My Go-To Meal Prep Hack: Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Instant Pot shredded chicken is the ultimate meal prep recipe. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and is versatile enough to use in different dishes throughout the entire week.

The Easiest Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is perfect when combined with some whole grains and roasted vegetables in a bowl for a healthy meal.

I’m letting you in on a little secret today! That’s right, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from my e-cookbook that will set you up for meal prep success throughout the entire week. This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is sooooo easy and takes almost no ingredients to make. And because it’s so simple, you can dress it up in a multitude of ways – no repeat meals here!

The simplicity of this chicken also makes it a great first food for baby if you’re following baby-led weaning. You can easily control the sodium by simply not adding any salt and season it with whichever herbs and spices you have a hankering to introduce to your child on any given day.

How to Make It

Seriously guys, I can’t think of any recipe that is easier than this one. And for all my Dish Density fans, this is pretty much the LEAST amount of dishes you’ll find in any of my recipes. (ICYMI, I introduced the exciting Dish Density feature on this post last week.) That deserves a lot of celebration, am I right?

All you need to do to make this super simple recipe is throw all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot, turn it on and set a timer [*affiliate link]. That’s it! The real fun comes after the chicken is made, when you get to come up with how you’re going to use it all up.

Two hearty bowls of Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken loaded with vegetables and whole grains are the perfect healthy meal!

But don’t worry, I have some ideas for you!

  • Throw it on top of a seasonal salad.
  • Use it as part of a filling for enchiladas.
  • Make tacos.
  • Stir it into a soup.
  • Put together a simple protein, veggie and grain bowl and top with your favorite healthy dressing.
  • Pile it on top of a bun with some BBQ sauce for tasty sliders.

These ideas right here are enough for almost an entire week’s worth of dinners, but I’d love to hear if I missed any creative uses you can think of!

The other great thing about this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is you can totally freeze it! So make it some evening or weekend where you have a 30-minute block of time, and pop it in the freezer for a go-to weeknight meal in the very near future.

If you can totally get down with the freezer meal idea (I mean, what busy parent can’t?), be sure to check out my e-cookbook for 29 more freezer-friendly recipes!

A bowl of the Easiest Instant Pot Shredded Chicken complete with veggies. A great option for baby-led weaning!

Easiest Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Instant Pot shredded chicken is the ultimate meal prep recipe. It takes less than 30 minutes to make
and is versatile enough to use in different dishes throughout the entire week.

Course: Main Course
Keyword: baby-led weaning, chicken, Instant Pot, meal prep
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 121 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound each boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs (2 pounds total)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, as desired
Dishes needed:
  • Instant Pot
  • 2 forks
  • Tongs
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in an Instant Pot. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Hit the “Pressure Cook” button and select High pressure for 10 minutes.

  2. The Instant Pot will take a while to warm up, then it will
    start counting down. Once the timer is done, make sure the valve has switched
    to vent to release all the pressure.

  3. Once all the pressure has been released and the chicken has
    cooled slightly, use two forks to shred it. After shredding, pour out any
    excess liquid.

  4. Once shredded chicken has cooled completely, place in a
    resealable glass container or plastic bag and freeze. You can also separate the
    chicken into individual portions before freezing if desired.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

How to Make an Energizing Pink Latte (Caffeine-Free!)

Learn how to make your own homemade energizing Pink Latte using beetroot powder and dried rose petals. You won’t believe it’s caffeine-free!

This Energizing Pink Latte has beetroot powder and rose petals to give it such a vivid color and make it a completely caffeine-free drink! #pinklatte #caffeinefreedrinks #roselatte

If you’re looking for a natural (and eye-catching) way to boost your energy, it’s time you learn all about how to make a Pink Latte! That’s right, this vivid beauty is entirely caffeine-free, yet will give you sustainable energy to get you through the day. And, with the help of a few special ingredients, it’s super simple to make. You can think of it as the perfect alternative to that Sleepytime Lavender Milk you all love so much. Roses in the morning, lavender in the evening – it doesn’t get much better than that!

I’m not going to lie, Pink Latte’s first caught my eye for their Instagram-worthy color but, once I read up on them a little more – and after a chance encounter at the grocery store – I knew I had to create an easy recipe so I could make my own at home. I was so pleased with the results that I couldn’t wait to share them with you. So, let’s get into how it’s done!

