Top 10 Make Ahead Freezer Meals
With our 10 best make ahead freezer meals, you’ll love opening that freezer door and knowing that even in busy periods of life, dinner is one thing you’ve got covered.
We get many requests for freezer meal recipes, and for good reason. It makes sense to cook in larger batches and freeze extra so that even during busy times, you won’t have to stress about cooking or resort to less-healthy, more expensive food options.
Cook a bunch of freezer meals over a weekend to get you through any busy period of life, or just pick a few to have on hand during those unexpected moments of chaos. Tweet this tip
Whether you are new to freezer meals or searching for new easy freezer recipes, we’ve got just the thing to ease you into the convenient world of freezer cooking – our Top 10 Freezer Meal Recipes all compiled in one booklet for you to download and print for free!
Top 10 Best Freezer Meals
Our favorite freezer meals are simple and delicious, and will help you get dinner on the table even when life gets busy.
I acknowledge by requesting this info, I'll be added to Cook Smarts' newsletter list. I can unsubscribe at any time.
Why Freezer Cook?
Once you ease into cooking meals specifically for the freezer, you’ll quickly see the benefits of freezer cooking. Here are our top 5 perks of freezer meals:
- Save Money. Freezer meals equate to big grocery savings. Buying meat and produce in bulk for a variety of different meals can reduce costs.
- Save Time. Cooking in larger batches actually saves time because you’re already in the process of doing it. Washing and cooking 2 cups of rice instead of 1 cup takes about the same amount of time.
- Eat Healthy. There will be days when you just don’t feel like cooking. Rather than resort to take-out and other less-healthy options, having freezer meals on hand will ensure that you have healthy dinners to feel good about.
- Reduce Food Waste. Even if you don’t plan ahead to make freezer meals, a lot of foods can be frozen. So if you have leftovers from dinner and won’t be able to finish the leftovers for the week, freezing them eliminates food waste, saves money, and saves you time from making another meal in the future.
- Travel with Ease. Or rather, enjoy a stress-free week when you come back home after traveling. Having freezer meals on hand allows you to catch up on the daily routines in your life while still enjoying healthy, homemade meals. For more tips on make ahead meals before traveling, check out this article here:
Having some pre-cooked meals on hand and a system for remembering what those meals are will come in super handy,… Read more.
Tips for Freezer Cooking
Freezer cooking will benefit anyone, whether you’re cooking for one, a busy parent, someone who wants to find ways to eat healthier, or even someone who wants to bring some healthy pre-made meals to a friend who just had a baby. Freezer meals are great for everyone, and they are very easy to put together, especially if you follow these tips!
1. Increase Your Freezer Knowledge
Knowing which foods you can and cannot freeze will help freezer cooking come together smoothly and efficiently. After all, properly freezing and storing foods means a longer shelf life and less food wasted. You can learn more about freezing with our Ultimate Guide to Frozen Food Storage here:
2. Plan Ahead
All you need to stock your freezer is to plan ahead. Knowing what you are cooking ahead of time will streamline your grocery shopping process as well as ensure that you have everything you need to cook healthy freezer meals. We love to do the planning for you with our meal plan service (where we include all the meals and foods you can freeze in every meal plan), but if you want to try meal planning yourself, you can learn more about our Meal Planning Toolkit here.
As we mentioned earlier, we’ve curated some of our most popular recipes and revised them with instructions for freezing and reheating. While we love a classic freezer-friendly casserole, our Top 10 Freezer Meals includes the following recipes that really make you look forward to quick, delicious, and healthy freezer meals:
- Slow-Cooker Mexican Meatballs
- Pizza with Spinach-Artichoke Sauce
- Cream-Free Chowder with Rotisserie Chicken
- Spinach Calzones with Homemade Marinara
- Shepherd’s Pie with Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
- Lamb & Feta Burgers with Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Walnut Pesto
- Japanese Chicken Curry with Rice
- Breakfast Burritos with Roasted Paprika Potatoes
- Rotisserie Chicken Pot Pie
- Slow-Cooker Chili
There’s a little something for everyone and plenty of variety to keep weeknight dinners fun and exciting. Not only will you find step-by-step instructions for 10 of our favorite freezer meals, but we’ve given you bonus tips and tricks for insuring that your meals freeze and reheat perfectly every time.
3. Invite a Friend
One of our favorite things to do when stocking the freezer is to make it fun. Invite a friend or two, share recipes, shop together, and spend an afternoon cooking and packing up your freezer meals together. (Tweet this tip)
You can even consider splitting up the freezer bounty at the end of the day for more variety! Not only will it make the process enjoyable, but you’ll be able to celebrate together when you have those weeknight victories of quick, healthy, homemade dinners.
We hope these 10 make ahead freezer recipes are what you need to enjoy healthy, homemade, and quick dinners whenever life gets busy. What are your favorite freezer cooking tips and recipes? Let us know in the comments!
For more helpful cooking tips and resources, sign up for our newsletter below. We send out weekly emails that will help you improve in the kitchen and live a healthier life, so join our community today and start cooking smarter!
Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated with new and helpful resources.