20 freezer-friendly recipes you can make-ahead and freeze while you are staying in. You can make them today and freeze for up to 6 months!
Now that you have stocked up your fridge and pantry, what do you do with the food you bought?
It looks like I have been unintentionally preparing for such a world event.
Many of my recipes are make-ahead and refrigerator friendly. I have always wanted to make recipes that are going to make your busy life easier.
Below, I have assembled 20 freezer friendly recipes from my blog that you can refrigerate for 2 weeks or longer.
If you have any questions about what to make from the ingredients in your pantry, feel free to comment below.
Tips for cooking meals ahead of time
- Glass casserole dishes are great for freezing the dishes. Cook and bake the recipe in them. Also, use glass casserole dish with an airtight lid. If you have a dish without a cover, use foil or plastic wrap to cover it before freezing
- If you cook the meal before hand, be sure to let it cool completely before you cover and freeze. Freezing food while still hot can make it soggy mess when you thaw
- If possible, assemble the ingredients in the casserole dish but only bake it on the day you are going to serve it
- Make sauces ahead of time and refrigerate. Things like marinara sauce, Alfredo sauce and pesto sauce can be frozen for weeks to months. This way, you can always cook pasta and have sauce ready to go.
- Freeze fresh herbs in ice cube trays with oil or put them into a refrigerator pickle recipe
- I like to get fresh fruits and freeze them in zip-lock bags. I can make smoothies or ice cream using these frozen fruits
- Buy fresh veggies like carrots, squash, bell peppers and cauliflower. Wash and cut them before freezing in zip-lock bags.
- I recently found an AWESOME product called Souper Cubes. Souper Cubes are thick and sturdy silicone trays, perfect for freezing soups, stews, casseroles - you name it! They come with a clear BPA free plastic lid that fits snugly to prevent spills, keep out freezer odors, and enable easy stacking. I love these trays, they make freezing meal so darn easy!
20 Freezer Friendly Recipes
I am making many of these recipes over the weekend and saving them for future use. I kept the ingredients simple and even cook most of the meals in the slow cooker
This recipe is the perfect example of how I had been preparing for this health crisis long before it started!
It uses frozen vegetables, pre-cooked chicken and store-bought pie shells.
You can freeze it before baking or after baking. Check out my post to get tips on how to freeze and thaw it.
This pie can be frozen for 30 days to 2 months.
Freezing whole chicken is possible and making it a perfect recipe for when you are isolated.
There are 2 ways to freeze whole chicken. You can freeze it raw and bring it out on the day you want to cook it. Raw frozen chicken should be used up within 12 months of freezing
Or, cook it whole and then freeze it. If you don't want to freeze cooked whole chicken, you can cut it into pieces and save it. Freeze the chicken legs, drumsticks, thigh, whole leg, etc in different containers.
I created a post with over 70 chicken recipes that you can cook anytime. Check it out and make your favorite chicken recipes
This is one of those recipes that you can make right out of your pantry. It has salsa, tomato sauce, canned beans and Doritos!
You can make this casserole and cool it before freezing. Cover the top with aluminum foil or tight lid and freeze the casserole dish for up to 6 months
Sure, you can have frozen tortellini, but, how do you freeze tomatoes?
The good news is that you can freeze tomatoes and thaw them easily. I like to use Homemade Food Junkies tips when using frozen tomatoes. Their method works with any size of tomato.
Thaw the tomatoes and then cook them in a skillet along with tortellini. Add the spices and serve it to your family. They will love the colors and the flavors of this tortellini
This recipe works best when frozen without the cheese. Here is what I do.
I cook the recipe exactly as I outline in the post. The only thing I don't do is to top with the cheese.
Freeze the enchilada bake in a casserole dish. When you are ready to serve it, top it with the cheese and bake in the oven.
Without the cheese, the enchilada bake will be good for about 3-5 months.
