12 Healthy Freezer Meals a Nutritionist Always Has on Hand - Indoors Beauty

12 Healthy Freezer Meals a Nutritionist Always Has on Hand

12 Healthy Freezer Meals a Nutritionist Always Has on Hand

We’ve all been there. Suddenly, it’s 5:30 within the night and there’s no plan for dinner. You’re hangry, your youngsters are hangry, and the fridge is operating low. The considered choosing aside the pantry—and scrounging up bits from the crisper—feels daunting. The resolution? Healthy freezer meals. Whether you’re a new mother, work a demanding schedule, or just wish to set your self up for achievement, freezer meals are it. They’re the present that retains on giving (or so I’m satisfied). Today, I’m breaking down the most effective storage suggestions, what does—and doesn’t—freeze properly, and the most effective wholesome freezer recipes. 

Featured picture by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

Steal Camille’s Meal Prep Tips for a Streamlined Week

Are freezer meals definitely worth the effort?

Let’s begin right here: Are wholesome freezer meals definitely worth the hype? Yes, they undoubtedly are. As a mother of a toddler, once I want a quick, healthy dinner on the table, freezer meals are my go-to. And I’m not talking about store-bought frozen dinners (although there’s a time and place for those). These are nutritious meals I make, label, and freeze myself. Stored and reheated the right way, these freezer meals are just as flavorful as the day they were made. And having a few of them on hand can help conquer any craving. From soups to lasagna, making a delicious, healthy dinner is as simple as heating one up.

Benefits of Freezer Meals

When you’re deep in the throws of making healthy freezer meals, it may not seem like you’re saving time. But I promise, it’ll make sense once the initial work is done. You’ll be shuffling your kids home from practice, and within 30 minutes of walking in the door, you’ll have a home-cooked meal on the table.

Not only are you saving time (and your sanity!), but you’re saving money, too. We all know that buying in bulk is better for your wallet. You can save hundreds of dollars by buying and cooking in bulk. When you cook in bulk, you have more food to freeze. It’s a win-win. Lastly, it’s an opportunity to get together with family or friends. Throw together an iced coffee bar, turn on your favorite cooking playlist, and then it’s all hands on deck.

What foods freeze well?

All of these everyday ingredients will freeze well:

In terms of recipes specifically, you can freeze everything from lasagna and soups to stews, chilis, pot pies, and breakfast burritos. 

What Not to Freeze

While there are plenty of individual ingredients you can freeze, some foods simply aren’t freezer-friendly. For example:

How to Label Food for the Freezer

Now that you know what does (and doesn’t) freeze well, let’s talk about labeling. Labeling is key, as you don’t want to mistake your spicy tomato sauce for creamy tomato soup. Begin by labeling your ziplock bags or tupperware using painter’s tape and a Sharpie. It’s best to do this before you’ve put any food in your containers. In terms of what to label, follow this model: name, date, serving instructions. For example, “Black Bean Chili, 4/2/2023, reheat in a pot on the stove.” Proper labeling will help you avoid confusion, remind you when you made it, and provide quick instructions for reheating.

Image by Michelle Nash

Freezer Meal Starter Pack

Good news—you don’t need much! Glass or BPA-free Tupperware, silicone ice cube trays, gallon storage bags (or environmentally-friendly bags), painter’s tape, and a Sharpie. You also can use a mixture of parchment paper and aluminum foil to wrap sure meals, like burritos.

6 Food Freezing Tips

Regardless of your freezer dimension, use these rules for profitable freezing:

  1. Label. Put the recipe’s identify, date, and re-heating directions on the container. As talked about, that is key.
  2. Last in, final out. Put the latest freezer meal(s) at the back of your freezer. This approach, you’re extra prone to eat what’s on the entrance of your freezer. These are the meals that may expire sooner, sooner.
  3. Cool meals earlier than you freeze them. They don’t need to be fully chilly, however freezing scorching meals will improve the temperature of your freezer.
  4. Wrap correctly. Make positive your meals are sealed correctly to stop freezer burn.
  5. Consider parts. Slice or pre-portion sure recipes so that you just don’t need to defrost an eight-person chili for those who’re solely feeding 4 folks.
  6. When doubtful, throw it out (or compost!). Contrary to what most individuals assume, freezing doesn’t kill micro organism. If you’re not sure of how lengthy a recipe has been frozen, no must take possibilities. On that be aware, it’s not essentially useful to freeze previous meals. The level of freezing is to maintain meals at its prime.

12 Healthy Freezer Meals That Make Weeknights a Breeze

Skillet Eggplant Lasagna

Why We Love It: Loaded with veggies, this Skillet Eggplant Lasagna is a cozy, one-pot dinner for chilly nights. It’s a simpler, lighter way to enjoy all the delicious flavors of the classic.

