I love cooking, but I don’t like eating the same food 10x in a row. While in theory I love the concept of leftovers, in practice I’m usually pretty bored by the same soup after the third meal. And that’s why I’m obsessed with freezing my food.
By freezing ready-to-go meals, Reg and I are able to always have lunch or dinner on-hand, which reduces “there’s nothing to eat” takeout orders or excessive boxed mac-and-cheese. Some of the foods that that I make are ready to eat after a quick nuke in the microwave, while others need to be thrown in the slow cooker or oven. Both of these options work great, and I recommend filling your fridge with a combination.
My two most important tips for freezing food are use glass containers that you can put right in the microwave (my favorites are these from Anchor Hocking) and label EVERYTHING. I keep a roll of cute masking tape and a sharpie magnetized from my fridge, so I can quickly write down what’s in every container. You’d be shocked how similar raw dog food and chili appear once they’re frozen solid.
Here are the things filling my freezer right now:
Curries are a perfect option for freezing and satisfy that craving I randomly get for Indian food at 11am on a Tuesday. While in general yogurt-based recipes don’t freeze well, you can either use coconut milk instead or add the yogurt at the end after you’ve heated up your frozen curry. All it needs is some rice or TJs frozen naan, and you’ll be ready to start chowing down in minutes. My favorite curry to freeze is my slow cooker chicken tikka masala.
It should go without saying that soups generally freeze very well. Two things that don’t freeze well in soups are noodles and potatoes, so either skip the freezer for those recipes or leave those two ingredients out of your soup recipe until after you’ve frozen reheated the rest and add them in at the end. My favorite soup to freeze is my chicken tortilla soup.
Like soup, chili freezes well and is perfect for a quick, filling meal on a cold day. Chili just needs a quick nuke in the oven and maybe a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and cilantro, and it’s ready to eat. My favorite chili is this black bean turkey chili with corn.
4. Prepped Slow Cooker Meals
When I do a big Costco trip, I love to plan out some ready-to-go slow cooker meals that I can fill in gallon-sized freezer bags. I freeze them flat in my fridge so they’re easily packed away, then when we need dinner for that night, I pull one out, drop all the ingredients in the slow cooker, top with a liquid like chicken broth, and set it for 8 hours. By the time I’m done with work, they’re ready to be eaten! My favorite prepped slow cooker meal is this pork chop with cranberries recipe.
5. Tomato and Pasta Sauces
As you might have gathered by now, I rely a lot on my slow cooker. One food that I always make myself is tomato and pasta sauces. It’s not that it’s that much cheaper to cook at home, but it’s always so much tastier than the canned and bottled stuff! Since it’s impossible to eat 10 cups of tomato sauce quickly, I freeze it in cup-sized glass containers, so when Reg and I make ravioli or pizza, we can warm up just one cup to use in our meal.
6. Biscuits and Breads
First of all, you should know that whole loaves of bread can be easily frozen, so there’s every reason to buy a ton of it at Costco and pack most of it away until you need a loaf (I do this with butter as well). But you can always freeze pre-cooked dough that is ready to go in the oven straight away. My favorite is making yogurt biscuits, freezing them in individual pucks, and then popping them in the oven when I want a hot, fresh biscuit! It’s such a treat.
Finally, just like biscuit dough, cookie dough can easily be frozen and then cooked straight in the oven! Now when I make a batch of these compost cookies, I freeze most of the dough in pucks and hide them in the very back of my fridge. Then, when Reg and I are craving a late night dessert, I can cook up just two cookies. Alternatively, you can bake all your cookies and then freeze some of them so they last longer. I kind of love a frozen cookie, which has a unique texture just like a frozen Reece’s cup.
What are your favorite foods to freeze for later?