Have I mentioned how much I love freezer meal recipes? So much so that I make certain to keep my freezer stocked and ready all year long. Here is how to get started with freezer cooking.
If you’re looking for a few simple dinner ideas to stock your freezer with great meals, you are going to love this collection of 100 freezer meals.
Each one is unique and you’ll find a wide variety for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Making dinners ahead in large batches is a huge time saver for me because I am feeding a large family of seven every single night.
What is a Freezer Meal?
This is also referred to as freezer cooking or make ahead meals.
It is combining ingredients together for a meal and freezing it all together in a casserole dish or gallon size freezer-friendly bag until you’re ready to cook it.
Many people like to do this in bulk so they have a stash of recipes waiting in their freezer. They pull one meal out at a time and thaw it in the fridge overnight and then it is ready to be cooked in the oven the next day or tossed in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Some busy moms like to do one month cooking at a time and prep 30 freezer meals to stuff in their deep freeze. If that overwhelms you, start small. Tonight when you make a casserole, make two (it essentially requires no extra time from you since you already have everything out) and freeze the second dish saving it for a night later in the month or for the coming months. This is a great way to make meal
Tips for Making Freezer Friendly Recipes
- When it comes to preparing freezer meals, keep in mind that you can almost freeze any type of ingredient. While freezing some foods might change the texture a bit, they’re still perfectly fine to eat.
- Make certain to write the directions and what it is on the outside of the container or bag. That way you know exactly what you’re going to cook and how to cook it without having to do a ton of extra work.
- Write the date that you are freezing the meal on the container as well so that you know how long it is good for. This is a lifesaver and timesaver as well!
I use freezer bags, think Ziplock, and my stash of glass casserole pans. These are the 9x13s, think Pyrex.
Then if I need more casserole pans I will buy the bulk aluminum pans at Walmart, Sams, the dollar store or online.
100 Make Ahead Meals for Your Freezer
Can I Cook Freezer Meals in the Slow Cooker
Yes!! Many of the freezer meals that I make I end up cooking in the Crock Pot or in my electric pressure cooker. These are the meals I freeze in a gallon size freezer bag and I just dump and go. Toss it in, push start, and dinner will be done.
How Long Do Freezer Meals Last in the Freezer?
As long as they are store properly in freezer bags or well covered in a casserole pan (disposable or reusable) you can keep them in your freezer for 3-5 months without worrying about freezer burn. You can store them in a deep freezer for longer.
Ingredients like pasta and rice I try to use closer to the 2-3 month mark.
Can Cooked Rice Be Frozen?
Yes! I do it all the time.
I use cooked rice in freezer meals. I’ve also used uncooked rice in freezer and make ahead recipes. Just know when the rice is not precooked it will take longer for the meal the be done in the oven.
We eat a lot of rice, I buy white rice in 50 pound bags at Sams, which will last my family of seven almost a year. Often times when I have leftover steamed/cooked rice from a meal, I will add it to a large storage bag in the freezer. This is great for adding to soups and strews later to stretch meals out even further.
Do You Cook Freezer Meals Before Freezing?
You do not cook the meal before freezing it.
However, if a recipe calls for ground beef and I am tuning it into a freezer meal, I will pre-cook the meat before added it to the freezer safe pan or the freezer bag. This is for things casseroles, spaghetti sauce, soups, stuffed pasta shells with ground beef, etc.
If I am making freezer hamburger patties or meatloaf I will not precook the beef.
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Can Cooked Pasta Be Frozen
Yes! I do this all the time in my freezer casseroles that call for pasta.
Ideally I like to only cook the pasta until it is al dente, then drain the pasta and add it to the casserole dish I am going to freeze. I love easy freezer meals like this!
Delicious Freezer Meal Recipes
Check out these other great freezer meal ideas:
Do You Have to Thaw Freezer Crockpot Meals?
You do not have to thaw meals you’re going to toss in the slow cooker.
You do need to add cook time when cooking a meal from frozen.
And I will be honest, cooking from frozen is not my favorite. I prefer to let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
You do not have to fully thaw any freezer meal no matter where you plan to cook it- the oven, the stove top or the Instant Pot. Again, it’s just not my favorite way to cook my freezer meals.
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Can You Put Ziplock Bags in the Crockpot
No, you do not want to put the freezer bag into the slow cooker. You want to remove the food from the Ziplock back in order to cook it.
What you can do is use Crockpot Liners in your slow cooker to make clean up easier. I don’t prefer them, but they are an option.
Can You Freeze Food in Tupperware?
Tupperware is a brand and they do make plastic that is specifically freezer friendly.
You can find Freezer Mate or Freeze It Tupperware if you’re wanting to use Tupperware brand products to freeze foods.