5 Freezer Meals To Assemble Now For Easy Dinners Later

Freezer Meals To Assemble Now For Easy Dinners Later

When life is as hectic as it has been recently, the thought of preparing an elaborate or time-consuming meal for dinner can be daunting. Imagine how relieved you would feel if you had a delicious, fully assembled meal stored away for just such occasions, and that all you had to do was cook it through!

Related: The Best Way To Keep Track Of What’s In Your Freezer

On days when you don’t have a lot of energy or mental capacity to spare, the thought of preparing an elaborate or time-consuming meal can be daunting. Having a few freezer meals on hand makes a great safety net for such occasions! (They can also save you money, and I’ll explain how very shortly!)

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to make 5 easy freezer meals — all in around one hour, no less! I did as much of the legwork as I could on my end in order to ensure your meal assembly process would be as quick and painless as possible.

Don’t miss the free printable I’ve included for you at the bottom of this post — it includes all 5 easy freezer meal recipes, cooking instructions, and a grocery list!

Ways You're Using Your Freezer Wrong

4 Ways Freezer Meals Can Save You Money

1. Score Sale Prices

When you’re preparing freezer meals to eat down the road, you can take sale prices into consideration. And since meat is always one of the more expensive ingredients in a meal, buying it on sale can save you a lot of money!

If pork happens to be on sale this week, take advantage of that fact by getting enough to make a few batches of Teriyaki Pork Chops (recipe provided below!)

2. Eat Out Less

When you have a few freezer meals on hand, you’ll be much less tempted to swing through the drive-thru or pickup take out when life gets hectic. And when you’re eating out less often, that means more money stays in your pocket.

grocery store hacks

3. Waste Less Food

Preparing freezer meals requires a lot less guess work than standard grocery shopping. You can get exactly what you need to make each meal, so you won’t end up with a lot of extra ingredients going to waste.

4. No Emergency Shopping

It can be so frustrating to realize you’re all out of a crucial ingredient for a recipe you were planning to make. You’re left either figuring out something else to make, or you have to spend time, money, and gas going to the store for that one ingredient!

But when it comes to cooking freezer meals, you never have to worry about making an emergency shopping trip. Everything you need is already in the bag, ready to go!

freezer meals

How To Assemble 5 Easy Freezer Meals At Once

Step 1 – Prep

Grab a Sharpie and label a one-gallon freezer storage bag for each of the five recipe names:

  • Hawaiian Chicken
  • Garlic Honey Chicken
  • Teriyaki Pork Chops
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Beef Burritos

You can also write the cooking times and instructions on the bag, so you don’t have to look them up later on. (See below for cooking times.)

freezer meals

Step 2 – Divide The Meat

Start by sprinkling salt and pepper liberally onto all of the meat.

Then divide your chicken breasts into the three bags for chicken-based recipes. Next, place the beef in the beef burrito bag, and place the pork chops in their bag.

freezer meals

(If you plan on cooking these meals in your crockpot and not an Instant Pot, you can assemble these meals in slow cooker liners, then place the liners inside of the freezer bags for storage.)

freezer meals

Step 3 – Add Other Ingredients

Then grab your measuring cups and spoons, and start adding the other ingredients to the bags according to the recipes provided below.

When the bags have been fully assembled, seal them up and store them in the freezer (or fridge, depending on how soon you’ll eat them).

freezer meals

Step 4 – Cook!

Defrost the meals in your fridge for up to a day before cooking. When done thawing just dump the contents of the bag into your crockpot or Instant Pot and follow the cooking instructions below.

(Note: If you’d prefer shredded chicken in the chicken dishes instead of whole breasts, just shred it and then return it to the sauce for a few minutes before serving.)

5 Freezer Meal Recipes

freezer meals

1. Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Ingredients:

2-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 large can pineapple chunks (with liquid)

freezer meals

2. Beef Burritos

Ingredients:

2 lb. lean beef (London broil, flank steak, or top round)
1 diced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 1/2 tsp chili powder

Optional: cheddar cheese, sour cream

freezer meals

3. Garlic Honey Chicken

Ingredients:

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey

freezer meals

4. Teriyaki Pork Chops

Ingredients:

4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth

freezer meals

5. Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers
1 onion, sliced
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 taco seasoning packet
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Optional: sour cream, cilantro, lime juice

freezer meals

Cooking Instructions (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker)

To cook the chicken and pork recipes

  • …in your Instant Pot – Pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, quick release
  • …in your slow cooker – Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours; or high heat for 3 hours.

To cook Beef Burritos…

  • …in your Instant Pot – Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, 10 minutes natural release
  • …in your slow cooker – Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours; or high heat for 4 hours.
freezer meals

Freezer Meals Grocery Shopping List

To make your freezer meal assembly even easier for you, I’ve put together a shopping list! The tortillas for the fajitas and burritos are included in the shopping list, along with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, cilantro and tomatoes for topping them.

