8 Essential Types of Freezer Meals

published Feb 17, 2015
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Whether you have dedicated cooking sessions to stock your freezer, or it’s a landing zone for leftovers, I think we can all agree that freezer meals are beyond amazing. During busy weeks when I simply don’t have time, and on the nights I’m too tired to cook dinner, pulling a home-cooked meal from the freezer feels like a gift.

We’ve shared a lot of our favorite freezer meals with you, but today we’re taking a look at your favorite freezer meals. Perhaps you’ll see one of your favorites on the list, and maybe you’ll even get some new ideas.

For some of you, the freezer is your solution for breakfast burritos and pancakes on weekday mornings. Casseroles proved to be crowd-pleasing favorites, and, one thing was certain — there’s a universal love for stocking the freezer with soup, stew, chili, and tomato sauce.

Our Readers’ 8 Essential Types of Freezer Meals

1. Breakfast of champions.

Thanks to the freezer, homemade muffins and quiche are midweek breakfast realities.

Breakfast! I keep things like muffins, sliced quick breads, frittata cups, and portioned oatmeal bakes. – baby grace

Crustless quiche loaded with veggies are great to freeze. You can slice before freezing for single-serve options. – meleyna

2. Stock up on soup, stew, and chili.

Is it actually possible to get through the winter without a freezer full of soup, stew, and chili? I think not. And, neither do most of you.

Soup! Lots and lots of soup. And, stew. It only gets better. – Nina D

I have had soup-making marathon sessions where I’d freeze about 20 lunch-sized containers of soup. It’s a lot of work, but in one day I can make a month of lunches that are way better than anything in our cafeteria. – EngineerChic

3. Lots of meat.

From homemade meatballs and meatloaf, to sliced beef and chicken with gravy, meat is a freezer staple.

Homemade meatballs, half-baked and in baggies by the dozen. Also, cuts of meat in threes, frozen in marinade. – DD Lizzy

I freeze individually sized turkey meatloaves on parchment paper before transferring and covering to store. That way I can take out as many as needed at the time. – Merry123

My grandmother makes a ton of brisket, slices it, and freezes it with baked carrots and all the juice — the juice is the key! She reheats it with all the fat/juice so it isn’t dry. – lovelyolivia

4. Casseroles that warm you inside and out.

Lasagna was your favorite go-to, by far, and I can’t say I blame you. You can store it whole, or slice it into single portions, and it reheats so easily.

My go-to freezer meals are casseroles, like mac and cheese and lasagna! – Lorena in SD

Lasagna with butternut bechamel is amazing and definitely worth freezing! It reheats like a dream. But if you’re a veggie lover like me, you’ll want to double the greens and mushrooms it calls for! Don’t worry, it can take it! – babygrace

5. Sauces and marinades to complement any meal.

From batches of tomato sauce to gravy and marinades, keeping these things handy makes dinnertime easier.

I make and freeze batches of some favorite marinades and sauces. Having my favorite tofu marinade around made life so much easier when we had a young infant. It meant that we could still take advantage of fresh veggies from the farmers’ market but with way less work. – jmccourt

6. Save your veggies.

Freezing leftover veggies is a great way to curb food waste. Use them later in soups, stir-fries, sauces, or even in burritos.

I know it may sound weird, but I also freeze leftover salad (undressed!) that is getting wilted. I use it in soups or stir-fries; it doesn’t taste that much different than cabbage, and I avoid wasting food. – pvm

7. Burritos.

Whether they’re filled with meat, veggies, or simply rice and beans, burritos (and tamales!) are grab-and-go freezer favorites.

Make-ahead burritos are truly fantastic and very easily adapted to whatever you have on hand. Last time I made them, I used a combo of cooked brown rice and barley and French lentils instead of the black beans. I also threw in a zucchini I needed to get rid of. And, of course, you can change the ratios if you like less rice and more veggies. – peeweesf

Black bean and sweet potato burritos freeze great and are super easy to make. Sauté onions and garlic, throw in a can of black beans (or make your own in a slow cooker) and whatever seasonings you like, and roughly mash with a fork. While you are doing this, microwave some sweet potatoes and mash well once cooked through. Again season to taste. Layer the beans and sweet potatoes in a burrito, wrap, and freeze. Healthy, fast, cheap, and vegan. – jenc229

Tamales! I make a triple batch (about 40) using leftover brisket, pork, or beans, and freeze them all in a ziplock bag. You can pull them out and microwave them for two minutes, or pull them out in the morning and let them thaw in the fridge and steam them for five. – Ms. Margaret

8. There’s always room for dessert!

The freezer is your solution to home-baked cookies everyday.

It’s not the heart of a meal, but my freezer seems incomplete without homemade cookie dough. Whenever I make cookies, I only bake a few and freeze the rest in plastic-wrapped logs. Then, whenever anyone wants a cookie, I can just slice off a few disks and bake them. Freshly baked cookies whenever you want them (and sometimes, only 2 at a time!). – tillysmom

Are your favorites on this list? What are some of your go-to freezer meals?