Life can often be hectic and very few of us have time to cook up elaborate meals during the week. This time of year, comfort foods like soups, stews and casseroles are great, but they require time and planning. Instead of stressing about getting dinner on the table, why not look to freezer recipes that will keep for weeks and provide easy weeknight dinners in a flash?
Not all of your favorite meals are freezer friendly, but there are a number of recipes that are easily frozen. Think of things that often taste better the second day like chili, lasagna or soup. By preparing a large batch of something, you are instantly cooking freezer meals that will be good for lunch or dinner. If your regular recipe usually provides you with four servings, double it and freeze the leftovers. It often doesn’t take much more effort to make twice as much of something – especially when you’re prepping with a sharp, Chef’s knife – but it does save you lots of time and energy the next time you need a quick meal. Just chop up a few extra onions for pasta sauce, or peel a few more carrots for chicken stew.
Preparing Freeze Ahead Meals
How do you prepare freeze ahead meals? It’s pretty simple. If you’re making something like soup or chili, ladle it into freezer safe containers and let it cool down before putting the lid on. Once your containers are cool enough, they can go straight into the freezer. Freeze ahead meals like soup are then ready to be pulled out whenever you need them. Making a lasagna? You can either make it, cook it and then freeze it in portions, or make a whole lasagna in a Pyrex or disposable aluminum pan and freeze it before cooking. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
Great Meals to Freeze
You can choose from a number of meals to freeze to add to your standard weeknight dinner lineup:
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Pasta Sauce