Seriously simple recipes you can make with frozen foods

How to use your freezer staples

<p>Rita Platts/Quadrille</p>

Rita Platts/Quadrille

Wondering what to make with the bag of peas lingering in the bottom of your freezer? In need of a recipe to use up the last of those frozen berries? From creamy curries and seafood chowders to veg-packed tortillas and simple desserts, these easy recipes all make excellent use of freezer staples.

Read on to discover the frozen ingredients you need to stock up on – listed from A-Z – and the simple yet seriously tasty dishes you can make with them.

Berries: Greek yogurt Eton mess

<p>Andrew Burton/BBC Books</p>

Andrew Burton/BBC Books

Most of us have frozen mixed berries on standby for breakfast smoothies, but they also work really well in desserts too. This lighter version of a classic Eton mess is a case in point; here crumbled, ready-made meringue nests and zingy berries (use a mix of your favourites) are stirred through zero-fat, Greek-style yogurt (swapping out the usual double cream) for a tasty treat.

Get the recipe for Greek yogurt Eton mess here

Berries: no-cook jam

<p>The Ice Kitchen/HarperCollins</p>

The Ice Kitchen/HarperCollins

You might think that making jam is a time-consuming process requiring a lot of patience, but our no-cook version only involves combining defrosted berries, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice. You'll have to leave it for a day before it's ready, but after that you can slather it straight on toast, stir through yogurt or drizzle over breakfast porridge.

Get the recipe for no-cook jam here

Breaded chicken: chicken katsu noodles

<p>Howard Shooter/Ebury Press</p>

Howard Shooter/Ebury Press

Frozen, shop-bought breaded chicken fillets are great to have on hand when you need to pull a meal together quickly. The rest of this flavour-packed noodle dish, featuring a umami-rich miso sauce, comes together easily while the chicken is cooking. You can also use frozen breaded chicken to make quick-cook chicken Parm or to top a Caesar salad.

Get the recipe for chicken katsu noodles here

Broad beans: courgette, pea and broad bean tortilla

<p>Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD</p>

Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

A Spanish-style tortilla is a great way to pack numerous vegetables into one dish and have something filling and ready to eat in a matter of minutes. Frozen vegetables are absolutely perfect for speedy meals  this recipe calls for frozen broad beans and peas, but you could certainly improvise a bit by adding mushrooms, broccoli or sweetcorn into the mix. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a crisp green salad on the side.

Get the recipe for courgette, pea and broad bean tortilla here

Broccoli: garlic and ginger pork stir-fry



Nothing comes together quite as quickly as a simple stir-fry and this flavourful pork dish is guaranteed to please. Soy, garlic, ginger and honey make an easy marinade, while the recipe uses frozen broccoli for extra nutrients – you could even swap the fresh pepper for frozen too. The recipe calls for pork loin steaks, but you could opt for chicken or a plant-based alternative.

Get the recipe for ginger and garlic pork stir-fry here  

Cauliflower: cauliflower cheese and white bean bake

<p>Good Food for Bad Days/Bluebird</p>

Good Food for Bad Days/Bluebird

The ultimate comfort food, this tasty bake combines cauliflower and cannellini beans with plenty of mature Cheddar and a crispy breadcrumb topping. Best of all, it requires almost zero effort, as the beans are from a tin and the cauliflower florets and onions come ready prepped, straight from the freezer.

Get the recipe for cauliflower cheese and white bean bake here

Cherries: dark chocolate and cherry sheet bake

<p>Kris Kirkham/Mitchell Beazley</p>

Kris Kirkham/Mitchell Beazley

Sour cherries are key to many dishes, from desserts to savoury sauces, but the fresh variety can be difficult to source and expensive too. With that in mind, this fruity bake calls for frozen cherries. With its soft sponge studded with chocolate chips and cherries, this traybake (which serves around 12) is perfect for feeding a crowd.

Get the recipe for dark chocolate and cherry sheet bake here

Cherries: sour cherry cheesecake

<p>Matt Russell/Bloomsbury Publishing</p>

Matt Russell/Bloomsbury Publishing

In this flavourful cheesecake recipe, cherries are used in a tangy compote to balance out the sweet cream cheese filling and digestive biscuit base. While you could use fresh, frozen cherries will work perfectly. Top tip: to prevent the cheesecake cracking, turn off the oven while the dessert is still inside and allow it to cool slowly with the door ajar.

