by Olena

20 Healthy Freezer Meals

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 24 votes

Meal prep 5, 10, 15 or 20 Healthy Freezer Meals with a grocery list and how-to video. It takes 2 hours, most recipes need no pre-cooking, and after you just cook your healthy frozen dinner in Instant Pot or slow cooker.

20 healthy freezer meals

Busy? Expecting mom? New mom? Working a lot? A parent? A human who needs a little help? You need Instant Pot freezer meals in your life! Everyone does! Don’t worry, we combined 4 unique meal preps consisting of 5 healthy freezer meals each, that you can cook in Instant Pot OR slow cooker.

I started doing healthy frozen 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! When I went on a business trip and left a few frozen dinners for my husband, he kept raving and raving about how easy and tasty each dinner was. He was truly blown away how my premade meals made his cooking easy. And last time I heard my husband rave like this was about his new truck!

healthy premade meals in the freezer

What Are Freezer Meals?

I believe everyone has a bit different understanding of a freezer meal. Our 20 freezer meals are healthy premade meals with mostly uncooked ingredients, combined in a single container or bag, quickly frozen and then cooked from frozen with a bit of liquid in Instant Pot (easier) or slow cooker (meat needs thawing first). They are not frozen leftovers.

Why Healthy Premade Meals Work?

  • You can batch cook 5 recipes in 2 hours – that’s 5 dinners, all weeknight dinners are taken care of.
  • Dinners made with real food.
  • Cook from frozen in Instant Pot or slow cooker (except thaw meat ones first – food safety).
  • Healthy frozen dinners are cost effective.

How to Do Freezer Meal Prep

  • Print recipes and shopping list: Pick Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #1, #2, #3 or all 4 out of 4 meal preps below. Each meal prep contains 5 recipes with freezing instructions and complete shopping list – click button below each title. That’s total of 20 recipes in this freezer meals post. I found it takes about 2 hours to meal prep 5 recipes and is the most feasible time for a busy mom. After that, I am tired, but you can do 10 recipes at a time, if you wish.
  • Gather ingredients: Gather meat, vegetables, cans and sauce jars, and grains on a counter. No spices yet. Label gallon size Ziploc bags with instructions.
  • Prep meat, veggies and cans: Cut meat, peel vegetables (do not chop yet) and open cans.
  • Start assembling: Fill each bag with tomato products first (if recipe has any and if cooking in Instant Pot), then meat, and stand up right.
  • 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.

Vegetarian freezer meals: Meatless recipes assembly begins now after this step.

  • Add dry ingredients: Measure and add grains, beans and any other dry ingredients.
  • Add liquids: Add liquids from cans and jars like diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, coconut milk, tomato paste and hot sauce.

Don’t add water or broth now: Each recipe below has instructions how much broth/water to add right before cooking. Liquid takes a lot of space in the bag and we don’t want it frozen.

  • Add spices: Pull out spices, measure and add to each bag.
  • Prepare for freezing: Let out as much air as possible and seal tightly each bag.
  • 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.

Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #1

Buffalo Chicken Chili

buffalo chicken chili freezer meal

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

INGREDIENTS TO SERVE:

  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Cilantro and/or green onion
  • Lime
  • Tortilla chips
  • INSTANT POT: Pressure cook on High from frozen for 30 minutes with Quick Release.

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

  • 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.

This is a 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.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 30 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Thaw 24 hrs. Low 8 hrs, High 4 hrs. After – shred chicken.

Green Lentil Curry

green lentil curry freezer meal

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

INGREDIENTS TO SERVE:

  • Cilantro and/or green onion
  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • BEFORE FREEZING (SLOW COOKER): Pan fry onion and garlic with spices sauteed for 30 seconds at the end. Transfer to a gallon size Ziploc bag with remaining ingredients.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 3 cups of water.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 25 minutes with Quick Release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cook from frozen on Low for 9 hours or on High for 5 hours.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 25 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 9 hrs, High 5 hrs. Before – 3 cups water.

Butter Chicken

butter chicken freezer meal

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

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • Brown rice
  • Cilantro
  • BEFORE FREEZING: Swoosh it all around with your hands to make chicken breasts separated with other ingredients.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 2 cups water.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure 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, add butter 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.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 30 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Thaw 24 hrs. Low 8 hrs, High 4 hrs. Before – 6 cups water. After – 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup cold water +4 tbsp cornstarch, Saute until thick.

