How do you squash the “what’s for dinner and who’s making it” debate? Freezer meals! How do you save hundreds of dollars and stop recognizing all the drive through attendant’s voices? Freezer meals! How do you turn a father who’s “special dish” is Top Ramen into a hero ? Make ahead freezer meals!
As you can see I have a huge passion for freezer meal cooking. My name is Karrie and I am a busy work-at-home mother of 4. I am little bit disorganized and a free spirit. And make ahead freezer meals for a month have saved me.
Here’s how it started – After a few years of being married I gave birth to my first boy and girl. Yep! Twins. These twins sent my life into a busy chaotic whirlwind of diaper changes, feeding, chasing them around and trying to cook dinner for my family. Often times, when I had an especially busy exhausting day I would turn to fast food, or home cooked fast food for dinner like boxed Mac – n – Cheese, hot dogs or even cold cereal.
I knew this wasn’t the food I wanted myself or my family to eat, but because of being exhausted and not wanting to spend an hour or two in the kitchen I would do the easy fast thing.
It was during this time I heard about easy freezer meals for a month and decided to try it out. I cooked for a whole day in my kitchen and got 30 meals done. I felt so wonderful and the rest of that month I didn’t dread the dinner hour. My husband was so happy to have real cooking again and it was the start of my love of freezer cooking.
I have been doing freezer meals for many many years now and I still love them like crazy. So much in fact that I made my first ever cookbook! It’s called Seriously Good Freezer Meals. Please head on over and order yourself a copy! Inside there are menu plans and 150 of the BEST ever tasting freezer meals I’ve ever developed. For reals. You are gonna LOVE them!!!
*update! My cookbook has been out since February and I have received so many kind emails and messages about my cookbook from all of you! My heart is so full and I’m so happy you all love it so much! Thank you!
Okay, now back to the freezer meals info and recipes.
1. Homemade Easy Lasagna Recipe (Freezer Meal). This recipe is straight from my mom, who is one of the best cooks I know! I often make two lasagna pans up, bake one that night for dinner and freeze the other.
2. Easy make ahead Orange Chicken Freezer Meal. This one is just so good. And my kids will eat it up too, which makes me one happy mama.
3. Chicken Burrito Bowls. I love to make up a bunch of these and use them for my lunches. Such a yummy healthy freezer meal recipe.
4. Stuffed Shells Freezer Meal recipe. All 5-star reviews on this recipe from my readers. They love it as much as I do!
5. Instant Pot Shredded Beef Fajitas. Topped with fresh cilantro, and stuffed into a warm corn tortilla. Oh my goodness.
6. Make Ahead & Freeze Chicken Enchiladas. I have this tried & true recipe that has been on my blog for years and I also have a new updated homemade version in my cookbook.
7. French Dip Sandwich freezer meal cooked in the crockpot. Dipping into that savory au jus sauce is about the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s soo good.
8. My kids go crazy for these make-ahead Homemade Chicken Strips. I can’t blame them though, they are ah-mazing.
9. Creamy Cheesy Cilantro Chicken Taquitos. Perfection I’m telling you… perfection.
10. Baked Chicken Pesto Alfredo freezer meal. A great one I love to gift to others in need.
11. Chicken Pot Pie freezer meal – this one is only available in my cookbook Seriously Good Freezer Meals, but it had to be mentioned as it’s the best of the best.
11. Instant Pot Turkey Bolognese Freezer Meal. I love that this one is fast and low fat. Served over pasta for dinner.
12. This Freezer Meatballs Recipe is a staple in our household. They are super simple to make and it’s easy to double the batch. I am always stocking up the freezer with them because my family loves them so much.
13. Twice Baked Potatoes (Make Ahead and freeze) – this one is only available in my cookbook Seriously Good Freezer Meals, but it one of my favorite meals to have on hand when I am in need of that perfect comfort food. Mmmmm.
14. The BEST ever chocolate chip cookies. I make the dough, and then freeze little cookie dough balls so when I need a few cookies, I can pop them them into the oven and have warm fresh cookies anytime.
15. And lastly, my Darn Good Chili recipe. The perfect balance of flavor, heat and all good things. I love this in the winter time.
Freezer meals can be invaluable to parents as we try to juggle our busy lives. Preparing a freezer full of Freezer Meals is one of the best things I’ve ever done to help my family of six and save me money. I hope you dig in, give freezer meals a try and save yourself time and money.
