12 Recipes to Prep this Weekend and Freeze

Weekday meals need to be quick, family-friendly, and delicious! Plan ahead and prep breakfast, lunch and dinner options on the weekend to stash in the freezer! It’s a true time saver (and stress reducer) for busy work weeks.

Now that the pantry is stocked with all the essentials, let’s move to another indispensable part of the kitchen: the freezer.

It’s a rare occasion that weeknight cooking turns out classics such as Chicken Pot Pie or Indian Butter Chicken, but with a little extra planning the freezer can be used to store ready-to-eat meals: fried rice, meatballs or lasagna.

When preparing freezer meals don’t forget about breakfast! For something savory try breakfast burritos. If you need something on the sweet side look to smoothie packs. They are a lifesaver for quick breakfasts or hydrating after school snacks.

The easiest way to stock a freezer is to make a little extra on the weekend or double the recipe you’re making anyway — eat half, freeze half. I like to think of it as life skills 101 and get the kids involved. For weekend prep, set aside an afternoon and make an extra main dish, a breakfast option, pizza dough or cookies to pull out for a rainy day. Bake, cool, label and freeze. You won’t regret it!

A black skillet with prepared pork fried rice recipe inside. Steam is coming up from the dish and a spatula is resting in the rice on the left side.

Make a double batch of this pork fried rice and store the extra in your freezer for up to three months! If you need a little something extra serve with potstickers.

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Best Butter Chicken Recipe

My family loves Butter Chicken and having it ready and waiting in the freezer brings the spicy, creamy comfort food to a Wednesday night. This recipe takes marinating time so make sure to build that into your plan. Serve with naan or basmati rice.

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A pot pie with a golden crust is in a ramekin with some of the crust removed to show the filling.

As a child, I looked forward to eating the 50 cent version from the freezer aisle, but this homemade Chicken Pot Pie feeds the whole family and uses a whole chicken! To freeze, hold off on the egg wash and wrap unbaked pie in saran wrap. When ready to bake, remove from freezer, brush with egg wash and bake for 20-30 minutes in a 400°F oven.

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Three Cheese Lasagna

If you have an abundance of herbs in your garden, my bet is that you have jars of pesto just waiting for the right moment to shine. That moment is now. Switching out the red sauce for pesto, gives a late summer vibe to comforting lasagna. To reheat in half the time, freeze individual portions.

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Turkey Meatball Soup

Meatballs are always a hit at my house and a hearty, healthy soup is exactly what every Monday night needs. The meatballs can be made ahead and frozen. Feel free to prep vegetables beforehand as well so that all you have to do is simmer it all together at dinnertime.

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Frozen Breakfast Burrito Recipe

Whenever I make scrambled eggs, my youngest son turns them into a burrito. I love that this version adds vegetables to up the nutritional value. To make them vegetarian swap beans for the sausage. Why not eat them for lunch too? I know I want to.

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No-Knead Pizza Dough

I have pizza dough on hand at all times. Making the dough is simple but requires some time to rise. Stashing a pound or two in the freezer gives you the flexibility to have homemade pizza whenever you want. Just remember to remove it from the freezer the night before you want to use it.

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Green Chile Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a wonderful vegetarian meal to make ahead and freeze for later. Corn tortillas loaded with Monterey jack and covered in a spicy tomatillo sauce livens up Taco Tuesday for the better.

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Pressure Cooker Refried Beans in a white bowl with lime wedges and sliced jalepenos nearby. The instant pot is in the background.

Speaking of Mexican food, stashing a batch of refried beans in your freezer will solve many a meal conundrum. Perfect for quesadillas, burritos, or in Mexican Lasagna. Bacon fat is recommended for this recipe but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

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Side view of no-knead dutch oven bread on a cutting board. The crust is deep golden brown and a second loaf is behind the first.

Crusty, fresh baked bread is irresistible, but making it on a Tuesday isn’t really an option. Making it on the weekend and stashing some in the freezer for a rainy day is. Bread is the side dish that every weeknight meal needs especially as the weather cools and soup becomes a go to dinner in my house.

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Green Smoothie

Our family makes smoothies on the regular and I have to say that this one is definitely my favorite. Pack pineapple and spinach in a smoothie pack and stick in the freezer. Add yogurt, banana and water when ready to eat and whirl to frothy perfection. For more ideas, check out our guide on how to prep smoothie packs.

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How to make the Best Chocolate Chip cookies from this Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Chocolate chip cookie dough is the perfect candidate for freezer prep. When I worked at a bakery, we scooped dough into balls and then transferred to zip top freezer bags. Fresh baked cookies are just around the corner!

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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  1. Janey Elliott

    One question about the chicken pot pie. When freezing, do you allow to thaw before baking, or bake from frozen.?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Mary

    Good idea. Give me some more!