute for 5 minutes
2. Set on manual, high pressure, 30 minutes, NPR
3. Prepare cornbread according to package directions

Extra items needed for meal:
Shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
4-5 green onions
1 package cornbread mix (with eggs/milk to prepare)

Side item: Soup toppings, cornbread

From here, I suggest taking a break! I was exhausted by this point in the process…it probably took 3-4 hours to do everything so far, so if you're like me and powered through all of this, you deserve a few minutes off of your feet. ?

If you're ready to get started on part 2 of the boot camp, you can click here to see the rest of the recipes!  There are still 11 more meals to make, but don't worry…you're in the home stretch if you've made it this far.

Notes (PLEASE READ!):


VERY IMPORTANT: The reason I have the instructions of sauté for 5 minutes at the beginning of most of these recipes is because you have to have liquid in the pot for it to come to pressure. If you sauté the recipe for 5 minutes and still don't see about a cup of liquid at the bottom of the pot, add enough water to make at least a cup of liquid. If you'd rather just skip the sauté step and add the cup of water/broth instead, go ahead…just know your meal might be a little more watery!

A couple of people have asked about the serving sizes of each of these meals.  There isn't a cut-and-dry number for each one (it really just depends on your family and how big your servings are), but I have found a good rule of thumb: if you only make one container of a certain recipe, go on and expect that it's going to have more servings. So, the recipes that you're making 2 containers of will typically have 3-5 servings in each meal, while the ones that you're only making one container of usually have 4-6. Again though, that's going to vary depending on how much you eat in a serving! I will say that, for most of these, we had enough for the three of us to eat one night and leftovers for at least 2 of us the next day.

You will need broth both while preparing your Instant Pot freezer meals and while cooking them.  I have a pack of beef bullion and chicken bullion cubes included in the grocery list for this reason. I've also heard wonderful things about Better Than Bullion bases…one reader even had the idea of adding a spoonful of that into the recipes that called for broth during prep and just adding the water when it was time to cook. I can't vouch for whether it works or not, but it sounds like a great idea to me! I'm planning on trying it with my next round of recipes.

NPR stands for natural pressure release. That means, instead of immediately releasing the pressure from your Instant Pot after the cooking time is up, give it about 10 minutes to release on its own. Then, flip the nozzle and release the pressure (careful though…that's pressurized steam coming out!)

QR stands for quick release.  That means you release the pressure and open the pot as soon as the cooking time is over.

So, if you're reading my cooking labels, you'll often see that the directions look like this: “manual, high pressure, 100 minutes, NPR.” That means you'll use the manual setting on your pot to put in 100 minutes yourself, then let the pot have a natural pressure release (for about 10 minutes) after the pot beeps when that 100 minute cycle is over.

PIP stands for Pot in Pot cooking. That means you're cooking two dishes at the same time by stacking a separate pot on top of a trivet in the inner pot.

It's a great way to cook rice, veggies, or several other different types of side dishes!

Here's how I do it: insert the trivet that comes with your instant pot, putting the legs on either side of whatever you're cooking in the bottom of the pot. Then, put your pot in pot dish (I use a cake pan similar to this one and it works great for the recipes I've listed) on top of the trivet and add whatever you're cooking. Seal the lid and cook away! The cook times for the PIP cooking are all included in my meal labels above.

You will set the same time on your Instant Pot for frozen and non-frozen meals.  So, let's say there's a meal or two you decide not to freeze and just store in the fridge for a day or two. Don't adjust your cooking time! I know that seems kind of weird, but the pressurizing process thaws your frozen meal. The time that it takes your pot to come to pressure will be much longer for frozen meals (I found it to be around 20-25 minutes for a frozen meal, depending on the size of what's frozen, as opposed to 5-10 minutes usually for a non-frozen dish).

