Freezer meals can make for lifesaver meals when it comes to needing
something fast and quick for your kids school lunches or family
dinners. Freezer meals are meals that are prepared ahead of time
then frozen. This allows you to just pull the meal out of the
freezer on a given night and warm it up in the oven or it can be
taken out the night before.
How Freezer Cooking can Help
How about saving money on your food budget? It will also cut
back on those last minute, don't know what to eat, let's go get
fast food moments. Instead you can pull out a spaghetti pie from
the freezer and just add garlic bread or a salad to go with it.
It is much healthier than choosing fast food.
If you don't have time to spend in the kitchen every day,
having prepared meals ready to go in the freezer is a great time
saver. I found when my kids were young toddlers and babies it
was especially helpful to not have to spend an hour in the
kitchen around the "dinner hour."
How about all those tempting (expensive) convenience products
available now a days? I'm thinking of marinated prepackaged meat
or chopped shredded chicken. It is so easy to buy several pounds
of meat and separate it into smaller portions yourself. You can
add seasoning of your own place in a baggie, seal and freeze.
Cook roast chickens and shred the meat or use chicken breasts
and chop and cook. Freeze in baggies to be pulled out for your
freezer recipes. Voila, you have your own convenience foods at a
Freezer meals don't have to be a difficult time consuming process.
Many people spend one day a month cooking A LOT of meals and
freezing them. My favorite freezer cooking method, which I think
makes for easy freezer meals, is to just double or triple
recipes every night or whenever I think about it. I figure if I'm
making one quiche or homemade pizza I mind's well make two or three
and freeze for another day. Sometimes a combination of both methods
works great, too.
Don't think you have to have a freezer meal every night. Almost
everyone is busier some nights more than others. Busy nights are
perfect for easy freezer meals and not so busy nights can easily be
used for cooking fresh or dinners that are good for the freezer.
What if I Don't Have Room in my Freezer?
If you don't have a large freezer just use plastic freezer bags.
Make sure all the air is out and lay flat on your freezer shelf.
Once frozen you can stack 5-10 on top of each other. This will work
for soups and marinated meats also, if you be careful the bag is
sealed. Take dinner out of the freezer the night before.
Already cooked ground hamburger to use in soups, tacos, or
Cooked shredded chicken for soups, chicken salads,
Frozen vegetables for sides, casseroles, stir fry
Tips and Ideas for Freezing Meals
When freezing cooked dishes slightly under cook casseroles or
lasagna. Just take from the freezer to the oven and increase
cooking time. You can also freeze unbaked casseroles. Cook for
about 1 hour.
Sour cream, cooked potatoes, and pasta doesn't freeze well.
Add those to any dishes after taking out of freezer.
Freeze extra rolls, bread dough, French bread or loaves of
bread to have on hand for an accompaniment to freezer meals.
Store meals in freezer bags, wrapped up in several layers of
tin foil or plastic storage containers.
Freezer meals can be stored individually in containers for
Make extra waffles or pancakes and freeze. Place in toaster
and serve for quick breakfast freezer meals. A fun idea for
breakfast is to freeze french toast cut in sticks. Warm up and
kids can dip them in syrup.
Desserts, cakes, cookies also freeze well.
Freezer Meal Ideas and Cooking Tips
Label what your freezer meal is.
Rotate your freezer meals. New goes on the bottom of the
stack or back of the freezer and older gets moved up.
Don't place your hot food directly in the freezer. Let it
cool slightly, at least 30-45 minutes on the kitchen counter.
If you are adding your meal from the freezer to the oven,
you will need to increase the cooking time.
If you are using potatoes combine with a liquid or moist
ingredient. Potatoes don't always work well in freezer meals.
If you are including rice or noodles in a freezer meal,
leave them out and add before cooking. Or under cook them
slightly and make sure they're included in a sauce before
Include frozen vegetables, bread rolls, loaves of bread or
dough for side dishes to your freezer recipes.
Try creating your own homemade frozen dinners by using
dishes that are large enough to include side dishes. Place a
meat and two side dishes in a freezer container and freeze.
You have a healthy homemade frozen dinner for a busy night.
10 of our Favorite Recipes for Freezer Meals
We have 10 recipes for easy kids meals. Get your kids involved by
picking out the recipes they'd like to include on the next week's
menu. Spend a weekend making and freezing meals for the next week or
two with your kids. This gives them quality time with you and lets
them feel like they are helping contribute to the family.
This also saves time during the week when you can take out a
prepared meal and sit down together for dinner. These recipes can be
doubled or tripled with school lunches or family dinners in mind.
