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

70+ healthy freezer meals. Freezing instructions included in every recipe! These ladies are freezer cooking pros and have gobs of information on make ahead meals, freezer cooking parties, and even a freezer meal cookbook! Take a browse at this great collection of freezer friendly recipes that your family will actually eat! #freezermeals

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 cooking?

Freezer 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 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.

To make getting started easy for you, we have created a free e-cookbook, Top 10 Easy Freezer Meals. You can download this, print it off, and have it for future reference when looking for great freezer meals.Click here to subscribe

What is a Freezer Club and how does it work?

How to start a freezer meal club

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! We’ve shared all the details on how to start a run a freezer club in our cookbook, From Freezer to Table. But if you’re itching to get started, you can check out our post on How to Start a Freezer Club.

What makes for a healthy freezer meal?

In these 70+ 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?

We recommend using a 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, we highly recommend and use these containers below. We both have collected a huge stash of them over the years!

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure

8 inch Square Glass Baking Dish with Lid
What should I freeze meals in? Here are some of the best freezer containers we have found!

3 Quart Glass Baking Dish with Lid

Looking for the best container to store freezer meals in? Look no further! Here are the best freezer containers that we can find.

A few reasons we 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.

Get yours now! Read about a few other freezer container options here.

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.

Another great option for storing food is to use a vacuum sealer.

This extends of the shelf life of food from months to YEARS. Vacuum sealing food can save loads of money in the long run and proves to be a great way to store fresh meat and produce that you get in season or on sale.

We recommend the ICO Vacuum Sealer. You can check it out on Amazon or on their website. You can read our review on it here.

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.

The Best Freezer Meal Resource

Although we love the recipes from our blog below, we actually spent over a year painstakingly developing, testing, and retesting over 75 freezer-friendly recipes for our cookbook called From Freezer to Table (Rodale Books).

All of the recipes in From Freezer to Table are delicious, made from whole foods, are easy to prepare, and can be made fresh or frozen for later. Plus, every recipe includes freezer meal instructions. Our cookbook is a beautiful resource you will pull out again and again! (Scroll below for a sneak peek of a few favorites from the book.)

From Freezer to Table CookbookShrimp Curry Bowls might just be my (and my 8-year-old daughter’s) favorite recipe in the whole book. Get ready for a Thai party in your mouth…

Shrimp Curry Bowls from From Freezer to Table Cookbook. Order book at fromfreezertotable.com today!

Is breakfast your thang? We’ve got tasty whole foods breakfasts that will be waiting for your family on those hurried mornings. The Chocolate Zu-Nana Waffles are a guaranteed kid-favorite…

Chocolate Zu-Nana Waffles from From Freezer to Table cookbook. Order today at www.fromfreezertotable.com.

And Mixed Berry Scones, made with whole wheat and all good-for-you ingredients, will knock your socks off and start your day off right…

Mixed Berry Scones from From Freezer to Table cookbook. Order your copy today at www.FromFreezerToTable.com.

Last but not least, you’ll find family favorites that are quick and easy for weeknights but work just as well for dinner guests. Crispy Chicken with Lemony Butter Sauce is an elegant and mouth-watering meal you’ll make again and again…

Crispy Chicken with Lemony Butter Sauce from From Freezer to Table cookbook. Order your copy today at www.FromFreezerToTable.com.

In From Freezer to Table, we also teach you how to make freezer cooking a lifestyle either on your own or with friends, so that you can enjoy healthy, stress-free meals around the table with your loved ones. Order your copy today.Learn to prepare delicious, healthy, stress-free meals for the family that go from freezer to table in no time!

70+ Healthy Freezer Meal Recipes

Now for our master list of healthy freezer meals from our blog. Below I’ve listed some of our favorite go-to freezer meals to get you started. You’ll find freezer meal directions on every recipe on the list. *Indicates my personal favorites on the list.

Beef

Breakfast

Casseroles

Make the Most of Your Dinnertime

Lastly, if you’re recipe hunting, my guess is that you value time with your people around the table. To maximize that precious time you have together, we have created Table Talk Cards. Each set of 40 questions was designed with a specific age group in mind: Preschool, Elementary, or Tweens & Teens. I have no doubt that having these at your dinner table would spark some great conversation. Learn more about Table Talk Cards here!Table Talk Cards

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86 replies
  1. Wendy says:

    New to this site: Their seems to be allot of questions on freezing. Here is an idea that works wonderfully. Line your casserole dish with stretch Tite or a good saran wrap. Leave overhang. Put it in the freezer long enough to form a solid block. Take out, lift out with extra wrap and then cover. Wrap several more times and then cover in foil. You will have nice frozen blocks and you are only using one pan. When ready to thaw out and cook you put it back in the same pan. Don’t forget to unwrap. Can’t wait to try these recipes. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Terri says:

    Hi, Rachel –
    thanks for your post, one of the most informative I’ve seen – and the recipes!! oh my!!
    I can hardly wait to get started. I want to put a group together and would love to see the forms and documents you guys use – could you forward to me, please? Many thanks… paying it forward!
    Terri

    Reply
  3. Kerry says:

    Thank you for the extensive list of freezer friendly recipes. Being a busy working mom with a hubby that works weird shifts we kinda got stuck in a rut with our recipe selection of freezer friendly meals. 🙂

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      It depends on which meal. Which one are you wondering about? For instance, muffins are different than pancakes. I’m working through all of these recipes to provide detailed freezer meal instructions within the recipe, so I’d love to know any specific ones you have questions about. Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Kate says:

    Silly question. But you store your freezer meals in the Glad Ovenware containers… Do you cook them in those also, or cook in a Corningware or similar baking dish, and transfer to the Glad Ovenware? I’m just confused if I prepare a pasta dish in the Glad ovenware, let it cool, then pop it into the freezer, or not to over-use the Ovenware.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Not a silly question. Our Freezer Club started freezing meals in the Gladware years ago because they stack easily in the freezer and are easy to exchange. I don’t like the bake in them, though, because I worry about baking in plastic. So I always transfer them to a glass or ceramic baking dish when ready to cook. You can certainly freeze your meals in a well sealed casserole dish, though. I just don’t like to use up all mine for freezer meals. Did I answer your question? Hope so!