This Energizing Pink Latte has beetroot powder and rose petals to give it such a vivid color and make it a completely caffeine-free drink! #pinklatte #caffeinefreedrinks #roselatte

Secret Sauce: The Ingredients

Before you embark on your Pink Latte-making journey, you’ll want to stock up on the following ingredients:

Beetroot Powder

TBH, I had never heard much about beetroot powder until my mom and I ran into a talkative soul in the dairy section of the supermarket a couple of months ago. The conversation started with him telling us just HOW good Kerrygold butter is (which, duh, we already knew – it’s the best!) for bulletproof coffee, but then he segued into his entire health history and why he now turns to beetroot powder for his daily energy instead of coffee. Sure, it was TMI, but it got me thinking about what the bright red little superfood could do.

After doing more of my own research (because, hey, you can never be too sure about those rando’s you meet in the grocery store) I learned that beetroot powder does, in fact, have many health benefits including, but not limited to: increased endurance, improved brain and heart health and reduced exercise recovery time.

The cherry on top? You can easily order beetroot powder on Amazon [*affiliate link] or just pick it up at your local Whole Foods or health food store.

Dried Rose Petals

Rose petals are another great superfood that you don’t necessarily think of when you want to make a power-packed drink, but you should! Not only do they lend a beautiful floral taste to whatever you use them in, but they also pack many health benefits, including: enhanced mood, help with digestion and pain relief, among other things.

You can also order culinary-grade dried rose petals on Amazon [*affiliate link] or you can find them at your local health food stores.

Aside from these two special ingredients, I’m willing to bet you already have the only other two ingredients you need already on hand: milk of your choice and honey!

This Energizing Pink Latte has beetroot powder and rose petals to give it such a vivid color and make it a completely caffeine-free drink! #pinklatte #caffeinefreedrinks #roselatte

Energizing Pink Latte, Comin’ Right Up!

Okay, now you know what you need, time to make this tasty latte in three easy steps:

The first step is to make our rose simple syrup, which is done by boiling together honey, your dried rose petals and some water until reduced.

The next step is to whisk together the beetroot powder with your choice of milk and then heat it up. You can use either a milk frother for this (if you have one) or simply place the milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

The final step is to assemble your drinks. This recipe makes two lattes, so be sure to recruit your hubby, partner, friend or roommate to enjoy one with you. Then you simply pour the syrup into your cozy coffee mug and top with the warmed milk and drink up.

This Energizing Pink Latte has beetroot powder and rose petals to give it such a vivid color and make it a completely caffeine-free drink! #pinklatte #caffeinefreedrinks #roselatte

I hope you enjoy this Energizing Pink Latte as much as I do. It’s a healthy, tasty and fuel-filled way to start your day!

Energizing Pink Latte (Caffeine-Free!)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Learn how to make your own homemade Pink Latté using beetroot powder and dried rose petals. It’s completely energizing yet entirely caffeine-free!

Course: Drinks
Keyword: caffeine-free, dairy-free, drinks, milk, superfoods
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 141 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the rose syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons culinary-grade dried rose petals
  • 2 tablespoons honey You may reduce this amount if you don't like too much sweetness.
Other ingredients:
  • 1 cup milk of your choice I like almond or oat milk.
  • 2 tablespoons beetroot powder
Instructions
  1. Combine water, rose petals and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by about half, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. While the syrup is simmering, whisk together the milk and beetroot powder and heat up using a milk frother or the microwave. If you are using the microwave, it should take between 1-2 minutes for the milk to come to proper temperature without curdling. 

  3. Using a small sieve, divide the rose syrup evenly between two coffee mugs, then divide the milk evenly over top and serve.

The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe

An easy, five-minute recipe featuring all of the festive flavors of classic eggnog in delicious, creamy, dairy-free oat milk. A healthier take on a typically indulgent treat!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

If you’re a fan of eggnog but not all of the calories that come with it, this Dairy-Free Eggnog is going to change. your. life.