Get the recipe for sour cherry cheesecake here

Chicken burgers: chicken burger gyros

<p>Haarala Hamilton/Ebury Press</p>

Haarala Hamilton/Ebury Press

This riff on traditional Greek chicken gyro is perfect for midweek eating and using frozen chicken burgers makes things even easier. Marinate the burgers in a fragrant mix of Greek yogurt, coriander, cumin, sweet paprika, lemon and garlic and leave for 30 minutes before cooking. Serve with French fries, pitta or flatbreads, homemade tzatziki, fresh tomatoes, cucumber and onion slices for a delicious dinner all the family will adore.

Get the recipe for chicken burger gyros here

Corn on the cob: roast corn chowder

<p>The Flexible Vegetarian/Frances Lincoln</p>

The Flexible Vegetarian/Frances Lincoln

Great to throw on the barbecue in summer or char in the oven for salads, frozen corn on the cob can easily be turned into a filling corn chowder too. This dish is rich, creamy and smoky and will keep you satisfied for hours. The spiced maple corn topping isn't a necessity, but it really does take the hearty soup to the next level. If you only have frozen sweetcorn kernels, substitute two cobs for around 7oz (200g) kernels and reduce the cooking time slightly.

Get the recipe for roast corn chowder here

Edamame beans: miso-crusted salmon with black rice

<p>Leon Happy Guts/Conran</p>

Leon Happy Guts/Conran

This versatile veggie is great in poke, noodle and rice bowls, as well as salads and Japanese-inspired curries. Edamame beans are highly nutritious and packed with protein, but they can be hard to come by fresh, so having a bag in the freezer makes sense. This recipe sees the tasty beans served with miso-crusted salmon for a deliciously light and healthy dish.

Get the recipe for miso-crusted salmon with black rice here

Fish fingers: fish tacos

<p>Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock</p>

Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Preparing breaded fish from scratch is all well and good, but sometimes there just isn't time, so having a pack of good-quality fish fingers or breaded fish fillets in the freezer is a great idea. For this recipe, skip the steps for preparing the fish and simply whip up the sauce while the fish fingers are cooking. Add a squeeze of fresh, zingy lime before serving and you’ll have yourself a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Get the recipe for fish tacos here

Peas: chicken and pea curry

<p>Mike English/Bluebird</p>

Mike English/Bluebird

Frozen peas are indispensable – they’re such an excellent (and easy) addition to so many dishes, from breakfast omelettes to soups, stews, sauces and this tasty chicken curry. Infused with ginger, garlic, cumin and chilli, it's sure to become a household favourite. The finished dish will freeze really well too, so make a double batch and have portions on standby for another time.

Get the recipe for chicken and pea curry here

Peas: green shakshuka

<p>Lizzie Mayson/Harper Collins</p>

Lizzie Mayson/Harper Collins

This vegan twist on a Middle Eastern classic packs in plenty of green goodness, including frozen peas and spinach (you can swap the fresh spinach for frozen here too, just defrost before adding to the pan). If you aren't vegan, you can also replace the plant-based yogurt with thick Greek yogurt. Ready in 30 minutes, this nutritious one-pot dish serves two and is ideal for a lazy weekend breakfast or brunch.

Get the recipe for green shakshuka here

Peas: mint, pea, spinach and chia fritters

<p>Con Poulos/Fourth Estate</p>

Con Poulos/Fourth Estate

These lean, green fritters could be served in a bun as a veggie burger or on their own with a side salad and dip. The recipe calls for frozen peas and spinach, but you could swap in other veggies, such as frozen broccoli or edamame. It's worth making extra, as they'll keep in the fridge for a couple of days and make a perfect light lunch.

Get the recipe for mint, pea, spinach and chia fritters here

Peas: pea, Parma Ham and feta quiche

<p>Tim Atkins/Prosciutto di Parma</p>

Tim Atkins/Prosciutto di Parma

Bursting with fresh flavours, this quiche is perfect for a picnic, breakfast, brunch or even dinner. The recipe uses frozen peas to balance the saltiness of the feta and the Parma Ham. To make things even easier, use ready-made shortcrust pastry for the base. Once you've nailed the recipe, you can get creative and experiment with different fillings and flavour combinations.