These recipes will make the veggies in your meal fairly soft. If you like your veggies a little more on the firm side, there's one easy revision to the process above. Instead of putting everything in 1 big container, place your veggies in a separate smaller zip bag inside of your freezer meal container. Add them to the pot when there is 10-15 minutes left on the cooking time. I skipped that step because my family doesn't mind the veggies very soft and it's one less thing to do. 😉

Make sure to stir the ingredients in the freezer container before freezing.  If meats or other dense ingredients are frozen together, they tend to be more difficult to thaw in the pressurizing process, making that process longer and potentially leading to undercooked meat. Nobody wants that!

And if you're loving these posts, you will love my premium Freezer Meal Boot Camp packs! These packs include all of the info you need to prep even more freezer meals, including grocery lists, recipe cards, and labels.

Click here to head over to part 2 of this Boot Camp or click here to check out my other boot camp posts!

*I also have a community on Facebook just for Instant Pot Freezer Meal talk – CLICK HERE TO JOIN!*

ACCESS EXCLUSIVE PRINTABLES FOR THE FREEZER MEAL BOOT CAMPS!

Subscribe to the Lamberts Lately newsletter for the latest from the blog and access to my Freezer Meal Boot Camp grocery lists and printable packs!

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111 Comments

  1. *Stands up and applauds*

    Yikes! You did So. Much. Work. This is practically a public service! Thank you so much. This is terrific!!

    I LOVE my IP and used it – just today – to make an upside down apple cake, hard boiled eggs, sweet tea with strawberries and baby back ribs. It’s not a question of IF you neeed an IP, it’s a question of if you need 2 of them.
    It makes me crazy when people say they’re scared of them. Make some 90 minute chicken stock so rich it’ll look like chicken Jell-o and you’ll throw the fears of our grandmothers’ PC bombs out the window.
    We have a small beach cottage and I bought one for there. I keep these meals in our feeezer there and we can have real food an hour after rolling in at 11pm when everything in the village is closed.
    Thanks again!!

  2. Fantastic resource! I appreciated the tips on the 5-minute saute and the round freezer storage containers, plus the bevy of recipes. Thank you! I’ve played around with a few freezer recipes meant for slow cookers, but it’s always a toss up as to what will do well under pressure and what won’t. I tend to pressure cook my root vegetables, but steam the other more tender stuff, like broccoli and peppers. I have a question for clarification on the Italian sausage —- is it ground sausage or sausage left in the casing? In the Spaghetti recipe, the ground sausage seems a better fit. For the Zuppa Toscana, it might depend on the cook. Which do you recommend?

    1. leslieflambert says:

      So glad you loved it, Valerie! Thanks for your sweet words. For the sausage – you could really use either one in the recipes, but I used ground Italian sausage in both.

  3. Thank you, THANK YOU for this amazing resource! I went searching for IP frozen meals to prepare before the arrival of my DIL’s TWINS and hit the JACKPOT with this …and for FREE!!?? Wow! It was a huge project for me last weekend, but do-able because you laid it all out so perfectly. I just followed your directions and kept plugging away until it was all finished. My precious daughter-in-love and son will be taking “our” gorgeous TWINS home from the hospital tomorrow and will have all these convenient meals for any of us to throw in their IP when needed. I have already purchased your other plans, partly out of guilt that this one was free! ? I am sooo grateful that thanks to your work, I was able to do this for the kids. Thank you so much! – A grateful Grandma

    1. Oh I love hearing that this is going to help a new mom! This would have been so great when I had my babies. And absolutely no need to feel guilty…making these is fun for me, selling them for a little extra money is just a nice bonus! 😉 Thanks for your purchase!

  4. I LOVE this! Quick question..do you have to thaw the meals before cooking or do you cook them frozen? I’m still fairly new to the IP world!

    1. With this set, I thaw them just enough to pop out of the container, put them in the IP, saute for a few minutes to get enough liquid to bring the pot to pressure, then cook! I’ve changed my method a little bit since publishing this post (for other boot camps, I recommend just adding the cup of water when you start cooking and skipping the saute step), but with this one, follow the original directions and do the saute method so your food doesn’t come out too watery.

