Easy Make Ahead Freezer Meals
A collection of Easy Make Ahead Freezer Meals to add to your recipe collection! Having a stockpile of homemade meals in the freezer can be a huge time saver for busy weeks.
If you are like me, life is about to get crazy. Lazy summer days are coming to an end and we are about to get catapulted back into juggling school schedules and lunches, after-school activities, work, and dealing with a more rigid routine in general. This means that having a meal prep plan for dinner time is just plain necessary! One thing that helps me SO much is making big batches of my favourite recipes to freeze ahead, so I always have soups, slow cooker meals, and other easy freezer meals at my fingertips on really busy days. And this doesn’t just work for main meals either! I have ideas for breakfast, desserts, and lunch snacks that can all be made ahead in large batches.
More Meal Plan Tools
Before we get started, I wanted to share a quick tip with you for when you access any of my recipes listed in this post! After you’ve clicked through to a recipe, when you scroll down to the recipe card on each individual recipe post, you can select whether you would like to make the recipe the way it is, or you can use my calculator to either double or triple the ingredients! So you don’t even have to think or do any math at all! Perfect, right? Let’s get started with these easy make-ahead freezer meal recipes!
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
This Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe makes a hearty tomato and meat sauce that is delicious over freshly cooked pasta. It’s rich, flavourful and so delicious. This recipe also makes a big batch of sauce that’s enough for two meals (love that!). You can use half for spaghetti night, and use the other half to make something else like sloppy joes or lasagna later in the week. Or if you really want to plan ahead, double the recipe and freeze it in Ziploc bags in meal-sized portions, so you can take one out on busy days and have homemade spaghetti at your fingertips even when you don’t have time to cook!
This classic and delicious recipe for lasagna is made with layers of rich tomato sauce and ground beef, noodles, ricotta cheese and loads of shredded mozzarella cheese, and parmesan. And it’s a perfect meal for fall busy-ness. You can either split the recipe into two and make two small lasagnas (depending on the size of your family), or double (heck, triple!) the recipe and freeze one or two for later. You won’t regret it. And hey, remember that spaghetti sauce that I told you to freeze? It works great in this recipe, so you can even throw a lasagna together easily on the day of. Just add garlic bread and a green or caesar salad side and you have a delicious and complete meal with no effort at all!
Easy Beef Pot Pie
This Easy Beef Pot Pie is a great recipe to use up leftover beef (like pot roast or prime rib), gravy, and vegetables! Onions, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, and anything else you have in the fridge work great in this hearty and delicious comfort food. Pot pies are also great way to take boring leftovers from dinner the night before and turn them into something new and delicious, and a nice break from the usual casseroles. This pot pie works so well as a freezer meal! Either make one out of leftovers that need to be dealt with today and freeze it, or use my handy recipe card calculator to make two or three pies at once and eat one for dinner today and freeze the rest uncooked to enjoy later!
Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
Make these simple and delicious Slow Cooker / Crock Pot Sloppy Joes for dinner! After just a few minutes prep, you can walk away for the day and come back to this delicious meal. Serve these Sloppy Joes over soft buns, and with corn on the cob, a veggie, and dill pickles. So easy! This recipe is also a SUPER easy freezer meal because all you have to do to get an extra meal or two is double the ingredients you put in the slow cooker and then walk away, knowing you are making TWO easy meals with the same effort as one! Just freeze the extra and then put it frozen in the slow cooker another day when you are extra busy and you are all set.
Oven Roasted Chicken
Always a fave in our house is good ol’ fashioned Oven Roasted Chicken! It’s not complicated and doesn’t take very long either. If it’s 4:00 in the afternoon, you have time to throw a chicken in the oven. Depending on the size, you can have it on your table in around an hour and a half. See…super easy! And one of the best things about a roasted chicken is that you really have two meals in one: one night it’s roasted chicken for dinner, and the next night it’s soup! I love to make Chicken Soup Stock with the leftovers, which you can use for Chicken Noodle Soup, Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup, or any soup that requires chicken stock. I love meals that do double duty! And of course, instead of making soup the next day you can always throw your chicken broth in the freezer for another day when all you have time for is throwing stuff in a pot.
