14 Freezer-Friendly Recipes to Prepare for Lunch or Dinner During the Coronavirus Pandemic
During the coronavirus pandemic, daily routines have been thrown for a loop. With fewer trips to the grocery store, it's especially important to make the most of the ingredients that you have on hand for lunch and dinner. One of the ways to make cooking at home for your family easier is by preparing meals that you can freeze. On those occasions when you don't feel like starting from scratch, pull one of these delicious meals from the freezer, heat it up in the oven, and say bon appétit.
One of the other benefits of cooking homemade freezer-friendly recipes is that they're often healthier than store-bought versions. Take Mozzarella Sticks, for example—while our version doesn't stray too far from the kind that you'd find in the grocery store, there are far fewer additives in the breading when you prepare them at home. Our recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which you can make yourself with stale bread, Parmesan, and dried herbs. When it's time to cook, you can take them directly from the freezer to deep fry.
Another favorite that everyone in your family will love is Crunchy Panko Salmon. Just dip wild-caught salmon fillets in panko breading, freeze, and bake whenever you're in the mood for super crispy fish. If you'd like to whip up the Salmon and Spinach Potpie that's pictured here, you can make the pie crust in advance and freeze it to save prep time. Defrost the dough on the day you'll make the pie and then all you have to do is prepare the filling, assemble the dish, and bake.
From appetizers to dinner, these freezer-friendly recipes are sure to please your family.
Crunchy Panko Salmon
Make-ahead, crispy, and very kid-friendly, these panko-breaded salmon fillets are easy to prepare and store in the freezer to cook whenever you need something speedy to serve for dinner. To cook, pull them straight from the freezer and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Sausage-and-Kale Stuffed Shells
When you need a kid-friendly treat or a quick appetizer for a special dinner at home, these ready-to-freeze mozzarella sticks are the answer. The breading is made from scratch using plain breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and mixed dried herbs, which means that it's better for you with fewer additives than the store-bought mozzarella sticks.
Curry Chickpea Handpies
You can make these freezer-friendly hand pies in two parts—start by making our favorite pâte brisée and keeping it in the freezer. When you're ready to roll, make the spicy vegetarian filling with potatoes, chickpeas, Thai red curry paste, and spinach. Form into individual handpies, then freeze for up to one month. They can then be cooked in the oven from frozen.
Breaded Chicken Cutlets
Wrap these lean-but-moist turkey patties—made with sour cream, mango chutney, Dijon mustard, and chili powder—individually before freezing. Once it's time for dinner, take out what you need and quickly thaw before cooking.
Stash pesto in the freezer to bring fresh earthy flavor to all sorts of dishes, including pizza, pasta, soups, and sandwiches. It's a smart way to preserve fresh basil before it goes bad. Unlike other pesto recipes, this one is sans Parmesan cheese, which makes it freezer-friendly.
Freeze-Ahead Lasagna Primavera
Minestrone soup is made with a hodge-podge of vegetables—this one features produce such as tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, and Swiss chard, but you can use whatever you have on hand to make a substantial, vibrant minestrone that will brighten chilly evenings.
Roasted Beet and Potato Borscht
This Eastern European soup is known for its bright red-purple color and earthy flavor. Here, russet potatoes and red beets work together to build a rich and creamy base (use water instead of chicken broth and it's vegan!). Because it's cream-free, you can safely transfer the purée to quart containers and freeze.