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cheap and easy freezer meals

Cheap and Easy Freezer Meals

If you are looking for cheap and easy freezer meals, then you will love these quick and simple freezer meals for families!

In this article I am going to share 15 quick, budget friendly, easy, and tasty freezer meals for when you are trying to make ends meet. These cheap freezer meals are some of the best freezer meals I have come across, and they will help you stretch your money and feed your family well on busy nights!

 

Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily find these ideas for the cheap and easy freezer meals later!

 

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15 Cheap and Easy Freezer Meals

Below are 15 ideas for easy and cheap freezer meals you can make for your family. You will love these quick, budget friendly freezer meals!

Though I am including meals that are traditionally considered dinner meals, you can of course eat them for lunch or even breakfast, if you prefer! 🙂

 

1. Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas is one of my favorite dishes, and they are a perfect easy freezer meal! This recipe makes a creamy and delicious chicken enchiladas dish.

Ingredients

2 cans of chicken (or 1 pound of cooked chicken breasts)
1 small can of mild green chilies
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 chopped onion
10 flour tortillas

Directions

  1. Mix soup, milk, chilies, and onion in a bowl.
    2. Put some chicken and sauce in the center of the tortilla.
    3. Sprinkle with some of the cheese.
    4. Roll up and place the seam side down in a sprayed 9 x 13 pan.
    5. Continue process until the pan is full.
    6. Pour the remaining sauce over all enchiladas and top with cheese.
    7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

 

2. Orange Teriyaki Chicken

This is another great cheap and easy freezer meal with chicken. 

 Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dried onion
2 cloves minced garlic or crushed garlic (1/2 t = 1 clove)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
6 ounces orange juice concentrate
4 to 6 chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a freezer bag and mix.
    2. Add chicken breasts.
    3. Freeze.
    4. Thaw at room temperature.
    5. Grill or bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

 

3. Quick and Easy Chili

This is one of my favorite quick and easy freezer meals! (And we eat it fairly regularly without freezing it, as well!)

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 to 2 regular size cans of chili with beans
1 can of chili beans or kidney beans (optional)
2 or 3 cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin (optional)

Directions

1. Brown the hamburger with the onion.
2. Drain the grease.
3. Add all ingredients to the saucepan, and heat.
4. Freeze in freeze-safe container or zip-top bag.
5. On cooking day, thaw, heat, and serve!

 

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13 Top Tips to Save Money Eating Out
How to Use a Grocery Item Price Comparison Cheat Sheet to Save a Ton of Money!
Eat Free for Your Birthday!
12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment

 

4. Little Cheddar Meat Loaves

If you like meatloaf (and maybe even if you do not :)), you will like this fun mini cheddar meat loaves! The small loaves make them fun for kids, too! Makes 8 mini loaves.

Ingredients

Meat Loaves

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion or 2 tablespoon dried onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 pound lean ground beef

Sauce (or use your favorite barbecue sauce)

1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard

 Directions

1. In a bowl, beat the egg and milk.
2. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt.
3. Add ground beef, and mix well.
4. Shape into 8 small loaves; place in a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan (or put in mini loaf pans) that can be frozen.
5. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and brush the loaves with the sauce, or brush with your favorite barbecue sauce.
6. Thaw for at least a few hours.
7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

 

5. Chicken Noodle Casserole

This chicken noodle casserole is another awesome comfort food, and why not turn it into a freezer meal so save prep work on a busy day? (With just four ingredients, this is an awesome pantry meal, as well!)

Ingredients

1 package of egg noodles
1 pound chicken breast, chopped
1 can corn
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Directions

1. Cook the egg noodles according to the directions, and then drain.
2. While the noodles are cooking, lightly brown the chicken in a skillet, until fully cooked and juices run clear.
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and then spoon into a freezer-safe container.
4. Wait until the dish cools down, and then freeze.
5. On cooking day, thaw completely in the fridge (allow at least several hours for thawing).
6. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until warmed through.

 

 

6. Easy Lasagna

With quadruple cheesy goodness, lasagna is another perfect comfort food, and it makes a great freezer meal, as well!

