Easy meals to make ahead and freeze
When you’ve been running around all day, fielding work requests, looking after the grandkids or simply staying abreast of all your chores, the thought of cooking a meal from scratch might just fill you with exhaustion – and that’s when the temptation to order unhealthy takeaway or eat pre-packaged supermarket meals runs rampant.
Never feel as though you have to resort to unhealthy junk food again, with our great meal ideas you can make in large batches ahead and freeze for life’s busiest days.
Easy-freezy bean and sausage hot pot
For some good, old-fashioned comfort food, you can’t go wrong with this bean and sausage hot pot.
- Fry 16 large sausage in a casserole pot (veggie sausages work well too) for about 10mins, add a squirt of tomato puree and a can of chopped tomatoes.
- Stir in two cans of butter beans, 2tbsp of muscovado sugar and 2tsp of mustard. Bring to a simmer then cover and cook for 30 minutes. Cool and freeze.
- Defrost in the microwave or in the fridge throughout the day, then cook on the hob until the sauce is bubbling and the sausages are hot all the way through. Perfect with some crusty bread.
One pot Chilli Marrakech
Choose a dish with a little kick and you’re sure to brighten up the end to any busy day.
- Toast 1½tbsp of cumin seeds for a minute in your largest pot then put to one side. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil and gently fry three finely sliced onions. After about 5mins, adding 3 x 400g packs lean lamb mince, 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 2tbsp of chopped ginger. Cook until mince is browned and drain excess oil.
- Stir in 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes, your toasted cumin and 1tbsp paprika, 1tbsp ground cinnamon,1½tbsp ground coriander and 3tbsp harissa. Then add 3 chopped red peppers, 2 x 400g cans of drained chickpeas, 30g of coriander and 500ml of beef stock (2 cubes should do it). Cover and cook for 40mins, stirring occasionally.
- Once cooled, pack into freezer bags and smooth out extra air before sealing and freezing. To heat from frozen, simply pop in a pan with a little cold water and cook until bubbling hot. Sprinkle with a little coriander and serve with nan breads or rice for a speedy dish.
Sweet and spicy pepper pilafs
Not only is this a super healthy recipe, each pepper can be frozen as a separate portion – so you can always defrost the perfect amount.
- Heat 1tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pit with a lid and add 1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1cm of finely chopped ginger. Warm until the onion softens then stir in 1tsp of tomato puree, 1tsp of ground cumin and 1tsp of garam masala. Cook for one more minute then add 200g basmati rice. Stir until the rice is coated then add 850ml of vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil then add 140g red lentils, cover and cook over a low heat for 15mins. Stir through 200g of spinach leaves and a handful of chopped mint then remove rice from the heat and spread out on a baking tray to cool for one hour.
- Slice off the top of 8 peppers and hollow out the insides. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture, replace the top then wrap in cling film or freezer bags before freezing. Once defrosted, all you need to do is pop your peppers in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for around 30mins.
What’s your secret freezer favourite?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!