Oof. How am I going to have a newborn in three weeks!? It doesn’t feel real. Is the nursery organized enough? Do I have everything I need? What are we going to do for food? Am I going to have energy to cook? Should I prep a bunch of freezer meals?

But…if you know me, I don’t really do frozen. Call me a snob but I just. don’t. love. frozen. meals. I had tried doing the whole prep and freeze thing before and whenever I would think about pulling something from the freezer it just seemed…meh.

During my first pregnancy I did a HUGE meal prepping weekend. Some of the meals were major hits and just a few were flops. I think the key factor was prepping meals that still needed to be cooked FRESH. For example, making a yummy marinade and freezing together the protein, veggies and marinade. Then, when ready to eat, pop the prepped protein in the instant pot, make an easy starch like tortillas, pasta or rice and add a hefty dose of fresh veggies and herbs. It honestly felt like I had made the entire meal fresh, from scratch, right then!

So today I’m sharing four of our favorites that I cannot wait to dig into when we are knee deep in figuring out how to navigate newborn + toddler life in the midst of a busy holiday season.

I cannot take credit for these recipes, they are from possibly my favorite recipe site of all time, pinchofyum.com, with just a few tiny tweaks I made while making them.

I hope you love them as much as I do!

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Korean BBQ Beef

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Description

Garlicky, ginger-y and slightly sweet this luscious shredded beef is perfect for rice bowls, tacos or burritos!


Ingredients

Scale

Blend into sauce:

  • 1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 can pears, drained
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Freeze with:

  • 23lb beef chuck roast, cut into 68 pieces

Instructions

Instant pot: From frozen, 65 minutes on high pressure + 10 minutes natural release. Shred the beef into the sauce.

Slow cooker: From thawed, 3-5 hours on high.

This Korean BBQ beef goes perfectly in a rice bowl with shredded cabbage, sriracha mayo, kimchi, cucumbers, avocado, green onions and steamed jasmine rice. You could also skip the rice and serve the same ingredients in a taco or burrito!


Notes

Recipe from pinchofyum.com

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Pineapple Chicken

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Description

This Hawaiian-inspired chicken is juicy sweet from the fresh pineapple and perfectly spiced with cumin, chili powder, sriracha and jalapeno.


Ingredients

Scale

Freeze together:

  • 1.25lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • half red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Instructions

Instant Pot: Add 1/4 cup water before cooking. From frozen, 20 minutes on high pressure + quick release.

Slow cooker: Add 1/4 cup water before cooking, From thawed, 3-4 hours on high.

Shred chicken and serve with shredded cabbage or slaw, chipotle sour cream, extra pineapple and jalapeno, cilantro and/or jalapeno ranch slaw (recipe linked below)


Notes

Recipe from pinchofyum.com

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Chicken Meatballs

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Description

Super simple chicken meatballs add a quick and easy boost of protein to virtually any dish.


Ingredients

Scale

Mix and Roll:

  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 panko breadcrumbls
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Place balls flat on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. (this will ensure they don’t stick together in a big clump when you place in a Ziploc or container). Add to an airtight container or gallon freezer bag and lay flat to freeze.

From frozen: bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with your choice of sauce (marinara, BBQ, Teriyaki), rice or pasta and your favorite veggie!


Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from pinchofyum.com

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Tandoori Chicken

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Description

Creamy, spicy and so flavorful, this Tandoori-inspired chicken will not disappoint!


Ingredients

Scale

Whisk together spice mix:

  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Pat onto:

  • 2lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

Freeze together with:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

Instant Pot: From frozen, 15 minutes on high pressure + 20 minutes natural release.

Slow Cooker: From thawed, 4 hours on high.

Serve with steamed basmati rice or cauliflower rice, naan and roasted veggies.


Notes

Recipe from pinchofyum.com

BOOM. I conquered all four of these meals during a 2.25 hour nap, you can too!

And if you want to watch just how quickly these meals can come together, check out the video below! Stay tuned on Instagram and TikTok for what I end up making with these!

PS- I keep all of my prepped meals in a gallon Ziploc bag, sealed tight! That way they can lay flat and take up minimal space in the freezer. Happy prepping!