10 Make Ahead & Freeze Lunches


I love saving money and time with great ideas for my husbands lunches. I sometimes make these for myself too. One morning I can cook up a bunch of these make ahead and freeze lunches, then microwave them at work. Genius!

I am usually great about making freezer meals – however the majority of them are for dinner. But this year I have been trying to save money by making ahead lunches for my husband to take to lunch. And at home I do enjoy them as well by the way. A quick grab from the freezer, then a quick reheat makes a delicious healthy lunch. And I don’t have to cook or think about it. It’s great!

My kids get make ahead cold lunches but my husband likes warm food most of the time. Sometimes he takes leftovers, which is great but we don’t always have leftovers on hand. For his lunch I wanted one dish meals that can easily be reheated in the microwave at his office. Healthy options that I can make ahead and freeze as well. So I wanted to share some of the best ideas out there that I have found.  Most of these are things I can spend a morning cooking up in advance and he can then take them out everyday to pack in his lunch.

Please share what you or your husband takes for lunches to save money!

10 Tasty Make Ahead and Freeze Lunches for your Husband

Crispy Homemade Chicken Taquitos - with creamy cilantro and pepperjack cheese

1. Homemade Freezer Chicken Taquitos with Cream Cheese & Cilantro (my recipe). I will bake these up so they are fully cooked, then just reheat them at lunch time.

Freezer lunch - chicken enchiladas

2. Make Ahead Chicken Enchiladas from Everyday Family. Make up a pan of these enchiladas, then add to a lunch container/ziplock container. Freeze and take one each day.


Ham & Cheese Sliders - make ahead and freeze lunch idea

3. Ham and Cheese Sliders from Thriving Home. Oh man are these delicious. Bake up a bunch then freeze each individually to reheat at work.

Make Ahead Individual chicken pot pies for a quick lunch at the office

4. Individual Chicken Pot Pies from Tastebook. This is one my absolute favorite choices. It’s warm, they are small and so hearty.

Freezer Meal Bean & Cheese Burritos - makes a great freezer lunch

5. Freezer Friendly Bean and Cheese Burritos from New Leaf Wellness. Make up a ton of homemade burritos and individually freeze.

6. Lasagna Roll-Ups from My Joy-Filled Life. Bake up a pan of these, then freeze in individual containers to take to lunch.

Freezer meal - soup

7. Skinny Chicken Poblano Soup from Once a Month Meals. Freeze soup in individual containers. YUM.

8. Freezer Pizza Bombs from The Benson Street. This recipe really is the bomb. So tasty.

66% cheaper than store bought, these homemade hot pockets from scratch are a perfect lunch or snack on the go. Make a huge batch and freeze them for busy afternoons or school lunches.

9. Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets (my recipe) This one takes a bit more time to make but it is so worth it. Bake up a bunch and freeze for you or him to eat at lunch time.

Homemade Freezer Meal lunch pockets

10. Homemade Chicken Salsa Pockets from Money Saving Mom. Don’t these look so good. I haven’t made them yet, but they looked too good not to share.

–> See all of my freezer meal recipes here. 

Hope you enjoyed this round up of freezer meal lunch ideas. Please share any other recipes or make ahead lunch ideas you make too!36 Comments

10 Make Ahead & Freeze Lunches was last modified: May 17th, 2015 by Karrie

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing my bean and cheese burritos! I love all of your ideas. Definitely want to try the sliders. Yum!

  2. Wow! You have certainly created a delicious looking round up for the hubs! I know mine would gladly take any of these in his lunch! Thanks for sharing our Chicken Poblano Soup!

  3. This is exactly what I needed to see today. We’re trying to eat less processed foods, but lunch is the hardest. Leftover dinner just isn’t cutting it. So excited to try these!

  4. Everything looks so yummy. I can’t wait to try some of these. The individual chicken pot pie looks so good but my hubby only has a microwave at work. Any ideas on how to store these other than in foil? Thanks for all the tips!

  5. Thank you for sharing my Lasagna Roll Ups. This is a great list! I’m pinning to my freezer cooking board.

  6. I cook up some Jumbo stuffed shells( al dente) and fill them will all kinds of savory things. They are especially good for using up the 3 TB of whatever leftover. I’ve done traditional Italian with ricotta cheese, chicken/beef pot pie, mushrooms w/diced roast beef, sausage pepper & onions fillings, chicken al fredo & broccoli, tuna casserole ones (just tuna in a cheese sauce with peas) are really good–anything really. I cook the pasta & cool quickly (to stop the cooking process), let them dry out a bit & freeze on single layers. Once frozen I place them in a container. Whenever I am cooking something that I think lends itself to them, I take a few out of the freezer. After dinner they are thawed enough to fill (you may have to squirrel away some of the dinner before it gets to the table).
    I have also spent some time making different fillings just for stuffing these. The pasta cooking process is the same. The pasta dries a bit while I am making fillings. I fill them & freeze them in small Pyrex dishes with lids. I make extra sauce for topping & sometimes add cheese.
    In a pinch these are dinner.

