70+ Healthy Freezer Meal Recipes (+ All About Freezer Cooking)

70+ healthy freezer meals with instructions. Recipes your family will actually eat! |Thriving Home

With two part-time jobs, three small kids at home, and a home to manage, I know the life of a busy mom and the struggle to feed everyone healthy, homemade meals. It’s easy to slip into fixing the family unhealthy convenience foods. Let’s face it.  Making dinner with a whiny toddler on your leg or while breaking up fights between the kids isn’t exactly fun.

That’s why my friends and I started doing freezer meal cooking in a Freezer Club in 2007 and never looked back. Freezer meal cooking has transformed the way we grocery shop, cook, and eat. Preparing healthy freezer meals saves us money, cuts down cooking time, and helps us eat wholesome, delicious meals at home regularly.

I’ve had so many people ask me over the years to share our favorite healthy freezer meal recipes and how to start a Freezer Club. So, all our secrets are here in one post now. Let’s start at the beginning…

What is freezer meal cooking?

Freezer meal cooking is planning and preparing meals ahead of time that can be easily frozen for later use. It can be as simple as doubling a recipe and then eating one that day and freezing the other for later. Or, freezer meal cooking can take the form of swapping pre-prepared frozen meals with friends in a Freezer Club.

Why cook freezer meals?

Freezer meal cooking is a great strategy for saving money, saving mom’s sanity, and feeding our families nutritious home-cooked food.

1 – By meal planning and buying in bulk, you’ll see your grocery bill go down significantly. Plus, for us, knowing I have ready-to-go meals within reach keeps us from spending money by eating out.

2 – You’ll also cut down on your prep and cooking time each month by preparing the same one or two meals in a large batch. And, you’ll save time by avoiding lots of haphazard shopping trips throughout the week.

3 – If your Freezer Club is committed to a “real food philosophy” likes ours (see “What makes for a healthy freezer meal?” below), you’ll be giving your family a wide variety of wholesome, nutrient-dense meals and NOT processed junk.

4 – A bonus to freezer meal cooking is that it’s easy to have meals on hand to take to new parents or someone in need.

Top 10 Freezer Meals to Take to Others

What is a Freezer Club and how does it work?

A Freezer Club is a small group of friends (anywhere from 2-8 people ideally) who commit to cook freezer-friendly meals for one another each month. Freezer Club has been such a huge help to our family for seven years now! To learn more, read my detailed post called How to Start a Freezer Club. I share all about how a Freezer Club works and how to start your own. This post was even featured on Money Saving Mom!

Healthy Freezer Meals

What makes for a healthy freezer meal?

In these 60+ freezer meal recipes below, you’ll see Thriving Home’s REAL food philosophy represented. We aren’t about eating low-fat foods or cutting out food groups. We’re about cooking tasty homemade food and eating it in moderation. We’re about cooking with as many unprocessed, organic and/or local ingredients as possible and including a variety of:

By simply making homemade meals for your family, you are cutting out loads of sodium, sugar, and harmful trans-fats that come from fast food and frozen pre-made store-bought foods. We’ve completely changed our diet since making freezer meals.

What kind of containers do you store freezer meals in?

You have several options here.

We highly recommend using a glass or at least BPA-free container or dish. While it may be easier to buy the disposable Glad ovenware containers, it really makes sense to stock up on some quality, safe dishes that you can bake AND store in. After searching long and hard, I highly recommend using these containers below from MightyNest.

Glass Baking Dish with Lid (6 cup)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.26.21 PM

Glass Baking Dish with Lid (3 Quart)

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.31.45 PM

A few reasons I like these:

  1. Glass is a natural, non-porous material.
  2. Glass cookware doubles as food storageware.
  3. Glass is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
  4. The clear lid allows easy visibility to your food.
  5. Because they are oven and microwave proof, you can cook, heat, and store your food all in one dish.
  6. Flat top allows for easy stacking.
  7. They are VERY affordable.

A few other options:

  • Reusable BPA-free Glad Ovenware containers*. They stack nicely in the freezer and the food pops out easily into an 8×8 casserole dish when ready to cook. The lids do tend to break after a while, though.
  • BPA-free freezer zip-top bags* work well for some frozen foods, like meat in marinades and soups. They do not work so well for casseroles.
  • Lastly, you can use disposable aluminum pans with lids. These are particularly helpful when making a frozen meal to give away to a friend or someone in need.

*Important Note: Be sure to let your foods cool completely before putting them in plastic containers to avoid chemicals being released into your food.

The most important tip to remember when freezing food: Exposure to air makes food go bad in the freezer. So wrap your food up tight with plastic wrap or foil and make sure as much air is out of the bag or container as possible. I often put a layer or two of plastic wrap or foil around a cooled casserole and then snap on the lid and even tape down the lid.

How do you keep freezer meals organized?

When you have a lot of freezer meals stocked up, it can be hard to remember what recipe is in what container. I personally make a lot of muffins and forget what bag contains what type. This is why we have created these Freezer Meal Labels that you can print on your own, slap on a freezer meal and not worry about the details of the meal until you need to cook it.

Printable freezer meal labels

These are also great to put on a meal that you are taking someone. Hop on over to this post for more information on Freezer Meal Labels.

How do I defrost freezer meals? How long can I safely freeze a meal?

Many of you have asked the best way to defrost frozen foods and how long foods last in the freezer. A reputable and helpful resource is the USDA’s suggestions and guidelines for Freezing and Food Safety here.

Or, take a minute to take our fun quiz to learn more about Freezer Meal Safety.

Freezer Food Safety Quiz

To keep up with our healthy, kid-friendly recipes, be sure to sign up for our Weekly Email Update or follow us via Facebook or Pinterest.

70+ Healthy Freezer Meal Recipes

Below I’ve listed some of our favorite go-to freezer meals to get you started. Unless stated otherwise, the dishes below should be frozen after cooking or baking.  Many of these recipes have freezer directions within the post, as well. Feel free to comment if you have a question and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP. I’ve cooked most of these multiple times and/or use them regularly with my family.

*Below indicates my personal favorites.







Pasta and Pizza



Slow Cooker Recipes



Note: Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock in soups.

Want even more freezer meal options? Find all of our newest recipes on our Freezer Meal Page.

Free Printable Menu Planner

Here’s an easy way to get started on saving money and eating healthier–download our free printable menu planner!

Free printable menu planner

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