Best Freezable Recipes
Preparing double or even triple recipes and freezing portions for later means you don't have to cook every night to have a delicious and nutritious meal on the table. And some food is better suited to freezing and reheating than others. For example, casseroles, soups, chilis, and meat loaf all stand up to the freezer well and most cooked dishes will keep for two to three months in the freezer. Here, find our picks for the best freezer-friendly recipes.
Pork and Herbed White Beans
Although this dish takes a while to cook, the majority is hands off. You can easily prepare it over the weekend and reheat during the week. Plus at only $2.37 per serving, it's easy on your budget.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas
Mild sweet potatoes and black beans take on smoky, spicy tastes from cumin and chiles. These pies are great served hot out of the oven at a party; leftovers also make a tasty room-temperature snack.
One of our Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest finalists, this recipe for Sausage-Stuffed Manicotti was one of our top picks in the Family Dinners category. Says Beverly O'Ferrall, of Linkwood, Maryland, "I developed this recipe many years ago. Since then, I've lightened it with turkey sausage, and I use smaller amounts of flavorful cheeses, where a little goes a long way. Like most baked pastas, this dish requires some time, but it's well worth the effort."
Bananas Foster Bread
This adult interpretation switches all of the sugar to brown sugar and cooks the mashed bananas with butter and cognac or dark rum. And it's topped with a slightly boozy glaze. Test Kitchen Director, Vanessa Pruett praises, "I love the buttery banana-cognac flavor in this moist treat. It feels decadent enough to be a dessert."
Like most banana breads, this recipe freezes well. Just be sure to slather on the glaze after you've thawed the loaf.
Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew
This weeknight-friendly stew featuring lean pork tenderloin, chopped bell peppers, and hominy comes together in just 40 minutes. Double the batch and freeze for up to two months to save for busy nights.
Roasted Chicken Stock
Beyond soups, stocks are indispensable in the kitchen for a variety of recipes. Here, roasting the chicken and vegetables browns the chicken and caramelizes the vegetables, lending a deeper, richer flavor—and color—to the stock. Freeze extra stock for up to six months.
Grilled Pepper, Onion, and Sausage Calzones
These kid-friendly stuffed breads offer fabulous make-ahead options starting with the Homemade Pizza Dough. Once your calzones are fully assembled, simply freeze until ready to bake.
Beef and Guinness Stew
This reader- and staff-favorite stew, layered with complex flavors from caraway seeds, sweet raisins, and full-bodied Guinness Draught, pays homage to the best of Irish cooking. You may not get a chance to freeze any leftovers; Executive Food Editor, Ann Taylor Pittman, promises “This meaty stew is so good, I sopped up every drop of the gravy-like broth with bread.”
Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Whether you're serving up breakfast for dinner or a delicious weekend brunch, make an extra batch and freeze to save for busy mornings. Bonus: Many of our online reviewers have called these fluffy, flavorful pancakes the best they've ever tasted.
Invest a little time in preparing homemade vegetable stocks. You'll get a huge payoff from the fresh, pure flavors and less sodium than in many supermarket stocks.
Smokey Turkey Almond Mole
Serve this saucy dish over rice tossed with chopped green onions. You can also use cooked chicken in place of turkey if you prefer. Because it freezes so well, we suggest doubling the batch and saving half for later.
Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
This reader recipe was developed by Marcie Dixon of Arlington Heights, Illinois, who recommends using bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate for these decadent cookies. "Not only does it have less sugar," she said, "but it has a deeper flavor, too." Double the recipe and keep these 94-calorie cookies in the freezer for when you're in need of a healthy treat.
Green Chile Chili
At around $2.49 per serving, this tangy chili is both healthy and budget-friendly. Serve with corn bread or corn muffins and garnish with sharp cheddar and sliced green onion.
Spicy Turkey Meat Loaf with Ketchup Topping
To keep this comforting family favorite healthy, we add vegetables for moisture and nutrition. Herbs and spices, including Sriracha for a spicy kick, create flavor without adding fat.
Vegetable Samosas with Mint Chutney
Great for parties, this dish uses leftover mashed potatoes to make a big batch of Indian-inspired snacks. Serve warm or at room temperature with the cilantro and mint chutney.
Cheese and Chive Challah
The traditional yeasted egg bread is enriched even more by adding cheese to the dough. We love the flavor of fontina, but Gruyère or another Swiss cheese would also work.