Step away from the casseroles! Whether you are asking your friends and family to help stock your freezer, doing it for yourself or someone else — casseroles and one-pot meals are generally the go-to meal. But eating a casserole day after day (no matter how delicious), is a bit much. However, if you like variety in your meals (who doesn’t?), you will be thrilled to know there are tons of freezer-friendly meals to keep you in easy dinner mode for weeks.
So, what should you look for in a freezer meal?
- Ideally, a meal that needs little to no extra cooking — other than reheating the dish once thawed. Both rice and pasta freeze well so they can be included in the freezable meal, or cooked fresh with the thawed meal. Salads can be thrown together in the moment to accompany a meal, but really we are after simplicity. Remove from the freezer, thaw, reheat, and eat. Minimal effort, tasty food.
- A variety of flavours and cuisines without needing to completely replenish your pantry, and an easy-to-assemble recipe, eating from your freezer should be tasty!
- Recipes that are fairly simple are necessary too, prepping your food to freeze should not need a ten-hour session toiling over the stove.
- Good quality freezer storage is important, with no leaking and easy to stack. Glass food storage, such as pyrex, can also be placed straight in an oven, making the whole experience even more seamless. Strong freezer bags for sauces often help to squeeze them into tricky spaces. If there is some structure needed for the meals, then containers are the way forward. Here are some links if you need to stock up!
- And lastly—labels! Meals can be left for 2-3 months in the freezer, any longer than that is not recommended. So either with a dry erase pen (this can be used on plastic and glass containers) or a sticky label, it’s helpful to have the date it was made and a short description. An itemised list on your fridge (or on your phone!) of what meals you place in the freezer and on what date could be helpful as well, eliminating any need to rummage in the freezer every day.
Let’s get to the meals! Here’s some delicious inspiration:
A delicious and flavourful meal. Substitute the Andouille sausage for a milder version if you prefer a less spicy option and shrimp can be added too. All cooked in one pot and it only requires one container per meal!
A yummy noodle and veg meal with plenty of flavour and nutrients. This recipe helpfully gives vegan and vegetarian modifications and a couple of tips too. Make the peanut topping day of, for the freshest taste.
This is an excellent meal if you have any leftover rotisserie or roast chicken, any cooked chicken really! Also with enchiladas, other recipes will suggest that you can freeze them before baking, making a shorter prep time.
A super simple recipe and quickly prepped! When it’s time to reheat it, grab your favourite bread and enjoy this nutty, warming soup.
This purple soup is such a beautiful dish. If you haven’t heard of Borscht, it’s a Ukrainian soup packed with nutritious lentils, beets and kale. Easy to prep and easy to store, just maybe don’t prep it in your favourite white sweater! An apron or an old shirt is recommended unless you fancy an unusual dyeing project!
A nutritious twist on a classic, adapt to suit your mac ‘n’ cheese preferences! Add sausage, cauliflower, bacon, chicken, whatever you fancy. Another meal that can be stored in one container per meal portion.
This curry is made with potatoes in it, so it can be a full nutritional meal served by itself or you could freeze rice separately to go alongside it. It can be made with a cheaper cut of beef that grows more tender with cooking and the spice is adjustable.
Stuffed pasta shells may be less simple than other recipes on this list but the variety of flavours and filling options means that it is a great starting point for creating a personalised flavoured meal. The recipe offers plenty of inspiration and helpful tips to get your choice just right.
This meal is so simple but tasty! Serve with a salad and/or some hummus and tzatziki for a filling and flavourful meal. The recipe gives very clear freezing instructions and recommends storing in a freezer bag!
Another traditional meal, but with options for the meat filling. Fill with your favourite veg, replace the ground meat with your preferred plant-based protein, and make this meal your own!
The hardest thing about prepping these meals is going to be that you may want to eat them right away rather than storing them in the freezer or delivering them to a friend… However, if you manage to resist the temptation to eat them all in one go, freezer meals hopefully will become a highlight of your week!
Want some more recipe ideas? Check out this blog post.