Monday, July 29, 2013

60+ Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

For as long as I can remember, I've been doubling meals and freezing them for nights when I don't feel like cooking. I tuck leftovers into the freezer on a regular basis to see how they handle being reheated after freezing. If a meal reheats nicely and tastes as good as the day I first made it, it is on this list. Soups are a staple in my freezer. I regularly keep at least a dozen portion-sized containers of soup in the freezer, so that I can toss one in my husband's lunch on days when there aren't enough leftovers from dinner the previous night.

One thing that I frequently receive requests for is for meals that can be made in advance. Whether the meal is for a special occasion, to take to a friend, for while you are under the weather or just to get everyone fed while you run kids all over town at night; having some meals stashed in the freezer for those busy nights helps keep dinner time easy and stress free.

I've added freezer tips to the bottom of every recipe in this list. Some of the meals below are cooked first and then frozen, some are frozen first and then cooked. However you make them, hopefully these recipes will make meal planning easier. These are all meals that I've made repeatedly and they all qualify as kid-approved favorites in our house.

Black Bean, Beef and Corn Taco Nachos
Crock-Pot Green Chile Pulled Pork
Chipotle Chicken and Rice (my version of Arroz con Pollo)
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Southwestern Chicken Mexican Lasagna
Chicken, Fresh Corn and Three Bean Enchiladas
Mexican Lasagna
Chicken and Bean Burritos
Crock-Pot Chicken Fajitas
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Green Chile Enchiladas
Spicy Mexican Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce
Spicy Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken
Saucy Asian Meatballs
Sriracha Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry
Spicy Chicken and Bacon Stir Fry
Chicken Enchilada Dip
Mojo Chicken - In The Oven or In the Crock-Pot
Beer and Garlic Marinade for Chicken
Lemon Lime Herbed Chicken Marinade
Italian Red Wine Pork Roast - Crock-Pot or Oven
Italian Herb and Parmesan Meatballs
Spicy Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
Spicy Italian Bell Pepper and Onion Skillet
Layered Cabbage Rolls
BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Beef and Black Bean Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Sweet and Tangy Crockpot Pulled Pork

Southwestern Three Bean Soup
Creamy White Chicken Chili
Spicy Five Bean Chili with Steak and Sausage
Southwest Chicken Soup - Crockpot or Stovetop
Italian Vegetable Soup
Sweet and Spicy Italian Jack Chili
Spicy Southwest Turkey and Four Bean Soup 
White Bean and Ham Soup - On the Stove or In the Crockpot
Hearty Italian Beef and Vegetable Stew
Taco Soup
Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Simple Enchilada Soup with Chicken or Turkey
Ranch Style Chicken and Bean Soup
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup
Rustic Vegetable Beef Soup
Chunky Chicken Corn Chowder

Scrambled Egg and Sausage Stacked Enchiladas
Bacon Caramelized Onion and Potato Frittata
Red Potato and Bacon Quiche with Chipotle Peppers
Cheesy Potato Egg and Spinach Mini Quiches
Chewy Raisin Baked Oatmeal Cups
Biscoff Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal
Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal
Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
Baked Peach Oatmeal Cups
Heart Shaped Craisin Baked Oatmeal
Cinnamon Spice Soaked & Baked Oatmeal
Baked Oatmeal
Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes
Whole Wheat Zucchini Waffles
Whole Wheat Waffles with Waffle Sauce
Brown Sugar and Spice Zucchini Waffles
Buckwheat Waffles - Gluten Free or Not
Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles - Gluten Free

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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Crisp Garlic Oven Fries


  1. I just love having my freezer full of leftovers which are just perfect for work lunches- great idea to have a whole list.

  2. What a great list! I love having food in the freezer, it's like gold once the busy fall schedule starts.

  3. As I commented before, I think this is a great idea and we will study the list for things to take when we travel.

  4. Wow! This is an incredible resource for families with school coming up and time at a premium. I know how much work went into this post. I can't wait to share it.

  5. This list is exactly what I need right now. I'm running out of ideas for make-ahead freezer meals, and these recipes are great! Thanks!

  6. This is one "gift" of a post. Thanks so very much. I will share this with so many folks.

  7. Very handy! Thanks for your efforts!

  8. thank you so muchi love freezing things but they get lost we never remember to use them