You don't need to cook full meals to stock your freezer! These 5 freezer meal starters can be made into 50 different dinners, in a fraction of the time when you have these ready in your freezer!
When you don't have the time to make a freezer full of meals, try making these 5 freezer meal starters.
These freezer meal starters can be the beginning of 50+ dinner ideas!
Freezer Meals vs Freezer meal Starters
Freezer meals are full complete meals that you typically thaw, heat, and eat.
Freezer meal starters are a component (usually the most time intensive) part of a full meal that can be thawed and added to fridge ingredients to make a quick dinner. Typically, you add a fresh component to these to make a complete meal – in a fraction of the time.
There is a place in my life… and freezer… for both of these type of freezer preps, but I favour meal starters for a few reasons:
- They are typically quick to prep and easy to double or triple the recipe at one time and don’t require a lot of ingredients or chopping time.
- Making a meal starter recipe once usually leaves me with at least 4-5 dinners. Cook once – eat 5 times, yes please!
- Less cooking, more variation – when you batch make lasagna, you end up with lots of the same thing. With dinner starters, your taco meat can easily be make into many different dinners.
Batch Prep Taco Meat
Make this batch prep taco meat once, and have your taco tuesday dinners started for months to come!
This easy recipe uses nothing but 3 pounds of ground beef, pantry spices, and water! So simple
Once you have your frozen taco meat, you can easily assemble these simple dinners:
- Sweet Potato Nachos
- Taco Stuffed Potatoes
- Oven Baked Tacos
- Beef Taco Burrito Bowls
- Taco Lasagna
- Taco Soup
- Taco Mac
Sneaky Veggie Meat Sauce
Batch made pasta sauce is always in our freezer. Load up your meat sauce with veggies, and make your pasta sauce jam packed with sneaky veggies!
Pro Tip - Freeze in 2 cup souper cube trays (affiliate link) and freeze in small portions to have weeknight dinner on the table within minutes!
Once you have your frozen sneaky meat sauce, you can easily assemble these simple dinners:
- Traditional baked spaghetti & meatballs
- Veggie Loaded Lasagna Roll Ups
- Instant Pot (no burn! ) spaghetti and Meatballs
- Instant Pot lazy lasagna
- Instant Pot sneaky veggie lasagna
- Beef stuffed shells
- Dump and bake meatball casserole
Batch Prep Turkey Freezer Meatballs
Batch made meatballs are easy to freeze using a cookie scoop and sheet pan!
Use the ground meat of your choice! I use ground turkey.
Load up your freezer with individually frozen meatballs and toss them into any of these dinners:
- Instant Pot Mexican Meatballs
- Italian Meatball Soup
- Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs
- Salisbury meatballs with mashed potatoes
- Italian Meatball Subs
- Sweet & spicy chicken meatball meal prep
- Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs
- Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
- Honey Chipotle Meatball Meal Prep
- Turkey Meatball Stir fry
- Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
- Meatball Sliders
- Italian Wedding Soup
Of course my version is packed with veggies and made in the Instant Pot, but if you want a more traditional version you can load your freezer up with this traditional style chili.
Once you have some chili in your freezer, here are some ideas for quick dinner wins:
- Bubble up chili bake
- Chili Mac and Cheese
- Cornbread Chili Bake
- Cheesy Chili Stuffed Peppers
- Chili Burritos
- Chili Cheese Nachos
- Chili Con Carne Empanadas
- Cowboy chili lasagna
- Chili baked potato casserole
- Chili stuffed potatoes
- Baked Chili Cheese Dip with Nachos
- Chili Pie
A pork shoulder is an inexpensive way to batch make some pulled pork and then morph it into meals.
I love carnita style pulled pork in the Instant Pot, but you can just as easily use a slow cooker or your oven to make your pulled pork.
- Carnita Bowls
- Pulled Pork Pizza
- Pulled Pork Quesadillas
- Pulled Pork Taquitos
- Pulled Pork King Ranch Casserole
- Pulled Pork Nachos
- Pork Empanadas
- Pork Gyros
- Pork Enchilada Skillet
- Creamy Pulled Pork Spaghetti
So, there you have it, 5 freezer meal starters to stock your freezers for 50 quick easy dinners!
I'm new to freezer cooking and an finding so many helpful tips on your site. Thanks for sharing them!
Can you do the bacon wrapped tenderloin in the instant pot or do you recommend doing it in the oven?
The bacon wont crisp, so I probably wouldn't do that one in the IP.
Your pork tenderloin with the bread crumbs and bacon looks delicious. Do you have the recipe on your website? i could not find it.
That one ins't on my blog, sorry! That was so long ago now I don't remember what I did. I should re create it!
How did you vacuum seal your sneaky sauce? I have a vacuum sealer but I have not figured out how to vacuum seal stuff that is mostly liquid.
I have photos of how I do it right in the sneaky sauce post. Have a look --> https://mealplanaddict.com/2016/04/sneaky-spaghetti-sauce/