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In about 1 hour you can prepare 5 Dump-and-Bake Freezer Meals that require no cooking and no prep work! These family-friendly, easy dinners are simple and delicious solutions for your busiest weeknights!
I’m a huge fan of freezer meals because they just make life so much easier. I can set aside some time on the weekend to assemble all of our dinners for the week ahead, and then I don’t have to worry about it again. There’s no need to make last-minute runs to the grocery store, no need to rush around the kitchen to pull together a meal when I get home late, and no need to order take-out. I save money, time, and stress with this simple process, and today I’m sharing all of the details (including my Shopping List) from my latest freezer meals.
A Few Quick Tips for Easy Dump-and-Bake Freezer Meals:
- I tried to create a variety of recipes here so that we don’t end up eating chicken casseroles every single night! The 5 dinners include beef, turkey, chicken, and a vegetarian option, as well as different cuisines.
- Remember, for these freezer meals, you simply assemble the raw ingredients, wrap them tightly, and pop them in the freezer. I recommend thawing the dishes in the refrigerator the night before so that they cook in a reasonable amount of time when you’re ready to use them.
- I also like to use disposable pans and zip-top bags to store my freezer meals, and that way I don’t stash all of my nice pans away in the freezer indefinitely. Plus, it makes clean up a lot easier at the end!
With all of that said, go ahead and download the printable PDF copy of my Freezer Meals Shopping List HERE, and let’s get started with 5 new freezer meals!
1. Herb Roasted Chicken and Veggies
Labeled, wrapped and ready for the freezer!
Herb-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
- 2 lbs. bone-in chicken pieces thighs, breasts, and/or drumsticks (I used 8 drumsticks)
- 1 pound baby red potatoes you can leave them whole if they’re small, or cut larger potatoes in half
- ½ pound carrots peeled and sliced into large chunks (or whole baby carrots)
- 1 onion chopped into large chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon minced dried onion
- ½ teaspoon minced dried basil
- ½ teaspoon minced dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon minced dried garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Place chicken and vegetables in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with herbs and salt, and toss to coat.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil; freeze until ready to bake.
- When ready to bake, thaw dish in refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the cover and bake in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour. Check to see if the chicken is cooked through. Return to the oven, if necessary, until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.
2. 4-Ingredient Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
4-Ingredient Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
- 2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups enchilada sauce
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- Optional garnish: sour cream sliced green onion, sliced olives, diced avocado or guacamole
- Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine half of the enchilada sauce (about ¾ cup) with beans and half of the cheese (about ½ cup).
- Place 4 of the tortillas in the bottom of the prepared dish, tearing them as necessary to cover the bottom (overlapping is fine).
- Top with half of the bean mixture and drizzle with ¼ cup of enchilada sauce. Repeat layers one more time, ending with remaining ½ cup of cheese on top.
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Freeze casserole until ready to bake.
- Thaw in refrigerator overnight before baking.
- When ready to serve, bake casserole (covered) at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
3. Mom’s Meatloaf
- 1 large or 2 small slices of bread
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef I used 92% lean
- 1 cup finely diced onion I like to use frozen diced onion to eliminate any chopping or prep work, but you can sub with a medium fresh onion and cut it yourself
- 1 egg
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- about ½ cup ketchup
- Prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and place bread in the bottom of the pan, trimming as necessary to get it to fit (the bread will soak up the grease as the meatloaf cooks).
- Gently mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Just be careful not to over-mix, or the meat will be tough. I like to use my hands for this!
- Shape beef mixture into a loaf and place in the prepared pan.
- Spread a thin layer of ketchup over the top of the meatloaf.
- To freeze, cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and foil.
- When ready to cook, thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- Remove cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour (you might need to increase the baking time if the meat is still partially frozen).
- Slice bread off of the bottom of the meatloaf and serve.
4. Turkey Meatball and Tortellini Soup
Turkey Meatball and Tortellini Soup
- 3 15-ounce cans chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can Italian style diced tomatoes, NOT drained
- 1 14-ounce package frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
- 12 ounces frozen turkey meatballs
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Optional garnish: grated Parmesan and/or mozzarella cheeses
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT for chicken broth in a large zip-top freezer bag. Place in freezer until ready to cook.
