Instant Pot Fall Soups Freezer Meal Boot Camp

I'm back with another (free) Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp today! This time around, in honor of fall, we'll be making 5 super delicious and comforting soups that are perfect for last-minute Instant Pot cooking. Welcome to Fall Soups Freezer Meal Boot Camp!

The newest Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp is all about fall soup recipes! Check out this selection of cheap easy monthly recipes that has chilis, soups, and stews. Carrot Butternut Squash Soup || Firefighter Chili || Sausage & White Bean Stew || French Onion Chicken Soup || Italian Wedding Soup

If you've ever done my boot camps before, you know the drill: first I let you know what groceries you'll need, then we print labels and recipe cards, and once all of the supplies are ready to go, we'll prep your meals for the freezer. Then, I give you simple instructions for cooking on serve day. This set of meals is especially easy to cook; the all have almost the exact same cooking instructions! That handy dandy soup button on your Instant Pot is perfect for almost any soup, stew, or chili. If you have another brand of electric pressure cooker other than the Instant Pot, you can simply use a manual setting on high pressure for 30 minutes to cook each one of these (with a few minor modifications mentioned on the recipe cards).

Some parts of this post might look a little bit like my other boot camp posts, but it bears repeating just in case we have new friends visiting this page. For those of you who are new to boot camp cooking, there are a few basic terms we need to go over first:

The newest Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp is all about fall soup recipes! Check out this selection of cheap easy monthly recipes that has chilis, soups, and stews. Carrot Butternut Squash Soup || Firefighter Chili || Sausage & White Bean Stew || French Onion Chicken Soup || Italian Wedding Soup

Affiliate links used in this post.

First, a little summary of the Instant Pot. 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 little guy. 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 one-year-old who likes to melt down around dinner time every night, this is clutch. I also love that just about any slow cooker recipe can be prepped in the Instant Pot 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!

It lends itself so perfectly to freezer meals…which is the inspiration behind all of this meal planning! As soon as I bought it I knew it had huge potential to save tons of time in the kitchen. Since I started making boot camps, thousands of readers have used these methods and recipes in their kitchen with a lot of success. I love hearing that my boot camps have made your time in the kitchen quicker and easier!

OTHER NOTES:
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. But, like I said, you'll use the soup button on all 5 of these recipes.
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).
Now that we've gone over the lingo, let's start the prep process!

Step 1: Get your supplies ready.

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, and FYI – it’s in stock right now, so it’s a great time to grab one if you haven’t already!). The main purchase I’d urge you to make is a set of storage containers that fit into your Instant Pot. 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. You might be able to find them in store if you don’t want to pay shipping, or this set of deli containers from Amazon works too. I would go on and get 7-10 of them if you can get your hands on them…I’ve reused my original ones from Dollar Tree a few times, so they’re well worth the investment! If you choose to buy just a couple of containers, you can set gallon freezer bags in the containers to kind of shape your meals to fit in the pot while freezing them. Just set the bag into your container, put in your ingredients, and freeze the bag while still in the container so it retains the shape needed to fit into the Instant Pot while still frozen.

Go on and make sure you have your bag/container labels printed (scroll down for those labels) 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 available that’s made for sticking labels onto freezer dishes and has incredible reviews.

You won’t need nearly as much freezer space for this boot camp…but I would still go on and make sure you had a sufficient amount for 5 meals. If you’re planning on doing freezer meals for any period of time, I highly recommend a small chest freezer like this one. It’s not a huge investment and it has been super useful for us over the years.

Summary: Make sure you have:

  1. Instant Pot-shaped containers (One set is more than enough for this boot camp.)
  2. Labels (scroll down for printables)
  3. Packing Tape or Freezer Tape
  4. Gallon Freezer Bags
  5. Freezer space

I strongly recommend these optional (but very convenient) accessories if you’re going to be freezer Instant Pot cooking…

  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 food chopper to make veggie prep easier.

Step 2: Make your grocery run.

Instead of making your own grocery list from each of the recipes, I've done the work for you!

The newest Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp is all about fall soup recipes! Check out this selection of cheap easy monthly recipes that has chilis, soups, and stews. Carrot Butternut Squash Soup || Firefighter Chili || Sausage & White Bean Stew || French Onion Chicken Soup || Italian Wedding Soup

I have a full grocery list for this boot camp (including things you’ll need for serving day and side items) in the printable collection of my blog…that’s exclusively available to my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up (for free!) by using the form below or by clicking here to get download instructions for the grocery list right to your email inbox. While you’re visiting the printable collection, can also grab a fully printable version of this fall soup boot camp – this file is formatted like my premium Freezer Meal Boot Camp packs so you can really get a feel for what these popular meal planning sets are like! And it’s totally free once you sign up.

For the past few months, I've noted the items that might expire before serve day in my boot camp grocery lists…I had plans to do that with this one, but nothing was really likely to go bad (as long as you eat the meals within a few weeks of prep day)! So I'd recommend going on and buying all of your groceries at once for this one.

For purchasing your groceries, 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!

And don’t worry, this one doesn’t sting all that much in the wallet! I only ended up spending about $80 for all of the groceries for this boot camp. The serving amount was higher per meal than last time (I’d estimate around 6-8 people can be fed from each one of the meals…more specific numbers on the recipe cards below), so if you're looking at around 35 meals, that's just a little over $2 a serving. This is a great way to stretch your grocery budget!

Step 3: Print and cut your labels.

The labels you’ll download below have every bit of info you’ll need for serving day. Just stick these on your freezer containers as you prep your dishes! I’ve included the recommended side dish, prep instructions from frozen, and extra ingredients you’ll need on serving day. (You should already have these extra items if you follow the grocery list above.)
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.

