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Start the New Year Right with this Prep Ahead Healthy Meal Plan

Happy 2018! Let’s start the new year right with my Prep Ahead Healthy Meal Plan for January! Are you ready to cook from scratch in 2018?? Featuring inspiration for 28 quick,  healthy, from scratch meals plus seven easy tasks to fill your freezer, this plan will help you cook from scratch in 2018!

Start the new year right w/ a prep ahead healthy menu plan. 28 recipe ideas and tasks to fill your freezer will help you cook from scratch! #fromscratchcooking #menuplan #prepahead #freezercooking

Start the New Year Right with this Prep Ahead Healthy Menu Plan

If you’re looking to eat start cooking from scratch in 2018 so you can eat healthier and save money, this is your year. Follow along in January as I work with you to do just that. Let’s take control of cooking and eating in 2018, shall we? Let’s all cook from scratch a lot more this year!

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Monthly Menu Ideas

One of my largest obstacles to cooking from scratch is not being prepared. This healthy meal plan is here to save the day! Simply pick one option from each category and fill your week with quick and easy, from scratch meal ideas! There are enough meal ideas here for four full weeks!

Meatless Mondays

Taco Tuesdays

Wing It Wednesdays

Porker or Beef Thursday 😀

Pizza Friday

Soupper Saturday

From the Sea Sunday

Freezer Friendly Leftover Eggnog Waffles

Ditch the Breakfast Cereal with these Homemade Breakfast Ideas

Want to really make from scratch easier? Start filling your freezer! Cook from scratch with these tasks!

Seven – 30 minute {or there about} tasks for filling the freezer

It will help you cook subsequent meals quicker if you do these seven tasks on the first full week of the month. That way you’ll have leftovers for other meals this month that will make meal prep faster. However, if you’re really busy or don’t have the ingredients ready to go, just shift the tasks to a day when you are able to get it done! Again, flexibility is key.

You can read how I fill my freezer in 30 minutes a day over at Premeditated Leftovers – I wrote a blog post there a while ago.

1. On Monday, cook up a huge pot of dried beans and freeze in 3-2 cup portions, with the liquid. Make sure you soak the beans Sunday night! I highly recommend owning a really big stainless steel stock pot. I have a 12 qt stock pot similar to this one that I use for canning and cooking beans. It comes in really handy! I generally cook 8 cups of dried beans, which yields about 3-4 bags for my freezer after we’ve eaten the beans for lunch and also for dinner. If you’re not familiar cooking dried beans, you’ll want to soak the beans over night and then cook about 1-2 hours the next day in fresh water. You can read here for more details, need be.

2. On Tuesday, {preferably the week you eat regular ole tacos, so you also get your dinner prep out of the way too} make a huge batch of taco meat using ground meat of choice and beans from Monday’s cook or the freezer, and freeze extra portions of meat.

3. On Wednesday, roast an extra chicken, in addition to cooking a rotisserie chicken for dinner, so that I have cooked chicken ready for the remainder of the Wednesday chicken meals.

4. On Thursday, make enough crock pot ham so that you have leftovers to freeze. Also, cook up a big batch of bacon in the oven. Freeze some in whole pieces to use on the egg sandwiches, and also freeze some crumbles to use on the bacon pizza! Don’t forget to save the bacon grease as it makes a great, free fat in which to cook your eggs and veggies!

5. On Friday,  Make and freeze 4 extra potions of pizza dough for each of the other pizza nights in January.

6. On Saturday, make a huge batch of homemade bread. I bake bread in 5 loaf quantities and then freeze extra or store in my fridge. This task actually takes about an hour and half, start to finish – but really only about 30 minutes active prep and clean-up. I’d also make up a double batch of Artisan Bread Dough on Saturday too, so you have a nice crusty bread to go with your soups!

7. On Sunday, make a huge batch of fruit and honey granola to enjoy for breakfasts and snacks.

At the end of the 7 days, you should have quite a few meal components added to your freezer to simplify meal prep at a later date!homemade opt in

Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

20 Healthy Make-Ahead Freezer Meals For Busy Days

Happy New Year! If this is the year you plan to incorporate more healthy food into your diets, this post is for you! My freezer is empty and I need more healthy make-ahead freezer meals. Here are 20 recipes I either have tried, or am excited to try!

