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Brown bag thaw: Recipes you can freeze at home and thaw at work

Crate and Barrel Glass Bowls are perfect for storing small portions.

Put those TV dinners back! You no longer have to subject yourselves to unhealthy cardboard meals. Cooking can take time, but it’s also a worthy investment. If you double or triple a recipe, you can yield huge results.

You don’t need to be a culinary genius to cook freezable recipes, either. Go back to the basics, the tried and true recipes you’ve made 100 times. Then get crafty by freezing servings in small containers. In the mood for some chili at work today? Great! Pop a frozen container in your bag, let it thaw at work, then speed up the process in your break room microwave.


Chili is the ultimate comfort food. The chili you’re probably used to is one made with beef, beans and a tomato base seasoned with cumin and chili powder. That’s a winning dinner that need not be messed with! Still, there are lots of ways to spice up your usual chili recipe. Try chipotle peppers or a salsa verde, substitute chicken for beef, or forgo the meat all together and go vegetarian.

Bring some microwavable rice to work and you’ve got yourself a hearty, flavorful meal.


A big tray of lasagna can last for days. Why not make two, then slice it up and wrap individual pieces. Take one out before you head out to work and pack a side salad to go. There are a million and one lasagna options. The focus is on the layering, but what’s in those layers is free game! Try this slow cooker butternut squash lasagna. Or if you’re trying to cut back on refined carbohydrates, try swapping noodles for thinly sliced eggplant or zucchini.


Soup is another great freeze-able option with never-ending variety. There’s chicken vegetable soup, Italian wedding soup, tomato soup, butternut squash. If you’re looking to save on your grocery budget and rid your fridge of those veggies that aren’t looking so hot, check out Mark Bittman’s recipe for veggie stock. It’s easy and costs practically nothing. Use as a base for your favorite soup, then ladle out portions and stack these small containers in your freezer.


With a pie crust, a base of eggs and whatever protein and veggies you have on hand, you never have to make the same quiche twice. There are the tried and true pairings, like cheddar and broccoli or asparagus and gruyere, but what about sausage and spinach, or ground beef and peppers, or bacon potato? If you want to cut the fat, try a crust-less quiche. Just be sure to grease your baking dish well.

Your turn

Do you have any old standbys that make for great freezer meals?

By | 2020-04-15T16:29:43-04:00 February 18th, 2013|Categories: Archived|1 Comment

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