The freezer has been doing heavy lifting to save us both food and money for some time now.
Is your grocery retailer working an enormous sale on floor beef? Purchase it in bulk and freeze it. Have some leftovers that you simply don’t wish to toss? Lower down on meals waste and freeze these, too!
Not solely can you purchase recent greens once they’re in season and freeze them for later, however the freezer may enable you put together for the busy dinner nights forward.
On the subject of probably the most scrumptious freezer meal recipes, we at all times ask ourselves the next: Is it simple to meal prep forward? Is it wholesome? Filling?
Wholesome meals will be nice in concept, however generally a salad or veggie soup isn’t satisfying sufficient to fill us up, inflicting snack cravings and pointless spending later.
We’ve put collectively an inventory of 12 simple, reasonably priced freezer meal recipes. And so they aren’t simply wholesome; they’re are also hearty sufficient to maintain you happy and filled with vitality all day lengthy.
12 Freezer Meal Recipes For Busy Nights
1. Wholesome Freezer Breakfast Burritos
An important meal of the day simply bought simpler. Not solely do these breakfast burritos make the most of cheap, nutrient wealthy elements like candy potatoes and black beans, however they’re additionally simply customizable with any of your favourite elements. As an example, high off your burrito with scorching sauce! Make a bunch for the week to freeze and eat this scrumptious meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Fundamental Components: Candy potatoes ($1/pound on common), eggs ($4.25/carton on common), black beans ($0.99/can on common)
2. Cilantro Lime Rooster and Lentil Rice Bowls
Filled with nutritional vitamins and protein, lentils are one of many least expensive and healthiest meals you should purchase. This healthy freezer meal combines taste with ease—simply throw lentils, hen thighs or hen breasts, salsa, hen broth, and aromatics into the crock pot or prompt pot and voila! Dinner is served. Freeze the leftovers in freezer secure luggage or containers, or freeze all of the elements collectively forward of time for straightforward cooking one other day.
Fundamental Components: lentils ($2/pound on common), hen thighs ($2/pound on common)
3. Therapeutic Rooster and Rice Soup
One other Pinch of Yum recipe that’s positive to get you thru these colder winter nights. On the subject of simple freezer meals, soups reign supreme. Not solely does this soup freeze superbly and use ever-so-affordable boneless skinless hen thighs, however it is usually bursting with immune boosting and anti inflammatory elements like ginger, turmeric, and spinach. Freezer meal prep meets your crock pot for a very hearty meal.
Fundamental Components: Rooster thighs ($2/pound on common), jasmine rice ($1.30/pound on common)
4. Cut up Pea Soup
Cut up pea soup has gotten a foul rap through the years, however this isn’t your grandparents’ break up pea soup. Bursting with taste, heartiness, and depth, this soup is each crave-worthy and will get even higher because it sits in your freezer. Not solely are break up peas cheap, however they’re filled with protein, fiber, and B nutritional vitamins. Make a batch for as we speak and freeze half of it (sans toppings) for later—your future self will thanks!
Fundamental Components: Dry break up peas ($1.59/pound on common), potato or rutabaga ($1.19/pound on common)
5. Butternut Squash Lasagna
What’s extra comforting than having a lasagna within the freezer for a weeknight dinner? This recipe requires simply 10-ingredients to create a creamy casserole that’s full of veggies, vitamin C from butternut squash, and is dairy-free in addition. Between the creaminess of the squash and the meatiness of the mushrooms, we promise you received’t miss the bottom beef and melted cheese. Assemble, cowl effectively, and freeze. If you want a scrumptious meal, pull it out, cowl with foil, and bake for an hour in a 350 diploma oven. A wholesome dinner even nonna would approve of.
Fundamental Components: Butternut squash ($1.99/pound on common), mushrooms ($4.40/pound on common), lasagna noodles ($1.89/package deal on common)
6. Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
On the lookout for conventional purple sauce lasagna flavors with out the pasta? Look no further. Thinly sliced zucchini replaces lasagna noodles and is full of a ricotta, parmesan cheese, and frozen spinach combination on this lighter model of a traditional. Make it in the summertime when bulk zucchini is extraordinarily low-cost and freeze for the cooler climate. Need further protein? Add some shredded hen.
Fundamental Components: Zucchini ($1.99/pound on common), ricotta cheese ($4/container on common)
7. Cauliflower and Tomato Masala with Peas
Indian meals will be among the extra scrumptious freezer meals there are. This take on Gobi Matar is straightforward, cheap, and vegan. Plus it’s full of well being boosters like cauliflower, frozen peas, ginger and turmeric. Plenty of spices and tomato sauce make this freezer meal hearty and warming. Seize it out of the freezer together with some flatbread for dipping or boil a fast pot of quinoa to make the whole dinner gluten free.