- When ready to serve, place chicken broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add ingredients from the bag and simmer until pasta is tender and meatballs are heated through (about 10 minutes).
- Garnish with cheese, if desired.
5. Baked Teriyaki Chicken, Vegetables and Rice
Baked Teriyaki Chicken Vegetables and Rice
- ¾ cup prepared teriyaki sauce plus additional for serving*
- 1 ½ cups uncooked instant white rice
- 1 8 ounce can pineapple chunks (NOT drained)
- 1 16 ounce bag frozen stir-fry vegetables
- 1 ¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 6 small or thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 24 oz. total)
- Optional garnish: sliced green onions
- Spray a 13-x-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In the prepared baking dish, stir together rice, undrained pineapple, frozen vegetables, broth, and ½ cup of the teriyaki sauce.
- Place chicken on top of the rice mixture and season with salt and pepper. Pour remaining ¼ cup of teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Cover tightly with foil.
- Freeze until ready to bake.
- Before baking, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake (covered) at 400 degrees F for about 40-50 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (at least 165 degrees F) and rice is tender. Larger pieces of chicken will take longer to cook, so just keep a close eye on the dish and check it periodically until it's ready to pull out. Garnish with additional teriyaki sauce and/or sliced green onions just before serving.
Whether you try one of these new freezer meals or all 5 of them, I hope that you find a new favorite to add to your family’s regular routine. Thanks to these dump-and-bake freezer meals, dinner just got a whole lot easier!
Super excited to have come across these recipes on pinterest today! I love how simple the ingredients are and easy prep. I look forward to making these yummy dump freezer meals in the oven for the next couple of cold months.
Wonderful! Hope you enjoy, Lisa!
Out of curiosity how do you keep potatoes from turning black after thawing them out from being frozen? Should I have blanched them before I froze them?
Hi, Megan! I think that using the little ones that you don’t have to peel helps, and yes — blanching them first might help too.
Do you need to use bone in for the first recipe or would they cook the same boneless?
Hi, Katlyn! You can definitely use boneless chicken, you’ll just need to decrease the total cooking time. The boneless pieces will cook faster than the bone-in pieces. The total time will depend on the size, thickness, and type of chicken pieces that you choose, but you’re looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to know that it’s done. Hope you enjoy!
For these recipes do you bake with the foil on or off?
Hi, Jessica! It depends on the recipe, but each individual recipe includes instructions with whether or not to remove the cover or bake covered.
Can I use regular rice instead of instant?
Hi! Yes, but you’ll need to cook the dish for longer, and you’ll likely need more liquid in the pan, since the instant rice doesn’t absorb as much liquid in the cooking process.
Thanks very much for all of these. I will be scaling them down to meals for one but they’re all very useful to me
Recipes look delicious I am definitely going to try them
Thank you so much, Joan!
I’m so glad I came across these. Dinner are getting more and more hectic with 2 high schoolers and 1 middle schooler all with after school activities. I can go home throw in the oven and run out to get them. They all look delicious!
We’re so happy to have you here, Kate! We hope you enjoy the recipes!
Hi – I have not tried these recipes yet, but they all look great! It’s not often I print out all the recipes from one person, but I have with yours. And the shopping list is AWESOME! Thank you!
So, so glad to hear that, Pam! Hope you enjoy!
I had high hopes for the roasted chicken and veggies recipe, but it did not turn out well. Even after an hour and a half in the oven, the chicken skin was limp and chewy and the vegetables were swimming in juice and very unevenly cooked. Everything was very wet and not really what you would consider “roasted”. Darn it! I was really hoping this would be that super easy freezer meal I’ve been searching for.
Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry this recipe didn’t work for you! We have never had that problem. Did you happen to change anything in the recipe? We want to make sure we make any necessary modifications or notes.
No, I didn’t change anything other than cooking for longer since lot of the carrots and potatoes weren’t getting tender.
Thank you for the feedback, Teri! We will be sure to test this one again and hope you give some of our other recipes a try.