Lentil Soup

lentil soup freezer meal

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

INGREDIENTS TO SERVE:

  • 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 on High pressure for 20 minutes with Quick Release.

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

  • 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.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 20 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 10 hrs, High 5 hrs. Before – 10 cups broth. After – 1 box spinach and 1 grated garlic.

Healthy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

chicken wild rice soup freezer meal

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

INGREDIENTS 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 on High pressure for 35 minutes. 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.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 35 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Thaw 24 hrs. Low 10 hrs, High 6 hrs. Before – 9 cups water/broth. After – shred chicken, puree soup, 1 small bunch parsley.

Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #2

Thai Chicken Soup

healthy freezer meals thai chicken soup

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • 5 large sweet potatoes, skin on & cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 bell peppers, chopped (optional)
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 6 cups water or low sodium broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 20 minutes, wait 10 minutes and do Quick Release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  • AFTER COOKING: Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Using an immersion blender, puree soup right inside the pot. Return chicken back to the pot along with peanuts, lime juice, cilantro and bell peppers (optional). Stir and serve hot.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 20 mins, 10 mins NPR, after QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 6 hrs, High 3 hrs. Before – 6 cups water. After – shred chicken and puree soup, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 limes, 1 cup peanuts.

Crispy Coconut Chicken

crispy coconut chicken tenders freezer meal

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, large
  • 2/3 cup long or short coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup any flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • HOW TO FREEZE: Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch wide strips. Dip both sides of each chicken tender into an egg wash, then coat in coconut flakes, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper mixture. Freeze coated but uncooked fingers on a baking sheet for a few hours, then transfer to a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Spray chicken fingers with cooking spray.
  • 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).

CONTAINER LABEL

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

Serving suggestion: We usually serve with simple quinoa, brown rice or whole wheat spaghetti on the side. If you are loving the coconut flavors, try some cilantro coconut brown rice. And of course, a salad like broccoli salad or avocado corn salad.

Chicken Chickpea Stew

chicken chickpea stew freezer meal

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 lb tomatoes cubed or 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 bay leaves

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped
  • BEFORE FREEZING (SLOW COOKER): Preheat large skillet on low heat, swirl a bit of oil to coat and add onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium, add pepper and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to the bag with other ingredients to freeze.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 2 cups water or any low sodium broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook on High pressure from frozen for 20 minutes. 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: Add tahini and herbs, stir and let stand for a couple minutes.

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.

This is a 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.

Vegetarian Quesadillas

vegetarian quesadilla freezer meal

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 8 whole wheat large 8” tortillas
  • 14 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 2/3 cups cheese that melts well, shredded (cheddar, mozzarella)
  • HOW TO FREEZE: For each quesadilla, assemble and then wrap in plastic wrap as tightly as possible without compromising its shape. Lay flat in a gallon size Ziploc bag, squeeze as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • OVEN: Bake from frozen in preheated to 350 degrees F oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • PANINI PRESS: Grill from frozen until ready.

CONTAINER LABEL

Bake – 25-30 mins at 350 F or Panini Press.

Serving suggestion: Quesadilla is best served right away while hot, crispy and cheese is gooey. Serve with store bought salsa, yogurt or sour cream.

Bean Mushroom Soup

bean mushroom soup freezer meal

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely grated
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced
  • 1.5 lbs white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can 11 oz organic cream of mushroom soup (I used Pacific Foods)
  • 3 x 14 oz cans white navy beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 bay leaves

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1/3 cup dill or parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • BEFORE FREEZING (SLOW COOKER): Preheat medium skillet on low – medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery and garlic; sauté for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Transfer to the bag with other ingredients to freeze.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 8 cups water or low sodium broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 15 minutes. Quick release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cook from frozen with 8 cups of water (stock) for 4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low.
  • AFTER COOKING: Add 2 tbsp olive oil or butter, and dill (parsley). Stir and serve hot.

CONTAINER LABEL

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

Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #3

Turkey Taco Soup

healthy freezer meals taco soup

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 x 15 oz cans tomato sauce, low sodium
  • 2 x 15 oz cans low sodium red kidney or pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups corn frozen or canned (drained)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp onion powder or flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1/2 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • Yogurt, cheese, lime and tortilla chips
  • BEFORE FREEZING: Preheat medium skillet on low – medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute meat until small pieces. Transfer to the bag with other ingredients to freeze.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 3 cups water or low sodium broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen for 20-30 mins on High pressure. Quick release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  • AFTER COOKING: Add cilantro. Stir and serve hot with yogurt, cheese, lime and tortilla chips.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 20-30 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 8 hrs, High 4 hrs. Before: 3 cups water. After: Add cilantro.