Hero Ingredient: If you haven’t hopped on the eggplant train, now’s your chance.

Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Why We Love It: Who doesn’t want to dive into a bowl of vegan mac and cheese? (Particularly one that features everyone’s favorite veg—cauliflower, of course.) This recipe is so creamy, cheesy, warm, and comforting—you won’t even know it’s vegan. Made from a velvety vegan cauliflower cheese sauce, this dish freezes beautifully.

Hero Ingredient: Quickly refresh your mac with a sprinkle of paprika.

Sweet Potato Falafel Burger

Why We Love It: These sweet potato falafel burgers are a staple on my summer menu. They’re super easy to pull out of the freezer after a day in the sun. Simply add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Hero Ingredient: Sweet potatoes are a hero to practically any dish.

Chicken Burger Lettuce Wraps

Why We Love It: Lettuce wraps are light and refreshing, but sometimes I find that they lack protein. These adorable chicken burger patties are a great, protein-rich main to defrost and throw into a lettuce wrap for a healthy lunch or dinner.

Hero Ingredient: Any type of Asian seasonings for your ground chicken will enhance the flavor of your patties.

Vegetarian Sheet Pan Curry

Why We Love It: This vegetarian sheet pan curry with cauliflower and kale features one amazing hack—rice that cooks on the sheet pan along with the veggies! Once it’s cooled, toss it into Tupperware for a fast weeknight curry.

Hero Ingredient: Coconut milk provides the right creaminess with out being overly wealthy or candy.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Why We Love It: Whether you’re trying to enhance your immune system or just have leftover hen and don’t know what to make, that is your reply. Once thawed from the freezer, prime with lime, avocado, and recent herbs. You’d by no means comprehend it was beforehand frozen.

Hero Ingredient: I like so as to add a squeeze of lemon to any hen broth for a zesty kick.

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Why We Love It: Butternut squash is such a versatile ingredient and incorporating it into a creamy soup just makes sense. If you’re dying for that bowl of warm, cozy, homemade soup on a rainy day, simply pop your Tupperware out of the freezer and enjoy!

Hero Ingredient: Soup and cilantro go hand in hand.

Vegetarian Pasta Bolognese

Why We Love It: Some nights just call for a simple spaghetti. It’s a family favorite, and freezing this dish makes it even easier to enjoy those classic ingredients when time is of the essence.

Hero Ingredient: I could rave about tofu all day, but the tofu in this recipe will do all the talking for me.

Big Green Immunity-Boosting Vegetable Soup

Why We Love It: There aren’t some ways to go improper with vegetable soup. Whether you’re feeling below the climate or on the prime of your sport, this veggie soup accommodates loads of immune-boosting components to get you thru the week.

Hero Ingredient: Cashews are my private favourite addition to this yummy soup.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Why We Love It: This chili is full of hearty black beans, flavorful veggies, and a great deal of spices (plus, all these toppings), so nobody will miss the meat. It’s the right freezer meal for a new mother, too!

Hero Ingredient: Top with jalapeños for a bit of warmth.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Why We Love It: This sheet pan fajita recipe has been one of my weeknight meals for quite some time. It’s super simple to defrost this chicken and warm up a delicious tortilla for a quick and effortless meal.

Hero Ingredient: Squeeze a bit of lime on your fajitas for a tangy flavor in every bite.

Caramelized Onion Proscuitto Pizza

Why We Love It: Homemade pizza is a simple way to enjoy a comfort dish without all of the restaurant additives or unhealthy ingredients. Freezing pizza dough is also one of my favorite ways to throw a meal together in less than 30 minutes.

Hero Ingredient: Caramelized onions go great on just about anything.

One-Bowl Morning Glory Muffins

Why We Love It: While most freezer meals focus on lunch and dinner, definitely don’t forget about breakfast! These easy, quick, and healthy morning glory muffins are just that—glorious. For busy mornings, grab a couple of these from the freezer.

Hero Ingredient: Almond slivers make a crunchy and sweet topping.

Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito

Why We Love It: As I mentioned, I’ve become a bit of a tofu connoisseur in the past few months. Incorporating it into the first meal of the day is a great way to start your morning full of protein.

Hero Ingredient: Avocado is an elite ingredient to throw on your breakfast menu.

Chicken Tuscan Pasta Bake by Rachel Cooks

Why We Love It: Creamy Tuscan pasta is a dish that has taken the web by storm. This dish will be simply frozen after baking to get pleasure from on its personal or as a aspect to any meal you cook dinner all through the week.

Hero Ingredient: Sundried tomatoes are one among my favourite flavors to get pleasure from with creamy pasta.

This put up was initially printed on March 3, 2022, and has since been up to date.

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