It’s fall y’all!! Pull out the scarves, boots, and pumpkin spice!
Ok, so maybe it’s wishful thinking on the fashion choices since it is still hot around here… BUT now is a great time to plan some fall freezer meals to keep handy for busy days to come this autumn.
Not all of the recipes below were written by the authors as freezer meals, so there are notes under each picture explaining how to adapt it to make it freezer friendly. Quick tip: Pin this post to refer back to these instructions later when you’re cooking!
Broccoli, Chicken, Cheese, and Wild Rice Casserole
This broccoli, chicken, cheese, and wild rice casserole is easy to assemble and freeze ahead of time. The author suggests freezing the wild rice to have it ready to throw together, but you can absolutely assemble the whole thing and freeze it. When you’re ready, let thaw in the fridge the day before, or just pop it in the oven frozen. You will need to adjust the cooking time depending on how frozen it is!
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
Um, hello beautiful! This vegetarian butternut squash and spinach lasagna is not only gorgeous, but it is full of fall flavor and loads of nutrients for a healthier version of this Italian fave. It is definitely a little labor intensive, so double or triple your ingredients to make a few at a time and stash them in the freezer. It’s always a win when you can make several meals at once and only clean up once. #amiright? Quick tip: buy already cut up butternut squash in those microwavable bags to avoid the mess of dealing with a whole squash.
Nothing says fall like a creamy chowder topped off with bacon bits. My usual fave is baked potato, but this cauliflower chowder is a healthier version that is pretty amazing. To make it freezer friendly, skip the bacon frying in the first step until day of, but otherwise follow the directions in the recipe. Let cool a bit, and freeze in gallon zip lock bags laid flat (to save on freezer space and reduce thaw time). When ready to eat, thaw the bag in a bowl of water and reheat in a pot. While reheating go ahead and make those bacon bits, bc bacon, duh.
Cheddar Biscuit Topped Harvest Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie gets a little sassier when you replace the pie dough for cheddar biscuits. This recipe for cheddar biscuit topped harvest chicken pot pie also adds some fall flavor with the addition of butternut squash and thyme to the mix. To make this ahead of time, follow the recipe up until you would bake it, but instead freeze it. Once you are ready to cook it, let it thaw in the fridge the day before, and bake accordingly. Alternately you could just make the filling and freeze it ahead of time in gallon zip locks, and make the biscuits day of.
Taco soup is one of my all time favorites for many reasons, but the number one reason has to be ease+yumminess factor! This is a true dump and go kinda meal. You can brown the meat ahead of time, and then just dump all the ingredients into ziplock bags and freeze. When ready, just thaw the bags and throw into a crockpot to cook all day! Super simple, super good, super cozy!
Chicken, Bacon, Pumpkin Pasta Bake
This recipe for a chicken, bacon, pumpkin pasta bake is like the ramped up fall version of mac and cheese. The sauce gets extra flavor and creaminess from pumpkin puree, and the caramelized onions and bacon add a whole new dimension. Again, this recipe is a little more time consuming, which makes it the perfect recipe to double/triple and freeze! Just make the whole dish as the recipe states and freeze until ready to bake. Adjust cooking time as necessary. Quick tip: Freeze casseroles in foil pans so you can drop one off at a new mommy’s house. Even if you don’t end up needing a casserole for a friend, you will have less dishes in the end. #winning
Slow Cooker Stuffed Pork Chops
These slow cooker stuffed pork chops are chock-full of autumn flavor. Apples, onions, and blue cheese make for a delectable filling. Quick tip: If blue cheese isn’t your jam, I suggest feta or boursin. These can be stuffed, seared, cooled, and frozen ahead of time. Then throw them in the slow cooker to finish cooking day of! Throw some wild rice and roasted broccoli on the side for a gorgeous plate!
Give pasta a break with this healthy make-over: spaghetti squash pizza bake. It is so simple to assemble! The ingredients are customizable to what you like on your pizza. Bonus: it is totally perfect to freeze ahead of time. I usually wait to add the cheese on top day-of. You can cook it straight from the freezer, just double the cooking time, and add the cheese about halfway through.
Chunky Beef Stew
A good chunky beef stew is a staple on my colder weather menu. Nothing is quite as warming and satisfying. This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. All you have to do on prep day is brown the meat, according to the recipe directions. Then add all the other ingredients, along with the browned meat into a gallon ziplock bag and freeze. On cooking day, just thaw over night in the fridge (it doesn’t even have to be completely thawed), and throw into the slow-cooker to stew all day. Serve with thick slices of sourdough bread. YUM.
Thai Peanut and Pumpkin Chicken Curry
Finally, if you’re looking for something a little fancy, this gorgeous thai peanut and pumpkin chicken curry gets all the heart eyes. There are two ways to make this freezer friendly. Either make the whole thing, and freeze it in gallon bags, OR just mix the sauce ingredients together to freeze. The time consuming part of this recipe is definitely measuring out all those ingredients. Think of it as making-your-own-curry-base-to keep-it-handy-in-the-freezer. When you’re ready just thaw your sauce, brown the meat and add the ready-to-go sauce! Quick tip: That sticky rice is amazing too, but you can definitely just eat this with regular steamed jasmine rice and naan. I recommend Trader Joe’s Naan, found in their freezers.
SO… Which recipe are you going to try this weekend? Let us know your favorite fall freezer meals in the comments!
Happy fall, y’all!