Vegan freezer meals you can pull out on a busy weeknight or a lazy weekend will save you both time and money! This collection of freezer-friendly vegan recipes makes meal prep simple, healthy and delicious!
- What are freezer meals?
- What is the advantage of freezing meals?
- What foods don’t freeze well?
- How long do freezer meals last?
- How to store freezer meals properly
- How to thaw and reheat freezer meals
- Pasta and Rices
- Burgers, Meatloaf and Meatballs
- Chili, Beans and Lentils
- Soups and Stews
- Stuffed, Wrapped and Rolled Freezer Meals
- Vegan Freezer Meals
What are freezer meals?
Vegan freezer meals are meals that you prepare and cook in advance and then place in the freezer to eat another day.
People who are used to “meat and potatoes” type meals are often at a loss as to what to cook when they transition to veganism.
That can make it easy to fall back on vegan meat substitutes, which are expensive and not the healthiest.
Cooking healthy vegan meals from scratch every day can seem overwhelming at first.
That’s where freezer meals can help!
You can either double a recipe and freeze half, or you can do some bulk cooking and keep it frozen for another day when you don’t feel like cooking.
Not having to come up with new recipes and cook everyday will make your vegan journey much easier!
What is the advantage of freezing meals?
The benefits of freezing meals are similar to the benefits I outlined in my vegan meal prep ideas post.
Freezing food saves money by helping you to avoid eating out.
You can also save money by reducing food waste since cooking in bulk helps to use up all the ingredients instead of having half leftover to rot in your fridge.
You’ll save time on prepping and cooking if you simply double a recipe and freeze half. Imagine what you can do with your extra free time during the week if dinner is already ready?
Freezer meals are also a nice gesture for friends and family. Help out new parents by preparing a few weeks worth of food for them or make it easier for someone recovering from a medical procedure.
What foods don’t freeze well?
Some foods don’t freeze well because they can have texture issues or they lose flavour after thawing.
Fully cooked rice and pasta will turn mushy during reheating.
Slightly undercooking them can help with this. It’s best to freeze pasta separate from its sauce, or just freeze the sauce and make the pasta fresh, since the pasta will absorb some of the sauce during cooling and freezing.
Fruits and vegetables with a high water content such as cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, oranges and melon will be mushy.
A lot of vegetables freeze better when they are blanched in hot water first. Examples are green beans, broccoli, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, peas, peppers, etc.
Fried foods will not retain their crispiness and can get soggy.
Mayo and sauces thickened with flour or cornstarch can separate.
Spices and seasonings often change in flavour after being frozen.
Fresh herbs will discolour and turn mushy if frozen on their own. However, you can chop them and freeze them in ice cube trays filled with oil.
How long do freezer meals last?
If stored properly in airtight containers or freezer bags, vegan freezer meals can last for 3 - 6 months in the freezer.
Of course, if you see any white or brown spots, discolouration, or crystal formation on your food, you should throw it out because it will likely not taste very good!
How to store freezer meals properly
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When choosing how to store your vegan freezer meals, the type of food that you’re freezing as well as the space you have available in your freezer are factors to consider.
The most important thing to remember is that the more airtight your container is, the longer it will keep and the less likely it will be to develop freezer burn.
You should allow the food to cool completely before placing it in the freezer.
Place your freshly-cooked food in the refrigerator and leave the lid slightly open to allow condensation to escape. Once completely cool, close the container, removing as much air as possible, and transfer to the freezer.
Freezer bags: Freezer bags are great when space is a concern. It’s also easy to squeeze excess air out. Vacuum-sealed freezer bags are the best option. For environmental concerns, there are re-useable silicone freezer bags on the market nowadays.
Souper Cubes: Souper Cubes are like big ice cube trays that allow you to freeze food in various portion sizes. I love the one cup size for soups, stews and chilis, which is perfect for when you’re serving one or two people and don’t want to defrost an entire bag of food.
Foil pans: These are great for casseroles. If you are making a freezer meal for a friend of family member, then this is a great disposable option.
Aluminum foil: Heavy duty aluminum foil provides a good barrier against moisture and is great for wrapping burritos, sandwiches and baked goods. You can also use it to cover casserole pans that don’t have a lid.
Glass containers: Freezer-safe glass containers with an airtight lid take up a bit more space than freezer bags but are washable and re-useable. They can be easily stacked and you can reheat the food right in them. Mason jars meant for canning can also be frozen without breaking provided you leave one inch of headspace for food expansion.
How to thaw and reheat freezer meals
To prevent bacteria growth, never thaw frozen food at room temperature.
The safest way to thaw frozen food is in the refrigerator. Smaller portions may only take a couple hours to thaw, while larger meals should be thawed overnight.
For immediate consumption, you can thaw frozen food in your microwave on the defrost setting.
Another option is to place bags of frozen food in a container of cold water to thaw gradually. Again, to prevent bacteria growth, don’t use warm or hot water.
Depending on what you are eating, you can reheat freezer meals in the oven, microwave or on the stovetop.
Larger items like casseroles and lasagna can be placed in the oven, provided that you’ve stored them in an oven-safe container.
Soups, stews and chilis can be reheated in the microwave or poured into a pot on the stove and heated to boiling.
Thawed veggie burger patties can be baked or fried in a pan according to the recipe instructions.
Pasta and Rices
Burgers, Meatloaf and Meatballs
Chili, Beans and Lentils
Soups and Stews
Stuffed, Wrapped and Rolled Freezer Meals
Vegan Freezer Meals
- Ingredients according to each recipe
- Choose your favourite vegan freezer meals recipes from the collection above.
- Click on the link to get the recipe.
- Make a list of ingredients you need to pick up from the grocery store.
- Cook your freezer meals according to the recipe directions.
- Pack your meals into freezer-safe containers. Allow them to cool completely in the fridge before transferring to the freezer.
- Follow the thawing and re-heating instructions carefully to avoid bacteria growth.