White Chicken Chili

healthy freezer meals white chicken chili

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 lb (2 large) chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 x 15 oz cans cannellini white or great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt fat 2%+ (or sour cream)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • Small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • Tortilla chips, avocado, more yogurt, limes, for serving
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 1 cup water or low sodium chicken broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 20 minutes. Natural Release for 10 mins, Quick release after.
  • SLOW COOKER: 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 along with cilantro, 1/2 cup yogurt, cream cheese and lime juice. Stir well.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 25 mins, NPR 10 mins, after QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 8 hrs, High 4 hrs. Before: 1 cup water. After: Shred chicken, add cilantro, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 oz cream cheese, lime juice.

Almond Chicken

healthy freezer meals almond chicken

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts (3 large) or tenderloins, boneless & skinless
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds (almond flour or almond meal)
  • 1 tbsp garlic or onion powder/granules
  • 1 tsp oregano or basil, dried
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • HOW TO FREEZE: Cut chicken into 1/2 inch thick strips lengthwise and pound to make tender. Dip each strip into an egg mixture, then coat completely in almond, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper mixture. Freeze coated but uncooked fingers on a baking sheet for a few hours, then transfer to a Ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • OVEN: Bake from frozen at 450 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, turning once.

CONTAINER LABEL

Bake frozen for 30-35 mins at 450 F.

Serving suggestion: With ketchup or your favourite healthy dipping sauce like healthy honey mustard. With tomato mozzarella salad or pressure cooker mac and cheese.

Ground Turkey Tacos

healthy freezer meals ground turkey tacos

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 lb ground turkey, 93% lean
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning, low sodium
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz tomato paste, low sodium
  • 1 tsp any sugar (I used maple syrup)

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 10 corn or whole wheat flour tortillas
  • Avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cotija cheese, red onion and lime
  • BEFORE FREEZING (SLOW COOKER): Preheat medium skillet on low – medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onion, garlic, taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground turkey and saute for 5 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula often. Transfer to the bag with other ingredients to freeze, and swoosh things around to mix tomato paste with turkey to prevent burning.
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add Slow Cooker – 1 1/4 cups, Instant Pot – 1/2 cup low sodium chicken or veggie broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 12 minutes. Quick release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cook from frozen for 3 hours on High or 6 hours on Low.
  • AFTER COOKING: Whisk 2 tbsp cold water with 2 tbsp cornstarch and add to Slow Cooker/Instant Pot. Press High heat or Saute, stir and cook (covered in slow cooker) until taco meat has thickened.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 12 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 6 hrs, High 3 hrs. Before: Slow Cooker – 1 1/4 cups, Instant Pot – 1/2 cup broth. After: 2 tbsp cornstarch +2 tbsp cold water, cook to thicken.

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

healthy freezer meals instant pot rice and beans

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium

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

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Hot sauce, optional
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add Slow Cooker – 2 cups, Instant Pot – 4 cups water or low sodium broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 22 minutes. Quick release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Use 2 X 14 oz cans of beans (rinsed & drained) instead of dried. Cook from frozen for 4-5 hours on Low. Check after 4 hours, stir and if needed add 1/4 cup of water more.
  • AFTER COOKING: Add cilantro. Stir and serve hot.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 22 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 4-5 hrs. Before: Slow Cooker – 2 cups, Instant Pot – 4 cups. After: Add cilantro.

Healthy Freezer Meal Prep #4

Chicken Burritos

healthy freezer meals chicken burritos

ADD TO COOK IN INSTANT POT:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2-3 large chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups water or low sodium broth

INGREDIENTS TO WRAP:

  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups corn, frozen or cooked
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 12 oz any soft cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups green or red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 17 large whole wheat tortillas
  • TO COOK IN INSTANT POT: Add all Ingredients to Cook and Cook on High pressure for 20 minutes with Quick Release after.
  • STOVETOP: This recipe is not meant for a slow cooker. For stovetop version, please check original recipe.
  • AFTER COOKING: Shred chicken using 2 forks right in the pressure cooker and add remaining Ingredients to Finish (except tortillas).
  • TO WRAP & FREEZE: Tear 17 sheets of aluminum foil. Place tortilla on top of foil, add 3/4 cup of filling below the center and near to the edge closer to you. Top with some shredded cabbage and cheese. Fold up the bottom to almost cover the filling, then fold up the edges, roll up tightly and then roll again in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • TO REHEAT: Thaw overnight in the fridge. Bake at 450 F degrees for 20-25 minutes or broil for 10-15 minutes. You can also warm burritos up in a microwave without tin foil – 2-5 minutes.

