Frozen food gets a bad rap. But on a college budget, preserving every purchase from your last grocery trip is essential. We came up with these 19 recipes to revamp your freezer finds into delicious meals and treats. Before simply popping in another frozen pizza or using a bag of frozen peas as an ice pack, check out what else you can create.
It’s time to change the way you think about frozen food. There’s flavor there when you play your cards right.
This breakfast sandwich is the hangover cure of your dreams featuring frozen Johnsonville breakfast sausage, hash browns and Eggo waffles. It covers all the breakfast bases from bread to meat to egg all held together with a creamy, tart avocado goat cheese spread.
#SpoonTip: The key to making it a handheld breakfast is double toasting your frozen waffles.
Quick and easy – like the morning should be. Ride the sugar high through the rest of this semester via these simple apple cinnamon waffles with crushed cinnamon cereal. It still counts as breakfast if there are waffles in our book.
Brunch like an all-star with this recipe repurposing Cheeze-Its as a crunchy crust. You most likely have all of the other ingredients in your pantry, too. Just make sure you season the Cheeze-Its and the egg wash before frying; that’ll make sure you max out on flavor.
Inspired by Italia, this easy pasta primavera dish is the perfect way to perk up frozen veggies. “Primavera” is Italian for “spring” referring to the season in full bloom and the refreshing mix of flavors in this lighter pasta dish. Buon appetito.
Creamy Carbonara sauce gets a lighter almond milk makeover to play up frozen peas in this recipe. Traditionally, the Roman pasta dish focuses on egg, pepper, bacon and cheese. But subbing in frozen breakfast sausage for bacon makes the dish a little more hearty.
Why stop at one way when you can try three? Check out this recipe for Parmesan Garlic Truffle, Spicy Chili and Sour Cream & Onion fries. You can also serve them as the base of a poutine to make it a meal.
Your favorite 3 am cravings combine in this pizza-lover’s day dream. It only requires three ingredients and your willpower to resist crying tears of joy.
There’s officially no excuse for eating plain chicken after this recipe roundup. Now you can upgrade your chicken tenders five different ways. Enjoy Sesame, Buffalo, Chicken Parm, Smoky BBQ and Peanut chicken fingers that will rival anything you can find at your local BWW.
My roomies and I store leftover bacon in the freezer to avoid wasting the strips we don’t get to. This is a great recipe to upgrade that frozen bacon once defrosted with fresh, homemade sweet potato fries. Trust us. Everything is better with bacon.
What to do when you have frozen beef and leftover mac and cheese? Combine them with that ramen package in the back of your pantry and make these mini burgers. Ramen buns may have originated at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, but making your own is a hell of a lot simpler than you think. Also check out these Balsamic Goat Cheese Ramen Bun Sliders once you’ve mastered the noodle bun.
Work those frozen wonton shells into your own Crab and Shrimp Rangoon before calling your favorite takeout place (that may or may be on your speed dial #college). This recipe is simple and you’ll get much more actual seafood for your efforts instead of an air pocket of crispiness or abundance of cream cheese. Sub in frozen shrimp for the fresh shrimp pictured to use up even more freezer finds.
Everything in this recipe is baked in a tinfoil “tent,” which makes for a ridiculously easy cleanup. Just roll it up and toss it away. But the best part? You can start cooking without defrosting the salmon. Simply cook 10-15 minutes longer than fresh salmon.
Having frozen pre-cooked fish on hand is an easy way to dress up any pasta dish. You don’t have to worry about how long to cook them. You’re basically reheating and infusing flavor from the sauces – like the tangy lemon marinara in this dish.
Frozen pizza alone is often the cure to our #hangryness. These hacks upgrade your favorite frozen pizzas with extra cheese, meat, spice, oil or herbs.
One way to avoid wasting brown bananas is to freeze them once they pass over the peak of ripeness. Then, you can transform them whenever you wish into amazing dishes like this matcha green tea smoothie. Look at you, not wasting your fruit and getting creative. Well done, Spooners. Well done.
What to do will all your leftover frozen fruits? Blend them into a mega smoothie bowl like this one featuring Greek yogurt, Cayenne pepper to boost your metabolism and even frozen spinach. Serve with fresh fruit and chia seeds for added antioxidants and an Instagram-worthy finish.
Australian coconut Noosa yoghurt is the secret ingredient in these mini ice cream sandwiches. The yoghurt brings a bit of sour to the sweetness of the fudge bar sauce. You can also drizzle it over fresh fruit or cheesecakes.
If you’re a texture person and you haven’t tried freezing Uncrustables yet, you’re missing out. But toasting them takes it to another level altogether. This recipe features a sophisticated sage and citrus berry sauce to use up your frozen fruit and play on sweet and savory for dessert.
PSA: Avocado ice cream is a real thing. And you need to try it. But you also need to try the basil and bacon ice creams because they’re incredible and vanilla ice cream can get boring. You’re not boring. You’re about to turn bacon into ice cream. You’re a virtual magician.