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27 Pre-Baby Freezer Meals

How to stock your freezer before baby arrives

I first got into making freezer meals after my first daughter was born in 2009.  I froze lasagna and mac ‘n cheese for upcoming holidays and birthday parties, and they made my life so much less stressful.  Instead of being stuck in the kitchen, I could have fun with my family and friends.

Before my second daughter was born, I froze two week’s worth of meals.  It was amazing to have healthy, homemade meals on-hand while I was bonding with the newest member of our family.

Fast-forward to today, and my two freezers were STOCKED 27 freezer meals to enjoy after my third baby’s birth.  I’m not talking about leftover soup that was frozen in little plastic bags, either.  Most of my freezer meals will cook for the very first time out of my freezer, so they won’t taste like leftovers at all.

Curious how it works?  Read on!

I started with a list of meals that I wanted to freeze.

  1. Chicken Pot Pie
  2. Lasagna Roll-ups
  3. Mexican Stuffed Shells (from The Way to His Heart)
  4. Breakfast Burritos with egg, sausage, spinach, and cheese
  5. Shepherd’s Pie
  6. Macaroni & Cheese
  7. Chicken Pesto Calzones (I added steamed broccoli)
  8. Twice Baked Potatoes (made by my Mother-in-Law)
  9. Slow Cooker Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup
  10. Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast
  11. Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
  12. Slow Cooker Turkey & Black Bean Chili
  13. Slow Cooker Beef, Lime, & Cilantro Chili
  14. Slow Cooker Party Pork
  15. Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup (from Once a Month Meals)
  16. Slow Cooker Garden Vegetable Soup (I also added ground sausage) (from my ‘Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes’ cookbook)
  17. Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas (from my ‘Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes’ cookbook)
  18. Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken (from my ‘Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes’ cookbook)
  19. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (from my ’15-Minute Freezer Recipes’ cookbook)
  20. Slow Cooker Beef Roast & Carrots (from my ’15-Minute Freezer Recipes’ cookbook)
  21. Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup (from my ’15-Minute Freezer Recipes’ cookbook)
  22. Ham & Veggie Breakfast Strata (from my ’15-Minute Freezer Recipes’ cookbook)
  23. Chicken Enchiladas (from my ’15-Minute Freezer Recipes’ cookbook)
  24. Bean & Cheese Burritos
  25. Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Freezer eCookbooks

My wedding soup and spiced carrot muffins also freeze great, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

Meals #26 and #27 came from a wonderful friend who dropped off containers of her vegetarian chili and chickpea and rice stew.  I’m so excited to try them!

If you’re new to freezer cooking, you can find out more about how to convert “normal recipes” to “freezer recipes” in my blog post with freezer meal tips for beginners. (I also include info about labeling, storing, and re-heating freezer meals.)

At 32 weeks preggo, I started freezing meals.

Most freezer meals will last in a standard freezer for up to 3 months so I figured I would be safe to slowly start freezing meals at that point.

I started planning one or two dinners per week from my freezer meal list.

One of my favorite ways to stock my freezer is to double a recipe and make one for dinner and the one for my freezer.

Since I was making the same meal for dinner, it didn’t make me much extra time to start building my freezer stash.  And I barely noticed the extra money spent at the grocery store.  (Sometimes I even found better deals when buying in larger quantities.)

My pre-baby freezer meals started with one, lone chicken pot pie.

Baby freezer meals chicken pot pie

(This is my extra freezer in the basement.  My kitchen freezer isn’t nearly this empty!)

Over the next six weeks, I added lasagna roll-ups, chicken pesto calzones, macaroni and cheese, shepherd’s pie, and Mexican stuffed shells.

Baby freezer meals mexican stuffed shells

I purposefully picked more time-intensive recipes for these days and saved the “no cook” recipes for a big freezer day with my mom.

At 38 weeks pregnant, I got together on a Saturday with my mom and prepped 16 “no cook” freezer meals.

Freezer meals before baby

Since they didn’t require any cooking ahead of time, we were able to prep them in less than four hours.  (In a previous blog post, I shared more details about our big freezer day and how to do one of your own.)

Since some of my freezer meals aren’t complete meals, I stocked up on side dishes for my freezer and pantry.

  • Frozen rolls and biscuits (To eat with our frozen soups)
  • Bags of frozen peas and corn (To eat with our frozen beef and pork roasts)
  • Two heads of broccoli (I chopped and froze them to eat with our frozen beef or pork roasts)
  • Six bags of microwaveable brown rice (Don’t hate me for taking the easy way out)

We’ll also need tortillas for the fajitas and chips and cheese to top our chilis, but I figured we can easily pick those up at the grocery store when we’re buying fresh fruit, milk, bread, etc.  (It’s not like these freezer meals are the only thing that we’re going to eat for months with a newborn.  While they’ll be the bulk of our dinners, we’ll still need to make smaller trips to the grocery store.)

