When you imagine a freezer meal, you probably think of casseroles, casseroles and more casseroles. Well guess what, they’re not the only option! And for special diets, there’s no rule book for freezer meals. It's like we're charting a new frontier. No one tells you what to do or how to do it, which can make gluten-free and dairy-free freezer meal cooking a YUGE challenge. Not to worry brave soul! Here we share the holy grail of freezer cooking for special diets. No longer will you have to spend your days figuring out what in the world to substitute for those every-dang-where wheat and milk ingredients — you'll know exactly how and what to do. Oh blessed day!
Choosing the Right Containers for Freezer Meals
If you've done any freezer cooking before, you know there's no greater weapon in the kitchen than proper tools. The same applies for freezer cooking!
If you're making casseroles or other baked dishes, it’s never a good idea to freeze your meals in the actual baking dishes or pans. The biggest reason is that you won’t be able to use the dish for months depending on how long your freezer meal is going to stay in your freezer. So you'll want to grab some disposable (recyclable) foil baking pans and unbleached parchment paper to line them with. You can even reuse the pans by washing and drying after you’re done, or just rinse and recycle instead.
In addition to baking pans, you’ll also need plastic freezer-friendly bags. Most zip-top freezer bags are made of LDPE which is a safer plastic (see our Guide to Safer vs Toxic Plastic for more information). This works well for items such as soups, stews, cooked meat, and slow cooker dinners. Once your bag is full, flatten it out and seal it. Freezing them flat will allow you to stack them up in your freezer so they take up less room.
Food Storage Containers
If you don’t have proper storage containers, you’ll want to invest in some! We've got a ton of BPA and PVC-free recommendations in both our Safer Food Storage Container Guide. and our Safe Dishes for Freezer Meals Guide. These are another excellent option for storing soups, sauces, and most liquids. They're also great way to save your leftovers in the freezer, but make sure your storage containers seal tightly to avoid freezer burn.
31 Gluten-free + Dairy-free Freezer Meals
Now that you have all your tools ready to make some freezer meals, here are some gluten-free + dairy-free ideas to get you started!
- Crockpot Orange Chicken
- Baked Ground Chicken Meatballs
- Paleo Chicken Pot Pie
- Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs
- Slow Cooker Honey Chicken
- Banana Pepper Shredded Beef
- Pineapple BBQ Beef Sandwiches
- Sweet Peach and Mustard Grilled Pork Chops
- Paleo Pizza Casserole
- Slow Cooker Party Pork
- Meatball Vegetable Soup
- Thai Chicken Enchiladas (just switch out the flour tortillas for corn or gluten-free tortillas)
- Asparagus and Salmon Bowl
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
- Honey Bourbon Chicken
- Garlic Mint Pork Loin
- Easy Meatball Recipe
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Beef Fajitas
- Sweet Garlic Chicken
- Rhubarb Pork
- Paleo Beef Stew
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Chicken Soup with Mexican Seasoning
- Apricot BBQ Chicken Wings
- Taco Chili
- Southwestern Pork Chili
- Chorizo Stuffed Peppers
- Ham and Pinto Bean Soup
Freezer cooking is possible for people with special diets! It might take a little extra planning, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be on your way to whipping up delicious freezer meals in no time.