MAY
27
2010

Freezer Meals – Cooking Twice a Month

Hi everyone! As a homeschooling mom of 4 I don’t have a lot of free time to be creative when cooking dinners! As a matter of fact if I don’t plan ahead, I end up starring into my pantry at 5pm wondering what’s for dinner myself! To help out, I’ve started making freezer meals. Here are some of the recipes we like, and I go shopping one day, then cook the next. I’m not super crazy so I don’t do a 12 hour cook day, more like 4 hours in the evening after kids are in bed. And remember, its easier to prepare more than one at a time, so if you can, double up the recipes you like!

Here’s the Master list: These recipes are for a family of 6, keep in mind that’s 4 kids who don’t eat a ton, and we usually have left overs. (Scroll down for individual recipes)

  • Mexican Casserole
  • Fajitas
  • Meatloaf
  • Beef Burritos
  • Cranberry Turkey Breast
  • Stir-fry Chicken
  • Meatballs (To use with spaghetti, stroganoff, meatball subs)
  • Chinese Style Ribs
  • St. Louis Style Ribs
  • Stuffed Shells
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mexican Casserole:

Click here for recipe

 

Fajitas: (Click here to see blog post)

  • 1 sirloin steak (or 1 pkg chicken breasts or thighs) Sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup canola oil (or vegetable oil) 1 Tablespoon Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Onion Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced (optional)
  • Green Bell Pepper (sliced)
  • Red Bell Pepper (sliced)
  • 1 Med Onion (sliced)

Slice all peppers and onions and place in Gallon Zip-lock baggie and freeze.

Meanwhile mix all other ingredients in Gallon Zip-lock baggie and add sliced meat of your choice and freeze. (I do both steak and chicken, but freeze them separately)

When ready to serve: Thaw both bags overnight in refrigerator. Place veggie bag contents in sauté pan with a little olive oil. Sauté until tender. Spread meat bag contents evenly on a cookie sheet, and place under your oven broiler on high for about 8 minutes or until done, I usually flip the meat at 4 minutes.

Optional: Serve with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, Spanish Rice and tortillas!

Meatloaf:

  • 1-2lbs ground beef
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (either shredded or grated)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Onion Salt
  • ¼ cup Ketchup

Optional: Brown sugar (Pat brown sugar on top of pre-cooked meatloaf for a sweet crust)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and pat into loaf shape. Place in Gallon Zip-lock baggie to freeze. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place meatloaf in loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Serve with potatoes and your favorite veggie!

Beef Burritos:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 can Black Beans (drained)
  • ½ med onion diced
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Hatch Green Enchilada sauce (I used mild)
  • Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

In skillet, brown ground beef and onion until beef is cooked and onion is tender. Add in black beans and cook another 5 minutes. Spread a small amount of green chili sauce on bottom of baking dish. Stuff flour tortilla with meat mixture and roll up. Place in pan, repeat until meat mixture is gone. Top with remaining green chili sauce and sprinkle with Monterrey Jack Cheese. Cover and freeze.

When ready, thaw overnight and cook covered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, take off cover for last 5 minutes of cooking.

Optional: Serve with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and Spanish Rice.

Cranberry Turkey Breast:

Click here for recipe

 

Stir-Fry Chicken:

  • 6 chicken thighs (Diced)
  • 1 bottle Stir-Fry Sauce (Asian Isle)
  • 2 Tbsp Asian Stir-Fry Seasoning (Asian Isle)
  • 1 cup Frozen edaname (shelled)
  • 1 cup julienne carrots (produce section)
  • 1 cup broccoli (optional)
  • Optional: 6 cups cooked White Rice

Place stir-fry sauce, Asian Stir-Fry Seasoning, and diced chicken thighs in Gallon Zip-lock Freezer Bag. In separate bag, place all veggies. Put both bags into one Gallon Zip-lock bag and freeze. Thaw overnight before preparing. You can cook and freeze the rice as well, just thaw it overnight and reheat in separate skillet or microwave (add 1 Tbsp water to keep moist).

When ready to prepare, Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in sauté pan and place veggie bag into pan. Cook about 3-5 minutes until veggies are slightly tender. Add contents of chicken bag into skillet and finish cooking until chicken is done.

Serve with hot white rice.

Optional: Serve with sliced green onion and coarsely chopped peanuts.

