Good recipes to freeze and eat later


#1

HEY

I just moved out of my parents house into my own apartment
I am also starting a job next week with very long hours and I suspect I’m not going to want to cook when I get home.
What should I be making right now, and freezing, so that I don’t eat like garbage for the next few months while I get my bearings at work?
I have a stove/oven, toaster oven, microwave, slow cooker, rice cooker, and one of those Magic Bullet mini-blenders.

Currently have a big thing of butter chicken in the slow cooker which i think will be good to freeze and reheat with some fresh rice/frozen veggies, not sure what else to make! I don’t have any allergies. What’s worked out for you people?


#2

Congrats on the move!

Here’s a website I utilized when I first moved out on my own:

There is a slow cooker category for recipes on here, and she usually mentions if a recipe is good for freezing. She breaks ingredients down by price which is also super awesome. Plus the recipes are usually super easy to follow. And, most importantly, all of the recipes I have tried are super delicious.


#3

tomato or meat sauces are a staple for freezing at my place, easy to defrost and then just cook the pasta that night. pesto works well for this too. same with stocks or broths, which you can use to do virtually anything.

also, not freezer food but this might be helpful. when i was working, i found that one of the easiest ways to cook when you’re just cooking for yourself is to throw your proteins right into the rice cooker! i would buy sausages, cut em into bite-size and just throw them into the rice cooker with the rice. other things that are good for this are nice big beefsteak tomatoes (saucy tomato rice, shockingly good) and diced onion and garlic. the only caveat would be if you’re adding extra stuff to the water be sure to add a little extra water than usual and to season with extra salt and pepper.


#4

Chicken + vegetables + slow cooker is always a fantastic combo, I use my slow cooker almost weekly. Budget bytes is also a great source for recipes. You can buy and freeze (or cook, shred or slice, and freeze) chicken, turkey, ham, roast beef, etc for sandwich meat. I did find that red meat needs to be marinated before going in the slow cooker or it comes out tender but bland. I also found that Ezekiel bread works well for toast because I can freeze it almost indefinitely and just toast it from frozen and not have to worry about it going bad because I definitely do not go through bread fast enough. Most types of bread probably freeze just fine though.

For freezing full meals, I think chili or stew would also work well. I also think it’s worthwhile to develop a good chili recipe, but I enjoy cooking so I wanted to develop one. If you do enjoy cooking, it’s also worthwhile to make your own beef and chicken broth and freeze that instead of just buying broth.

Definitely don’t fall into the habit of cooking pasta all the time. It’s easy to cook so it’s easy to want to just make pasta all the time but it’s horribly unhealthy.

I never thought to make anything more than rice in a rice cooker, I might have to try that.


#5

Dhal is really good for being able to make a big pot and freeze a bunch. Especially because you can have it as is, with pita breads (other bread too for that matter) or with tomatoes and other veggies.

http://bit.ly/2sUX9OY


#6

Pesto can be made in huge bags then vacuum sealed and it holds for a long ass time, but once you open it, that’s it, so make sure you use the right bag size.

BBQ is great, holds great, and again, can be made in large batches and vacuum sealed.

Chili!

Meatballs!

Things with sun-dried tomato in it. The acidity in a lot of food allows it to be stored for longer and hold up better because science.


#7

Totally fell into this trap myself. Not only is pasta super easy to cook, but it’s also super cheap. Such a luring combo.


#8

I’d like to second/third/whatever recommendations for slow cooker foods, rice cooker foods, and freezing tomato sauce.

I don’t freeze it, but I make a lot of baked chicken + roast carrots + rice because it’s a solid, balanced meal that doesn’t take too much effort or time to make and it reheats decently enough, so I can eat it at work for lunch.

also, while I’m not a big beans fan, beans and rice is another great cheap/filling/easy thing you can make and combine with other stuff.


