Did you know that you can make ahead and freeze meatloaf? Yep! Meatloaf is actually one of my favorite freezer meal recipes! Today, I’m going to share some super simple tips to make ahead and freeze meatloaf so you can stock up on healthy freezer meals.
If you would’ve said to me 7-8 years ago that I’d be a huge meatloaf fan I’d think you’re crazy. When I was growing up meatloaf was my least favorite meal. Seriously, I hated it! Just word “meatloaf” sounded gross.
Anyway, as I grew up, matured, and searched for healthy recipes to add to our meal plan meatloaf recipes kept popping up. So, I gave meatloaf another shot.
Holy cow, meatloaf has come a long way baby! The recipes of the 1970s don’t even come close to the deliciousness of modern meatloaf recipes. Especially, my recipes. Haha…but seriously! I don’t like to brag but I make a mean meatloaf.
I should say that I make a mean turkey meatloaf recipe. Obviously, I try to make the healthiest version of recipes and using ground turkey reduces the fat and calories in meatloaf recipes significantly.
If you’re worried about ground turkey resulting in a dry meatloaf don’t be I have a solution for that. Actually, I wrote an entire post of how to create a delicious turkey meatloaf recipe. After you’re done reading this post I suggest heading over to that one for my best meatloaf tips.
Another thing I absolutely love about turkey meatloaf recipes is each one can be made ahead of time and frozen for future dinners. That’s right, you can freeze meatloaf. This means you can make a bunch of meatloaves at once and then have healthy freezer meals available all month, or longer. Of course, ground beef meatloaf recipes can be frozen too but I use ground turkey so that’s what I’ll refer too.
Okay, let’s go over the steps for freezing meatloaf recipes.
How to Freeze Meatloaf
There are a couple ways to freeze meatloaf. You can prepare the meatloaf and then freeze it prior to cooking it. Or you can prepare and cook a meatloaf recipe completely. After it is cooked, and cooled, you can then slice it up into individual portions and freeze.
Let’s start with the first one. I love preparing 3-4 meatloaves at once. I only need to make one mess and then I have 3-4 hearty dinners prepared and ready in the freezer.
The first thing you’ll do is prepare the turkey meatloaf recipe as you normally would. I’ve frozen every turkey meatloaf recipe on my blog. So it doesn’t matter on the recipe, the process is still the same. The recipe shown below is my zucchini feta turkey meatloaf recipe.
For the next step you need to place plastic wrap over a baking sheet and then spray it with cooking spray. This is so the meatloaf easily comes off the plastic wrap when you’re ready to bake it.
Then form the loaf on the plastic wrap. If you’re making more than one meatloaf then lay out a sheet of plastic wrap for each meatloaf, you’ll need form the loaf sideways to fit more than one on the baking sheet.
Also, you could purchase disposable meatloaf pans from the grocery store or get them in bulk on Amazon. If you get disposable meatloaf pans then just spray the loaf pan and then form the loaf in the pan and wrap top with plastic wrap and foil.
Either way will work.
This recipe below is my bacon cheeseburger meatloaf recipe.
Now you want to flash freeze the meatloaf. This means sticking the sheet pan in the freezer for 2 hours or until the meatloaf is just frozen enough that you can lift it up in one piece. If you don’t have a sheet pan, or not a lot of freezer space, then use a plate. I’ve frozen many meatloaves using just a plate. The purpose is to get the loaf frozen just enough so you can wrap it.
Wrap the loaf twice in plastic wrap.
Next, wrap the meatloaf in foil. I like to use plastic wrap and foil to assure the meatloaf won’t get freezer burn. Then label the meatloaf and stick in the freezer.
These turkey meatloaves are easy to stack and move around in the freezer. After they’re completely frozen stick them wherever the meatloaves will fit.
The meatloaf can be cooked frozen, so if you forget to take it out of the freezer no worries. You just need to remove the plastic wrap and foil first. If the plastic wrap gives you a little bit of a struggle then run it under warm water for a few seconds and it will come right off.
I try to take the meatloaf out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the refrigerator. Then I remove the foil and plastic wrap before cooking. Typically, it’s still somewhat frozen. I recommend removing the foil and plastic wrap prior to the meatloaf thawing completely. It’s easier to handle this way.
Cook the meatloaf as the recipes suggests. If the meatloaf is still a little frozen (or completely frozen) you will need to add more time onto the recipe. The meatloaf needs to be cooked to 165 F in the middle. I find adding on 20 – 30 minutes to the recipe does the trick.
This is my favorite way to freeze meatloaf in big batches.
Another way you can freeze meatloaf is to make a meatloaf recipe completely ahead of time, slicing into portions, and freezing or keeping in the refrigerator.
I often freeze meatloaf this way too because I find it very helpful to have healthy “heat and eat” food in the refrigerator and freezer.
You can even prep meal prep bowls or freezer meals using cooked meatloaf. In my opinion, meatloaf stores great in the refrigerator and freezer. It never dries up (thanks to my tips) and keeps its flavor and texture perfectly.
These 2-compartment meal prep containers can be found on Amazon
Turkey meatloaf recipes are low-carb and delicious. Taking the time to stock your freezer will assure you have healthy freezer meals on hand for easy weeknight dinners.
Here are my favorite turkey meatloaf recipes. Like I said, I’ve frozen each of these recipes so you’ll have no problem getting your freezer stock with all of these.
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