by Olena

10 Healthy Freezer Meals (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 10 reviews

5 or 10 Healthy Freezer Meals in 2 hours with shopping list and video. No pre-cooking and then just cook from frozen in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.Healthy Freezer Meals

Freezer Meals

Busy mom? Expecting mom? Working a lot? You need Instant Pot and healthy freezer meals in your life.

I started doing healthy freezer meals a few years ago after we moved into a house that required a lot of renos. I admit I turned into you with no ideas or plan for dinner. Instant Pot saved the day many days! Fast forward to 2020 and I am so attached to my pressure cooker that I have a Youtube channel with only healthy Instant Pot recipes.

When I left a few freezer meals for my husband, he kept raving and raving about how easy and tasty each dinner was. He was truly blown away how my healthy bulk cooking made his cooking easy. And last time I heard my husband rave like that was about his new truck! 🙂

What to Expect from These Freezer Meals

  • Batch cooking 5 recipes in 2 hours for freezing.
  • Dinners made with real food.
  • Cook from frozen in Instant Pot.
  • Cook from frozen in slow cooker (except thaw meat ones first – food safety).
  • Healthy freezer meals on a budget.

10 Steps to Freezer Meal Prep

  1. Print recipes and shopping list: Meal prep #1Click here to print recipes + shopping List. Meal prep #2 – For now, you have to print recipes one by one below – click here to jump there. Meal prep #3watch video on Youtube with shopping list and recipes in description.
  2. Gather ingredients: Gather meat, vegetables, cans and sauce jars, and grains on a counter. No spices yet. Label gallon size Ziploc bags with instructions.
  3. Prep meat, veggies and cans: Cut meat, peel vegetables (do not chop yet) and open cans.
  4. Start assembling: Fill each bag with meat first and stand up right.
  5. Chop vegetables: Chop basic veggies like carrots, celery, onion, garlic, potato etc. for each recipe individually. Then place on top of meat (if any) in each bag. It helps to keep measuring simple. Meatless recipes assembly begins now.
  6. Add dry ingredients: Measure and add grains, beans and any other dry ingredients.
  7. Add liquids: Add liquids from cans and jars except water or broth like diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, coconut milk, tomato paste and hot sauce.
  8. Add spices: Pull out spices, measure and add to each bag.
  9. Prepare for freezing: Let out as much air as possible and seal tightly each bag.
  10. Freeze: Stand bags upright and and freeze like that. Round shape is the best. I usually tie 2 corners with a rubber band or a big clip to shape the bag.

carrots, celery, beans, chicken, potato, onion, canned goods to make a batch of freezer mealscut up chicken for Healthy Make Ahead Freezer Meals

assembled Healthy Freezer Meals in bags for New Momschopped carrots for Easy Healthy Freezer Meals

5 bags with Healthy Freezer Meals on a Budgetbags with Healthy Instant Pot Freezer Meals

spices, stock and seasonings for Healthy Slow Cooker Freezer Mealshealthy freezer meals in the freezer

What Containers to Use?

  • Reusable 1 gallon silicone bags – My preferred method and they work!
  • Gallon Size Ziploc Bags: It is true you cannot recycle bags in your curbside blue box. Option 1: Wash, dry and re-use (ME!). Option 2: Collect and take directly to nearby recycling depot.
  • Plastic Containers: You will need large containers, preferably round shape to fit easy into Instant Pot or slow cooker. A good option since they are reusable.
  • Glass Containers: These are heavy and pricey but another good option. Look for large round ones as well.

10 Important Tips for Best Healthy Freezer Meals

  1. Container. Pick your container with the size of your preferred cooking vessel in mind – will it fit frozen?
  2. Round shape is the best. With both slow cooker and Instant Pot. Use round containers or place filled bags in round bucket and freeze until shape forms.
  3. Thaw for 2 minutes. Place frozen container in a sink or large bowl with hot water and let defrost for 2-5 minutes to help slide out easily. You can also let thaw longer and break frozen food into a few pieces if necessary.
  4. Scrape the walls. If any spices left on the walls of a container and recipe calls for water, rinse container with it and then add to your cooking vessel.
  5. Appliance to use. To cook healthy frozen meals, you need to own at least 6 quart or my absolute favourite 8 quart Instant Pot, or large slow cooker. Don’t have one yet? Read which Instant Pot to buy.
  6. Cook from frozen. For all Instant Pot and vegetarian slow cooker meals.
  7. Tomatoes on top in Instant Pot. If cooking recipe in Instant Pot and it contains anything tomato, make sure its on top – otherwise it will burn. Check out my Instant Pot guide for more tips.
  8. Meat in slow cooker. For slow cooker meals with meat you have to thaw freezer meal in the fridge for 24 hours.
  9. Use common sense. As much as you can please. I used less meat for making 3 recipes below because all I had was a whole chicken.
  10. Save time. Group meals based on similar ingredients for faster meal prep. Below I will sort mine into meal prep #1, meal prep #2, meal prep #3 etc.

