No Time, No Prob: 5 Healthy Freeze-It-and-Forget-It Meals

We are programmed to be go, go, go—it’s the norm in 2017. Because, if you haven’t heard, we are millennials. We have evolved, according to every article about our generation, into multitasking machines with zero time to chill. (Unless we’re talking about time to Netflix and chill.)

But being so on the go that you’re ordering your meals can be expensive and, often, not the healthiest option. The answer? Cooking, which can be economical and a way to control what you consume and the size of your portions. But is DIY doable for full meals, especially during the week after an exercise class or work, when you’re exhausted? We’re saying yes!

Here, we’ve collected the best—and healthiest—”freeze and forget” meals that can be fixed on a Saturday or Sunday and then reintroduced during the week. These dishes are good and good for you, even after they’ve been frozen. Some of them are even sprinkled with cheese!

So follow our advice for organizing your meals in a way that’s as efficient as you are. Because, being healthy also requires some downtime: some time to chill, with or without Netflix.

Bell peppers stuffed with beans, spinach, turkey and burrata

These Italian-inspired pockets are brimming with spices and, of course, tomato sauce. And they’re rich with protein from the beans, turkey and spinach (yes, spinach is a source of protein). Each pepper packs 334 calories (with 8.6 grams of fat) but, if desired, there are substitutions: You can either hold the burrata and/or swap the brown rice for quinoa.

Brunswick stew with brisket and chicken

This recipe—the most elaborate on this list—requires about three hours to cook but about three minutes to thaw. Brunswick stew is a favorite, especially in the South, thanks to its thick blend of protein and corn and lima beans. This is a gem of a recipe that’s nutritious and rooted in American tradition. Win win.

Eggplant Parmesan

This healthier version of the classic dish is designed to focus on the flavor of the eggplant—not the bread crumbs/cheese—so it’s hearty, not heavy. This recipe is about the awesomeness of the aubergine (which is what the English call “eggplant”)—a comforting, layered creation that promises to satisfy.

Five-ingredient black bean soup

This recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (4, 5)—and even easier when you opt for pre-made salsa. The chef recommends Herdez’s Caesara, which is available in a range of hotness, and Herdez’s Chipotle. This soup is filled with fiber from the black beans for a warm meal that’s perfect antidote to the cold weather.

Veggie egg cups with cheese

These breakfast bites are perfect and portable, boasting about 100 calories per cup for easy grabbing on the go: 50 calories of egg with 20 calories of cheese and 20 calories of vegetables from the bell peppers, carrots, corn, and peas. These babies are baked in the oven like muffins for a well-rounded snack that packs a punch of protein and taste.

Elizabeth Quinn Brown is a writer based in the East Village who accessorizes her (pilates) spandex with wedges. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.