Yes. It's possible. To take a rock solid, frozen ball of delicious. And be ladling it into serving bowls in 58 minutes. You're going to need an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Times and notes below based on Instant Pot DUO, 6 qt. Here's how. ...


Instant Pot Three Bean Chili Recipe ~ From Frozen Solid to Serving Bowls in 58 Minutes and more...

Instant Pot Three Bean Chili Recipe ~ From Frozen Solid to Serving Bowls in 58 Minutes

Yes. It’s possible.

To take a rock solid, frozen ball of delicious.

And be ladling it into serving bowls in 58 minutes. You’re going to need an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Times and notes below based on Instant Pot DUO, 6 qt.

Here’s how.

Step 1 – Fill freezer bag with using, using FreezEasy Bag Holders.

Step 2 – Seal bag and place into round bowl, that is smaller in diameter than your EPC insert.

Step 3 – Place bowl and meal into the freezer and let freeze overnight. Remove bowl once it’s the “frozen ball of delicious” is formed.

(Here is the frozen ball of delicious…in the freezer and ready for quick thawing.)

53 Minutes

Step 4 – When you are ready to make the chili, place it in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to “quick thaw.” This is just to loosen the frozen food from the baggie.

53 Minutes-2

Step 5 – Pull the bag out of the bowl of warm water and open it up. Flip it upside down directly into the EPC insert. Add 1 to 2 cups of water or broth.

53 Minutes-3

Step 5 – Put the lid on and set to Sealing. Push the Bean/Chili button. (Or Manual, High for 30 minutes.)

53 Minutes-4

Step 6 – Wait 23 minutes for it to come to pressure, then wait 30 minutes to finish cooking.

(This is a longer than normal come to pressure time because the meal is frozen. It will be defrosting during the come to pressure phase.)

53 Minutes-5

Step 7 – Quick Release & ladle into bowls and top with favorite toppings.

58 Minutes.

That’s it.

Start to finish. From frozen solid to ladling into bowls.

With about 3 minutes of “hands on time.” Most of the defrosting and reheating happens inside the EPC.

This is why the Instant Pot is getting the reputation of being ‘magical.’

What a gift….this is such a gift for the busy, stressed out home chef!

It really is magical!

{Pin It}

If you want to learn more about electric pressure cooking (EPCing), then please check out my new online class Electric Pressure Cooking 101 (EPC101). You get instant access to the entire class when you signup and you can go through the class online, at your own pace and convenience. Learn more at

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Three Bean & Beef Chili

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes from fresh, 23 minutes from frozen

Cooking Time – 30 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 15 oz. can red kidney beans
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 15 oz. can pinto beans
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, as garnish
  • Crackers or loaf bread, as side dish


  • Pre-brown ground beef in skillet, or brown in the EPC insert using Saute feature.
  • Add all other chili ingredients to EPC Insert of pressure cooker and close the lid.
  • Set to Sealing.
  • Press Beans/Chili. (Or Manual, High, Adjust to 30 minutes.)
  • Release: Quick.
  • Serve Three Bean & Beef Chili with shredded cheese garnish, and crackers or loaf bread.


Are Your Overspending on Groceries Because You’re Making One of These 5 Mistakes?!?


Chances are you’re making 1 or more of these common grocery shopping blunders….and overspending as a result!

I’d love to teach you about these mistakes and what you can do to fix them in my free grocery savings workshop. In the workshop, we will be talking about these mistakes, how to fix them, as well as take a closer look at the different parts and pieces that go into planning your grocery shopping trips (or orders!). When you’ve got all the parts and pieces working together well, the result is that you stop overspending and you start saving big bucks.

If you’d like to sign up (for free!), you can do that here.

The free workshop is happening all this week!

Here’s to spending less in 2017!




15% Off EVERYTHING: Merry Christmas from Zaycon Fresh



HO-HO-HO Merry Christmas from Zaycon Fresh!

You’ve heard me gush about Zaycon Fresh, and I’ll keep gushing about it. Especially when I see these amazing prices. Better than grocery store prices! And amazing quality too!

I love this company, their products and the fact that I can ‘drive through’ on my way home from picking up the boys from school and have 40 lbs. of chicken to prepare and get into the freezer.

To take advantage of this site wide savings:

  • Sign Up for Zaycon Fresh
  • Find a pick-up location near you and select the chicken breasts option
  • Use Code: XMASSALE when you checkout
  • Add reminder to your calendar for your pick-up time and location (don’t worry, they will remind you too!)
  • Deal expires 12/26, so don’t wait in getting your order in!

