32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (2024)

By: Denise Bustard9 Comments
Posted: 1/15/21Updated: 1/15/21

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Spend a bit of time stocking up on these freezer-friendly meal prep recipes so you have healthy lunches and dinners at your fingertips! This post takes the guesswork out of freezing your meals with vegetarian, and chicken options- plus more!

When it comes to meal prep, picking freezer-friendly meals is such a great idea. This means you can have healthy meals in your freezer at all times, and helps you rotate meals into your meal plan- no more repetition! The problem with freezer meals? It's often unclear what can or cannot be frozen.

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (1)

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This post takes the guesswork out of the equation- these meals are all tried and true freezer-friendly meal prep recipes!

Don't forget to pin this post to save it for later!

Which meal prep recipes tend to freeze well?

  • curries
  • stews
  • stir fries
  • rice and quinoa freeze/thaw well
  • cauliflower rice is OK, it gets a little bit softer but not to the point of being unappetizing. If you freeze cauliflower rice in a sauce, this becomes a problem

Freezer meal FAQ

How do you prepare meals for the freezer?

The most important thing is to pick meals that are freezer-friendly (that's where this post comes in handy). To learn more about which ingredients freeze well and which don't, check out Freezer Meal Do's and Don'ts.
1. Cool completely- after cooking your meals, it's important to cool them completely. Warm food going into the freezer can lead to condensation, which in turn can cause freezer burn.
2. Use good containers- I love freezing in my Snapware storage containers because they are freezer-friendly, and can be placed into the microwave while still fully frozen. Check out my favorite meal prep containers
Check out my favorite freezer containers
3. Label- use tape, labels or dry erase markers to label the container with the recipe and date of freezing.

How long can you safely freeze pre-cooked meals?

The short answer is you can technically freeze pre-cooked meals indefinitely, as there is no risk of harmful bacteria growing while the food is fully frozen (1).

The longer answer is that you do not want to store your meals for longer than 3 months, as the 'freezer taste' can start to creep in (2). Make sure you label the meals with name and date, and make an effort to eat what you've prepared, and to be rotating through your freezer stash.

How do you safely thaw freezer meals?

Thawing is as simple as placing the container into the fridge. You should need 24 hours for the meal to fully thaw; you can speed the process by partially submerging the container in water for an hour or two. Depending on your containers, you may be able to place them in the microwave.

How do you reheat freezer meals?

I do try to thaw my meals out before reheating, but sometimes I forget. Because I use good quality meal prep containers, it's OK to place them directly into the microwave. First I heat on low heat for 5-10 minutes until it's mostly thawed, then I heat on a higher heat to heat through until steaming hot.

If your meals are fully thawed, reheating is as simple as heating in the microwave until steaming hot.

Meal Prep Plan

If you are looking for a meal prep plan to stock up your freezer, check out 24 lunches in 2 hours. This meal prep plan has a video tutorial + shopping list, and stocks the freezer up with 8 portions of three delicious recipes.

Vegetarian options

Vegan Crockpot Chili

This vegan crockpot chili can be assembled ahead and frozen for an easy slow cooker freezer meal! Made with sweet potatoes, corn, black beans, and spices; it's vegan, gluten-free, and seriously tasty!

Check out this recipe

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Vegan Slow Cooker Peanut Stew (Maafe-Inspired)

Slow cooker peanut stew is vegan comfort food at it's finest! With chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and peanut butter, it's inspired by the West African peanut stew, maafe. You can assemble this ahead and freeze as a crockpot freezer meal.

Check out this recipe

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Sun Dried Tomato One Pot Pasta

This sun dried tomato pasta with chickpeas, mushrooms and spinach cooks up in one pot! Give it a few stirs, and dinner is ready! Easy to assemble ahead and customize with your favorite ingredients.

Check out this recipe

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Perfect Egg Fried Rice (+ Variations)

Showing you how to cook perfect egg fried rice! Made with a simple ingredient list including rice, carrots, beans and eggs tossed in a simple soy and sesame oil sauce. It's kid-friendly, freezer-friendly, and perfect for using up what you have in your fridge and pantry.

Check out this recipe

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Vegan Moroccan Chickpea Skillet

Vegan Moroccan chickpea skillet is freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prep! With chickpeas, sweet potatoes and spicy Moroccan seasoning.