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
1 15 oz jar or can marinara sauce or two small cans tomato sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups cottage or ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
8 to 10 oz. lasagna pasta, cooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
2 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Combine ground beef, onion, salt and garlic powder. Cook on medium until browned.
3. Drain hamburger and put back into skillet.
3. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In a separate bowl combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Mix well.
5. Add a small amount of spaghetti sauce mix to the bottom of your 9x13 pan.
6. 
Layer a single row of noodles, 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the cheese, and 1/3 of the cottage cheese. Repeat layers two more times.
7. Cover with one final layer of shredded cheese.
8. Freeze.
9. After thawing (can take several hours), cover and bake in 350 degrees oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until bubbly all over. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

 

7. Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is another of my favorite chicken dishes, and it also works well as a budget friendly freezer meal, too!

Ingredients

Chicken Mixture

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 egg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Orange Sauce

1/4 cup orange juice
1/4  cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions

1. Chop chicken.
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine cornstarch and egg. Stir and add chicken to bowl. Turn to coat chicken, and stir until all are well combined.
3. Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot, add coated chicken. Cook, stirring often until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.
4. In another small bowl make the orange sauce by whisking together orange juice, water, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic, and cornstarch.
5. Place sauce into labeled gallon sized bag. Seal, removing air. Place cooked and cooled chicken into another labeled gallon size freezer bag. Add the sauce bag to this bag to prevent them getting separated. Freeze.
6.  On cooking day, place frozen orange sauce mix into a bowl of hot water to thaw quickly. Place frozen chicken in a separate bowl of hot water to thaw.

7. Pour sauce into large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, and then reduce heat to low and simmer 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens up.
8. While sauce is heating, put the chicken in a nonstick skillet coated with nonstick spray, and cook for a few minutes until it is warmed through.
9. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with chopped green onions if using.

8. Chili Cornbread Bake

You love cornbread with your chili, right? So why not combine them? This cheap and easy freezer meal is a fun twist on a family favorite.

Ingredients

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 diced green bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 pound ground beef
1 15 oz can chili or kidney beans
15 oz tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 small box cornbread mix, plus ingredients to make cornbread
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute onion in vegetable oil for 4 or 5 minutes.
  2. Add bell pepper and garlic, and cook another 2 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and paprika. Stir well to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat.
  5. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  6. While the chili is cooking, prepare cornbread mix according to directions on package, but do not bake it.
  7. Remove chili from heat, and pour into a freezer safe baking pan.
  8. Top with cornbread mixture, and sprinkle cheese on top.
  9. Cover tightly with foil, label with name and date, and freeze.
  10. On cooking day, thaw for several hours in the fridge, and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until cornbread is set.

 

 

9.  Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken and Rice

This is another delicious cheesy, pleasy chicken dish! Your family will love this cheap and easy freezer meal.

Ingredients

2 cups of cooked rice
1 pound chopped chicken breast, cooked
1 small can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1/2 bag of frozen chopped broccoli, or 2 to 3 cups of fresh chopped broccoli, cooked
1/2 tablespoon dried onion
2 cups of cheese
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Combine the cooked rice, cooked chicken, cooked broccoli, cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup, dried onion, cheese, and milk in a large bowl.
2. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon into a freezer safe casserole dish or into a large freezer bag.
4. Freeze.
5. Thaw, and then bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.

 

10. Sour Cream Chicken

This recipe I got from a coworker years ago, and it has become one of our family favorites (even among my extended family). Creamy and delicious!

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
2 cups uncooked rice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 small can cream of chicken (or substitute mushroom) soup
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 to 2 cups broccoli (optional)

Directions

1. In a large bowl, stir all of the ingredients.
2. Pour into a freezer safe casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil, or pour into a freezer bag.
3. On cooking day, thaw, and then top with crushed cornflakes.
4. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or at 275 degrees for 2 hours.

11. Simple Beef Burritos

Beef burritos are another one of our favorite meals, and these cheap and easy freezer meal burritos are a great way to make them ahead so that you can enjoy them on busy weeknights!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
8 10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 teaspoons oil
sour cream and salsa

Directions

1. Brown ground beef with onion, and then drain.
2. Stir in taco seasoning. Then remove ground beef mixture from skillet, and set it aside. Wipe the skillet clean.
3. Heat the refried beans over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, until heated through.
4. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the beans off center on each tortilla, with about 1/4 cup of the beef mixture.
5. Sprinkle with cheese.
6. Fold sides and ends of tortillas over the filling, and roll up.
7. In the same skillet, brown the burritos over medium heat in oil, browning on all sides.
8. Freeze burritos in freezer-safe container.
9. When ready to eat, microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, turning halfway through.

