3 Easy make-ahead meals you can freeze

Published on October 13 2010 - 4:10 PM
3 Easy make-ahead meals you can freeze
How to Make Macaroni and Cheese Healthier

My husband works late two nights a week, which leaves our year-and-a-half-old son and me on dinner duty together. Sounds like a sweet mommy-baby date, right? It often is, especially on the nights when dinner is super-simple: minimal cooking, mostly reheating, a leisurely meal (ha!) and lots of playing. My solution: meals I can make ahead, freeze and then just reheat. (Eggs and toast are always a backup!)

Related: 25 Healthy Recipes You Can Make Ahead and Freeze

The thing about cooking ahead is that I have to set aside the time to cook at some point. But then, on crazy nights when we just need to eat, we have a meal that’s all ready to go. That’s an investment that pays off big for my sanity and satisfaction (usually leftovers too!).

My make-ahead strategy:

The week before: Look up recipes I want to eat the following week. Make a shopping list.

Use EatingWell's Free Menu Planner Tool to Get Organized

On Saturday morning: Shop for the ingredients I need (without the toddler).

Saturday and Sunday: Make two easy meals I can freeze. (For as ambitious as I may sound, I usually pick at least one really easy one and/or one I can make in my slow cooker.)

The next week: Defrost and enjoy! (With a vegetable side, of course. For super-simple ideas, check out How to Cook 20 Vegetables.)

Recipes You Can Make Ahead:
Make-Ahead Casserole Recipes
Healthy Make-Ahead Meals and Side Dishes
Easy Slow-Cooker and Crock-Pot Recipes

Here are three of our favorite freezer meals.

Rich Chicken Stew
Wheat Berry-Lentil Soup
Baked Mac & Cheese (pictured)

Download a FREE Make-Ahead Dinner Recipe Cookbook!

Michelle is the digital editor for EatingWell Media Group. She puts her background in journalism to work online at EatingWell.com and in EatingWell Magazine, authoring the Good Questions interview with interesting people in the world of food and health.