Get ready to bust out your weekly meal planner. From homemade pizza bagel bites to big batch Chinese food, we guarantee you’ll want to bookmark each one of these meal prep ideas. Kiss weeknight chaos goodbye, and scroll through the make-ahead recipes below!
1. Leftover Chicken Flatbread Pizza
2. Freezer Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches
All hail Damn Delicious and this idea for freezer breakfast sandwiches. They do their name justice (hello, easy breakfast!) but also work as a quick and quirky lunch or dinner. The kids can even help assemble the ingredients! Get the recipe here.
3. Big Batch Chinese Beef
Put down the takeout menu! Thanks to Kitchen Sanctuary, we’ve got something much better for your hungry family. This beef dish is great for a crowd and can be used with your slow cooker. (Bonus points if you add bok choy or another green veggie!) Get the recipe here.
4. Make Ahead Macaroni and Cheese
You can never have too many mac and cheese recipes! We’re digging this one from Kristine’s Kitchen because it’s a snap to make and you can refrigerate it up to two days before baking. It's a cheesy win-win! Get the recipe here.
5. One-Pot Black Bean Fajita Pasta
Psst! Not only is this a one-pot dish from Sweet Peas and Saffron bursting with flavor, but it can also be assembled ahead of time and frozen! So when a crazy weeknight hits, all you have to do is place everything in a pot and get cooking. Get the recipe here.
6. Make-Ahead Spaghetti
Cooking for a crowd? Need a quick meal on a chaotic weeknight? This spaghetti, courtesy of Kitchen Sanctuary, is the answer! It’s über flavorful and can even be frozen. Plus, it’s full of veggies and crispy bacon. Get the recipe here.
7. 5-Ingredient Pizza Bagel Bites
Bagel bites and kids go together like cheese and pepperoni, which means you’ve got to try this idea from Life Made Simple. Way better than store-bought, these pizza bagel bites are customizable, freezable, and a cinch to make. Get the recipe here.
8. Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and sometimes families gotta have mashed potatoes. That’s where this casserole from Dinner at the Zoo comes in. It’s loaded with wow-factor (a.k.a. bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives), but easy to make for any holiday or weeknight. Get the recipe here.
8. Hand Pies
How cute are these hand pies from Two Healthy Kitchens? They’ve got all the tastiness of a chicken pot pie (hello, flavorful veggies, tender chicken, and thyme crust!), but are totally kid-sized. Stock your freezer and get the recipe here.
10. Baked Italian Meatballs
We love these meatballs from Thriving Home Blog, which are baked, delicious and the best thing to happen to your freezer in a long time. Add them to your spaghetti, make a sandwich or just eat ‘em straight for a perfect weeknight meal. Get the recipe here.
11. Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
Forget Taco Tuesday—any day can be enchilada day with this recipe from Gimme Delicious. This dish has layers of flavor, super simple instructions, and can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Score! Get the recipe here.
12. Homemade Frozen Pizza
You know those store-bought frozen pizzas that you keep around for supper emergencies? Well, this homemade version from Love and Olive Oil is so much better! With tons of customization options and homemade flavor, these make-ahead pizzas are sure to please the whole family. Get the recipe here.
13. Chicken & Veggie Pasta Casserole
The beauty of this chicken and veggie pasta casserole from Jo Cooks is that it makes a bonanza amount of food and gives kids a good dose of veggies, too. Reinvent the leftovers during the week or freeze a portion and save for later! Get the recipe here.
14. Chicken (Minus the Noodles) Soup
For all the times you need comfort food in a pinch, this chicken soup from Mrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen has you covered. Freeze the stock mixture, add the noodles when you’re ready to eat, and voila—dinner is served! Get the recipe here.
15. Homemade Fish Sticks
As everyone knows, there are plenty of fish sticks in the sea—or at least there are plenty of homemade fish sticks in the freezer, thanks to Katy She Cooks. Bonus: This recipe is way healthier than what you'll find in the frozen food aisle. Get the recipe here.
16. Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells
Here’s an updated tongue twister for you: She eats stuffed shells on busy school nights. You can make it happen, with the help of Kristine’s Kitchen Blog. (Psst! You can even lighten them up with cottage cheese.) Get the recipe here.
17. Cheesy Broccoli and Pepper Baked Orzo
This baked orzo from Oh My Veggies hits all the top Cs—it’s cheesy, comforting and colorful, too. Freeze it in individual portions for extra-quick meal prep and add all the extra veggies you want. Get the recipe here.
18. Mini Meatloaf Muffins
Let’s face it, kids love kid-size food—and these mini meatloaf muffins from Our Family Eats are no exception. Not only are they packed with protein and vegetables, but they can also be frozen for about two months. We promise, your minis will love them. Get the recipe here.
19. Tortellini, Spinach, and Black Bean Soup
You've got to bookmark this hearty tortellini, spinach and black bean soup from How To: Simplify. It's a great thing to have on hand for the mid-week rush, and it offers a tasty way to scarf up spinach. Get the recipe here.
20. Enchilada Casserole
This black bean and spinach enchilada casserole from Kiwi and Bean isn’t just for vegetarians. Take it out of the freezer, pop it into the oven until it’s warm and bubbly, and watch the hungry masses gather ‘round! Get the recipe here.
21. Alphabet Vegetable Soup
Give your make-ahead meal a little literary twist! This alphabet soup comes straight from Chef Marjorie Druker (best-selling cookbook author and owner/executive chef of The New England Soup Factory) so you know it’s the real deal. Get the recipe here.
22. 4-Ingredient Chicken Rigatoni
Please your pasta-loving crowd with this couldn’t-be-simpler recipe from Grace and Good Eats. This dish only requires a few ingredients, but the flavor payoff is off the charts. It’s just the thing to help control your weeknight chaos. Get the recipe here.
23. Garden Vegetable Lasagna
24. Mac and Cheese with Sneaky Sweet Potato
Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Especially when it’s healthy, delicious, and freezable? This Thriving Home recipe involves Greek yogurt and sweet potato, among other ingredients. We guarantee the kiddos will want seconds! Get the recipe here.
25. Easy Tomato Soup with Roasted Bell Peppers
This make-ahead meal combines simple ingredients to make a truly magical soup—not a bad kitchen lesson for your little chefs! It’s easy to whip up and freezes beautifully so you can slurp it up any day of the week. Get the recipe here.
What’s your favorite freezer-friendly dinner? Share it with us in the comments section below!
— Abigail Matsumoto