This code (XMASSALE) will take 15% off order your entire order!!! <—– THAT IS AN AMAZING DEAL!!! (I’ve already signed up for mine!)

Now, while you wait for your chicken to arrive, I HIGHLY recommend getting set up with a MyFreezEasy membership so that you can create/build a meal plan for the 40 lbs. of chicken that will soon be yours!

You will THANK YOURSELF, if you set up all of this chicken (and other meats) you received as meals vs. just throwing it into the freezer without any meal prep. Even if it’s as simple

With the MyFreezEasy membership, you can pick from all of the different chicken meals that we have available – set up your meal plan with your Zaycon order in mind, print out the shopping lists. Then, the day before your Zaycon Fresh order pickup, I would go shopping for the other ingredients you need to make all these chicken meals for your freezer. MyFreezEasy has done all of the work for you!


Save MONEY with the $1.49/lb chicken deal from Zaycon Fresh.

Save TIME with the Meals Plans for Zaycon Fresh from MyFreezEasy!

Save SANITY by doing all the MEAT meal prep and getting your freezer loaded with amazing MyFreezEasy MEAT meals!



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting $5 Dinners & MyFreezEasy!


Give the Gift That Truly Keeps on Giving…MyFreezEasy Membership (and Discount!)


Is there really such a thing as a “gift that keeps on giving”!?!

That’s a good question – and in some cases the answer is YES.

There are gifts that keep on giving. Giving in the form of warm hugs (like a cute little lap dog!). Giving in the form of a beautiful smile (like braces or a retainer or teeth whitener gel). Giving in for the form of saving money or perhaps sanity….

AND…that’s where MyFreezEasy comes to mind.

The reason that I think that a MyFreezEasy membership makes an amazing gift is because it helps in so many ways. It helps you… get organized, put together 10 meals in an hour, and stay ahead of the nightly dinner battle. It helps you free up time, so you can spend it on other important things, like your family and your hobbies. And it helps you spend less money on groceries!

MyFreezEasy will give back time, money you spend on groceries, and will give you all kinds of warm fuzzies…when you get dinner on the table without all the fuss!

If you’re already a member, I’d love for you to consider gifting a membership to a friend.

If you’re not yet a member, I’d love for you to “gift a membership to yourself” (What, I’m the only one who gives themselves gifts during the holidays???), or forward this along with a giant “I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE” to someone who has no idea what to get you! 😉

Special discounts for gifting a MyFreezEasy membership are here >>>>




Erin’s Holiday Gift Guide & 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways (Start Next Week!)

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Ho-ho-ho and happy holidays!

‘Tis the season for yummy cookie making parties, online shopping sprees and Christmas Card preparations! I have some excellent ideas for the busy home chef in your life in my 2016 Gift Guide.

But before we get to those, I wanted to announce that our “12 Days of Christmas Giveaways” will start next week!

We will be giving away MyFreezEasy Annual Memberships, $5 Meal Plan Annual Memberships, Free Registration for my upcoming Grocery Budget Makeover class, goodies from ShopFreezEasy store, Utensi’s Long Handled Wooden Measuring Spoons, my favorite planner and more…

The giveaway fun will begin on December 10th!

Now, back to my 2016 Gift Guide…

I wanted to pull together a few of my favorite things…some my own products and some goodies that I just love and can’t live without in the kitchen and in life. Let’s get to it, shall we?

#1 – FreezEasy’s Freezer Meal Bag Stands


Watch above to see how handy these freezer meal bag stands are for your freezer meal prep!

They are like a second set of hands in the kitchen. Or a third arm. And they are ridiculously helpful when making freezer meals. (As you see in the short video above!)

I use mine for prepping freezer meals, and I also use them for drying baggies that I plan to reuse. I turn them inside out, rinse with hot water, wash with soap and hot water, then hang them over the bag stand (still inside out) to dry. Boom!

(NOTE: I don’t reuse baggies that have had raw meat in them!)

These Freezer Bag Stands are the perfect stocking stuffer.

(And shipping is free!)


Order from ShopFreezEasy here.

#2 Utensi


You’ve heard me talk about these before, and I’m gonna keep talking about them. Because I *heart* them.

I love anything with dual functions…and I love anything that’s cooking related. And I love beautiful wooden spoons, too.

And I especially love these Long Handled Wooden Measuring Spoons from Utensi! 

COUPON CODE: 5DDFAVES  <— use this coupon code to get $5 off each set of spoons you order.