How Long Is Healthy Freezer Meal Prep?

One day it took me 2 hours to assemble 5 freezer meals and that’s including taking photos for this post. Think about it – 2 hours and 5 dinners are taken care of. Totally worth it for new moms, working moms, any sane moms!

Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #1

Print Recipes + Shopping List

#1 Buffalo Chicken Chili

buffalo chicken chili freezer meal

Recipe link.

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 x 15 oz cans any low sodium beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium

TO SERVE:

  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Cilantro and/or green onion
  • Lime
  • Tortilla chips

For cooking in Instant Pot, it is important to finish with tomatoes on top to avoid “Burn”.

INSTANT POT: Pressure cook on High from frozen for 30 minutes with Quick Release.

SLOW COOKER: Sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery before freezing with other ingredients. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours (food safety thing), then add to a large slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.

AFTER COOKING: Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return to the pot.

Please note this is large meal, so if you are cooking in anything other than 8 quart Instant Pot (I have one) then freeze in 2 bags or 2 containers. For 8 quart Instant Pot freeze the bag standing upright, then it fits and lid will close.

Print Recipes + Shopping List

#2 Green Lentil Curry

green lentil curry freezer meal

Recipe link.

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 cups green lentils, uncooked & rinsed

TO SERVE:

  • Cilantro and/or green onion
  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado

BEFORE COOKING: Add 3 cups of water.

INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen for 25 minutes with Quick Release.

SLOW COOKER: Cook from frozen on Low for 9 hours or on High for 5 hours.

Print Recipes + Shopping List

#3 Butter Chicken

butter chicken freezer meal

Recipe link.

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch ginger root, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 – 3.5 lbs chicken drumsticks or thighs

TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • Brown rice
  • Cilantro

BEFORE COOKING: Add 2 cups water.

INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen for 30 minutes with Quick Release.

SLOW COOKER: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.

AFTER COOKING: Open the lid and press Sauté (cancel Keep Warm if it’s on). In a small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch with a fork. Pour over chicken and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until sauce has thickened a bit. Serve with cilantro over a bed of brown rice and with naan/pita bread.

Print Recipes + Shopping List

#4 Lentil Soup

lentil soup freezer meal

Recipe link.

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

For 6 quart Instant Pot. For 8 quart, check the recipe.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 small celery, chopped
  • 2 cups green lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes, low sodium

For cooking in Instant Pot, it is important to finish with tomatoes on top to avoid “Burn”.

FOR SERVING:

  • 11 oz box of spinach
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

BEFORE COOKING: Add 2 bouillon cubes + 10 cups water or 10 cups low sodium veggie stock.

INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen for 20 minutes with Quick Release.

SLOW COOKER: Cook from frozen on Low for 10 hours or on High for 5 hours.

AFTER COOKING: Add spinach and garlic. Stir and serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Print Recipes + Shopping List

#5 Healthy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

chicken wild rice soup freezer meal

Recipe link.

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1.5 lbs any chicken pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms or 1 cup fresh, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Small bunch parsley, finely chopped

BEFORE COOKING: Add 9 cups water or low sodium chicken broth.

INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen for 35 minutes with Quick Release.

SLOW COOKER: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 10 hours or on High for 6 hours.

AFTER COOKING:

Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Blend a bit with an immersion blender until desired consistency. Add chicken and parsley. Stir and serve hot.

Print Recipes + Shopping List

Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #2

#6 Thai Chicken Soup

Instant Pot Thai chicken soup

Recipe

Click here for Thai Chicken Soup recipe.

Cooking Options

Slow Cooker: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.

Instant Pot: Cook from frozen for 20 minutes. Quick release.

Container Label

Instant Pot – 20 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 6 hrs, High 3 hrs. Before – trivet + 6 cups water. After – shred chicken and puree soup, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 limes, 1 cup peanuts.

