These freezer meals will revolutionize your meal prepping! From recipes to reheating, this list has everything you need to stock your freezer.
There’s nothing like coming home to a warm meal. But not everyone has time to cook, which is why you need these recipes.
Make-ahead dishes take the guesswork out of making dinner and help you plan your week.
The list includes soups, proteins, casseroles, and bakes galore. There are options for breakfast and lunch, too!
So ditch those store-bought freezer meals and whip up these instead.
What Are Freezer Meals?
Freezer meals are exactly like they sound. These are make-ahead, freezer-friendly entrees.
It’s the same concept as a store-bought meal you get from the frozen food aisle. The difference is, you make them yourself.
You can make a day out of it and do your meal prep in bulk. Or, plan on freezing leftovers for later by doubling a recipe.
Either way, they’re a lifesaver for when you’re short on time. They’re also great for those times you just don’t have the energy to cook.
What Are the Best Foods to Freeze?
Some foods freeze better than others. You can reheat them without significantly changing the flavor or texture.
Here’s a list of some of the top freezer-friendly foods:
- Cooked pasta
- Cooked rice
- Hard and semi-hard cheese
What Foods Don’t Freeze Well?
There are also foods you shouldn’t freeze. These are usually foods with a high water content. They turn mushy once defrosted.
Here’s a list of some foods to avoid freezing:
- Whole eggs with the shell
- Sour cream
- Some fresh herbs
- Fried foods
- Soft cheeses
- Mayo-based foods
How Long Do Freezer Meals Last?
As a general rule, freezer meals last for about 3 months. It depends on what you’re making and how well you prepare it for freezing.
Past the 90-day mark, the quality begins to decline. There’s also the dreaded freezer burn that’s bound to set in.
Ideally, eat your meals within 1 to 2 months. The sooner you finish them, the better the quality.
How to Thaw and Heat Freezer Meals
The best thawing method is to let freezer meals defrost in the fridge overnight.
At the 24-hour mark, most meals have fully thawed out. Alternatively, you can thaw food in the microwave. Be sure to use the defrost setting and check the food intermittently.
Also, mind your containers. Some are not microwave-friendly. And you should never microwave things like aluminum. The last thing you want is to melt plastic or start a fire!
For reheating, use the oven, stove, or microwave. All three methods work. It’s merely a matter of the dish, preference, and time.
For instance, the oven is great for reheating thick meals like lasagna. The stove is best for brothy soups, and the microwave is ideal for anything quick.
All reheating times will vary depending on the food. But here are some general guidelines to follow.
Reheating freezer meals in the oven:
- Set the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check the food about every 5 minutes until heated thoroughly.
Reheating freezer meals on the stove:
- Place your food in a pan or pot.
- Reheat your food on low to medium-low heat. Stir it frequently until it reaches the desired temperature.
Reheating freezer meals in the microwave:
- Place your meal in a microwave-friendly container.
- Heat and stir (to avoid hotspots) for 1-minute intervals until it’s fully heated.
Easy Freezer Meal Recipes
To kick off our freezer meal journey is this Greek chicken. It’s a nutritious, affordable, and scrumptious option requiring less than 10 ingredients. And it’s super convenient. You freeze the whole meal and bake it on a sheet pan. So even cleanup is a breeze.
Who knew Greek chicken and fork-tender potatoes could make healthy eating so easy?
A hearty beef stew is the cozy winter warmer you need on a frigid day.
The tender chuck and veggies meld with tomato juice. High in protein, vitamins, and minerals, it’s one nourishing meal.
You only need six ingredients! Well, make that seven. You need some crusty bread to sop up every drop.
Lasagna is one of those meals the whole family can agree on. But making it from scratch when everyone is starving isn’t ideal. So cut down on the wait time and turn it into a make-ahead dinner instead.
Layered with sausage, mushrooms, marinara, and cheese, it always hits the spot!
Have a hankering for chicken pot pie without the fuss? Don’t hit up the grocery store frozen food aisle just yet!
With just 10 minutes of prep time, you can throw together this savory delight. It’s very freezer-friendly and keeps well for months.
The next time you want a flavorful chicken filling with a buttery crust, it’ll be waiting.
Soups are a great frozen meal to keep on hand. You’ll love this big batch tortilla soup.
Shredded chicken, black beans, jalapenos, and veggies are bobbing in a flavorful tomato chicken broth.
Add the tortilla strips and toppings right before serving. The freezer will change their texture.
Meatloaf is a timeless classic that screams comfort food. And this one would make grandma proud!
There’s a white bread bottom and barbecue sauce topping. Resting in between is a thick loaf of juicy ground beef.
Bake one tonight and make a few extra to freeze. It’s an inexpensive entree to feed the whole family.
Looking for a family-style Italian dish that doesn’t include pasta? Chicken Parmesan casserole tops the list.
It’s a favorite in my household and has all the flavors you crave. The chicken gets smothered in marinara and cheese with a herby breadcrumb topping.
Not only is it easy, but it’s also a pasta-free meal the kids will eat.
How can anyone say no to a ravioli casserole, especially when it’s smothered in three types of cheese?
The pillowy stuffed pasta is heavenly already. Add the extra toppings, and it’s an irresistible meal the family will adore.
Another freeze-worthy family-friendly pasta dinner is baked spaghetti. The chicken and veggie spaghetti filling is hiding under a golden brown cheese crust.
Sure, pasta is already quick and easy. But for those nights you’d rather heat and eat, you’ll be happy you prepped this.
My family loves this easy pasta bake. And so do I because it’s super freezer-friendly.
It comes with rigatoni, chicken, veggies, and mozzarella. The creamy rose sauce is an extra special touch.