And, just like that, we were set.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Have you ever considered stocking your freezer with homemade meals?  Leave a comment below!

56 Comments

  • Trisha G says:

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog since my sister-in-law shared your 25 freezer meals post on FB. I’m absolutely loving your recipes! I haven’t frozen any yet but I think this is the greatest idea for the next time I have a baby or whatever. With my first-born, members of our church brought us meals for the first week or two post-partum which helped a lot. But we moved before we had our second and our new church wasn’t so helpful. Plus our baby was in the NICU 100 miles away. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House and were able to cook our meals there but being able to take frozen meals there would have saved us a lot of money from eating out. Plus my husband would have had something to eat while he was home during the work week. I will definitely be prepared with frozen meals with Baby #3. Thank you for sharing your great recipes and ideas! Plus I’m intrigued about what your grocery bill is looking like this month. Are you putting a lot of money in savings? Or using the extra money for Christmas gifts? I love the thought of cutting my grocery bill in half or more the first month post-partum because most of your groceries are already bought and paid for! So cool!

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for following my blog. I think freezing all of these meals probably saved us $300-400 this month. I wish it was going into savings, but I think it’s probably all going towards Christmas presents. We had a pretty strict Christmas budget and it’s nice to have some extra room to splurge a little. 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Thanks for linking up to our site! What a great prep system you have! It is a great way to have meals handy when you have no hands! 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Kelly,
    I work with new mommas and have been following your posts for about 6 months. I’m so glad for the information you share. I had made 6 months of freezer meals before my 5th child was born. People thought I was either crazy or superwoman (I am neither). But it was SUCH a huge blessing and stress reliever to know that with all I had to do, my family would be well nourished and there was one less thing required of me. It is so doable to make a few meals to feeeze. Thanks for encouraging us and for all the “here’s how to do it” blogs. I love it!

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you so much for your comment and encouragement. Six months of meals is FANTASTIC! I find that I become more organized with the addition of each baby, so I can imagine how helpful preparing for a fifth child would be. Thank you for the work you do to support moms!

  • Chynna says:

    I stumbled upon your site while ‘googling’ freezer meals to make before baby arrives. I am a little over half-way through my first pregnancy and both my husband and I work full-time on opposite schedules (& he does not cook) and I had mentioned to him that I wanted start researching some recipes that would be good to make later this summer to freeze before our baby arrives in the Fall. I’m totally a planner and would feel comfortable having all of this cooking done prior to the baby’s debut. I absolutely LOVE to cook and spend what little spare time I have researching recipes, reading cookbooks and clipping recipes from magazines. Anyway, your site/blog gave me some really great ideas–thank you! I love the Lasagna roll-up idea and the Mexican stuffed shells. I don’t typically freeze meals now (I think in the past I froze them wrong–like homemade tomato sauces and everything tasted like ‘leftovers’) but with your tips and without the ‘pre-cooking’, just the prep and the freezing and then the re-heating, I think I’ll have better luck this time around. Thanks so much for a great blog!

    • Kelly says:

      Awesome! Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy and birth. I think you’ll LOVE having freezer meals on-hand, especially if the final cooking step happens after freezing!

  • Aimee says:

    Great tips! Wish I had learned about this before I had my baby!

  • Tracy says:

    This is great! Thank you! Please advise how you froze and then reheated the macaroni cheese? I’m tried it before and found the pasta was stodgy and dry. Any tips?

    • Kelly says:

      My online advice is to try my recipe. I’ve frozen it tons of times and it’s great!! Just make sure to cool everything to room temp before freezing.

  • Olivia says:

    How many months in advance can these meals be made? I’m due with my first baby in December and have the urge to start prepong freezer meals now in sept. Is that too early?

    • Kelly says:

      I usually say that freezer meals last in a standard freezer for at least three months. When I was pregnant with my third baby I starting prepping around 32 weeks. Congrats on your pregnancy! Lots of good times ahead!! 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    I’m getting inspired again to freezer cook more with my second aim born I frozen pb&j sandwhiches and pumpkin muffins . I think that saved me driving through to get a snack . But with my third I wants meals , so I did a few recipes like stuffed shells and enchiladas . I think cause I was craving those . But now were like oh no it’s dinner time – cerial ok or parfait . I’m getting tired if that . So I’m going to make my list and use some of your recipes ! Also I so agree on buying in bulk to freezer cook – like if I buy ricotta cheese in the bigger size and them use a coupon . I’ve really saved and I use it all. Hope I’m making sense lol

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much for sharing! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the recipes. For a while after having my third baby I wasn’t up to making freezer meals. Now that I’m back at it I’m reminded how easy and helpful it is!