This is a really useful recipe to freeze because it can be a side dish to so many meals.
If you can't find fresh asparagus, frozen asparagus will work too.
Serve it with chicken, beef, turkey and even pork chops!
So, how well does cilantro lime rice freeze? It freezes so well because it retains all the flavors.
Make sure you cool it completely before you freeze it. Ideally, you want to freeze it in freezer friendly container made out of glass
This rice will be good for 6 months, but, I like to use it up in a month
I got frozen zoodles from my local grocery store and was very pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted
So, for this recipe, I am using frozen zoodles and frozen shrimp. The avocado sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen.
This is a healthier recipe to make anytime. I like to keep the ingredients frozen separately, so, I just have to assemble them when I want to serve.
Freeze the burger patties before you grill them. Place a piece of parchment paper in between the burger patties and freeze them.
When you are ready to cook, place the frozen burger directly onto a hot outdoor or stove-top grill. Do not thaw them out before cooking
These burgers will remain good in the freezer for about 3 months.
One of the biggest things I will miss when in social isolation is ordering from my local Chinese restaurant. How about you?
The good news is that you can make one of your favorite Chinese food recipes at home. This is my homemade beef and broccoli that couldn't be easier to make.
This recipe uses stew meat. So, I recommend you make everything until step 5 of my recipe. Do step 6 and 7 on the day you are serving this meal.
Since it's stew meat, I suggest you use it up as soon as possible once you have made it. Use it up within 1 to 3 months of making it.
These meatballs are delicious and easy to make. Make and freeze them for about 6 months.
To thaw them, remove from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator. Do this the night before you want to serve them.
Cook the last step of this recipe on the day you are ready to serve the meatballs. Serve with pasta or noodles
You can also try my chicken cacciatore recipe that I made in the slow cooker.
This is one of my family's favorite beef recipes. I make it at least once a month and they all devour it!
I use stew beef in this recipe and it can be frozen. However, I do recommend using it up in a month. The stew beef will get tougher to chew when frozen long term.
This will make a hearty meal for the whole family any time. Serve it with rice or noodles
There is no better pasta recipe to freeze than a baked ziti!
I made this in the slow cooker, but, make it in a casserole dish. This way you can freeze the whole casserole dish.
This dish will be good frozen for about 6 months.
This is a fun way to sneak in some veggies into your kids' dinner. The spaghetti squash I added to the spaghetti is hardly noticeable.
The first thing to do was to cook the spaghetti squash. Cook it al dente and freeze it in a freezer-safe container.
When you want to serve it, remove it from freezer and refrigerate it for about 12 hours. Then, assemble the rest of the ingredients and serve it to your family.
Frozen spaghetti squash should be used up in about month.
I use polenta tube to make this lasagna instead of lasagna noodles. It's something different and it tastes so good.
Get polenta tube and cut it into about ¼ inch thick slices. Layer them in the lasagna recipe and cook it.
Once the lasagna has cooled down completely, cover and place it in the freezer. This recipe is best if consumed within two weeks of making it.
You know you are going to miss eating at your favorite Indian restaurant during this social isolation. How are you going to get your delicious butter chicken or chicken vindaloo??
Well, the good news is that it's so easy to make the butter chicken at home and use frozen naan. It comes very close to how the restaurants serve it.
The butter chicken is easy to make in the slow cooker with just a few ingredients. Then, let it cool before freezing.
You can also serve it with my homemade red lentil curry
Use this butter chicken within 3 months of freezing it.
Veggie fajitas are good for any night of the week. The trick is how you freeze the peppers and onions.
First, chop the peppers and onions before placing in a bowl. Then, add the seasoning and place it in zip-lock bag. Make sure you put the chop date on the zip-lock.
Freeze the zip-lock bag in the freezer for no more than 2 months. Then, when you are ready to make it, place the freezer bag ingredients into the slow cooker. Do not thaw
Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 6 hours. Serve with tortillas and guacamole.