For the other meals, I usually keep it simple and serve them over rice, or with a side of veggies. Feel free to adjust this list according to your own preferences! :-)

Meat

  • 2 lb. lean beef (London broil, flank steak, or top round)
  • 5-6 lbs. chicken (or enough for 3 meals)
  • 4 pork chops (enough for 1 meal)

Optional: substitute for ground beef or turkey

Produce

  • Head of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bell peppers
  • Head of lettuce
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • limes

Grocery & Misc.

  • Large can of pineapple chunks
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 16 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • 5 one-gallon freezer bags, or other freezer-safe containers
  • Slow cooker liners (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)

Download The “5 Easy Freezer Meals” Printable

To make it even easier, I’ve included all of the information above (the recipes, instructions, and grocery list) into one free-to-download printable. Get the PDF below!

“5 Easy Freezer Meals” Printable

Download a PDF file containing recipes, cooking instructions, and a grocery list for making 5 easy freezer meals.

Stocking Up on Easy Freezer Meals

Download The PDF

Share your favorite freezer meals with us in a comment below!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Bright Ideas

  • An even better way to save money doing this is to use a vacuum bag food saver for the not so moist items. I’m still learning with mine but if you could position your bag of ingredients and press as much air out as possible them just so and use the seal only function would be better. I’ve lost countless bags of food using zip lock bags.

  • I was trying to find your post about best stick vacuums. I bought a Dyson here in Ontario, Canada just over 2 years ago. After 2 l/2 years it won’t work. Tried everything, washed filters, cleaned it out every time I used it. I am not happy. Could you direct me to your post on best light weight vacs? Thank you, read your page every day, it’s great.

  • Thank you so much Jillee. This is much appreciated. Will be doing this soon especially as we now see grocery prices rising. Blessings in abundance!!!

  • These all look great, but we’re vegetarian and these recipes are all meat based. Could you do a post in the future that has a few vegetarian options? Thanks for all your great ideas!

  • These recipes sound quick and delicious. I’m looking forward to trying each and every one. I keep boneless/skinless chicken breasts in freezer bags in the freezer, but I also purchase 40-lb boxes of boneless/skinless chicken breasts that I pressure can in quart jars. They sit on the pantry shelf and are great for making a quick meal calling for cooked chicken. They are juicy and have saved me a ton of time.

  • May I suggest using a vacuum sealer instead of the freezer bags. That way if you don’t get to it and it has to sit in the freezer it will last longer. I look forward trying a couple as I often have to work 6 nights a week and with only 1 night off it’s hard to think of something quick and easy.

    • Just remember to freeze everything before vacuum sealing them! Otherwise you’ll just suck the liquids out of the bags and never get them to seal.

  • I’ve never done freezer meals but I’m going to try these. I never remember to take meat out to thaw, so these should work great for me!

  • I was just wondering if the cook times are the same in the Instant Pot for the 5-easy-freezer-meals if you decide to make it fresh instead of freezing it. Specifically the Teriyaki Pork Chops?

  • What a wonderful idea. Please do this again! My only suggestion for improvement would be to give nutritional info on each of the recipes. That way, everything is pre-figured for us. Thanks again.

  • Super easy way to prepare meals!!! Love it! I think if you use a crockpot you can put the ingredients in the crockpot frozen. I am thinking you can just cook it longer.

  • For the burrito recipe, is it one pepper or one can of peppers that you include in the freezer bag? (I bought the can – do I simply use one pepper and throw out the rest?

  • Love the ideas here but am really trying to “kick” the plastic bag habit. Wish you could have shown us storing the ingredients in glass containers (Reduce/Reuse/Recycle) just as a subliminal reminder that we all need to be doing our part.

    • London broil is not a specific cut of beef, but a cooking method. Tough pieces of meat—commonly, flank or top round steak—are left to marinate overnight, are then broiled under high heat and served by thinly slicing the meat “across the grain.

  • Is there an easy way to print out the recipes and shopping list without all the photos? (I’m a reduce/reuse/recycle person and hate to waste paper and ink.) Thanks for the great ideas. I’m planning to take this along when I visit my very-busy daughter and make these up for her freezer.

  • When I leave my house in the morning I’m gone for about 9 to 10 hours. I don’t have an Instant pot. Can I leave these on low for that long in my crock pot?

    • On a low setting, they should be just fine. If someone is home who could turn the machine to “keep warm” after 6 or 7 hours, that would be ideal. :-)

  • I am concerned that there is not enough liquid to use in the IP. Have you made these yourself and did you find that the liquid in the recipes are enough for the Pressure cooker?

    • There is plenty of liquid! I cooked all of these in the Instant Pot. Each recipe includes liquid from either chicken broth, canned tomatoes/pineapple, soy sauce, etc. :-)

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