15+ healthy and delicious freezer meals to make and freeze before having a baby or surgery! Gluten-free, easy to make, and satisfying too.

Freezer Meals to Make Before Having a Baby or Surgery

IT’S BABY WEEK!!!

So wild to finally be able to say that! On one hand I feel like I’ve been pregnant for-ev-er, on the other hand I keep asking myself – how are we already here? Either way, this family of four is ready to become a party of five. Baby sis’ room is ready (she’ll be sleeping bedside for at least 3 months but Type-A here wanted everything ready anyway,) my hospital bags are packed, and we officially traded our cool card in for a minivan – a swap I’ve never been so excited to make.

Three words: STOW AND GO. Ok three more: POWDER SLIDING DOORS! I’m never going back. Ben is horrified.

MY OTHER RECIPES

In contrast to our large, empty van trunk, my freezer is filled to the brim with meals to thaw and eat post-baby. I didn’t prepare freezer meals prior to having Lincoln and really regretted it. Ben and I survived on so much Chipotle those chaotic weeks post-birth that it wasn’t even funny. Do you know how many Chipotle burrito bowls it takes to be considered unfunny? A lot, because that ish is good.

That said, I learned my lesson with Cameron and stocked our freezer with soups, snacks, and crock pot “freezer kits” prior to having him. Knowing I didn’t have to drag my butt to the store with a toddler + newborn more often then I had to, and more importantly make the decision as to what to whip up for dinner for quite some time, was life saving. I highly recommend that any expecting parent or heck, anyone preparing to be down and out for awhile after having surgery, etc., prep/cook/freeze as many meals as possible in advance.

That said, today I’m sharing 15+ of my favorite freezer meals to make before having a baby, surgery, etc. Not only are these recipes comforting, nourishing, and EASY, but they’re simple to multiply if you choose. For instance, you can make one Crock Pot White Chicken Chili freezer kit just as easily as you can make 10.

A couple years ago I wrote a big, comprehensive post on 50+ Gluten-Free Freezer-Friendly Recipes that you may want to check out as well. Not only does this post contain, yep, 50+ GF/FF recipes, but also freezing tips and what does/doesn’t typically freeze well. My two most important takeaways from that post are:

  1. Do not freeze warm/hot meals – cool them completely in the fridge before freezing.
  2. Thaw meals or freezer kits in the refrigerator 24 hours prior to re-warming/cooking vs cooking frozen or thawing on the counter.

With that, I’m officially signing off until baby girl arrives! One thing I also didn’t do after having Lincoln was take any sort of maternity leave (literally I blogged from the hospital – WHYYYYYYYY??) Taking time off to rest and recuperate after having Cameron was what I needed both mentally and physically at that time, and I plan to do the same with baby girl. Ben, the boys and I appreciate and cherish all of your well wishes, prayers, and excitement, and can’t wait to introduce our DAUGHTER to you! Until then…

XOXOXOXOXOXO

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili is my favorite freezer recipe not only because it’s one of my favorite recipes in general, but also because you can freeze the chili after it’s been fully cooked then cooled, or as a “freezer kit” which is what I usually do.

Add everything but the broth, lime, milk and flour into a freezer bag then seal and freeze flat. Thaw overnight in the fridge then dump everything into the crock pot with the broth and lime juice and cook per usual. (Psst: I almost always skip the milk/flour step in this recipe and it’s totally fine.) Serve with tortilla chips and you’re set!

Click here for the recipe >

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili is hearty and filling yet low-fat, gluten and dairy-free! | iowagirleats.com

 

Crock Pot Black Bean and Rice Soup

Crock Pot Black Bean and Rice Soup is hearty and healthy – an excellent, nourishing meal to eat post-baby. Again, you can freeze this soup after it’s been cooked/cooled (wait to add the rice until the day you eat,) or make into a freezer kit minus the broth and cook fresh the day of.

Click here for the recipe >

Crock Pot Black Bean and Rice Soup is a filling, healthy, and hearty gluten-free crock pot recipe that's easy on the wallet, and waistline! | iowagirleats.com

 

Frozen Breakfast Burritos

An oldie but goodie recipe here on IGE! Frozen Breakfast Burritos are the bomb.com. Use your favorite fillings and tortillas then roll and wrap a bunch of these to stash in the freezer and pull out anytime you need a hot and hearty breakfast that only requires 1 hand to eat. I LOVE this recipe.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Signature Spicy Smoky Sweet Chili

The one, the only Signature Spicy Smoky Sweet Chili! This recipe freezes extremely well and it’s not only great for cool nights, but for game day too – just good to have in the freezer! Plus you can serve it in a variety of ways – in a bowl with cheese and tortilla chips of course, or over hot dogs, cooked pasta, cooked spaghetti squash, etc. Such a delicious, comforting treat to have when you’re super, super tired.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

File Mini Corn Dog Muffins under: “totally fine for Mom to devour”, but also: “my kids are starving and I need something nearly instant, fun, and filling to serve them”! Bake/cool then freeze these adorable bites on a sheet pan then transfer to a freezer bag. Place as many as you need directly from the freezer onto a plate then cover with a paper towel and microwave on 50% power until warmed through. SO EASY.

