A big round up of Easy Freezer Meals that you can make now and eat later.
Hey, friends. I had some regular recipe posts scheduled to go up this week, but with everything that’s going on, I wanted to publish something a little more immediately useful today.
So I compiled a (long) list of my favorite make-ahead freezer meals with recipe notes to make those meals the best that they can be.
Recipes you can freeze are handy because they allow you to cook with fresh ingredients once and store/eat them for months. So if you’re say trying to limit the number of times you hit the grocery store right now, freezer meals have you covered.
Freeze things flat when possible. It’s much easier to store and find space for foods that have been frozen flat since you can file them upright or stack them.
When using a freezer bag for storage, first freeze food in the bag on a flat surface like a cutting board or baking sheet. Once frozen solid, you can store it neatly away with your other frozen foods.
Don’t forget to label!! You think you’ll remember what you put in your freezer, but take it from someone who just last week poured frozen tomato soup over her tortellini thinking it was pasta sauce, you won’t. Use a sharpie or sharpie + a piece of painter’s/masking tape to label your food and never wonder what that bag of red stuff in your freezer is ever again.
On freezing potatoes and pasta in soups/stews: Potatoes and pasta are two ingredients you *can* freeze but you might not want to, as both degrade in quality once frozen and reheated. Potatoes tend to get a little mealy and pasta can become mushy.
If you don’t mind that (some people don’t!), you can freeze and reheat soup recipes that include these ingredients with zero recipe modifications. Just be sure to defrost your soup/stew in the fridge before reheating in the microwave because the amount of microwave time needed to reheat everything from frozen would reduce your potatoes/pasta to mush.
For best results when making soups and stews containing pasta and potatoes, just omit the pasta/potatoes during the initial cooking and then cook and add them to the reheated frozen recipe right before serving.
For example: my Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup calls for 4 ounces of pasta for 4 servings of soup.
- I’d cook the soup without the pasta and freeze it either all together or in individual servings.
- When ready to eat, if I froze the entire pot of soup, I’d defrost and reheat the soup, separately cook 4 ounces of pasta according to pasta package instructions, and add them to the reheated soup just before serving.
- If I froze the soup in four individual portions, I’d defrost and reheat one serving of soup, cook just 1 ounce of pasta, and add it to the bowl just before serving.
The same goes for recipes with potatoes. To cook potatoes to add back into soups, start the potatoes in a pot of generously salted cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 to 20 minutes depending on potato size, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and add to soup or stew.
See my post How to Freeze Soup for more tips and tricks.
All the recipes I’ve included here are ones that I regularly cook and freeze myself. They freeze extremely well with minimal to no loss in quality.
Some of them can be cooked, frozen, and reheated with zero changes, and some of them need a couple tweaks for best results. For these recipes, I’ve included notes with best freezing practices.
Easy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup – I almost always have a couple servings of this soup in my freezer during the colder months of the year because it’s warming and comforting, but not too heavy. If you don’t like the texture of frozen and reheated pasta, follow my instructions above on omitting the noodles and cooking and adding them back in after reheating.
Mom’s Sunday Simple Beef Stew – This is one of my favorite comfort food meals and a great way to use a chuck roast if you find one on sale. I don’t care for the texture of frozen potatoes in stew, so I recommend keeping a few potatoes on hand and following the instructions above for cooking potatoes separately when you’re ready to eat the frozen stew.
Easy Tomato Soup Recipe for Two – This fantastically tangy soup can be frozen and reheated with zero recipe changes. However, the recipe’s written to make one huge serving or two smaller ones to go alongside a sandwich or bread, so you might want to double the recipe if you’re making it for freezing.
Easy Chicken Peasant Soup – One of the OG Baking Mischief recipes and still one of my faves. This is another recipe where you’ll probably want to omit the potatoes and add them in after freezing and reheating.
Also, don’t worry about the potatoes in this recipe. Since they’re small and wrapped in flakey pie crust, any texture change won’t be noticeable.
This recipe is written for two and makes 2 to 4 waffles depending on the size of your waffle maker, so if you want to stock your freezer with more, just double or triple the recipe.
And a little dessert bonus for you. These are a handful of my favorite desserts for freezing, though honestly, most cakes and cookies and candies do just fine in the freezer and don’t need any special treatment to freeze well.
Just make sure to eat them sooner rather than later, preferably within 2-3 months, as they will very slowly begin to dry out in the freezer.
My favorite way to freeze cakes is to slice them into pieces and lay the pieces on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet/cutting board/plate that will fit in your freezer.
Freeze just long enough for the cake and frosting to be frozen solid and then wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap. Store the wrapped slices in a freezer bag for 2 to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat, unwrap the cake and let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes or while you eat dinner and then enjoy.
Most cookies can be frozen in a freezer bag with no other preparation as soon as they’ve finished cooling.
If you have a cookie with soft frosting or glaze, freeze solid the way you would a piece of cake (so that the frosting doesn’t get smooshed and the cookies don’t stick together) and then store in an airtight freezer bag.
Defrost on the counter for 10 minutes before eating or just enjoy frozen on a warm day.
Easy Cheesecake Recipe – Cheesecake freezes particularly well, and you will never not be thrilled when you find a forgotten piece of frozen cheesecake in the back of your freezer. The sauce included in this recipe also freezes nicely. If fresh strawberries were used, they will have a softer texture after freezing than fresh, but not in an unpleasant way.