These varied, family-friendly and delicious gluten free freezer meals have been a lifesaver for us. I’m all about looking for ways to make dinners simple and as easy as possible, so I am in love with the ease of making and using freezer meals! It helps me use my time efficiently when in the kitchen and helps significantly with meal planning and food budgeting as well.
With the arrival of my newborn, Larkin, I was glad to have some gluten free freezer meals stored away. I recommend that anyone have freezer meals tucked away for after the baby is born, if possible. But it’s even more important for those who have food allergies or intolerances. Because one of my children is sensitive to a fairly wide variety of foods and I am as well, it makes it a lot harder to have people bring and make us food (although we were blessed by some delicious meals brought to us by friends and family after Larkin’s birth).
I had really high hopes for all of the meals and snacks I wanted to pre-make and store away before Larkin was born. But I got sick for several weeks at the end of my pregnancy and wasn’t able to complete everything. Thankfully, I was able to store away enough meals, or at least the main dish of a meal, that we had a nice little stash waiting for us when we got home from the hospital. These were completely essential to our survival these last two months, and we just have one or two things left. I am looking forward to restocking my freezer again!
Because I had low energy and my “morning sickness” never quite went away, I had to pace myself during my pregnancy. So what I did was make one of the below items for our dinner, and then just doubled, tripled, or quadrupled the recipe. I recommend the practice as it was easy to fit into our schedule without having to have a whole day set aside for freezer meals.
1. Paleo Freezer Meatballs
I share here how to make my gluten and grain free meatballs into freezer meatballs. I made a big bag of them, and we mostly used them to serve with spaghetti sauce over gluten free noodles (read this post for some of our favorite brands), or over spaghetti squash (read this post for a comparison of 4 grain free noodle options). I love having them available as they reheat so quickly. They help make great last minute meals.
2. Gluten Free Pizza Crust
These crusts are fantastic and easy to make with just whole soaked quinoa and coconut flour. I made enough crusts for our dinner one night, and a bunch extra to go into our freezer to reheat later. I used parchment paper to keep them separated when frozen, and it worked well. You could also make a massive batch of roasted vegetable to freeze for pizza toppings as well.
3. Egyptian Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
This is one of our favorite (and most frugal) soup recipes from my soup cookbook, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for all Seasons. It freezes really well! Just freeze the caramelized onions separately.
4. Keema Matar (An amazing beef or lamb curry)
This delicious dish froze very well. I made it a little milder than usual so that if the heat increased after being frozen it wouldn’t get too hot for my kids. I love how flavorful this dish is.
5. Chicken and Vegetable Soup
I made a very concentrated chicken broth (get instructions here and here for chicken broth) with a whole chicken. Then I shredded the chicken and sautéed onions, celery, and carrots. I combined the vegetables with the chicken and broth and then separated into freezer bags for freezing. I purposely made my chicken broth concentrated so it wouldn’t take as much room in the freezer and then diluted it with water when heating up the soup. We would add gluten free noodles or white rice to this after defrosting it.
6. Hearty Beef Stew
We love beef stew! I used radishes instead of potatoes, and they were delicious and froze well (without tasting spicy, I promise!). While you can make up whatever beef stew is your favorite, I used our family favorite recipe from my soup cookbook, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for all Seasons. Another favorite is this Autumn Beef Stew.
7. Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken
I didn’t flatten the chicken this time because it was so much work to do in mass, but instead kept the chicken thighs as they came. All you do is pour the sauce over the chicken and freeze! Because I choose not to flatten the chicken, I just popped it into a pan and baked it instead. Defrost as needed and serve with rice or cauliflower rice, and Japanese Cucumber Salad. Yum!
8. Lemon and Garlic Drumsticks
I also made up several dinners worth of this easy recipe. It also froze well and was very easy to put together in mass. I find that when I am nursing I need to eat a lot of protein, so I loved having this as a dinner main dish option.
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i love it, so i cant wait to try it
Did you worry at all about leaving out things like onions and garlic in case you had a colicky baby? I’m expecting my third and both my kiddos had sensitive tummies and I’m wondering how careful I should be to exclude things that might upset newborns.
I did worry a little about that in the past, but onions and garlic were never an issue for my kiddos, so I decided not to worry about it. (Dairy, gluten, and eggs were for one child though, so I tried to make my freezer meals free of those.) I eat lots of garlic and onions when pregnant, and we do know that preborn babies adapt to the flavors of a mothers diet before they are born via the amniotic fluid, so that may have helped me too. Garlic flavors the breast milk, so it’s helpful to have eaten it sometimes while pregnant. 🙂