Food

27 Make-Ahead Recipes That Freeze Well And Make Great Leftovers

Step one: Make a big batch of something delicious now. Step two: Bask in the glory of (still-delicious!) leftovers later.

Make-ahead meals can be a lifesaver.

Cooking up a big batch of something and freezing the leftovers means weeknight meal prep — just reheat and eat — can often be done in minutes. Doubling or tripling recipes means you’ll be able to buy in bulk and save a couple bucks. And freezing perishable items means you’ll waste less, too.

(*Note that for all hot foods listed below, you’ll want to let them cool completely before tossing them in the freezer. Find this and more tips for properly freezing foods here.)

1. Freezable Oatmeal Cups

 

So simple: Just spoon oatmeal into a muffin tin, then sprinkle on your favorite toppings — like berries, nuts, or granola. Get the recipe.

2. Pancakes

The trick to making sure they don’t stick together when stored? Freeze everything first in separate layers before stuffing them into a Ziploc. Find easy, step-by-step instructions here. (Also, this recipe uses boxed pancake mix, but feel free to sub in your favorite homemade version.)

3. Lighter Breakfast Sandwiches

To lighten these up, you can sub in turkey sausage and egg whites. Get the recipe.

4. Blueberry Green Smoothie

 

Better known as: How to make sure all that fruit you bought — it was on sale! — doesn’t wander into overripe territory. Get the recipe.

5. Egg & Cheese Veggie Cups

Three cheers for any recipe that lets you quickly clean out your produce drawer. Just combine any veggies you have on hand with whisked eggs, and bake in a muffin tin. (This version uses carrots, peppers, peas, and corn.) Get the recipe.

6. Vegan and Gluten-Free Waffles

 

7. Ham, Egg, and Green Chile Breakfast Burritos

For an easy on-the-go breakfast, wrap each burrito in foil after it cools. Get the recipe.

8. Sunrise Smoothie

Find this and several other three-ingredient smoothie recipes here.

9. Ham, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

 

10. Lemon, Raspberry, and Oat Muffins

Berry nice, no? Get the recipe.

11. Chipotle Chicken Chili

 

Chilis freeze well — and Ree Drummond has a trick for storing them efficiently: “My general approach is filling the bag, then totally flattening it as I seal it. So whether it’s taco meat or soup, they freeze flat and allows me to stack them as high as they’ll go.” Get the recipe.

12. Spicy Chickpea, Coconut, and Tomato Soup

Get the recipe.

13. Hearty White Bean Ragout

A fall or winter staple. (…That I happen to still make in the summer and spring and ~don’t you judge me~, OK?) Get the recipe.

14. Slow Cooker Orange-Ginger Chicken

 

Find this 30-minute recipe — along with five more — here.

15. Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Recipe here.

16. Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew

A shamelessly fall palette if I do say so myself. Get the recipe.

17. Corn and Potato Chowder

Easy and inexpensive? Check. Get the recipe.

18. Single-Serving Pasta

 

You could make a huge batch of pasta and then eat it every day until it dries out. ORRR you could split it up, freeze it, and have a ready-to-go weeknight dinner. (This version pre-freezes the noodles on baking sheets, so that they don’t stick together later in the bags.) Instructions here.

19. 5-Ingredient Black Bean Soup

Get the recipe.

20. Cookie Dough Fudge

Three things you should have in your freezer at all times: Cookie Dough. Fudge. Cookie Dough Fudge. Recipe here.

21. Blackberry Cheesecake Squares

Layer up. Recipe here.

22. Homemade Biscuits

 

Recipe here. Make a stack of these, then top them with…

23. Three-Ingredient Blueberry Jam

Get the recipe.

24. Oatmeal Cookies

Most if not all cookies can be improved with a sprinkling of Reeses Pieces, FYI. Get the recipe.

25. Grab ‘n’ Go Banana Bites

AKA: Portable circles of perfection. Recipe here.

26. Mint Chocolate Brownies

Has there ever been a finer marriage than mint and chocolate? There has not. Recipe here.

27. No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake

After your first slice, you may or may not have leftovers to freeze. Just saying. Recipe here.

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