For most of my life, I never worried about having freezer meals ready to go. I enjoyed cooking and had time most evenings to do so. Then I found out I was pregnant and the panic set in. I was going to be someone’s MOM! How would I have time to cook while keeping a baby alive! Money was tight and I knew we couldn’t afford to order in food every night. I immediately started researching healthy freezer meals for new moms that I could make in advance for our growing family. I even convinced Tom to buy a small deep freezer so that I could fill it up with freezer meals. By the time our son was born, I had an entire month’s worth of healthy freezer meals ready to thaw and reheat. Here are a few of my favorites.
After our son was born, I was able to take five very short weeks off of work. Most mornings it was just me and Sebastian. Obviously he wasn’t going to be eating any of the meals I had prepared. I stocked up on easy single-serving breakfast freezer meals that I could reheat just for me. Bonus points were given for items I could eat single handily.
Quick Breads: I love making up a loaf of quick bread to eat for breakfast. They freeze really well and defrost quickly because I bake them in mini loaf pans. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Banana Bread: I am very picky about how ripe my bananas can be. If the banana is 100% yellow it is too ripe. This is one of my favorite ways to use up overly ripe bananas. Try this recipe from Sugar Spun Run.
- Pumpkin Bread and Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: I love sneaking vegetables in unexpected places. These two quick bread recipes from Once Upon a Chef are perfect.
- Blueberry Bread from Tastes of Lizzie T: These loaves of blueberry bread are bursting with blueberries and topped with streusel.
I know it isn’t very progressive of us but in our family, the responsibility of preparing dinner falls on my shoulders. I really do love to cook. It is my favorite way to take care of people. Cooking is part of my identity and I knew once our son was here my life was going to be turned upside-down. I felt like I needed this one piece of normalcy. Here are a few of the freezer meals I made for dinner.
Creamy Leek, Potato, and Bacon Soup: This is one of my all-time favorite meals. I have been making this soup for years. It is so easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Because there is no added cream it also freezes really well.
Sticky Chicken with Vegetable Fried Rice: Stir-fries are a great way to increase your servings of vegetables and use up any vegetables lingering in your refrigerator. You can chop up all of the vegetables and meat in advance and make up the sauce and freeze it separately. Try this recipe from Recipetin Eats.
Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes: This is my go-to recipe for sloppy joes. A few years ago when we decided to start cutting out processed foods canned Manwich was the first to go. This was the first sloppy joe recipe I tried and it was absolutely delicious. It is incredibly easy to make and freezes really well.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce: Spaghetti sauce is one of the ways I like to use up excess vegetables. For my spaghetti sauce, I saute whatever vegetables are in the refrigerator plus an onion in olive oil until they are tender. I then add a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, some garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. I let everything simmer until heated through.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup: I follow all of the steps except adding the noodles. Pasta doesn’t always freeze well and can become soft and gooey. I wait to add the noodles until I reheat the soup. Here is a wonderful recipe from The Forked Spoon.
Oven Roasted Tomato Soup: Tom has never liked tomato soup so I make a big batch of this soup and freeze it in individual portions for a quick and easy lunch.
Nothing is easier than removing a casserole from the freezer and placing it straight into the oven. As a general rule heat most frozen casseroles at 350 degrees Farenheight for one hour.
Classic Chicken Pot Pie: As a variation, I prepare the filling and freeze it. When I am ready to bake the chicken pot pie I place the filling in my dutch oven and then make up a quick batch of drop biscuits for the top. Here is a great recipe from Spend with Pennies.
Stuffed Green Pepper Casserole: This simple and delicious healthy and gluten-free Stuffed green pepper casserole, made with instant rice and lean ground beef is smothered in gooey melted cheese (low-fat), is easy to make and requires no stuffing! It can be made ahead and frozen for a quick weeknight meal. 6 Weight Watchers Freestyle Points Per serving. A delicious casserole from Food Meanderings.
I am a big fan of slow cooker meals. The slow cooker is a great way to turn a cheap cut of meat into a tender juicy meal.
Easy Slow Cooker Chili: Chili is one of my favorite freezer meals. It is so easy to make a huge batch and freeze the leftovers. Honestly I think the leftovers taste even better than the original batch of chili.
Crock-Pot Beef Barley Stew: I love packaging up and freezing the ingredients for slow cooker freezer meals. Nothing could be simpler on a busy morning than dumping ingredients in a slow cooker and turning it on. Try this stew from Crock-Pot Ladies.
Crockpot Black Bean Soup: This crockpot black bean soup is the perfect thing to serve up as the weather cools down. It’s super easy to make, just chop an onion, a bell pepper and pour all of the ingredients in a slow cooker! Freezer instructions included. Find the recipe at Savor and Savvy.
I am new to the instant pot world. In fact, right now I am borrowing my mother’s instant pot to make sure I like it and it is worth the counter space. Here are a few instant pot freezer meals I am looking forward to trying out.
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas: Ready to make some super flavorful Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas? Making Chicken Fajitas in the Instant Pot takes no time at all and can be a healthy dinner option. Prep ahead and freeze portions till when needed. Try this recipe from Recipes from a Pantry.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Curry: This Instant Pot pumpkin curry is so rich, warming, and delicious! Made so easy in the Instant Pot, this family-friendly recipe is healthy and filling. Try this recipe from Little Sunny Kitchen.
Instant Pot Chicken and Cheese Taquitos: In just 45 minutes you can go from frozen chicken breasts to the delicious taquitos. These taquitos also freeze and reheat really well. Check out the recipe at Thriving Home.
We are experimenting with purchasing our meat from local farms. The biggest downside so far is the cost. To help us stick to our food budget we are having some meat-free days. Here are a few of our favorite vegetarian freezer meals.
Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Lentil Soup: Gluten free, vegan sweet potato and lentil soup is a healthy and tasty meal that will satisfy both your hunger and your tastebuds. This delicious vegetable soup is smooth and filling as well as simple to make. Sweet potato and lentil soup comes out creamy, savory, and decadent thanks to ingredients that not only taste amazing, but are nourishing for your body as well. Make this recipe from Happy Kitchen.
Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes: Nutrient-dense vegetarian chili made with hearty protein from beans and lentils, and richly flavored with aromatic spices. Perfect for meatless Monday. Find the recipe at Buttered Veg.
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