If you’ve spent much time around The Merry Momma (or me in person), you know that I LOVE freezer meals. And I’m constantly making it my mission to inspire other women to embrace their sanity-saving gloriousness, as well.
One question I’ve heard a number of times, though, when it comes to freezer meals is, “What can you make besides casseroles?”
And that’s a great question. Because as much as I love a good casserole (and they do make great freezer meals), they can get old after a while. And if you’re going to be relying on your freezer stash quite a bit, you’re definitely going to want some variety in there.
What can you make and freeze besides casseroles?
So many things!
And today, I’m going to share with you 10 of my favorites.
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10 FREEZER MEALS THAT AREN’T CASSEROLES
Most soups freeze beautifully and are easy to reheat later. (Creamy soups may be iffy, so you may want to avoid those in your freezer meals. But you can always try it and see!) I have a video on Facebook of the best ways to freeze soup, as well as some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind as you do it.
(P.S. Frozen soups reheat quickly and easily in the Instant Pot!)
Burritos make great freezer meals! Cook up some meat and/or beans, add some cheese, roll it all up, and wrap in plastic wrap or tin foil (or both). Put the wrapped burritos in a large freezer bag and freeze.
**Note: to reduce freezer burn, allow the cooked meat/beans to cool before assembling and freezing.
Whenever I make meatloaf, I always make a double batch and freeze one pan (before baking). And meatballs are a freezer meal staple because they’re so versatile! They can be used later in a variety of meals, including spaghetti, meatball subs, or even salads.
This one isn’t a completed dish, exactly, but it’s pretty darn close! Slice or chop pieces of pork, chicken, or steak and put them in Ziploc bags. Whip up a simple marinade and pour over the meat. Toss the bags in the freezer.
The pieces of meat cook up in a few minutes in a skillet and can be served on pasta, rice, salads, sandwiches, soups, baked potatoes, and more!
I LOVE crockpot freezer meals because most of them are dump meals, meaning you simply dump a bunch of ingredients in a bag and call it good. When ready to serve, pour the contents of the bag into your slow cooker, set the temp and time, and away you go!
You can Google “crockpot freezer meals” for specific recipes — there are TONS of them out there!
Related Post: 15 Favorite Things to Make in My Slow Cooker
These are very similar to the marinated meat packs, except you’ll leave the meat whole before adding your marinade of choice for the grill. My husband is a grilling master, so I make a lot of grill packs for him to cook in the summer.
Have you ever thought about freezing sandwiches? You can freeze a lot of different kinds of sandwiches — deli sandwiches, club sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches. You can even make some peanut butter & jelly sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them if you want!
But our favorite sandwiches to make as freezer meals are hot sandwiches that will get baked or cooked in a slow cooker, such as Ham & Cheese Sliders, Jessica Fisher’s Chicken Bacon Subs from her cookbook Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (a family favorite), and her Cheesy Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches from her blog Good Cheap Eats.
There are many options when it comes to freezer breakfasts. Breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, egg muffin cups, pancakes, waffles, muffins, baked oatmeal, and smoothies are some of our favorites.
Related Post: 15 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for More Relaxed Mornings
This is another fantastic freezer meal idea I got from Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.
You can make a big batch of pizza dough in your bread machine (here’s the one I have), portion it into four balls of dough (or enough to make a single pizza), wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze in a freezer bag.
When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours. Before assembling your pizza, let the dough warm up on the counter for about 30 minutes.
You can take this one step further and package one dough ball together with the toppings in an extra-large freezer bag and stick in the freezer. Voila — a pizza kit!
Finally, cooked meat is great to freeze for an easy meal later. You can go about this in a couple of different ways:
You can freeze leftovers from another night’s dinner. For example, you might cook up a large pork shoulder roast for pulled pork one night, then portion and freeze the leftovers for later.
Or, you can schedule times to batch cook meat to use in other dishes. For example, you might cook up a large batch of seasoned ground beef and freeze in 1-2 pound portions for tacos. Or you might grill several chicken breasts, chop, and freeze for casseroles, pasta, soups, salad, etc.
Both strategies make for very easy meals and are great freezer meal staples.
Pro Tip: If you plan to keep things in the freezer longer than a month or two, I HIGHLY recommend getting a vacuum sealer. It’s a little pricey up front, but it will save you money in thrown-away food in the long-run.
There are probably many other freezer meals that I’m forgetting — or haven’t discovered yet! — but those are some of my favorite go-tos. I hope they help as you’re building your own freezer meal stash!
SHARE WITH US: Are any of these something you’ve never thought to make ahead and freeze? Which one(s) are you most excited to try? Share in the comments below!
NEED MORE HELP GETTING DINNER ON THE TABLE?
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- Freezer Meals 101: Filling Your Freezer the Fast, Easy Way
- How I Made 11 Freezer Meals in Only 2 Hours!
- My Favorite (and Easiest) Freezer Cooking Method
- 5 Reasons You Need a Freezer (And Why I Need So Many!)