Freezing leftovers is a great way to ensure food doesn’t go to waste. It’s also a great way to be prepared for busy weeknights! You know, the nights where we’ve completely exhausted ourselves to the point where cooking food feels like torture? Today we’re going to show you how to freeze your leftovers so that it can be effortlessly reheated in the Instant Pot. Follow along for full instructions on how to reheat almost anything in your IP!

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1. Freeze Leftovers

Before we reheat the leftovers in the Instant Pot we’re going to touch on a couple of key points you’ll want to remember. If you’re planning on reheating your leftovers in the Instant Pot ensure that you freeze them in a container that fits comfortably in your Instant Pot. We found that a 7 inch round container fits perfectly in our 6 Quart Duo Instant Pot. Keep in mind if you’re reheating using the pot in pot method you’ll want to freeze your leftover in a glass container, otherwise, you’ll have to transfer the contents later.

2. Reheating Leftovers That Contain at Least 1 Cup of Liquid

There are two different ways to reheat leftovers. First, if your leftovers contain at least 1 cup of liquid such as soup, stews, etc., be sure to follow this method. You’ll want to start by turning on the saute mode. Drop the food from the container into the Pot. If it does not come out easily, simply run the sides of the container under hot water until it releases. Once in the pot, saute for about 5 minutes and then turn the saute mode off. Sauteing should create a bit of liquid which be used to steam the rest of the dish.

3. Reheating Leftovers That are Thick in Consistency

In contrast, if your leftovers are thick (such as pasta dish) or if they contain dairy, you’ll want to use the pot in pot method. Today, we’re reheating our Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole and because it’s thick in consistency and contains dairy we’re choosing to use this method. We froze the leftovers in a glass round container so that we didn’t need to switch containers. However, if you forget, simply run the side of your container in hot water until you’re able to release into a glass container. Next, cover the bowl with tinfoil. The bowl will need to sit on the trivet so you can go ahead and add that next. Be sure to add 1 cup of water to the pot and then place your leftovers in the Instant Pot.

4. Steam & Natural Release

Regardless of what method you have chosen to use you’ll need to lid the pot and seat the valve to “sealing”. We’re going to reheat the leftovers on the steam mode HIGH for 18-20 minutes. Keep in mind this doesn’t account for the time the pots needs to come to pressure. We found that our 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo took 11 minutes to come to pressure. Also note, if you’ve doubled a recipe and the leftovers quantity is quite high, simply increase the cooking time by 5 minutes. Lastly, allow a natural release of 10 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure.


5. Stir & Serve!

Open the lid and carefully lift the bowl out of the pot. We highly recommend using oven mitts as the bowl will be quite hot. Remove the foil and stir the contents. Be sure to serve it hot!

Servings: N/A


  • One 7” round Tupperware container or square Tupperware filled with frozen leftovers (we froze our green bean casserole)


  • Instant Pot


  • If leftovers have at least 1 cup of liquid in them: Turn Instant Pot to Saute mode. Drop your food from the container into the Instant Pot. If it’s not coming out easily, run the sides under hot water to release the food. Saute for 5 minutes and then turn the Saute mode off. This should create the liquid you need to steam the rest of the dish.
  • If you’re reheating food that doesn’t contain a lot of liquid (like pasta dishes) or your leftovers contain dairy: Place leftovers in a glass bowl and cover with tin foil. If you’ve frozen the leftovers in a glass container, there’s no need to switch containers. Add 1 cup of water and the trivet to the Instant Pot before placing the bowl in.
  • Regardless of what method you’ve just used, lid the pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook on STEAM mode HIGH for 18-20 minutes.
  • Once cook time has elapsed, allow for a 10-minute natural release before quick releasing any remaining pressure and opening the lid.
  • Give the food a stir and serve hot!


It took our 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 11 minutes to come to pressure, but the time will vary depending on the size and model of your pot, as well as what type of leftovers you are reheating.

Be sure to choose a container that you know fits comfortably in your Instant Pot. You generally want at least half an inch of room on all sides of the dish.

These are the instructions for reheating if your recipe is already fully cooked, meaning these are not instructions for a freezer dump meal.

If you’ve doubled a recipe and the quantity of leftover is quite high, increase the time by 5-7 minutes.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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