Repeat after me: The freezer is my friend. That's right — the freezer can be like the best friend of all, one who drops off a pot of soup on an evening you're not feeling well, or a dish of pasta after a busy day of work, when you really don't feel like cooking. Of course, that friend is really you, doing a little extra work now so you can have an easy meal later. There are so many recipes that can make a little extra to be squirreled away in the freezer for a later time. These little packages from the past are a huge gift to your future self, setting a nourishing table before you at times when you are busy, stressed, and in need of a quick fix.
I experienced this recently myself, in a very busy week when dinner was the last thing on my mind, I remembered a container of chicken stew in the freezer. Defrost, heat, plate up with a quick salad and presto! Happiness all round. Be a good friend to yourself and create that kind of happiness with one of these 15 recipes this week — good recipes to cook, double, and freeze.
Of course, the freezer's doesn't end with full meals. I also like to freeze meal building blocks, like pesto, chicken stock, and vegetable broth.
But there's really nothing to beat your very own frozen meal — hearty, homemade, and happy-making.
SAUCES FOR PASTA & RICE
• 1 Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon
• 2 African Beef and Peanut Stew
• 3 Sausage & Fennel Ragù
• 4 Borlotti Beans in Tomato Sauce
• 5 Baked Beans with Pineapple and Bacon
• 6 Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cinnamon Couscous
HEARTY STEWS & SOUPS
• 7 Hearty Chicken Minestrone
• 8 Chicken Stew with Kale and Cannellini Beans
• 9 Zucchini Garlic Soup
• 10 Roasted Red Kuri Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
• 11 Lentil Soup with Lemon Yogurt Cream
• 12 Barbecue Shredded Chicken
• 13 Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
• 14 Slow-Cooker Carnitas
• 15 Veal Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce
Your turn! What's your favorite meal to make ahead and freeze?
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)