Batch-cooking and freezing food is a great way to have delicious, convenient and hearty meals to hand—it takes less time that you think.
1. Ultimate effortless pulled pork
Image via Fuss Free Flavours
We start with this pulled pork dish: a joint of pork that is marinated for 24–36 hours before being slow-cooked for a further 12-14. Yes, it’s not the work of a moment, but you can leave it to do its thing while marinating, then cook it during the day and enjoy rolls stuffed with succulent pork for dinner. Don’t stint on the size of the joint and you’ll have plenty to freeze to enjoy later.
Get the recipe for ultimate effortless pulled pork
2. Pork and garlic sausage rolls
Image via Patisserie Makes Perfect
A sausage roll is a picnic staple, and a homemade one is so much tastier than those that are mass produced. This is especially so if, as here, you make the filling too. Puff pastry takes a bit of time to make, so it’s an ideal candidate for spending an afternoon rustling up a large batch, dividing it up into suitably sized portions and freezing.
Get the recipe for pork and garlic sausage rolls
3. Slow-cooker Teriyaki beef
Image via Baking Queen 74
Teriyaki—where food is cooked in a glaze of soy sauce, mirin or rice wine, and suga—is a delicious way of cooking beef. Here’s a recipe that uses the slow cooker again to come up with a dish of sticky wonderfulness.
Get the recipe for slow-cooker Teryaki beef
4. One-pot sweet potato and chickpea Moroccan style stew
Image via Lauren Caris Cooks
Another vegetarian dish that’s a winner for those who are looking for simplicity. It all happens in one pot here, so minimal hassle and washing up. I love the way that this dish is served with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on top, adding a juicy crunch to each mouthful.
Get the recipe for one-pot sweet potato and chickpea Moroccan style stew
5. Big batch Chinese beef
Image via Kitchen Sanctuary
Slow cooked beef with onions, mushrooms, garlic and Chinese five spice—my mouth is watering at the prospect already. It sounds like an absolute umami explosion.
Get the recipe for big batch Chinese beef
6. Smoky black bean chili with wheat berries
Image via Happy Kitchen.Rocks
I haven’t come across wheat berries before: they’re the entire wheat kernel except for the hull, cooked in a similar fashion to rice, and apparently have a tasty chewy nuttiness. The smoky flavour in this recipe is from the fire-roasted tinned tomatoes. If you can’t find them in the supermarket, I’m sure normal diced tomatoes would do, but it would mean missing out on a layer of flavour.
Get the recipe for smoky black bean chili with wheat berries
7. Basil and pistachio pesto
Image via Greedy Gourmet
Homemade pesto is so much more flavorful than shop-bought, and is best kept in the freezer. With all the oil, it doesn’t freeze so solidly that you can’t scoop some out relatively easily when you need it. This recipe isn’t traditional in that it uses pistachios rather than pine nuts, and doesn’t include parmesan cheese.
Get the recipe for basil and pistachio pesto
8. Spanish beans with tomatoes
Image via Veggie Desserts
This big dish of hearty butter beans, cooked with smoked paprika and tomatoes would be perfect for a large party. Prepare ahead and freeze, and you’re not stuck with a last minute cooking frenzy when feeding a crowd. You can adjust the spice blend to taste, mixing hot paprika with the more mellow smoked variety.
Get the recipe for Spanish beans with tomatoes
9. Homemade pizza dough with beer
Image via Cooking with Mammac
Beer and bread have a historic association, with brewers’ yeast being used as a trustworthy and reliable raising agent in many cuisines. Here, beer itself is used in the dough along with water, to give a yeasty tang to the dough. Once risen, balls of dough can be frozen; to use, defrost, roll out and cover with your favourite toppings. So much better than a delivery.
Get the recipe for homemade pizza dough with beer
10. Slow-cooker lamb korma curry
Image via The Cooks Pyjamas
We finish with a curry. These benefit from long, slow cooking, which make them perfect for the slow cooker. And we always find that for some reason, freezing a curry really seems to improve the flavours. Korma is a much-loved dish and it’s not too strong—so it won’t cause you to have a chilli meltdown!
Get the recipe for slow-cooker lamb korma curry
Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 10 years.