Everyone loves mac and cheese! Unfortunately, not everyone has time to make it from scratch. But don’t resort to the boxed stuff just yet. Instead, keep a batch in the freezer.
The tender pasta smothered in a creamy cheese sauce is seriously the best. And homemade is even better!
For brunches, potlucks, or family dinners, this casserole is great any time of day. It freezes well and it’s super inexpensive to make.
The bottom is a savory mix of ground beef, cheddar, and cream of mushroom soup. On top, you get a whole layer of crunchy tots sprinkled with cheese.
Even picker eaters will devour this dish.
Add these chicken enchiladas to your meal prep day.
All the mixing and rolling is a bit time-consuming. But when you make it in advance, you reap the rewards when hunger strikes.
Speaking of reward, these enchiladas will make your tastebuds happy. The corn tortillas are overflowing with chicken, cheese, and a creamy white sauce.
If you’re not freezing your meatballs, it’s time to start.
Ground beef is a very economical meat. So these aren’t expensive to make. Plus, there are so many things you can do with frozen meatballs.
Subs, sliders, pasta, and soups are just the start.
I always keep a batch of these burritos on hand. And you should too for so many reasons.
First, they’re easy. Second, they’re portable. Third, they’re healthier than takeout and freeze well, too.
Seasoned ground beef, rice, bell peppers, and onions are just the base. Customize them any way you like.
Have you tried making pizza pockets from scratch? It takes these nostalgic bites to another level!
It doesn’t require a ton of work or ingredients either. You just need pizza dough, marinara, cheese, and add-ins of choice.
Make a batch and stash them in the freezer. The next time you feel a snack attack coming on, you’ll be ready.
Mexican meets Italian in this tasty food mashup. Jumbo pasta shells get stuffed with shredded chicken, black beans, and veggies. When it’s time to eat, smother them with salsa and cheese.
It’s the ideal solution when you’re craving Mexican and Italian food, but can’t decide between them.
These stuffed peppers will be a hit! Each one is overflowing with ground beef, rice, corn, black beans, and spices. To seal in all that goodness, they’re topped with shredded cheese.
They require less than 10 ingredients and they’re customizable.
You can use a different protein like ground turkey. Or reduce the carbs and use quinoa instead of rice.
Comforting soups are excellent to keep on hand, and this one is a must. Thick and creamy, it features potatoes, cheese, and bacon in a creamy base.
There’s also a secret ingredient hiding in the mix. Want to know what it is? It’s Creole seasoning. The extra dose of spice does wonders for the soup.
Another soup I keep in the freezer is this chicken noodle soup. Simple, economical, and big batch-friendly, it’s perfect for freezing.
The juicy chicken breast comes in a light broth with tender noodles and veggies.
It’s a fuss-free meal when you’re too sick to cook. And it’s a healthy option when you want a warm bowl of nourishing comfort food.
Perhaps you picked up some meat on sale and want to use it up. Or maybe you’re planning ahead and lightening your holiday spread to-do list. Either way, freezing this main course is a great solution.
Prepared with carrots, potatoes, onions, and seasonings, this chuck roast kit is a complete meal. And it’s an incredibly delicious one at that!
There’s nothing quite like a hearty shepherd’s pie on a wintery day. It’s the epitome of coziness all bundled up into one dish.
You get a savory meaty filling and a topping of mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese.
Make one to freeze and one to eat. The next time it’s too cold to go out, you can happily dine in.
Stock your freezer with these chicken tenders. They’re far fresher than store-bought and just as good to keep on hand. And they only take six ingredients to make.
Freezer chicken tenders are a quick meal for hungry bellies. And they’re picky-eater approved, as a bonus.
Make any night taco night with chicken tinga! The tender meat melds with a saucy mix of tomatoes, chipotle in adobo sauce, and cumin. With all the flavors happening, it’s anything but boring.
Thanks to the prepped protein, you can cut down the workload in half. So all you have to worry about is throwing together your taco toppings.
Have some last-minute company joining you for dinner? Fret not! Just take this dish out of the freezer. It’s overflowing with pasta, ground chicken, ground beef, red sauce, and cheese. It’s a very hearty dish that feeds a crowd.
Plus, it can go from frozen to hot in about an hour. So you have time to do the mad dash of sprucing up the house.
Another thing to add to the must-freeze list is this hearty chili. Comforting and flavor-packed, it’s a wholesome meal everyone will love.
It’s full of lean ground turkey, beans, squash, tomatoes, and more.
I recommend making a big batch and dividing it into portions. Then, you won’t have to defrost the whole thing.
Having a protein like these pork chops on hand is always a great idea. You can turn them into a quick homestyle dinner with some easy sides.
Garlic, lemon, and basil give the meat such a bright flavor. Toss them on the grill, and the smokiness adds another layer of goodness.
Pair these pork chops with a couscous salad, mashed potatoes, or grilled veggies.
Pasta bakes are incredibly freezer-friendly. So here’s another I think you’ll love.
The dish tastes like a deconstructed lasagna with a twist. There are layers of egg noodles, ground beef, red sauce, and cheese. The surprise is the noodles get smothered with a creamy sour cream mixture.
It’s seriously one cozy dish!
Did you get some ground turkey on sale? Don’t just stash it in the freezer. Turn it into Sloppy Joes first. It’s a comforting classic and is also freezer-friendly.
All the spices and condiments take this grade school dish to new heights. It’s healthier, better tasting, and waiting for you to heat and eat.
One last meal I have to mention is broccoli and rice casserole. It’s another classic to feed the family on a budget.
The rice, chicken, and broccoli get smothered in two types of cream soups. There’s also a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
It’s a well-balanced freezer meal great for any night of the week.
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