Your Freezer Is Your Friend

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By Recipe Team on July 30, 2020

Most recipes in cookbooks, and many found online, are designed to make four or more servings. But that can be way too much food when you're a household of one or two people (or an adult who makes separate meals for the kids). 

There are ways to successfully scale down these over-generous recipes and turn them into creative leftovers, and we highly suggest learning to do both! 

But if you've never tried cooking a big batch of food and freezing individual servings, then you're missing out on some major convenience. 

Freezer cooking is a growing trend and it's not hard to see why.

Here's how it works: 

  1. Take a recipe that makes four or more servings
  2. Enjoy one serving for dinner that same night
  3. Freeze the rest into ready-to-go meals that beat the storebought kind by a long shot 

The key is to freeze individual portions instead of all together, so you can conveniently thaw just what you need each time. 

To help get you started, here are some of the types of meals that are perfect for freezer cooking (click or tap through for recipes): 

Baked Pasta

Baked pastas like lasagna make fantastic freezer meals. Let cool, then slice into portions and freeze in freezer bags or plastic food storage containers. 

Vegetable lasagna on a plate.

Chili

Nothing beats remembering you have hearty, comforting chili in the freezer just when you thought there was nothing to eat.

Chicken chili in a bowl.

Pesto and Sauces

Freeze pesto and sauces in ice cube trays, then pop out one or two cubes whenever you need them for last-minute pasta.

Homemade basil pesto on rustic background, surrounded by pine nuts and fresh basil.

Soup

There's a reason soup is probably what you think of first when you think of freezing meals—because it works so well. 

Butternut squash and pumpkin soup in a white bowl.

Cookies

Freeze a roll of cookie dough in plastic wrap, then slice and bake a few when a craving strikes. You'll be much less likely to go overboard!

A platter of date-nut chocolate chip cookies.

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Reviewed on July 29, 2020 by Troy Mueller, R.D.-N. with Carilion Clinic Dining and Nutrition Services.

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