#7 Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders

chicken tenders freezer meal

Click here for Coconut Crusted Chicken recipe.

Cooking Options

Oven: Bake from frozen at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, possibly turning in the middle (depends on the oven – just keep an eye on them while chopping salad :)).

Container Label

Bake frozen at 425 for 30+ mins (maybe turn).

#8 Chicken Chickpea Stew

chicken chickpea stew freezer meal

Click here for Chicken Chickpea Stew recipe.

Cooking Options

Slow cooker: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.

Instant Pot: Cook from frozen for 20 minutes. Quick release.

Container Label

Instant Pot – 20 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 8 hrs, High 4 hrs. Before: 2 cups water. After: 1/2 cup tahini, 1/2 cup parsley.

Please note this is large meal, so if you are cooking in anything other than 8 quart Instant Pot (I have one) then freeze in 2 bags or 2 containers. For 8 Quart Instant Pot freeze the bag standing upright, then it fits and lid will close.

#9 Vegetarian Quesadillas

vegetarian quesadilla freezer meal

Click here for Vegetarian Quesadillas recipe.

Cooking Options

Bake: Bake from frozen at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Panini Press: Grill from frozen until ready.

Container Label

Bake – 25-30 at 350 F or Panini Press

#10 Bean Mushroom Soup

bean mushroom soup freezer meal

Click here for Bean Mushroom Soup recipe.

Cooking Options

Instant Pot: Cook from frozen for 15 minutes with canned beans or 30 minutes with dried beans. Quick release.

Slow cooker: Saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery, combine with other ingredients and cook from frozen with 8 cups of water (stock) for 4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low.

Container Label

Instant Pot – 15 (30) mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 6-8 hrs, High 4 hrs. Before: 8 cups water. After: Add 2 tbsp olive oil, dill.

Print

Healthy Freezer Meals

4.9 from 10 reviews

5 Healthy Freezer Meals in 2 hours with shopping list and video. No pre-cooking and then just cook from frozen in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 120 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 freezer meals
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

65 comments on “10 Healthy Freezer Meals (Video)

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  1. I am a great cook but with little time. I like to plan ahead and your blog gave me ideas about how to organize better my meals and time cooking. I’ll probably add some latin recipes to the menu. I loved your blog. Thank you…

  2. Hi. I am Ryanne. Can you just put all the ingriedients in a bag instead of breading the chicken first? Or do you have to bread it first?

  3. Hello,

    When I put my frozen meals in the Instant Pot, does it matter how thawed out the meal is? Does each meal need to be completely thawed?

    Thanks!

    Luke

    1. Hi Luke. You don’t have to thaw them at all. Just as long as it is able to slide out of the bag. I run it under warm water to help with that.

  4. Hi there, can you clarify on the cooking time in the Instant Pot on your Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe? The recipe says cook time is 35 mins. In the photo above it, written on the plastic bag says 20 mins. I’m just getting into cooking soups and meals with whole grains and want to get a sense on how long to cook them in the Instant Pot. I’ve been making soup with barley on the stove but like the idea of creating meals that I can pull out of the freezer and pop into the Instant Pot.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jan. Yes. 25-35 mins. Doesn’t really matter with soups like that, like lentils and barley. Wild rice and those will stand up well and develop more flavor. Bags went through test times, 20 mins wasn’t enough. Enjoy!

  5. These recipes and meal plans look great! I have one question on the Butter Chicken recipe. If cooking in Instant Pot, does the rice get cooked separately or with the frozen meal?

  6. Wow! I’m a qualified chef (but do not work as one). Since my children left home,I’m always scrounging for food. I am a fussy eater and always want a decent meal. I’m going to try this over the weekend. I also despise frozen meals.

    I would like to see beef recipes. You mail mail them to me.

  7. I just made the Green Lentil soup. It’s my first time on your blog (site) and I absolutely love it. I enjoyed your bio too. Straight forward and love the point “don’t over think”. Can’t wait to try more recipes. Thank You!!!!
    Monique from Burnaby (new fan)

  8. Hello! Going to be starting these tomorrow or the next day. Silly question, but for the Healthy Chicken Wild Rice Soup, do you cook the rice before freezing it? And do you add the milk before starting the slow cooker, or once its cooked then reheat?
    Thanks so much!

  9. Hello, I see that some of these say “large” recipe and I’m wondering how many each of the meal plan 1 recipes serve… and about how big are the servings?

