Pilot Meal Prep: 4 Instant Pot Dinner Ideas

The instant pot is a fab invention. Bulk cook food that normally takes hours in under 20 mins? Sign me up. Keeping CP fed on the road is hard because most conventional meal prep plans have the use of a full kitchen, not just a hotel mini fridge and hot plate if you’re lucky. Hotel room cooking is out, in other words. Prepping the food at home and hauling it place-to-place might not sound ideal, but in the long run, it saves serious cash and keeps your health in check. If you’re just getting started with make ahead dinners for pilots, here are 4 easy dinners that can be frozen or refrigerated for a few days and packed for the road. They share base ingredients so you’re not buying a week’s worth of food for meals you won’t be around to eat.

Make-Ahead Dinners for Pilots

What You’ll Need:

  • Instant Pot

  • Baking sheet

  • Rice [we used brown multi-seed, batch-made in an instant pot]

  • Sweet potatoes [oven roasted at 400 degrees until soft, seasoned with herbs]

  • Red peppers [slightly undercooked so when you reheat they don’t go mush, and seasoned with salt and pepper]

  • Feta cheese

  • Chicken [or protein of your choice]

  • Spinach [cooked]

  • Olive oil

  • Black beans

  • Balsamic vinegar

Dinner #1 : Protein-Packed Burrito Bowl

Layer cooked brown rice in the bottom of a leakproof tupperware. On top of it, layer down feta cheese, red peppers, black beans and chicken. Take an avocado with you for added healthy fats. If you want some zest, pack a lime or lemon to squeeze over it.

Dinner #2: Balsamic Chicken, Spinach and Rice

In your next tupperware, fill the bottom portion with brown rice and layer the cooked spinach on half of it. If you didn’t make the balsamic chicken as an entire batch, you can sprinkle some over top of the chicken in the pan and cook the chicken for an additional minute or two to absorb the flavor. Let it cool and place in the tupperware.

Dinner #3: Veggie Stir Fry

Combine cooked rice, peppers and chicken in pan. Season with teriyaki sauce and simmer until combined.

Dinner 4: Sweet Potatoes, Chicken and Rice

Layer down the last of your instant pot rice with your cooked sweet potatoes. Sprinkle feta cheese over top. Add in your chicken. Toss in any of the remaining veggies [red peppers or spinach] to round it out.

The Footnotes:

As an aside, all combos above can be easily swapped out with tofu if you’re on a meat-restricted diet, and it actually works well in the burrito bowl and stir fry as as one-to-one sub for chicken and reheats a little better. Quinoa can be swapped out for the brown rice if you don’t have an instant pot, or want a more protein-rich grain base. These were designed with lower cholesterol dietary intentions, though we’re obviously not doctors.

Happy prepping!