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These 10 meals are the perfect healthy freezer meals for new moms or anyone who wants to save tons of time in the kitchen! These meals are all gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and many are whole30 and AIP.

Healthy Freezer Meals

What are freezer meals?

As an expectant mom, freezer meals are about to be my lifeline during my postpartum period, which is why I wanted to dedicate a whole week and this round-up on the blog to freezer meals.

When I found out I was expecting, I knew I wanted to make a round-up like this! I read so many similar round-ups from awesome bloggers (like Pinch of Yum) and I found them to be SO helpful. I really wanted to do one that featured healthy, paleo, and AIP meals!

Whether you’re an expectant mother or are just trying to save time in the kitchen freezer meals are a great option for having exactly what you want on hand, exactly when you want it! They’re especially helpful if you have dietary restrictions and can’t necessarily rely on takeout or meal trains to maintain compliance with what makes you feel great. With freezer meals, you’re still able to prepare the food you love, but with less work.

Freezer meals can go one of two ways… you can either fully cook and freeze a meal to reheat later, or you can prep the raw ingredients and cook the meals fresh. This roundup has a mixture of both!

What are slow cooker freezer meals? Are there any safety tips to note?

Most of the meals in this round up do involve prepping the raw ingredients and adding them to the slow cooker. What I love about this is that you get a fresh meal when you want it rather than always reheating previously cooked food. The texture and flavor holds up much better, especially with veggies like zucchini and leafy greens.

A big food safety note for slow cooker freezer meals… make sure your food is fully defrosted before adding to the slow cooker to ensure that it stays at a safe temperature. The best way to do this is to transfer the frozen meal to the fridge in a casserole dish or bowl (to prevent any mess and cross-contamination if there happens to be leaking) and allow it to fully defrost for about 24 hours. Some meals do defrost quicker than others, but I personally like to give it at least a day to be safe.

Any other food safety notes?

If you’re freezing your food, never re-freeze previously frozen food!

Can you use the instant pot instead of the slow cooker for these recipes?

Yes, and no. Each individual recipe notes more details of this in each specific blog post, but for the most part, they can be made in the instant pot. As a general rule, as long as there’s at least 1 cup of liquid, you can likely prep it in the instant pot and just adjust the cooking time.

Recipes like the beef stew can be made in the instant pot with the “stew” function, or the teriyaki chicken using the “poultry function”. The only recipes that I didn’t like in the instant pot were the Hawaiian chicken and the Mongolian beef.

Can you cook these meals beforehand, freeze them, and reheat later?

Technically, yes you can! The first two recipes are designed to be cooked first and then reheated later.

However, I personally think that the texture and flavor are better when these ingredients are prepped, frozen, and then prepared fresh in the slow cooker. The freezer can change the texture of already cooked food (especially vegetables), so I prefer this method for these particular recipes. Plus, as a first-time mom who loves to cook, I’m really looking forward to having options to fresh-tasting meals when I’m busy with a newborn!

What are the options for containers to freeze these meals?

Glass Pyrex containers 

Glass Pyrex containers are what I always store leftovers in! They’re reusable, easy to clean, and can be used for multiple things.

However, they take up a lot of room in your freezer, so it doesn’t make as much sense if you’re prepping more than just a few freezer meals at a time. They also can increase the risk of freezer burn if you don’t fill them to the top as the air that your food is exposed to can increase the likelihood of freezer burn.

Silicone Baggies

I love, love, love my stasher bags! They’re reusable, they freeze everything great, and you can easily wash them in the dishwasher.

However, they’re a bit cost-prohibitive if you’re going to be freezing a month’s worth of meals. Every bit counts though, so even if you can only afford a couple, it still makes a difference.

Ziploc Bags

Here’s the thing… I don’t like plastic bags either. Plastic, in general, creates unnecessary waste and it’s so hard to avoid plastics 100%.

However, for the sake of the photos for this blog post to actually show what things looked like, plastic bags were much easier to photograph in. I tried taking photos of these recipes in silicone bags and you couldn’t really see the food as well, which is why the photos are in plastics.

Aside from photography’s sake, I will be the first to admit that I simply cannot afford to freeze a month’s worth of postpartum freezer meals in silicone baggies, and I don’t have anywhere near enough freezer space to freeze in glass. I love stasher bags and freeze in them as often as I can, but at around $10 a pop, I can’t afford to freeze upwards of 40+ meals in them on top of paying out of pocket for all of the many other newborn expenses, and I don’t think it’s fair to shame anyone for not being able to do the same!

So yes, I prefer glass and silicone when I can, but do the best you can.