Get the recipe for pea, Parma Ham and feta quiche here

Peas: turkey and ham casserole

<p>Andrew Hayes-Watkins/Seven Dials</p>

Andrew Hayes-Watkins/Seven Dials

You can make this simple casserole with leftover cooked turkey, ham or chicken, or a mixture of the three. The meaty filling also calls for frozen peas and spinach for a dose of healthy greens and you could also add a little broccoli for extra health benefits. The topping is made from stuffing ingredients and comes out of the oven wonderfully golden and crisp.

Get the recipe for turkey and ham casserole here

Prawns: prawn and cabbage fried rice

<p>Tamin Jones/Kyle Books</p>

Tamin Jones/Kyle Books

This is an excellent way of using up different odds and ends – think yesterday's leftover rice or the cabbage that's still lingering in the fridge, as well as peas and prawns from the freezer. The greens impart a sweet crunchiness and the meaty shellfish absorb the soy and oyster sauce beautifully. Do work quickly when you're making this dish, otherwise the prawns can become rubbery.

Get the recipe for prawn and cabbage fried rice here

Prawns: prawn laksa

<p>Dora Kazmierak/Kyle Books</p>

Dora Kazmierak/Kyle Books

When you need something quick and nourishing at the end of a long day, this Malaysian noodle soup is just the ticket. A combination of creamy coconut milk and sweet prawns straight from the freezer balance out the heat of the chilli perfectly. If you can't find laksa paste (the genius shortcut ingredient in this recipe), Thai red curry paste works well as a replacement. Leafy greens like pak choi, kale or even frozen spinach make a nice addition too.

Get the recipe for prawn laksa here

Prawns: prawn and pea risotto

<p>Good Food, Sorted/DK</p>

Good Food, Sorted/DK

Packing in plenty of flavour with just a little effort, a good risotto should be in every home cook's repertoire. This version combines frozen peas and prawns with courgette to make an irresistible dinner that's on the table in just 35 minutes. Need another reason to whip up this dish? The risotto requires minimal washing up, as everything comes together in one pan.

Get the recipe for prawn and pea risotto here

Puff pastry: chicken and bacon pie

<p>Simple and Classic/Phaidon</p>

Simple and Classic/Phaidon

A sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry is an absolute freezer essential and is a brilliant shortcut when you're making any classic pie. With that in mind, this chicken and bacon version is a must-try. To make life even easier, you could swap the fresh veggies for a frozen vegetable mix or add in frozen peas and sweetcorn for extra flavour and colour. If you do, you might have to cook the filling a little longer to make sure the excess liquid from the frozen vegetables evaporates.

Get the recipe for chicken and bacon pie here

Puff pastry: ham and cheese pie

<p>Helen Cathcart/Hardie Grant</p>

Helen Cathcart/Hardie Grant

This tasty Italian ham and cheese pie is another excellent example of how ready-made puff pastry can form the base of an easy lunch or midweek dinner. Made with just six everyday ingredients, the pie comes together in just over an hour and any leftovers are perfect for a filling breakfast the next day.

Get the recipe for ham and cheese pie here

Puff pastry: peach puff tart

<p>The Ice Kitchen/HarperCollins</p>

The Ice Kitchen/HarperCollins

This freezer staple doesn't just have to be made savoury; you can whip up a quick puff pastry–based dessert in no time. This fruit-loaded tart can be ready in under 30 minutes and makes use of ripe, golden peaches and amaretto (a sweet Italian liqueur). Want to be even more time-savvy? Make two tarts and pop the second in the freezer, so it’s ready to go in an instant another day.

Get the recipe for peach puff tart here

Puff pastry: tomato, Gouda and pesto tart

<p>Faith Mason/HarperCollins</p>

Faith Mason/HarperCollins

Tomatoes and basil are the stars of this easy tart, which is perfect for a summery midweek dinner. This recipe combines tomato purée, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and a couple of spoonfuls of pesto (shop-bought is fine) and can be on the table in just 35 minutes. It's best served fresh (either warm or cold) but will keep in the fridge for a couple of days

Get the recipe for tomato, Gouda and pesto tart here

Sweet potato fries: jackfruit loaded sweet potato fries

<p>Joff Lee/Ebury Press</p>

Joff Lee/Ebury Press

Swap fresh sweet potato wedges for the frozen sweet potato fries you have lingering at the bottom of your freezer in this simple, cheese-loaded dish. Here, pulled barbecue jackfruit pairs well with sharp, melted Cheddar and the sweetness of the potato. Feel free to get experimental with this dish – swap the Cheddar for mozzarella, sprinkle chopped spring onion on top or, for a more substantial dish, add black beans.

