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15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

We all want to enjoy a nice dinner after a hard day of work. But there are sometimes not enough hours in the day to prepare a healthy, well-balanced, and not to mention filling dinner every night. One of the ways around this is to meal prep freezer meals.

Freezer meals are great because you can plan out dinners for as many weeks as you want. You add all the ingredients and seasoning into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and then toss them in the freezer. Then on the day, you want to eat that meal, just take it out to thaw, toss it in the slow cooker or skillet, and ta-da! It’s time to eat.

Another great thing about these freezer meals is that they aren’t restricted in what way they need to be cooked once thawed. I’ve included all the ways to cook the freezer meals once thawed, including how to thaw them when it comes time to cooking. I also included the recipe if you wanted to make it on the same day. 

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1. Beef Teriyaki

INGREDIENTS
1 lb thinly sliced steak (I buy mine pre-sliced to save time)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup soy or tamari sauce
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic (about 1 clove)
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
On cooking day: 3-4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

  1. Add sliced steak + cornstarch into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Shake the bag until all sides of the steak pieces are coated. Seal the bag, removing air.
  2. In a small bowl (or place directly into a quart-sized freezer bag) combine tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.

MAKE IT NOW
Add 3-4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil to a wok or large skillet and heat on high. Add steak into wok and stir-fry, separating pieces and stirring constantly until the majority of the pieces have some golden or crispy edges on them, about 3-4 minutes. Add broccoli, and cook 1-2 minutes until crisp-tender. Add sauce, and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute until the sauce slightly thickens. Serve.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
Label a new gallon-sized freezer bag. Add to the labeled bag the sealed steak with cornstarch bag, and sealed sauce bag, and add broccoli florets on top. Seal bags together and freeze.

QUICK THAW:
Thaw steak and sauce packets quickly by running them under warm water until you can break the packets up. Or place the whole kit in the fridge first thing in the morning so the meat will be thawed by dinner time.

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COOK IN WOK OR LARGE SKILLET:  Add 3-4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil over high heat. Pour steak into wok, stir-fry, separating pieces and stirring constantly until the majority of the pieces have some golden or crispy edges on them, about 3-4 minutes. Add broccoli, and cook for 1-2 minutes until crisp-tender. Add sauce, and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute until the sauce slightly thickens. Serve.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

2. Sesame Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
1 tsp minced garlic (about 1 clove)
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes

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On cooking day: 1 head iceberg or butter lettuce. Other optional toppings: shredded carrots, finely sliced cucumber, sliced green onion, crispy rice noodles

  1. Add sliced chicken + cornstarch into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Shake the bag until all sides of the chicken pieces are coated. Seal the bag, removing air.
    2. In a small bowl (or place directly into a quart-sized freezer bag) combine honey, tamari or soy sauce, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes.

MAKE IT NOW
Add 3-4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil to a wok or large skillet and heat on high. Add chicken into wok and stir-fry, separating pieces and stirring constantly until the majority of the pieces have some golden or crispy edges on them, about 4 minutes. Add sauce, and cook, stirring constantly for about 1-2 minutes until the sauce is boiling and slightly thickens. Serve in lettuce cups and top with additional toppings if desired.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
Label a new gallon-sized freezer bag. Add to the labeled bag the sealed chicken with cornstarch bag and sealed sauce bag. Seal bags together and freeze.

QUICK THAW:
Thaw chicken and sauce packets quickly by running them under warm water until you can break the packets up. Or place the whole kit in the fridge first thing in the morning so the meat will be thawed by dinner time.

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COOK IN WOK OR LARGE SKILLET:  Add 3-4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil over high heat. Add chicken into wok and stir-fry, separating pieces and stirring constantly until the majority of the pieces have some golden or crispy edges on them, about 4 minutes. Add sauce, and cook, stirring constantly for about 1-2 minutes until the sauce is boiling and slightly thickens. Serve in lettuce cups and top with additional toppings if desired.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

3. Pesto Tortellini Bake

INGREDIENTS
1 lb cheese tortellini, frozen or fresh
2 jars alfredo sauce
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (optional for vegetarians)
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
9×13 metal or foil baking pan or (2) 8×8 baking pans

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  1. In a large bowl combine tortellini, alfredo sauce, chicken if using, pesto, and mozzarella cheese.
    2. Pour into baking dish. Top with shredded parmesan cheese.

