15 time-saving batch cooking recipes for busy parents

We're all about shortcuts when it comes to family mealtimes - just scale up the quantities, freeze the extras, and whip out to delighted gasps on a busy weekday evening.

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Chicken pie


When and how to freeze: After you've put the pastry on, but before baking - cover with a tight layer of clingfilm
How long will it last: Up to three months
How do I cook it?:Cook straight from frozen - just add 30-45 minutes on to the cooking time


Fish cakes


When and how to freeze: Wrap them up in clingfilm before cooking
How long will it last?: Up to two months
How do I cook it?: Cook straight from frozen. Pop them in the oven for 30 mins, turning half way.


Coconut and tamarind chicken curry


When and how to freeze: Put in freezer-safe tupperware after cooking
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Thaw in the fridge over night, then re-heat in a pan


Secret tomato sauce


When and how to freeze: Put in freezer-safe tupperware after cooking
How long will it last?: Up to six months
How do I cook it?: Pop it in a pan from frozen - it'll be ready in ten minutes


Classic lasagne


When and how to freeze: It's best to bake before freezing if you're using dried lasagna sheets - cover with clingfilm before popping in the freezer
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Put it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then cook as normal


Very lazy beef stew


When and how to freeze: Cover with a tight layer of clingfilm and freeze after baking
How long will it last?: Up to six months
How do I cook it?: Put it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then cook as normal


Cottage pie


When and how to freeze: Before or after baking is fine - just cover with a tight layer of clingfilm before freezing
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Either put it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then cook as normal, or cook straight from the freezer, adding 30-45 minutes to the cooking time


Chicken curry


When and how to freeze: Put in freezer-safe tupperware after cooking
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Thaw in the fridge over night, then re-heat in a pan


Lentil lasagne



When and how to freeze: It's best to bake before freezing if you're using dried lasagna sheets - then cover with clingfilm before popping in the freezer
How long will it last?: Up to six months
How do I cook it?: Put it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then cook as normal


Best ever meatballs


When and how to freeze: Put in freezer-safe tupperware after cooking
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Thaw in the fridge over night, then re-heat in a pan


Chilli con carne


When and how to freeze: Put in freezer-safe tupperware after cooking
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Thaw in the fridge over night, then re-heat in a pan


Fish pie


When and how to freeze: Before or after baking is fine - just cover with a tight layer of clingfilm before freezing
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Either put it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then cook as normal, or cook straight from the freezer, adding 30-45 minutes to the cooking time


Five veg spaghetti bolognese


When and how to freeze: Put in freezer-safe tupperware after cooking
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Thaw in the fridge over night, then re-heat on the hob


Cowboy pie


When and how to freeze: Before or after baking is fine - just cover with a tight layer of clingfilm before freezing
How long will it last?: Up to three months
How do I cook it?: Either put it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then cook as normal, or cook straight from the freezer, adding 30-45 minutes to the cooking time


Don't forget dessert! Make an amazing apple and blackberry crumble


When and how to freeze: Before or after baking is fine - just cover with a tight layer of clingfilm before freezing
How long will it last?: Up to six months
How do I cook it?: Cook straight from the freezer, adding 30-45 minutes to the cooking time




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Last updated: about 2 months ago