Step 4: Prep your veggies.

Alright, you’ve got your supplies, you’ve got your groceries, you’ve got your labels…it’s finally prep time!

The newest Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp is all about fall soup recipes! Check out this selection of cheap easy monthly recipes that has chilis, soups, and stews. Carrot Butternut Squash Soup || Firefighter Chili || Sausage & White Bean Stew || French Onion Chicken Soup || Italian Wedding Soup

Here’s the order in which I prepped all of the veggies for the meals:

1. Chop 5 cups onion.
2. Slice 2 cups onion.
3. Dice 1.5 lbs carrots.
4. Coarsely chop 1lb carrots.
5. Dice 1lb celery.
6. Chop 1/2 cup Italian parsley.
7. Chop 1 red bell pepper.
8. Chop 1 green bell pepper.
9. Peel, de-seed, and chop 1 butternut squash.
10. Peel, core, and chop 1 apple.

Once this is all done, I find a larger area of my counter and set out all of the veggies buffet-style to make for easy assembly. I also use a Vidalia Chop Wizard (c/o) to make this process much, much easier.

Step 5: Prep your meat.

You’re going to cook/prep some of the meat before freezing. Here’s the order of how I prepared the meat part of the meals…

1. Brown and drain 1lb bacon.
2. Brown and drain 2lbs country sausage.
3. Brown and drain 1lb ground beef.
4. Chop 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

You’ll also put these out buffet-style for assembly. I recommend having a separate part of your counter if possible for the meat to prevent cross-contamination.

Step 6: Put everything together!

Now it's time to assemble your meals! After a ton of requests, I've started making full recipe cards for each of these meals. These contain all of the info you'll need for side dishes, serve day instructions, and estimated servings/cook time. You can find the individual ones by clicking the links on each recipe (or get them in one file through the label/recipe card file…here's a link to that file again).

The newest Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp is all about fall soup recipes! Check out this selection of cheap easy monthly recipes that has chilis, soups, and stews. Carrot Butternut Squash Soup || Firefighter Chili || Sausage & White Bean Stew || French Onion Chicken Soup || Italian Wedding Soup

Meal 1: Italian Wedding Soup

In the freezer container:

25-30 frozen Italian-style meatballs
1 cup onion, chopped (1/5 of the chopped onion)
1lb diced carrots (2/3 of the diced carrots)
1/2 cup diced celery (half of the diced celery)
2 tbsp minced garlic 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped (all of the chopped parsley)
1/4 cup chicken better than bouillon
1 tsp each of salt/pepper/Italian seasoning

Meal 2: Firefighter Chili

In the freezer container:

1lb bacon, cooked and drained (all of the bacon)
1lb country sausage, cooked and drained (half of the sausage)
1lb ground beef, cooked and drained (all of the ground beef)
2 cups chopped onion (half of the remaining onion)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (all of the chopped red bell pepper)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 packs chili seasoning
1 can chili beans (not drained)
1 10oz can diced tomatoes & green chiles
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
8oz tomato sauce
2 tsp better than bouillon beef
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

NOTE: All meats in this dish need to be drained well before placing in the freezer container to prevent greasy soup.

Meal 3: French Onion Chicken Soup

In the freezer container:

2 10.5oz cans French onion soup
2 cups sliced onions (all of the sliced onion)
2 tbsp minced garlic 1lb boneless, skinless chicken, diced (all of the chicken)
1 pack onion soup mix
2 tsp beef better than bouillon
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Meal 4: Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup

In the freezer container:

1 medium butternut squash, peeled & chopped (all of the squash)
1lb carrots, coarsely chopped (all of the coarsely chopped carrots)
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (all of the apple)
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup onion, chopped (half of the remaining onion)
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1/4 cup Better than Bouillon chicken

Meal 4: Sausage & White Bean Stew

In the freezer container:

1lb country sausage (all of the remaining sausage)
1 cup onion (all of the remaining chopped onion)
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 green bell pepper (all of the chopped green bell pepper)
1/2 lb carrots, diced (all of the remaining diced carrots)
1/2 lb celery, diced (all of the remaining chopped celery)
1 15.5oz can great northern beans
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes w/ green pepper, celery, onion
2 bay leaves
2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken

And just like that, you have 5 meals prepped and ready to go in the freezer!!

As a reminder, you have the chance to get this boot camp formatted like the rest of my premium Freezer Meal Boot Camp packs in the printable collection for email subscribers…click here or use the form below to sign up!

And, if you like what you're seeing here, make sure to check out my full selection of premium freezer meal boot camp packs! You can click here for the full selection.

Happy Fall, y'all!

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11 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to try this one!

  2. Colleen Gander says:

    Thank you for all your hard work on this. It’s grocery shopping day but I can’t find the list for the soups. No big deal as I can craft one but thought I’d let you know. I am a subscriber but still can’t seem to find it.

  3. Colleen Gander says:

    Re: my comment, big time apologies. I just need to learn to read all the way to the bottom. Busy adding to my grocery list now! Thanks a million!

  4. Your page was recommended in one of my FB IP groups! Thank you for all the work you put into this for us. I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  5. If I choose not to use boullion (The added sugar and maltodextrin is a no no for me) Could I add that much in regular chicken stock?

    1. Absolutely! You would just need to add stock rather than the water in the recipe on serve day when you actually cook it.

  6. I cannot find where to print anything. I have the password for signing up but can’t seem to locate where to print anything. The only link I found was for the labels and recipe cards. Can you point me in the right direction? THANKS

  7. If I need to halve the recipes, how much should I cut back on cooking time? There is only one of me.

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      You usually don’t have to change cook time at all – just know that with less ingredients, your pot will usually come to pressure much quicker.