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3 easy recipes for cooking frozen meats fast during the busy holiday season

3 easy recipes for cooking frozen meats fast during the busy holiday season
Posted at 9:36 AM, Dec 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-19 12:16:38-05

“Oh no! I left the meat for tonight’s dinner in the freezer!”

How often have you come home at the end of a long day only to realize that the main part of your meal is frozen solid? During this especially busy time of year, it’s understandable how we can run out the door in the morning and forget to take out the meat to defrost for dinner.

When this happens, you could go back out and fight the holiday crowds at restaurants or in the drive-thru. Or, you could use your Instant Pot to safely defrost your beef, chicken or fish and try some simple, delicious recipes.

Returning to Instant Pot Cooking

For a while, Instant Pot cooking was all the rage. And, while trends come and go, it’s important to keep these essential cooking solutions in your back pocket on nights when you need a quick meal for the family without resorting to take-out.

Feel Good Foodie creator Yumna Jawad has an entire section of her foodie website devoted to using the Instant Pot and says cooks should not be afraid of using the kitchen gadget to cook frozen meat in under 20 minutes.

a split image of an instant port on the left and frozen chicken on the right
Feel Good Foodie

MORE:16 dinner recipes for nights you don’t feel like cooking

“It sounds too good to be true, but it’s actually easy to cook frozen chicken, beef or fish in the Instant Pot with minimal effort or planning,” she told Simplemost. “Learning how to cook chicken breasts from frozen can save many dinners in your home, and the process is quick and easy! This method results in perfectly tender and juicy chicken every time, and it’s so effortless. It’s so great for weekly meal prep, too!”

Follow Jawad’s simple recipes below to make the meat. Then, you’ll learn how to put together three recipes that the entire family will love with your prepared protein!

How to Cook Frozen Chicken

Photo of cooked chicken breast prepared in Instant Pot, garnished with lemon and parsley
Feel Good Foodie

Ingredients

  • 1½-2 pounds frozen chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon total other spices (like garlic powder and oregano)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breast inside the Instant Pot. Add salt, pepper and any other seasoning you’re using. Pour the broth over the chicken.
  2. Place the lid on and move the valve to sealing. Press the manual pressure button and set the timer to 10 minutes at high pressure. You’ll notice the Instant Pot will start to come to pressure first and then the timer will begin. It can take 8-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  3. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release for any remaining pressure. Carefully open and remove the lid. Check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure it’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If it’s not, seal again and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Strain the remaining broth in the Instant Pot to use for soups. Cut the chicken as desired and use it in a recipe as desired.

How to Cook Frozen Ground Beef

photo of cooked ground beef prepared with Instant Pot
Feel Good Foodie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon other spices (like oregano and garlic powder)

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into the Instant Pot. Add the trivet and place the frozen ground beef directly on the trivet. Add salt, pepper, and any other seasonings.
  2. Place the lid on and move the valve to sealing. Press the manual pressure button and set the timer to 20 minutes at high pressure. You’ll notice the Instant Pot will start to come to pressure first and then the timer will begin. It can take 8-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  3. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release for any remaining pressure. Carefully open and remove the lid. Check the middle part of the ground beef for doneness. If it’s not cooked to your liking, seal again and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the trivet from the pot and discard any cooking liquid and grease. Transfer the ground beef to a plate, and use a spatula, fork or meat chopper to break apart the ground beef. Use as desired in a recipe.

How to Cook Frozen Fish in Instant Pot

photo of prepared fish and lemon made with and instant pot
Feel Good Foodie

Ingredients

  • 1-1 ½ pounds cod filetm each ½ inch thick (4 pieces)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into the Instant Pot. Add the trivet and place the frozen fish directly on the trivet. Add salt, pepper and any other seasoning you’d like.
  2. Place the lid on and move the valve to sealing. Press the manual pressure button and set the timer to 2 minutes at high pressure. You’ll notice the Instant Pot will start to come to pressure first and then the timer will begin. It can take 8-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  3. When the cooking time is up, carefully do a quick release; then open and remove the lid. Check the internal temperature of the fish to make sure it’s 140 degrees F or higher. If it’s not, seal again and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Carefully remove the trivet from the pot and discard any cooking liquid and grease. Use the cooked fish in a recipe as desired. Note: This method works well with cod, salmon, mahi mahi or tuna.

3 Simple Recipes to Try This Week

Once you prepare your meat of choice,  try one of these easy recipes Jawad shared with us, including a chicken pita, spaghetti and meat sauce, and fish tacos. This video will also walk you through the cook-from-frozen Instant Pot techniques.

MORE: Instant Pot: 7 Common Mistakes To Avoid

Jawad also has a full Instant Pot Guide on making the most of all the gadget’s features. Make sure to check it out!

And, if you’re looking for more recipes to try this winter (with or without the Instant Pot), check out this collection of 65 Cozy Winter Recipes from Feel Good Foodie. You’ll find everything from soups and stews to lasagna and roasted chicken.


3 easy recipes for cooking frozen meats fast during the busy holiday season originally appeared on Simplemost.com, helping make the most out of life.

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