  5. In the Beef/Sausage Spaghetti, does the meat need to be pre-cooked?

    Thanks so much for all of these recipes, ideas, tips and buying guide! I can’t wait to try some recipes! 🙂

    1. Yes it is! You’ll use some of the beef/sausage you brown in the prep process to assemble this meal.

  6. I’ve never done IP freezer meals do we cook them or part cook them then freeze them and reheat in the IP? I want to make sure I understand before I mess things up.

    1. You’ll simply follow the instructions in this post! Sometimes you’ll cook meats before freezing, but for the most part, you’ll be doing the majority of the cooking part on serve day.

  7. I’ve just bought all of the ingredients and am excited to start the prep work tomorrow. I have a question though about the shopping list. 1 3lb boneless chuck roast is listed twice, is this a mis-print or was I supposed to buy 2 3lb boneless chuck roasts?

    Also, I noticed the week by week list might should start out with the first meal being the pulled pork sandwiches too. But that’s not a big deal at all and just took me a hot second to sort out.

    Thank you!

    1. It’s not! You’ll need two separate chuck roasts for 2 separate recipes, I just didn’t want to list them together so none of the readers were out looking for a 6lb roast. 😉

    2. Is this by chance Lauren Rogies?

  8. Is it relatively easy to just cut the ingredients/recipes in half for just one person? I am disabled and use a scooter to get around. Come dinner time, all my energy is depleted so I thought this might b the answer for me. Thank u for ur thorough instructions n this helps tremendously as I often get overwhelmed w preparation
    Thank you

    1. It should be fairly easy! One issue you might run into is halving canned goods – a lot of the recipes are written the way they are because they use a whole can of an ingredient. If you don’t mind throwing out or repurposing a half can of something, that shouldn’t be an issue!

  9. I’m having trouble figuring out how to actually print the instructions in a printer-friendly format….. What am I missing?

    1. Hi Julia! For this one, the instructions are all on the blog post. You’re more than welcome to copy and paste them into a word document for your personal use if that helps!

      1. Okay, thanks, I’ll do that! This is amazing!!

  10. Rhonda Barrow says:

    Will this work with other pressure cookers? I have the Elite Bistro. I am worried about the plastic containers. Won’t they melt with the heat?

    1. It should! The only thing you’ll need to ensure is that you have a manual, high-pressure setting. And you take the food out of the plastic containers before cooking!

  11. Cindy Welch says:

    Hello. Thank you so much for such a wonderful resource! I am very new to IP and I have a question. Some of the recipes have a long cook time. Is it possible for me to freeze these meals and then every few days grab a few and stick them in the fridge to defrost/ partially defrost and then reduce the cook time? Would that work? Do you have any suggestions for cooking times if everything is thawed?

    1. Hi Cindy! Unfortunately, thawing them doesn’t really reduce the cook time. You’ll set the same time on the IP whether the meal is frozen or thawed. The only difference you’ll see in the overall time to prepare your meal is the time it takes the meal to come to pressure – it takes much longer for the pot to come to pressure if the meal is frozen, so thawing the meals might reduce a little bit of cook time on that end!

      1. YES it will. If you thaw the meal you might save up to 15min because it won’t take as long for the meal to come to pressure! You don’t change the time you set!!

  12. Natalia Gustafson says:

    i DOWNLOAD THE MEAL PLAN BUT I CANT FIND THE GROCERY LIST… PLEASE HELP.. MAYBE i AM OVERLOOKING. THANKS.

    1. Hi Natalia! Email me at leslie at lambertslately dot com and I’ll be glad to help.

      1. Lisa Smith says:

        Same here! I just emailed you.

          1. Lisa Smith says:

            Thanks! But darn, I did not receive it. Not in spam folder either. 🙁

          2. Just tried again…you should have an email from me from about 30 minutes ago. Let me know if you got it!

  13. This may be a silly question, but do I just assume all meat is cooked unless stated otherwise? I’m curious about the pork chops for the Brown Sugar and Balsamic Pork Chops (sounds divine!). I didn’t notice it on the list of meat to cook, but just want to double check.