Any more freezer meal tips & tricks?

Defrost in a casserole dish or bowl

I’ve learned my lesson one too many times with this when I tried to defrost meat! Even when you’re using freezer-safe packaging there may be a leak that would make a mess and risk cross-contamination. Leaving your freezer meals to defrost in a bowl or casserole dish is the safest bet.

Use a baggy holder

These baggy holders are a lifesaver! I was awkwardly trying to fill bags by myself and wound up spilling things quite a few times. These baggy holders keep your bags stable and open so you don’t have to fumble around!

Printable Labels

Whether you’re prepping these meals for yourself, or for someone in your life as a sweet gift, having labels on hand for what to do with these recipes after they’re frozen is super helpful! I know I won’t want to be looking up instructions online as a sleepy new mom, and I don’t want you to have to do it either.

Download labels for all of the recipes here! You’ll need 3.5×4.75″ labels for this template, so you can buy actual sticky labels to put in your printer, or just cut it out on printer paper and stash it in a kitchen drawer to remind yourself when needed!

Print the labels here!

10 Healthy Paleo Freezer Meals For New Moms

Pre-cooked Freezer Breakfasts

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

The Ingredients 

  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 large white sweet potato (sub orange sweet potato), diced
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt (divided)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 12 oz ground pork sausage (For AIP, use ground pork and see the recipe linked below for an AIP sausage seasoning)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 stips of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 Siete foods burrito tortillas (see notes or burrito tortilla of choice)
  • Chimichurri to serve (optional… be mindful of excess parsley if you’re a breastfeeding momma)

Freezer Instructions

  • Prepare the burrito as directed. Allow the burrito to cool completely before wrapping it tightly in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for a month.
  • Make sure that none of your ingredients are previously frozen! Transfer to the fridge the evening before you plan to eat it to allow to defrost.
  • Heat in a pan with 1 tbsp of avocado oil before slicing and enjoying.
  • If you choose to top the burrito with chimichurri, freeze it separately to avoid making the burrito soggy!

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Sausages

The Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cup sweet potato, riced (see notes)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (omit for whole30)
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil

Freezer Instructions

  • Prepare as directed.
  • Once cooked and fully cooled, add all of the ingredients to a large bag.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Once thawed reheat in a pan with 1 tbsp of coconut oil until warm.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

The Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup marsala cooking wine (see notes for whole30 or AIP)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the arrowroot starch and parsley). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

The Ingredients

  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups diced tomato with juice (sub nomato sauce for AIP)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

To serve

  • 12 tsp capers (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the capers, parsley, and basil). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

The Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large leeks, white part sliced into half-moons
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (sub nomato sauce for AIP)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, (omit for AIP)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp thyme

To serve:

  • 2 tbsp parsley. chopped (plus additional for topping)
  • Optional- 2 tsp arrowroot starch to thicken

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the arrowroot starch). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Indian Butter Chicken

The Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (sub nomato sauce for AIP)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp ghee, melted (sub melted coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (omit for AIP, sub more ginger for more spice)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tsp garam masala (omit for AIP)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

To serve

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the coconut cream, lime juice, and cilantro). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Mongolian Beef

The Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak, sliced thin against the grain
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup beef broth (sub water)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (omit for whole30)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb ginger, grated
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced into 1″ pieces

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a freezer bag. Freeze flat in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to cook, transfer to the fridge and place it in a large container (like a casserole dish or a large bowl in case it leaks at all) to defrost.
  • Once the meat is totally thawed, cook as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced and deseeded (omit for AIP)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchinis, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (sub 2 cups nomato sauce for AIP)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp cumin (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 lb chicken breast

To serve

  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1-2 medium avocados, sliced

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the cilantro and avocado). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Chicken Teriyaki

The Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp honey (omit for Whole30)
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast
  • 3 tbsp green onion, chopped (to serve)

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the green onion). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Hawaiian Chicken

The Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp compliant ketchup (optional, I used this)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (omit for whole30)
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1.5 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots

To serve

  • 2 tbsp green onion, to serve
  • Cauliflower rice to serve (optional)

Freezer Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bag (reserving the green onion and optional cauliflower rice). Freeze flat with cooking instructions.
  • Allow to fully thaw in the refrigerator before adding to a slow cooker and cooking as directed.

Find the cooking instructions and print the recipe here!

Bonus… snacks!!

Here are just a few snacks that freeze great! To freeze these, simply prepare as directed, allow to cool fully, and wrap tightly to freeze.

 

I hope you found this roundup helpful! Let me know if you wind up making any of these freezer meals!!