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Family Meals & Meal Planning,  Pregnancy,  Simple & Sensible "Supermom" Ideas

Freezing Meals Before Baby: 9 Perfect Freezer Meals to Have on Hand After Baby’s Arrival

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Whether you’re a first-time mom or a been-there-done-that mom, freezing meals before baby arrives is always a good idea!

If you’re lucky, when you have a new baby, family and friends will bring you some meals to get you through those crazy first weeks. Still, you don’t think about how often you eat until preparing every meal becomes an overwhelming task. At that point, even if your tribe has propped you up with food, you will likely find that you still need to do some cooking here and there.

(And if your tribe is scattered far and wide? They may be supportive in other ways, but food often isn’t one of them. In that case, the more freezer meals you have for after baby, the better.)

9 Freezer Meals that are Perfect for After Baby Pin Image

When we had our first baby, I had prepared zero freezer meals before baby arrived. Zilch. Nada. In fact, when my water broke, we kind of needed basic groceries as well. Oops.

By the time our second (and third… and soon-to-be fourth), I had learned my lesson. I began freezing meals before baby arrived (roughly a month or two before my due date). 

Even though a lot of wonderful friends brought meals, it was so nice to know that I had those meals waiting in the freezer for when the meal trains stopped. 

This was especially helpful since it was no longer just hubby and I plus a baby. We also had other kids to care for, and they don’t really care if you’ve just had a baby: they still want to eat.

If you want to start freezing meals before baby, get the right supplies first.

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You want to have delicious freezer meals for after baby’s arrival. You don’t want food that’s poorly labeled and freezer-burned. Using the right-sized pan and wrapping everything tightly in plastic wrap is essential. Otherwise, it’s a huge waste of time and money.

Your local grocery store or Wal-Mart will have some assortment of freezer pans, but I’ve typically purchased mine from Amazon because I wanted a sizable quantity of little loaf pans (you’ll see why when you get to Freezer Meal #8). If you have one of those nifty little food savers, all the better (here’s a top-rated food-saver on Amazon that’s priced well).

Make sure you label EVERY freezer meal with the date you made it and the contents. After a few months in the freezer, it can all start to look the same. Plus, you may think you’ll remember what you made and when you froze it. However, after baby’s arrival, everything can get pretty hazy.

So what freezer meals did I make?

I am a big fan of meal planning in this house. If I don’t plan ahead, we always end up going out or ordering in. However, with a new baby in the house, my typical three week meal planning template doesn’t really work in our house for the first month or two.

Instead, here are nine freezer meals I prepared before baby that were absolutely clutch after baby’s arrival!

Freezer Meal 1: Lasagna 

Lasagna freezes and reheats beautifully. You really can’t tell it wasn’t baked fresh. Plus, let’s suppose your palate really was that discerning– you wouldn’t care if the lasagna lost 1% of its deliciousness in the freezer. It still gained 10000000% more value from the fact that you didn’t have to prepare it this time around.

lasagna freezer meals for after baby

You could dedicate a day to preparing lasagna(s) for freezing meals before baby arrives, but I already find cooking lasagna to be a bit time-consuming. It’s not the easiest thing to just squeeze into a weekend.

Instead, I just waited for a day I was planning to cook lasagna for dinner anyway (sometime in the month or two before baby’s due date). At that point, I doubled the recipe and assembled three lasagnas — one for dinner that night and two for freezer meals for after baby.

{*You read that right. I doubled the recipe and turned it into three lasagnas. In my experience, if you’re loosely following the quantities given on the recipe printed on the box, it’s enough to make three slightly smaller pans of lasagna. }

One “box recipe” usually makes a pretty large lasagna. That’s great if you have older kids, or you plan on eating leftovers all week. However, my kids are all only two years apart. Each time I brought home a new baby, the others were still relatively small eaters. Plus, once a lasagna’s been baked from the freezer, I prefer to use it up quickly. I don’t want a pan large enough to require leftovers all week.

I find that this meal keeps in the freezer for many months. Most “food safety” people will tell you to 1-3 months. I’ve found an abandoned lasagna in our freezer six months later and it was still quite tasty. You do you, boo.

Freezer Meal 2: Chili

Chili holds its texture pretty well in the freezer, which makes it a great choice for a freezer meal for after baby. 

I usually freeze two “types” of chili before baby arrives. First, anytime I cook chili in the month or two before baby arrives, I take out a few individual portions and freeze them. These make a great meal when you’re hungry and don’t have time to prep something from scratch (or you have time, but you don’t have the free hands necessary because… baby).

chili freezer meal for after baby

The second type I freeze is a batch of chilli made specifically for the freezer. I freeze these in larger portions that would feed my entire family. I usually freeze the chili fully cooked and fully assembled, so all I need to do is defrost, heat, and serve.

Alternatively, you could also just brown all the ingredients, season it, and then freeze it. When it’s time to cook the chili, you could defrost it overnight and then put it into a crockpot or saucepan to do the typical “chili simmering” you’d expect. You would add your canned beans or canned anything at that point as well.