Slow Cooker / Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
These Slow Cooker / Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas are easy and delicious and make for a perfect weeknight dinner! They are also one of my favourite crockpot freezer meals. These fajitas are easy to prepare and very healthy. Serve the fajita chicken with soft tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, and fresh cilantro. Such a delicious dinner! If you double the batch, you can freeze half of the slow cooker chicken for later, and do it all over again with none of the work of prepping the meat! Perfect.
Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables
Have this simple Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables Dinner ready and on the table in less than 1 hour! One dish means dinner prep and clean-up are easier than ever. Put all of your favourite roasting vegetables and chicken onto a baking sheet, season generously, then wait 30 minutes and dinner is served. Save even MORE time and effort by prepping the meat ahead of time and freezing it in portion sized bags. Simply season your chicken pieces (I like to use chicken breasts, but thighs or drumsticks work too), then pop it in a bag and stick it in the freezer for later. When you want it, thaw the chicken during the day when you’re at work, come home and chop your vegetables, then throw them into the pan with your pre-seasoned chicken and voila! Beautiful homemade dinner with (almost!) zero effort.
Creamy Chicken & Green Chili Enchiladas
These Creamy Chicken & Green Chili Enchiladas are a simple and delicious dinner idea served in one baking dish. And they can be on your table in under one hour! And, if you use rotisserie chicken, you can speed up your dinner prep time even more. This cheesy, perfectly seasoned creamy chicken dish would make a great freezer meal too. Just double the recipe and freeze half on a day you have time, so you’re ready on one of those crazy school day weeknights!
I love meatballs so much that I decided they need their own section! They are versatile, easy, and best of all for this particular roundup, they make a great freezer meal! It’s so easy to make a double batch and freeze half for later. Just remember to freeze the uncooked meatballs on a cookie tray until they are hard and won’t mush together, then go ahead and throw them all together in a bag. There’s nothing easier than letting a bag of meatballs thaw while you are at work and then baking them when you get home, throwing together the sauce, and serving them over pasta or rice with a vegetable or salad. I have several recipes to choose from! Go ahead and try them all.
These Italian Meatballs are soft, tender and so flavourful. Once you bake them, they simmer in a simple tomato sauce. Serve over your favourite pasta with fresh basil, parsley, and grated Parmesan. Or, you can make one of our favourite meals, Easy Meatball Subs! If there is one meatball recipe that I could recommend and shout from the rooftops, it would be this one.
Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
Savoury turkey meatballs simmered in a rich tomato sauce…it just doesn’t get more delicious! Ready in under one hour. Turkey meatballs are hearty and really lean. I made these meatballs especially for spaghetti by adding parmesan cheese to the mixture. They are so flavourful and delicious!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
When I make these Sweet and Sour Meatballs for dinner, the kids run to the table! Delicious with rice and a green vegetable. Nothing fancy here, just simple ingredients. The sauce is made with vinegar and ketchup to give it the perfect sour zing to go with the sweetness of the sugar. I am sure your family will love them as much as mine does!
Beef Stroganoff Meatballs
These delicious and hearty Beef Stroganoff Meatballs are a great dinner idea! The whole process from making the meatballs, to making the sauce and cooking the pasta, takes just under one hour! So start at 5, and dinner is ready for 6. I also love that this dish is made with ingredients you likely already have at home. Simple, hearty and delicious!
