Freezer cooking is a great way to save time, money, eat healthier, and get dinner on the table in less time for your family.
Half the battle of eating healthy is planning ahead. Freezer meals are an excellent option for healthy meal planning, especially when the work week gets hectic.
When planning freezer meals, keep the following tips in mind:
- Have variety in the recipes you are planning for the week.
- Label your freezer meals with the name of the dish and the date.
- You can double the recipe so you have 2 freezer meals.
- Choose foods that freeze well like soups, stews, muffins, granola bars, legumes, and casseroles.
- Use freezer safe storage.
- Make sure to heat your food to a safe temperature, especially chicken, beef, and pork.
- Finally, ENJOY easy, nutritious freezer meals when life gets crazy!
Looking for a nutritious meal in under 30 minutes? Freeze the ingredients for this scrumptious chicken stew and when you are ready to cook it, just add the potatoes (they don’t freeze well) and you will have a meal the whole family will love in no time!
Instant Pot 10 Minute Chicken Stew
Total Time: 25 minutes (including prep and pressurizing)
Serving Size: 4-6
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 pound baby potatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces (do not freeze- add in fresh when you are ready to cook it!)
- 2 cups peeled and diced carrots (½” chunks)
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, (low sodium soy sauce can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, adds a mild kick, omit if you do not like spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Make noodles and skip the potatoes.
- Add some jalapenos if you like more spice.
- Use sweet potatoes instead of baby potatoes.
- If you like a thicker sauce, add in 2 tablespoons tapioca or wheat flour.
- Use turnips, cabbage or yellow squash instead of potatoes.
- You can put everything in your slow cooker before work instead of using an instant pot. Simply throw in the frozen ingredients and chopped potatoes, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Come home to a hearty, healthy meal.
- Combine all of the frozen ingredients in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot.)
- Cut the fresh potatoes in 1 inch pieces and add to the frozen ingredients.
- Place the lid on the pot, make sure the vent valve is in the SEALING position.
- Using the display panel, select the MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK function, HIGH PRESSURE. Use the +/- buttons until the display reads 10 minutes.
- When the cooker beeps to let you know it's finished, wait until the display panel reads, LO: 05. Switch the vent valve from the SEALING to the VENTING position, use caution while the steam escapes, it's hot.
- Ladle the stew into bowls and serve warm.
Do You Like the Ease of Freezer Meals?
Here Are Some More Yummy Recipes to Try:
Hawaiian Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch Slaw
Total Time: 40 minutes (including prep)
Serving Size: 6
Serve up some savory chicken tacos with just the right amount of spice. Add in juicy pineapple for a sweet aftertaste. This recipe can be made in an instant pot (for 10 minutes) or a slow cooker (2-3 hours.) You simply freeze the raw ingredients: cubed chicken breast, pineapple, and seasonings in a plastic freezer bag or freezer friendly container. When ready to cook it, throw it all in the instant pot or slow cooker. Then to crisp it up, put it in the broiler for a bit. Finally blend up the jalapeno ranch sauce for the slaw. Serve with your favorite tortillas and enjoy!
Keto Korean Barbecue Beef
Total Time: 1 hour (including prep)
Serving Size: 4
Make mouthwatering Korean barbecue beef for dinner this week. Put raw cubed boneless beef chuck roast, beef broth, liquid aminos, and other spices into your freezer safe container. When ready to eat, cook it all in your instant pot (for 30 minutes,) or slow cooker (for 4 hours on high.) After cooking, add in xanthan gum to thicken the sauce. Finally garnish with green onions and fresh cilantro. You can serve the beef over rice, in tacos, with potatoes, or a side of roasted vegetables.
Detox Lentil Soup
Total Time: 50 minutes (including prep)
Serving Size: 6
Detox lentil soup is hearty and nutritious, made with lentils, onions, garlic, split peas, kale, olive oil, and squash. It is vegan and gluten free and simply delectable! You freeze together raw veggies, beans, seasonings, and chicken broth. When ready to cook it, you can toss the entire frozen contents into an instant pot (15 minutes) or slow cooker (6 hours on low.) When finished, add in the kale and olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar or lemon juice, and voila- you are ready to serve your soup.
Quick and Easy No-Bake Granola Bars
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serving Size: 16
Make tasty, no-bake granola bars for a simple, healthy snack with much less sugar than store bought granola bars. Mix together oats, cereal, unsweetened coconut and peanut butter, chocolate chips, brown rice syrup, and vanilla extract. Press into a pan lined with parchment paper. They need just 10 minutes in the fridge to set up before cutting them. Eat immediately or freeze them for future use.