A new year, new school term or even just a new week usually heralds a time to get organised, check the school clothes are in order, re-stock the pantry and cook freezer-friendly meals. Bulk cooking meals is a great way to save time during the week – enjoy one meal now and freeze the rest for later. Frozen meals maintain their nutrition and flavour and are a convenient solution for busy individuals and families.
Some of the best meals to freeze include curries, pies, ragus, pasta sauces, stews, casseroles and soups.
Remember, your freezer is your ally. It’s not just a place for ice cream and frozen peas, make it a treasure trove of freezer friendly meals AKA pre-prepared goodness that make mealtime a breeze.
How to freeze pre-cooked meals
To freeze meals safely, the freezer temperature needs to be at -18°C. Divide meals amongst clean, airtight containers. Freezing in smaller serves, for example, for two people, makes defrosting and then reheating the food faster. Let the food cool completely before sealing and freezing to prevent temperature fluctuations in the freezer that could spoil other items.
How to defrost frozen meals
The best practice for defrosting meals, is to place the frozen meal in the fridge 24 hours before heating. Alternatively it is safe to defrost the food in the microwave using the defrost function, if it is going to be heated and eaten straight after defrosting. Heat isn’t evenly distributed through the food when microwaved so it will need to be stirred several times during the defrosting process.
What to serve with freezer-friendly meals?
Whilst the meal is heating, steam some vegetables, cook some pasta, make some mash or whip up a salad to complete the meal.
Here’s to convenient, delicious meals that make life just that bit easier!
Reconnect with childhood memories and sit down with a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.
Lentils are added to the beef mince in this delicious spaghetti bolognese.
Make a double batch and put it on everything.
Simple to prepare and rich in flavour.
This comfort food classic is a favourite in the cooler months but pair it with a fresh salad and you can enjoy it all year round.
Easy and tasty vegetable curry pies from Australian Women’s Weekly.
A classic Indian dish re-created into a delicious hand-held feast for the whole family to enjoy!
These cheesy lentil pies will satisfy your meat-free cravings while packing a flavourful punch. Full of protein and vegetable goodness, they’re also perfect for little hands.
Thai basil, also known as horapa, is available from greengrocers and Asian supermarkets. To freeze; pack into freezerproof containers, leaving a 2.5cm space to allow for expansion. Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave on medium power (50%) until heated through. Note
Tasty rissoles full of fresh herbs and a curry punch.
This delicious vegetarian lasagne might start out as your Meat-free Monday inspiration but, believe us, it’s just as good on Tuesday for lunch!
Perfect for dinner tonight.
A traditional Sunday lunch for many Italian families – this ragu is a flavour-filled delight.
A little bit sweet, a little bit savoury and a whole lot delicious.
Packed full of flavour, this hearty meat dish is delicious served up for the family on a cool Winter’s evening. Tender Italian sausages go beautifully with this flavoursome capsicum ragu, to create a hearty, warming dish.
Serve in tortillas topped with sour cream and coriander.
This spicy Mexican beef and bean stew is a real crowd-pleaser that the whole family will love.
Put your slow cooker to good use with this rich slow-cooked curry recipe.
Conjure images of India with this colourful vegetarian stew. Cooked in paprika, this spicy dish will invigorate the senses from the smokey capsicum to the tiny chickpeas.
Achieve that deep rich flavour in under an hour!
From the humble baked bean to the chickpea, legumes contain healthy components linked with protection against diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart problems.
The whole family will love this rich and comforting dish.
Fragrant, flavoursome and filling, this quick Thai beef green curry is just what you need when you don’t have time to cook. It’s freezer-friendly, too, and can even be transformed into a tasty pot pie. Dig in!
Give your classic pumpkin soup some spice.
Looking for a make ahead dinner? These chicken pot pies freeze well.
Stay cosy indoors this weekend with this hearty, slow-cooked beef casserole topped with dumplings. A side order of mash and greens completes the meal.
It’s a long way to the shop…
Served with grilled pita bread, this beautiful slow-cooked lamb stew is just what you need on a cold day.
This recipe can be frozen. Just complete the recipe to the end of step 2. Cool to room temperature. Spoon into freezer-proof containers, leaving a 2.5cm space to allow for expansion. Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave on medium power (50%) […]
Nothing beats a hot meat pie in your hand.