You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for healthy freezer meals.
As freezer meal experts (and self-proclaimed “freezer cooking evangelists”), we’ve published TWO freezer meal cookbooks, had freezer meal recipes featured on Hallmark Home & Family, People Magazine, and many more media outlets.
We know what makes a great freezer meal and after testing hundreds and hundreds of recipes over 10 years, we’ve narrowed down the best of the best healthy freezer meals for you.
Our make ahead freezer meal recipes are easy, made with real food ingredients, and delicious. You’re going to want to pin this one, my friends!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.
Why should I make freezer meals?
Freezer cooking has transformed the way we grocery shop, cook, and eat over the past 10+ years. We were both in Freezer Clubs for many years while our kids were young. Today, we cook and freeze in bulk every single week on our own. From our experience, preparing healthy freezer meals has so many benefits:
- Saves money by buying in bulk and avoiding eating out.
- Cuts down on time in the kitchen by prepping meals with the same ingredients at one time. Browning ground beef? Chopping veggies? Making soup? Why not double or triple it and then utilize the freezer? You save time on prep and clean up.
- Helps you eat wholesome, delicious meals at home regularly.
- Reduces dinnertime stress while bringing your family together around the table. This is what freezer cooking is really all about!
What is considered a healthy freezer meal?
In these 70+ healthy freezer meal recipes below, you’ll see our real food philosophy represented. We aren’t about diets, eating low-fat foods, or cutting out food groups.
We are about cooking tasty, homemade food and eating all things in moderation. We’re also about cooking with as many unprocessed, organic and/or local ingredients as possible, including a variety of:
- vegetables and fruit
- whole grains
- local, organic, and/or grass-fed meats (that’s why we’re big fans of Butcher Box*)
- healthy fats (i.e. olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and organic dairy)
By simply making homemade meals for your family, you are cutting out loads of sodium, sugar, simple carbs, and harmful trans-fats that come from fast food and store-bought convenience foods. You control what goes in your food. Plus, you’ll be motivated to grab what’s on hand rather than going out to eat.
What’s the best way to store freezer meals?
The best way to store and save a freezer meal is in any method that will prevent air from getting to the food. It really depends on the recipe!
We personally use and recommend:
- Freezer Storage Bags
- Freezer-Safe Glass Baking Dishes (with Air-Tight Lids)
- Wide-Mouth Mason (Canning) Jars
- Souper Cubes
- Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
- Vacuum Sealer
If you want more detail on how to properly freeze food, we have written a whole post about the 5 Best Ways to Package and Store Freezer Meals.
What’s the best way to thaw a freezer meal?
There are 3 Safe Ways to Thaw Freezer Meals that we recommend:
1. THAW FREEZER MEALS IN THE REFRIGERATOR
The best and safest way to thaw a freezer meal is to put it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Thawing time will depend on the size of the meal, but plan on roughly 5 hours per pound. Make sure to place the freezer meal on a plate to catch the condensation or leaks as it thaws. Yes, thawing this method does take some planning. This is why we encourage menu planning as much as possible. In fact, we provide a FREE Printable Menu Plan in our store as well as FREE menu plans every week on the blog.
But, we know that sometimes life is crazy. And menu planning doesn’t happen. And sometimes that delicious freezer meal needs to be thawed quicker.
Rest assured, there are other ways.
2. THAW FREEZER MEALS IN COLD WATER
Another safe thawing option for freezer meals is to place the food in a leak-proof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. This still takes a a few hours, but it’s quicker than the refrigerator option. I’ve found that this option works best when the meal is frozen in a plastic bag.
After using this method of thawing, cook your food immediately.
Need food even quicker than this? We have one more idea for you…
3. THAW FREEZER MEALS IN THE MICROWAVE.
A third option is to microwave-defrost food in a microwave-safe dish. Defrost your food using your microwave’s instructions. The reason this is the third option (our least favorite) is because this method can tend to dry out food a bit. Regardless, sometimes you just need to quickly thaw something, so the microwave it is!
Make sure to cook your food immediately after this method, as well.
We are pumped to share our 70+ favorite healthy freezer meal recipes in one post. But, for some, we realize that number can be overwhelming. If you want this list narrowed down, we have a free eBook of our Top 10 Easy Freezer Meals.
70+ Healthy Freezer Meals
Freezing instructions are included at the end of each recipe. Please share your successes, tips, or questions in the comments. We’re here to help (and genuinely love to)!
Top 10 Breakfast Freezer Meals
3. Freezer Smoothie Packs: 7 Recipes + Printable Labels + Shopping List!
Bonus: 7 Overnight Oats Recipes: These aren’t a freezer meal but you can make them ahead for the week and store in the fridge!
Top 10 Chicken Freezer Meals
Top 10 Beef Freezer Meals
Tip: This is the place where we both source our grass-fed beef (and it’s delivered to our doorsteps)
Top 10 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
Bonus: Never overcook (or undercook!) a slow cooker meal again. Download our printable Slow Cooker Cooking Times Chart!
Top 10 Instant Pot Freezer Meals
4. Tomato Soup
10. Beef Stew
Did you know we have an Instant Pot cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker? While testing recipes for this book, we honed in on the best timing and methods for cooking different types of meals in the Instant Pot. We are excited to share this valuable information with you.
Top 10 Vegetarian Freezer Meals
Top 10 Misc. Freezer Meals
We hope our monster list of healthy freezer meals helps your home run just a little smoother!