Perfect for prepping and stashing in your freezer, here is a list of 15 of healthy and delicious freezer-friendly dinner recipes.
One of my secrets to staying healthy (and keeping my sanity!) is keeping a well-stocked freezer full of nourishing meals I can easily defrost and enjoy for dinner on busy weeknights. Whether it’s a lightened-up turkey and mushroom casserole or my mom’s famous Lebanese chicken soup with chickpeas, taking the time to stash a few meals in the freezer is like having money in the bank that you can cash out at any time.
Before we get into the recipes, a few tips, and suggestions for freezing meals.
What’s the best way to safely freeze hot foods?
When cooking, you want to keep food out of the Temperature Danger Zone which is between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. In other words, you want to keep cold foods cold (below 40 degrees) and hot foods hot (above 140 degrees.) The secret is to cool food down quickly. Once you’re done cooking the dish, remove from the heat and pour it into freezer-friendly, resealable containers. Leave the lid off to let it cool down faster. Next, place it in the freezer within 2 hours. If you have limited space in your freezer you can also freeze soup in gallon-sized freezer-safe bags. This is a nice option because you can lay them in the freezer flat for easier storage in smaller (packed!) freezers.
What’s the Safest Way to Defrost Freezer Meals?
Depending on time, you have two options. The ideal option would be to place the frozen meal in the refrigerator the evening before and let it slowly defrost over time in the refrigerator. If it’s the day of, place the meal in the sink and allow it to come to room temperature a bit more quickly. If you’re really pressed for time, place it in a large bowl filled with warm water.
How long do freezer meals last?
Typically food will stay good in the freezer at least 3 months. If wrapped and stored properly it may stay good up to 6 months.
What’s the proper way to store food in the freezer?
The secret to keeping food fresh in the freezer is to eliminate as much air as possible from the food. If you’re storing soup in a freezer plastic bag, be sure to remove any excess air before freezing. Another tip is to use the right-sized storage container. For example, instead of using one large container try using several smaller, single-serve containers.
Without further ado, here is a list of my favorite freezer-friendly dinner recipes. Let me know which ones you enjoy the most!
Your fork is waiting.
Hungry for more? Check out my Pinterest board for more recipes!