First, please tell me you’ve tried my new favorite milk alternative, oat milk. I’m the last person to ever be “dairy-free” (cheese and I are bosom buddies) but I’m also not one to shy away from other delicious milk options. Sure, almond milk is a classic go-to, but if you’ve never experienced the thick creaminess of oat milk, now is the time!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

And when we’re making The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe, we want it to be just as thick and creamy as the original. Am I right? Well, I’m happy to report that this recipe will give you just that, plus tons of great flavor from a myriad of spices and even a little rum extract (and, if you like your eggnog spiked, feel free to use the real deal!)

The other great thing about this eggnog recipe? It comes together in wayyyy less time than traditional homemade eggnog. We’re talking throw-everything-in-a-blender-and-it’s-ready-in-5-minutes easy. Because who wants to wait hours to enjoy a delicious glass of frothy eggnog? Or perhaps an oat milk version of this Spiked Almond Milk Eggnog Hot Chocolate?

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure looking forward to having this recipe on hand over the next few weeks. It will sure be nice to have a lighter, healthier alternative to enjoy among all of the other cookies, cocktails, sweets and treats!

This Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe uses oat milk as its base and is the perfect lightened up treat for the holidays!

Do you have a favorite lightened-up holiday recipe? If so, tell me about it in the comments below!

The BEST Dairy-Free Eggnog Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

An easy, five-minute recipe featuring all of the festive flavors of classic eggnog in delicious, creamy, dairy-free oat milk. A healthier take on a typically indulgent treat!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks
Keyword: dairy-free, dessert, drinks, eggnog, holiday, oat milk, rum
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 356 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 cups oat milk (I prefer Oatly brand)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Couple of handfuls of ice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until mixture is frothy but there are still some little chunks of ice left. 

  2. Pour into four glasses and sprinkle additional ground nutmeg over top of each one. Serve immediately.

No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad

A healthy, make-ahead salad that’s low on guilt yet full on flavor, this Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad will become a new family favorite in no time.

This No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad is the perfect healthy, make-ahead meal that will please the whole family!

How, oh how is it August already?? This summer has just flown by but, hey, we still have at least a month left, so let’s make the most of it, shall we? It may mean different things to different people, but I think one thing we can all agree making the most of summer does NOT mean is spending a ton of time in the kitchen – which is why you need some of this No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad in your life.

With the little one keeping me busy and the beautiful weather keeping us outside, I’ve personally found myself in the kitchen less than I have probably ever been in my life, which means I am loving anything that I can make a big batch of in advance. I need to be able to come home from a morning at the beach, reach into the refrigerator and have lunch there waiting for me – because goodness knows the little one will NOT wait for me to whip up any sort of elaborate meal!

This Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad is just what my summer-loving heart ordered. Full disclosure, this recipe was inspired by a Trader Joe’s salad I grabbed in complete haste one day when I knew there was nothing waiting for me at home for lunch. Yes, it was a quinoa salad (which, on its own can be quite drab) but somehow the sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and creamy poblano-cilantro dressing all complemented each other just perfectly. So I set out to make my own version!

A healthy, make-ahead salad that's packed with protein and nutrients.

The salad part was pretty obvious – quinoa, corn, kale, tomatoes and some chunks of poblano pepper for good measure – but then came the dressing. I loved the creaminess of the dressing in the TJ’s version, but if this was going to be my go-to grab-and-go lunch, it needed to be as healthy as possible – which meant, Greek yogurt! I love how thick and creamy it is while also having so many nutritional benefits. And, honestly, I knew that all the other ingredients I’d be adding in were so packed with flavor that that was all I needed.

Speaking of those other ingredients – garlic, cilantro and roasted poblanos, I’m looking at you! I knew that would be all I needed to make this No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad of mine a reality.

So, it’s pretty obvious that this recipe is packed with flavor, but the other thing I love so much about it is how much of it can be prepped in advance. Literally each of the steps that requires cooking can be done up to a few days ahead of time, so you can work on it whenever you have a free minute (or 10) in the kitchen. And, once it’s done and assembled, you’ll have enough Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad to last you at LEAST a week.

Meal prep lovers unite! This No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad is nutrient-rich and will give you an entire week of healthy lunches.

If those aren’t all signs of a winning recipe, I don’t know what would be!

Maybe it’s time you see for yourself… 😉

No Guilt Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A healthy, make-ahead salad that’s low on guilt yet full on flavor, this Southwestern Corn, Kale and Quinoa Salad will become a new family favorite in no time.