Why have just ravioli and marinara? It's so much better to have a ravioli bake or casserole.
This recipe uses frozen ravioli, frozen spinach and cheese!
Since the ingredients are already frozen, you can make this recipe on the day you want to serve it.
Easy peasy, right?!
Is there a more important time then now to have chicken soup?
Chicken soup feeds the soul and makes you feel better all over. You don't have to sick to eat it because it's good for any time.
When my kids used to feel down and sad, I would make chicken soup for them. They perked up immediately because that's what chicken soup does.
My chicken soup recipe can be made in the slow cooker or stove top. I prefer the slow cooker method because it really cooks the chicken so well.
Make sure you cool the soup completely before freezing
There are 2 ways to freeze this mushroom pork chops recipe.
You can freeze uncooked pork chops and then, cook it on the day you are ready to serve.
Or, cook the pork chops before hand and then place it in a freezer friendly container. Make sure it's sealed tightly to prevent freezer burns.
Serve with cilantro rice or noodles.
Buy frozen shrimp and frozen imitation crab from your local grocery store
Assemble this dish when you are Use store-bought pie crust. I used mixed veggies and cream of shrimp soup too. Then, bake it for about 450° in the oven.
It's that easy!
Hope you like these 20 freezer friendly recipes! They are easy to make with simple ingredients that you have in your kitchen.
Tell me what kind of recipes you would like to make over the next few months. Send me list of what is in your pantry and I will see what you can whip up.
Make Ahead Snacks
Zucchini Bacon Cheese bites (freeze without baking it. Bake when you are ready to serve)
Some essentials you can freeze
These items are good to have on hand. They are great condiments, sauces, or versatile bases for other recipes.
Place the hummus in a freezer safe container. Then, top it with a layer of oil so that it doesn't dry off. Freeze for up to 3 months
Questions about freezing meals
How long can the meals be frozen?
Most of the meals can be frozen for about a month to 3 months. There are some that should be eaten up sooner than that. For each meal I list, I mention how long you can freeze them.
Can I freeze parts of the recipe?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze parts of the recipe and assemble it when you are serving.
For example, my ground turkey pasta and broccoli dinner can be saved separately. I freeze the broccoli separately from the cooked ground turkey.
When I am ready to serve it, I will cook the pasta first and then assemble the turkey, broccoli and pasta together. It tastes so delicious.
Is it possible to make snacks and freeze them?
Yes, feel free to make simple snacks and freeze them. Check out the list above to see freezer-friendly snacks. These snacks can be perfect to feed kids at lunch time or when they are feeling peckish.
How do I thaw these meals?
The night before I am feeding the recipe, I will put it in the refrigerator. This way, it thaws by dinner time and I can re-heat it in the oven.
If you want to heat these meals quickly, start by microwaving it for a few minutes before heating it in the oven
Can I freeze bacon?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze bacon. Freeze uncooked or cooked bacon easily and it will last about 6 months.
Coil bacon slices individually and lay them on a baking sheet. Freeze it that way overnight. In the morning, place them in zip-lock bags and place in the freezer for up to 6 months
Cooked bacon can be frozen in wax paper and placed in zip-lock bags. I have even covered the zip-lock in foil to prevent freezer burns.
What do I need to freeze meals?
You will need to have some good containers that will protect your food against freezer burn. It's also helpful if they can go from the freezer to the microwave or oven so you don't have a lot of extra containers to wash!
As I mentioned above, I really love this AWESOME product called Souper Cubes. Souper Cubes are thick and sturdy silicone trays, perfect for freezing soups, stews, casseroles - you name it! And they come with a clear lid that makes for easy stacking which keeps in the flavor and keeps out odors.
There are lots of other products out there too, so you may want to head over to Amazon to check out what's available, or you can check out my Dizzy Busy and Hungry store on Amazon for a whole bunch of great kitchen products I love!