There are things in life that I know I should do, but just can’t. One of the things that used to be on that list is prepping make-ahead freezer meals — but all that has changed. (If only I could make the switch with exercise too.)

Everything shifted once I started small. I began making double batches of rice and freezing half and freezing extra homemade meatballs. One night, when pulling said rice and meatballs out of the freezer, it struck me: Having dinner ready and waiting for nothing more than a reheat is genius. And from there it went.

I understand that planning ahead is difficult — really, I do — which is why I’m sharing my 6 favorite, easy DIY freezer meals in time for hectic back-to-school nights. These are kid-friendly, wholesome, and go from freezer straight to the oven or slow cooker. Plus, they’re easy to prep in the first place.

Oh, and before you dive into the recipes, be sure to check out our tips on how to freeze meals to make sure that none of your prep work goes to waste. Plus, there are even more great make-ahead freezer meal recipes there too!

Top: Baked Italian Meatballs | Thriving Home

Related: 5 make-ahead school lunches you can store in the freezer for easy, breezy mornings.

 

The Baked Italian Meatballs at Thriving Home (above) — made with either beef or ground turkey — are just the thing you need stashed away for easy weeknight dinners. Pair them with sauce (jarred to go super fast), tucked into a roll, or on the side with veggies and potatoes.

 

Back to school freezer meals: prep-ahead stir fry packs for the win! | Jane Sweeney for Cool Mom Eats

The freezing rice revelation? It led to my make-ahead stir-fry freezer packs that are a total game changer. I’m not sure who loves them more, me or my kids.

 

Back to school freezer meals: Freezer to Oven Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | Sweet Peas and Saffron

Three words: freezer to oven. If that isn’t enough to win you over, just check out the mouthwatering photos of the Freezer to Oven Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes at Sweet Peas and Saffron. Easy prep, healthy, and delicious — exactly what I need this fall.

Related: 12 healthy dinner ideas for your picky eater.

 

Back to school freezer meals: Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken | Damn Delicious

The Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken at Damn Delicious might be the easiest and most scrumptious addition to your fall lineup. Combine all of the ingredients in just minutes, freeze in a single bag, and dump in the slow cooker when you need dinner done. Genius.

 

Back to school freezer meals: Breaded Chicken Cutlets | Martha Stewart

My family loves chicken cutlets — Milanese style, Parmigiana, or a la whatever you can imagine — but the pre-prepped store-bought kind are sooo expensive. This fall, I’m vowing to make a triple batch of the crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets at Martha Stewart each time I make them to stock the freezer. Check out the video from the the lovely Sarah Carey for details on how to achieve perfect cutlets that can be frozen for later.

 

Back to school freezer meals: 7 Healthy Crockpot Freezer Meals | New Leaf Wellness

If you’re serious about stocking up on healthy, hearty freezer meals, check out New Leaf Wellness. I love Kelly’s 7 Kid-Friendly Freezer Meals, none of which require pre-cooking; just combine ingredients and freeze. Note that you have to click a tab for the recipes, which will pop you over to a printer-friendly word doc with instructions.

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