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12 Easy Freezer Meals To Make Returning To The Real World A Little Easier

January is hard. Make dinner easy.

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In these limbo days between the holidays and the official re-entry into work and school, it’s essential to spend a lot of time in your pajamas, cozy with your kids, pets and other loved ones. But, eventually, the cozy, lazy couch time that felt so needed starts to feel a little bit like stagnation. Things like setting alarms and packing lunches are about to be the norm once again, and there’s nothing you can really do about that. The dinnertime hustle, though, is something you can prepare for. Prepping some freezer meals during these lazy days will make the first weeks of the new year just a bit easier for you, and if you’re slightly less frantic, the whole family wins, right?

We’ll be honest — those first days back can be rough. You finally found deep chill, and now you’re expected to like, function. And, on top of that, you’re supposed to convince your kids to snap back into gear, too. January is looming, that happily forgotten lunch box catches your eye — how many days do I have until I have to start remembering how to fill that thing every day? — and eventually, you start to consider the possibility that there is a way to pave a smoother path to your family’s return to the real world than the usual whirlwind. To help, here are 12 easy freezer meal recipes you’ll be so glad you made when the going gets tough.


Slow-Cooker Cilantro-Lime Chicken Freezer Meal

Damn Delicious does it again with a creative, colorful, healthful and (most of all) dead-easy chicken freezer meal. How happy will future-you be when you open the freezer on a grey, cold, hectic Tuesday and one of these rainbow meals is there for you, just waiting to be dropped in a slow-cooker to do its thing?


Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Solve breakfast for the entire month of January (weekends included) with this smart, versatile breakfast burrito recipe from blogger Gimme Some Oven. She had us at “prep a weeks’ worth of them in under an hour.”


Freezer Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitas are a classic freezer meal — they’re as easy to cook as they are to prep, because when it’s time to eat, just dump the (thawed) meal on a sheet pan, and bake. Voila! Dinner is done. This recipe from The Modern Proper is sheer meal prep perfection.


Freezer Shrimp Fried Rice

Doesn’t just looking at this one make the type-A in you go all happy? Dull freezer meals, step aside — this freezer fried rice recipe is designed for creative meal preppers and is just bursting with color. And it’s from blogger Damn Delicious so you know it’s going to be, well, damn delicious.


Mozzarella-Pesto Mac & Cheese

If it’s good enough for Molly Yeh to meal-prep for her maternity leave, you know it’s good enough for your family, too. Treat yourself to a freezer full of creamy, comforting pesto mac-and-cheese your whole family will be so glad to dig into on a dreary day — adorable labels optional.


Slow-Cooker Italian Pork Roast

Over at The Family Freezer, they’ve pretty much mastered the art of recipes that make for great make-ahead freezer meals. This slow-cooker Italian pork roast proves that freezer meals can be rich and wonderful.


Freezer-Friendly Southwestern Turkey Meatballs

Blogger Feed Me Phoebe specializes in recipes that work easily around various dietary restrictions, including the very limited FODMAP considerations. Nonetheless, her recipes are beautiful, simple, and mouth-watering, and these gluten-free, FODMAP-friendly turkey meatballs are a perfect example. You can cook them, freeze them, and (when you’re ready) eat them however you want! Over pasta, with rice, or even with a simple salad on the side. Plus, you know meatballs are always a hit with the kids.


Chicken Pot Pie

Is there anything cozier than a creamy, savory, buttery chicken pot pie? Sure you can buy something that claims to be pot pie in the freezer aisle at the grocery store, but absolutely nothing beats homemade. This classic recipe from Two Peas And Their Pod freezes well, and will feed your family for at least a couple of days.


Easy Enchiladas

Enchiladas freeze well, and these beauties from blogger Love and Lemons would make a fine freezer meal your whole family will be jazzed about. She suggests that you assemble and freeze them without baking them. When you’re ready to eat, let them thaw overnight in the fridge before you bake them. Grab some tortilla chips and settle in for a no-sweat weeknight feast.


Greek Chicken Freezer Meal

An herb-flecked, lemony marinade is the secret to making this hearty chicken freezer meal from The Modern Proper radiate bright, fresh flavors — even after a month in the freezer. Fresh and filling? Yum.


Easy Falafel

Vegan by nature, these gorgeous, filling falafels will be a nice change from the norm, and your kid just might eat them because they’re crispy and fried (who could say no to that?). That said, if you’re hoping to keep your meals a little healthier in January, you can also bake them and save yourself the hassle of frying. Head over to Make It Dairy-Free to check out the recipe and instructions for freezing.


Vegetarian Enchiladas With Beans & Sweet Potatoes

If your family doesn’t eat meat, enchiladas are still an excellent freezer meal to try, and this hearty sweet potato-and-bean enchilada recipe from Naturally Ella is made for freezing. When the days feel both long and depressingly short, this cozy meal will give you the boost you’re looking for.

Carve out a few hours to pop on a podcast and bust out a week or two’s worth of freezer meals, and mid-month you will be so glad you did.

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