Prep Planning Freezer Meals for the Busy Mama will help stock your freezer with minimal work. Not only are these meals easy to prep, they taste delicious.
Recently, I realized that I needed to stock my freezer with meals that I could just dump into my crockpot or instant pot on days when I was not energetic, motivated, or when I was too busy to think. These meals are perfect for fall and winter because they are warm and cozy type recipes that make you feel good all over!
Depending on the size of your family this plan could make twelve dinners (or more for smaller families) or you can also freeze in smaller portions for a couple. If you don't like repetition, you can pull out one of these meals and eat it several nights in a row or take it for lunches. Since you're already in the kitchen and the meals are not cooked before freezing you can always throw some of your favorite baked recipes in the oven while you prep.
Meals prepped in one day
3 Shortcut Minestrone Beef Soup with or without beans* (S or E depending on beans)
3 pounds Italian Chicken – about 6-8 chicken breasts* (S or E)
3 pounds Chicken with Bell Pepper and Onion – about 6-8 chicken breasts* (S or E)
1 – Tex-Mex Turkey Chili* (E)
2 – Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs*
EXTRA recipes I made on the same day, but these are all optional
2 -3 batches Bust a myth banana cake p. 298, optional (E)
3 batches Donuts, family serve (tripled the recipe), optional (S)
1 muffin pan full of Swiss Bread (quadruple the single serve recipe), optional (S, E, or FP)
Suggested Menu (the one I followed) is included here however you can always just save your freezer meals for days when you don’t feel like cooking. I enjoyed having so many days off from cooking dinner!
Why prep freezer meals?
Freezer meals save money and they save time spent in the kitchen. Buying meat and vegetables in bulk is usually less expensive. Preparing 10-12 dinner meals at once means less clean up during the week! Just looking in my freezer when it's full of meals ready to go makes me feel so accomplished!
Freezer meals can be cooked before or after storing in the freezer. Some freezer meals are cooked from start to finish and the cooked product is frozen then thawed and heated at a later time. The meals I have included here are not cooked before frozen. This is the way I prefer doing my freezer meals, although I have done my freezer meals both ways. Here’s a start to finish cooked product freezer prep.
Before we get started here are a few tips to make the process easier:
- Make sure you have room in your freezer.
- Always start with a clean kitchen, empty dishwasher and sink full of soapy water ready to go.
- Typically, it is best to shop one day then prepare the meals another day so you don’t spend an entire day on your feet. This is a personal preference.
- Check, double check, and maybe even triple check your list before you go to the store. Then check it again before you start! There’s nothing worse than getting started only to realize you forgot an important ingredient.
- When I prepare freezer meals for my crockpot like those included here, I use one wet and one dry measuring cup, spoon, etc. so that I’m not washing every single measuring cup and spoon in the kitchen.
- Set up zones. Chopping zone, mixing zone, baking zone, bagging zone, etc.
- Write on your baggies BEFORE you put food in them.
- Use a permanent marker or print your labels (I prefer a Sharpie) unless all of yours have disappeared… *sigh*
- Lay the bags flat after they’re filled so stacking in the freezer will be neater.
- When adding ingredients to the bag for these meals, put the meat in last, that is on the top so that it is the first to go into the crockpot when you pour it out to cook.
- Make sure to write the date on your meals and use within 3 months of freezing.
On my shopping day, I went to Costco and Kroger for my ingredients. I keep my pantry stocked with spices, and special ingredients, like the sweeteners. I made my own baking blend this time. The grocery lists are listed below the recipes.
I like to be baking something in my oven while I am mixing up all these freezer bags of meals so that I am using my kitchen efficiently and getting the most out of my time. Before I get started preparing the freezer meals, I mixed up a double batch of the Bust A Myth Banana Cake on page 298 in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.
While my mixer is out, I go ahead and mix the 3rd batch, but instead of using Gentle Sweet, I use honey because this batch is for my kiddos. I don’t like to use my Gentle Sweet on them since they can have moderate amounts of honey or other natural sweeteners without a problem.
I label three gallon size zipper bags and label two Bust A Myth Banana Cake with Gentle Sweet, and one I label Bust A Myth Banana Cake with Honey. After the cakes cool, I put them in the bags, remove the air, and freeze.
While the cakes are cooking, I compile the ingredients for my freezer meals. I used my food processor to grind the oats for the cake, so I just rinse it out and use the processor to slice my veggies while I have it out. That saves me time slicing!
Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs
1 pound of turkey, ground
1 large egg beaten,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons baking blend or coconut flour
1 pound of sliced carrots
1 cup green beans
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1-quart bone broth (homemade or store bought)
40 ounce or 2 24-28 ounce jars of pasta sauce with no sugar added
- Mix meatball ingredients then form into small balls and cook in a skillet till done. Let cool.
- Add all the vegetables to a gallon size freezer bag and shake it up to mix, then divide the vegetables between two bags.
- Divide the meatballs evenly between the two bags
- Pour half the pasta sauce and half the bone broth into one bag, repeat with the other half in the second bag.
- Zip and freeze, trying to make sure not to leave air in the bag.
Chicken with Red Bell Pepper and Onion
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
2 red bell peppers
2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper
- Put everything in a bag
- Remove air, seal, freeze.
This meal is great served with either a carb for an E meal or you can top it with cheese, sour cream, guacamole and crumbled bacon for an S meal.
Tex-Mex Turkey Chili
28 ounce Pasta Sauce with no sugar added
2- 15 ounce cans of Black beans
1 cup of okra, optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Chili Powder (if you are near a Trader Joe’s try the Chili Lime!)
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound ground lean turkey
- Add everything to the bag, adding turkey last.
- Seal, freeze.
