Get ready to take a break chef Mom, stock up your freezer for a night off!
I fall into two camps when it comes to cooking.
A) I love making home cooked, healthy meals for my family.
B) Some nights, I just want to hide in my room and pretend dinnertime doesn’t exist.
Obviously option B isn’t an actual option, and in trying to be budget and styrofoam conscious, we don’t order takeout too regularly. So alas, into the kitchen I go.
This little dilemma is why I have become a major fan of double batching meals and throwing one in the freezer for later.
It’s a win win. The meal is still homemade and healthy, but on a night when I’m feeling lazy and just want to watch Tiktok videos, all I have to do is heat it up.
*Quick note: these are vegetarian meals because that is how I prefer to cook and I know that if you are reading this blog you are likely trying to have at least a few meatless meals a week, but of course you could always do a meat version and they will work just as well.
So here is a week’s worth of vegetarian, family friendly meals that you can double batch to store in the freezer!
Sweet Potato Kale Wraps
This is a copycat recipe that I made based on the Molly’s wraps I was obsessed with in college.
3 large sweet potatoes
2 bunches of kale
2 cans of black beans
Cube and cook the sweet potato with olive oil and light salt at 350 for 20 minutes
Remove kale from stalks, chop and toss lightly with olive oil, set aside
Fill tortillas with even mixture of ingredients, spreading everything out between two casserole dishes. (Should look like enchiladas when you’re done, minus the sauce)
Bake the wraps at 350 for another 20 minutes, until tops begin to crisp
After cooling, wrap the extras individually in parchment paper and store in a freezer safe container.
Notes: I will usually make a few of the wraps without the kale for my young eaters and make kale chips with the omitted servings. They love the kale chips, but pick it out of the wraps. What gives?
These also make really great lunches, since they are individually wrapped all you have to do is pop them in the microwave for a few minutes and they are ready to go.
I love them with salsa or hot sauce.
Mushroom Veggie Burgers
This is my go to veggie burger recipe and we eat them at least once a month. I have found that they stay together better if the patties are smaller so I usually serve them on Hawaiian rolls like sliders rather than on normal hamburger buns.
I love that they have broccoli in them, and these are one of the sneaky ways I get my kids to eat mushrooms (the only natural source of vitamin D from plant foods!)
I cook them up on our big griddle and set aside at least half of them to freeze for another night.
You are bound to have a few patties that flop, well turn to crumbles in my experience, but I save these in their own container and will eat them for breakfast with some scrambled eggs or something.
Mushroom Balls + Spaghetti
I don’t even really like regular meatballs, but I would eat these mushroom balls like candy.
They freeze super well and go great with any marinara sauce. My kids devour these.
You can play around with the recipe and sneak in whatever extra veggies you need to use.
(These mushroom recipes are a great time to start making your own breadcrumbs!)
Soup is a busy mom’s best friend. You can pretty much freeze any kind of soup so here are some of our favorites:
+Black Bean Lentil Taco Soup : Adding fresh toppings like avocado or salsa make it feel like you cooked, when really you didn’t.
+Tomato Soup : My daughter would turn her nose up with disgust and proclaim, “I hate soup!” every time she saw me so much as grab a bowl at dinner time. Then I introduced her to tomato soup and things have dramatically changed.
+Hearty Vegetable with Dumplings : This is one of my favorites to freeze, because the dumplings kind of disintegrate when you reheat it and it becomes more like a chowder. It's like 2 soups in 1.
Enchiladas or Lasagna
The last batch of enchiladas I made I used jackfruit and they were delicious. I just marinated the jackfruit in some of the enchilada sauce for a few hours and shredded it up with a fork.
If you have never used jackfruit before, I highly recommend trying it. It is especially good for those who are looking for a meat substitute since it has a similar texture to shredded chicken.
Making a double batch of a large dish like this saves so much time and makes for a super easy meal later on. All you have to do on your night off from cooking is stick the uncooked, frozen version in the oven.
One of the greatest feelings of achievement I get as a stay at home mom, comes from pulling out my pretty, prepped and ready to pop in the slow cooker bag of curry goodness.
This is a great one for busy seasons of life. If you have a free morning where you can chop up some veggies, you can knock out two dinners in about 30 minutes.
Put half in your slow cooker and the other half in a freezer bag for another night.
Throwing a frozen pizza into your shopping cart is easy and well, easy.
But making your own pizza is super inexpensive, also easy and saves on plastic, shipping and unwanted ingredients.
Now, I have never made a full on pizza and put it in my freezer for later. Our freezer is small, my tolerance for things not having a perfect spot to tuck into is low and I don’t have a reusable container that would fit one.
What I have done that works well is either freeze the dough to be used later, or what works really well is to make pizza bites and freeze those.
I always use the pizza dough recipe straight out of the Joy of Cooking, which is guaranteed to give us leftovers as is. If I double it I can really save myself some time down the road.
To make the pizza bites, I just use a mini muffin tin, putting dough in the bottom ⅓ and topping with sauce cheese, etc. Ok no etc. my kids only eat cheese pizza.
Once cooled they go into a freezer bag and we usually have them as lunches, but they could easily go with a salad or some veggies and dip for a great dinner.
Boom. Mom win. Heck, mom Olympic gold.
Now bam! In one week you could have another week’s worth of meals ready to go in the freezer.
This system is also great if you happen to be in the season (which when does it really end) where everyone seems to be having babies and you want to drop off dinner on the porch cuz you nice like that.
I try to double up at least once a week, since I also take a night off of cooking at least once a week and that keeps my freezer stash well supplied.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite freezer meals are!