27 Make-Ahead Recipes That Freeze Well And Make Great Leftovers
No time later in the week to cook? Try making these meals ahead of time and freezing them for future use.
Make-ahead meals can be a lifesaver.
Cooking up a big batch of something and freezing the leftovers means weeknight meal prep — just reheat and eat — can often be done in minutes. Doubling or tripling recipes means you’ll be able to buy in bulk and save a couple bucks. And freezing perishable items means you’ll waste less, too.
(*Note that for all hot foods listed below, you’ll want to let them cool completely before tossing them in the freezer. Find this and more tips for properly freezing foods here.)
1. Freezable Oatmeal Cups
So simple: Just spoon oatmeal into a muffin tin, then sprinkle on your favorite toppings — like berries, nuts, or granola. Get the recipe.
The trick to making sure they don’t stick together when stored? Freeze everything first in separate layers before stuffing them into a Ziploc. Find easy, step-by-step instructions here. (Also, this recipe uses boxed pancake mix, but feel free to sub in your favorite homemade version.)
3. Lighter Breakfast Sandwiches
To lighten these up, you can sub in turkey sausage and egg whites. Get the recipe.
4. Blueberry Green Smoothie
Better known as: How to make sure all that fruit you bought — it was on sale! — doesn’t wander into overripe territory. Get the recipe.
5. Egg & Cheese Veggie Cups
Three cheers for any recipe that lets you quickly clean out your produce drawer. Just combine any veggies you have on hand with whisked eggs, and bake in a muffin tin. (This version uses carrots, peppers, peas, and corn.) Get the recipe.
6. Vegan and Gluten-Free Waffles
7. Ham, Egg, and Green Chile Breakfast Burritos
For an easy on-the-go breakfast, wrap each burrito in foil after it cools. Get the recipe.
8. Sunrise Smoothie
Find this and several other three-ingredient smoothie recipes here.
9. Ham, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
11. Chipotle Chicken Chili
13. Hearty White Bean Ragout
A fall or winter staple. (…That I happen to still make in the summer and spring and ~don’t you judge me~, OK?) Get the recipe.
14. Slow Cooker Orange-Ginger Chicken
Find this 30-minute recipe — along with five more — here.
16. Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
A shamelessly fall palette if I do say so myself. Get the recipe.
18. Single-Serving Pasta
You could make a huge batch of pasta and then eat it every day until it dries out. ORRR you could split it up, freeze it, and have a ready-to-go weeknight dinner. (This version pre-freezes the noodles on baking sheets, so that they don’t stick together later in the bags.) Instructions here.
20. Cookie Dough Fudge
Three things you should have in your freezer at all times: Cookie Dough. Fudge. Cookie Dough Fudge. Recipe here.
22. Homemade Biscuits
Recipe here. Make a stack of these, then top them with…
24. Oatmeal Cookies
Most if not all cookies can be improved with a sprinkling of Reeses Pieces, FYI. Get the recipe.
25. Grab ‘n’ Go Banana Bites
AKA: Portable circles of perfection. Recipe here.
26. Mint Chocolate Brownies
Has there ever been a finer marriage than mint and chocolate? There has not.Recipe here.
27. No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake
After your first slice, you may or may not have leftovers to freeze. Just saying.Recipe here.