10 quick and easy freezer-friendly meals to save time

Posted on January 23rd, 2018

You don’t have to spend your evenings in front of the stove cooking healthy homemade offerings for your family – plan ahead and freeze some meals.

10 freezer-friendly meals

Your freezer will become your best friend this year. Struggling to find the time – or energy – to prepare healthy breakfasts and lunches for your family the night before? Do all your cooking on weekends and put the week’s meals in your freezer.

ALSO SEE: Your DIY guide to cooking and freezing your own baby food

Follow these tips from Justin Hume, marketing director for Samsung Electronics South Africa for freezing cooked meals:

  • Let the food cool down before putting it in the freezer. Hot or warm food can defrost other items next to it.
  • Never re-freeze food unless it’s going to be cooked in-between. In other words, if there is mince in the freezer, don’t re-freeze it once thawed unless its first turned into bolognaise or one of your other favourite mince dishes. The cooking process will kill off any bacteria and the cooked meat can be frozen.
  • Make sure food is wrapped properly. Use freezer bags and try to get as much air out of the bag as possible before placing in the freezer. Air around the food, especially if it’s moisture-rich, can form ice, which can affect the consistency of the food.
  • Create a labelling system. Once food is frozen, it’s not always that easy to identify. Use a blue pen for raw food and a green one for cooked.
  • Make sure frozen food is dated. Although guidelines vary, don’t keep it in the freezer for longer than three months.

10 great freezer-friendly meals

 Lentil, spinach and ricotta lasagne

Lentils are a great source of fibre and protein. Whether you’re vegetarian or cutting out meat for a while, you’ll love this lentil, spinach and ricotta lasagne recipe.

Lentil, spinach and ricotta lasagna

Click here for the recipe.

Quick and easy bobotie

Spoil your family with a traditional South African bobotie for dinner.

Quick and easy bobotie

Click here for the recipe.

Cottage pie

Who doesn’t love a hearty cottage pie like the one your grandma made?

Cottage pie

Click here for the recipe.

Tomato, feta, butternut and chicken pot pie

This quick and easy chicken pot pie recipe will allow you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your kids.

Chicken pot pie

Click here for the recipe.

Easy mushroom and bacon crustless quiche

Whether you want to serve this as a light lunch or breakfast, simply take it out of the freezer a couple of hours before you want to serve it for a healthy, delicious meal.

Mushroom and bacon crustless quiche

Click here for the recipe.

Chilli and mushroom con carne

This recipe freezes well and it’s delicious. Put on a pot of rice while it defrosts and you have dinner ready in a jiffy.

Chilli con carne

Click here for the recipe.

Mini pizzas

These are great for lunchboxes. Simply defrost the night before and pop in the microwave in the morning.

Mini pizzas

Click here for the recipe.

Blueberry and coconut breakfast muffins

Think of muffins as a little work going a long way. They’re a bit of a mission to make, but you can make a load in one go and they freeze like a dream – heat a couple quickly and you’ve got a great instant breakfast.

Blueberry and coconut breakfast muffins

Click here for the recipe.

Mushroom and chicken meatballs

This is a very clever way to sneak veggies onto your children’s plates. Disguise the courgette pasta with some extra sauce from the mushroom and chicken meatballs. You can get courgette spaghetti from Woolworths and just pop them in the microwave to steam while the meatballs defrost.

Mushroom and chicken meatballs

Click here for the recipe.

Baked beef curry with Peppadews and garlic pasta sauce

Serve with naan bread and sambals for a quick and easy dinner.

Baked beef curry

Click here for the recipe.

Foods that don’t freeze well

  • Not all foods take kindly to being frozen, such as leafy greens or vegetables with a high water content.

Click here for a list of 83 foods to freeze and not to freeze.

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About Xanet Scheepers

Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.