Fool your crowd into thinking you spent all day at the stove with these easy, freezer-friendly recipes, tips, and tricks.
Your freezer isn’t just for ice cream, it’s an extension of your pantry. Make the most of this precious space—and get a head start on weeknight dinners—by stocking it with our easy freezer recipes. We’ve gathered our favorite fix-and-freeze dishes along with helpful tips and tricks from our Test Kitchen on the best way to freeze food. Not all recipes are freezer-friendly, but these dishes are sure to reheat beautifully and taste like you spent hours at the stove. Choose from dozens of delicious freezer meals including casseroles, baked pasta dishes, gumbo, pot roast, and slow-cooker soups and stews, and more.
Easy Freezer-Friendly Recipes
Master the art of make-ahead freezer meals by stocking up on these weeknight favorites. Here, we share recipes (along with a few helpful tips and tricks) that make the most of your greatest kitchen ally: the freezer.
Build deep flavors in Jambalaya by sautéing the aromatic trinity of onion, celery, and pepper in the andouille drippings with herbs, garlic, and spices. Make a double batch of cooked rice to spin this inexpensive staple into countless meals. Cool the rice, portion, and freeze in a zip-top freezer bag. To reheat: Transfer rice to a bowl, and sprinkle with water. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on High 2 minutes.
Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce
These zesty meatballs are a true taste of the Southwest, with poblano peppers, corn chips, lime juice, and red chile enchilada sauce. Prepared with ground chuck, these are a rich, delicious way to fill a tortilla full of flavor. Let guests doctor their own plates with crunchy, colorful toppings including Cotija cheese, radishes, and avocado. If you prefer to prepare early, these also freeze beautifully, so you can always have some on hand. Savor the sensations of Southwest flavors with these Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce.
Greek Baked Ziti
Recipe: Greek Baked Ziti
Inspired by the classic Greek comfort dish known as pastitsio, this pasta casserole uses fresh and flavorful ingredients. It mixes the classic flavors of ground beef, onion, and garlic, with oregano and two rich cheeses: Parmesan and mozzarella. So bake a dish of this comfort-food favorite, and in under 30 minutes you can settle in for a warm, delicious, family meal. For an easy weeknight dinner, you can even make this ahead and freeze it.
Spiced Beef Kabobs with Herbed Cucumber and Tomato Salad
This recipe is all about how to take premium ground beef, flavor it with subtle herbs and spices, and create a delicious dish. These Spiced Beef Kabobs are delicately seasoned with cumin, coriander, allspice, parsley, and cilantro, then hand-formed on skewers. Grilled to golden-brown perfection, the ground beef remains moist and juicy, to be complemented by creamy toppings like our Yogurt-Tahini Sauce. Serve this zesty beef with warm pita bread and a tangy herb salad.
Recipe: Sausage-and-Grits Quiche
Thaw food in the refrigerator. The science behind a slow, even thaw preserves flavor and texture. Impress your brunch company with this clever, simple spin on a traditional quiche.
Four-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Freeze pot roasts and braised pork shoulders in their cooking liquid—it preserves the juicy flavor and tender texture while guarding against freezer burn. Portion cooled meat into zip-top freezer bags, add cooking liquid, and freeze up to 1 month.
Curried Chicken Chowder
Recipe: Curried Chicken Chowder
To preserve the textures of meat and vegetables in soup, it's important to cool hot soups completely before freezing. To quickly reduce the temperature, transfer to large, shallow containers (13- × 9-inch baking dishes). Refrigerate uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cool.
Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways
Recipe: Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways
To freeze big items like cooked potatoes and meatballs, arrange in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan, and freeze 1 to 2 hours; transfer to a zip-top bag. You'll avoid one frozen mass, plus single servings thaw faster.
Chicken-and-Brisket Brunswick Stew
Brunswick stew is always a crowd-pleaser in the South. We combine chicken and tender beef brisket in this hearty version. You won't be able to get enough.
Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Recipe: Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Save time (and dirty dishes) with lidded bakeware that goes from oven to freezer to fridge with ease.
Sliced almonds, water chestnuts, cream of mushroom soup, and Cheddar cheese add a depth of flavor and texture to this satisfying casserole.
"Big Easy" Gumbo
Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls
Recipe: Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls
These lasagna rolls are the perfect meal to freeze individually and thaw according to your dinnertime head count.
Hearty Italian Soup with Parmesan-Pepper Cornbread Biscotti
Small plastic freezer jars are perfect for stocks, gravies, cranberry sauces, or individual portions of soups and stews. Liquids expand when frozen, so leave 1/2 inch of headspace below the rim of the container.
Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas
This Tex-Mex one-dish meal is a family-friendly favorite. It's an easy make-ahead meal that can be frozen for up to one month. Think about these enchiladas when time is tight.
Stovetop Red Beans and Rice
Recipe: Stovetop Red Beans and Rice
Here's a low-fat version of the Louisiana favorite with all the classic, cue-the-trombones flavor you'd expect in this hearty dish. Make a big batch and freeze leftovers for later.
Slow-cooked Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches
To make ahead, cool shredded chicken completely. Freeze in an airtight container up to 3 months. Low and slow is how this slow-cooker barbecue chicken gets its flavor. Make a real statement by serving the shredded chicken over Sweet Potato Cornbread and topping with Pickled Peppers & Onions and Simple Slaw.
Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Recipe: Classic Chicken Tetrazzini
Portion individual servings and freeze in containers that are freezer- and microwave-safe. This allows you to reheat dinner for one, two, or the entire family.
Make a classic comfort food recipe with this chicken casserole. This family-friendly dish takes less than an hour and provides a filling one-dish meal.
Vanessa's Make-Ahead Beefy Lasagna
A container of refrigerated pesto adds distinctive flavor to this basic beef-and-cheese lasagna, and the unbaked lasagna can be frozen for up to three months.
Queso-Broccoli Potato Chowder
Recipe: Queso-Broccoli Potato Chowder
Refrigerators and freezers cannot cool soups quickly enough to be food safe. Speed up the cooling process by placing the pot of soup in a bath of ice water in the sink. Stir soup often to help release the heat. Even your kids won't be able to resist this broccoli chowder. Sautéed ham and creamy Cheddar cheese create a savory base.
Recipe: Chicken-Andouille Gumbo
Stock your freezer with this classic Southern dish. Use empty cereal boxes to save space. Line an upright box with a zip-top bag (like lining a trash can). Fill, then seal the bag and freeze flat while still in the box. Once frozen, remove the bag from the box and stack.
King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
All the flavors of a favorite casserole come together in the comfort of mac and cheese. Freeze this hearty, cheesy favorite in lidded bakeware for easy transport between oven, freezer, and fridge.
Recipe: Zucchini-and-Spinach Lasagna
Pack your farmers' market favorites in this freezer-friendly vegetarian lasagna. Fresh basil, zucchini, and spinach are baked with both ricotta and flavored cream cheese for a hearty casserole.
Savory Hand Pies
Recipe: Savory Hand Pies
Unbaked pies can be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen pies 30 to 32 minutes or until golden brown.
You're going to love this freezer-friendly hand-held meal.
New Tuna Casserole
Recipe: New Tuna Casserole
Our take on the classic hits the high notes: creamy, cheesy, fresh, and crunchy. Resist digging into the casserole right out of the oven. Letting it stand for 10 minutes allows it to firm up to the perfect consistency.