Click here for the recipe >

Mini Corn Dog Muffins are a fun and unique snack recipe for any special or ordinary occasion! | iowagirleats.com

 

Shortcut Vegetable Ragu

Shortcut Vegetable Ragu is my staple spaghetti night sauce and it’s super easy to double or triple the batch then freeze flat for future spaghetti nights. ‘Nuf said. :)

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Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites

Because having a newborn can be stressful, and pizza is not. ;) Bake/cool and then freeze Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites on a sheet pan, and then transfer to a Ziplock freezer bag. Place onto a plate from the freezer, cover with a paper towel, then microwave on 50% power until heated through. Also check out my Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups, Mini BLT Quinoa Cups, and Mini Mushroom & Swiss Quinoa Cups.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Another freezer kit staple of mine! Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is a wildly popular recipe here on IGE year-round as it’s healthy and comforting – just what you need after having a baby. This recipe is actually best made as a freezer kit vs cooking then freezing, so the rice keeps its texture. Add everything but the chicken broth into a freezer bag then freeze flat. Thaw overnight in the fridge then dump into a crock pot with the broth and cook according to instructions.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves are SO yummy! Assemble then freeze on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge on a foil-lined baking sheet then bake per usual.

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Crock Pot Loose Meat

If you’re not from the Midwest, the concept of a “loose meat” sandwich might sound nuts, but I promise you they’re so, so delicious. Slow cook/cool then freeze the loose meat with a little bit of extra cooking liquid then thaw and scoop onto buns with ketchup or BBQ sauce, sprinkle over baked fries with shredded cheese, or turn into Sloppy Joes. Such a versatile staple to have on hand in the freezer.

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Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

Shredded pork freezes extremely well and stays nice and juicy on account of its higher fat content. That said, keep a couple bags of cooked/cooled/frozen Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork on hand for thawing then turning into sandwiches, quesadillas or adding to salads.

Click here for the recipe >

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is a long cooking crock pot recipe that couldn't be simpler. Use the pulled pork in sandwiches, or for nachos, salads, and wraps! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

 

Taco Chili

Taco Chili is a family favorite. Each spoonful tastes like you’re eating a giant taco except you don’t have to go through all the fuss of toasting shells, chopping up toppings, etc. Add crushed tortilla chips and cheese on top then you’re done. Very low fuss for when you’ve got a fussy baby on your shoulder.

Click here for the recipe >

Taco Chili is a fun way to change up taco night! Hot and hearty, this gluten-free chili recipe will be a favorite all year long. Make on the stovetop or in the crock pot! | iowagirleats.com

 

Crock Pot Carnitas

Crock Pot Carnitas is SUCH a winner. Thaw a bag of it in the fridge then crisp up portions in a skillet and top with eggs + avocados for a hearty breakfast, use in tacos, salads, etc. So versatile, and SO delicious!! Heck, I usually just sneak cold bites of it straight out of the fridge when I need a little protein boost.

Click here for the recipe >

Crispy Crock Pot Carnitas with Egg and Avocado is a mouthwatering and simple crock pot recipe. Make for a protein-packed, low-carb, gluten-free meal any time of day! | iowagirleats.com

 

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Not only do Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars keep for 4-5 days in the fridge (if they last that long – I promise they won’t,) but you can also slice them into squares and wrap in plastic wrap to keep in the freezer. Thaw as many as you like in the fridge overnight to thaw, or discard the saran wrap then microwave wrapped in a paper towel at 50% power straight from the freezer to warm back up. Total win for healthy breakfasts or snacks.

Click here for the recipe >

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are a healthy bowl of oatmeal in bar form! Keep these refined-sugar-free and gluten-free breakfast bars on hand for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast or snack option. | iowagirleats.com

 

Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars fall under the same concept as the blueberry bars above but have a slightly different, totally delicious flavor profile. I am obsessed. Also, I don’t know if there’s a specific “formula” or combination of ingredients that qualify a cookie or bar as a lactation-friendly, but I’ve had many women tell me they’ve used my oatmeal bar recipes for that purpose.

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Maple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are naturally sweetened and gluten-free. Enjoy as a healthy snack or easy, on-the-go breakfast! | iowagirleats.com

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars

Last but not least – Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars! These bars are made without bananas so they’re perfect for those who detest the taste and/or are allergic to bananas.

Click here for the recipe >

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars are a healthy, gluten-free breakfast or snack recipe that taste decadent but are made without refined sugar. These are a hit with kids! | iowagirleats.com

 

No-Bake Cranberry Chocolate Almond Energy Bites

No-Bake Cranberry Chocolate Almond Energy Bites: because newborns = tired Mama. Seriously, the jolt of dark chocolate and dried cranberries, mixed with peanut butter, oats, and nuts, make for one DELICIOUS and energy-sustaining snack. Tip: instead of taking the time to roll into balls a lot of times I’ll press the mixture into an 8×8″ baking pan then slice into squares. Again, these keep really well for quite awhile in the fridge but are awesome to have on hand in the freezer for an extended time, too.

Click here for the recipe >

No-Bake Cranberry Chocolate Almond Energy Bites taste like chewy cookie dough and provide a burst of energy whenever you need it. Make a double batch to stock the freezer with! | iowagirleats.com

 

Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins

Like I said, having a newborn can be stressful but warm and squishy carbs can help. Freeze a batch of Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins then microwave wrapped in a paper towel on 50% power until soft before stuffing your face whenever ya’ need it. We understand.

Click here for the recipe >

Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins are soft, squishy, and just sweet enough. Pair with coffee or tea for a tasty, gluten-free snack or breakfast idea!  | iowagirleats.com