    1. Under step 5 (prep your meat), you can see all of the meats that will be cooked and what you will simply chop!

  14. Do you have sometime for vegetarians? Thanks in advance.

    1. I don’t right now, but I’m hoping to have some of those soon!

  15. Hi! I’m excited to try these but have minimal freezer space so I’m hoping to use freezer bags and go that route. What’s the best way to shape them? I saw where you said you would talk more on that later but couldn’t find anything about it. Thanks!

    1. I recommend shaping your bags with your inner pot…simply put the bags in your inner pot and pop them in the freezer! This does take awhile though since you probably only have one inner pot.

  16. Hi I added raw ground beef to a few of the recipes before I realized they were supposed to have cooked ground beef (egg roll bowls, and veggie beef stew). I already put them in the freezer. Is that ok?

    1. You should be ok…I would recommend testing the meals with a meat thermometer before serving though.

  17. Nancy Bearden says:

    I subscribed but did not receive the printable shopping list password. Instead i got a link to your back to school fast batch cooking challenge.

    1. Hi Nancy! Would you mind emailing me at leslie at lambertslately dot com? I’ll be glad to help!

  18. lauren sanders says:

    My mac wont let me print the downloadable labels. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Are you opening those in a reader like Adobe Acrobat? I’d recommend doing a program like that. If you still have issues, you’re welcome to email me!

  19. I’ve tried and tried to request password to get shopping list or even find the grocery list in the Printables page with no success. I’ve gone through the list of instructions and prep in an attempt to make my own list but when I get to in structure like “half all your red potatoes” I have no idea how much the quantity of potatoes purchased should have been. Also, I purchased 2.5# of chicken thighs nut now the instructions say to slice them so I think they should have been boneless/skinless….ugh. And when I purchase chicken breasts, are they whole breasts or breast halves”???

    1. If you’ll email me at leslie at lambertslately dot com, I’ll be glad to help!

  20. Stephanie says:

    SO.MUCH.INFORMATION. Thank you for all the time that you put into this! Quick question. I scrolled through to just check it out. Is there somewhere that you have all the recipes in printable form?

    Thanks again! This is awesome!

    1. I’ve had so many requests for that…I’m hoping to get this post converted to one of my boot camps packs soon!

  21. Just made the Asian meatballs. I didn’t have brown rice and I wasn’t sure if I had a container for PIP so I just made the rice on the stove. The meatballs are moist and delicious. The veggies have pretty much disintegrated into mush, which isn’t surprising. Any ideas how to improve the veggies? Otherwise sooo yummy and I was so thankful to have it ready to go in the freezer when I was exhausted.

    1. Hi Heather…glad you loved them! I do recommend putting veggies in for just a few minutes at the end of the cooking cycle to prevent them getting too soft. You can also steam in the microwave separately if needed.

  22. I am a newbie to instant pot cooking — I have made a roast a couple times and have only did high pressure for 35 minutes. 100 Seems really high. Can you confirm that time?

    1. Yes, that’s right! 90-100 minutes will make your roast super tender. You might want to leave the veggies out until the last 5-10 minutes though if you don’t want them really soft.

      1. Just to confirm — So about 5 – 10 minutes before the 100 is up I do a manual pressure release and then add the veggies then pressure again for 10 more minutes? Does it take a while to come back up to pressure?

        Thank you so much. newbie here! Can’t wait to try these recipes.

        1. Yes, I’d probably set my IP for 90 minutes for the roast, let it naturally release for a few minutes, then open, add veggies, and set for 5 minutes.

  23. NATALIA GUSTAFSON says:

    So far… you have the best freezer boot camp. I have tried other and they are not as easy to follow as your… and recipes are not as tasty either. I hope you can make the Paleo-friendly boot camp soon… I cant eat half of your recipes but my family can and love them… they enjoy picking what the dinner the day before!.

    Thank you!

