It can be hard to find time to cook healthy, tasty meals during the week, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Freezer cooking allows you to prepare healthy meals in advance and stash them in your freezer until you need them. Here are five delicious freezer meals that are perfect for busy weeknights or when you want to save some cash by skipping out on takeout!
1) Pork chops with BBQ sauce
Whenever you need a quick meal, keep some boneless pork chops in your freezer. Cook them in your slow cooker with BBQ sauce on low for 8 hours or until tender, drain, and serve. Pork goes great with potatoes (and sometimes, with apples), so toss together a salad or make mashed potatoes to accompany these chops. Drizzle a little more BBQ sauce over everything before serving.
2) Whole Chicken
I like to use a whole chicken when I make my freezer meals because there’s so much meat on each bird. You can use whatever pieces you want, but it’s easier to portion out a chicken when you have one bigger piece. If you want to save even more time, consider purchasing a fully cooked whole chicken from your local grocery store deli counter. It takes some of the work out of cooking and makes portioning that much easier!
3) Stir fry veggies, chicken and rice
This is my go-to meal when I get home late from work and don’t have time to cook. I buy a bag of frozen stir fry veggies (mine come with onions, red peppers, green beans, zucchini and carrots), pre-cooked chicken breast strips, rice noodles and soy sauce (sometimes I also buy sliced almonds or cashews). Then I dump it all in a big Ziploc bag to freeze. A few weeks later when it’s game time, I just take out my portion from last week’s dinner—usually around 2 servings worth—and microwave them together on high until everything is hot again (it takes about 4 minutes). They keep well in tupperware for lunch leftovers.
4) Spaghetti Bolognese
The holy grail of freezer meals, Spaghetti Bolognese is delicious, freezes well and requires very little prep. It’s a great way to add variety to your freezer cooking stash with minimal effort. All you need are ground beef, tomato sauce, red wine, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and spaghetti noodles. Simply combine ingredients in a large bowl (or measuring cup if you want to prep it all at once), then portion into baggies that can go directly into your freezer. When you’re ready to eat them later on, just boil some water for your pasta and pour some sauce over top! Frozen veggies are also a delicious addition to any meal but especially spaghetti bolognese because they balance out all of that meaty goodness!
5) Meatballs in tomato sauce
This is my go-to freezer meal. Not only is it filling, but it's also really simple to make. If you’re short on time in general or just need something extra fast on weekdays, these are your best bet. All you have to do is roll out a pound of ground beef (I usually add Italian spices), cook it with a jar of spaghetti sauce, pour them into individual containers, then freeze for at least 4 hours before putting them in the fridge overnight. The next day, just pop one or two into your oven and you’ve got dinner in 20 minutes! (Pro tip: I like to add an egg to my portion as soon as I get home from work.)