  7. I must say, the title of this article has completely turned me off from reading any further. As a busy WOMAN working 50+ hour weeks, I was hoping to find lunch ideas for myself. However, as this is only meant to be for my husband, I’ll search elsewhere.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Sorry didn’t mean to offend! 🙂 In earlier posts I had been talking about make ahead cold lunches for my kids and now was moving on to my husband! I use the ideas for him or for me–just passing along what works in my family!

      • You have no need to apologize. Your post was not offensive in any way and I feel did not put women down in the least (we should be respectful of ALL women from those who wish to be homemakers to those who wish to be out in the work force and anything in between). I thank you for your post as it gave me some great ideas for myself, my husband and even my children. Don’t feel like you need to apologize for those who are too close-minded and who are only looking for a fight. Keep up the good work 🙂

      • Delaney says:

        Agree with Brittany! I work full-time and usually pack leftovers or a sandwich for myself and it’s easy peasy. My boyfriend has such a hard time coming up with lunch ideas as he needs to put down a lot of calories in a short amount of time and doesn’t have the option to leave work and grab something. Thank you for all of your suggestions! I also make big batches of chili, burrito bowls and risotto which all freeze and reheat well. 🙂

    • Oh cool your jets lady. If you only think they’ll work for your husband don’t make/eat them. I don’t have a husband, but I think they’ll work fine for me!

      Thanks Happy Money Saver!

    • Amen. I was put off by this too. Obviously I know I can use the recipes too, but why do we have to perpetuate these stereotypes? The first one being than a woman has to cook dinners and now lunches for her man, and another that men can’t do this themselves… When I get married, my husband will either already know how to do this stuff, or I’ll show him. Just as women are capable of working as hard as men, then can cook for themselves (and maybe even for us! *gasp*) every once in a while. End feminist rant.

      • This isn’t perpetuating any stereotypes… not once did I say anything like “All women should make their husbands lunch..every day…in a dress, barefoot. ” I know there is a group of people out there that actually do make lunch for their husbands and I thought it might solve a problem for them . But these can also be great lunch ideas for ANYONE obviously. I enjoy taking one of these out of the freezer for my own lunches too.

        I actually LOVE to cook for my husband and do NOT look at it as a negative thing. I LOVE doing nice things for the man I love but I did not say that I HAVE to make him food. It is NOT WRONG to do nice things for your spouse. My husband is very capable of making lunch for himself and does so the majority of the time. But he also really appreciates it when I make lunch for him too. I get plenty of thank you’s and hugs when I do something like this. Marriage is all about love, kindness and forgiveness.

        True joy in life is found in doing good kind loving things for others, and that’s what this post is about. Love. Please stop taking things the wrong way and turning it into something ugly and negative. Thanks.

        • Denise Brewer says:

          Thank you. I read it because I was looking for something for my husband. As it is my joy to cook for him. There is always someone trying to put someone else down. Just because someone else thinks it is a chore, doesn’t mean it is wrong if some feel it a joy.
          Ladies what ever works for you. Let me do what ever works for me.

        • Love this. And I support and love your heart behind the blog post. I’m a newlywed and I want to bless my husband and surprise him by having lunch ready for him on some days when I have the time. Otherwise he grabs an oatmeal packet because he’s on the go all day. I’m a 1st year teacher just trying to keep life balanced and stay afloat, and I frankly HATE cooking, but that’s what you do for people you love. Sacrifice. Pinning and making all of these recipes!!

  8. Thank you for these great ideas! I’ll be trying them. And as a single, working woman I’m not in the least bit offended by the title of this post, but rather by the way some women feel the need to bash homemakers for their lifestyle choice as if they are lesser people for it. Heaven forbid a wife do something nice for her husband because it’s the 21st century! You are not feeding any stereotypes, just simply stating how and why you use these recipes. Maybe if these people did nice things for there loved ones they wouldn’t have so much time to troll the Internet and tear others down!

  9. I had no idea being a feminist meant I couldn’t feed my husband if I wanted to. All this time I thought the option to do what you want was the essence of third-wave feminism. Heaven forbid we acknowledge people often have different reasons behind the same actions. I cook because I enjoy it, I have time, and I’d rather spend my grocery budget on real food rather than Trader Joe’s frozen dinners, but because I make food for my husband to take to work sometimes I guess I’d better march down to the courthouse and drop my maiden name. Won’t be needing that anymore. At least my mother-in-law will finally be happy.