Check out this recipe

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Spicy Slow Cooker Chickpea Chili (+ Instant Pot)

An easy and delicious 8-10 hour slow cooker chilli packed with chickpeas and sweet potato, and flavored with chipotle and lime. Ready when you walk in the door from work!

Check out this recipe

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Easy Red Lentil Dal

This red lentil dal recipe is thick, creamy, and full of Indian spices. The ultimate vegan comfort food, made in one pot using pantry staples, and ready in 40 minutes! Gluten-free, vegan, and meal prep friendly.

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (8)

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Lentil Curry

This slow cooker butternut squash lentil curry is creamy and flavored with warm spices, butternut squash, coconut milk and lime juice! Works great as a comforting vegan dinner, or for meal prep.

Check out this recipe

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Moroccan Instant Pot Lentils

Moroccan Instant Pot lentils made with sweet potato, tomatoes, carrots, and warming spices! Vegan comfort food at it's finest, this recipe is gluten-free, freezer-friendly, and delicious.

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (10)

Vegan Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

This vegan slow cooker tikka masala is PERFECT for meal prep! It makes an easy freezer crockpot meal, and leftovers keep (and can be frozen) for healthy plant-based lunches.

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (11)

Instant Pot Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Instant Pot quinoa enchilada casserole is a delicious and easy weeknight dinner! Prep freezer packs for a convenient freezer Instant Pot meal. Vegetarian, gluten-free, and easily made vegan!

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (12)

Chicken options

The Best Dang Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

This crock pot teriyaki chicken recipe is seriously the BEST! With juicy chicken breasts simmered in a sticky sauce that is better than your favorite take out. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (13)

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

These Instant Pot lemon garlic chicken thighs are tender and infused with lemon garlic flavor. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, rice and vegetables! Low carb and freezer friendly.

Check out this recipe

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Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls

These Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls have chicken breast, broccoli and asparagus tossed in a sweet and savory honey sesame stir fry sauce. Perfect for healthy meal prep lunches!

Check out this recipe

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Maple Ginger Cashew Chicken Stir Fry (30 Minutes)

A simple cashew chicken stir fry packed with veggies, sprinkled with cashews, and tossed in a sticky maple ginger stir fry sauce. Works great for an easy weeknight dinner or for meal prep.

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (16)

Slow Cooker Chicken Korma with Sweet Potato

Slow cooker chicken korma with sweet potatoes is made with warm spices like garam masala, almonds and a creamy coconut milk. Kid-friendly and works great for meal prep.

Check out this recipe

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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is a party in your mouth, but is so simple to prepare! You can even assemble ahead and freeze as a freezer Instant Pot meal. Low carb, dairy-free and delish.

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (18)

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

This healthy broccoli quinoa casserole is easy to prepare ahead for easy weeknight dinners! Packed with chicken, broccoli, and quinoa, it's meal prep and freezer friendly.

Check out this recipe

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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

EASY slow cooker butter chicken is made with healthy ingredients, and can be assembled and frozen for meal prep! Made with tender chicken thighs, and a creamy coconut tomato curry sauce, it's dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, and delicious!

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (20)

Spicy Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry

This Instant Pot Thai curry has a creamy, spicy and flavorful sauce, and comes together quickly for a weeknight dinner. Rich, fragrant, and absolutely delicious.

Check out this recipe

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (21)

One Pot Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

Creamy, cheesy one pot spinach artichoke pasta tastes luxurious and is easily made with a handful of ingredients. Juicy chicken thighs, artichoke hearts, spinach and pasta all cook in one pot for a complete, flavorful meal your family will love.

Check out this recipe

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Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Easy baked honey garlic chicken thighs with a delicious, sticky sauce perfect for spooning over rice and veggies. Assemble ahead and freeze for easy dinners!

Check out this recipe

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Other proteins

Korean-Inspired Turkey Meal Prep Bowls

These ground turkey meal prep bowls have a delicious Korean-inspired sauce! Packed with flavor and under 400 calories per bowl, you can prep this recipe on the weekend for healthy and delicious lunches through the week.

Check out this recipe

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Instant Pot Turkey Chili

With bold Tex Mex flavor and a simple ingredients list, this Instant Pot turkey chili is hands off to cook thanks to the Instant Pot! Cozy up with a bowl of this hearty, yet healthy chili.

