If you want to save time, money, AND sanity, you’ll love these make ahead meals for busy moms!
With everything we have to do, sometimes the last thing we feel like doing is cooking.
It takes WAY less energy to hit up the drive-thru than it does to stand in front of the fridge for 10 minutes trying to figure out what to cook when you have a million things to do and no one knows what they want to eat.
The drive-thru is okay every now and then when you need a quick fix, but it can become an expensive habit– fast.
That’s one of the many reasons I quickly became obsessed with make ahead meals and meal prep in general.
Not only will you save money, but freezer meals are also SO helpful during those times when life is just CRAZY. I only wish I had planned and prepped better before my second baby was born. Looking back, it would have made my c-section recovery so much easier!
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
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Best containers for make ahead meals?
Before we jump in to the recipes, you might be wondering what containers to use for freezing food or just meal prep in general.
There are endless styles and types of containers you can use for your make ahead meals, but here are my top picks:
Plastic containers are inexpensive, light, and easy to store. I recommend going with BPA-Free dishwasher/microwave/freezer friendly containers like these.
I love glass containers if I’m only storing in my fridge vs. the freezer. Glass containers are so durable and will last forever!
Side note: You CAN also store glass containers in the freezer if they are tempered. Just make sure to leave enough space (about 3/4 inch) between the food and the lid (source).
Mini Mason jars are my favorite for making meals like overnight oats in a jar.
And, of course, good old freezer bags! I try to use these as little as possible and opt for the reusable options above, but they do work well for smoothie packs, stir-fry kits, etc.
Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes
Overnight Oats in a Jar
Overnight oats are one of the easiest (and best!) make ahead meals for busy moms. When I make them, I usually make 4 at once and boom! Breakfast is solved for the next 4 days.
Breakfast quesadillas are another super easy and versatile make ahead breakfast idea. Not into dairy? Skip the cheese. Don’t eat gluten? Use gluten free tortillas instead of the usual wheat flour tortillas.
Here are 4 ways you can make breakfast quesadillas to give you some ideas from Family Fresh Meals.
An Egg McMuffin alternative you can make at home and save time AND money? *swoon*
You can make these pretty much ANY way you want, but these make ahead freezer breakfast sandwiches from Aberdeen’s Kitchen look reallyyyy promising. Minus the Canadian bacon. 😉
Potato and Omelet Breakfast Bites
Don’t have time to chop potatoes? You can use tots instead. Pair with fruit and breakfast is complete!
Potato and omelet breakfast bites via Ella Claire
Everybody loves breakfast burritos. Your spouse. Your kids. The perfect make ahead breakfast for us busy moms!
Check out this Breakfast Burrito Bonanza recipe from Mom on Timeout for step-by-step instructions.
Mini Breakfast Pizzas
Pizza for breakfast?! Yup. I love creative recipes like this!
Mini Breakfast Pizza recipe via The Girl on Bloor
Breakfast bowls are yet another super easy and versatile make ahead breakfast idea. All you need to do is combine scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes (AND veggies if you want). Then, top with your favorite toppings like salsa, cheese, etc.
These Country Breakfast Bowls from Budget Bytes are simple to make and budget-friendly.
Make Ahead Spinach and Tomato Frittata
Are you looking for a gluten free or low carb option? Frittata. 😍 OR pair it will a slice of toast or some fresh fruit.
Try this Spinach and Tomato Frittata from Simply Recipes.
If you’ve ever done any meal prepping before, you’ve heard of egg muffins. These are a favorite of mine because there’s honestly no wrong way to make them. I always make these when I need to use up leftover ingredients in my fridge.
If you want to follow a recipe for your first batch, try these Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins from Well Plated.
Green Smoothie Packs
If you’ve never had a green smoothie, don’t let the color fool you. You can’t taste the greens at all! I love prepping these because all I have to do is pop the ingredients into my Ninja Fit and I’m done.
This recipe from Dessert Now Dinner Later is perfect for beginners.
Banana and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups
I love this twist on traditional oatmeal. If you ever wake up with a sweet tooth, this one is for you.
These Banana and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups from Organize Yourself Skinny look divine.
Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal
You’ve seen that heavy breathing cat meme, right? That’s me at this very moment…
Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal via Shaken Together
My 8-year-old LOVES pancakes, so I know he is going to fall head over heels for these. For this recipe, I love that she uses store-bought mix. 🙈 Sometimes it’s just not practical to make every single thing from scratch.
Freezer-Friendly Pancake Muffins via Forks and Folly
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
Of course we had to throw a bar recipe into the mix! I don’t know about you, but I’m just not a fan of store-bought breakfast bars. These, on the other hand, have won me over.
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars via Vanilla and Bean
Make Ahead Lunches & Dinners to Freeze
Baked Chicken Nuggets
Bacon chicken nuggets seems to be every kid’s favorite meal. You can make these ahead of time too!
These Baked Chicken Nuggets from Natasha’s Kitchen look oh so crispy.
Skip the takeout and try this easy make ahead orange chicken instead. 😋
Freezer Friendly Healthy Orange Chicken via Super Healthy Kids
Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. I love that this recipe has added veggies. Maybe the kiddos won’t even notice?
Extra Summer Veggie Lasagna via Super Healthy Kids
Did I have you at taco? I’m glad we agree.
Try this Easy Taco Casserole recipe from Eating on a Dime
Stir-fry is one of my weekly go-to meals. Yet ANOTHER easy way to use up any leftover veggies you need to get rid of.
Healthy and Delicious Stir-Fry Kits via Feeding Our Flamingos
Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Bake
Your kiddos won’t even mind the veggies. 😉
Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Bake via Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Twice Baked Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes
These look divine~ I’m always seeing sweet potatoes on sale at Aldi, so this is a budget-friendly winner for sure.
Twice Baked Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes via The Creative Bite
Bisque is a fancy way of saying grilled cheese and tomato soup. (At least in the South).
Tomato Bisque recipe via Thriving Home
Black Bean Taco Soup
Another winner for Taco Tuesday. 🙌
Black Bean Taco Soup via Six Sisters’ Stuff
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
I have a confession. I’ve never actually tried chicken parmesan that I can remember. But if I ever DO give it a try, I think this will be the one!
Chicken Parmesan Casserole via Thriving Home
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells
Stuffed shells remind me of my childhood. Love how this recipe has added spinach! Just a little extra vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells via Kristine’s Kitchen
Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
I’m learning to love quinoa. At first, I thought it had a weird texture and a weird name. But it’s really not so bad. This recipe makes it look delish.
Black Bean Quinoa Casserole via iFOODreal
Mini Turkey & Veggie Meatloaves
I looooove mini meatloves. These would go perfect with a quick baked potato.
Mini Turkey & Veggie Meatloves via Thriving Home
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
And, of course, you know we can’t forget the pot pie! Except this one isn’t made with sponge meat. 👌
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie via Meal Planning Magic
There you go, mamas! 28 EASY and delicious make ahead meals for us busy moms! Let me know which is your favorite.