  • heidi says:

    When you are preparing meals to eat postpartum, remember to consider the ingredients if you will be breastfeeding. Often, newborns will react adversely to spices and gas producing foods like cabbage, broccoli , and beans. And if friends are helping with meals, be sure to tell them also.

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks for sharing, Heidi! Great tip!

    • Julie says:

      As a La Leche League Leader, I just want to say that this actually rarely happens. There is No list of foods that should be avoided while breastfeeding. We encourage mothers to eat a well-balanced diet, but if you want that piece of chocolate or cup of coffee, feel free!

      http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/gassybaby/

    • Melissa says:

      I found that cabbage and broccoli gave my baby gas and I exclusively breastfed! I was thinking the same thing as I was going through the recipes!

      • Heather says:

        Thank you! I was thinking the same thing. My little guy was horrible if I ate Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Chocolate and Broccoli! (I wasn’t eating cabbage at the time 🙂 ) Hoping to find something somewhere that is free of these as I am “due” in the next 3 weeks!

        • Kelly says:

          I don’t think you’ll have much trouble. Most slow cooker freezer meals are free of dairy, eggs, peanuts and chocolate and there are a bunch of recipes without broccoli.

  • […] Connections here at the shop and just generally has great ideas!) and was intrigued by her meal preparation before her third baby. When my mother-in-law planned a trip to see us when I was 37 weeks pregnant, I knew I wanted to […]

  • Kerri says:

    I have a question how did you freeze the Mexican shells and lasagna rolls up!! Thanks so much! PS I am a huge fan 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks Kerri! I assembled them like normal and froze them instead of putting them in the oven for the final baking step. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense.

  • Sarita says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m currently pregnant with my second daughter and one of my friends told me she spent an entire week just cooking and freezing meals for post birth. I never thought of this and think it’s a brilliant idea. I mean, running after a two year old during the day and then trying to stay awake during the night to feed nr 2 is exhausting enough that cooking just isn’t an option.
    At least by prepping and freezing meals, the dear husband can make himself useful too!!!
    great post and great website. I will be stopping by more often!

  • I filled an entire apartment size chest freezer with casseroles & crockpot meals right before having both my 1st & 2nd children. The 3rd one I slacked a little & sure paid for it… we now have a 5yo, 3yo & 20mo & due with baby #4 in May. I am already starting to think ahead & can’t wait to prep it all & be ready to just enjoy baby afterwards!!! I’m even thinking about having my neice come & paying her to babysit so I can be as productive as possible with a friend of mine :-). Thank you for some great different recipes. In the past I have just used family recipes that we loved (6-8 of each) & frozen them in foil pans (usually I can wash & reuse the pans too). I like the pans u can buy in bulk at sam’s Club with a FLAT top so they don’t take up as much space & stack better & hold up better. When I do freezer crock pot meals, I just use gallon “storage” ziplocs & double bag with a “freezer” ziplocs (which are more expensive) & then reuse the outer bag! 🙂 I have always just avoided any recipe that calls for rice bc it can get mushy. Only cook any pasta Al dente or even a little less & some recipes u don’t have to cook them at all. I have done browning ground beef, cooking chicken & chopping vegetables the day before, so the assembly day isn’t so chaotic. I had to “break it up” like that bc I didn’t have help with the meal prepping or my kiddos… I also suggest having an easy meal, crock pot meal or one of the meals u r prepping for dinner that night. You will NOT want to cook anymore when u r “done”! 🙂

  • Carmen Lewis says:

    I would love to stock up my freezer with different meals but my fiance is so picky he wouldn’t eat half of these recipes. I will give some a try but I’m having trouble finding good freezable recipes that he will like 🙁 He is not a fan of “flavor” as I call it, he likes everything plain with salt and pepper. Do you have any suggestions for my picky man?

    • Kelly says:

      Hmmm, that sounds very different than how we eat. How about these chicken crockpot recipes? I’d say they’re more mild than some of my other meals.

      • Carmen Lewis says:

        Thanks for the suggestions, he wouldn’t like those either, he’s a weirdo lol. I got to thinking, what do I cook? So I started making a list with things I cook, and things I think he will like, using your recipes and some other sources. Here’s what I have:
        Chicken pot pie
        Lasagna roll ups
        Shepherd’s pie
        Vegetable soup
        Pot roast
        Chicken casserole
        Beef stroganoff
        Tacos
        Roasted chicken and vegetables
        Chicken spaghetti
        Spaghetti
        Sour cream noodle bake
        Hot ham sandwiches
        Calzones
        Pizza
        Homemade Hot pockets
        Grilled chicken breasts
        If you think any of this won’t freeze well, please let me know, I’m a beginner. Do cream soups in a dish freeze ok, or potatoes? Sorry for writing you a book 🙂

        • Kelly says:

          I think they should freeze OK, but it’s hard to say without knowing what cooking you’ll do before freezing and what you’ll freeze raw. I’ve never tried freezing condensed soup. I freeze chopped frozen potatoes in meals immediately after cutting them. Hope that helps!

