Meal prep is the best. You open the fridge and find those little gifts you left for yourself: pre-chopped veggies, jars of sauces, freezer meals that are ready for the Instant Pot, and your little Tupperwares of soup that are ready for a quick heat-up for lunch.
So yes, meal prep is the best.
….Until it is the weekend.
And you need to do meal prep. And Saturday goes by, and then Sunday, and COME ON you’re just trying to relax and live your life a little bit, do you really need to spend hours and hours prepping stuff for the week?
And then the weekend is over, and you open the fridge and realize that living your best life on the weekend equals empty fridge shelves on Monday. Which is sad.
Enter: this series. 15 Minute Meal Prep.
Every Friday for the next 6 weeks, I’m going to pop a quick – and I mean QUICKITY quick – 15 minute meal prep recipe onto your screens.
I’m calling it 15 Minute Meal Prep – as in recipes that really only require 15 minutes of hands-on time and can be done while preserving 99.9% of your relaxing weekend time. These are the meal prep recipes I actually make in my “real life” – the one with a new baby and a halfway-clean house and a tiny bit of sleep deprivation and a dog who won’t pacing the house and howling for dinner at 4:30pm.
And yes, since we’re in the middle of Sugar Free January, they will be nutritious and sugar free and really, actually, you won’t even notice because YUM.
First 15 Minute Meal Prep recipe: Creole Chicken and Sausage. It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of thick soup / stew consistency and loaded with rich, peppery flavor from the andouille sausage, bell peppers, and Creole seasoning which I’m usually able to find in the spice section of most grocery stores.
It can be served on rice, cauli rice, polenta… your call. And most importantly, it’s made in the Instant Pot or slow cooker for ultimate fast-and-easiness.
(I mixed it with rice here ^ but you do you!)
It’s kind of a stew, except trade beef and potatoes for spicy andouille, shredded chicken, fire roasted tomatoes, and creole spices. Add whatever veggies are in the fridge, top with some greens, and yeah.
Lunch this week is looking pretty good.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12-16 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 14-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional – it makes it thicker)
- 2 green or red bell peppers, chopped
- half an onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 1-2 teaspoons salt, if your Creole seasoning doesn’t have any
- serve with – rice, cheese, cilantro, green onions, hot sauce, sour cream, etc.
- Prep all your ingredients.
- Cook everything together in an Instant Pot for about 8 minutes. (Freezer times listed below.)
- Shred chicken directly in the pot. Taste and adjust, and serve over rice topped with anything your fancy lil heart desires!
Freezing: You can freeze this by assembling everything in a bag or container (see this post for my recommendations) and then popping it into the Instant Pot from frozen! yay! and cooking on high pressure for about 15 minutes.
Sausage: My first choice is Andouille sausage, but I’ve used kielbasa as well which is also delicious. You can cook this in the Instant Pot with the chicken and vegetables as directed, OR you can pan-fry your Andouille / kielbasa to get the edges a little bit browned and then just add it in at the end.
Extra Veggies: I have added butternut squash, corn, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, and other vegetables to this with great success! Clean out your fridge + get some extra nutrition.
Texture Variations: You can play with this a little bit. If you want it more saucy, add another can of tomatoes or a cup of tomato puree (that’s what the original recipe calls for). You can also make things a little creamy by adding some Greek yogurt, sour cream, or my personal favorite – a spoon full of almond butter. Don’t knock it till you try it.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Creole-Inspired
FYI – The original recipe for this was posted a few years ago as a slow cooker recipe – this version just has a simplified ingredient list and has been modified for the Instant Pot!