Full disclosure: I hate beans. Hate hate hate. I have heard that chili with beans also freezes just fine, I just want to let you know that I can’t attest to that.

Freezer Meal 3: Chicken Marsala

You can buy frozen Lean Cuisine (ick) and Costco (yum) varieties of this at the store without a problem, so why not make your own at home and freeze it? 

The catch to having the pasta texture not be “off,” in my opinion, is to make sure it’s well incorporated into the sauce before you freeze it. I also choose a thicker pasta like penne because it just seems to hold up better. Spaghetti/angel hair etc. is not something I normally freeze because it’s just too wimpy.

I’ve been making chicken marsala for forever, so I don’t have a specific written recipe I follow, but this one from Tyler Florence is similar to what I do (minus the prosciutto).

*I don’t have a picture for this section because I *just* made Chicken Marsala last week and ate it all without thinking to take any pictures. Pregnancy problems

Freezer Meal 4: Tacos

Tacos are a quick and easy meal, even when they’re not frozen. Still, when you have a new baby, any steps you can cut out (including any grocery shopping) are a plus.

I like to brown and season taco meat (ground beef or diced chicken — usually I do a few batches of both). Then I also dice up the vegetables that would go with them (onions, peppers, etc.) and freeze those too (uncooked). Of course, you can buy frozen vegetables already, but I don’t like how they taste when defrosted and cooked. I find my own taste a lot better. 

tacos for freezer meals for after baby

If you’re not picky about veggie texture, you could also cook up the onions and peppers with your taco meat and freeze it all together. Then all you have to do is dump it into a saucepan and heat it up — and boom, you have tacos.

Freezer Meal 5: Meatballs

Frozen meatballs are a dime a dozen, and I actually find the ones from BJs or Costco to be fairly tasty. However, the ingredient list on those is roughly 100 items long and I always feel a little bad about that when I serve them to my kids. Add to that the fact that my Italian mother has never cooked a frozen meatball in her life, and I just try to avoid them when possible (but no judgement here if that’s your go-to). 

meatballs for freezer meals for after baby

I love this meatball recipe from The Kitchn. Every time I make them, my husband says they’re the best meatballs he’s ever had. My kids also love them, and the ingredient list is short and unprocessed. Well, uynprocessed except for the breadcrumbs–but there’s not a snowball’s chance in heck I’m making my own breadcrumbs. 

The only drawback to this recipe is that they disappear QUICKLY. My family can down every single one of the meatballs in this recipe in one meal. If I want to use them when I’m freezing meals before baby, I have to (at least) triple the recipe. My family eats one batch that night and the other two batches go into freezer bags. 

Freezer Meal 6: Breakfast Burritos

I’ll start by saying: I hate breakfast burritos. I’m not much of a breakfast fan, period. However, my husband and two of my kids really love these breakfast burritos.

They couldn’t be simpler to make — simply brown sausage in a pan and drain them. Then sautee onions and diced potatoes in the same pan (don’t rinse it), and scramble eggs. I scramble them separately, but you could probably just resuse the same pan a third time.

Then put them all into tortillas with cheese (cheddar, jack/cheddar–your preference). I also add a little habanero sauce or chipotle sauce for additional flavor. I use barely any for the kids’ breakfast burritos, a lot more for the ones for my husband.

breakfast burritos for freezing after baby's arrival

Having these breakfast burritos in my freezer after baby arrives makes for a welcome change to the regular “Ugh, cereal AGAIN?!” conversations I have to field from my kids.

Freezer Meal 7: Waffles

See above: After I have a baby, breakfast is mostly cereal for months. 

These frozen waffles make for a good mix-up in the morning cereal monotony, AND breakfast for dinner is always a hit in our house. Making waffles from scratch is time consuming and it makes a huge mess (something I never want to deal with, but especially after having a new baby).

waffle freezer meal for after baby

Before baby’s arrival, I make a huge batch of frozen waffles following this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food (I will typically double or triple the recipe because if I’m making this big mess, I want the yield to be worth it). Admittedly, they’re not as tasty to hubby and I as waffles made with white flour and sugar, but they’re still good and they’re covered with syrup, so we opt for the whole wheat, honey-sweetened version. Feel free to make whatever version your heart (stomach) desires!

freezing a waffle meal for after baby
This is what was left for freezing after I fed my kids breakfast-for-dinner (with a tripled-recipe)

Any waffle recipe will freeze well. Make sure you layer them with parchment paper, and/or partially freeze them before you stack them, to prevent all the waffles from sticking together in one solid block. I usually take them straight from the freezer and put them in the toaster oven. 

FYI: We have this Mickey Waffle-Maker (we received it as a gift a few years ago from my parents) and it has been a huge hit with the kids. We also have this Winnie-the-Pooh/Tigger Waffle-Maker and it has been going strong for TWELVE YEARS. I use both waffle-makers every time because it makes the whole process go so much faster.

