10 Easy Make Ahead Freezer Meals for the Holidays
10 Easy Make Ahead Freezer Meals for the Holidays
How do you save time and your sanity during the holidays? Nope, takeout isn’t the answer. Although it’s tempting, especially on hectic days, they can be loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Instead, try these easy make ahead freezer meals for the holidays. These delicious clean eating recipes are perfect for meal prep and planning, so they’ll save you time and money.
Ready to get started? I hope you enjoy these 10 easy freezable meals for a less stressful and healthier holiday.
Warm, aromatic Moroccan spices bring a depth of flavor to this cozy lamb and chickpea stew by Ann of Sumptuous Spoonfuls. Her motto is, “what is life without good food?” I completely agree! And this dish certainly fits the bill. It makes a hefty nine servings that’s easy to throw into the crockpot or Instant Pot and freeze for later.
If lamb isn’t your thing, substitute it with ground beef. Whichever you choose, look for grass-fed meat. They tend to be a little pricier, but they’re also more nutritious than grain-fed meat. You’ll find less fat and more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and CLA in grass-fed meat.
Want to know a trick I learned for storing freezable stews or soups? When the recipe is thoroughly cooled, pour it into a freezer gallon Ziploc bag, lay the bag flat on a small baking pan, then freeze. Once it’s frozen, remove the pan, and you have a flat bag of frozen food that’s easier to store.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, Paleo (leave out potatoes and beans)
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
If you follow a plant-based diet, this recipe is for you. And if you don’t, you’ll still enjoy this luscious dish. Stephanie of Plant Prosperous created this delicious recipe for creamy and comforting vegan mushroom stroganoff. It’s the perfect cozy dinner to warm you up on a cold day.
And it takes just 25 minutes to make! Whip up a double (or triple!) batch and throw it in the freezer. The day before you plan to eat it, thaw it in the fridge. You’ll save yourself loads of time on those chaotic holiday days.
This yummy protein-packed comfort food dish is healthier than your conventional stroganoff recipe, so you can enjoy it without the guilt! The mushrooms are the powerhouse in this dish. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, they have a plethora of health benefits. Mushrooms also help lower cholesterol, are immunity-boosters and help fight aging.
Vegan. With a few adjustments, it can also be nut, oil, dairy, gluten-free, and Paleo.
Total time: 25 minutes
Looking for a keto-friendly dish? I have you covered. Presenting keto slow cooker crack chicken by Annie of Savvy Honey. A decadent yet low-carb recipe, this dish will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
You get five to six servings with this recipe, but again, make twice as much, store in the freezer, then thaw the night before serving. Reheat it on the stovetop, oven, or in the microwave. Annie recommends reheating it in an oven-safe casserole dish at 350 degrees until warm.
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Here’s another chicken recipe for you to try. Kelley Grant of Wholesome Yum has a low carb, cheesy chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe that the whole family will enjoy. With just seven common ingredients you likely have in your pantry, and only five minutes of prep, it’s quick and easy to make. Kelly even provides options for two ways to prepare it and includes a video that shows how to make it. Easy peasy!
When you cook it, double up the recipe and enjoy it all week long or pop half into the freezer to eat later.
Gluten-free, low-carb, grain-free
Total time: 20 minutes
This Instant Pot Enchilada Rice by Profusion Curry is a quick, healthy, easy and delicious dinner recipe. Bursting with spicy Mexican flavors, this rice bowl will become your favorite wholesome meal prep. The best part? You can whip it up in under 30 minutes!
Want to up the health factor? Replace the white rice with cauliflower rice. Making this simple switch will increase the amount of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants and lower the carb count.
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, Paleo (substitute cauliflower rice for white rice, nutritional yeast for cheese, and exclude corn)
Total Time: 20 minutes
Vegetarian? You’ll love this recipe for vegetarian corn chowder soup (as long as you’re not sensitive to corn, which many people actually are) by Jill of This Old Gal. Because you make it in a pressure cooker, it cooks up fast! Yup, you can prepare a couple of batches in less than 30 minutes.
Corn freezes well, so this tasty dish is the ideal freezer meal for the holidays. On those days when you’re running around, shopping, and decorating, settle down with a comforting warm bowl. Like it hot? Add a dash of hot sauce for a little heat.
Vegetarian, vegan. To make it Paleo and Keto, substitute cauliflower rice for the corn and potatoes.
Be sure to use organic corn since conventional corn is heavily sprayed with pesticides and GMO (genetically modified)
Total time: 26 minutes
You’ll be amazed at how simple and easy it is to make this beef barbacoa recipe by Sharon McCaskill of The Helpful GF. You can freeze it ahead of time and simply toss it in the crockpot during this busy holiday season. The barbacoa cooks tender in the slow cooker and delivers all the restaurant feels in the comfort of your home.
You can eat it as is, but it’s also perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, salad, and lettuce wraps. Be sure to add this simple freezer-friendly meal to your weekly menu, so you have one less thing to worry about over the holidays.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, Keto, and Whole 30
Total time: 8 hours 5 minutes
This vegan chili recipe by Elena Szeliga of Happy Kitchen Rocks will delight your taste buds this holiday season. It’s not only wholesome and nutritious but delicious and easy to make. A vegan twist on this classic comfort food for those chilly days ahead makes for a healthy and hearty dinner brimming with flavor!
Chili is perfect for holiday gatherings and potlucks, so make sure to cook an extra batch to keep on hand for such occasions.
Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, low calorie
Total time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Even when it’s not great grilling weather, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great taste of burgers. Instead, take that delicious burger flavor to a new level with this bacon cheeseburger casserole. This hearty, satisfying meal is an excellent option for either lunch or dinner. And it will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Plus, it’s made with spaghetti squash, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Spaghetti squash is lower calorie and high in fiber, making it a healthier option than wheat pasta.
The recipe makes 12 servings, so you’ll have plenty to eat some now and freeze some for later.
Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, AIP, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free
Total time: 50 minutes
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about breakfast. This strawberries and cream baked oatmeal recipe by Audry Wood of Two Pink Peonies is a healthy freezer meal that will help streamline your mornings and fuel you for the day. As she says, “there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cool morning.”
My suggestion? Cook two batches and store one uncooked in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, let thaw in the fridge, then bake for 35 minutes. Take the other batch and divide it into mason jars. Each morning, pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds, mix, microwave another 30 seconds, and enjoy. Quick, easy, and healthy!
Total time: 35 minutes
Make Life Easier
Like many, you live a busy life and don’t always have time to cook a nice meal. During the holiday season, more of your time can get taken up running errands, decorating, and shopping. These easy make ahead freezer meals for the holidays will be your go-to’s to save time and money.
You can choose to spend a few hours one day cooking several batches of all of them or pick a couple to make during the week. Either way, your life will be easier when you have frozen meals ready when you need them.
Be Well & Thrive!
With Love & In Health,
Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN
To work with me as your Nutritionist, I am currently taking virtual clients. Apply to work with me here.
Sarah is a wife, mom of 5, horse farm owner at Outlaw Acres Iowa, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also a Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, and owns Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).