Fundamental Components: Cauliflower ($3.59/head on common), tomato puree ($1.49/can on common), frozen peas ($0.99/bag on common)
8. 5-Ingredient Candy Potato Black Bean Chili
On the subject of tasting higher with time, chili is king. This nutritious vegetarian version is the right hearty meal to maintain available in your freezer. A spicy kick from the chili powder and scorching sauce will heat you up on a chilly winter’s night time. Antioxidants? Examine. Filling protein? Examine. Low cost and straightforward? Examine and verify. For an additional dollop of wholesome fat, garnish with avocado or add floor turkey!
Fundamental Components: Candy potatoes ($1/pound on common), black beans ($0.99/can on common), purple salsa ($2.49/jar on common.
Do you know that you could purchase avocados in bulk and freeze them them to economize? Seize a bunch for this recipe and save them for different scrumptious freezer meals just like the casserole under.
9. Roasted Veggie Enchiladas Casserole
Though enchiladas and casseroles aren’t meals that often scream “well being”, this roasted veggie version could change your thoughts. Crammed to the brim with cauliflower, candy potatoes, purple peppers, spinach, and black beans, this recipe is filling, satisfying, economical and full of vitamins. High with bitter cream, lime juice, and use 100% corn tortillas for a vegetarian, gluten free dinner that you simply’ll be thrilled to have in your freezer not solely as a weekday possibility, but additionally as a showstopping important dish to serve firm!
Fundamental Components: Candy potatoes ($1/pound on common), black beans ($0.99/can on common), cauliflower ($3.59/head on common), purple bell peppers ($3.49/pound on common)
10. Greatest Veggie Burger Recipe
Retailer-bought veggie burgers have been a freezer staple for years, however have you ever ever tried to make your personal? Typically cheaper and far more healthy, do-it-yourself veggie burgers substitute filler with actual greens. This version combines mushrooms, brown rice, and walnuts within the meals processor for a protein packed meal that even probably the most discerning meat eaters will love. Make a complete batch and freeze them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. As soon as frozen, pop right into a freezer bag for straightforward storage and pull one out to grill, saute or bake whenever you want a fast, wholesome dinner! Add on a slice of cheddar cheese or preserve this recipe dairy free.
Fundamental Components: Mushrooms ($4.40/pound on common), brown rice ($0.95/pound on common), uncooked walnuts ($4.99/bag on common)
11. Mushroom Bourguignon
Portobello mushrooms are the right, cheaper, extra nutritious different to beef. Elevate them much more in this classic mushroom bourguignon that tastes gradual cooked, however comes collectively way more rapidly than its authentic namesake. French freezer meals? Wholesome indulgence at its best.
Fundamental Ingredient: Mushrooms ($4.40/pound on common)
12. Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Tumeric
This Alison Roman original recipe went web viral in 2020 for good purpose. Not solely is it wealthy with flavorful, anti-inflammatory elements (hello once more, turmeric and ginger), nevertheless it calls for cheap pantry elements like chickpeas and coconut milk, making it simple to make at any time. Freeze leftovers or the entire batch and indulge on this hearty stew when the craving hits.
Fundamental Components: Chickpeas ($0.99/can on common), coconut milk ($2.29/can on common), kale ($2.79/bunch on common)
Determine which of those wholesome freezer meals you wish to make? Try these tricks to stretch your freezer meals ever extra.
1. Label your frozen meals.
Ever put one thing within the freezer solely to query what it was? All the time label your meals with the date that you simply made it and its contents. Not solely will this enable you get dinner on the desk sooner, however it is going to additionally stop you from throwing unknown contents out. Unsure how lengthy you may freeze one thing for? Check this out to learn more!
2. Portion out your freezer meals.
Whether or not you’re cooking for a household of 5 or simply for your self, pre-portioning your freezer meals as wanted beforehand generally is a lifesaver. Reasonably than defrost the whole dish, pull out the variety of serving you want!
3. Use correct storage supplies.
All the time make the most of official freezer luggage, plastic wrap, and freezer secure tupperware when freezing meals to protect high quality and freshness. Nothing is worse than going by all of the work of making a meal solely to have it succumb to freezer burn!
4. Quiet down your meals earlier than you freeze it.
By no means put scorching meals into the freezer. Make sure you enable your meals to chill down first earlier than packaging it up.
Contributor Michele Becker is a Boston based mostly author who focuses on meals, in addition to Italian journey and historical past.