Happy Monday! I’m back today with another easy lunch or dinner that can be prepped ahead for the week. I bought an Instant Pot last year, and up until a month ago had only used it to make spaghetti squash – not even kidding. I would just always forget about it, and use my slow-cooker instead.
I finally used the Instant Pot to make shredded chicken last week, and it took all of twenty minutes. My mind was blown, you guys. Why have I waited so long for this? Shredded chicken in the crock, Instant Pot, however else you’d like to make it – is great for meal prepping. You can toss into salad, rice bowls, cauliflower bowls, sandwiches; anything you want really!
I decided to make Quinoa Bowls this week. If you’re going low-carb, or paleo you can omit the quinoa, and use cauliflower or spaghetti squash, instead. I made homemade pesto (recipe below), but if you want to use store-bought, there’s no judgement here. Most jarred pestos are healthy enough.
I mixed my Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl with cauliflower crumbles, green beans, and a few bursting cherry tomatoes in balsamic. It was easy to prep the quinoa, and veggies while my chicken cooked for twenty minutes. There is a ton of flavor in this bowl, and I know I’ll enjoy them all week long for lunches – that’s my main goal these days is just getting myself back into the routine of meal prepping. It’s so easy, but before you begin, it’s a pain in the ass to think about, which is silly because really once you commit to it, it really takes no time at all. #liveandlearn
But really, I’m so glad I prepped these over the weekend. Yesterday, I spent the day exploring Tampa Bay with friends, and didn’t give myself time to prep. If I hadn’t done so on Saturday, I can guarantee you I’d skip lunch today, OR run out and pick something up quickly that I could shove into my mouth between conference calls. So in the end, yes, meal prepping IS worth it. Though, these Pesto Chicken Bowls are great for dinner as well!
The recipe below is for using an Instant Pot. If you don’t have one, you can make in the slow-cooker, and cook low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours. This is a similar recipe, if you’d like something concrete to follow for cooking, and prep times.
What are you prepping this week? I’d love to know for meal prep inspo!
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Cost for this entire meal: $12.67
Per Serving: $3.17
- Homemade Pesto
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Chicken Bowl
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup pesto sauce (recipe above for homemade)
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup cauliflower crumbles (optional)
- 1 cup any veggies you’d like to mix in
- Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running to pulse, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
- Add chicken breast to Instant Pot. Season chicken on both sides with spices. Top with pesto, and butter.
- Cover and press the “poultry” button then add 5 minutes to cook the chicken for a total of 20 minutes.Once the Instant Pot releases the pressure, put the chicken onto a plate and use two forks to shred.
- While chicken is cooking, make 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions.
- Divide 4 bowls and add quinoa, and chicken equally (should get approx 4 ounces of chicken per bowl), and top with any additional veggies you desire.
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I have actually never had quinoa, it’s super intimidating to me.
I only just started cooking quinoa about a year ago. Before that, I only ate brown rice, which you could totally substitute in this bowl. But quinoa takes 15 minutes to make, and it’s not as scary as you think!
YUM! You had me at quinoa and garlic <3