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Cook Your Freezer! 5 Freezer-to-Table Dinner Recipes — Freezer to Table

My freezer door gets opened multiple times a day. It's my secret weapon against food waste, food boredom, and, most importantly, ordering takeout when I don't feel like cooking. A little bit of leftover pesto? Into the freezer it goes to be slathered on puff pastry dough for a savory summer tart. When walking down the freezer aisle at Trader Joe's, bags of frozen Asian dumplings, broccoli florets, turkey meatballs, and shrimp get thrown into my cart. That way, when dinner needs to happen fast, I'm armed and ready to dish out some tasty meals without a last-minute run to the grocery store.

These five dinner recipes revolve around foods I consider freezer staples. With just a little prep, you too can be enjoying teriyaki meatball bowls, lemon ravioli casserole, shrimp and rice casserole, a summer veggie pesto tart, or a spicy-sour Thai-inspired dumpling soup. Ready to stock and shop your freezer like I do? Let's go!

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Recipe: Last-Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Frozen dumplings are one of my freezer secret weapons. They can be a hearty snack, quick appetizer when friends drop by, or even the star of a dinner stir-fry. Whether they're little Japanese gyoza or Chinese potstickers, all are welcome freezer staples to me. Now how about giving them the soup treatment? This sour-spicy soup, inspired by Thai tom kha gai soup, combines broth with creamy coconut milk, lots of ginger and lime zest for zing, pepper flakes for spiciness, frozen dumplings, and veggies for a soup hearty enough to be a full meal when that wonton soup craving hits. Oh, and it comes together in just about 15 minutes!

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Recipe: Last-Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Frozen dumplings are one of my freezer secret weapons. They can be a hearty snack, quick appetizer when friends drop by, or even the star of a dinner stir-fry. Whether they're little Japanese gyoza or Chinese potstickers, all are welcome freezer staples to me. Now how about giving them the soup treatment? This sour-spicy soup, inspired by Thai tom kha gai soup, combines broth with creamy coconut milk, lots of ginger and lime zest for zing, pepper flakes for spiciness, frozen dumplings, and veggies for a soup hearty enough to be a full meal when that wonton soup craving hits. Oh, and it comes together in just about 15 minutes!

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Recipe: Vegetable Pesto Puff Pastry Tart — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A box of puff pastry stashed in the freezer means magical things can happen, including a tart with a colorful mosaic of summer vegetables layered on top of fragrant basil pesto and topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese and red pepper flakes. A still-warm slice of this buttery tart is just the thing you'll want to eat outside with a frosty glass of rosé.

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Recipe: Easy Hatch Chile Egg Casserole — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

We get excited about a lot of fresh summer produce, but if there was just one single item to get really excited for, it's Hatch green chiles. They're starting to arrive right now and will continue into October, but don't wait too long to pick some up because they're only in season for a short time. We're making the most of them while we can — starting with breakfast.

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Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Sometimes cucumbers bore me to tears. No offense, cucumber, but your chill flavor can be a little underwhelming at times! It wasn't until I began spiralizing cucumber into long, elegant strands that my affection for this vegetable really began to change.

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