  • Carmen Lewis says:

    I made a big pot of Bolognese sauce and successfully froze some of it, and some taco meat! I’ll be working on your chicken pot pie today. Thanks for all your tips! I’m a little worried about the quality of the food once it thaws but I’m having faith 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    Just wanted to say that so far I have made calzones, taco stuffed shells, mac n chz and will be making lasagna/wedding soup/chic pot pie this week. I love your recipes. They sound like food we actually would eat! The ones I’ve made so far taste great.
    I was happy to hear you’re from Pittsburgh-me too!
    I don’t follow many blogs and I’m not big on social media.. but I feel so proud to see a fellow local mom doing so well with her blog and actually posting relevant information and realistic/tasty recipes.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Ashley! That means so much to me, and how cool that you’re from Pittsburgh! Glad you’re loving the recipes. 🙂

  • Kristy says:

    As a new mom to be in a few short months, I was so excited to stumble upon this post as I begin planning to stock up our freezer. Thanks for sharing these great recipes. I can’t wait to try them and it will be such a comfort to know that there are homemade meals waiting for us in the freezer.

  • […] meals: Spend some time prepping freezer meals that can be easily cooked in a slow-cooker or oven. New Leaf Wellness shares 27 recipes to stock your freezer with homemade meals before baby comes. These are quick and […]

  • […] meals: Spend some time prepping freezer meals that can be easily cooked in a slow-cooker or oven. New Leaf Wellness shares 27 recipes to stock your freezer with homemade meals before baby comes. These are quick and […]

  • Jessica says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments so this may have been asked already 🙂 I may have to be induced in a few weeks for baby’s safety 🙁 I’ll be 37 weeks. I plan on making all of these meals this week and freezing them all instead of one for dinner and one for freezer. Do you have an easy grocery list or do I have to go into each recipe? Thanks!

  • Melissa says:

    I didn’t think to plan ahead for freezing meals before the birth of either of my kids, I wish I had. Would of made things much easier. My sister is having her 2nd child later this summer, I plan on driving down to make meals & stock up her freezer so she & her hubby don’t have to worry about taking care of my 6 yo niece & a new baby. Thanks for all the recipes!

  • M. West says:

    My sister sent me the link to your recipes 🙂 I think she found you on Pinterest! We all have our own familes now and cooking isn’t quite our forte, but I can do ANYTHING with a crockpot!! LOL! I’m excited to try these out this weekend! I’ve been looking for easy meals to make for our family of 3; me, my hubby and 2yr old son. I’m going to start with the Hawaiian Pork Chops, Balsalmic Chix w Pears and Mushrooms, and the Mexican Chicken Chili w cornbread topping!

    • Kelly says:

      Awesome! Make sure to decrease the amount of vinegar in the balsamic recipe (I think there’s a discussion about it in the comments). I think you’ll really love the chicken chili. 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    Expecting in November! Would love free freezer labels 🙂

  • Bibi says:

    Just found your post via one of the blogs I follow. My second little one is due in a couple of months and I am so glad I found your post (and several others) on how to prepare freezer meals. Thank you so much!

  • […] wash dishes but you will be happier if you practice indulgence in moderation. Here is a wonderful resource for healthy and delicious postpartum freezer meals, courtesy of New Leaf Wellness or – for the vegetarians in the group- here is a little […]

  • JOdi says:

    I made up 10 meals yesterday and put them in my freezer, but when I looked this morning they were not completely frozen. I realized that somehow my freezer had been turned down, I’m wondering if they will still be safe to eat as o nly semi-frozen overnight?
    BTW love all the recipes they have been awesome!

  • […] Prep three or four meals on a Sunday for a few weeks straight. Get the pans from the dollar store and freeze them. Soups, meatloaf, enchiladas, taco, lasagne, spaghetti, chili. Everything. If you have people to cook for you every couple of days that’s GREAT! Still do it. Because the ONE night everyone is out of town, working, or busy…you’ll both be zombies because of gas or teething all night and you’ll have forgotten to buy bread or milk and it will be the day before payday. But also, sometimes, it’s just amazing to have your own cooking, your own food, in your own home, with just you and your new tiny family. Get a HUGE list here.  […]

  • Indira says:

    Hi, after reading this remarkable article i am also delighted to
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  • Tammie says:

    I am planning on doing this when I go visit my dad out of state. I plan to freeze some of your recipes in single servings. If I can get his freezer full of homemade food instead of all the processed stuff he eats, he will eat much healthier. I’ve found single serve containers he can take from the freezer straight to the oven, which will make it much easier for him. It will be so much better than the grocery store single serve freezer meals and cans of soup! And your recipes look like things he’d eat. Thank you for sharing these. I think I’ll try it for my family as well 🙂

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