14 Fantastic Freezer Meal Recipes to Eat Later

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14 Fantastic Freezer Meal Recipes to Eat Later
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14 Fantastic Freezer Meal Recipes to Eat Later

Here's a tip for smarter meal planning with a busy schedule: stock your freezer with homemade meals ahead of time that you can reheat and eat later. Try one of our 14 recipes that work great for make-ahead meals.

Black-Bean Turkey Chili

This healthy chili recipe is a great source of lean protein, and one serving has 460 calories. Chili freezes particularly well and makes an excellent make-ahead freezer meal.

Get the recipe: Black-Bean Turkey Chili

Florentine Chicken Stew

This recipe is simple to prepare, as are most one-pot meals, and such a time saver on those busy nights when you're running in three different directions.

Get the recipe: Florentine Chicken Stew

Bean, Corn and Squash Stew

Inspired by a traditional Chilean stew, this vegetarian dish uses kidney beans in place of the customary cranberry beans, then folds in fresh basil and a swirl of paprika oil.

Get the recipe: Bean, Corn and Squash Stew

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach. You can freeze this stew for up to one month.

Get the recipe: Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Half-Hour Chili

This mildly spicy half-hour vegetarian chili is made possible by using convenient canned beans and tomatoes (no pantry should be without them). Whole-grain bulgur adds another layer of toothsome texture and nutritional heft.

Get the recipe: Half-Hour Chili

Very Green Lentil Soup

Lentils seem to go with just about anything, and here they play well with a collection of greens and some cumin and coriander to add a gentle spicy note to this soup recipe. Portion out servings into individual containers before freezing so that you don't have to reheat the entire batch.

Get the recipe: Very Green Lentil Soup

Golden Summer Squash & Corn Soup

Pureed summer squash makes a delicious base for this summery squash and corn soup. Fresh thyme and briny feta cheese give it fabulous flavor.

Get the recipe: Golden Summer Squash & Corn Soup

Chilaquiles Casserole

Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick.

Get the recipe: Chilaquiles Casserole

Free-Form Sausage and Three-Cheese Lasagna

We love the rusticity of this gooey lasagna, packed with cheese and sausage. The style is called free-form because the pasta can be arranged in different ways—for instance, folded over the filling—instead of traditionally layered.

Get the recipe: Free-Form Sausage and Three-Cheese Lasagna

Summer-Vegetable Casserole

This simple dish of layered summer vegetables can be easily cut into single-serving size slabs and frozen for easy and healthy freezer meals.

Get the recipe: Summer-Vegetable Casserole

Macaroni and Many Cheeses

Comfort food favorite macaroni and cheese freezes exceptionally well. This recipe works beautifully with any semihard cheese but is particularly good with an international blend of French Mimolette, aged Dutch Gouda and American Vella dry Jack. A fine layer of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano forms a crisp topping.

Get the recipe: Macaroni and Many Cheeses

Homemade Cornmeal Griddle Pancake Mix

Make these dollar-sized, texture-rich pancakes ahead of time and store them in the freezer. When you're ready to eat, just reheat and serve with fresh berries and hot maple syrup.

Get the recipe: Homemade Cornmeal Griddle Pancake Mix

Brown Butter Waffles

This is a simple waffle recipe that anyone can master. Browning the butter before adding to the waffle batter, gives them a slightly nutty flavor, which enhances the sweetness of the pure maple syrup.

Get the recipe: Brown Butter Waffles

Buttermilk Pancakes

The batter blooms into a pillowy soft texture as it rests, which makes for light and fluffy pancakes. One batch makes about 17 pancakes, and the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

Get the recipe: Buttermilk Pancakes


If you have a busy schedule, planning meals can be a challenge. One strategy is to stock your freezer with homemade meals ahead of time. You can double or triple the serving size to make large batches of food at one time, and what doesn't get eaten that day can be portioned out and put in the freezer. You can even try setting aside one day a week to make and freeze an entire week's worth of meals.

It is especially helpful to have a handy collection of recipes that freeze and reheat well. Foods like stews, casseroles, soup and baked pasta dishes are great choices, and some breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles work well. Avoid recipes heavy in milk or cream, and some ingredients like chunks of potatoes may lose their texture (check out these eight foods that don't freeze well). Try any one of our 14 freeze-ahead foods to have a home-cooked meal ready at any hour.

Check out the slideshow above to discover 14 make-ahead meals you can freeze and reheat.

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