Having make ahead freezer meals on busy days when I don’t have much time to make dinner helps out so much.
If I have easy dinner ideas I can pull out of the freezer, this saves me from running to the store at the last minute or going to the drive-thru to purchase fast food.
It takes time to plan and make freezer meals, but in the long run it saves you time and money. These seven recipes are easy freezer meals that you can make ahead in the crock pot or as casseroles and are beef and chicken freezer meals.
I’ll admit that when I was planning out a week of freezer meals, I thought I would have time on one day to get all these freezer meals completed. Well, guess what? Life happened. Every day when I was trying to do the freezer meals, I would make one freezer meal and then that’s all the time I had.
So I’ve learned that for me and my crazy schedule, I can only plan to make one or two freezer meals a day. And since most of the freezer meals make a double batch, I usually used one of the freezer meals for dinner that night and then I froze the other one. So for those of you busy moms like me, try only doing a few at a time like I did.
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Here are some questions people ask about freezer meals or freezing food:
What Can You Meal Prep and Freeze?
There are many foods you can meal prep and freeze. I’ve compiled a list of 70 foods you can freeze or that don’t freeze well that will help you when you meal prep.
Most of the time if you see that a certain food is in the frozen section of the grocery store, then you can most likely prepare and freeze it at home too. There are certain ways to prepare foods for freezing. Click here see the full list of foods.
And these seven make ahead freezer meals right here can be prepared in advance and frozen. Then when you are ready to use them, pull them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two.
PRO TIP: If you don’t have time to thaw the crock pot make ahead freezer meals, you can place the entire frozen meal into the crock pot and cook on low 8-10 hours. The meal turns out great and the meat easily shreds.
If you don’t have time to thaw the make ahead freezer casseroles in the refrigerator, you can still bake them frozen in the oven. However, you’ll need to add 1-3 hours additional cooking time in the oven depending on the size of the casserole.
What Cooked Foods Freeze Well?
I like to cook food in advance and freeze it. Some foods that I cook in advance and freeze for later is shredded chicken and ground beef, breads and muffins, rolls and biscuits, pancakes and waffles, cookies and cake (if we don’t eat them all first), and soups and casseroles. See how to freeze all of these foods and more by clicking here.
After cooking food, it’s important to cool the food before freezing it. Allow the hot food to cool down to almost room temperature, and then freeze the food within 1-2 hours. Food shouldn’t be left out more than two hours because bacteria grow rapidly and the food can become unsafe to eat.
When you are ready to use your freezer meals, thaw food in the refrigerator or microwave and cook it. You can then refreeze it if you have leftovers. By cooking and then freezing food, you are killing the bacteria and bringing the food to a level that is safe to eat.
However, never eat or freeze food that has been left out of refrigeration too long. Many bacteria produce heat-resistant toxins that cannot be destroyed by reheating food at a high temperature. And freezing food will not kill the bacteria of food that is spoiling or already spoiled.
What Meals Can Be Frozen and Reheated? Or What Meals Can I Freeze for Later?
If you have ever wondered what meals can be frozen and reheated or what meals you can freeze for later, then below are seven make ahead freezer meals to prepare and put in your freezer. If you like new freezer meal ideas, you’ll also want to check out these 12 favorite freezer meals here.
If you like freezer meal recipes, CLICK HERE to see 12 more Favorite Freezer Meals.
Below are 7 make ahead freezer meals that my family enjoys eating.
1. Broccoli Chicken & Rice
Broccoli Chicken & Rice
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 4 cups chicken, cooked and diced/shredded
- 2 bags (16 oz.) broccoli, steamed
- 1 can (10.5 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can (10.5 oz.) cream of chicken soup
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 4 cups cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the rice by cooking 2 cups of uncooked rice and 4 cups of water in a pan on the stove for about 20 minutes or in a rice cooker. Prepare the chicken by dicing and cooking in oil in a pan on the stove. (Head over here to see how I prep shredded chicken in advance.) And prepare the broccoli by steaming in a pan of water on the stove.
- In an extra large bowl, combine the cooked rice, chicken, broccoli, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion powder, cheese and milk. (Combine in two separate batches if you don’t have a large enough bowl.)
- Lightly add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place broccoli chicken and rice mixture into two 9×9 foil pans and cover with heavy duty aluminum foil (head over here to see tips on how to freeze casseroles) or place the mixture in gallon freezer bags. Label and freeze.
- To cook: Thaw broccoli chicken & rice in fridge. Place in casserole dish, sprinkle extra cheese on top if desired and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
2. Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- 1 bag (16 oz.) of bow tie pasta
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened and cubed
- 8 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
- 2 cups milk
- 8 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded
- Cook the bow tie pasta according to the directions on the package. Rinse and set aside.
- Cook and prepare the chicken. (Head over here to see how I prep shredded chicken in advance.)
- In a medium pot, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the dried basil. Add the cream cheese and whisk for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth and creamy. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the milk, Parmesan, pepper and salt. Stir constantly for 5-10 minutes until the Parmesan is melted.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chicken and sauce and mix well.
- Divide the Tuscan Chicken Pasta into two 9×9 foil tins. (Head over here to see tips on how to freeze casseroles.) Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil. Label and freeze.
- To cook: Thaw Tuscan Chicken Pasta in fridge. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until heated through.
3. Cheesy Baked Ziti
Cheesy Baked Ziti
- 1 box (16 oz.) Ziti pasta (I’ve also used Penne pasta)
- 1 lb. ground beef, cooked (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 jars (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
- 8 slices Provolone cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 bag (8 oz.) Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pot, brown ground beef and onion. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Spray two 8×8 inch pans with cooking spray. (Head over here to see tips on how to freeze casseroles.) In each pan, layer as follows: 2 cups pasta, 1 1/2 cups sauce, 4 slices of Provolone cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 cups pasta, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and extra Mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil. Label and freeze.
- To cook: Thaw Cheesy Baked Ziti in fridge. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until heated through.
4. Spaghetti Casserole
I make the Spaghetti Casserole at least once a month because it makes two 8×8 pans: one I can put in the oven for dinner that night and the other one I can freeze for a day when I’m busy. To get the Spaghetti Casserole recipe, head over here to this post.
5. Chicken Fajitas
Prep the ingredients for these Chicken Fajitas beforehand and place it in ziploc bags and freeze. When you have a busy day, take it out of the freezer and throw it in the crock pot. Head over here for the Chicken Fajitas recipe.
6. Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- 3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded (about 2-3 cups)
- 1 bag (12 oz.) Penne pasta
- 1 jar (15 oz.) Alfredo sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup cheese, shredded
- Prepare chicken by cooking diced chicken in 2 Tablespoons oil in a medium pot on the stove. (Head over here to see how I prep shredded chicken in advance.)
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix cooked chicken, cooked pasta, Alfredo sauce, garlic salt, Italian seasoning and cheese. Sprinkle additional cheese on top.
- Pour into a 9×13 foil aluminum pan. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil (head over here to see tips on how to freeze casseroles). Label and freeze.
- To cook: Thaw Chicken Alfredo Pasta in fridge. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until heated through.
7. Hawaiian Meatballs
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs
This Hawaiian Meatballs freezer meal is another one of my favorites freezer meals to make ahead of time. Head over here to get the Hawaiian Meatballs recipe.
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