15 Holiday Freezer Meals to Save You Time & Money

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Holiday freezer meals can help you enjoy the season more and save some money and time while you’re at it. Be prepared from breakfast to dinner to dessert.

pulled pork taco plate

The days of November and December can be full of all kinds of feasts and frolicking. It’s a wonderful time to spend with friends and family. There can also be a lot of freaking out.

Avoid the freaking out and enjoy the feasts, frolicking, friends, and family with — ready for it? — HOLIDAY FREEZER MEALS!

Making some meals in advance and freezing them for a later date can help you enjoy the season more and save some money and time while you’re at it. I’ve gathered up a round up of 15 time-tested recipes that will do well in the freezer as well as on your holiday table.

Holiday Freezer Meals to Save You Time & Money

I like to think outside the box for Christmas and New Years. We tend to serve things that we like and that are easy and cheap to prepare. This allows us space in the budget and on the calendar to enjoy good things without going over budget or overdoing things.

Those guidelines have steered my list of holiday freezer meals.

Whether you want an easy tamale supper for Christmas Eve or a  make-ahead brunch for New Year’s Day, these recipes will serve you well and let you have an easier holiday season.

single crust chicken pot pie with a spoon

What dinners are good to freeze?

First of all, choose recipes that you know your family enjoys. Experiments are not freezer-worthy.

If you’d like to try a new recipe, make a single batch and enjoy it for dinner, reserving one portion to chill, wrap, and freeze. If you all like that first dinner and the frozen portion reheats and tastes just as good, then you’ve got a great candidate for freezing.

Some great freezer-friendly dinners include:

  • soups, stews, and chilis
  • casseroles and pot pies
  • lasagna or baked pasta
  • enchiladas, tamales, and burritos
  • taco or burrito filling
  • marinated meats
  • cooked meats

cover of freezer cookbook

You can find loads more options in my cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.

How do you freeze meals ahead of time?

An important thing about freezing meals ahead of time is to wrap them well for freezing. Check out these freezer meal containers

Another thing to remember is to make sure you’re not putting hot or even warm food in the freezer. Chill the food completely in the refrigerator before storing it in the freezer. This helps reduce ice crystals and the risk of freezer burn.

How do you freeze casseroles?

Casseroles taste best when frozen prior to baking. Assemble the casserole as you normally would, chill it, wrap, and label well.

Thaw completely in the refrigerator before baking in the oven.

stack of frozen casseroles

15 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays

For Breakfast

Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole

I particularly love the idea of a French Toast Casserole. However, many recipes I tried in the past left me with a very gooey, custardy concoction. Not my favorite. I like a bit of crunch. In my Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole, I like to butter the bread to get a nice, toasty, crunchy top. There’s still the custard layer on the bottom. It’s like the best of both worlds.

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Spicy Turkey Egg Bake

By adding seasoned ground turkey to an egg casserole, you get a breakfast that will stick to the ribs and give your family staying power. The taco seasoning, chiles, and pepper jack cheese give this Spicy Turkey Egg Bake some flair.

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Buttermilk Corn Waffles

There are never any leftovers when these Buttermilk Corn Waffles are served for breakfast. They’re extra special when you add a little of the honey butter.

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Bacon and Broccoli Egg Bake

This Bacon and Broccoli Egg Bake composed of broccoli, bacon, leeks, cheese, and eggs is very make-ahead, allowing me to be hands-free in the morning. Make two if you’re serving a crowd. It’s an ideal breakfast or brunch dish to serve over the holidays.

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Homemade Spicy Turkey Sausage with Garlic and Basil

One of the things that my kids really enjoy is breakfast sausage. What I don’t enjoy is all the weird preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients in commercial sausage. We love this recipe for Homemade Spicy Turkey Sausage with Garlic and Basil because it is so easy to make, budget-friendly, and delicious.

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For Dinner

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

These Creamy Chicken Enchiladas are full of flavor and texture, with a little punch from the chipotle, pepper Jack cheese, and salsa verde, a tangy creaminess from the cream cheese, corn tortillas to give the dish body, and chicken to give it some heart. I’m partial to Mexican food on Christmas Eve, so this is one of my go-to’s.

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Easy Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

These Easy Slow Cooker Pork Tacos allow you to escape the kitchen and come home to a delicious meal all ready to go. Lay out the ultimate taco bar with tortillas, sour cream, salsa, and fresh guacamole.

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Velvety Vegetable Soup

Homemade blended soups can be a delicious and economical way to get enough vegetables in your diet. They are also a great way to use up leftover vegetables. This Velvety Vegetable Soup is both light and warming and looks elegant on the holiday table.

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Guinness Beef Stew

Homemade beef stew is homey and comforting. This Guinness Beef Stew is also so easy to make; prepare it for a cozy night in with lots of soda bread and Dubliner cheese on the side.

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Alfredo Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is a classic comfort food, particularly for these cold winter months. Try this version that has a garlicky, Alfredo twist and prepare it in individual ramekins. Serve an appetizer course followed by mac and cheese, a green salad, and a nice glass of wine.

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Cheesy Corn & Chile Tamales

Our family likes to make tamales as our Christmas Eve tradition. Because the goodies (corn, pepper jack cheese, and chopped green chiles) are mixed into the masa, rather than stuffed, these Cheesy Corn & Chile Tamales have a slightly different texture than traditional tamales, but they’re also easier and quicker to make.

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For Dessert

Frozen desserts aren’t just for summer! Fill your freezer with these babies for easy and elegant desserts to serve on the spur of a moment.

Coconut Crunch Pie

This Coconut Crunch Pie is really quick and easy to make — it only takes about 15 minutes to mix it up plus some freezing time.

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Baby Cakes

It’s always nice to have a stash of cookies ready to pull out for spontaneous entertaining or a quick dessert. These Baby Cakes are really versatile. Add whatever chopped candies you have on hand to make a sweet treat at your house.

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Chocolate Mint Bars

For these Chocolate Mint Bars, I took a recipe from my childhood and did some tweaking. They’re a decadent dessert with chocolate cake layer topped with mint buttercream and chocolate. You can eat these frozen, cold, or at room temperature. We like them all ways!

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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

I love cheesecake, and I love pumpkin pie. This Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake is a combo of the two. It’s great for dessert, even better for breakfast the next day. Or lunch. Ask me how I know.

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Ease your holiday stress!

Speaking of beautiful meals…. Want to make the holiday season a little brighter this year?

Ease your seasonal stress by planning in advance how you will handle your holiday kitchen.

Take the Celebrate Simply workshop and get ready to jingle all the way.

Learn more here.

Holiday Freezer Meals

This post was originally published in December 2015. It has been edited for content and relevancy.

15 Freezer-Friendly Meals for the Holidays | GoodCheapEats.com | Making some meals in advance and freezing them for a later date can help you enjoy the season more and save some money and time while you're at it. Here's a round up of 15 time-tested recipes that will do well in the freezer as well as on your holiday table.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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