    1. Oh I’m so glad to hear that! I really need to get going on those specialty menus – I’ve had so many requests. Hopefully before the end of the year. 😉

  24. Pat Martin says:

    How on earth do I get the labels off these Dollar Tree containers? Impossible.

    1. Hmm…I don’t remember having an issue. When all else fails, Goo Gone is your friend! 😉

  25. How do you make the gallon size bags work so that they fit in the instant pot?

    1. Hi Bonnie! If I do freeze with the gallon bags, I put the empty bag inside your inner stainless steel pot and put the contents of the meal in it, then freeze inside the pot so it maintains that shape.

  26. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I’m hoping this will save us lots of time and money in the long run. I’ve downloaded the grocery list but I am not really understanding the “Buy Every Week” section. It seems like that section’s formatting is off or something. It starts off listng the meals by week and listing the “extras” needed for each meal. The odd thing is, for me, I only see two meals listed for week 1. Two meals listed for week 2 and 2 meals listed for week 3. Then 27 meals listed for week 4. There is also an extras section? I’m completely confused. I’ve got the prep day list under control but the weekly extras grocery list is a no go for me.

    1. It might be printing strangely depending on your computer settings. Sometimes it helps to put it in landscape formatting when printing. You’re welcome to email me at [email protected] if you need any more help figuring it out!

  27. Are all 4 instant pot boot camps available as a pack? Or is it just the 2?

  28. Am i missing the recipe cards for these one? I thought i read through it 2x and am not seeing it .

    1. Unfortunately, this is the only boot camp I don’t have recipe cards made for yet. I’m hoping to get those done soon!

  29. How many people do your meal plans serve?

    1. It kind of depends on the meal; typically 4-6, with some being a little bit more.

      1. Ok, we have 8 people in our family… I’m wondering if I should 1.5 or double your recipes… Also, I’m new to the instant pot world… would increasing the quantity drastically change the cooking time? I have an 8 qt pot.

        1. For 8 people, yes, I would recommend doubling. And no, shouldn’t change the cook time at all! Maybe add a minute or two, but I wouldn’t do anymore than that.

          1. do you double the liquids too? I’m feeding 7 or 8 most nights too. I LOVE this resource. thank you so much!

          2. For most, I wouldn’t…you really only need 1 cup of water when you start the meal. If the recipe is a soup or more liquidy recipe, yes, I would double it!

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! What a wonderful resource! I’m still reading through, but have a question. I’m new to Instant Pot Cooking. Your first recipe (pork) said to set the IP to 100 minutes. Is one hundred minutes a typical cooking time period? I’ve only cooked chicken and I set my IP to 8 minutes. Thank you for your information.

    1. Not for most things, but for larger, tougher cuts of meat, yes! I get that question all the time, but it’s not a typo – I typically cook roasts and pork butts 90-100 minutes to get them fall-apart tender.

  31. I see that some of the items are not included on the shopping list (ground turkey for the asian meatballs). The shopping list also includes 3 jars of alfredo sauce that I don’t see used anywhere in the instructions. How do you recommend I best cross-check to be sure that I have everything I need to begin?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. I just realized I printed the Slow Cooker Freezer Meal shopping list. Where can I access the Instant Pot 30-meal Boot Camp shopping list? I don’t see it in the Printable section. Please help! Thank you 🙂

      1. Hi There! It’s on the same page of the printable collection – I have several lists on that page, and you’ll see a link to the original post for your reference above each one.

  32. I really want to try this! But I’ve tried giving my email 3 times but for some reason it’s not working! Any ideas??

  33. Susan Nicholson says:

    Help! I have put in my email. When I go to the “Printables” it routes me right back to the same place. I would really like to print the grocery list and get started this weekend. This looks amazing!

  34. Leware Toole says:

    Is there a list of abbreviations?
    What does PIP mean?
    NPR?
    QR?

    I know these are simple abbreviations (like BLSL=boneless skinless) but I cannot figure it out.
    Help, please! Your site it amazing!!!