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Bread Crumbs
  • ½ Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Onion Salt
  • ¼ C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg beaten

Mix all ingredients and form into golf ball sized balls. Fry in skillet on medium heat turning until cooked. You can also bake these at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and place in Zip-lock Freezer Bag until ready to serve.

To serve: Thaw and reheat in skillet or microwave.

  • Serve as a side with spaghetti.
  • Over noodles with brown gravy or BBQ sauce.
  • Put on a Hoagie roll with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a meatball sub.

Chinese Style Ribs:

  • ¼ C Soy Sauce
  • ¼ C Orange Marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 lbs country style spare ribs or baby back ribs

Combine soy sauce, marmalade, catsup and garlic and place in Gallon Zip-lock Freezer Bag. Chop ribs in between bones and place in freezer bag with sauce. Freeze until ready to serve. Thaw overnight in refrigerator, and place in slow-cooking pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

St. Louis Style Ribs:

  • 3-4 lbs Baby Back or Spare Ribs
  • 32 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup soy sauce
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ½ C + (a little more like 1T) of white vinegar
  • Corn Starch to thicken (Start with 4 Tbsp)

Heat sauce in sauce pan until slightly bubbling. Remove from heat once thickened and Cool. Place in Freezer Bag. Sprinkle salt/pepper to taste on ribs and slice in between rib bones and place in freezer bag as well. Freeze until ready to serve.

To Prepare:
Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake ribs covered for approximately 40 minutes, turn over and bake another 25 minutes uncovered. Serve with rice and salad or veggie of your choice.

Stuffed Shells:

Click here for recipe

Chicken Lettuce Wraps:

  • 4-6 Chicken Thighs or ground beef (minced, I use my Pampered Chef Chopper)
  • 1/4 c matchstick carrots (In salad section of produce)
  • 2 T fresh minced ginger (I used 1T ground ginger)
  • 1/4 c low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1/4 t sesame oil
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (I’ve used dried)
  • ice burg lettuce leaves
  • optional: sliced cucumbers

Directions:

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add meat, carrots and ginger. Saute until meat is cooked. Drain if necessary, and return meat mixture to pan. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and red pepper. Cook about 1 minute, remove from heat and stir in green onions and cilantro.

Serve with lettuce leaves and sliced cucumbers.

Freezing: I usually make a double batch of this and then freeze portions in Ziploc bags. Thaw when ready to eat and just reheat in skillet until warmed!

Some additional cooking sites I like:

If you have any sites you like, leave a comment, I’d love to share ideas!

Those are some of the freezer meals I prepare. I usually go to the grocery store on one day, then cook all the meals at once, it typically takes me about 4 hours to make all of these. The ones that take browned ground beef take a bit longer, and I usually brown a bunch of ground beef at once, then separate it out for each recipe. The rest don’t require much cooking, I just prepare the sauces right in the Zip-lock bags, then add in the raw meat and freeze!

If you’re up to it prepare double, it definitely comes in handy on long homeschooling days when time is tight!

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Comments

  1. Wow! This is great and the recipes sound so good! Thannks for sharing this with us. You make it seem so easy and tasty.-Phyllis

  2. How many servings? Seems a little small for our family! lol

    • My family is pretty large as well. I always double any receipe I get and if my family loves it ~ the next time I double it twice to make 2 pans of a freezer meal or crockpot dinner.

  3. Thanks for the recipes. I'm eager to get this prepared for our family. It would make dinner time so much simpler. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing. These are some of the better sounding freezer recipes I've seen. I definitely need to get better at freezer cooking. I'm a SAHM with two little ones at home all day… this would definitely help me out.

  5. Thanks for sharing! you are a blessing!!!!

  6. Perfect Timing…I was just thinking about trying to do something like this and we were talking about it on our Mom Loop blogfrog community. I'm going to put up a link to it in that discussion. Great post. thanks!

  7. Awesome blog! So many resources for homeschoolers! We homeschooled ours off and on. I certainly could've used your blog back then! Anyway hope you come for a visit, too.