MAKE IT NOW
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and let bake an additional 10 minutes until golden and bubbly all over. Serve.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to remove as much air as possible, then cover with foil. Label and freeze.

BAKE FROM FROZEN: Remove plastic and foil, then cover again with foil. Bake covered at 375°F for 50 minutes. Remove foil and let bake an additional 10 minutes until golden and bubbly all over. Serve.

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15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

4. Easy Ravioli Lasagna

INGREDIENTS
1 pound frozen Ravioli
24 ounces pasta sauce
8-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
15 ounces of Fat-Free Ricotta
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups mozzarella shredded

  1. Break up frozen spinach into a small bowl, and mix in ricotta and garlic.
    2. Put a thin layer of red sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
    3. Lay down your first layer of ravioli. top with half the spinach mixture, then 1/3 of the red sauce, then 1/2 a cup of mozzarella. Repeat this layer again.
    4. Top with remaining ravioli, then red sauce, then mozzarella.

MAKE IT NOW
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and let bake an additional 10 minutes until golden and bubbly all over. Serve.

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MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to remove as much air as possible, then cover with foil. Label and freeze.

BAKE FROM FROZEN: Remove plastic and foil, then cover again with foil. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for 20 -30 minutes more minutes until golden, bubbly, and all the pasta is cooked through.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

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5. Thai Peanut Chicken Satay

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
14 oz can of coconut milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder yellow
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  1. In a medium bowl combine coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, ginger, tamari, honey, sesame oil, garlic, curry powder, cumin, garam masala, and red pepper flakes. Whisk all together until smooth. Add chicken.

MAKE IT NOW
Add chicken and sauce to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
Transfer chicken and sauce to a labeled container or freezer bag and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, transfer chicken and sauce into an instant pot. Add 1/4 cup water or chicken broth. Cook for 15 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer chicken and sauce into an instant pot. Cook for 12 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

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COOK IN CROCK POT
From thawed or freshly made, transfer chicken and sauce into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

6. Cilantro Lime Chicken

INGREDIENTS
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup orange juice
1 cup chicken broth
juice of 2 fresh limes
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
1 tbsp ground cumin

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  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Add to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Saute for 5 minutes or until you have about 1/4 cup of liquids. Cook for 12 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

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COOK IN CROCK POT
From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

7. Cube Steaks With Gravy

INGREDIENTS
6 cube steaks
2 cups water
1 cup pureed yellow or white onion
1/2 cup soy or tamari sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp beef bouillon
1 tsp salt
dash pepper

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  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Add to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot.  Add 1/4 cup water. Cook for 23 minutes at high pressure, then do a quick release. Place on saute. Remove steaks. Whisk in a small bowl  1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the liquids left in the Instant Pot. Whisk continually until gravy starts to thicken. Add cubed steaks back into the pot, heat until warmed through then serve.

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From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 20 minutes at high pressure, then do a quick release. Place on saute. Remove steaks. Whisk in a small bowl  1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the liquids left in the Instant Pot. Whisk continually until gravy starts to thicken. Add cubed steaks back into the pot, heat until warmed through then serve.

COOK IN CROCK POT
From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove steaks. Transfer the remaining liquid to a medium saucepan. Whisk in a small bowl 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Bring saucepan liquids to simmer over medium-high heat. Slowly add while whisking the cornstarch mixture into the sauce.  Whisk continually until gravy starts to thicken. Add cubed steaks into the pot, and heat until warmed through, then serve.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

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8. Chicken French Dip Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS
6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs/1 kg)
1/2 large onion, pureed
2 tsp butter, diced
14.5 oz can of beef broth
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic, minced (about 6 cloves)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
On serving day: 6 slices Havarti cheese + 6 hoagie rolls

  1. In a large bowl mix together onion, butter, beef broth, Worcestershire, cornstarch, garlic, salt, parsley, pepper, and thyme. Add chicken and transfer to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Add to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

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COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot.  Saute for 5 minutes or until you have about 1/4 cup of liquids. Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 28 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

COOK IN CROCK POT
From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.

TO SERVE:  Shred chicken. Toast hoagie rolls under the broiler until golden. Place some shredded chicken on the hoagie bottom, and top with a slice of Havarti cheese. Spoon off fat or use a fat separator on liquids left in the crock pot. Serve this “jus” in small bowls and serve it with each sandwich for dipping.