Chicken Stock or Broth
Place roast chicken with chopped carrots, a quartered onion, 1-2
celery leaves and 2 bay leaves in a large soup pot. Cover with
water and bring to a boil. Cook and simmer on medium-low 1 hour.
Drain broth in freezer container. Allow to cool. Shred chicken.
Use the shredded chicken for a casserole or other dish. When
broth is cool store in freezer for a quick soup starter. You can
also do this with Vegetable Stock by just adding vegetables such
as carrots, celery, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley
and bay leaves. Cook the same as above and drain all vegetables
and save broth for a freezer meal soup starter. Find out more
information on making stock and
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
This recipe can make a large amount. Let simmer in your crock
pot and then freeze in smaller containers. Use for sauce on
spaghetti noodles, pizza sauce, pasta sauce for lasagna, etc:
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb. Beef
Heat oil in pan and sauté onion and garlic. Stir in herbs and
cayenne. Add beef and cook until browned. Set aside.
Pour next ingredients into crock pot or large soup pot.
28 oz + l small can of tomatoes equals 5 Cups chopped tomatoes
that have been run through a blender.
1/4 Cup ketchup
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Cup beef or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Mix in bowl.
Cover pot and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for at least 30
minutes or place in crock pot and cook 6-8 hours on low. Allow
to cool completely and then freeze in desired proportions.
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 Cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In mixing bowl, mix by hand or with a spoon all ingredients
together until well blended. Form into meatballs and place on a
cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Put into freezer for 30
minutes until frozen then remove and stick into freezer bags.
This recipe makes about 30 small 1/2 inch-1 inch meatballs so
double or triple for a larger batch.
Learn more about making
meatballs and recipes.
meals for meatballs can be meatball soup, strognaff meatballs
with egg noodles, add to spaghetti sauce, sweet and sour
meatballs, meatball sandwiches or add to kids lunches with a
small container of sauce to dip.
Pizza Bites or Small Calzones
Pizza dough store bought or homemade
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
Slices of pepperoni or pepperoni chunks
Ham chunks or ham cut up in small pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups pasta sauce
Roll pizza dough onto a floured surface and roll into a large
rectangle. For easier handling cut in two batches. Cut into
approximately 4 inch squares. On top of each square place a
pepperoni and ham slice or chunk and a cheese cube. Wrap dough
around meat, fold sides in and roll up. Press together. Place on
cookie sheets. In small bowl mix olive oil and seasoning
together. With pastry brush brush oil over pizza bites. Sprinkle
with Parmesan cheese. Use all dough and bake at 400 degrees for
15-18 minutes. Use pasta sauce for dipping. These are great for
kids lunches or easy freezer meals. They freeze well and can be
taken out individually.
Stock up your freezer with homemade muffins and quick breads.
They are great snacks for kids lunches and can be served with
scrambled eggs or egg
casserole for a "breakfast for dinner night."
These are great doubled or tripled. Then freeze individually for
lunches or as a whole extra freezer meal for a just pop in the
oven kind of night.
4 Cups shredded chicken
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 Cup salsa
Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
Salt and pepper
In separate bowl mix 1-2 cans of cream of chicken soup
(depending on how much you are making) and 1 cup milk. Add 1/2
cup - 1 cup of sauce mixture to shredded chicken. Stir to
combine. Spoon chicken mixture down center of each tortilla and
roll up. Place seam side down in greased baking dish. Pour
remaining sauce mixture over top of enchiladas and top with
shredded cheese and salsa, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for
Lasagna or Manicotti
Another dish that can be doubled easily. Then freeze
individually for lunches or as a whole extra freezer meal for a
just pop in the oven kind of night. Lasagna
and Manicotti Recipe
Chicken Roll Ups
These freeze well for kids lunches or easy freezer meals.
crescent dough homemade or store bought
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 Cup shredded cheese
In a bowl, blend together cooked chicken, cream cheese and
cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll crescent dough out
into a circle and cut into triangles or unroll dough if using
store bought. Place chicken mixture on the end of each triangle.
Roll fat end of triangle down to pointed end. Place on cookie
sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until dough is
golden brown. Serve with cream of mushroom soup, cream of
chicken soup or without a sauce.
If freezing allow to cool and flash freeze on a cookie sheet.
Place in ziploc baggies. Great for taking out individually for
lunches. Reheat and add sauce.
freezer meals, anyway!?
what to freeze and what not to freeze
freeze the best
frozen food safely and successfully
stock in your freezer
crock pot and your freezer for quick meals
and dinner recipes
and what to do with bread dough
that freeze well