Easy Freezer Meals for Summer (to make ahead for lazy days)

Looking to cook less and enjoy life more this summer? These freezer meals for summer are delicious, satisfying and can be prepped ahead of time to keep you out of the kitchen on hot days!

Ah, summer. It’s really my favorite season.

First, there’s gardening (then eating delicious produce, with any luck).

There’s watching the kids play in the yard, mini trips…

…and a slower pace that is just the best in my book.

But although I’m a warm-weather fan, I’m not a huge fan of cooking and warming up the kitchen.

I’m sure most of us would probably rather be doing anything than slaving away over a stove in summer.

(Or in any season, honestly!).

Easy freezer meals for summer that take the heat OUT of the kitchen!

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Freezer to Oven Meals

I’ve learned that the solution to hot summer days are freezer-to-oven meals!

OR, freezer-to-Instant Pot OR freezer-to-grill meals. You choose.

Freezer to crockpot meals are another great option if you’re home most of the day.

(Am I the only one nervous about leaving a crockpot unattended since the fated This is Us episode??)

You can spend just a few hours on a weekend prepping these meals, and then all you have to do reheat them for dinner in no time!

There’s nothing better than NOT having to think about dinner on a daily basis.

For real.

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Make ahead meals for summer: More reasons to love them

And there’s even more to love about make ahead freezer meals. They have SO many uses.

For instance, think:

  • Summer freezer meals for new moms
  • Make ahead meals for traveling
  • Freezer meals for the beach
  • Freezer to oven meals for after a surgery

All of these are great ideas for eating well…eating on a budget while traveling…or for blessing others.

I have a friend who never leaves for a trip without her freezer meals and her Instapot!

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How to make ahead meals and freeze them

There are many meals you probably already make that you could convert to freezer meals.

It really boils down to thinking ahead about what types of ingredients freeze well and what do not.

Read next:

Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Simple Sheet Pan Meal with Sausage and Veggies

Foods that are easy to make ahead and freeze include:

  • Meats
  • Cheeses (unless it’s a topping; I usually add before cooking)
  • Most sauces and marinades
  • Beans (as long as they’re not overcooked before freezing!)
  • Rice (if not overcooked)
  • Veggies that will be cooked

Foods that don’t freeze well include:

  • Fresh veggies (diced tomatoes and lettuce for tacos, for example)
  • Condiments (sour cream, mayo tend to change in texture unless well-blended with other ingredients)
  • Cooked eggs
  • Fully cooked pastas

For the recipes I’m linking to in this post, they will have instructions for freezing them ahead (what ingredients to freeze and what not to).

Look for the instructions either in the recipe itself or in the footnotes/alternative methods at the bottom of each linked page.

Best freezer meals for summer

Below are over 20 of the best freezer meals for summer.

Bright colors, seasonal veggies and easy (or no) prep work make these perfect for summer.

Many of these picks are also healthy summer freezer meals that you can feel good about serving your family.

And, we chose a wide variety of meals and flavors that will make it easy to please a wide audience.

Yes, including picky kids!

1| One Pan Mexican Quinoa

Quinoa is an overlooked grain in our house, but this One Pan Mexican Quinoa might just change that!

(See Freezing Instructions near end of the post.)

One pan mexican quinoa freezer meal
Image courtesy of Salt & Baker

2| Lemon Garlic Chicken

This is actually an Instant Pot meal, which you could easily convert to a stovetop meal in a dutch oven.

Lemon Garlic Chicken is a delicious main dish you can completely cook and freeze ahead for a super-fast supper.

lemon garlic chicken freezer friendly meal
Image courtesy of Nourish Plate

3| Chicken Enchilada Pie Casserole

This one had me at chicken + enchilada + pie. 😉

And, this Chicken Enchilada Pie Casserole is another great way to use the leftovers from my simple roasted chicken recipe.

enchilada pie make ahead freezer meal
Image courtesy of Dinner Mom

4| Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Meatballs are a family favorite in our house.

What I love about Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce is that they’re versatile and pack in lots of extra veggies as well!

turkey meatballs freeze ahead meal for summer
Image courtesy of In the Kitch

5| Coconut Lime Chicken

Nothing says summer like Coconut Lime Chicken on the grill.

To prep, you’ll make the homemade marinade, pop it into freezer bags along with fresh chicken breasts, then freeze.

There’s so much flavor packed in; it’s a must-try.

marinated freezer chicken meal
Image courtesy of The Fresh Cooky

6| Chicken Pot Pie Hand Pies

Anyone else consider chicken pot pie the ultimate comfort food?

These chicken pot pie hand pies are a fun twist on the classic.

It’s comfort food that’s less messy than the traditional method.

And, it’s a lot less work when you make in batches and freeze ahead!

chicken pot pie summer freezer meal
Image courtesy of Two Healthy Kitchens

7| Keto Shredded Beef

Shredded beef can be used for dozens of meals. Think:

  • Burritos
  • Nachos
  • Serve on a bun

Best of all, it’s simple to make ahead and freeze for later.

This Keto Shredded Beef is a clean, healthy version you’ll feel good about serving your family.

keto shredded beef - easy freezer meal for summer
Image courtesy of Cassidy’s Craveable Creations

8| Vegetarian Chili Mac

By skipping the beef, you save a little more time in prep work and can make a little lighter chili mac for summer.

To freeze this Vegetarian Chili Mac, add the uncooked noodles to the rest of the ingredients in the freezer bag.

Thaw and then add the water and cook through the day of, adding the cheese at the end as directed.

make ahead chili mac dinner
Image courtesy of Hello Spoonful

9| Lemon Chicken White Bean Soup

You may not think of soup as a summer dish…

…but with fresh lemons, you really can’t go wrong with this.

Serve it on a rainy day for a bright pick-me-up!

