Since I only cook for one or two, freezing meat and meals is a necessity. I mean… who buys just half of a chicken breast? Freezing meat is most convenient when you freeze it in usable portions. I divide out and freeze a meal’s worth of chicken, one burrito, or one bowl of soup. Check out a few of my favorite meals to freeze below.
5 Meals You Can Freeze
I typically cook meatloaf for dinner (or just on a prep day) and freeze individual servings. My favorite is to cook it in a muffin pan – each meat “muffin” is saucy, glaze-y, with crisp edges. I treat two muffins as a serving, reminding me to eat vegetables to complete the meal.
They microwave from frozen to warm well. I recommend tossing a fried egg on top for breakfast. My favorite meatloaf recipe is this veggie-packed one by Bobby Flay (warning the sauce has a kick).
2. Meat + marinade
So one step-up from dividing a family pack or meat bought in bulk into freezer bags – is to toss in some marinade, too. If I bought a bottle of teriyaki sauce or something else to cook with, I pour the rest of the bottle into a bag of frozen chicken. When I pull it out to thaw, it also gets to sit in the sauce. Then just dump and cook. And I don’t have a bunch of half-empty bottles in my fridge. Ok, yes, I do.
If I take the time to do one of my favorite “fancy” (read: a lot of ingredients and measuring) marinades, it doesn’t take any longer to double the recipe. One for now and one for later. Favorite: Ray’s Chicken and Sweet Hot Mustard Chicken Thighs
3. Soups & chili
I always hesitate cooking soup, because after you eat a bowl or two… man, you still have a lot of soup left. And even if you toss it into a giant container and freeze it, when you thaw it… man, you still have a lot of soup left. Freezing individual bowl’s worth is best here. You can pull the container out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge to save time on the stove or in the microwave. Instant meal.
A great meal for runners is chili packed with veggies and protein. I will either use ground turkey or a mixture of beans and uncooked quinoa. Just add quinoa and the amount of liquid required to cook it. Turkey soup after cooking Thanksgiving’s turkey and pumpkin soup are also fall favorites.
One of my favorite microwaveable snacks is Sweet Potato Burritos (warning: they are a pain to make. I like to substitute black beans for the kidney beans.) If only I could eat it without dousing it in salsa and hot sauce, it would actually make a really good pre-run meal.
The recipe makes a bunch! After I cook them, I put them in individual baggies, but you could possibly freeze them in the same bag with care.
5. Taco meat
Whenever I cook taco meat for Taco Tuesday, I cook double, splitting half into a freezer bag for another easy meal. My favorite taco seasoning recipe is here (I quadruple the recipe so the measurements are easy and then put the extra in a spice jar). Also, I freeze tortillas separated with parchment paper because I can never finish a bag in time.
Investing in some plastic containers and freezer bags (I re-use the ones that don’t hold raw meat) can be a way to help your budget, time, and diet. It’s nice to look in the freezer and see a meal almost-ready.
When I get in the mood to cook, I try to cook for more than just that one day. And I remember to double recipes when it’s easy.
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