Wondering how to reheat your freezer meals? Cooking your freezer meals in the slow cooker or Instant Pot (or microwave or oven) is easy to do and is my favorite method. As a busy working woman, I know how important it is to save time in the kitchen and make meals that can be quickly reheated on a busy night. Easy freezer meals are the perfect solution for this! Hearty casseroles and other make-ahead meals can be prepared in advance and stored away in the freezer until you’re ready to cook them.
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Defrosting Your Meal
The first step before you reheat your make ahead frozen meal is defrosting it. There are several ways to safely thaw your freezer meals before cooking:
- In the refrigerator: Place your meal in an airtight container or bag and leave it in the fridge overnight (or at least 8 hours) until it is completely thawed.
- In cold water: Place your meal in an airtight container or bag and submerge it in cold water for up to two hours until completely thawed. Change the water every 30 minutes or so as needed until fully thawed.
- On the counter: Place your meal on a plate on the countertop (away from direct sunlight) for 1-2 hours until fully thawed. Be sure not to leave it out any longer than 2 hours, as bacteria can begin growing if left out for too long!
- In the microwave: Put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for a few minutes on defrost mode.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
Once your meal is defrosted, you can move onto cooking! Follow the directions given in our recipes. I love to use the Crockpot or the Instant Pot and have my meal ready for me when I arrive home. Both of these tools are great for cooking or reheating again later.
Cook and Reheat with an Oven or Stovetop
But you can cook on the oven too! If preparing with an oven or stovetop, preheat it according to the recipe directions, then place the meal onto an oven-safe baking sheet or saucepan. Bake or simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally if needed. This will help ensure that your food heats evenly and doesn’t dry out while being heated up.
Reheat with a Microwave
If you don’t have access to any of the above methods, don’t worry! You can still heat up your frozen meal using a microwave. Place your meal into a microwave-safe dish and heat up according to the recipe directions—usually two minutes per serving is enough time for most meals! Be sure to stir halfway through cooking so that everything heats evenly and you don’t have pockets of hot or cold food.
Once your meal has been heated through, let it sit for about five minutes before serving so that all of the flavors have time to develop and blend together properly before eating. If there are any leftovers, store them immediately in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within three days for optimal freshness.
By following these tips on how to properly prep freezer meals, you can enjoy easy and delicious freezer meals even when life gets hectic! With just a few simple steps—from defrosting to cooking, followed by letting it sit for five minutes before serving—you’ll be able to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals with minimal effort.