Freezer cooking can be a huge help for those busy (or lazy!) days when cooking from scratch isn’t an option. However, it can be super intimidating to get started. What recipes should you try? Do you the time and energy to devote to a full day of freezer cooking? If so, can you really afford to pay for all those groceries in advance? Is it worth the effort to prepare freezer meals if you can’t do it all in one big day?
Let’s erase some of that intimidation with these tips, and you can start filling your freezer for your busy (or lazy) days.
4 Tips for Getting Started in Freezer Cooking
1) Use Recipes You Already Love – There are many places online where you can find freezer friendly recipes, but start by looking at recipes you already make and love. The last thing you want to do is invest your time and money into a freezer meal that you end up hating!
Common Dishes that Freeze Well:
- lasagna, manicotti, baked spaghetti, and other pasta based dishes
- meatloaf and meatballs
- taco meat
- vegetable soup, chili, and other soups that aren’t cream/milk based (Cream based soups might turn out fine for you, but I don’t recommend starting with one.)
- muffins, cookies, sweet breads, and other baked goods
Some of my favorite freezer friendly recipes:
- Pizza Tot Casserole
- Creamy Baked Chicken
- Taco Soup
- Curried Lentils
- Honey Mustard Baked Chicken
- Zuppa Toscana Soup (an Olive Garden knock-off)
- 5 more freezer friendly recipes
2) Start Small with Batch Cooking – Batch cooking is when you double a recipe, eat one batch that day, and freeze the other batch for later. Making a double batch of a dish usually doesn’t take that much extra time. It is a great way to sneak freezer cooking into your regular meal prep. Every time I make curried lentils, I double it for my freezer.
3) Freeze Part of a Meal – The whole meal doesn’t need to be waiting for you in the freezer, and it is okay to add some of the ingredients fresh. I have doubled a batch of chicken fried rice before and froze half of it as a kit. I chopped all the veggies and chicken, added the spices, and put a note on the bag with what additional ingredients I would need to add fresh. I also like doing this with smoothies and honey mustard baked chicken.
More Meal Starter Ideas for Your Freezer:
- browned hamburger
- chicken breast in marinade
- shredded or chopped cooked chicken
- pizza dough
- homemade bone broth
- stock up on frozen vegetables
- frozen fruit for smoothies
4) Gather Inspiration From Sales – Buying a ton of groceries for a freezer cooking day can be expensive, but it helps if you keep an eye out for sales. I love my discount grocery store, and was inspired to try homemade smoothie kits when I discovered they had frozen fruit in stock.
Don’t be afraid to give freezer cooking a try! Just maybe you’ll end up loving it so much that you decide to devote an entire day to freezer cooking. If so, check out my 10 Tips for a Successful Freezer Cooking Day.
How often do you try freezer cooking? Have you devoted a whole day or do you prefer batch cooking?