Easy, healthy, and delicious freezer meals that will make weeknight meal planning a breeze! Read through to see how we did freezer meal prep for FOURTEEN meals in four hours!
Wait, what?! FOURTEEN meals in four hours? I’m kidding, right? Nope, I definitely am not.
Last week my sister-in-law and I spent close to four hours putting together fourteen freezer meals, and a batch of freezer egg rolls. I don’t count the egg rolls as a meal because *technically* egg rolls aren’t an entire meal, but I suppose that depends on who you ask 😉
Also, prepping the egg rolls went outside of our four hours, so let’s just consider that a little bonus recipe, shall we?
I should also mention that we did this while keeping four tiny humans alive. So, if you can do this without two babies and two toddlers running around, you will without a doubt be done in four hours!
I debated on if and how I was going to share this process with you, as not all of the recipes are my own, and I wasn’t sure how I could effectively share what we did with you. However, after posting about it on Instagram stories and getting LOTS of messages about what we did, I felt like I just had to do my best to write a post about our freezer meal prep.
So, here’s what I did. I created a printable for you with the grocery list for the recipes. I am linking to the original sites for the recipes, so you can find them there.
I’m also giving you some tips on how to prepare and have efficient work flow during your freezer meal prep. I really hope this all helps – if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me or comment!
First, here are some keys to success to freezer meal prep:
Get a buddy. Not only will it make the day more fun, but it is actually kind of essential to getting the meals prepped in four hours. Two people chopping and assembling are definitely better than one!
Organize your grocery list. If you plan to make the entire meal plan that we did, go through the recipes and make your grocery list. I made this easy for you and have provided a printable grocery list for each individual recipe, and you can make your master list from there. Don’t forget to double the ingredients if you are doing this with a buddy!
Shop smart to keep things economical. Buy things like produce and meat at Costo or Sam’s Club. We found most of the remaining ingredients at ALDI, and the rest at Target.
Prepare in advance. The night before our big day I organized all of the ingredients on our dining room table according to recipe. I had little pieces of paper with each recipe name on them and organized all of the shelf stable ingredients as I could. Obviously I couldn’t set out meat or refrigerated vegetables, but you get the point. This made it super easy to locate exactly what we needed for each recipe.
Start with an empty dishwasher. I clogged out garbage disposal the night before (whoops!) so I couldn’t run our dishwasher until Marc fixed it the next morning, basically as we were starting our meal prep. This made it, um, interesting and challenging to find a place for dirty dishes. So learn from us and start with an empty dishwasher!
Work in batches that make sense. By this I mean, do all of the beef recipes at the same time. Or all of the chicken recipes. Or all of the recipes that call for carrots. Try to figure out what makes the most sense given the recipes you are making. We did ours by protein, which was helpful because I was able to place the chicken in all of the bags that it belonged in and then dispose of the chicken container when I was done.
Print out the recipes. Last year we only had the recipes on my computer and that was a pain in the butt.
Write detailed instructions on your labels. We included slow cooker instructions, Instant Pot instructions, as well as anything that would have to be added right before serving, such as heavy cream, pasta, or a certain vegetable.
Do it kids free. Okay we failed at this one. We actually prepped all of our meals with two babies and two 3-year olds tearing the place apart. Yeah, that’s four kids total. It was comical at times (I’m picturing my sister-in-law, with her baby crawling on her lap, as she continued to peel sweet potatoes) but we made it work! Where there’s a will there’s a way. And that’s to say – if you do this without kids, you will definitely get these recipes done in four hours, no problem!
Okay, so here’s the deal with these recipes. They can all be done in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. There aren’t Instant Pot instructions on all of the recipes that I linked to, so what I do is just google “Instant Pot XYZ” and see what other people did. You can pretty much guesstimate how many minutes to cook it if you check out what other people did. If that make you nervous, just do it in the slow cooker.
While you can take these straight from the freezer to the slow cooker, I prefer to place the freezer meal that I’m going to make in the refrigerator the night in advance to allow it to thaw slightly. This makes it easier to get out of the plastic bag. With each recipe, I noted any special instructions or things that we did differently from the linked recipe. Again, let me know if you have any questions!!
Everything except the tortellini in the freezer bag. We put the tortellini into a separate bag and taped it to the bag with the rest of the soup, as the tortellini is added towards the end of the cooking time.
We used beef stew meat instead of ground beef because that’s what we had, and also we were short the can of chili beans. Everything except the beer into the freezer bag. Add the beer to the slow cooker along with the bag.
I really should blog about this recipe because I stray from this recipe quite a bit but basically here’s what I do: I use ground turkey instead of chicken, omit the bean sprouts and add about 1/3 cup of Hoisin sauce to the turkey/veggie mixture. We also freeze the egg rolls unbaked, and it has worked just fine!
And here is the grocery list! Click HERE for printable list.