 

12. Baked Spaghetti

Spaghetti is a big winner at our house, and this baked spaghetti as a cheap and easy freezer meal is a fun twist on this traditional family meal.

Ingredients

8 oz uncooked spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1 jar (14 oz) meatless spaghetti sauce (or 2 small cans tomato sauce)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella or shredded cheese

Directions

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat egg, milk and salt.
3. Drain the spaghetti, add it to the egg mixture, and toss to coat.
4. Put in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
5. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, and green pepper over medium heat until meat is browned. Drain.
6. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Spoon over the spaghetti mixture. Let cool.
7. Cover and freeze unbaked casserole.
8. On cooking day, partially thaw in the refrigerator for several hours. Then remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
10. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or longer as needed to heat through.
11. Sprinkle with the cheese.
12. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

13. Pepperoni Pan Pizza

By making this pepperoni pan pizza as a freezer meal, you can enjoy yummy homemade pizzas, even on busy weeknights!

Ingredients

Crust

3 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast, or 1 packet (1/4 ounce) yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil

Sauce

1 to 2 cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon season salt

Toppings

1 package (3 1/2 oz) sliced pepperoni
5 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and oil, and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, oil, and seasonings.
3. Divide the dough in half, and then press into two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans coated with cooking spray.
4. Spread sauce over crusts, and then top with pepperoni and cheeses.
5. Securely wrap, and then freeze.
6. On baking day, unwrap pizzas and bake for about 25 minutes or longer, as needed. 

 

14. Easy Baked Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is so popular with kids, and this easy baked mac and cheese is a great way to turn it into a cheap and easy freezer meal.

Ingredients

16 oz macaroni or macaroni of your choice
4 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 to 3 cups shredded cheese

Directions

  1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, stopping boiling 2 minutes before recommended time. Drain and return pasta back to pot; set aside.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds. Add flour, whisk quickly over medium high heat for 1 minute. Slowly pour in milk, whisking while pouring. Turn heat to medium high, and whisk slowly for 4-5 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Add mustard and whisk; remove from heat. Add half of the cheeses (2 ounces fontina, 2 ounces asiago, 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar, 2 ounces parmesan) to the milk mixture and whisk until completely melted.
  3. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta in the large pot, mix well to coat. Pour the pasta with sauce into a large 9x13 baking dish. Cover the pasta with additional cheeses that are left.
  4. Allow to cool completely – at least 2 hours. Cover pasta tightly with a lid or 2 layers of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 4 months.
  5. To cook: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove from freezer, place into oven and cook for 1 hour, covered with foil. Remove foil and cook an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and browning a bit on the top.

 

15. Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is another awesome dish you can make into a cheap and easy freezer meal!

Ingredients

2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
12 oz frozen peas and carrots mix (or 1 cup cooked chopped carrots and 1 cup thawed peas)
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2  (1 top and 1 bottom) unbaked pie crusts, homemade or from the store

Directions

1. Put the chicken. vegetables, broth, and milk in a large bowl, and stir until well combined.
2.  If store bought, remove the store-bought pie crusts from the packages and allow them to come to room temperature.
3. Place the pie crusts in a pie pan, and then spoon the filling equally between the two pans.
4. Top with the second pie crusts, and seal the edges by pressing together with a fork or your fingers. Poke a few holes into the crust with a fork.
5. Wrap unbaked pot pies tightly in aluminum foil, and then place in freezer. Freezes well for up to 6 months.
6. To bake from frozen, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pot pie or pies on a baking sheet, place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the pie, and then continue baking for about 35 minutes or until top of pie is golden and inside is bubbling. You may want to cover the edges with foil to protect them from over browning. Cool for 10 minutes, and then cut into slices and serve.
To thaw first and then bake, place the frozen pot pies into the fridge for 24 hours. When thawed, bake at 400 degrees covered for 20 minutes. Remove the foil from the pie, and then continue baking for 35 more minutes or until the top of the pie is golden and inside is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes, and then cut into slices and serve.

 

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Conclusion

These 15 ideas for cheap and easy freezer meals will let you get delicious and inexpensive meals on the table even on busy nights! Take the stress out of your evening and stop the dashes through the drive-through with these budget-friendly freezer meals!

 

What are your favorite cheap and easy freezer meals? Do you have easy and inexpensive go-to freezer meals that you love? Share them in the comments below!

Give these recipes a try and let me know how it goes! And then leave a comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts! 

 

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