18 Healthy Freezer Meals to Prep Now and Eat Later
By: Rebecca Paredes
Freezer meals are the unsung hero of meal planning. These are meals you make in bulk and freeze for later. Healthy freezer meals come in clutch when you want to make sure you’ll have easy access to nourishing meals (who doesn’t want that?) and when you want to minimize waste by maximizing your fresh ingredients. Not sure what to do with the veg withering in your fridge? Chop it up and freeze it in one of these delicious recipes. Bam.
Save these freezer-friendly recipes for easy access to clean eating, without the hassle. You can prep and stash a variety of healthy freezer meals at once, or just freeze parts of meals to cut down on future prep work. Heads up that some of these recipes aren’t written for freezer storage, so we’ll call out how you can freeze and reheat them on your own. For more tips, check out the FAQ.
Table of contents
Prefer to keep your food under pressure? You can adapt slow cooker recipes for your Instant Pot, too. Check out this guide by Taste of Home.
Soups and stews
Image via Pinch of Yum
What do you get when you combine turmeric, cauliflower, onion and cashews? This golden, silky soup that tastes as good as it looks. Stash the ingredients in the freezer, then cook in your slow cooker or Instant Pot. Blend everything together to make a nourishing soup you can finish with your favorite toppings, like cilantro or chopped bacon.
Image via PaleoHacks
To prepare this delicious tortilla soup ahead of time, saute the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic. Once cool, combine with the other ingredients (minus the chicken broth and garnishes) and freeze. When you’re ready to cook, thaw the frozen ingredients. The simplest way to thaw your food is to place it in the fridge overnight, so plan accordingly. Place thawed ingredients in your slow cooker with the chicken broth. Follow the recipe as written. Devour.
To prep this satisfying stew for the freezer, brown your beef, then let cool. Combine all ingredients except spinach in a freezer-safe container and freeze. Let it thaw before cooking, then follow the recipe as written.
Image via Happy Money Saver
Follow the “Make Ahead” instructions to prep this flavorful chili verde. Roasting the peppers and tomatillos is optional, but adds an extra dimension of flavor without taking a ton of time. Enjoy this dish in a taco, over rice or in a next-level burrito bowl — yum.
Image via Happy Money Saver
Coconut milk, cashews and curry spices combine to create a butternut squash soup that steals the show at dinnertime. Follow the recipe as written to make it a freezer meal, and cook it in your slow cooker or pressure cooker.
Image via the Nourished Caveman
Bacon, cabbage and chuck roast stew is paleo comfort food at its finest. To make this a freezer meal, freeze all ingredients except the bone broth. Thaw, then follow the ingredients as written, adding the bone broth directly to your slow cooker. You may not be able to layer the ingredients as written, but the flavors will still shine.
Image via Pinch of Yum
Think of this recipe as your ticket to spicy, saucy goodness. It tastes just as good in a taco as it does in a bowl with cauliflower rice and your favorite veggies. Coat chicken thighs in an easy and aromatic sauce, then freeze until you’re ready to cook. This recipe includes instructions for your slow cooker and Instant Pot.
No beans? No problem. This white chicken chili is loaded with quality fats and spices, so every spoonful is satisfying and delicious. Make a double batch of this recipe and freeze the leftovers. You’ll want to let the chili cool completely before stashing it in the freezer. That way, you’ll have a ready-made meal waiting for you. To serve, let the chili thaw in the fridge, then reheat in a pot on the stove.
Image via the Family Freezer
This dump-and-go recipe yields tender, delicious pork roast with minimal prep work. Stash all the ingredients together in the freezer, then let thaw before adding to your slow cooker. Enjoy it over your favorite gluten-free noodles or with a side of roasted vegetables.
This sweet-and-savory chicken dish is ultra versatile. Enjoy it in a rice bowl, wrapped in your favorite tortilla or over salad greens. You can either freeze your seared chicken with your sauce ingredients, or freeze it once it has been cooked. Follow the instructions to portion out your chicken, then stash a few containers directly in the freezer for an easy grab-and-go protein.