Healthy make-ahead freezer meals

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

Having prepared meals in my freezer saves me more often than I can tell you. When I don’t have meals in the freezer, take-out pizza and other unhealthy options rule. Take a few extra minutes when preparing a meal and double the recipe. Put one in the freezer, and voila! Another meal for a busy day with minimal effort = drive through avoided!

Unfortunately, even thought I KNOW that freezer meals save me big, I’ve gotten off the bandwagon in the last year and have been pretty lazy in the kitchen. This January, I’m taking it back. Staring this week, I will double at least ONE recipe and put at least ONE meal a week into my freezer. Here are the recipes I’m considering this first week in January.

20 Healthy Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

Life is always busy. Having easy freezer meals at my disposal makes life so much better! If you're looking for delicious and healthier meals to add to your freezer stash, here's a collection of our favorite!

Stuffed Taco Shells
Photo Credit: www.shugarysweets.com

Stuffed Taco Shells

Looking for a creative twist on tacos that freezes well? Try these stuffed taco shells!

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Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf! So Good You'll Make Double Batch!

Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf! So Good You'll Make Double Batch!

One of our favorite freezer meals is spinach mozzarella meatloaf. It's a family favorite even though my kids swear they don't like spinach.

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Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken (Freezer Meal)
Photo Credit: damndelicious.net

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken (Freezer Meal)

How about chicken burrito bowls right from the slow cooker? This favorite recipe from Damn Delicious is always a hit!

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Freezer Meals - Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon and Potato Bake
Photo Credit: www.kyleecooks.com

Freezer Meals - Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon and Potato Bake

Chicken bacon broccoli and potatoes? Yes, please! Potatoes can turn brown when frozen, but if they are covered well by the other ingredients, they usually work out well.

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Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets {Freezer Friendly}
Photo Credit: happymoneysaver.com

Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets {Freezer Friendly}

These take a little extra effort, but the result is worth it! My kids love the pizza version.

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Quick & Healthy Bean Burritos
Photo Credit: wallflowerkitchen.com

Quick & Healthy Bean Burritos

Bean burritos are a staple at our house. Pulling them out of the freezer and heating them up makes them even quicker when we need a quick meal.

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Ground Beef Stroganoff for the Freezer

Ground Beef Stroganoff for the Freezer

Did you know you make make stroganoff ahead and freeze it? I love quadrupling this easy recipe and freezing the leftovers. My kids love it too!

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Vegan three bean chili
Photo Credit: cadryskitchen.com

Vegan three bean chili

Need an option for Meatless Monday? This vegan three bean chili delivers!

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Chicken Parmesan Casserole {Freezer Meal}
Photo Credit: thrivinghomeblog.com

Chicken Parmesan Casserole {Freezer Meal}

Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a kid friendly freezer meal idea your whole family will love!

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Our Favorite Taco Meat - large batch recipe perfect for the freezer

Our Favorite Taco Meat - large batch recipe perfect for the freezer

Taco Tuesday is a staple at our house and this taco meat is the magic! Made with grass-fed beef and beans, it's always a crowd pleaser.

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Easy Oven Sandwich Recipe - Perfect for Freezer Cooking

Easy Oven Sandwich Recipe - Perfect for Freezer Cooking

Have you ever thought about freezing sandwiches? If you heat them up in the oven, it's actually quite a delicious meal! And making this sandwich is as easy as spreading herbed butter and your favorite meat & cheese on a baguette!

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Italian Zucchini Pie

Italian Zucchini Pie

Here's another meal idea for Meatless Monday! This easy Italian Zucchini Pie is a great way to freeze extra zucchini you may have growing in your garden.

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Parmesan Garlic Chicken

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

Parmesan garlic chicken is one of my favorite ways to freeze chicken breasts or thighs when I find them on sale. It's so full of flavor and a simple dredge in a few ingredients is all it takes to make this main dish.

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Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe with Cottage Cheese & Secret Veggies

Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe with Cottage Cheese & Secret Veggies

Lasagna is another one of my favorite meals to freeze. Make it easy by using leftover spaghetti sauce from the night before!

