Planning your meals ahead this week? We’ve all been there – that mid-week rush to think of something to rustle up for the kids when they don’t fancy anything. So why not try batch cooking some of your favourite recipes and freezing them for a quick dinner later down the line? To offer a helping hand, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite batch cooking recipes for freezing – ideal for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.
When it comes to batch cooking for families, everyone’s after the same three things – flavour, simplicity and convenience. So from main course to dessert, we’ve got you covered. Simply portion the leftovers into Tupperware or resealable bags and keep them in the fridge or freezer for a later date. Whether you’re looking for healthy batch cooking recipes or a quick mid-week treat, check out our easy batch cooking ideas below.
Bulk Batch Cooking Recipes
Whenever you’re freezing food, always label your bags or containers with the contents and the freezing date, and go through the freezer on a regular basis to check that any of the dishes aren’t past their best.
A mix of staple batch cooking recipes that can be stored away for a rainy day – including family favourites and some healthy batch cooking recipes that were made for the freezer.
- Beef stew. You can also swap out the beef for chicken, sausages, seafood or even just extra veggies. Defrost on the stove or in the microwave.
- Chilli con carne. Also defrosted in the pan or in the microwave.
- Lasagne, or vegetable lasagne. Use the microwave defrost setting and then pop it in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 160°.
- Pizza. Batch cooking pizza dough and freezing it for later is a great way to earn yourself a quick dinner – and it’s a great activity for the kids, too! Simply portion it out and take it out around 10-12 hours before you’re looking to cook and leave it to defrost in the fridge.
- Fish cakes. Store them uncooked on layers of greaseproof paper and then bring them out just before dinner to pop into the oven.
Pasta – one of the best batch cooking recipes for the whole family. Simply choose your sauce and you’re good to go. To freeze, pack your cooked pasta dish into portioned resealable bags or Tupperware and pop it in for a later date. Just make sure you reheat these in the oven in an oven-safe dish. You can even freeze the cooked pasta alone as it will last up to three months. Then, when the time comes, just pull it out to defrost and pour over some of your favourite pasta sauce. Want to whip up your own? Here are some quick and easy pasta batch cooking recipes you can try:
- Chicken and chorizo pasta bake
- Tuna pasta bake
- Courgette and tomato fusilli
- Penne pasta and avocado cream
- Mac and cheese. Although the crisp crumb topping may go a tad soggy – simply top it up with some extra breadcrumbs when putting it back in the oven.
Another classic batch cooking recipe. Whip up a one-pot curry and separate your portions into bags or containers. When it’s time to eat, you can defrost your curry by popping it on the stove on a medium heat and a little water or liquid (to avoid it burning). You can also defrost it by putting the container in a bath of hot water and leaving it for a while. This method generally takes longer but reduces the risk of your dinner burning – although avoid putting a resealable bag in hot water, as many cannot take the heat and are likely to break when you pull them out. Some of our batch cooking recipes for curry are:
Serve with rice, naan bread and crispy poppadoms for a homemade takeaway. Check out our ultimate Indian curries list for more inspiration.
Homemade soups make for the perfect lunch or light evening meal – and being able to freeze them makes it that little bit better. If you’re after a quick lunch, freezing in one or two portions is recommended. You can freeze leftover soup in empty yoghurt pots or in sturdy freezer bags laid flat inside a plastic container – then once the soup has completely frozen, take the bag out of the tub and it’ll be frozen in an easily storable shape. Although remember not to overfill your container, as your soup will expand in the freezer. To defrost, immerse the container in warm water to loosen it from the sides, then transfer into a pan to thaw over a medium heat, stirring regularly to avoid burning. Here are some of our easy batch cooking recipes for soup:
Looking for more? Check out these 5 simple soups to see you through spring.
The Best Batch Cooking Recipes for Dessert
Got a hankering for something sweet? The best part about dessert batch cooking is that the portions are already there! Instead of freezing the whole cake or tray bake, cut the pieces as you normally would and store them in the freezer wrapped in tin foil, clingfilm or in a resealable bag that you can re-use next time.
- Chocolate brownies. Or try out our vegan brownie
- Gluten free coconut rocky road
- Lemon drizzle cake
- Eggless and flourless cookies
To thaw brownies and other traybakes, let them stand at room temperature for 3-4 hours and reheat them in the microwave. And when it comes to cake, simply transfer to the fridge one day before serving – it’ll take at least 8 hours to fully thaw in the fridge. Don’t try to defrost cake in the microwave though, as you may end up with a mess.
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