9 frozen meals for easy dinners on restless nights

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As the holiday season approaches, many of us are preparing to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. There are family celebration meal to prepare, cookie and candy trays to share with family and friends. The fact is that we also need to eat all of our regular meals.

The thought of having to cook during some of the busiest weeks of the year can be daunting, especially if you’re hoping to avoid takeout. So, before all the craziness sets in, do yourself a favor and whip up some freezable meals that can take some pressure off the future. To help you, I offer a variety of recipes from our archives, many of which can be split up (or expanded) for double duty, like having dinner once in a while, then another one or two whenever you need them. As a bonus, they are all fairly simple to put together.

7 quick soups and stews to make and freeze now. Your future self will thank you.

Deep Muffin Pan Pepperoni Pizza, above. This recipe makes a dozen mini pizzas your family members including kids! – can customize as they wish. Store-bought batter and marinara help make it easy. You can freeze fully baked pizzas and remove them to reheat in the oven or toaster as needed.

Mango and Cranberry Chicken. You can go many ways with this quick cooking curry. Add the gravy to raw chicken and freeze it to cook later, or take the dish through and then freeze (ideally with rice) for an even quicker dinner.

Keep your cool at dinnertime with these 8 freezable meals

Vegetable soup with pieces. As a general rule, soups freeze extraordinarily well, and this light, fresh, smooth and quick gem from the legend Jacques Pépin is no exception. Use seasonal vegetables or those you have on hand and let the food processor do the heavy lifting for you.

picadillo. Stock up on a batch of Daniela Galarza’s Seasoned Ground Beef Platter to use in future tacos, empanadas and more, or simply serve it on whatever starch you like. The same goes for her Vegan Picadillo.

6 Ground Beef Recipes for Weeknight Meals in Minutes

Pasta with three cheeses and vegetable gratin. This recipe for Feed columnist Ellie Krieger is particularly well suited to the enjoyment of today and tomorrow. Instead of making the whole 9 x 13 inch pan, split the pan in half and make two 8 x 8 inch batches, freezing one of them. See also Baked pasta with vegetables and cheese.

7 Baked Pasta Recipes That Are Cheesy, Saucy, and Satisfying

Black Bean Breakfast Burritos. No matter the time of year, you’ll find these burritos in my freezer. Thaw in the microwave then crisp in the pan for a quick dinner-breakfast. I love the black beans here that I make in my Instant Pot, but you can use canned beans, no problem.

Mushroom Balls. If you don’t mind a little meditative assembly, Aaron Hutcherson’s pantry-friendly dumplings are a great solution. Freeze and remove as much as you need for a given meal.

Easy Pantry Recipes for Quick and Frugal Meals

Mushroom and Black Bean Burgers with Balsamic-Glazed Onions. Go ahead and double down on another of Aaron’s pantry recipes, which can be dressed with your choice of condiments, even if you don’t make the accompanying onions. Freeze the patties after you’ve shaped them, then fry them straight from the freezer, adding more cooking time if needed.

Browse our recipe finder for over 9,900 post-tested recipes.

Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole. This comforting casserole is another one to consider doubling up for dinner now, then again later.

8 cozy casseroles to spend the winter

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