CONTAINER LABEL

Bake at 450 F – 20-25 mins, broil for 10-15 mins, microwave no foil – 2-5 mins.

Ground Turkey Pasta Bake

healthy freezer meals ground turkey pasta bake

INGREDIENTS TO ASSEMBLE AND FREEZE:

  • 1 lb ground turkey, extra lean
  • 3 cups (10 oz) whole wheat penne/fusilli pasta, uncooked
  • 4 – 5 cups kale stems, removed & chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp rosemary, dried
  • 1 tsp basil, dried
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 28 oz tomato sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 2 cups 6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded & divided
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Cook pasta in a pot. In a skillet, saute onion and garlic 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Saute oregano, rosemary, basil, pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper for 30 seconds, stirring a few times. Add ground turkey and cook for another 5-7 minutes, breaking meat into pieces and stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar and pasta water. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add kale and stir to combine. Now add cooked pasta and stir to combine more.
  • TO WRAP & FREEZE: Transfer half of the mixture in previously prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Add remaining pasta meat mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Wrap tightly with plastic and aluminum foil on top.
  • TO COOK: When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and warm up on a counter for 30 minutes to prevent dish from shattering in the oven. Bake from frozen in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 40 minutes.

CONTAINER LABEL

Counter – 30 mins, bake frozen at 350 F – 40 mins.

Black Bean Burgers

healthy freezer meals black bean burgers

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 cup white or brown rice, cooked (measured after)
  • 2 x 14 oz cans low sodium black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 3/4 cup grated zucchini, liquid squeezed out (measured after)
  • 1 medium onion, minced or pureed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 cup oat flour for GF version or whole grain breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Cook rice as per package instructions. In the meanwhile, in a large bowl, add beans and mash with a masher until coarse puree with some bean chunks forms. Add eggs, zucchini, onion, garlic, oat flour, salt, cumin, pepper in adobo, and mix with spatula very well.
  • TO FREEZE: Scoop 1/2 cup for smaller or 3/4 cup mixture for larger burgers and form into a patty. Lay patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze completely and transfer to a large Ziploc bag.
  • TO COOK: Cook from frozen on preheated large non-stick ceramic or well-seasoned cast iron skillet on low – medium heat with 1-2 tbsp of oil, for 7-9 minutes per side.

CONTAINER LABEL

Pan fry frozen with oil – 7-9 mins/side.

Turkey Chili

healthy freezer meals turkey chili

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, canned or frozen
  • 14 oz can low sodium red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz can low sodium cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz can low sodium pinto beans or black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium

INGREDIENTS TO SERVE:

  • Green onion cilantro, cheese, plain yogurt (for toppings)
  • BEFORE FREEZING: Cook ground turkey until small pieces for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to a Ziploc bag with other ingredients (for Instant Pot add tomato products right after meat).
  • BEFORE COOKING: Add 1 cup water or low sodium broth.
  • INSTANT POT: Cook from frozen on High pressure for 20 minutes. Quick release.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cook from frozen for 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.

CONTAINER LABEL

Instant Pot – 20 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 8 hrs, High 4 hrs. Before: 1 cup water/broth.

Quinoa Falafel

healthy freezer meals quinoa falafel

INGREDIENTS TO FREEZE:

  • 2 cups quinoa, dry
  • 2 14 oz cans low sodium chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, large
  • 2 cups parsley, packed
  • 4 tsp cumin, ground
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH & SERVE:

Tahini sauce:

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 1 garlic clove, large
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 14 whole wheat pitas for serving
  • 1 long English cucumber, thinly sliced for serving
  • 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced for serving
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Cook quinoa as per package instructions. In the meanwhile, in a large food processor, add chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, sesame oil, cornstarch, salt, water and blend until semi-smooth. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and blended mixture, mix with spatula very well.
  • TO FREEZE: Using small scoop, scoop falafel mixture, packing it tightly, roll into golf size balls (helps to dip hands in water in between) and place on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Freeze completely and transfer balls to a large Ziploc bag.
  • TO COOK: Spray with cooking spray, bake from frozen in 450 F degrees oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy, turning once.

