Fall is just around the corner. For most of us, this means an intensified schedule of work, school and family. During hectic times like these, exercise, clean eating and self-care can easily be thrown out the window in lieu of convenient, yet not-so-healthy choices. Set yourself up for success by preparing these freezable dinners with under 20 grams of carbs. Most freezer meals last up to three months, which is enough time to get you through each season and have a break before prepping your next batch of make-ahead meals.
1. Smothered Meatballs & Marinara | Maebells
Enjoy low-carb juicy meatballs in marinara covered in cheese! Lean ground pork is seasoned with fennel and marjoram then smothered and simmered in marinara sauce. These meatballs freeze well, so you can make a batch ahead of time and reheat as a quick dinner option. Recipe serves 6 at 3 meatballs each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 241; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 39mg; Sodium: 561mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 23g
2. Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken Thighs | Jehan Can Cook
It doesn’t get much easier than these scrumptious, lemony chicken thighs featuring fresh herbs and bright citrus flavors. Marinate the chicken overnight so all you have to do the next day is toss them in a pan to roast, let cool and freeze. Serve with a side of sautéed zucchini or over a bed of greens for a satisfying low-carb meal. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 thighs each.
Nutrition (per serving, calculated with 2 teaspoons of salt):Calories: 381; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 253mg; Sodium: 1044mg; Carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 45g
3. Hearty Beef Stroganoff | Clean Eating Magazine
Creamy beef stroganoff may not be the first meal that comes to mind when you think of clean eating, but this healthier version of the classic requires no butter and about half the sour cream as traditional stroganoff. We promise that this lighter version will tantalize your taste buds and your waistline. To freeze, spoon cooled stroganoff into an airtight container or resealable bag. Tip: To prevent the sauce from curdling, add the sour cream after thawing and reheating your stroganoff. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 302; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 305mg; Carbohydrate: 8g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 26g
4. Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken | The Healthy Maven
Drumsticks make a comeback with this simple jerk chicken recipe, and trust us — the smell alone makes this recipe worth the wait! The drumsticks slow-cook for four hours for extra tenderness before crisping up in the oven, making them a great party appetizer or main dish. To freeze, spread jerk seasoning onto drumsticks and place in an airtight container or zip-close bag. Thaw before cooking as instructed. Recipe makes 5 servings at 2 drumsticks each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 253; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Sodium: 376mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 34g
5. Mediterranean Boneless Pork Chops | Skinnytaste
Light on carbs but not on taste, this Mediterranean pork chop recipe cuts down on cooking time by having you multitask. While the tomatoes are roasting, pan-fry your pork chops. Tip: The trick to quick cooking is thinly sliced meat. For best results, freeze the pork chops and roasted tomatoes, then prep the rest of the veggies before serving. Recipe makes 4 servings with 2 chops plus 3/4 cups veggies each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 230; Total Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 72mg; Sodium: 502mg; Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 28g
6. Beef Filets with Pomegranate-Pinot Sauce | Cooking Light
Ready for a clean-eating treat? Savor juicy beef tenderloin steaks with a simple, decadent sweet-and-tangy pomegranate sauce. This homemade steak sauce cooks up in less than 10 minutes but tastes like a million bucks. Freeze a batch of this sauce to turn any steak dinner into a special occasion. Recipe makes 4 servings of 1 steak plus 2 teaspoons sauce.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 236; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 84mg; Sodium: 333mg; Carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 25g
7. Healthier Kung Pao Chicken | Fit Foodie Finds
Have only 20 minutes to put dinner on the table? Try this protein-packed kung pao chicken made healthier with less sodium and oil. Turn up the heat by adding more Sriracha or chili paste. Freeze individual portions for quick meals any night of the week. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 375; Total Fat: 20g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 495mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 30g
8. Portobello Pesto Pizza | Cook Smarts
Pizza lovers looking to cut back on calories and carbs should try out this portobello pesto pizza. Savory mushrooms topped with fresh tomatoes, herbed avocado pesto and plenty of mozzarella make a great option for a vegetarian meal. The pesto can be made in a food processor, or you can visit Cook Smarts for a video on how to make hand-chopped pesto. Freeze individual mushrooms, let thaw overnight and reheat in a warm oven. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 mushroom pizza each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 303; Total Fat: 29g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 17g; Cholesterol: 18mg; Sodium: 190mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 1g; Protein 13g
9. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna | Uproot Kitchen
This vegetarian spaghetti squash lasagna is a gluten-free, low-carb and saucy delight! This main dish features simple ingredients like spaghetti squash, baby spinach and mozzarella. Make this one-dish casserole in advance and freeze pre-portioned leftovers for a quick, reheatable dinner. It’s perfect for those busy nights! Recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 129; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 68mg; Sodium: 192mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 7g
10. Spiralized Squash Frittata | Cooking Light
Breakfast for dinner? Why not! Spiralizing is an entertaining way to get fresh vegetables into your diet. This spiralized squash frittata is mainly made from vitamin C-rich zucchini and protein-rich eggs. If you don’t have zucchini on hand, feel free to substitute carrots, parsnips or bell peppers. Freeze individual portions by allowing them to cool, and wrapping in parchment then in foil; foil imparts an unpleasant taste on eggs. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 157; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 192mg; Sodium: 340mg; Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 12g
11. Sweet Potato Egg Casserole | The Honour System
This breakfast recipe layers fluffy eggs with cheese, sweet potatoes and spinach. The best thing about casseroles is convenience: You can store leftovers in the freezer, and reheat for the perfect leftover lunch or no-sweat dinner. Serve it with a salad or steamed greens. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 340; Total Fat: 22g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 454mg; Sodium: 564mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 21g
12. Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce | Hummusapien
Make this low-carb comfort food using spaghetti squash tossed with a simple five-ingredient sauce. Simply mix fire-roasted tomatoes, cashews, water, basil and salt to make a creamy vegan sauce. Freeze individual portions of the finished dish or just the sauce. Recipe makes 3 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 202; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 630mg; Carbohydrate: 19g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 5g
13. Mushroom Cauliflower Vegan Burgers | Food by Mars
Practically the most multipurpose vegetable out there, cauliflower stars in a low-carb counterpart for another traditional favorite — burgers. Freeze patties between sheets of parchment for a burger any time a craving hits. Keep it low-carb, and wrap your vegan-friendly patty in Bibb lettuce. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 burger patty each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 87; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 173mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 4g