Today I am sharing my best freezer meals. These are the meals that I make double batches of so that I can put one in the freezer for a busy day. Knowing I have some meals that are in the freezer and ready to go gives me some peace of mind.
Tips for Preparing Freezer Meals:
As a general rule, I don’t freeze any meals that have a cream sauce. Cream sauces can separate when they thaw out. Soups and casseroles hold up well in the freezer and reheat perfectly. For casseroles that have a sauce, I recommend adding a bit extra. Once frozen, the meal will need to cook for longer and adding extra sauce prevents it from drying out. For a standard sized casserole I add about 1/3 cup extra sauce (tomato sauce, salsa, enchilada sauce, etc).
I try to keep about 5 meals in my freezer at a time. We bought a chest freezer to store breastmilk, and now we are keeping it to store ready to go meals and extra ice cream. I keep the freezer stocked by making a double batch of a meal on a weekend. This allows me to slowly build a stash of meals without creating too much work for myself.
The Best Freezer Meals:
When I make this lasagna, I make a triple batch. We eat one for dinner right away and two go into the freezer. I love this recipe because it is loaded with veggies which gives the meal a lighter taste than other lasagnas. The secret ingredients are a couple layers of shaved zucchini, some grated carrots, and some finely chopped bell pepper. The final two vegetables are spinach and tomato, which you expect to find in a lasagna. If you want to make it a bit heartier, you could use a bolognese sauce instead of a marinara.
I recommend using fresh lasagna sheets since they don’t need to be boiled and can be added straight to the lasagna. Assemble the lasagna but don’t bake it. Put it right into the freezer. Once you want to cook it, bake it for about 45-60 minutes, keeping it covered so that the top doesn’t burn. We love this recipe and I hope you do too.
My recipe for Brisket Enchiladas is pictured above but all types of enchiladas do well in the freezer. Just like the lasagna, you want to assemble the enchiladas but don’t bake them until you want to eat them. If I don’t want to make enchilada sauce I use O Organics Green Chile Sauce – it is a great timesaver.
Taco pie is made with layers of tortillas, salsa, black beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, and meat. I usually prepare this recipe with shredded chicken or ground beef. Taco night leftovers can easily be repurposed into this meal.
Chili is one of my favorite comfort food meals. Instead of using ground beef, I prefer to use chopped steak to make chili. It gets so tender and I think it gives the meal a better taste. Chili can be enjoyed on its own, or scooped on top of a baked potato or macaroni and cheese.
Bolognese can be used to make so many meals, which is why it is a great thing to keep in your freezer. FYI – I freeze bolognese in plastic containers, not in glass jars as pictured.
You can make this recipe with either turkey or chicken – my family always makes it after Thanksgiving. This is a versatile recipe that can be adjusted to include your favorite veggies.
I always have a few pot pies in my freezer. Instead of making these, I buy the Bang Bang Pie Shop Chicken Pot Pies and Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies from Foxtrot. You might want to check you local bakery to see if they sell frozen pot pies – many do and keeping a couple in your freezer comes in handy when life gets busy. Plus, they make great meals to offer to a babysitter if we have someone watching Gwen in the evening.
Just heat this up, make a grilled cheese, and you have the ultimate comfort food meal. My go-to tomato soup recipe is this Herb Roasted Tomato Soup recipe, roasting the tomatoes adds a depth of flavor. This is a low fat vegetarian recipe that doesn’t contain any cream or dairy so it freezes well.
This hearty Italian vegetable soup is thickened with bread. It’s the perfect meal for a super cold Chicago night.
Which meals do you keep in your freezer? Do you have a strategy for building a freezer stash? Share in the comments!