What to expect from Freezer meals? Freezer meals are fast, convenient, nutritious, and save you time and money. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
What to Expect: The Basics
Freezer meals are make-ahead dishes that are chopped and prepared, and then frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags. This allows you to have a complete meal ready to go at any time with minimal preparation. When you want to eat them, simply thaw your casserole or chicken pot pie in the fridge and then transfer to the Crockpot or Instant Pot to cook.
The main advantage of freezer meals is convenience. You can make a big batch of your favorite dish and then freeze it in portions so that you always have something quick and easy on hand for dinner. You save time because all the prep work is done ahead of time. Plus, if you make large batches of dishes, you can save money by buying ingredients in bulk without any food waste.
All you have to do is pull them out of the freezer, heat them and enjoy! We have a great database of recipes for you. (Sign up to get full access to our recipe database and more!) Looking for comfort food? Enchiladas? Cheesy pasta? We’ve got it!
Meal Planning Tips
Meal planning is key when it comes to freezer meals. Start by thinking about what types of dishes your family likes to eat and make a list of recipes that can be frozen. Start with the easy freezer meal recipes in our database for some ideas! Choose dishes like casseroles and soups that are hearty and filling since they will hold up better in the freezer. Plan out your grocery list so that you have all the ingredients on hand when it’s time to cook, as well as any containers or bags needed for freezing the food.
Once your groceries are bought, it’s time to get cooking! Prepare all your ingredients ahead of time so that everything is ready when it’s time for assembly. This will help streamline the process and make sure nothing gets left out or forgotten. If possible, choose recipes that don’t require a lot of prep work—even better, opt for recipes you can cook in the slow cooker or Instant Pot so everything cooks while you do something else!
I recommend printing these labels on computer paper or water-resistant stickers and taping/attaching them to your bags PRIOR to meal prep.
Once your recipes is prepared, it’s time for freezing! You can freeze portions individually so they don’t stick together (you can use plastic wrap or aluminum foil). Label each container with the date it was frozen as well as instructions on how long it should stay in the freezer (most dishes will last 4 months). Finally, store all labeled containers in one area of your freezer so they don’t get lost among other items or forgotten about later on down the line!
Don’t forget to label your gallon-sized freezer bags or airtight dishes before filling them! Take a minute to label them with their contents and cooking directions. Don’t forget to include the date they were prepared so you can eat them before they expire.
When reheating your frozen meal in the oven or microwave, it’s important to follow safety guidelines—you want to make sure food reaches 165°F before eating it! The best way is either in an oven preheated at 350°F or in a microwave set at medium power for several minutes until heated through. Follow the directions for the freezer meal recipes in our database.
Variety & Storage Tips
For variety try making double batches of different recipes—that way if one family member isn’t feeling a certain dish there’s another option available!
To keep things organized try labeling/categorizing containers with labels like “beef” “chicken” “vegetarian” etc…so everyone knows exactly what’s inside each container without having to guess or open them up first! Additionally store containers off the floor/bottom shelf so they’re less likely to get lost among other things in there–this will help keep everything neat & tidy too!
Get Cooking—Err, Freezing!
Now that you know more about freezer meals—it’s time to get going! With some advanced planning and savvy organization skills, preparing delicious homemade meals can be easy and stress-free with pre-made freezer options. So put away those takeout menus and try some easy make-ahead freezer meals a try today—you won’t regret it!