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15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

9. Chickpea Wild Rice Soup

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 can chickpeas, drained
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp (1 mL) celery salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 lb chicken breasts (optional)

On serving day:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
2-1/2 cups whole milk

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  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Add to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 28 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

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COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.

TO SERVE:  After cooking in Instant Pot or Crock Pot, shred chicken if using.  In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add cornstarch and whisk for 30 seconds until smooth. Add in whole milk and whisk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add to soup and stir gently until all blended together and creamy. Serve.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

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10. Loaded Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS

32 oz bag frozen diced hash brown potatoes
1 large onion, pureed or diced
1 cup shredded carrots
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup butter, cut into slices
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp celery salt
8 oz package of diced or cubed ham (optional)

On serving day:
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

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  1. Add hash browns, onion, carrots, broth, garlic, butter, salt, pepper, celery salt, and ham (optional) to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Add to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Saute for 5 minutes or until you have about 1/4 cup of liquids. Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

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COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours.

TO SERVE:  After cooking in Instant Pot or Crock Pot, add in heavy cream and stir until well combined.  Serve topped with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, or sour cream if desired.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

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11. Easy Sausage Gumbo

INGREDIENTS
12 oz  Smoked turkey or Kielbasa sausage, sliced into thin slices
10 oz okra, fresh or frozen
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
28 oz can of diced tomatoes, with juices
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 dashes of tabasco or hot sauce

  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Transfer contents to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

See Also
These are some of the best food places in Palm Springs! You have to try each and every one of these places on this list for your meals!

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MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 4-5 hours.

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SERVE WITH: So delicious served over rice and a crisp green salad or corn-on-the-cob.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

12. Beef Barley Stew

INGREDIENTS
1 lb beef stew meat, diced small
1-1/4 cups diced carrot, fresh or frozen
1 onion, diced or pureed
3 ribs celery, diced
15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup pearl barley
5 cups water
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp Beef Bouillon powder

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  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Transfer contents to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 27 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

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COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 9 hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

13. Shredded Beef Fajitas

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 lb beef roast or beef chuck steak
1 onion, pureed or diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup beef broth
2 tsp minced garlic
12 oz ground chorizo

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  1. Cut roast or steak into around 4 large pieces. Add beef, onion, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, broth, and garlic to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot. Then pinch small pieces of ground chorizo and add to the mixture. Stir gently to combine.

MAKE IT NOW: Transfer contents to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Saute for 5 minutes or until you have about 1/4 cup of liquids. Cook for 60 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 55 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

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COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7 hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

TO SERVE: After cooking in Instant Pot or Slow cooker, shred roast, removing any fatty pieces, then place back into the pot and stir to combine. Drain excess liquid if desired. Serve meat mixture in warmed tortillas and garnish with fresh lime juice and cilantro.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

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14. Sweet and Tender BBQ Ribs

INGREDIENTS
2-3 lbs boneless pork country-style ribs
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup bbq sauce
salt and pepper

On serving day: 1 cup of favorite barbecue sauce (I love my homemade BBQ sauce recipe!)

  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot.

MAKE IT NOW: Transfer contents to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

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MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Cook for 50 minutes at high pressure then allow 20 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 45 minutes at high pressure, then allow 20 minutes for natural release.

COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

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TO SERVE: After cooking in Instant Pot or Slow cooker, remove ribs, and discard juices. Place meat back into the pot, add bbq sauce, and stir gently to coat. Serve.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

15. Healthy Turkey Chili 

INGREDIENTS

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28 oz can petite diced tomatoes, with juices
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup diced onions
2 tsp minced garlic
4 oz can dice green chilis
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb extra lean ground turkey

  1. Add tomatoes, vinegar, mustard, onion, garlic, chilis, kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, and salt to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container for an instant pot. Then pinch small pieces of ground turkey and add to the mixture. Stir gently to combine.

MAKE IT NOW: Transfer contents to either the instant pot or crockpot and cook as directed below.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL: Seal the bag or container, remove as much air as possible and freeze.

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COOK IN INSTANT POT
From frozen, add contents into an instant pot. Saute for 5 minutes or until you have about 1/4 cup of liquids. Cook for 20 minutes at high pressure then allow 10 minutes for natural release. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 17 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.

COOK IN CROCK POT
From frozen, transfer to slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. From thawed or freshly made, transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

15 Easy Freezer Meals For A Busy Weeknight

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What do you think of these easy-to-make freezer meals? Will you try some for your next meal? Let us know in the comments below!