When it comes to preparing for your baby’s arrival, one of the best things you can do is stock your freezer with make-ahead meals.
When you have your baby, the last thing you will want to do is spend hours cooking.
Spending a little bit of time while you’re pregnant preparing meals you can freeze will be something you’ll be be so glad you did.
Here are some delicious ideas for make-ahead freezer meals you can put together while you’re still pregnant.
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- Lentil stew. This is the perfect healthy meal for a mama recovering from giving birth. It has an amazing amount of veg, making it a perfect nutritious meal for breastfeeding mamas.
- Shepherd’s or cottage pie. This is such a comforting meal. Make it with lamb mince for a shepherd’s pie or beef mince for cottage pie. Simply fry your mince, add some onions and finely diced carrots then add some chopped tomatoes and simmer. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and top with mashed potato before freezing. Defrost thoroughly before cooking in the oven at 180C for around 40 minutes.
- Chicken fajitas. You can freeze chicken fajitas and defrost then warm them up in a pan. Then simply warm some fajita wraps in the microwave to serve them.
- Vegetable pasta sauce. Chop up some courgettes, peppers, leeks, and carrots then cook with a tin of chopped tomatoes in a pan for an hour. Blitz it in a food processor to blend it together and then freeze.
- Meatballs in sauce and pasta. This meal freezes really well and tastes amazing. Get some meatballs of your choice – beef, turkey or pork work great for this. Fry them in a little oil until browned all over then pour in about 500ml of pasatta and some dried mixed herbs such as thyme and basil. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through while also boiling your pasta in a separate pan according to pack instructions. Drain the pasta and mix into the sauce. Cool it down and freeze. Defrost thoroughly before warming it up. You can warm in the microwave when ready to eat or in a pan on the hob.
- Chilli. Red meat is a wonderful source of iron and the kidney beans also contain great nutrients for breastfeeding mamas. I prefer to use whole cuts of beef rather than mince.
- Bolognaise. A delicious bolognaise sauce will satisfy your hunger! This recipe is fantastic and so easy to put together. Don’t forget to add parmesan cheese when serving.
- Lamb ragu. Add lots of extra vegetables to the sauce to add lots of flavour and boost your veggie intake. Cook this meal low and slow when preparing it so that the meal is tender.
- Sausage casserole. Serve this meal with some crusty bread. It’s so comforting! Cook your sausages in a pan, turning occasionally. Remove the sausages from the pan and fry some diced onions in the oil you just fried the sausages in. Pour in a splash of red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Now add a tin of chopped tomatoes, some diced carrots and sliced leeks. Chop up your sausages and add them back into the pan. Cook for around 30 minutes on a low heat to thicken the sauce. Cool and freeze!
- Chicken curry. There are so many amazing curry recipes out there! Make a big batch of this one and separate it out into portions. When you’re ready to serve, defrost thoroughly and cook some rice to serve it with.
- Lamb and chickpea curry. I love this spicy curry recipe! To make it suitable for freezing don’t add the packet of rice for the final two minutes of cooking and instead cook rice separately after you have defrosted the curry.
- Beef stew. A comforting dish that you can add loads of vegetables to!
- Lasagne. A lasagne freezes really well. You can make a large one and cut it into portions to freeze so that you have a few meals stored up. Defrost thoroughly before heating up
- Chicken pie. This is an amazing recipe with delicious puff pastry.
- Turkey goujons. A simple meal to prep and it freezes well. Get some turkey breast fillets, cut them into strips. Put out three shallow bowls and in one put plain flour, the next beaten egg and the last one breadcrumbs. Dip the breast fillets in the flour until thoroughly covered, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Once you’ve done all the turkey, pop in a freezer bag or box and freeze. Defrost thoroughly before cooking in the oven in some oil for around 30 minutes. Serve with a salad or baked potato.
- Crispy chicken. Get some whole chicken breasts and bash them with a rolling pin until flat. Then cover with breadcrumbs in the same method as with the goujons. Cook for around 30 minutes at 180C, then freeze once cooled. Warm in the oven after defrosting thoroughly. Serve with your favourite veggies.
- Chicken tortilla soup. This soup is delicious! It’s nice and quick to cook too. Freeze before adding the tortillas and lime juice.
- Lamb stew. A tasty stew that requires minimal effort to prepare and cook.
- Pea pesto pappardelle. A yummy pasta dish! I love pesto and pasta, but this recipe takes it to another level.
- Orange chicken. I love this freezer meal and it’s perfect for the whole family!
- Chicken enchiladas. You’ll be so glad you made this amazing chicken enchiladas ahead of time! The cheese and flavours are so satisfying when you need a hearty meal.
- Fish pie with sweet potato topping. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B! The flavour of sweet potato with the fish is amazing. Cook mixed fish such as haddock, cod and salmon in some creme fraiche. Add a little pepper and spring onions. Put into an oven-proof pie dish and top with sweet potato mash. Roast for 25 minutes. Freeze once it’s called down.
- Lamb tagine. Add some ras el hanout spice mix to diced lamb. Fry in some oil and then add a tin of chopped tomatoes, some dried apricots and cook for around 30 minutes. Now just freeze! When you defrost it to serve, warm it up in the microwave or in a pan on the hob, then serve with some rice or cous cous.