Leftovers From Thanksgiving: Risotto Freezer Meals

Leftovers from Thanksgiving Make Great Freezer Meals

The last of the feast crumbs have all been cleared from the table and you have made the soup and the burritos with the Thanksgiving leftovers.  Friends came over and shared the famous Thanksgiving sandwich with a recap of ups and downs of their Thanksgiving. It was delicious and indulgent and now no one wants another bite of anything Thanksgiving except maybe one more sliver of pie. The solution is to make an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker risotto and turn it into a freezer meal for when you crave Thanksgiving leftovers all over again.  The truth is I hate leftovers, but I also hate waste.  The solution is to save the leftovers for another day.  I may enjoy them a few days later or I’ll freeze them for a few weeks later.  The best kind of freezer meals in the winter is comfort food like this risotto.

Risotto made with an Instant Pot for Thanksgiving leftovers freezer meals.
Add all the leftovers to this quick and easy Instant Pot risotto and you can make freezer meals to enjoy this winter.


Make the risotto quickly and easily with that Instant Pot you just got this weekend! Once the risotto has cooled you can add in whatever you’d like: leftover turkey, leftover green bean casserole, leftover squash.  The risotto is then ready to be packed up in freezer quality plastic bags or airtight containers.  Pop it in the microwave for a work lunch in December or a late night dinner after a Nutcracker show.  You can make this gluten-free and vegetarian by not adding any meat to the risotto and using vegetable stock instead of chicken or turkey. If you have some vegetarians in the family and other omnivores, just make two versions of the mixture and be sure to label the freezer containers carefully.


Risotto made in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot is quick and easy. This version of risotto has all the flavours of Thanksgiving and can be used as an alternative to stuffing for gluten-free diners. It can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken or turkey stock.

Cook Time:20 min
Prep Time:15 min
Total Time:35 min
Category:appetizer, entree
Cuisine:Italian, American
Yield:6 servings
Method:Pressure Cooker
1. In a presssure cooker, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbs butter. Add shallots/onions, carrots, celery and saute until shallots/onions are translucent.

2. Add rice and stir until rice is coated with oil.

3. Add chicken broth and Bell's Seasoning.

4. Cover and cook under high pressure for 7 minutes.

5. Release pressure (quick release) and add remaining 2 TBS of butter. Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

6. If the rice still has a little bite to it continue cooking under high pressure for 2 more minutes.

7. Cut the turkey, green beans, squash into smaller bite size pieces.

8. Allow the risotto to cool and then stir in the Thanksgiving leftovers.

9. If you made the risotto with vegetable stock, keep meat out of the mixture for a vegetarian version.

* 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
* 3 shallot or 2 small onion, minced
* 2 carrots, diced
* 1 stalk of celery, finely minced
* 1 1⁄2 cups  arborio rice
* 4 cups  low sodium chicken broth (Can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock or "no chicken" broth here.)
* 1 -1 1⁄2 cups fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
* 2 Tablespoons of Bell's Seasoning
* Thanksgiving leftovers
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