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10 Healthy Freezer Meals (Video) 10 Healthy Freezer Meals (Video)
October 16, 2019
by Olena

10 Healthy Freezer Meals (Video)

by Olena

healthy freezer meals

Why I Started Doing Healthy Freezer Meals

Last year has been insane with the move, renovations and work travel. I admit I turned into you with no ideas or plan for dinner. Instant Pot saved the day many days! Last fall with 2 work trips on my calendar,  I was forced to make healthy make ahead dinners because Alex was busy renovating our beach house and taking care of the kids.

Alex 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 Are Your Healthy 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 Quick Healthy Freezer Meal Prep

1. Print Recipes + Shopping List

HEALTHY MEAL PREP #1 – Click here for Recipes + Shopping List.

HEALTHY MEAL PREP #2 – For now, you have to print recipes one by one as we are working on Healthy Meal Prep #2 video.:)

2. Get Ingredients

  • Gather meat, vegetables, cans and sauce jars, and grains on a counter.
  • No spices yet.
  • Label gallon size Ziploc bags with instructions. Healthy Freezer Crockpot Meals

3. Prepare Ingredients

  • Cut meat.
  • Peel vegetables ( do not chop yet).
  • Open cans.Healthy Make Ahead Freezer Meals

4. Start Assembling

  • Fill each bag with meat first.
  • Stand up right.

Healthy Freezer Meals for New Moms

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.Easy Healthy Freezer Meals

6. Add Dry Ingredients

Measure and add:

  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Any other dried ingredients. Healthy Freezer Meals on a Budget

7. Add Liquids

Add liquids from cans and jars:

  • Diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • Coconut milk
  • Tomato paste
  • Hot sauce
  • DO NOT add broth or water.

Healthy Instant Pot Freezer Meals

8. Add Spices

Pull out spices, measure and add to each bag. Healthy Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

9. Prepare for Freezing

Let out as much air as possible and seal tightly.

10. Freeze

healthy freezer meals in the freezer

What Containers to Use?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!

Print Recipes + Shopping List

#1 Buffalo Chicken Chili

Best Healthy Freezer Meals

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

healthy crockpot freezer meals with shopping list

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

heart healthy freezer meal recipes

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

cheap healthy freezer meals

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

healthy premade freezer meals

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 Stuffed Peppers

healthy freezer dinner meals

Recipe

Click here for Stuffed Peppers 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 + 1 cup water + 15 oz can tomato sauce on top.

#7 Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders

healthy postpartum freezer meals

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

healthy freezer dump meals

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

healthy homemade freezer meals

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

healthy freezer meal ideas

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 8 reviews

Busy? Learn how to meal prep 5 healthy dinners in 2 hours. No pre-cooking and then just cook from frozen in 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.

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  1. 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)

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

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

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