Meatballs and Gravy Dinner
This Meatballs and Gravy Dinner is a quick and delicious meal that the whole family will love. Hearty and tender meatballs with rich gravy are perfect over mashed potatoes! Ready in less than one hour. So not only are they fast, but all the ingredients to make them are simple too.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
When most people think of pulled pork, they think of pulled pork sandwiches. But pulled pork can be so much more than that (it’s even delicious served right over mashed potatoes)! By making a big batch of slow cooker pulled pork, you’ve got several options for dinner, making it a perfect meal planning staple. Of course, pulled pork is perfect for freezing and using later. And because it’s so versatile, you will never get bored of it! Check out my post for all my pulled pork serving ideas.
Stews and Soups
Nothing works better for big batch cooking than soups and stews! Here are some of my favourite mouthwatering recipes that are perfect for making now and serving later.
This Hamburger Soup is an easy weeknight meal! This soup is hearty and delicious, and a big batch recipe chock full of simple and delicious ingredients like lean ground beef, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and fresh herbs. So good. The fact that this soup makes a large batch to begin with means it’s a perfect freezer meal idea. Freeze it in main dish or lunch-sized portions, or go big and double the recipe so that you can make a few more lunches and have more than one main meal of soup ready to go on busy days.
This hearty vegetable soup is full of delicious and healthy ingredients like chickpeas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and tomatoes, which are also ingredients that are easy to find in the winter months. You can also add ingredients such as squash, mushrooms, sweet potato, or your favourite black beans, or anything else in your fridge that you need to use up. Make a double batch so you can freeze some for later, and then serve it with bread and a salad.
This Beef Stew recipe is a classic! Full of tender beef, seasonal vegetables, and delicious gravy, it is perfect served with mashed potatoes or biscuits. And just like all the rest of these soups and stews, you can make a double batch and freeze this for later, so you can dump it in the slow cooker and let it simmer all day again.
White Chicken Chili
Is it even really fair to call a white sauce a chili?! Well, I’m doing it! White Chicken Chili is cheesy and creamy, and a big hit in my house. And to keep things even more simple, grab a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store for this recipe. That makes putting this dinner together even easier! How much do we love and need dinners like that? Put the leftovers in the freezer for another night and you’ve just made another day’s supper super easy too!
Best Beef Chili
A classic recipe for Beef Chili, loaded with beans, spices like chili powder, and tonnes of delicious flavour! The addition of bacon makes this dish especially tasty, and you can feel free to sneak some peppers or corn or other veggies in too! Serve with cornbread, buns, rice, or over a baked potato with a dollop of sour cream. SO delicious. And of course, this chili freezes really well! Freeze it in portion sized Ziploc bags, and then dump it frozen into the slow cooker before you go to work or take it along with you to thaw by noon for a hearty lunch.
I keep telling you to pair these delicious comfort food meals with buns, so I might as well give you some ideas for making them! Bread and bread-related items are such a good complement to soups, stews, lasagnas and sloppy joes…need I go on? Here are three easy recipes for you to make to go with your easy freezer comfort meals.
Homemade Bread Machine Dinner Buns
Is there anything more mouthwatering and delicious than home baked bread? Let your bread machine do all the mixing and kneading for these Homemade Dinner Buns! Then shape the dough into buns and bake them in your oven. This is a great recipe for dinner rolls, tray buns, and hamburger buns. These also freeze well!
Bread Machine White Bread
Let your bread machine mix and knead for these Bread Machine White Bread loaves! I like to let my bread machine make the dough, then I shape and bake the dough myself. Just add the ingredients, select the dough setting, and one hour and 30 minutes later, you have a perfectly risen dough that is ready for shaping. This recipe makes 2, 1-lb loaves, so we can enjoy one right away, and I can freeze one for later.
Zucchini Cheddar Biscuits
Biscuits are so easy to make! In just 40 minutes you can have fresh, homemade biscuits on your table, and what could be better than that? These Zucchini Cheddar Biscuits are a perfect cheesy biscuit with a twist to serve alongside soups and stews and other freezer meals! Full of cheesy cheddar flavour and some healthy veggie goodness!