They Measure. They Stir. They are Beautiful. And they are the Perfect Holiday Gift!

Order from Utensi website here.

#3 MyFreezEasy’s Magnetic Dry Erase Planners


Stay organized with your meals.

Don’t forget about the amazing meals you’ve stashed in your freezer.

Have your meal plan on display, and maybe (just maybe!) your kids will stop asking “What’s for DINNER, MOOOOOOM?” 😛

These dry erase fridge magnets are the perfect addition to the fridge of the busy home chef!


Order from ShopFreezEasy here.

#4 Easy Lunchboxes

We pack 3 or 4 of these every day of the week. They have survived the daily bashings that the boys give them. We still have a few from 2 and 3 years ago, that are still going strong!

One note: they are not leakproof, but I don’t send any leaky type foods in their lunchboxes so this has never been an issue for me. They do offer small little dipper containers for sauces-dips-syrups-ketchup, etc. Those are leakproof.

We are big fans of Easy Lunchboxes!

Order from Amazon here.

#5 “E-Lume” Crockpot

I have had this slow cooker for years. I adore it. It cooks perfectly – not too hot and doesn’t dry out meats. It’s programmable (a MUST – do NOT buy a slow cooker with a dial knob!), it has a ceramic insert, and it has a well-temped warm setting.

Order from Amazon here.

#6 The Purposeful Planner


This is my planner. I adore it. You can see how well laid out and simple it is. It has just the right things on each page, for each day…fitness, water, to-do/schedule, dinner. That’s it…that’s all I need. Simple is better.

I use it to plan my freezer meal prep sessions, as well as add meals that are already in the freezer to our meal plan…based loosely on the insanity of each day’s schedule.

Take a look and see if you think the Purposeful Planner will work for you. Then order one from

P.S. I just saw yesterday that the 2017 planners are IN and they are shipping out now!

#7 Instant Pot

Just jump on the Instant Pot train. We are working on some Instant Pot resources, how-tos and meal plans. But in the meantime, watch for some deals, get yours and get started with some simple meals or sides!

Order from Amazon here.

#8 Zaycon Fresh – Bulk Meat Purchases

Shop Now at Zaycon Fresh

Give the gift of meat???

Erin – you’ve lost your mind.

No – no, no I haven’t. Hear me out…

Meat is expensive. It’s certainly the most expensive part of any meal. It’s VERY convenient to get it in bulk (if you have the freezer space). And Zaycon Fresh is my favorite spot for bulk, quality meat orders.

Whether you’re using your holiday gift card $$ to get meat (yes, I have totally done this in the past…I’m treating myself to the convenience of bulk meats and easy meals!), or giving a gift to a son/daughter, niece/nephew…consider the gift of Zaycon Fresh.

Learn more and sign up here. (If you want to order as a gift, consider emailing their team…they are very responsive and will help you out!)

#9 Williams-Sonoma Dish Towels


I gave up paper towels a long time ago. It’s now one of our ongoing family jokes. My dad saw a recent tweet of mine about “7 Paper Products to Stop Buying” and he called me immediately…to tell me he was signing me up for an Amazon Subscribe & Save subscription for paper towels. (He would do that!)

I insisted that he didn’t, because I wouldn’t use them. They just aren’t a part of my “kitchen MO” and maybe you should give them up too.

I have not done a cost and savings analysis, but I know that I have saved hundreds over the years by investing in dish towels. GOOD, QUALITY dish towels.

Like these pictured above from Williams-Sonoma. The price tag might be hard to swallow at first, but if you think about how many paper towel sets that would be, they seem cheap all of a sudden!

2 big sets of paper towels = price of set of W-S towels

W-S towels last forever. I’ve had some last YEARS. Yes, years.

Keep doing the math and all of a sudden paper towels are sounding really expensive.

(As for laundering them, if they aren’t too dirty…they just go in with the jeans or towels or school uniforms. If they are really soiled, then they get their own turn in the washing machine. I do at least a load of laundry every day, so it’s not hard to keep fresh dishtowels in my kitchen.)

Add them to your wishlist, or get some for yourself. They holiday sets are 20% off! (I might have just ordered a set!)

Order from Williams-Sonoma here.

These are my favorite-ist things this year and I hope you found a gift that’s perfect for the busy home chef in your life!

And, stay tuned for our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways coming up soon!

Email subscriptions powered by FeedBlitz, LLC, 365 Boston Post Rd, Suite 123, Sudbury, MA 01776, USA.