      Reply
      • Kate says:

        You did, thank you!! I also just was wondering – For the meals, I fully cook these, then freeze and do I just reheat them at the same temp/time when I am ready to eat them from the freezer?

        Reply
        • Rachel says:

          Hi Kate, each recipe is different. I’m working through each of the recipes to have detailed freezer meal/reheating instructions. So, be sure to check the bottom of the recipes for specifics. Let me know if you have any questions.

          Reply
  5. Caryl Anne says:

    This is a great post showing people how to save time and money on everyday recipes! Eating at home is definitely the best way to save money, and it can also be easy and healthy with the right recipes in place. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. jennifer l. rosedale says:

    really enjoy “drooling” while I am reading some of these wonderful recipes. Looking forward to making some of these for my family.

    Reply
  7. Kelly says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I just adjusted my budget to pay more in rent to live alone and realized I have to cut out the thoughtless grocery shopping and eating out due to lack of energy (full-time job & 2 doctoral level classes). I agree, some are not as low fat/cal as I like, but everybody needs a pizza treat sometimes! I’m excited to try these out!

    Reply
  8. Rebecca says:

    I would like to start making my boyfriend healthy meals to eat throughout the week. He doesn’t have a kitchen so cooking recipes and freezing it for him to heat up in the microwave is my only option. I noticed that most of your recipes are for prepping then freezing to bake later. Is it possible to bake the recipes and then freeze them for later?

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Rebecca, any of the soups are a great option for this, as they are fully cooked and easy to warm up later. You can also make Pot Roast, Asian Lettuce Wraps (the filling and sauce), and lots of breakfast options (Savory Breakfast Muffins, pancakes, waffles) in advance. I hope that helps!

      Reply
  9. Nicole says:

    Hi-do you have more info on how to start, run and organize a freezer club. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel ;). Thanks for the recipes. I have been cooking and freezing meals for my college senior. He really loves the meals and not having to cook for one every night.

    Reply
  10. Blayne says:

    I have been searching for healthy and whole freezer meals that actually looked tasty! This is the jackpot! What a great resource. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Great question, Nicole, and I’m not sure how much help I will be. My freezer club has used Glad Ovenware for years. There are some pros and cons here. Pros: They stack well in the freezer and the size easily transfers to an 8×8 casserole dish. It is the perfect size for about 3-4 servings. I also recently found out they are BPA-free, too. I still wouldn’t bake in them myself, though. Cons: The lids also frequently crack. I’ve emailed the company a few times when the lids cracked and they’ve given me coupons to get more. I also freeze a lot of my soups or marinades in freezer bags. Be careful not to put hot food in them. The other and safer option you have is to go with glass casserole dishes with plastic lids. I need to research this more; I’d like to switch to this, especially if the lids are BPA-free. So sorry, but I don’t have recommendation for these yet. I hope that helps some! Happy freezer cooking!

      Reply
  11. Tosha spivey says:

    Hey I was just curious ON Average…about how much money making 2 meals for 6-7 people would be? Just to get a mindset for budget!!:):)

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      I usually make my meals for four people for our Freezer Club and I’d say they are about $8-9 on average, if they include meat. We do try to use mostly local or organic meat and produce, though. So, I’m sure you could go cheaper.

      Reply
  12. Candice says:

    Love the idea of a freezer club! When one of your freezer meals is meant to be served over rice or pasta do you include the rice/pasta alongside the frozen meal or just make a note that this item is not included? I don’t mean meals that have pasta or rice IN them, but ones that should have these items cooked at the time the meal is meant to be consumed.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      That’s a great question and one that’s important for your group to get on the same page with from the beginning. We decided not to supply the pasta or rice, especially since we all have different preferences for types/brands. But we usually email ahead of time and give each other a heads up to buy it. That way if someone wants to eat your meal the week they get it, they’ve got it on hand.

      Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Jean, this is a fair question. I think it depends on what your definition of a healthy meal is. If you want only low-fat meals, this probably isn’t the list for you (although some of our recipes certainly are). I just updated this post to explain more about our real food philosophy. Hopefully this helps you understand where we are coming from.

      Reply
  13. Misty says:

    Thanks for sharing your receipes! They look great!

    How do you thaw before cooking? I’ve frozen some stuff and thawed it out overnight in the frig only to have it still frozen when I go to put it in the oven =(

    My husband starts a new job on Monday and I work 3 12 hr shifts a week so meals it the freezer would be great!

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Tiffany,

      Yes, I do the entire breading and then freeze it. But, I do not top it with sauce and cheese until the end of the baking time. Hope that helps!

      Rachel

      Reply
  14. sherry says:

    I have always wanted to be in a freezer group/club! Thanks for sharing all of these recipes…what a great resource for busy families. So glad you linked to the party!

    Reply