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How to Make Turkey Pot Pie from Scratch

How to Make Turkey Pot Pie from Scratch

Turkey pot pie is a fabulous way to use up leftover holiday turkey! This recipe is healthy and delicious!

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Chicken Oreganato: a Farm-to-Table, Freezer Friendly Recipe

Chicken Oreganato: a Farm-to-Table, Freezer Friendly Recipe

Using bone in chicken pieces and garden fresh veggies, this delicious chicken dish is bursting with flavor straight from your freezer!

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Recipe: Three-Cheese Penne
Photo Credit: popculture.com

Recipe: Three-Cheese Penne

One more option for Meatless Monday that won't disappoint in this ultra gooey 3 Cheese Penne! You won't miss the meat in this!

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Yummy Green Smoothies Your Kids Will Love {Freezer Friendly!}

Yummy Green Smoothies Your Kids Will Love {Freezer Friendly!}

Did you know you can freeze smoothies? Here's how to easily make and freeze kid friendly green smoothies!

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Muffin Mixes for the Freezer + 15 Different Mix Ins
Photo Credit: simplifylivelove.com

Muffin Mixes for the Freezer + 15 Different Mix Ins

Easy, Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
Photo Credit: littlefamilyadventure.com

Easy, Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

Having breakfast ready in the freezer is such a boon on busy mornings (or for hubbies who are too lazy to make their own...) Did I say that? 😉

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What are you waiting for? Check out these recipes and start cooking for your freezer! If you want more freezer friendly recipes, I’ve got a whole category of tried and true freezer friendly recipes!
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Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

If you liked these easy freezer meals recipes, you will like these posts too:

25 Genius Meal Prep Ideas

Homemade baking mix recipes to help you cook from scratch

15 Ways to save money on organic food

Prep ahead weekly meal plan perfect for fall

5 Practical tips to help you start cooking from scratch

printable labels for freezer meals

How about printable labels for your lovely freezer meals? Download them free here. Print them on 4″ x 5″ labels like these and them sick them on your containers! Easy-peasy. Get your healthy eating back on track with this collection of 5 make ahead healthy freezer meals! Make one for dinner and another to freeze. A quick and easy way to fill your freezer.

Healthy make-ahead freezer meals
Healthy make-ahead freezer meals

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

Parmesan Garlic Chicken Easy Recipe to Double for the Freezer from SimplifyLiveLove.com

I first got the inspiration for Parmesan Garlic Chicken in one of my favorite cookbooks Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead. I really like this cookbook not only because there are very tasty, freezer friendly recipes included in it, but it also calculates the amounts necessary if you were to make the recipe time x3, x6, or x9 for freezer meals. My basic math skills aren’t too shabby, but having the figures pre-calculated for tripling a recipe is really handy. That’s my plug for the cookbook Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer if you’re into freezer cooking!

Regardless of if you like freezer meals, you need to serve up this parmesan garlic chicken for dinner tonight! It’s a huge hit with both kids and adults. It’s so easy to make – yet looks fancier than it is. And it’s sure to be a hit at any family meal or dinner party. If you’re looking for an easy recipe that freezes well and tastes just as good after it’s frozen, I highly recommend this easy and delicious parmesan garlic chicken.

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June Menu Plan & 7, 30 Minute Tasks for Filling the Freezer

It’s June and time for another meal plan! Here’s another month’s worth of recipe ideas plus seven more 30-minute tasks for filling the freezer! I hope you are enjoying these posts. I know they are really helping me stay on track.

June Menu Plan & 7, 30 Minute Tasks for Filling the Freezer

Monthly Menu Plan & 7, 30 Minute Tasks for Filling the Freezer

Recap from May –

In May I didn’t share a menu plan at all because I just never wrote one! I did well with my April Plan, so we had a lot of food to eat from the freezer in May. I also traveled to Springfield, Missouri and didn’t cook for the week we were gone.  When we were home, I didn’t enjoy not having a plan. Even thought I don’t follow my menu plans exactly every month, they do help keep me on task. I’m glad to make another plan this month as we’re so busy on the ball fields with four kids playing ball, that I need something to work from or we don’t end up eating well at all.

Monthly Menu Ideas

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