15 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas (Freezer Meals)
Need a quick and easy dinner idea for busy weeknights? Check out these freezer meals you can make ahead and pop out for a quick family dinner. Just a few minutes of prep work will help you get dinner on the table for your family in a snap.
Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas (Freezer Meals)
Everyone has those nights when they don’t want to make anything, or you’re running from activity to activity and there’s no time to prepare a healthy meal. You don’t want to feed your family junk all week, so what do you do?
You can make a few healthy freezer meals and have them on hand in a pinch. I love being able to head to the freezer and pull out a magic meal. My friend says my freezer is magic, ha!
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Easy Dinner Recipes
Meatloaf is a super easy prep meal. You can either bake them and just pop in the oven for a few minutes to reheat, or you can freeze them raw and bake them longer. It’s a good idea for when you need to run someone somewhere, it can be cooking while you’re out.
Tasty meatloaf ready to thaw and serve or bake fresh.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or a combo works great)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c bread crumbs (I save the crumbs from all my bags of bread in the freezer and use them in recipes that call for bread crumbs)
- 1/2 c grated carrots, zucchini, broccoli or whatever you have on hand
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 T brown or yellow mustard
- 1 tsp chopped herbs (thyme, sage or oregano)
Mix all ingredients together and form into a loaf.
Do not overmix.
Place in a loaf pan or on a cookie sheet.
You can top with ketchup if that’s your preference.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour or cover tightly and freeze.
Make sure to label your container with meatloaf and the date. Lasts in the freezer about 6 months.
If you bake it frozen, place on cookie sheet or in loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
I love meatloaf, it’s one of my favorites. You can flavor it many different ways. You can also substitute oatmeal for the bread crumbs if you have that on hand. I love cooking with what’s in the pantry.
Easy Dinner Ideas
Sausage balls are a favorite around here with the kids and adults. They are super easy to make in bulk, and you can freeze them in serving sizes and pull them out for a quick dinner. Add a salad and some carrot sticks and you have a meal.
Ham and cheese hot pockets make a great snack or meal on the go. You can make a batch and serve them with a salad and a vegetable. They are a snap to reheat in the oven or microwave and blow the store-bought ones away in health and FLAVOR!
Looking for a vegetarian option? This chickpea curry looks great.
Here’s an instant pot favorite, carnitas! If you don’t have an instant pot, there are still directions to make it.
Freezer meals for families
Spaghetti squash casserole is d-licious. I love it! Check out how you can make freezer meals with it.
This lemon garlic chicken dump recipe is super easy to put together and so yummy!
Popping some shrimp stir fry from the freezer makes a super quick, light and healthy meal for the family. What a great idea!
Easy dinner recipes for the freezer
Empanadas are one of my favorites. These sausage and potato empanadas are a crowd PLEASER, so good! I love to serve them with a fresh or frozen veggie cooked and a raw one like some carrot or celery sticks. My kids absolutely LOVE these!
Do you love cabbage rolls but want to make them the easy way? Try this delicious easy cabbage roll casserole recipe.
Chicken broccoli rice is a favorite and it freezes great.
Quick Dinner Recipes for weeknights
Meatballs make a very yummy dinner that kids love. You can serve them in sauce, or on their own. I love to make a garlic butter pasta, just cook pasta, add some butter and crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes to cook garlic. Then serve with a few meatballs on top. You can also add veggies to the dish by cooking those first, and then adding the drained pasta in. If you don’t add veggies in, you can make a side of broccoli or cauliflower or whatever you like.
How about an amazing tamale pie? This one freezes great for a quick pull out of the freezer meal!
I love King Ranch Chicken and this one without any canned processed soups looks awesome!
Make ahead freezer meals
I like to make a big batch of spaghetti sauce from my oven roasted tomato sauce and serve it the first night over spaghetti or baked spaghetti squash. Then the second night, toss together a spaghetti pie for a different dinner. Then take the remaining sauce and make 1-4 freezer lasagnas for later. I love making multiple meals with one effort because the clean up is the same, but you’ve made more than one meal for the same work.
Savory lasagna with flavor for days that freezes great for tonight or weeks from now.
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 pounds ground meat of your choice
- 2 qts oven roasted tomato sauce or 4-16 oz cans
- 1 T Italian seasonin
- 3 T olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 lg ricotta cheese
- 1 c shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 boxes lasagna noodles
In a large Dutch oven, add olive oil and chopped onion.
Cook slowly until translucent.
Add ground meat and stir and cook until browned.
Add Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and red pepper.
Cook and stir for about 1 minute.
Add tomato sauce and about 1 quart of water.
Cook on low simmer until sauce is thick and bubbly.
The longer you cook it, the better it tastes, if you have plenty of time, add another quart of water and cook it down again. The flavor is amazing!
In a large stock pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
Add a liberal amount of salt to water.
Dump in a box of lasagna noodles and cook according to directions.
When they are al dente, drain them and set aside.
You can use the same water to boil the next box and so on until all your pasta is cooked if you are doing multiple batches of lasagna.
Put ½ cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add a layer of lasagna noodles, 3-4 per layer, depending on what covers the pan well with a small overlap. Add a layer of meat sauce, a few dollops of ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Repeat layers again until all the noodles are gone, ending with meat sauce.
Then add a big handful of mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan to the top.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and lasagna is bubbly.
If freezing, wrap tightly and label with lasagna and the date. This will last in the freezer for about 6 months.
Once lasagna is frozen, you can pop it out of the dish and wrap it for storage and then you will be able to use your casserole dish.
If baking frozen, place in dish and bake at 350 for about an hour or until center is hot and bubbly.
You can even make and freeze your own baby food for super healthy baby meals.
Freezing fruit for smoothies is a great freezer treasure as well.
I love to make all our bread in big batches. Cool it all, slice it all (Mr. Kent usually helps with this) and put it in bags in the freezer. We can thaw it out for fresh tasting, healthy bread any time.
Don’t forget to pin for later