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: make-ahead, meal prep, quinoa, southwestern
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 355 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups kale, destemmed and cut into bite-size pieces
For the dressing:
  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. (I usually put one part quinoa to two parts water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, turn it down to a heavy simmer and let cook with the lid on for about 10 minutes, or until water is absorbed.) Fluff gently with a fork and let cool completely.

  2. Next, you’ll want to cook the peppers (both of them) and the corn. If you have a gas stove, simply cut the stem off of the peppers and hold them over a burner until they are lightly charred. If you have an electric stove, you may have to head to your grill to get that nice looking char. Let cool and then cut one pepper into large chunks and one into a small dice.

  3. For the corn, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and smell caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool. 

  4. The final thing you’ll want to prep before assembling the salad is the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients (including the charred poblano that is in large chunks) in a blender, omitting the olive oil and salt for now. Blend until ingredients are fairly creamy, then start streaming in the olive oil, until you come to a consistency you like. Finally, season with salt. 

  5. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients – quinoa, corn, diced poblano, kale and tomatoes – then pour on dressing and stir to combine. Salad will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator!

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse

These bite-size appetizers feature the best healthy ingredients – ahi, pineapple and avocado – and are both gluten- and dairy-free! 

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse are the perfect healthy appetizer for your next get-together.

If you know me at all, you know that poke is one of my absolute favorite foods, and it seems to be right up there on your list of favorites, too. My Spicy Poke Bowls are the most pinned recipe on this site, after all, and this Spicy Beet Poke has become one of the most-requested dishes from some of my closest friends.

I’ve been dying to share these Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse for MONTHS now, but I wasn’t about to share them when I couldn’t enjoy them (thanks, pregnancy!) Well, let’s just say that now I’m making up for lost time and ahi poke in any way, shape or form has once again become a weekly staple in my diet.

I love these flavorful little bites because they combine so many of my OG foods in one bite – poke, pineapple AND avocado? I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse are both gluten-free and dairy free!

So let’s chat a little bit about the three different components that go into making these tasty appetizers..

The pineapple is the easiest part. I cut into a fresh piña because they are plentiful here in CA even in the winter, but if you live somewhere that’s not the case, you can even use canned slices. The important part is to get the wedges as thin as possible so the juicy pineapple flavor doesn’t overwhelm all of the other deliciousness we’re getting to next.

Speaking of – the next step is perhaps the most important part: the poke! You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so I stuck with the basic recipe I’ve used for the other poke dishes on this site. When I made this dish to photograph I left out the spicy sambal oelek, but I must say that there would be absolutely nothing wrong with adding some in to the mix to give the poke a little extra hit of flavor.

And, the third and final step – avocado mousse! Guys, I don’t know why I’ve never ventured down this path before but I kind of feel like I’ve just opened the door to a whole new world of avocado usage. And it’s so easy! Just take ripe avocado, lemon juice and a touch of salt, throw it all in the food processor and – voila! – the creamiest, fluffiest, avocado-ness you’ve ever tasted.

A tray of Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse is sure to be the star hors d'oeuvres at your next party!

I mean, how can you hate a healthy appetizer that contains THE best healthy ingredients (IMO) on the planet? Pineapple, avocado, ahi – I’m looking at you.

Okay, I have to admit that there is ONE more special touch that I think would really take these Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse over the top…and that special touch comes in the form of CRUMBLED MACADAMIA NUTS. I was seriously kicking myself for not thinking of this before I shot the recipe, so please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sprinkle some over top when you make ‘em. And then invite me over 🙂

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse
Prep Time
25 mins
 

These bite-size appetizers feature the best healthy ingredients - ahi, pineapple and avocado - and are both gluten- and dairy-free!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 292 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the poke:
  • 1.5 pounds sushi-grade ahi
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 of a sweet onion, diced
  • Sambal oelek or sriracha, to taste
All other ingredients:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Add all poke ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Place peeled, ripe avocados, salt and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until no chunks remain. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.

  3. To assemble the bites, scoop a small spoonful of poke onto each pineapple wedge, then pipe a dollop of avocado mousse on top. [And here is where you would also sprinkle on the macadamia nuts if you’re smart enough to use ‘em.] Serve immediately, before the avocado mousse has a chance to brown.