Autumn’s shorter and shorter days make it hard to get home and cook dinner before it’s pitch black and all you really feel like doing is crawling into bed. Here are some fall freezer favorites that you can make on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy in the weeks to come. All of these recipes keep well, and you can scale the portions appropriately.

1. Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Beef stew is easy and comforting. CHOW’s version is full of vegetables and reheats well with pasta, rice, or any starch you feel like whipping up. Or grab a crusty baguette and use it for sopping up any leftover stew in your bowl.
Recipe and photo from CHOW

2. Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce, with or without meat, is a great thing to keep in the freezer, and you’ll never regret making a double batch. This recipe from the Pioneer Woman has a ton of flavor plus ground beef for extra protein—with some Parmesan cheese on top it’s a perfect weeknight meal.
Recipe and photo from The Pioneer Woman

3. Broccoli and Wild Mushroom Casserole

This veggie casserole with a Ritz cracker topping makes a great vegetarian main dish that you can keep on hand for an impromptu dinner party. Wild mushrooms are Robert Rausch’s tasty solution for replacing canned mushroom soup.
Recipe and photo from Food & Wine

4. Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Our slow cooker split pea soup recipe is a great one to have in your repertoire. You can easily alter this to make it vegetarian by leaving out the ham bone and replacing chicken broth with veggie broth; plus, you can freeze individual portions for an easy-to-grab lunch option that doubles as an ice pack.
Recipe and photo from CHOW

5. Lasagna

This lasagna recipe is easy to make ahead in steps and lasts for up to three months in the freezer, so you’ll have dinner ready to go whenever you choose to defrost. This recipe has mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta—the cheesy goodness will not go unnoticed.
Recipe and photo from The Washington Post

6. Oatmeal

Breakfast is in the bag: If you start the day off with these single-serve almond and dried cherry frozen oatmeal portions there’s no way it won’t be a great day. Take one or two and microwave them with some milk or water and you’ll have a hot breakfast in only a minute or two.
Recipe and photo from The Kitchn; header image from The Virtuous Wife

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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