Check out this recipe

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Turkey Zucchini Lasagna (Freezer-Friendly)

This freezer turkey zucchini lasagna is the perfect gluten-free and low carb meal prep lunch or dinner! Make it ahead and freeze for when those lasagna cravings hit you. Turkey and vegetarian recipe options included.

Check out this recipe

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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Simple and so flavorful, these Thai turkey lettuce wraps have a tangy and slightly spicy peanut sauce. Spoon the filling into crisp romaine lettuce leaves for an easy and lower in carbs dinner option.

Check out this recipe

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Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers Recipe

These crock pot stuffed peppers are made with 5 simple ingredients and filled with delicious taco flavors. Easy to prep ahead (you can even freeze them), and cook in the slow cooker for a convenient and hands off dinner.

Check out this recipe

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Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Soy Ginger Sauce

You're going to love this juicy Instant Pot pork tenderloin that cooks up with a sweet and sticky soy ginger sauce. It's never dry, always super flavorful, and ready in under 25 minutes! Spoon the soy ginger sauce over the pork tenderloin, rice, or veggies.

Check out this recipe

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Pulled Pork Stuffed Zucchini Boats

With 3 simple ingredients, these pulled pork stuffed zucchini boats are a tasty low carb dinner idea that is ready in 30 minutes! With juicy pulled pork, tender zucchini and gooey cheese, they are the perfect way to use up pulled pork, you can make extras and freeze.

Check out this recipe

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Maple Pulled Pork Enchiladas with Butternut Squash

Maple pork and butternut squash enchiladas are made with creamy mashed butternut squash, juicy pulled pork and spiced enchilada sauce. Easy to prepare and can be prepped ahead!

Check out this recipe

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Baked Beef Taquitos

These crispy baked beef taquitos are made with ground beef, taco seasoning, and lots of cheese! With just a few simple ingredients, they are easy to meal prep and so tasty for a weeknight meal served withsalsa verde, fresh veggies, and avocado slices.

Check out this recipe

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Healthier Mongolian Beef Meal Prep

These Mongolian beef meal prep bowls are perfect if you are craving take out, but want to keep things healthier. With tender strips of flank steak served in a deliciously sticky sauce.

Check out this recipe

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Meet Denise Bustard

Denise Bustard is the creator of Sweet Peas and Saffron, a meal prep-focussed food blog. With a PhD in biochemistry, Denise takes a scientific approach to perfecting her recipes. You can find Denise's work featured on Huffington Post, MSN, Self and more.

Read more...

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Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

  1. Tammy G says

    Hi! Love your (vegan) recipes! I make others for my omni husband, too. The link for the Caulifolwer Chickpea Samosas is actually going to the Black Bean Baked Taquitos (6 Ingredients) recipe

    Reply

    • Denise says

      Thank you for letting me know, Tammy! I will get that fixed ASAP

      Reply

  2. Stacey says

    I am looking for easy meals to freeze that my husband can put in the crockpot for us to have for dinner. He is on disability so is home all day so would be easy for him to do. He is diabetic and also can't have garlic or onion. I am thinking stuff like beef stew, soups, anything chicken or turkey, rice like maybe a chicken fried rice, enchiladas maybe.

    Reply

    • Denise says

      Hi Stacey! You might like this recipe: https://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/slow-cooker-tuscan-chicken-stew/, it's a reader favorite!

      Reply

  3. Jazmin Waters says

    Do you just pop these in the microwave or do you have to thaw first?

    Reply

    • Robby says

      How do you reheat these meals? oven? Microwave?
      Thaw first?

      Reply

      • Denise says

        Hi Robby! Yes, that's how I do it. I thaw overnight (when I remember) or I thaw by placing the meal prep container in warm water the morning of. Since the containers I use have a pyrex base they are extremely durable and I occasionally microwave partially-frozen meals. If you have plastic or cheap meal prep containers this may not work. Hope this helps!

        Reply

  4. Rachel says

    I have a question! Can I put the meat or entree AND my rice and veggie in a glass container with separate compartments and freeze all together ? Thanks

    Reply

    • Denise says

      Hi Rachel! I just freeze them all together. I haven't found that it matters. The only time I have kept things separate was pasta + sauce but even that I'm not sure if it was really necessary.

      Reply

32 Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes (2024)
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