#9

fun fact about beans and rice and why it’s such a key staple dish! when eaten together, rice and beans have all the acids necessary to comprise a “complete protein” which means that you could live off it forever and not be missing protein*. rice and beans is a classic for a reason: it’s the cheapest possible way to get all the protein you need.

*tofu is the only plant product that is a complete protein on its own, all other complete proteins are meat products


#10

i maintain that risotto is nicer reheated and u can make an absolute fuck ton of it in one go, really cheaply. i make it in a wok, usually with a tin of chopped tomatoes, some peppers, frozen peas, whatever spices and herbs u want, literally just chuck whatever in it, its super duper easy. there’s a bunch of good recipes around but a good veg risotto is my fave.


#11

Congrats on the move and the job! Best of luck out there.

Can I plug the Instant Pot here? It’s a smart pressure cooker that I think would take some of the stress off the need to cook and freeze a lot of food. You can make a tremendous variety of great meals in it (a friend of mine makes cake!). We use ours routinely for quick stews or just to make fresh rice in fifteen minutes. It’s fast and easy enough that you could cook, say, every third day and eat a couple of days of leftovers.

My favorite instant pot beef stew: brown some cubed beef (you can do this in the pot! No extra pan needed!) then add crushed tomatoes to cover (I’ve been putting ancho chile and cocoa in my sauce lately); instant pot for 25 minutes; open and add sliced carrots and potatoes and instant pot for another 7 minutes. That’s it. Stew’s ready.


#12

A lot of soft/broth-cooked foods do this!

Stew, for instance–the broth thickens between reheats and potatoes in it match the texture of everything else better, and it’s easy to brew a massive pot of stew then refrigerate/freeze large containers of it and for the dish to get more delicious over time. Throw a couple of potatoes, onions, chunks of chicken breast, some bell peppers, maybe carrots or tomatoes or kale, a box of chicken broth, and various spices (pepper, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, cumin–you can pick and choose as you like!)–you’ve got yourself a bulky gallon or two of soup for the forseeable future!


#13

Burritos! Burritos are an ideal freeze and reheat food. I’m a big fan of making like 2 weeks worth of breakfast burritos, but your regular burritos work for this too.

Weirdly, I have been disappointed in literally every pre-made frozen burrito that I’ve ever had, but if you make them yourself they seem to hold up better, and then you can be sure they aren’t totally full of garbage.


#14

Huh, I held a misconception about freezing burritos exactly for the reason of pre-made frozen burritos being so disappointing; I’ll have to actually try freezing DIY burritos, now that I know this! Thanks!

I’ve had a lot of luck with chickpea-based meals, like chickpea wraps! As a meatless meal, it’s actually quite filling, especially if you add things like sweet potatoes or avocado!


#15

Totally off topic, but you should try this recipe (as a wrap):


This is a staple recipe of mine. I sometimes switch the tomatoes for red peppers. So easy to make and so tasty!


#16

These are my favourite two recipes:

Bolognese - I do this without the bacon. It’ll do you four/five nights, just reheat it and serve with some spaghetti.

Jambalaya - Swap the red pepper for green pepper and a stick of celery, or whatever other vegetables you like. It makes about three servings. Just make sure to add some water when reheating.

I tend to keep both of these in the fridge rather than the freezer, since defrosting them can make your crunchy vegetables go soft. They’ll both last long enough when chilled, although since there’s rice in it I wouldn’t keep the jambalaya for more than five days after cooking.


#17

For everyone suggesting tomato sauce - get a big ziplock bag and pre-cook some handmade meatballs and freeze those in the sauce as well. Makes really easy work of a pasta night!


#18

Japanese Curry packets are really easy to make, just saute some meat and vegetables before adding the Curry packet and some water. It freezes well, and it works great over rice.


#19

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#20

BTW, thanks for posting this; it inspired me to actually make a bunch of those burritos (and some mason jar salads for lunch next week too! Those are no good for freezing but are good for about a week in the fridge)