4 Moms share favorite freezer meal recipes {linky}

4moms35kids Just in case I’ve ever come across as a know-it-all, here’s my chance to come clean.  I know nothing about freezer meals.  The closest I’ve come to freezer cooking is precooking plain meat and freezing in meal-sized portions.  For example, I sometimes buy a 10 pound package of ground beef or chicken legs/thighs or a whole turkey, cook all at once, and package in 4-6 ziplock bags for future meals.  If I’m really, really planning ahead, I might add taco seasoning to the ground beef.  That’s my version of freezer cooking.

I also sometimes freeze leftover beans, rice, quinoa, etc. when we have enough for a meal and it doesn’t look like we’ll be using it soon enough.  My idea of planning ahead is making sure the chickens don’t get the leftovers.

Obviously, I need help.  I could try to convince you that I just don’t have room in my freezer for multiple meals in the portion sizes we would need, and it might even be somewhat true.  Then again it might not, because we have fixin’s in our freezer for multiple meals in the portion sizes we need.  They’re just not necessarily combined, cooked, or planned.

Really, I just need to plan ahead.  And to plan ahead, I need a plan.  Ideally, I think such a plan would include recipes.  Don’t you agree?

So here’s where I need your help. What is your favorite easy freezer-friendly meal?  Leave your recipe in the comments or link up below.  Bonus points if it’s frugal, because if it’s not I may drool over it but I’ll never actually use it.

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Comments

  1. A good friend has been advising me for the past year that I should start freezer cooking (but she has not been forthcoming with recipes). I’ve made a habit of making around 4 quiches at a time (they freeze and reheat great!), and I made and froze extra meatballs the last time we made spaghetti, to make that meal easier, but I’ve really had trouble coming up with a way to freeze more of my recipes.

    All that to say, I just read through all of the links/recipes above and found thirteen recipes that look great, printed them up, and now I have a whole little freezer cooking recipe book! I know that as I try these ones, I’ll also be learning more about what freezes well, so that will help me think up more freezer ideas. Thank you, Kim!

  2. OK, just so you don’t think I am crazy… (yeah, yeah, I am but don’t tell anyone else… it’ll be our little secret bbwwaaahhhaaahahahahaha… cough, cough) I posted a link to my favorite breakfast casserole. I contains green chilies, which I usually triple in the recipe. It is an overnight casserole (which isn’t a freezer thing) WAIT!!! The leftovers freezer beautifully!! So for a larger family if you made two casseroles and freezer the remaining pieces…. I do it in meal sized portions. Hey, and you gotta plan breakfast too… right? :-)

    Hey Kim, I am still waiting for those concealed carry holster directions. But I am no longer being patient. Friendly, but not patient! :-)
    Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

    • I’m sorry. I’m still busy procrastinating.
      Actually, I have another sewing project that I have to finish before I start a new one – but the very next project will be a new belly band, and I’ll be sure to take photos as I go.

  3. Girl, freezer meals are the key to happiness in my opinion. I have been a freezer cook for years. I have several recipes AND a freezer cooking manifesto on my blog (http://notinadequate.com/recipes-2/), but here is one of my favorites to whet your appetite – it’s the Best Meatloaf Ever and only has, like, 3 ingredients.

    Stuffing Meat Loaf
    1½ pounds ground beef
    2 cups cooked and cooled stuffing, chopped
    1 large egg, beaten
    kosher salt and black pepper

    Heat oven to 400° F.

    In a large bowl, combine the stuffing, egg, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Breaking off tiny bits at a time, add the ground beef and stir to combine with other ingredients, being careful not to over-mix or knead. Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes, or until internal temperature is 160°. Let rest ten minutes before slicing.

    If desired, a glaze of your choice can be brushed on 15 minutes before the meatloaf is done.

    Freezing Instructions

    Prepare mixture and transfer it to loaf pan. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then tin foil. Store (uncooked) in the freezer for up to three months.

    Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as above.

    If more than one meatloaf is desired, this recipe can easily be doubled. I do not recommend trying to make more than a double batch at a time, because it is too difficult to get it thoroughly mixed. I will usually make three double batches in a row and will get six 2 pound-disposable-loaf-pan-sized meatloaves. One box of Stove Top will provide enough stuffing for two meatloaves. A Kitchenaid stand mixer makes this recipe a SNAP.