Freezer Meal 8: Chicken Pot Pie

When I’m freezing meals before baby, I like to mix things up a bit. The first few months after baby arrives tend to involve a lot of casseroles– so Chicken Pot Pie is a nice change of pace.

This Chicken Pot Pie recipe is really good — and I’m not even the biggest fan of chicken pot pie! What I find most impressive about this particular recipe is how well it freezes. I also really like that the recipe is for individual pot pie portions. 

freezing meals before baby - chicken pot pie

I’ve made and frozen this many times over the years. I like having individual portions of a real dinner on hand for when hubby is out of town and I make something lame for the kids (like hot dogs or boxed mac and cheese). 

The recipe is meant for these small, individual disposable metal pans. I definitely suggest making some of them that way. I also recommend making a few in larger pans (loaf-sized pans have worked well for us) so you have some freezer meals ready that can feed your entire family after baby.

Freezer “Meal” 9: Grilled Chicken Slices

Sometimes freezing meals before baby involves more (or I guess you could say, less) than assembling full meals. Sometimes having just the main ingredients ready to go is huge. I like to cook up a batch of grilled chicken and freeze it in individual bagged portions. 

grilled chicken to put in a freezer meal for after baby

Frozen chicken breasts (uncooked) are not helpful, because you really need to defrost them before you can cook them in whatever dish you’d like. Yes, some people say you can cook them frozen or toss them in an instant pot and cook them from frozen that way, but I haven’t ventured down that road.

Instead, I freeze, in individual ziploc baggies, enough grilled chicken slices for one meal. Once baby arrives, I can then defrost and heat them as needed…

On a salad

On a sandwich

In a pasta dish

Just having that one step already done for me makes the meal come together that much more easily (and quickly). And when you have a new baby at home, easy and quick is really the whole ballgame.

Freezing meals before baby arrives is something you can do for YOU

Your goal in making freezer meals for after baby arrives probably revolves around feeing your family. Moms are like that — growing and birthing an entire human being, yet worried about someone (or several someones) else.

However, the fact of the matter is freezing meals before baby arrives will make YOUR life so much easier. You won’t be worried about who’s eating what, wasting money on take-out, or stressing yourself out trying to piece together meals on weeks of minimal sleep.

So if you have a few weeks left before baby debuts, I can’t recommend preparing freezer meals highly enough. You will be so glad you did!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: 

Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy: Your Hilarious, Unconentional How-To Guide

25 Funny Pregnancy Quotes Every Mom Will Appreciate

Meal Planning for Families: The Weekly Meal Plan Template That Completely Changed Our Family Dinner Plan

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8 Comments

  • Cousett

    This is a great list. One of the most helpful things I did when I was pregnant. We didn’t have room in the freezer so we prepped things for the instant pot. It was a life changer!!

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Hi Cousett,

      Prepping meals for the Instant Pot is a great idea too! I got an Instant Pot this summer and, while I don’t use it for too many things, the dishes I do use it for are clutch. Having meals ready to go after having a baby is just such a lifesaver–whatever the meal looks like!

      Charissa

  • Mama Bear Finance

    These are all great freezer meals to prepare. They are so much better than eating sandwiches which was what I ate when my mom didn’t cook for me. Luckily she cooked almost every meal for me after I delivered 🙂

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Once the meal train ran out after our first baby, we ate A LOT of sandwiches and ordered A LOT of take-out. –Like to the point I surprised myself how much junk I was willing to eat and how much money I was willing to spend on food we didn’t have to shop for or cook. By the time we had more babies, I’d learned my lesson and stocked the freezer with easy meals.

      Charissa

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Hi Katie,

      Was he your first baby? If so, I totally relate, because I didn’t do this with my first baby. I was really caught off-guard by how little energy I had to prep food (or even care about what food we were eating), even weeks later. We’ve never eaten so much carry-out/delivery in our lives! I knew better with subsequent babies and packed the freezer with easy meals. We still ate out a decent amount, but not like with our first!

      Charissa

  • Dawn

    Love this!! I wanted to freeze meals before #3 but I think I only ended up freezing one or two things…if you have a big freezer this is honestly a good idea for anyone with kids in general, not just a newborn! Sometimes we mamas need a little break!

    • Charissa @ The Wild, Wild West

      Hi Dawn,

      You’re so right — a big freezer is clutch for anyone because trying to cook dinner with kids around, no matter how many or how old, is not exactly a walk in the park. I seem to go in spurts with my freezer cooking. I’ll be really great about it and have a bunch of freezer-friendly and crockpot-friendly meals for months and then I’ll hit a lull and have nothing–and I really feel the stress during those lulls haha.

      We’ve got a baby on deck in about two weeks, so I really do need to get cracking on prepping some meals for the freezer before this baby arrives and (even more) chaos breaks loose!

      Charissa

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