    …wait, does this mean I have to start plucking my eyebrows?! MAKE YOUR OWN STINKIN MINI QUICHE, SWEETIE.

  10. What is the deal with all the feminist stuff? If you don’t like the title, don’t read it. If you don’t want to cook for your husband or kids, don’t. If you don’t have a husband, maybe that’s why. For those that choose to cook for our husbands, that’s okay. It’s all a choice. Slow your roll. I’m a working mom/wife. My husband works too. I think it’s okay for me to be the one to cook. Like I said-my choice. Sorry to rant but that irritates me. Thanks for these recipes. I’ll enjoy making them for me ANDY my husband.

  11. Rachel Rubin says:

    It boggles my mind why women themselves can be so blind and guilty in perpetuating this problem. When I saw this title, I thought it was a joke! It makes assumptions about gender roles, and instills the idea that the woman’s role is in the kitchen…And all you people saying that we should ‘respect’ a woman’s choice to be a homemaker, rather than pursue her own goals and dreams, I call bullshit!

    I say, make your own sandwich, man.

    • Uummm, I know this will probably totally confuse you, but WHAT IF a woman’s hopes & dreams ARE staying home & raising a family? She’s not short changing herself, and she’s not judging you for wanting to be in the work force. I worked until I my husband and I started building our family. I stay home- I cook almost every meal- and I support my husband in all his endeavors (even making his lunch, because I know he often gets so busy he forgets to eat.)
      The ones that are “perpetuating” stereo types are the ones that are easily offended by & nit pick everything. It’s going to get to the point that selling chicken “breasts” will be offensive to feminists or distinguishing dark meat vs white meat will not be politically correct because it’s racist. This craziness needs to stop. Just let everyone live out their lives & quit being so sensitive AND judgemental. :-/

      And Karrie- Thank you for taking the time to share these resources. The title actually attracted me because it was exactly what I was looking for!

  12. This is a great idea.

  13. These are a lifesaver-and a budget saver!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Hi- these are just what I was looking for- I’m looking for ideas always for my family but specifically today for my Grandma- I want to stock her freezer up with easy items. How do you suggest heating up the sliders…

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      What a great granddaughter! I would heat up the sliders in the microwave with a slightly moist towel around them if the outside is hard. Because they are baked the bread should soften and be delicious!

  15. I’m having no luck getting that chicken pot pie recipe. Can you please help?

  16. CrankyPants says:

    This title makes me want to puke. The ideas are good. Why can’t you just stop stereotyping the rest of us? Women have jobs. Women go to work. Women eat lunch. Women feed themselves. You want to wear an apron and play house with your husband, great, have fun. I want to go make a difference in the world.

  17. WeNeedToLoveAllWomen says:

    Oh my goodness, the comments are crazy irritating. I love the title, and I love this post. I was looking for ideas for both my husband and I, since I’m really busy with school and having two kids under two! I think the women who are saying things like “this title makes me want to puke” need to stop being so narrow minded. I left a six-figure job when my son was a year old because it IS my dream to stay at home and raise my family. I don’t think that makes me less of a woman, and I’m deeply offended and saddened that someone would suggest that since I stay at home with my family that I am unequipped to make a difference in the world. I make a hell of a difference in this world, thank you. CrankyPants should try to to see what being a real feminist is all about- embracing all women and all of their choices. Any who, great post! I’m excited to try these recipes out!

  18. Lovecookingformyfamily says:

    Thank you so much for this. I looked for this exact title because although I may just eat a salad or fix the kids PBJ, I wanted specific ideas for hearty recipes to make for my husband. Perfect post!

    (My hubby does all the laundry too. Love it!)

    *Please do not change your content because of others.

    • Thank you! I love my husband too, and am okay with making him freezer lunches. At least he eats this way and doesn’t spend money going out to eat! That’s a win for me. 🙂

  19. These are awesome ideas! I love to cook and love cooking my husband’s lunches to take to work. I ran out of ideas, so I’m sure he will love something new. 🙂 I’m sure I will also!

  20. I loved this too, thank you! I love cooking my husband lunch and dinner, and I love that he prefers my food over bought food 🙂 This post was just what I was looking for. Thanks!

  21. Great recipes! Can’t wait to get married so I can make these!

  22. Love these recipes…great ideas. Just what I was looking for. I’ll add a shout out to all the MEN out there making lunches for THEIR husbands!

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