Everything you need to know about making nutritious and tasty Instant Pot freezer meals, plus the best pressure cooker recipes to cook now and freeze for later!
I love having a supply of Instant Pot freezer meals to heat and serve to my hungry crowd.
There’s something so comforting about knowing your freezer is stocked with ready-to-eat, nutritious, and delicious meals for your family!
Whether you’re wanting to avoid going out right now or once things return to normal and kids’ activities are running late, these meals are perfect when there’s no time to pause to prepare dinner.
With these helpful tips and tricks to storing freezer meals for the Instant Pot, you might just start making double batches of all of your favorite pressure cooker recipes to freeze.
Today we’re answering your most common questions about making and storing Instant Pot freezer meals. Note that these tips and recipes apply to any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
What Portion Size Should I Use to Freeze Instant Pot Meals?
With many of our Instant Pot / pressure cooker recipes, you can either freeze the entire recipe or individual portions.
- To store large family meals of our favorite Instant Pot freezer recipes, we love these freezer-safe containers or large freezer-safe Ziploc bags frozen flat.
- To store individual portions, we often use smaller freezer-safe Ziploc bags frozen flat.
💡 Tip: If I don’t have a specific meal in mind for the leftovers, I’ll freeze everything in smaller portions. They defrost more quickly, and you can choose exactly how much you want to defrost at a time.
We especially like to cut baked goods, like quiche, cheesecake, and breads in individual slices.
Other recipes, such as sauces, jams, and compote, come in small enough portions that they’re easy to freeze as a whole.
How to Reheat Cooked and Frozen Instant Pot Meals
I like to reheat a frozen Instant Pot meal right in your pressure cooker. The steam and heat ensures that items that tend to dry out (like meat and grains) stay moist and fresh tasting.
🌡️ To reheat a frozen meal in a 6-quart pressure cooker: Place a trivet and 1 cup of water in the pressure cooking pot.
🌡️ To reheat a frozen meal in an 8-quart pressure cooker: Because the 8-quart is bigger, I generally recommend using 1 1/2 to 2 cups water in the bottom of the pressure cooking pot—especially if you’re reheating longer cooking items.
Place your food in an ovenproof dish on top of the trivet.
- If I’m reheating a smaller portion, I generally use my 7×3-inch aluminum cake pan.
- If I’m reheating a large portion and I need a deeper dish, I love using the cooking pot from my Instant Pot Mini inside my 6-quart pressure cooker. (You can buy just if you don’t have a Mini.)
Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and an appropriate cook time for the size of your item. I like to start with 5 minutes at High Pressure, but larger meals, like whole cuts of meat, will take longer.
When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release and check the temperature of your dish inside the pressure cooker.
Note: You may need to return the pot to pressure for another few minutes if your dinner isn’t piping hot yet. Or if it’s close, you can always leave the top off and select Sauté to continue warming your food through.
Can I Freeze Recipes Made with Dairy?
The short answer is YES, you certainly can freeze creamy soups and other dishes made with dairy.
However, freezing dairy can sometimes affect the texture of the reheated dish.
If you’re sensitive to texture, you may want to opt for dairy-free versions of your favorite meals, especially soups. Soy milk, coconut, and other nut milks made great swaps for dairy and they freeze well.
How to Freeze Soups
Soup is one of the best cook and freeze Instant Pot freezer meals. If you’re planning to freeze a soup with grains or pasta in it, cook the starch separately from the soup. Freeze them in separate containers too. And finally, defrost and reheat the soup and grains separately.
This helps keep the grains from getting overcooked and from absorbing all of your tasty broth when you reheat.
See our recipe round-up below for our favorite freezable Instant Pot soup recipes.
How to Freeze Cheesecake
If you’re not going to dig into a stunning and creamy cheesecake fresh from your Instant Pot, it’s a perfect dish to store for later.
💡 We love this tip for freezing whole cheesecakes:
Place the cooked and cooled cheesecake on the lid of a round plastic container, then invert the container itself over the cake to seal. Then simply pop the whole thing in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw the cake at room temperature. (from Christine in our Electric Pressure Cooker Facebook Group:
To freeze individual slices of cheesecake (or any baked goods):
After you let the cake cool fully, slice it up. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, making sure they’re not touching.
Freeze the slices until they’re fully hard. Remove the freezer, then wrap each slice in plastic wrap. Then freeze everything together in one big freezer-safe ziploc bag.
When you’re ready to indulge in your homemade dessert, remove the slices from the freezer and allow them to come up to room temperature. You can start by defrosting them in the fridge overnight and placing them on the counter for a few hours before serving.
At Pressure Cooking Today, we believe in making real food with fresh and familiar ingredients.
🥘 Browse my collection of the best pressure cooker recipes here on my website (some of my most popular recipes include Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli and Easy Instant Pot Pulled Pork).
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🥧 If you’re interested in more than just pressure cooker recipes, I share my other adventures in the kitchen over at Barbara Bakes. You’ll find some amazing breakfasts and breads, along with the best dessert recipes! Check it out today!