Who says a fancy breakfast (yes, I call any breakfast that isn’t cereal fancy) has to take all morning? I’ve got some ideas for breakfast food you can make in big batches when you’ve got the time, to serve another morning when you’ve got less time and energy.
Sheet Pan Pancakes
These Sheet Pan Pancakes are SO simple to make and are guaranteed to be a breakfast hit! Add your favourite berries, chocolate chips, or just leave them plain. Delicious! And, no more flipping in batches. All the cooking is done at once so everyone can eat breakfast at the same time. SO simple! If you cut up the leftovers into toaster-friendly sized pieces and freeze them, you’ve got an easy and delicious breakfast on the go another day!
In this post, not only am I going to share my go-to recipe for delicious crepes, I’m going to share all my tips for freezing them properly for those times you get a little overzealous and make a batch even your family cannot finish in one sitting! With this simple method, you can easily freeze leftover crepes for up to three months. This is such a great way to plan ahead and/or keep delicious leftovers.
Sour Cream Waffles
A classic and delicious recipe for Sour Cream Waffles. The addition of sour cream to the batter makes these waffles rich, moist and SO GOOD. From this recipe you will get about 20 – 24 medium sized waffles which feeds our family of 5 comfortably with about 2 – 3 waffles per person, plus leftovers. I like to have leftover waffles for breakfast for the kids during the week…they just pop them in the toaster before school. You could even double the recipe and freeze a whole bunch for breakfasts or lunches!
Big batch cooking and freezing aren’t just good for main meals. Save yourself time, energy and money by baking batches of dessert food too! Muffins and cookies baked ahead and frozen save you the time and money you might otherwise spend grabbing one from a fast-food place on your way to work, and they are better for you too. This is also a great way to add snacks to your kids’ lunches!
Try these delicious cookie recipes for a quick after-dinner treat, or for weekday lunches:
Forest Ranger Cookies
These Forest Ranger Cookies are a family favourite! Loaded with oats, coconut and cornflakes, this cookie recipe makes a big batch, perfect for freezing.
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
These Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies, also known as Chippers, are a delicious and adorable treat! This is my MOST FAVOURITE chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
These Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are soft, chewy and so delicious. The key it to boil and chop the raisins! Makes a big batch.
Grandma’s Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
All you need are a few simple ingredients to make Grandma’s Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies! Soft, chewy and full of peanut butter flavour.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
These Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft, chewy and full of delicious rich chocolate flavour. Will satisfy any hankerings you have for chocolate in a jiffy!
I love muffins. They are filling and somewhat healthy, and they freeze really well and make an easy-to-grab breakfast, lunch snack, or after-dinner treat. There are so many to choose from too! Here are some of my favourite muffin recipes for you to try.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
These vanilla muffins are loaded with chocolate chips and flavour! Make them bite-sized and freeze half the batch for later…kids love these.
This recipe for a Pail Full of Bran Muffins is made with bran flakes cereal. Double the recipe and freeze half for those days when you want something homemade, but don’t feel like baking.
Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
These Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins are so delicious, and are another great recipe for batch baking! Sweet, soft and loaded with blueberries. Use fresh or frozen blueberries.
Mom’s Oatmeal Muffins
My Mom’s Oatmeal Muffins are delicious and nutritious muffins! These are a lunchbox staple here, so I always try to have a bag of them in the freezer…my future self always thanks me!
Cake Doughnut Muffins
These Cake Doughnut Muffins are a delicious and easy homemade snack. A sweet light cinnamon-flavoured muffin with a scrumptious cinnamon sugar mix on top!
Now Let’s Batch Cook and Bake!
There you have it! A long list of main meals, breakfast food, and sweet treats that can all be made ahead and frozen for your convenience. I hope I’ve shown you that with a little extra prep and planning, you can set yourself up for easy weeknight meals that are healthy, tasty and inexpensive. If you try any of these, tag me in a photo on Instagram @aprettylife! I’d also love to hear your freezer meal prep ideas in the comments below.
Happy batch baking and cooking my friends!