Get the recipe for jackfruit loaded sweet potato fries here

Sweetcorn: seafood and sweetcorn chowder

<p>Rita Platts/Quadrille</p>

Rita Platts/Quadrille

This creamy take on an American classic may taste like it’s been simmering away all afternoon, but actually comes together in just 35 minutes and you make it even simpler by using frozen seafood and sweetcorn. The crispy bacon lardons and homemade croutons are optional, but they do add both taste and texture and really take the dish up a notch.

Get the recipe for sweetcorn and seafood chowder here  

Sweetcorn: lamb and sweetcorn curry

<p>Cinnamon Kitchen: The Cookbook/Bloomsbury Publishing</p>

Cinnamon Kitchen: The Cookbook/Bloomsbury Publishing

This traditional Indian lamb curry, studded with frozen sweetcorn kernels, may take a little time to cook but the result is well worth the wait. Flavoured with cardamom, coriander, cumin, ginger, cloves and chilli, we recommend finishing it off with a squeeze of lemon juice and serving with rice or flatbreads.

Get the recipe for lamb and sweetcorn curry here  

Sweetcorn: cashew curry

<p>Eat to Beat Illness/Harper Thorsons</p>

Eat to Beat Illness/Harper Thorsons

This fragrant Sri Lankan curry has a creamy, coconut base and is loaded with cashews, chickpeas, frozen sweetcorn and fresh spinach, but you could use frozen as well – just drain the excess liquid once defrosted, so it doesn't dilute the curry. Enjoy this hearty, comforting dish on its own or serve it with rice.

Get the recipe for cashew curry here

Spinach: spinach orecchiette

<p>Meat-Free One Pound Meals/Headline Home</p>

Meat-Free One Pound Meals/Headline Home

Pesto pasta is a speedy dinner go-to, but why not give this old favourite a fresh update? This quick pasta dish uses frozen spinach combined with cream, garlic and Parmesan for a satisfying sauce. Here it's mixed through orecchiette (small, curved pasta shapes), but feel free to use the pasta of your choice (or whatever you have to hand).

Get the recipe for spinach orecchiette here

Seafood mix: chunky fish soup

<p>Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD</p>

Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

A deliciously simple take on classic French bouillabaisse, this comforting dish is ever so speedy to make thanks to combining frozen seafood with a heady, saffron-infused broth. Frozen seafood is often cheaper to buy than fresh and mixes tend to include a little bit of everything – think mussels, calamari and prawns. The dish is ready in just 15 minutes and is guaranteed to transport you to the French Riviera.

Get the recipe for chunky fish soup here

Vegetable mix: ham and rice casserole

<p>Elena Trukhina/Shutterstock</p>

Elena Trukhina/Shutterstock

The perfect family meal, this recipe for ham and rice casserole includes a few handy shortcuts to make life as easy as possible. Using frozen diced mixed vegetables cuts down the prep time significantly (alternatively use frozen peas and sweetcorn instead). The sauce meanwhile is a clever mix of cooked ham (although you can swap it for chicken or turkey) and a can of cream of mushroom soup. It's incredibly simple, wonderfully hands-off and utterly delicious.

Get the recipe for ham and rice casserole here

White fish fillets: harissa and lemon baked fish with couscous

<p>Susan Bell/White Lion Publishing</p>

Susan Bell/White Lion Publishing

Any kind of meaty, white fish fillets, like cod and hake, are great to have in the freezer. Fish fillets defrost much faster than meat and can be used to make all manner of tasty dishes, including this one-tray wonder. It's big on flavour, bold in colour and easy to prepare and you can mix up the vegetables depending on what you have available.

Get the recipe for harissa and lemon baked fish with couscous here

Now discover our best-ever easy rice recipes

Last updated by Lottie Woodrow.