Dinner in a Jar (the perfect gift)

I thought long and hard about a perfect gift for my girls. They are so busy and the dreaded question, “what’s for dinner?” always lingers at the end of the day.  My daughter gets home from work after dark, builds a fire in the wood burning stove and walks the dogs before hubby gets home. After all of that, cooking is hard. My daughter-in-law has two little ones all day long. All moms with young children are exhausted at the end of the day. 

What could be more perfect than pouring “dinner in a jar” into the instant pot and pressing a button at the end of a long, hard day?

I went through my recipes and converted the instructions to be used in their instant pots. “Dinner in a jar” could also be used for crockpot cooking.

It was a little overwhelming in the beginning when I was making out my grocery list. When I started putting ingredients in jars, my table looked like this. But it was fun layering food in the jars. I think they are beautiful!

This is Three Bean Chipotle Chili Mix.  It includes beans and spices. It is ready to add meat and tomatoes. Note: I precook a large portion of meat at a time, divide it into meal size portions, freeze it for later use. This makes cooking dinner a breeze, at the end of the day.

This recipe came out of a great book, Gifts from a Jar: Soups, Chilis & More.

This recipe is Ultimate Veggie Soup Mix. Just add water and (optional) meat and a few of your favorite vegetables. Here is a tip that I learned along the way. Put smaller ingredients on the bottom and larger ones on the top. As you can see in the jar on the left, the orange colored lentils are sifting towards the bottom. The jar on the right has a prettier display. 

Nutty Orzo and Brown Rice Pilaf Mix has dehydrated vegetables, spice, and chicken broth. I included instructions to cook it in the Instant Pot. Add a meat and dinner is on the table!

I think my girls are going to love “dinner in a jar”!

Turkey Teriyaki over Quinoa


1 pound ground turkey, cooked.

1/2 small onion, chopped 

1 cup sugar snap peas, cut off ends

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Teriyaki sauce (mix first):

1/2 cup soy sauce (Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

2 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

5 tablespoons organic coconut sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground ginger 

Teriyaki sauce (mix second):

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup water

Quinoa (desired amount using measurements of manufacturer’s directions).


Chop onion, sugar snap peas, and bell pepper. Set aside.

Cook ground turkey on stove top and when it is finished, set aside.

While turkey is cooking, add desired amount of quinoa to instant pot and double the amount of water (one part quinoa and two parts water). High pressure for 1 minute on with the lid in the sealed position. Natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Set aside and cover with lid to keep warm.

Clean instant pot. Add 1 cup of water to the instant pot. Place steam rack with handles in bottom. In a bowl add onions, sugar snap peas, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Layer and add a second bow (on top) with cooked turkey. Lightly cover with parchment paper or foil. Cook in instant pot for 2 minutes on high pressure (with the lid in the sealed position). Natural pressure release for 10 minutes.

In sauce pan on stove top, mix ingredients in “first mix” of teriyaki sauce. Stir frequently. 

In a bowl, mix ingredients in “second mix” of teriyaki sauce to dissolve. Then add to the first mixture and stir constantly until desired thickness.

Remove turkey and vegetables from instant pot and drain any liquid off. Place in large bowl.

Pour teriyaki sauce over turkey and vegetables and stir well.

Serve over quinoa.

Enjoy this delicious and healthy meal!