FREEZER MEAL FAQ
Who are freezer meals for?
Make ahead freezer meals for a month are great for people:
– Who have busy lives and don’t always have time to cook a nice meal.
– People who eat at fast food a lot but want better healthy meals quick.
– Brand new mothers who just had a baby and need to rest or enjoy every precious minute of a new one.
– College students, empty nesters, singles and newly married couples.
– Folks who are sick, elderly or injured and cannot cook.
– And let’s be honest…pretty much everyone else out there.
What can be frozen and what cannot?
There are a few items that don’t freeze well. Lettuce, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and raw potatoes will turn mushy when thawed. Hard-boiled eggs will go rubbery so I avoid freezing those as well. Egg-based sauces like mayonnaise will separate and curdle when thawed. And many dairy products such as cream, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese will sometimes go watery when thawed. However, if I am using sour cream or cottage cheese in a dish that will be baked I usually have no issues. Other than those main items you should be able to freeze most items and have your meal turn out.
What containers are good to use for easy freezer meals?
Gallon or quart-sized plastic or re-usable freezer safe bags. Just make sure and get out as much air as possible by squishing the food around and flattening the bag as much as possible. Seal it tightly to avoid any spills or freezer burn as well. I have heard of people using reusable gallon sized bags as well to save even more money. Ziploc freezer meal recipes are my most used freezer meals for a month.
Aluminum foil pans or your own baking dishes. Look for these at the dollar stores where you can often get a 3 pack for a dollar. For my big family of 6, I use the 9×13 sized containers for our meals. However, if you are freezer meal cooking for two you can buy the smaller sized ones. Also check your local restaurant supply stores for multiple containers as well. You could also use your own metal pans, but you want to make sure you have enough of them before you get started.
What containers work best with freezer meals for Instant Pot cooking?
For those of you who want to take your Instant Pot freezer meals out of the freezer, and pop the frozen meal right into your Instant Pot without defrosting or thawing, these 64 oz freezable plastic containers with lids are awesome. Just make sure you also get a pack of these Sharpie peel-off markers so you can write on the bucket lids over and over again.
Here is a list of my favorite freezer meal supplies that are perfect for beginners or even those who have been doing it for a while!
How long can freezer meals last?
The majority of freezer meals will last anywhere from 3 to 9 months, depending on the ingredients used.
How do I get started making freezer meals?
This is probably the question I get asked the most. When you are getting started you sometimes just don’t know what to do! Here are some of my freezer meals for beginners posts and videos.
FREEZER MEALS FOR BEGINNERS
HOW TO PREVENT FREEZER BURN
MAKING 50 FREEZER MEALS IN A DAY!
FREEZER MEALS FOR TWO
HOW TO HOST A FREEZER MEAL PARTY
10 AWESOME IDEAS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR FREEZER
MY FAV FREEZER MEAL SUPPLIES
YOUTUBE VIDEO: FREEZER MEALS FOR BEGINNERS: 6 TIPS ON GETTING STARTED
Do you have more freezer meal recipes to share?
I sure do. Here are some of my freezer meal recipes listed in groups for you. Enjoy!
Homemade Sweet Milk Waffles
Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuits
Freezer Friendly Buttermilk Pancakes
Homemade Sausage Patties
Green Smoothie packets
Make Ahead Gluten-Free Breakfast Sandwiches
French Toast Casserole
Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothies
Easy Cinnamon roll recipe
Vanilla Orange Custard French Toast
Homemade Easy Lasagna
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
Fried Rice for the freezer
Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Baked Chicken Pesto Alfredo
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Healthy Freezer Meals
Honey Lime Chicken
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Homemade Whole wheat bread
Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets
Oven Baked Chicken Strips
Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops
Homemade Granola Bars
Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
Slow cooker Chicken Broccoli Alfredo over Pasta
Sweet & sour chicken
Slow cooker Roast Beef French Dip Sandwiches
Beef Barley Stew
Darn Good Chili
Bacon Covered Kalua Pork
Boneless BBQ Ribs
Crock Pot Sausage Gumbo
Easy Freezer Meals
Other things you will find in my freezer
Food is my love language. But so is saving money. So I like to combine the two a lot and make thrifty make ahead and freeze meals to save time. Because life is busy, and freezer meals can come to the rescue for all of us. And yes, they actually CAN taste good. Read more...