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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.

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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.)


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.)


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.


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.


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.