Getting a homemade meal on the dinner table sometimes seems easier said than done. Making meals ahead of time and storing them in the freezer is an excellent way to ensure you have plenty of nourishing meals to cook throughout the week with no need to spend a fortune on healthy takeout food or resort to unhealthy, budget-friendly options.
With just a little bit of planning and a little extra effort, you can fill up the freezer with food. Doubling the amount you are already intending to cook is a great idea — you get two meals for the exertion and time of one! Setting aside a chunk of time on the weekend is also an excellent option. Don’t worry! We know you don’t want to spend your whole weekend working away in the kitchen for the sake of next week’s dinners. There are plenty of options when it comes to freezer-friendly meals that won’t make a huge mess in your kitchen or take up a massive amount of time. Baked pasta, chili, endless casseroles, and even homemade frozen pizzas are all simple options that you can prepare ahead of time to use on the days where you just don’t have the time or energy to whip up an entire meal.
We gathered a collection of easy recipes you can make on the weekend that won’t use every pan in your kitchen but will still result in delicious, satisfying weeknight meals. So go on and discover recipes that will fill your freezer full of wonderful things to eat!
The next time you make baked potatoes, simply pop a few extra into the oven. Once they are stuffed, let them cool completely, then wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When you want to eat them, let them thaw overnight in the fridge and voila! You have an easy dinner full of healthy kale and chickpeas ready to be reheated.
Ground beef, salsa, refried beans, and cheese, this layered burrito bake has all the flavors of a burrito in a delicious Mexican-inspired casserole.
This creamy vegetarian gratin comes together effortlessly thanks to frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets. You can easily make this in advance and freeze it for a vegetable-laden dish that even kids will eat.
You can easily make your own pizza crust and frozen pizzas to store in your freezer for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking. This cauliflower pizza crust is a great option if you are trying to get more vegetables into your diet. Top it with your favorite toppings and have dinner on the table in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered!
Enchiladas filled with chicken and topped with cheese are perfect for storing in the freezer.
This dish is a bit like a hybrid of rice and baked pasta, with orzo (a rice-shaped pasta) used along with briny olives and delicious boneless chicken thighs.
Keep this casserole in the freezer and pull it out for a delicious, indulgent sandwich casserole. This is a simple recipe that can be enjoyed by all. Pair it with a simple salad or some plain vegetables to complement the richness of this casserole.
This easy eggplant parmesan involves baking the eggplant and then simply layering everything in an oven-proof dish. This is a great recipe that makes a delicious meal with just a few humble ingredients.
A stir-fry is a great meal to have up your sleeve. Just keep a stash of frozen vegetables and your protein of choice and you are good to go! This stir-fry sauce can be made in an instant and will make your stir-fry absolutely delicious!
Soups are a perfect one-pot freezer-friendly food. Whenever you are making soup or stew, double the batch and freeze the leftovers for an effortless meal that you can save for later.
Make this lasagna in a flash and enjoy the knowledge that it is waiting for you patiently in the freezer.
Meatloaf is a traditional dish that is perfect for making ahead and freezing. You can freeze it cooked or raw. You can even portion it into muffin tins to make lots of mini meat loafs that you can reheat as you need them.
Poblano peppers in this recipe add heat and flavor as well as a great hearty texture. This casserole is a combination of simple ingredients that add up to a lot of flavor!
For the Mexican Poblano Cheese Casserole recipe, click here.
This recipe is a pizza pocket filled with cheese, pepperoni, and sauce. They freeze perfectly and can be ready to heat up whenever hunger strikes.
Burritos are a great thing to have stashed away in your freezer. They are easy to make, and you can heat up as many as you need for a tasty weeknight dinner.
This baked pasta dish is easy to make and simple to freeze, and it becomes wonderfully crusty on top once reheated in the oven.
This mac and cheese has everything (except for the pasta) cooking in the same pot. This is a great dish that can be pulled out of the freezer for a last-minute diner party as well as a casual weeknight dinner. After all, who doesn’t love mac and cheese?
The key to super delicious macaroni and cheese is to make a custom cheese blend; in this case, smoked Gouda and salty pecorino cheese are added to the Cheddar. This macaroni and cheese also gets extra flavor from the addition of fragrant rosemary and thyme.
For a delicious and stress-free weeknight dinner, make sure you have some chili stored in your freezer!
This recipe for stuffed peppers is filling and delicious, full of savory flavors that will make your kitchen smell delicious as it is heating up in the oven.
This easy pizza can be frozen so easily! Undercook the pizza, let it cool completely, and then wrap it well to store in the freezer.
Here is a lovely version of pot pie that substitutes turkey for the more traditional chicken. A perfect recipe to make over the weekend and store in your freezer until you are in the mood for pie!
A hearty vegan chili topped with cornbread is a great meatless option to have in your freezer for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.
For a meatless version of an American favorite, use beans instead of meat the next time you make chili. This vegetarian chili is just as satisfying and full of flavor, and beans are an excellent source of “clean-eating” protein, and eating more veggies and less meat is a guaranteed way to save money and help cut your grocery bill in half!
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