Cumin, coriander and turmeric elevate this keto slow cooker beef recipe. Combine the ingredients in a freezer-safe container until you’re ready to cook, or make a big batch and freeze half for later.
These freezer meals are made for the oven, grill or stovetop.
Great for breakfast or a grab-and-go snack, Keto Bacon and Zucchini Muffins are a delicious way to use zucchini and any other vegetables you have lingering in your crisper. Follow the recipe as written, then let cool before stashing in the freezer. To reheat, allow them to thaw in the fridge, then reheat in the oven (or toaster oven or Air Fryer) for maximum deliciousness.
Image via 40 Aprons
Packed with protein, fiber and (most importantly) flavor, this Whole30 breakfast casserole will become a new household staple. Follow the instructions as written, then let cool completely before freezing. To serve, leave the casserole in your fridge overnight, then reheat in the oven until warm.
This freezer-to-grill recipe is magical. Thread seasoned vegetables and steak onto skewers, then freeze until you’re ready to cook. While this recipe is written for the grill, you can also roast them in the oven. Heads up: If you’re avoiding gluten and/or following the paleo diet, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari.
These paleo beef meatballs are the building blocks of delicious meals. Enjoy them with pasta sauce and zoodles, in wraps or on their own with a side of veggies. Follow the recipe instructions, then let your meatballs cool before stashing a batch in the freezer.
Image via Real Simple Good
This sausage and vegetable casserole is packed with wholesome vegetables, dotted with pepperoni and layered with flavor — all without any cheese. Assemble the lasagna and follow the recipe as written up to step 9, then cover tightly and freeze. When you’re ready to cook, allow the lasagna to thaw, then bake according to the recipe.
Image via Happy Money Saver
Turn any night into steak night with this easy, healthy freezer meal recipe. Follow the recipe instructions to freeze seasoned steak and peppers wrapped in foil, and when you’re ready to cook, you can reheat your foil packets in the oven or over the grill.
Image via Living Loving Paleo
You’re going to want seconds of this casserole thanks to its delicious layers of guacamole, taco-seasoned ground beef and plantains. Plus, it’s paleo and Whole30-friendly. To make it freezer-friendly, follow recipe instructions up to to step 5. Assemble your casserole, then allow to cool before covering tightly and freezing. When you’re ready to cook, allow the casserole to thaw in your fridge, then bake according to the recipe instructions. Save the guacamole for the very end, right before serving.
How to store freezer meals
Your goal with any freezer meal is to reduce exposure to air. Let your food cool completely (we’re talking room temperature, people), then store it in a freezer-safe container. Plastic bags are common, but it’s friendlier for the planet to use reusable containers with tight-fitting lids.
Some meals, like casseroles, can be frozen in the dish you plan to bake them in — just cover with an airtight lid, or a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Whatever vessel you use, make sure you label it with the name of the dish and the date it was frozen.
How to reheat freezer meals
When you’re reheating already-cooked meals, remember that you just want to warm them up, not cook them. Set your oven to low heat — no more than 350°F — and periodically check your food until it’s heated through. Keep your food from drying out by covering it with foil or an oven-safe lid.
What dishes freeze well?
Dishes that are greater than the sum of their parts. Think soups, stews, casseroles (without cream) and basic meat dishes (like meatballs!). Meals that can be shredded, stirred and cooked low and slow tend to do well in the freezer.
What should you not freeze?
Creamy ingredients like milk and creamy sauces tend to separate in the freezer. Don’t freeze ingredients you plan to eat raw, like lettuce or cucumbers.
How do I avoid freezer burn?
Minimize exposure to air when you freeze your meals. That means using freezer-safe containers with tight lids or double-layers of foil, and filling your containers close to the top (but not all the way — you want to leave some space for the food to expand as it freezes).
WANT MORE RECIPES?
Subscribe to our Recipe Lab newsletter and have deliciousness delivered to your inbox every week!