So i’ve been in full new baby prep mode on my days off and cooking up some homemade meals between nap time and play time. In the weeks leading up to my first delivery I cooked up a different dish each week and stock piled our freezer with delicious and easy meals. These were an absolute lifesaver in the early weeks and months of having a newborn baby.
I thought it might be fun to share some of my recipes. Last time I used basic crockpot recipes and some simple pop in the oven type meals. We got an Instant Pot for Christmas this last year and it has been a total game changer when it comes to meal prep. Now, I had never heard of the Instant Pot prior to receiving one, but apparently they are all the rage right now. In essence, it is a pressure cooker but a modern version of this classic kitchen appliance. My only memories of a pressure cooker are of my mom and grandma cooking preserves on the stove. That device scared the crap out of me and looked really complicated.
The Instant Pot is the easiest and most amazing kitchen appliance I have ever used and now it has become a staple in our weekly dinner routine. The Instant Pot replaces the role of a slow cooker or crockpot and will cook a meal in a 1/4 of the time. We’ve only experimented with a few different types of cooking methods, but apparently you can cook pretty much anything in these babies. We use it at least 3-4 times a week at a minimum!
My chicken enchilada recipe used to require me to cook the chicken in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours and then still do almost 2+ hours of prepping the enchiladas in dishes. NOW with the Instant Pot, I can cook and shred my chicken in 45 minutes with the same slow cooker taste.
This chicken enchilada recipe is so tasty!!!! My hubby loves it and it freezes really well. I make huge batches of it and put 5 to 6 dishes away for crazy nights were we need a quick meal. Normally there is nothing quick about this dish, but with the Instant Pot I was blown away at how much time I saved. I have the recipe and instructions available to download at the bottom of the post and a detailed outline of the enchilada assembly along with photos.
STEP ONE – Add thawed or fresh chicken breasts to the bottom of your Instant Pot. Pour enchilada sauce and green chilies over the chicken. Plug in the Instant Pot and push the “poultry” setting. Adjust the cooking time by pushing the up arrow to 45min. Allow the pot to cook and cool fully. Once the timer is done, release the steam valve to cool the pot fully. In a large bowl, the larger the better, shred the cooked chicken using two forks. Personally, I strain the cooking juices and chilies and set aside all the juices. I add the green chilies and black beans to the shredded chicken. Set aside 2 cups of cooking juices for later and add remaining juices to shredded chicken mixture. I split my chicken mixture in two and add sliced olives to one batch. The hubby isn’t a fan of olives but I LOVE THEM!!!!!
NOTE – I cook my chicken in batches because the Instant Pot can only hold so much meat and liquid while maintaining pressure. This method is still faster than waiting for 6-8 hours for the crockpot method. I tripled the recipe below to allow for bulk and lots of extra freezer meals. Tripling the recipe allowed for 5 pans in the freezer, plus two nights worth of meals.
STEP TWO – Spray your baking dish well with a good nonstick spray, including all the sides. This recipe gets messy in the oven but is so worth it. I buy basic tin cake pans to use for the freezer meals and regular cooking dishes for that nights meal. Using the reserved cooking juices, add 1 cup of juice to the bottom of each pan.
STEP THREE – Time to assemble your enchiladas. Sprinkle some cheese on each tortilla and add 1/3 cup of chicken to each tortilla. Roll up and place in the baking dish. I can generally fit 7 enchiladas into each baking dish, 3 with olives and 4 without!
STEP FOUR – Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of the enchiladas. I mark the tops with olives to show what they contain. Next, pour any remaining juices over the top of the tortillas. Pop the dish into a preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is browned. For the freezer dishes, I put a layer of Glad Press’n Seal over the top followed by a layer of Reynolds Wrap. This really does the trick in preventing freezer burn and keeping the dish sealed tight. I’ll pull one out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge the whole day. Pop the dish in the oven at the same temp and you have an instant and quick meal for your family!
Download recipe by clicking Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas.
We absolutely love this recipe and if you cook it in batches its so worth the work. The freezer meals are good for 3-4 months. I hope this helps any other pregnant mommies or families with young children. The recipe isn’t too spicy or bland and is perfect for kids. Reagan was a big fan. I was a little nervous about giving her something spicy or concentrated like this, but she did great and loved every bit. These meals helped us feel normal when we welcomed our first child into the world. I’m so excited for Baby #2 but the crazy has a way of sneaking up on us in those first few weeks. These are a life saver!!!!! I can’t wait to keep stock piling the freezer. Let me know if you have any questions about the Instant Pot or adaptations for this recipe.
xo xo friends,