Do you need some healthy meals that are convenient and ready to go? Something you can pull out easily so you don’t have to worry about dinner on those crazy days.
You and me both! That’s why I collected some of the recipes my family loves. These recipes are all healthy meals that you can make ahead of time and freeze for later.
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When to Use Freezer Meals
These healthy freezer meals are perfect for anyone with a busy schedule or someone who doesn’t have the time to cook dinner every night. They are great for times such as:
- Right after you have a baby
- Right after surgery or during a recovery period
- When you will be out of town and the husband and kids are fending for themselves
- You have unexpected guests come over
- You have a friend or family member going through any of the above situations and you want to help out
Benefits of making healthy freezer meals ahead of time:
Making healthy freezer meals ahead of time is one of my go-to hacks to help me stay on top of my diet and my budget! Here are some of my favorite benefits of having a few healthy meals stashed in the freezer at all times:
Saves time and energy on cooking. It takes no extra time to make a double recipe. You can easily cook one of the recipes below for dinner, make a double batch and freeze half of it. With no extra effort, you have an extra meal ready for you when you need it.
Saves money on groceries. When you cook freezer meals you can save money by stocking up on ingredients when they are on sale. For example, when chicken is on sale, you can buy extra, cook several of the recipes below and freeze the extra meals for when you need them.
Makes it easier to focus on a healthy diet. Having healthy meals ready to go ahead of time makes it way easier to stick to your diet. You won’t have to worry about cooking or figuring out what’s for dinner after a long busy day.
How to prepare healthy freezer meals:
The first step is to plan out the meals you want to cook. Then you decide when you want to cook. You can either double up recipes during your regular cooking schedule or you can also set aside a specific day to do all of your cooking. When I was preparing freezer meals for after I had my babies, I set aside a specific day to cook them all because I was cooking a lot of meals.
Then you cook the food, let it cool off, and place it into gallon freezer bags. Gallon freezer bags work best because they take up the least amount of room in your freezer. Plus they keep the food fresh for as long as possible.
After that, you just thaw and reheat whenever you need them. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
When I had my babies, I knew I wasn’t going to be up for cooking every night, so I would just pull out a freezer meal the night before to thaw in the fridge. The next evening all I had to do was heat it up and dinner was served. It was so easy even my husband could do it! (His culinary skills are not the greatest lol.)
9 Healthy Freezer Meals to Make Ahead
Chili is a great freezer meal because it is super easy to make! All you need to do is brown the ground beef, add in the beans, tomatoes, sauce, and chili seasoning and you are good to go! It’s a filling healthy meal that freezes really well.
To freeze, brown the ground beef and then place all the ingredients into a gallon freezer bag and place in the freezer. When you are ready to eat, pull out the bag of chili the night before and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Around dinner time, pour the chili into a pot on the stove and heat for 5-10 minutes on low.
You can find a great chili recipe here at Spaceships and Laser Beams.
This Italian BBQ Chicken is a great meal to stash in the freezer. Simply combine the ingredients in a gallon freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer.
When you are ready to eat, thaw the night before and cook on the grill or in the oven. Serve with a nice side salad and dinner is served!
You can find the recipe here at Mom Saves Money.
3. Beef Stew
Beef stew is a nice healthy freezer meal you can make ahead. It’s easy to cook in the crockpot and freezes very well. For this recipe, you want to be sure to cook it before freezing, because potatoes don’t freeze well when raw.
You can find a recipe here for Easy Beef Stew from Spend with Pennies. Simply follow the directions to cook the beef stew. Let the stew cool, then freeze in a gallon freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer.
Chicken fajitas are great freezer meals because they are easy to make in the oven all at once. You can do the prep for this recipe and freeze it to cook the day you are ready to eat it.
You can also fully cook the meal first and then freeze it. On the day you are ready to eat it, you just thaw and heat in the microwave like a regular meal prep meal.
I like to use this Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas recipe here at Haute & Healthy Living.
5. Taco Soup
This is my go-to healthy freezer meal. It tastes good, is filling, and is super easy to make. If you want a meal you can prep really quickly, this one is ready to go in about 10 minutes.
Simply brown the hamburger, place the ingredients in a gallon freezer bag, and place in the freezer. To reheat, thaw overnight and then reheat on the stove for about 10 minutes. Dinner is served.
You can find a great Taco Soup recipe here at I Heart Naptime.
This is an often requested meal at my house. It is easy to make and freezes great. It is also easy to customize with your favorite vegetables or whatever you happen to have on hand. This is a recipe that works a little better if you cook it ahead of time and then freeze.
When you are ready to eat it, simply pull it out of the freezer the night before to thaw, and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
This Chicken and Rice Soup recipe at Two Peas & Their Pod is simple and delicious.
If you want to have Chinese food on demand without the take-out, then this is a great freezer meal for you. This meal is easy and delicious. Simply cook the meal according to the directions, let cool, and freeze.
To reheat, thaw the night before and heat in the microwave. This Chicken Fried Rice recipe at Cooking Classy is a family favorite.
This healthy freezer meal is delicious and versatile. You can cook it on the stove or in the crockpot. With both versions, cook the meal prior to freezing. When you are ready to eat it, thaw it overnight and reheat in the microwave.
This healthy freezer meal is a nice change of pace from traditional chili. It’s very simple to make and cooks in the slow cooker whenever you are ready to eat it. To prep White Chicken Chili, simply place all the ingredients except the corn starch into a gallon freezer bag and freeze laying flat.
When you are ready to eat it, thaw it overnight, place it in the slow cooker, and cook according to the directions. You can find a great White Chicken Chili recipe at My Natural Family.
Final thoughts on healthy freezer meals
So those are 9 of my favorite healthy freezer meals to make ahead. Even though I currently have more time in my schedule and I do a weekly meal prep, I still like to have a few of these meals on hand for emergencies. You never know what’s going to happen, and it’s nice to know that dinner is always covered no matter what.
If you want to make planning healthy meals for your family simple and easy, check out my Weekly Meal Planning Bundle. It has worksheets to help you plan our meals weekly and monthly. Plus, it has themed diner ideas for an entire month so you never get bored. You can find it HERE.
If you have any suggestions or ideas for other healthy freezer meals please leave a comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more healthy recipes.
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I’m a busy mom of 3 turned Health and Fitness Coach and Self Defense Instructor. I help inspire other moms to reach their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You can usually find me chasing my kiddos around, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or sneaking away to read romance novels. About Me