  8. This is so great! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. I freezer cook like you do, a little at a time.We normally eat pretty healthy and this recipe is not quite the healthiest, but it is yummy and gets the job done on a busy day. Miss Nichole's Chicken Pot PieChicken Breast cooked (I usually use about 3 total, but I always double the recipe)1 can cream of Chicken Soup1/2 8 oz package of Cream Cheese1 bag of frozen veggies, or use up any that you have a little bit left of)1 package of pie crust (2 crusts)Cut the chicken in to small bite sized pieces and cook chicken however you like…Usually I just cook it in my everyday pan with a touch of Cesar salad dressing, Add to skillet, cream cheese, soup and veggies. Mix together until the cream cheese and the soup form a sauce of sorts. Place bottom layer of pie crust down, and then fill with the chicken/veggie mixture. Put a pie crust on top, pinch the edges and cut slits on top. You can either freeze at this point or cook for dinner! Yummy! One pie is enough for dinner for us, and then leftovers the next day or a second dinner. We are only a family of 3 though (my toddler eats more than my husband and I combined though!)

  10. Thanks so much for these! I get together with a couple of friends and "cook for the freezer" every couple of months so I am always looking for good freezer meals.If you are interested, we post all of the recipes we've used and our results here.

  11. Wow! I'm so impressed with everything you share on your blog. :) I have given you the "Versatile Blog Award" because you truly are inspiring to me.Blessings!-Sarahhttp://harriganhowdy.blogspot.com/2010/05/honored-by-few-blog-awards.html

  12. Wow ! you are a cooking machine! ;)

  13. This brings back memories. We would do a cook-a-thon with a couple church moms (as a child I was one of the helpers). We would prepare several months worth of meals at a time. As always, the more hands the more fun.

  14. Thanks, once or even twice a month cooking always freaks me out, because I think I have to be very organized to do it, plus the initial cost for all the ingredients makes my heart stop (though I know I probably save money when I buy in bulk). But you made it sound simple. I think I will just try to focus on doubling my batches for now, and see where that gets me. The kids and I just completed a hashbrown casserole, I have one in the oven and one in the freezer, so easy, why don't I do this all the time?

  15. This looks great, and doable. Think I will print out some of your faves and take the list to the grocery store.

  16. I love doing freezer meals thank you for the wonderful ideas! There is also a lady who blogs about her meals made in her crockpot and because of her blog I have grown very fond of my crockpot! http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ enjoy!

  17. You can get 10 freezer recipes if you sign up for this free newsletter (the other stuff on her site is great too!): http://homemaking911.com/Another quick & easy recipe site I like is: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

  18. Just made your meatballs – fabulous! I've been looking for a good, easy meatball recipe that I can toss in the freezer for those crazy days! Thanks so much!

  19. When I am in a big rush, I grab a package of Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, some ground beef and a can of fiesta nacho cheese soup (Campbell's). I brown the beef and drain the fat. Next I stir in the concentrated soup. I use a large mouth glass or small bowl to cut the pie crusts into rounds, then I re-roll the scraps to get additional rounds. I put a generous spoonful of the beef mixture onto each round (sometimes I also add some shredded cheese) and fold them over and crimp the edges with a fork. Then I place them on a cookie sheet. Bake them according to the "one crust" pie baking directions. These pocket pies can have any filling you like – shredded pork and BBQ, cutup meatballs with marinara and mozzarella, whatever! Great way to use up leftovers, too.

  20. Thanks so much for your freezer recipes. I am horribly bad at planning ahead and having dinner ready on time. I NEVER have anything ready and thawed out in time. Thanks to your menu planning and I have renewed hope that I can piggy-back off your work and have some direction. I just have one question about the freeze ahead Fajitas…..Are the meats cooked ahead of time and then thawed/warmed by the broiler or do you freeze them raw and the broiler is sufficient at getting them cooked? I feel stupid for even asking but I wasn’t sure as I read the instructions.

    • Great question, and NO they are not cooked. You put them in raw with the marinade and then when you pull them out to thaw they marinate while thawing! Then you cook, I spread the meat out on a cookie sheet, then it only takes about 10-12 minutes under the broiler, flip meat about half way through.

  21. The measurements used for the spices in your meatloaf and meatball recipes, are they for dried or fresh herbs?

  22. Thank you so much for this and the monthly menu plans. I need freeze meals but don’t have the freezer space…I should….need to do some cleaning in freezers to make room. I know it’s helpful! Love trying new recipes.

  23. Hi,

    I am trying your Stir-fry Chicken freezer recipe. What do you do with Asian Seasoning? When do you add it? Do you add it to the chicken before you freeze it?

    Thanks!

  24. Sha-Toina Swint says:

    Just what I need..You are a blessing Erica

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