  35. Maria Van Ryn says:

    Can’t wait to start using these recipes in my new instant pot. I LOVE that you include sides and make a complete meal (something other instant pot freezer meals seem to be missing). I just have a quick question on the pulled pork: you cook it for 100 minutes when you have the full roast, but then you freeze 1/2 of it for a future meal. What should the cook time be for the frozen portion? Thanks!

    1. You’ll simply thaw and serve for that second meal!

  36. CHRISTIN DAVIS says:

    Thnak you. I prepped these meals this weekend and my portions didn’t come out. I ended up with lots of I cooked bacon, but not sure what recipe it goes in and there isn’t a card for the #9 Italian Beef Sandwiches (1 meal)… what did I do wrong?

    Also are there recipe cards for these?

    1. Hmm…not sure on the bacon, there are 6 slices total cooked and 3 go into each Zuppa Toscana. Sorry about the Italian Beef Sandwich card, somehow it didn’t get copied correctly into the file – I just updated it in the printable collection!

  37. As per usual, I’m a little late to the party. I got an IP for Christmas, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. My husband was concerned I was going to blow up the kitchen (not really a stretch, actually)! A quick search on Pinterest brought me to your website. I CANNOT thank you enough for these wonderful recipes! I had a “snow weekend” and completed about 20 meals in 2 days (on and off…when I got bored). These recipes are so easy, and taste great! I had to modify a little – my guys are SOOO picky, but they loved most of them (which says A LOT). Curry was a little exotic for them, and grits for anything but breakfast….well….(I thought it sounded yummy – the beef ragu). So thank you so much for your hard work and generosity. My stand alone freezer went from empty to half full on about $140, and I cannot begin to tell you how happy that made me! You rock!
    Lisa Williams
    P.S. to Christin….If I ever have any left over cooked bacon (which is rare, because the guys in my house have a spidey sense when it comes to bacon), I wrap it in wax paper and put it in a zip-loc in the freezer. If I need a piece or two, the wax paper keeps them from sticking together, and I pop them in the microwave or a frying pan for a minute or so, and they are good to go!

    1. Oh my goodness, I’m so glad you loved them so much!

  38. Cameron B. says:

    For the asian meatballs, is the water for the PIP or does it go in the main pot with the meatballs and soy sauce?

    1. The soy sauce will go in the bottom with the meatballs; the water goes in the PIP with your rice!

  39. I am so excited about this! I just did the whole prep and everything last night. I posted a pic of my ready-to-freeze meals and have over 600 “likes” and a ton of “where did you find the recipes.” I have referred them all back to you. Thank you for doing all of the leg work on this! I can’t wait to check it all out. Tonight is the pulled pork. Tomorrow is Chicken tacos.

    1. Oh wow, that’s awesome! Thanks for the referrals. Hope you love the meals!

  40. I’m so grateful for this post! I’m excited to spend tomorrow prepping meals for the next month or two using this resource. I’m curious though, I’m not able to download the printable resources for this. Every link I’ve clicked on says that it is a broken link. I’ve subscribed and have the printable resources for several of your other freezer meal plans, and love them. Am I missing something for this particular set?

    1. Not sure why it wasn’t working, but I had a few emails last night that said the same thing. Maybe just downtime for my server…I just tried it and it’s working now! Let me know if you still can’t get it to work.

  41. So excited to try this. Just the 2 of us. We’re empty nesters. I’m wondering if the large coffee cans would work to hold gallon freezer bags for filling/shaping in freezer rather than using IP insert each time or possibly round gallon milk jugs with tops cut off to hold bags. If so this would speed up freezing process considerably. I’m going to try and see if this works.

    1. That’s not a bad idea…it’s worth a try!

  42. I love your meals and recipes for the instant pot. I also love your organization! I am disappointed that I bought the pot suggested for pit in pot meals and it doesn’t fit in my 6 quart with the meal in it and tribe. It sticks up an inch too tall. Guess I need to go shopping again but not sure if a slimmer pan will hold the suggested rice quantities.

