Date: July 9, 2024

Author: Pete Imbesi


Caring for an elderly friend or relative can often feel like a full-time job. That’s why it’s so important for caregivers to find tools for saving time wherever they can. One of the easiest ways to cut down on day-to-day tasks is to cook “make ahead” meals for seniors. In this post, we’ll provide senior living menu ideas and easy meals for the elderly to reheat.

Senior Living Menu Ideas

1. Lasagna

Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? Though your preferred recipe may vary, this classic Italian combination of beef, ricotta cheese, and lasagna noodles is always sure to please. Though it may not be the simplest dish on this list to prepare, a standard tray of lasagna can provide DAYS worth of meals, freezes well, and will always taste like it’s fresh out of the oven.

2. Goulash

Another guaranteed crowd-pleaser, “goulash” is a name given to a family of soups and stews made up of meat, veggies, and paprika. Originating in Hungary, variations and descendants of the dish can now be found all over the world with more regionally specific ingredients.

American Goulash is a staple of midwest and southern cooking traditions, and has a shockingly simple make up: ground beef, elbow macaroni, crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce), onions, garlic, and of course, paprika! Quick, simple, and delicious – goulash of any variety is one of our favorite freezer meals for seniors.

3. Turkey or Vegetarian Chili

Chili is another fantastic example of what to look for in make ahead meals for elderly people. It’s cheap, easy to make, and extremely versatile. Many chili recipes involve a large amount of downtime while the flavors get acquainted in your slow-cooker, making it the perfect freezer meal for your senior when you’re in a rush.

We’re specifically suggesting Turkey or Vegetarian chili because they’re a great way to trick seniors who may be picky eaters into a healthy meal that still feels like a hearty treat at the end of the day. But feel free to experiment! Another benefit of chili is how easy it is to customize or change up if you’re feeling bored of the same old thing. Try adding extra spice, serving with chips and guacamole, or even tossing it in a wrap to keep things interesting.

4. Chicken Soup

Best-known as a cure-all for little ones who are home sick from school, chicken soup is another ideal frozen meal for the elderly. Just like chili, chicken soup is one of those perfect dishes to customize to your loved one’s tastes or sneak in some healthy ingredients. Are they a big fan of herbs and spices? Use ingredients like fresh chopped rosemary and thyme. Want to make sure they’re getting more veggies in their diet? Try adding butternut squash for a sweet, nutty flavor.

5. Stir-Fry

Okay, this one MIGHT be cheating because there are so many kinds of stir-fry, but that’s part of what makes it one of the best freezer meals for elderly folks! Because you can make a stir-fry out of nearly anything, it makes for a great catch-all when you have leftovers that you don’t want to go to waste. Maybe you cooked one of our other suggestions above and you’ve got some leftover beef or chicken. Or maybe you’ve got some salted cashews taking up space in the back of the pantry. As long as you have rice, soy sauce, and some combination of protein, vegetables, and aromatics (also known as herbs and spices) — you’ll have the ingredients for a good stir-fry.

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Freezer Meals for Seniors

The key to identifying a good make ahead meal for seniors is striking the right balance between simple to make, easy to freeze, and delicious to eat. If you try the meals suggested above, even the pickiest eater should be satisfied.

To learn more about our home care services, contact our caregiving team today at 1-800-GRISWOLD or find a Caregiver near you.

Date: July 9, 2024

Author: Pete Imbesi


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*The Griswold service model varies depending on which state the office is in. In some states, our service is solely to refer thoroughly screened professional caregivers. In other states, we employ and supervise the caregivers. In every state, we're 100% focused on quality services and responsiveness to your needs. For each office, you'll see its service model and learn how we can best help you and your family with your home care needs. (See item 7 and item 19 of our current FDD for additional information.)