One of the things every parenting site tells you about impending motherhood is that you must! prepare! meals! before your due date, or you’ll starve. And you know what? Those sites are totally right. You and your partner are not going to want to cook for several weeks after the baby is born. Sorry ’bout it. I’ve done a lot of freezer cooking over the years and these are my picks for the best types of easy freezer meals for new moms.
Chili is the ultimate freezer-friendly meal. It’s hearty, it’s easy to double (or triple! or quadruple!), and it’s just as good frozen and reheated as it is fresh off the stove. This Veggie-Loaded Chili recipe forgoes the meat and uses beans and vegetables instead.
If you have limited space in your freezer, you don’t have room for casserole dishes and Tupperware containers in various sizes. You need things that freeze flat, like soups! And soup is usually pretty easy to make. Before Baby Girl was born I had a soup day where I made one soup recipe after another and froze them all. Filling soups that make a meal, like this Creamy Chicken Sausage Tomato Tortellini Soup, will give you the most bang for your buck.
Quiches and Egg Casseroles
You might not guess it, but eggs freeze surprisingly well, especially when they’re in quiche or casserole form. And eggs are a fantastic source of protein, which you’ll need when your nursing (not to mention recovering from birth!). This Southwestern Quinoa Egg Bake gets an additional boost of protein from quinoa.
Sure, you can buy frozen burritos at the grocery store and you can send your husband to pick them up at Chipotle, but you can make them yourself too! And when you make them yourself, they’re not calorie bombs that weigh as much as your baby. Get creative by loading them with vegetables and using alternative grains instead of rice, like in these Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos.
There aren’t many sauces that don’t freeze well. I’ve frozen gravies, pestos, marinara. If it’s saucy, you can probably freeze it. This Lentil Marinara Sauce freezes beautifully and it’s loaded with protein too. Thaw it, reheat it, and toss it with pasta for a quick and easy dinner.
Lasagnas and Casseroles
Like sauces, you pretty much can’t go wrong freezing casseroles and lasagnas. Of course, the problem with casseroles and lasagnas is that they’re usually heavy and not the healthiest choices for dinner. Look for casseroles that are heavier on veggies than on carbs, like this Pizza-Style Zucchini Lasagna.
So many breakfasts are freezable! And you’ll be so glad you have healthy homemade breakfasts waiting for you in the freezer when your baby thinks 4am is the perfect time to start the day. Muffins, waffles, tofu scrambles, baked oatmeal and these frozen pancakes are all great breakfast foods for freezing.
Slow Cooker Recipes
If you’re banging out a bunch of recipes in one day, make sure you put your slow cooker to use! Because it allows you to cook hands-off, you can have a meal cooking in there while you tackle more hands-on recipes on the stovetop. A versatile recipe like this pulled tandoori chicken can be used as a component for several meals.
5 Freezer Cooking Cookbooks
Looking for more freezer cooking ideas? Check out these cookbooks: