Go Back
+ servings
easy freezer meals to make ahead --image collage
Print SAVE Pin
5 from 5 votes

85 Easy Freezer Meals to Make Ahead on a Budget (Foods You Can Freeze and For How Long)

Find out how to make ahead easy freezer meals for breakfast and dinner, especially on a budget, that will help you time and money.
Course:Main Course
Cuisine:American
Keywords:easy freezer meals, what foods to freeze
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories300 kcal
Cost $ 1.00 per person

Equipment

  • 1 freezer
  • 1 Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container

Ingredients

Foods you can freeze:

  • Bananas peeled
  • Fruits berries, avocado, melon, mango, pineapple. etc
  • Bread in slices, whole loaves, or breadcrumbs
  • Butter
  • Cooked pasta partially cooked
  • Cooked rice partially cooked
  • Eggs cracked into small containers, not in the shell
  • Flour you can use it directly from the freezer
  • Cornstarch you can use it directly from the freezer
  • Cooked beans lentils, and chickpeas
  • Grated cheeses
  • Herbs best frozen either in melted butter or oil to retain their flavor
  • Meat both raw and cooked
  • Nuts outside the freezer they can go rancid fairly quickly due to their oils
  • Stock
  • Wine

Instructions

Make sure to follow the steps below to easily freeze your meals properly:

  • COOLING: After making your meals, let them fully cool before freezing. For that, cool off your dish on the counter for 20-30 minutes, then place it in the fridge to cool completely.
  • You can also cool off your dish by placing the container in a bowl of ice. That will allow your food to freeze more quickly, preserving flavor and nutrients.
  • STORING INTO CONTAINERS/BAGS: Use either Ziplock bags (with the air squeezed out) or freezer-safe containers to keep your meal frozen for longer and preserve their nutritional value.
  • LABELING: Label your homemade freezer meals as directed below before placing them in the freezer.
  • THAWING: To thaw your freezer meals, do so in the fridge. It is recommended to allow 5 hours per pound of food.

Recipe Notes

FDA Safe Guidelines for Freezing Food (What to freeze and for how long):
  • Raw poultry: (whole) 1 year, (parts), 9 months 
  • Raw meats: 1) Roasts (4-12 months), 2) Steaks (6-12 months), 3) Ground beef (3-4 months)
  • Open packs of frozen fruit: 8 months
  • Raw white fish: 3-6 months
  • Fatty fish (raw): up to 3 months
  • Cooked meats: 2-3 months
  • Poultry and seafood (cooked): 3-6 months
  • Cooked beans, lentils, and chickpeas: up to 6 months
  • Rice and pastas (cooked al dente): up to 1 month.
  • Fruit in syrup: 12 months
  • Blanched vegetables: 12 months
  • Fresh fruits: 12 months
  • Eggs (out of the shell): 12 months
  • Unsalted butter: 8 months
  • Fruit juice: 6 months
  • Cakes: 2-6 months
  • Stocks: six months
  • Pastries: 4 months
  • Salted butter: 4 months
  • Ice cream: 4 months
  • Sliced bacon: 3 months
  • Soupand non-creamy sauces: 2-3 months
  • Bread dough: 3 months
  • Milk (for cooking only) – 3-6 months (after that, it may become yellow, absorb odors from the freezer, and taste different).
  • Nuts (shelled or unshelled) – up to 12 months
  • Wine: up to 6 months 
 
Foods that should NOT be frozen: 
  • Creamy sauces – they can become grainy and/or curdled.
  • Deep-fried foods -- after defrosting, crispy coatings turn to mush.
  • Dishes with crumbs or bread toppings -- you’ll lose the crispness and it will go soggy. Add those toppings just before reheating to retain the crispness.
  • Milk – not if it is for drinking later on. However, it works fine for general cooking once re-heated.
  • Sour cream, cream cheese, coconut milk, and mayonnaise- Their original textures are ruined by freezing, which turns them lumpy, grainy, or curdled. It is best to prepare a dish, freeze it, and then add such ingredients and reheat once the dish is thawed.
  • Fully cooked pasta and rice – only freeze rice or pasta that has been partially cooked, otherwise, they will wind up overcooked once reheated.
  • Cooked egg whites and hard-boiled eggs – never freeze these, otherwise, you will end up with a pure mess on your hands. Freezing changes their texture a lot.
  • Meringues, flans, and gelatins – freezing ruins their original textures.

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion | Calories: 300kcal

** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.

Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Comment and rate the recipe. Also follow us on Pinterest at @easyanddelish for more delish recipes.