Serving suggestion: Serve falafel warm, in a pita pocket with some sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and drizzle with lots of tahini sauce (blended in a food processor or blender).

CONTAINER LABEL

Spray before baking, bake frozen at 450 F for 35 mins, turn once.

The Best Containers for Freezer Meal Prep

  • 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, pricey and will fit only smaller recipes like White Chicken Chili. But another option. Look for large round 7 cup containers.

To write on re-usable bags and containers, I stick a few rows of overlapping painter’s tape as a label and write on it with a sharpie. It can be easily peeled off and discarded after use.

plastic bags and glass container

Important Tips

  1. Container size. Pick your container with the amount of ingredients in the recipe – will they fit to freeze? And the size of your preferred cooking vessel in mind – will frozen freezer meal fit into it?
  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 it 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 freezer meal recipes.
  7. Tomatoes on top in Instant Pot. If cooking recipe in the Instant Pot and it contains anything tomato, make sure they are 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.
freezer meal in a bucket and on a kitchen counter

FAQs

Are these freezer meals healthy?

Yes. All healthy frozen dinners on this list are made with real fresh or frozen meat, vegetables, whole grains and as clean as possible canned goods. You will notice we do not use pre-made bottled sauces and dry seasoning packets full of preservatives, sodium, sugar and chemicals.

Many other freezer meals on the internet might contain fewer ingredients but they are far from healthy. I try to use very simple and repetitive ingredients in many of my healthy recipes. You can always add less or no salt at all to follow a low sodium diet.

And please keep in mind, that everyone has their own understanding of “healthy”. For some, vegetarian meals are healthy. For some low carb, and for some low calorie.

Are healthy premade meals worth it?

Yes. It takes on average 2 hours to make any of these 5 healthy premade meals. They are all dinners and serve 6-8 people on average, many with leftovers that will become lunch. The cost of each meal prep on average is about $40 which makes these freezer meals not only a healthy choice but a budget-friendly one too.

Your other viable option, besides cooking every night, would be healthy meal plans. Which cost as little as $2 per week and all planning is done for you. And the last, most expensive and least environmentally friendly, choice would be the food delivery.

How long do freezer meals last?

Freezer meals last about 3 months. Let as much air out as possible from the bag before sealing, and freezer burn won’t be a problem. And even if you have a little one, the final taste shouldn’t be affected.

Do you need an Instant Pot to cook freezer meals?

Yes and no. You can cook frozen meal prep in a slow cooker with the exception of meat recipes that have to be thawed in the refrigerator 24 hours prior. You will also have to plan to turn on your crockpot in the morning to have ready dinner on time. For these 2 reasons alone, I believe it is worth it to buy an Instant Pot – you can cook all meals from frozen after work using an electric pressure cooker.

What are the best vegetables to use – fresh or frozen?

Both. I use mostly fresh vegetables because they are cheaper but require more prep. But I love to use frozen corn, no need to thaw – we are making a frozen dinner. Frozen vegetables are pre-washed and chopped, definitely a time saver. You can combine both – doesn’t matter at all.

We update this make ahead healthy frozen dinners post regularly. It all started with just 5 recipes 3 years ago and now it grew to 20. Everyone loves them! So, if you have any suggestions, ideas or comments, please drop them below in the Comments section. We read and respond to all.

Happy healthy freezer meals prepping, everyone!

healthy frozen dinners in ziploc bags
20 Healthy Freezer Meals

20 Healthy Freezer Meals {Instant Pot or Slow Cooker} – Lentil Soup

Meal prep 5, 10, 15 or 20 Healthy Freezer Meals with a grocery list and how-to video. It takes 2 hours, most recipes need no pre-cooking, and after you just cook your healthy frozen dinner in Instant Pot or slow cooker.
4.92 from 24 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 20 freezer meals
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Ingredients to freeze:

  • 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

Ingredients to finish and serve:

  • 11 oz box of spinach fresh or frozen
  • 1 large garlic clove grated
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • 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.

Container label: Instant Pot – 20 mins, QR OR Slow Cooker – Low 10 hrs, High 5 hrs. Before – 10 cups broth. After – 1 box spinach and 1 grated garlic.

    Video

    Nutrition

    Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2512IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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