  10. Thanks so much! I made these bags for my daughter-in-law when she had a newborn. I appreciate you making it so easy.

  11. Hi there! Do you have an ingredients list for all 5 meals combined in case we want a master list for the grocery store? 39 weeks and hoping to bank these recipes before baby comes. Thank you so much!

  12. Wow! You saved me. I did your prep 1 and the quesadillas at 37 week pregnant. I am so happy I did! So easy to get meals ready now the I have a new born and an 18 month old toddler. Good is good!!! Thanks!

  13. Some of these recipes say to cook from frozen. How do I get the ingredients out of the bag of frozen? I haven’t tried it yet so I am not sure if it will just slide out easily or not. Do I need to thaw anything first before putting it in the instant pot?

    1. Hmm….How raw? Like raw by the bone leaking red juice or raw where and how?… Let’s troubleshoot. What kind of chicken pieces? How much? What size and model Instant Pot? Pressure cooking on High pressure? Silicone ring in place?

      1. I used boneless and skinless chicken thighs…. no more than 3lbs. I have a Cosori, 8quart IP, silicone in place. When I opened the lid and gave it a stir I could see area of raw right on the thighs. I added 15 minutes hoping that helps

        1. I see. Was it where chicken thighs were touching each other kind of in a blob? Probably. Yes, 15 minutes should do it. It could be the elevation – needs a touch more. I know that at my sea level 30 mins will cook frozen chicken through.
          For next time, once you add all ingredients to a bag before freezing, mix it all around so chicken is separated by coconut milk and onions etc. Will cook faster. Hope this helps!

  14. This all looks great! After defrosting, would it work to use a stovetop on low method sometimes, rather than the crock pot?

  15. Do you cook your stuffed peppers per the link and then freeze, then in the instant pot for 20 minutes when you’re ready to eat? Or don’t cook them at all until the instant pot? Thank you!

  16. Hi I am excited to try these recipes! I am not a huge fan of beans. If I substituted rice for beans in some of the recipes, would it be okay?

    1. You can sub a portion of beans with corn or leave out. End result might be a bit runny but oh well. Can’t use rice cause it soaks up water and beans don’t. Proportions will be way off. Unless you use cooked rice. Bam.

  17. I’m confused about the order in which you add ingredients to the bag (I have reusable circular Tupperware that I’ll be using). You said to have tomato sauce at the top of the instant pot, but you added it last to the bag. When you dump it in upside down that would leave the tomato sauce on the bottom of the instant pot, correct? I’ve never used my instant pot, so I really know nothing about this.

  18. So excited about these recipes! Do you think its ok to prep with already frozen chicken breasts and such? I would imagine yes, but wanted to make sure! Having a baby in a few weeks and prepping a few meals to start us off!! Thank you!

  19. So excited about your meals – quick easy and nutritious. Discovered uour site today and am off to the shops to get the ingredients now! I look forward to your next inspirations.

  20. Hola soy española , me gusta mucho tu web y tu canal . Aquí en España no se hace comidas montadas para congelador y eres la única del otro lado del océano que hace comidas parecidas a las españolas , por eso me gustan también . Espero que puedas leer mi comentario como yo leo tus post con el traductor🌺

  21. My husband and I took the leftovers of the buffalo chicken freezer meal, and added some cream cheese!! It made a great impromptu dip to eat with chips!

    1. It is called butter chicken because it is prepared in a makhani(butter) gravy which uses butter and cream in its recipe. To make it healthier we use coconut milk. Hope this helps.

    1. 6-8 servings. I added links to each original post recipe so you can see it. All large portions. I feed 3 men and whatever we don’t finish goes into freezer. All leftovers are freezer friendly too.

  22. These recipes look fantastic but I am trying to make some freeze ahead meals for my mother who just had surgery. She has congenital heart failure and is on a low sodium diet. Any suggestions as to how to reduce the sodium per serving?

  23. The Butter Chicken is amazing and my husband didn’t complain that the quesadillas didn’t have meat! Freezer meals like these came in handy these past couple months with a new baby

  24. I didn’t make these recipes yet but I had to comment to say how excited I am with the freezer meals. They all look amazing. I am homeschool mom and this is exactly what I need. I always see freezer meals that are made with lots of additives and unhealthy items. I will post again when I make these. Thank you so much for sharing. Love your site!!!

    1. Hi Kayla. I think seeing mostly meat with canned stuff deterred me from making freezer meals for years. Then common sense prevailed, thank goodness. Thank you very much! Enjoy!:)

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