15 Freezer Meal Ideas You’ll Love All Year Round
Q Successful and consistent healthy eating often comes down to smart planning and preparation. But that doesn’t mean it’s just for the highly organized person who has reminders pinned to their phone or picks up dry cleaning!
Whether you’re on top of your schedule or you’re more of an impresario at the last minute, a freezer meal prep plan is an easy way to save time and money—especially if you hit the Trader Joe’s freezer aisle regularly.
When done right, freezer meal prep means you can savor slow-cooked flavors and healthy ingredients for the times your schedule calls for junk food. For more healthy meal prep and recipe ideas, try Open Fit 1 Minute Meal Plan . Get started with OpenFit for free today!
Here are some ideas for preparing frozen meals to keep on ice:
1. Make juice boxes
Smoothies are a delicious way to start your day, or a healthy midday snack. Food blogger and cookbook author Jessica Merchant shares her time-saving steal for preparing juice packs on demand—and getting the proportion just right. However, we’ve refined its core concept with Stasher’s sandwich-size reusable silicone food bags, because sustainable meal prep is a hot trend.
2. Pre-made freezer cut oats
A warm bowl of steel-cut oatmeal has a wonderful, nutty texture, but most of us don’t have a half hour to commit to a slow pre-work batch. Samantha Skaggs, a Texas-based food blogger and cookbook author, cooks up a pot of porridge and then freezes it into “pucks” or individual servings that you can microwave. Add low-fat milk and leave in maple syrup for healthy modifications to her recipe.
3. Breakfast pizza
You may have grown wiser, but that doesn’t mean you sometimes don’t crave a slice of pizza for breakfast. We’ve given this collective staple a nutritional makeover that provides protein and vegetables with all the cheesy benefits of a classic pie. Plus, you can freeze it for those days when it’s overcooked.
4. Breakfast Burrito
There’s just something so comforting about rolling up a batch of breakfast burritos and freezing them. For our freezer-friendly recipe, the trick to preventing wet tortillas is to allow the filling to cool slightly. Then wrap each burrito in a layer of parchment paper and tin foil and freeze. We call them a breakfast burrito, but there’s no logical reason why you can’t have one for lunch or even dinner.
5. Cranberry and Pecan Oats
If you have a hard time managing time in the morning, these oatmeal cups will be your best friend. Bake them when you have free time, then store them in the fridge until you need a quick, light breakfast while you’re running out the door. And if you’re not into cranberry and walnut jam, try other baked oats made with raisins and walnuts.
6. Beef broth freezer meal
Stews and soups are the gold standards for freezer meal preparation, whether you’re preparing and freezing ingredients for tossing into a quick bowl and speeding up dinner—or cooking an entire recipe and dividing it into freezable containers for lunch.
This recipe from Pinch of Yum contains only six ingredients. Simply measure and pre-cut fresh vegetables and beef and freeze in a bag or container.
7. Healthy Italian Meatballs Freezer
To balance the nostalgia of your nonna’s home cooking with the demands of a busy millennium schedule, Seeded at the Table’s Italian meatballs are pure comfort. The recipe combines low-fat turkey and beef with spices that you roll into meatballs and freeze raw. And when you’re ready to cook it, you can put it in the slow cooker without thawing it!
8. A bowl of chicken with white beans and chili quick to prepare
You can have Instant Pot White Bean Chicken Chili on deck any time you’re craving a smoky blend of flavorful spices and proteins. Simply freeze cilantro, skinless chicken breast, and chopped greens, thaw and follow the recipe when you’re ready. Alternatively, you can make a large pot and freeze individual servings for the perfect lunch or dinner.
BONUS: This is a 3 approved sugar-free recipe!
9. Homemade vegan pepper
Vegetarian spins on classic recipes are one of our favorite culinary trends right now – add in the time-saving convenience element and we’re already asking the ingredients for this must-do recipe. With rich flavors that even carnivores will appreciate, Cookie and Kate’s Homemade Vegetable Chili includes black beans and pinto beans in place of meat for the perfect warm bowl to start off. You can make a batch and freeze one-size servings for a business lunch or dinner. total drop.
10. Slow Cooker Chana Masala
For a home-cooked (and healthier) take on one of our favorite frozen meal options, this recipe from Two Sleevers is a vegetarian Indian dish that features chickpeas in “gravy,” or a chutney made with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and spices. According to recipe designer Urvashi Pitre, the flavors of this freezer-friendly recipe improve over time, but they tend to thicken, so you may need to add some water to reheat it.
11. Freezer Hot Sweet Potato Peanut Broth
The bright colors of Pinch of Yum’s Spicy Sweet Potato Peanut Stew are Instagram-worthy, and no one would blame you for taking a shot of this high yield point. For a shortcut to this delicious meal plan, store the bulk of this recipe’s ingredients, pre-chopped and ready to use, in your freezer. After that, you can add the turnip and peanuts after they are cooked.
12. Pottery Taco Soup
When your schedule gets out of hand, meal prep can leave you feeling down to earth and well-fed. Upgrade your Taco Tuesday with a delicious stew made with beef or turkey. You can either freeze the ingredients for later preparation or make soup and freeze portions of it.
13. Chicken and vegetable freezer packages
Chicken and vegetables are the perfect choice for a healthy meal that balances lean protein and nutrients. For an ingenious way to whip up a delicious meal in minutes, food blogger Laila Atiq seasons boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a mix of fresh greens, including broccoli, peppers, and zucchini, and store them in freezer-safe bags for a great treat. A simple frying pan or grilled meal.
14. Seriously Good Vegetable Soup
Freezing fresh vegetables can help keep them at their freshest, so stock up on your favorite seasonal selections while they’re at their best! Cookie and Kate’s Vegetable Soup recipe combines seasonings and seasonal vegetables for a vitamin-packed meal.
15. Energy Bites Without Bread
Even a list of recipes for healthy meals can include dessert! Gingerbread balls contain only eight ingredients, are vegan and require no cooking! Simply roll it up and store it in your icebox for a healthy snack that can save your sweet tooth in a pinch.
How to prepare a freezer meal prep
If you have a few spare hours over the weekend, this is a perfect opportunity to come up with some healthy recipes you’ve been wanting to try. Freezer meal prep is especially effective in large quantities, where you use a quick pot, crock pot, or other pressure cookers and slow cookers. It can also work well with larger stovetop pots.
There are two main strategies when it comes to preparing meal-packed dishes that include your freezer:
- Prepare the ingredients and freeze them so they’re ready to cook at a moment’s notice.
- Cook an entire meal and freeze it in appropriate portion size containers.
Not necessarily better than the other – the type of recipe will determine the best option. Keep in mind that freezer-friendly meals don’t just work for dinner. There are so many great options for breakfast, lunch, and even snacks!
How is freezer meal preparation stored?
Fortunately, ready-to-meal freezer container options have come a long way since Tupperware Parties. You can buy those designed for storing, cooking, and reheating meals, as well as those that have divided dividers to simplify freezer meal prep.
For maximum convenience and simplified cleaning, we recommend reusable containers made of BPA-free plastic with airtight, dishwasher- and microwave-resistant lids.