  4. Elizabeth Morris says:

    My mom always made the recipe below for anyone at church who was sick or had just given birth. It is very comforting; I made it for a friend at church who was grieving and she requested the recipe for her family.

    This freezes very well with one exception: once I prepared it with chicken meat from a bird I’d had cooking all day in broth in a crock pot. I then froze the casserole. For some reason, once I thawed and baked the casserole, it tasted soggy. I would rather use meat leftover from roasting, or just cook some breasts for it. Alot of times in the winter, I roast several chickens at once and freeze the meat for this and other recipes.

    AUNT HARRIETT’S CHICKEN CASSEROLE
    2 (10 oz) packages frozen peas and carrots
    4 c. chicken meat
    2 cans cream of celery soup
    1 cup mayonnaise
    4 t. lemon juice
    1/2 t. oregano
    1 t. parsley
    1 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 c. buttered bread crumbs
    Put vegetables in bottom of baking dish. Salt and pepper the chicken, then layer over vegetables. Mix soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices. Pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered for 30 min. at 350 degrees. You can freeze this before baking, then just thaw in the refrigerator and pop in the oven when you are ready.

  5. I make a few freezer meals. I just take half of what I cook and put it into a foil container. (I buy these at Dollar Tree) ((I often wash and reuse the containers too)) I cover the casserole in foil and write on the top of the foil what it is, (meat loaf, chicken and dressing etc) and to bake for XXX amount of time at 350. On days when we have things going like doctor appointments or after school activities this is a huge help. I just put the meal into the oven, add a veggie, and almost always a fruit and bread and the meal is done.
    I like to make up ‘meal bags’ to drop into the crock pot too. I take the meat and the veggies I plan to use. Chop them up. Freeze in a freezer bag. Then I can just drop this into a crockpot add a can of broth (I almost always have home made broth) to the crock pot and cook on high for 8 hours or so. The meal is always good. Beef stew is really good. A chicken and dressing meal is really easy to do too.

  6. I love baking freezer stuff! So I was inspired, and totally enjoyed participating in the linky (hoping I did everything correctly!) :) I don’t do full on meals though, that has always met with disaster. Generally I just do baked goods. Sometimes they are sweet, and sometimes they are savory. I have been known to freeze whole pies. My husband doesn’t like navigating around them in the freezer, but he loves it when we thaw them out and surprise! We have a pie! :) Freezing in our house is usually limited to meats, fruits, and veggies from the garden, otherwise. We have really lean winters around here, as my husband’s job is uber busy in the summer, but he loses hours over the winter. So we freeze what we can, so we can feast over the winter too! That doesn’t leave much room for full meals, but it is helpful in meal components!

  7. Sorry Kim,
    Don’t have freezer meals either!! I spend so much time cooking our regular meals(I have to eat gluten free, so I can eat almost no packaged food!), that the thought of cooking bulk freezer meals, sounds like more work to me!! (because I’d still have to cook regular for the day I’m doing the cooking…) So the cooking of meat and packaging in meal sized portions sounds great to me. Minimal, easy, little mess etc. However, here IS one or two things I have done.
    1. Purchased 16 Amish raised old laying chickens, already butchered and dressed, brought em home and boiled em up for stock. We froze about 25 quarts of stock and now I try to get out a jar when I cook a chicken meal, for the purpose of extending the gravy, or to cook the rice in. Rich, and flavorful!(and real meat stock is supposed to be nourishing and healing for your intestines!)

    2. I do purchase fresh broccoli and cauliflower and blanch and freeze them because they are so much better than buying prefrozen veggies. In the garden season, if I grow them, I’ll do it, but if we are out, it’s a pretty good deal, esp. cauliflower, cause the heads are a flat $2-something a head, so I look for the biggest one for the best deal.

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  1. [...] on freezer meals, I’m going to enjoy my first linky to 4 Moms via one of my new favorite blogs Life In A Shoe! I LOVE reading her blog, it is so [...]

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