You can make Lemon Chicken White Bean soup ahead of time and just add the cooked pasta on the day you plan to serve it.

lemon chicken soup freezer to stovetop meal
Image courtesy of Salt and Lavender

10| Best Vegetarian Lasagna

Veggies and summer just go hand-in-hand!

Vegetarian Lasagna is a perfect warm-weather dinner option.

Love and Lemons gives these instructions after freezing:

Take the frozen casserole and cover it with foil and bake for about 1 hour at 350, or until warmed through.

To brown the cheese on top, uncover the dish for the last 20 minutes of baking.

freezer meal idea: veggie lasagna for summer
Image courtesy of Love and Lemons

11| Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken

Since tomatoes are also synonymous with summer at our house –

– I had to include this beautiful pasta dish.

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken can be made ahead and Laura suggests adding a little water when you re-heat it.

sundried tomato pasta freezer meal
Image courtesy of Momables

12| French Dip Sandwiches

This recipe is intended for the crockpot, and it’s one of the easiest freezer meal ideas on this list!

Just add the ingredients to Slow Cooker Roast Beef French Dip Sandwiches to a freezer bag for busy days ahead.

It’ll be ready to pop into the crockpot anytime.

(Or you can convert to dutch oven/stovetop method.)

french dip sandwich freezer dinner idea
Image courtesy of Happy Money Saver

13| Pesto Chicken and Vegetables Freezer Meal

I love the idea of make ahead meals to freeze for later, which do not require pre-cooking the meat.

Pesto Chicken and Vegetables only takes a little prep work chopping the veggies.

Then you can freeze; thaw when ready, dump and slow-cook.

No heating up the kitchen at all!

chicken and veggies make ahead freezer meal
Image courtesy of Freezer Meals 101

14| Cheesy Broccoli and Bacon Quiche

Since broccoli is on short list of veggies my son will eat, I love the idea of incorporating it into a quiche…

…which is almost like a pie..which is almost a dessert, right? 😉

This Cheesy Broccoli and Bacon Quiche can be made ahead of time, wrapped with tinfoil and frozen until you’re ready to dig in.

brocolli bacon quiche freeze ahead meal idea
Image courtesy of Intoxicated on Life

15| Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas become freezer-friendly by using sturdy corn tortillas and wrapping tightly with tinfoil.

I would top with the fresh cheese at the time of cooking instead of freezing for this recipe.

chicken enchiladas: freezer meal idea for new moms
Image courtesy of Six Sisters’ Stuff

16| Coconut Tandoori-Inspired Chicken

When I think of coconuts, I think of a refreshing, tropical treat that’s perfect for a summer meal.

Coconut-Inspired Tandoori Chicken uses chicken thighs and lots of fragrant seasonings.

I can almost smell it!

This recipe is fast and easy to assemble and freeze ahead.

coconut chicken freezer dump meal
Image courtesy of Pinch of Yum

17| Hawaiian Chicken Bowls

These Hawaiian Chicken Bowls take very little time to prep and freeze for a fast, satisfying summer meal.

It is also gluten-free, paleo, and can be made Whole30 and AIP!

Hawaiian chicken bowls-meal prep idea
Image courtesy of Unbound Wellness

18| Garlic Lovers Beef Rigatoni Casserole

Personally, I’m a huge fan of using lotsa garlic to flavor my Italian dishes (and much more).

So this freezer-friendly dinner caught my attention immediately.

Garlic Lovers Beef Rigatoni only uses a few ingredients (bonus)!

So it would be really fast to make and freeze ahead for a new mom, or a summer weeknight with the family.

Rigatoni pasta bake- freezer meal for  the beach idea
Image courtesy of Meal Plan Addict

19| Lemon and Basil Pork Chops

Nothing says “fresh” quite like lemons.

Lemon and Basil Pork Chops can be cooked on the grill (yum!) or in a grill pan for an easy summer freezer meal.

lemon basil pork chop freezer dinner
Image courtesy of The Delicious Spoon

20| Vegetarian Freezer Burritos

I am always looking for new ways to use our garden veggies in the summer.


Vegetarian Freezer Burritos help to accomplish that feat!

You could use a variety of different veggies as well.

My favorite whole-wheat tortillas by far are those I get from Azure Standard.

(Just search: whole wheat tortillas on their site.)

Image courtesy of Naturally Sassy

21| Vegetable Potato Chowder

I am going to call this another rainy-day summer meal.

Also a great way to use up those summertime veggies.

It’s so bright and colorful; who can resist?

Try Vegan Vegetable and Potato chowder with our rustic homemade bread!

Veggie potato chowder for the freezer
Image courtesy of Delish Knowledge

22| One-Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

Roasting meats and veggies in the oven is one of my absolute favorite ways to make a quick, healthy dinner.

One-Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies can be made ahead as a freezer meal.

Choose sturdy veggies like bell peppers, sweet potatoes and the like, for best results.

I would make marinade the chicken and veggies seperately as instructed, and freeze.

Then make extra basalmic glaze to drizzle over everything the day you plan to cook it (after thawing).

If using tomatoes, add those the day-of as well.

balsamic chicken and veggies- freezer friendly travel meal
Image courtesy of I Heart Naptime

Easy Freezer Meals make Summer more fun!

Let us know your favorite freezer meals for summer!

I hope these recipes inspire you to stress less and enjoy summer more, with only a little meal planning needed!

>> Also check out our Money-Saving Meal Plannerto get organized and start spending less on food this summer!

You might also like:

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The Best Crockpot Freezer Meals

Air Fryer Pizza Rolls: An Easy Snack for Kids to Make

25 Budget-friendly Instant Pot Dinners

Cheap Lunch Ideas for Kids

Post last updated: 5/11/23

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