Life can get pretty busy, and when it does, it helps to have a meal in the freezer that you can quickly heat and eat. But while there are plenty of gourmet microwave recipes out there (and PLENTY of options in the frozen food aisle), sometimes you want something with a little more pizzazz. And that’s where make-ahead meals come in. These quick and easy recipes range from freezer-friendly breakfasts to dinners… we’ve even included desserts. Here are 30 of our favorite make-ahead meals for when your time is precious but your tummy is growling.


1. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Protein Pancakes: Yes, you can make pancakes ahead of time. You just need to put them in the freezer separated by sheets of wax paper to store them. (via Abbey’s Kitchen)

2. Freezer Breakfast Burritos: These *insanely* delish breakfast burritos will keep you full all the way through lunch — and then some. They’re made with flour tortillas, eggs, refried beans, tater tots (yes, tater tots!), and cheddar cheese, among more goodies. (via Damn Delicious)

3. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches: Why run to McDonald’s for an egg sandwich when you could just pull one right out of your freezer? (via Frugalitygal)

4. Bacon, Potato, and Cheese Waffles: Waffles don’t have to be sweet. Case in point: these freezer-friendly savory waffles featuring bacon, potatoes, and cheese. (via Mom on Time Out)

5. Sausage Bread Casserole: Looking for a way to jazz up your breakfast sausage? Bet you never thought of making casseroles for the morning! (via Creative Homemaking)


6. Cobb Salad Wraps: Packed with protein and TONS of flavor, these wraps are going to be your new workday go-to. Pro tip: If you’re going to make these ahead of time, thoroughly dry your lettuce and use only a light splash of dressing to prevent them from getting soggy. (via Living Well Kitchen)

7. Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls: Sure, honey sesame chicken is a frozen food staple. But you can make your meal much healthier and more wholesome by prepping it at home. (via Sweet Peas and Saffron)

8. Chilled Black Bean, Feta, and Cucumber Salad: Mason jar lunches are one of the most well-known ways to prep your meals. This particular salad (which is vegetarian, by the way) comes together in just 15 minutes and is packed with black beans, corn, cilantro, cucumber, celery, and other goodies. (via The Kitchn)

9. Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps With Caramelized Onions and Pesto: These delicious wraps do require a bit of up-front work since you have to roast the sweet potatoes and caramelize the onions. But once that’s all done, just reheat and enjoy in a flash. (via The Kitchn)

10. Homemade Hot Pockets: These freezer-friendly hot pockets are a healthy, homemade alternative to the store-bought classic. They’re made with familiar ingredients you probably already have on hand, like mozzarella cheese, olive oil, flour, ham, and pepperoni. (via Happy Money Saver)

11. Easy Corn Casserole: Feel free to go ahead and cook it in a full-size casserole dish, or use mini-sized cookware for individual servings. (via Spaceships and Laser Beams)

12. Homemade Ham and Cheese Pockets: These insanely delish pockets are made with simple ingredients like flour, sugar, olive oil, ham, and cheese. (via Sally’s Baking Addiction)

13. Tofu Chickpea Stir-Fry With Tahini Sauce: Calling all vegans. This plant-based stir fry is actually a protein bowl in disguise, boasting plant-based protein sources like tofu and chickpeas. (via The Kitchn)


14. Orzo With Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Blue Cheese: To prep this meal ahead of time, roast your squash whenever you have down time and then warm it up when you’re ready to chow down. The pasta itself cooks within minutes, so just add your squash and veggies on top and you’ll be good to go. (via The Kitchn)

15. Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice: This ridiculously simple meal can be made ahead of time and then stored in the freezer. (via Saving Cent by Cent)

16. Lasagna Roll-Ups: Instead of taking the form of a large pasta dish, these individually rolled lasagnas are perfect for one person. (via The Pioneer Woman)

17. Freezer-Friendly Baked Ziti: This rich and cheesy baked ziti can be stored in the freezer. Pro tip: If you don’t have a fitted lid for your casserole dish, you can cover it with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of tin foil. (via I Wash You Dry)

18. Easy Creamy Tuna Casserole: Tuna casserole is one of those retro dishes your grandma used to make. And, bonus, it’s packed with super-affordable ingredients, making this a budget-friendly option. (via An Italian in My Kitchen)

19. Twice-Baked Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes: For a flavor-packed dinner that’s easy to make ahead of time, try these Buffalo-flavored chicken-stuffed sweet potatoes. They’re loaded with Greek yogurt, blue cheese, celery, onion, and other goodies for ULTIMATE flavor. (via The Creative Bite)

20. Caramelized Vidalia Onion Casserole: This pasta-based casserole is packed with the sweet flavors of Vidalia onions for a comforting and warming treat. (via Call Me PMC)

21. Chicken Parmesan Casserole: Enjoy this freezer-friendly casserole when the chicken Parmesan craving strikes. (via Thriving Home)

22. Gluten-Free Mushroom Cheeseburger Casserole: Um, what? Yep, this is a cheeseburger casserole, and it also happens to be gluten-free. (via Peas and Peonies)

23. Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole: This filling, crunchy-sweet casserole is the perfect way to indulge. (via Mama Loves Food)

24. Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Shells: Stuffed shells are basically the quintessential make-ahead dinner idea. And this easy recipe combines the flavors of broccoli and chicken to delicious effect. (via Kylee Cooks)

25. Baked Gnocchi Double Cheese Tomato Sauce: Liven things up with this cheesy, tomato-based gnocchi bake. (via An Italian in My Kitchen)

26. Hot Chicken Salad Casserole: Fans of the classic cold version must try this hot, creamy take. (via Mama Loves Food)

27. Cheesy Tomato Casserole: This simple and crowd-pleasing casserole is perfect for picky eaters. (via Call Me PMC)


28. Clinkers Slice: Dessert bars like this clinkers slice are the perfect candidates for freezing ahead of time. And, bonus, this recipe also happens to require absolutely no baking. (via Bake Play Smile)

29. Melt and Mix Triple Chocolate Brownies: This unique brownie recipe requires you to melt some chocolate, mix it together, and then bake it into some INSANELY chocolatey brownies. (via Bake Play Smile)

30. Licorice Allsort Slice: Sure, the taste of licorice isn’t for everyone… but NO ONE can deny that these no-bake babies are simply pretty. (via Bake Play Smile)

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