I am every mother’s worst nightmare: an adult picky eater (yes, some of us don’t grow out of it). But one of the best meal habits I did pick up from my own mother is to make big batches of the foods I like and then freeze them.
Freezer dishes are perfect when you don’t have the time, energy, or resources to make a hearty meal each night. They’re also great to stock up if you’re prepping before baby or can be a great gift to drop off for a friend who just had a baby.
In order to make the prep easy on myself, I just make a huge batch—enough for at least four meals—when I cook the meal the first time. I usually eat two the week I make it, and then store enough for two meals in the freezer. Here are some of my favorite freezer meals.
Like I said, I’m a picky eater and boxed mac and cheese doesn’t cut it for me. But homemade macaroni and cheese is a such a comforting, delicious, and easy to reheat meal. Pair this with a fresh salad and you’re covered.
If you are South Asian, chances are your culture (if you’re non-veg) has some version of Keema; a mince meat with spices and veggies. This is one of my childhood comfort foods I also enjoy as an adult. You can adapt your Keema using whatever ground meat you have at home plus any veggies you want to throw in (I like to add frozen spinach). Make a pot of rice with it and it’s a complete meal.
When I make Panko crusted chicken, I cook up all the chicken in a pack. To stretch the quantity, you can cut the pieces a little smaller or use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, instead. I usually complete the meal with a quick sauce, rice, and a salad. I tend to love Asian-inspired flavors (soy, rice vinegar, sesame oil, etc.), but really any sauce you like for chicken would work!
I’m a huge fan of soups year-round, and one of our family favorites is Broccoli Cheddar. Soups without potatoes freeze pretty well, so this is always one I double batch. Plus, I add a side of fresh or toasted bread for dipping.
5. Masoor Daal
I can’t stop talking about my love of daal—a plant-based protein we ate with every single meal my mom cooked growing up. It’s a staple in the South Asian diet and can be a filling one-pot meal if you add veggies.
With this recipe, you can add the veggies as you’re cooking or freeze a big batch of daal, and make veggies on the side when you’re ready to eat.