13 Healthy Freezer Meal Ideas to Prep Now and Eat Later

13 Healthy Freezer Meals to Prep Now and Eat Later

Preparing meals at home is one of the simplest ways to make healthy eating habits stick. Unfortunately, busy schedules can make takeout or fast food a tempting option. Luckily, every kitchen has a secret weapon to make eating right every night way easier — the freezer. These 13 recipes can all be cooked and assembled ahead of time, frozen for up to four months, and easily reheated whenever you need them.

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Before you start cooking, there are a few key rules to keep in mind when freezing meals to save for later:

  • Not all ingredients freeze well. While meaty sauces can emerge from the freezer unfazed, pasta won’t survive the sub-zero temps. Beans can stand up to the cold and come out creamy and delicious, but potatoes can easily turn grainy and dry. Opt for recipes without these ingredients for best results.
  • Undercook veggies when freezing big batch soups and stews. Otherwise, they’ll end up mushy and overcooked once reheated.
  • Don’t add creamy ingredients such as milk, sour cream, or coconut milk until reheating, to prevent them from separating or becoming grainy after freezing.
  • Double-wrap casseroles to avoid freezer burn. Two layers of plastic wrap (or one layer of plastic and one layer of foil) should do the trick.

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13 Freezer Meals to Stock Up On Now

Freezer Meals: Breakfast Sandwiches
1. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
Yields: 6 servings
Good for: 
1 month
Fast food breakfast sandwiches couldn’t compete with this homemade version if they tried. Set up your own assembly line at home and prepare a week’s worth of breakfasts in just a few minutes. When it’s time to chow down, nuke each sandwich for a minute or two. Photo and recipe: Chungah An / Damn Delicious

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Freezer Meals: Empanadas
2. Breakfast Empanadas
Yields: 4 servings
Good for: 
1 month
Forget English muffins, croissants, bagels and biscuits — sandwiching your breakfast in an empanada wrapper can cut calories and fat by as much as half. This protein-packed recipe is filled with eggs and egg whites, bell pepper, chicken sausage and cheese. But you can feel free to stuff ‘em with whatever suits your fancy. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Freezer Meals: Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
3. Three-Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls
Yields: 8 servings
Good for: 
1 to 3 months
Looking for a new Meatless Monday recipe? Zucchini replaces beef in this Italian-inspired dish. The individual rolls make sticking to proper portions simple, so don’t fret about accidentally over-serving. Store the rolls individually in plastic freezer bags, or assemble the whole casserole, wrap it up and freeze it in a ready-to-bake dish. Photo and recipe: Gina Homolka / SkinnyTaste

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Freezer Meals: Bacon Turkey Burger
4. Bacon Turkey Burger
Yields: 8-10 servings
Good for: 
1 month
It doesn’t take much to turn a turkey burger into a dry, bland hockey puck. But the zucchini and bacon in this recipe keeps the patties nice and juicy. Serve them up on a whole-grain bun or on top a bed of greens with a drizzle of your favorite dressing. Photo and recipe: Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

Freezer Meals: Buckwheat Waffles
5. Gluten-Free Buckwheat Waffles
Yields: 5 servings
Good for: 
1 month
The dreamy texture of these waffles — crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside — is sure to satisfy any breakfast crowd. (Did we mention they’re also gluten-free?) The nutty buckwheat flour pairs well with nut butters, classic maple syrup and berries — but don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings! Make a big batch for weekend brunch and freeze the leftovers in a zip-top bag. Photo and recipe: Kathryn Taylor / Cookie and Kate

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Freezer Meals: Lemon Chicken Thighs
6. Lemon and Herb Crusted Chicken Thighs
Yields: 4-8 servings
Good for: 
1 month
If you typically go straight for the white meat, hear us out. Dark meat should make its way into your dinner rotation. Chicken thighs are typically less expensive than breasts. Plus, one thigh usually weighs in at about three ounces — the perfect amount for one person. Prep the thighs, add to the marinade and freeze. When you’re ready to use them, defrost overnight and bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes. Photo and recipe: Rachel Hanawalt / Simple Seasonal

Freezer Meals: Curried Cauliflower Wrap
7. Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wrap
Yields: 6 servings
Good for: 
1 month
The combination of cauliflower and chickpeas make this vegetarian and gluten-free wrap a satisfying lunch or dinner option. When you’re ready to enjoy, defrost one overnight and serve at room temperature — or give it a quick zap in the microwave. Skip the yogurt sauce to make this recipe vegan, too. Photo and recipe: Katie Trant / The Muffin Myth

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Freezer Meals: Sweet Potato Egg Bake
8. Taco Sweet Potato and Spinach Egg Bake
Yields: 9 servings
Good for: 
3-4 months
Sweet potato and spinach add a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates and greens to this filling and versatile A.M. meal. Cater this bake to your tastes: Kale or broccoli can easily be subbed in for the spinach if you have it on hand. Craving protein? Add cooked ground turkey or chicken sausage. (We won’t tell if you add extra cheese, as well.) Photo and recipe: Olena Osipov / iFoodReal

Freezer Meals: Chili
9. Signature Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili
Yields: 6 servings
Good for: 
1 month
Chili is one of those dishes that will always freeze well. (Plus, there’s nothing quite as satisfying when you don’t feel like cooking!) Rich in flavor, this recipe will please just about anyone, whether they prefer their dish spicy or mild, tangy or sweet. Photo and recipe: Kristin / Iowa Girl Eats

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Freezer Meals: Pizzas
10. Homemade Frozen Pizzas
Yields: 1 large or 2 small pizzas
Good for:
3 months
Frozen grocery store pizzas are a convenient dinner option, but let’s be honest — they’re rarely as good as a steaming hot takeout slice. Guarantee deliciousness (and keep an eye on the ingredient list) by making your frozen pies at home, instead. There are two secrets to doing this right: Partially bake the crust to avoid a soppy mess later. Then, double-wrap the pizzas to keep the toppings from drying out. Photo and recipe: Emma Christensen / The Kitchn

Freezer Meals: Sweet Potato Burritos
11. Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos
Yields: 8 servings
Good for: 1 month
Start your day right with a hearty serving of veggies and protein thanks to these homemade breakfast burritos. Each wrap contains three grams of fiber, nearly nine grams of filling protein — and only 178 calories! If sweet potato, zucchini and spinach aren’t your favorites, swap in other seasonal veggies like butternut squash and kale. Photo and recipe: Kim Lee / Kim’s Cravings

Freezer Meals: Oatmeal Cups
12. Make-Ahead Oatmeal Cups
Yields: 5-8 servings
Good for:
3-4 months
Rolled oats are the base of this freezer-friendly breakfast recipe. Packed with fiber and protein, this bowl is sweetened with banana and dried fruit instead of maple syrup or brown sugar. Add a handful of nuts or a drizzle of nut butter for a healthy dose of fat that will help keep you full. Freeze individual portions using a muffin tin and reheat on the stove or in the microwave come breakfast time. Photo and recipe: Ashley McLaughlin / Craftsy

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Freezer Meals: Veggie Soup
13. 25-Minute Comforting Veggie Soup
Yields: 4-6 servings
Good for: 
1 month
Not all soups are created equal when it comes to surviving a deep freeze. Stews with starchy ingredients, such as potatoes or noodles, can easily turn to mush once reheated. Luckily, all-veggie soups are hearty enough to remain appealing, even after a trip to the freezer. To minimize textural issues when reheating, defrost your pot for a few hours, or overnight, before placing it on the stovetop to warm through. Photo and recipe: Kare Raye / Kitchen Treaty

Originally published April 2015. Updated September 2016.