    1. Strange…I haven’t heard of that happening before! I wonder if they changed the dimensions – I’ll check it out. Are you using it with the IP trivet that comes with your pot?

  43. Reggie Worthington says:

    Hello! I hope I have not missed this question/answer, if so, I apologize for repeating! The storage containers you suggest buying, either Dollar Store or Amazon, will fit the 6 and the 8 quart Instant Pots? (Your post looks as though it is 8 quart and mine is a 6 quart.) I prefer having containers to stack in the freezer rather than the bags, so hope these will fit the 6 qt!

    Thanks for all your hard work…these look great!

    1. Mine is the 6 quart, so yes, they will fit both!

  44. Thank you so much for this! My husband and I did the mini bootcamp of ten meals and we were hooked! I just finished this doing this 30 meal bootcamp yesterday. I’m pregnant, work full time and have a two year old so these freezer meals have been a lifesaver! One question, since I work some of the longer cook time recipes are hard to do. Do you have any opinion on using the delay start on the IP? That way I could load in the frozen meal in the morning and it would be set to start around 2-3 pm. This is probably not food safe exactly but the meal would probably stay mostly frozen until is started pressurizing.
    Thanks again!

    1. So glad it helped, Heather! I’ve had a few questions about using delay start but I’ve honestly never done it. The food safety of letting it sit out all day might be an issue though – for those recipes, you’re probably better off cooking it first and allowing it to sit on warm mode until you can eat it. And even then, I would ensure it had been at the minimum temperature for the meat you’re eating (you can google that and get a full list of safe temperatures).

  45. I just finished the bootcamp and made the first meal. Directions were great (as long as I read them correctly)!! I have 3-5 people for each meal so I thought this would be the perfect size. I am soooo glad I only had 3 for dinner the night I made chicken curry!! Not nearly enough chicken….when I do the next batch of chicken curry I will definitely add some frozen chicken thighs from the freezer!! Am I the only one that has had this problem?? I realized that when I was putting together the meals that required chicken breasts and I ended up doubling the chicken in each bucket!! Maybe my family is just big eaters!! 😉

    1. That’s the problem – it’s so hard to estimate serving amounts because every family is so different on serving sizes! I’ve heard both ends of the spectrum – some people say the estimate is too small, some say it’s too big. So it’s a nice average, but you really have to test out a few meals to see how it’s going to work for you.

  46. I prepped all this the other day. Whew, I was tired! I’m using the pulled pork for lunches. It’s great with a mustard bbq as a condiment!

    I have a question though. When you are making sides for some of these, like rice or noodles, do I take the main meal out of the IP then put in, say the rice, to cook? Or does the main meal stay in and I add the rice to it?

    1. Sometimes you’ll use the pot-in-pot method to make things like rice – I include that in the instructions if it is needed. You can see more info on that in the post! Unless noted, you won’t add rice/pasta to the main meal.

  47. Stephanie P says:

    I have a question about the egg roll bowl. Do you empty the pot before you add the rice noodles and water?
    I’m so excited to try all of these! We will be moving soonish so I wont be doing the full meal prepping so I don’t end up with too much in my freezer. But I am trying a couple recipes at a time for now.

    1. I didn’t – just cook everything together!

  48. Vicki Donald says:

    What size instant do you use, 6 quart?

  49. Marie Sample says:

    Good evening Leslie,
    First off, thank you so much for pulling this together. I’m new to instant pot , this will be a real live saver for me. I signed up at the beginning of this page with my email hoping I would get the shopping list. Hasn’t come, so I emailed you directly as I’ve see you state to others that’s having trouble getting the grocery list. I’m so looking forward to filling up my freezer & my daughters. Please let me know what else I can do to get the list. Maybe I just haven’t waited long enough, I’m sure you are swapped with requests. I did both yesterday signing up & emailing you.
    Thanks again
    Marie

    1. Hi Marie, you should have an email from me!