- When ready to use, thaw the night before in the fridge. Then dump the ingredients of the bag into your crockpot or instant pot, breaking up the meat a little with a spoon then cook on low 6-8 hours.
This chili goes great with some cornbread! If you have family members who are not on plan or do not need to lose weight you can serve their portion with tortilla chips and cheese.
6-8 chicken breasts, about 3 pounds
½ tsp black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water or chicken stock
¼ tsp sweetener, I used gentle sweet
- Add all the ingredients to a freezer bag, zip, massage to distribute the marinade.
- Thaw in the fridge the night before using, this allows the chicken to marinade as it thaws.
- Grill or bake.
Use half the chicken along with some vegetables and rice or riced cauliflower the first night. On the second night, add leftover chicken to a large Caesar Salad with yummy parmesan cheese on top!
Shortcut Minestrone with or without beans
this makes 3 gallon size bags; each bag will make one meal in my crockpot or instant pot
3 pounds ground meat; chicken, turkey, bison, or beef, if using beans, use ultra lean meat
3 zucchini, sliced
3 yellow squash, sliced
3 red bell peppers, sliced
3 purple onions, sliced,
1 pound of baby carrots, divided
3 cups of green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
Optional, 1 can of beans per bag (if using beans make sure the meat is lean to stay in E territory for THM)
Broth and Marinara to fill the bag
- Put all ingredients in a gallon size zipper bag, seal, freeze.
- Thaw the night before.
- Add ingredients to a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Alternatively, you can cook it in an Instant Pot on the soup setting.
I like to be baking something in my oven while I am mixing up all these bags of meals so that I am using my kitchen efficiently and getting the most out of my time. Before I get started preparing the freezer meals, I mixed up a double batch of the Bust A Myth Banana Cake. I mix a third batch using honey instead of Gentle Sweet for the rest of the family, making sure to label each bag!
Grocery List for Freezer Prep Meals (noted with an asterisk *)
Note: Some of the items listed were not entirely used by the recipes, so I had leftovers of a few things.
Gallon Size Zippered Bags
Bone Broth, case
Red onions, bag
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, organic – 4 jars
Red Bell Peppers, bag of 6
40 ounce Marinara, 2 jar pack (or the equivalent – I only used one of these jars)
Bag of zucchini/squash mix
2 blister packs organic chicken breast
1 blister pack organic grass fed beef
2 pounds ground organic turkey
Case of black beans (cans)
Oil (use whatever oil you prefer)
Some things I already had on hand
Coconut oil spray
Crushed Red Pepper flakes
Additional Foods, optional
Shrinker style Special Chai Tea Sipper by the Gallon
Good Girl Moonshine Concentrate
Swiss Bread – I make the recipe for a loaf but then I divide it in my muffin pan.
Handy Chocolate Syrup p. 478
Donuts p. 268, made a triple batch – I put these in the freezer and take them out two at a time, they thaw out nicely. I simply took out two when I wanted to eat them and drizzled Handy Chocolate Syrup (p. 478) or powdered cinnamon sugar on them right before I ate them.
Grocery List for optional items
Bust a myth banana cakes
6 bananas (I doubled the one with Gentle Sweet and made one with honey for my kids)
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ground
1 ½ cups oats whole oats
Stevia (I never add the additional stevia in mine and it still tastes great)
3 cups egg whites
Banana extract, optional (I never use this, but I do add maple extract and extra spices!)
1 cup sour cream or full-fat canned coconut milk (I use coconut milk because it has more health benefits)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
¾ cup almond milk
1 1/10 cup of melted butter or coconut oil, I used a mix of the two
3 cups Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend or make your own using equal parts almond flour, coconut flour, and flax seed meal, I prefer to use Golden Flaxseeds
3 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 ½ cup Gentle Sweet or ¾ cup Super Sweet
Handy Chocolate Syrup
Shrinker style Special Chai Tea Sipper by the Gallon
4 oolong tea bags4 bags of spiced chai (optional, if you omit the spiced chai use 8 bags of oolong)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, (I like vanilla)
½ tsp Himalayan Sea Salt (or whatever salt you use, not table salt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or flavor you like (I really like to use maple, especially in the fall, when I use maple I do 1 tsp maple + 2 tsp vanilla, mostly because maple is more expensive and I want to make it last!)
8-10 doonks of Pure Stevia Extract, or 2 to 3 teaspoons Super Sweet Blend, to taste…(I sometimes use Gentle sweet)
1 tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon (or whatever powdered cinnamon you have on hand)
1 tsp Cardamom, optional (I love the flavor this adds!)
Dash of cayenne, or however much you can stand
Boiling water, water, and ice
- I usually steep my tea bags in about 2-3 cups of water
- While the tea is steeping, I add everything except water and ice to a gallon jar, using my immersion blender I mix the ingredients very well.
- After the tea cools, I add it to the other ingredients, give it a shake, then fill it with ice and water. Shake again then put it in the fridge. The reason I do this is that if I have to make it every single time I just won’t drink it. I have found, for me, if all I have to do is pour it in a glass over ice I will actually do it. I’m too busy to mix it up all the time.
That’s just how *I* do it, so do what works for you because Trim Healthy Mama is about food freedom. If you'd like to see my other weight loss menus, recipes and more you can find them by clicking here.
I tried to be thorough when I transferred my notes to my website, but I am human so there is a chance there could be mistakes. If you find one, feel free to point it out and I will correct it. If you have any questions or feel there is something I didn't cover, you can ask in the comments below or send an email to [email protected]
The video (basically watching me put ingredients in a bag and cooking the meatballs, but definitely useful if you are a visual person) is available to watch here on my youtube channel .
**the advice in this post is not intended to take place of reading the Trim Healthy Mama book. To be an expert in Food Freedom, the authors suggest you refer to their book: Trim Healthy Mama Plan Book and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook**