Freeze Ahead Meals?

Ashley - posted on 06/15/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I'm going to be having my third child soon and would love to stock my freezer with healthy home made meals now. Can you share any recipes? Thanks so much!

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Louise - posted on 06/29/2010

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A Sample Menu for One Week of Freezer Meals
One busy prep day= One week (or more) worth of freezer meals = freezer cooking made easy!

Day 1-Frozen pizzas
Make pizza dough and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and add pizza toppings. Flash freeze. Then wrap up in tin foil. When cooking do not thaw, place from freezer to oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can also try mini pizza crusts and bake. Allow to cool and add toppings to each pizza.

Day 2 -BBQ shredded chicken
Cook a roast chicken and allow to cool. Shred. Mix barbecue sauce ingredients and shredded chicken in a ziploc bag. Freeze. Serve with a vegetable and rolls.

Day 3- Meatloaf
Make your favorite meatloaf recipe. Lay tin foil in bottom of a casserole or loaf pan leaving extra over the edges to use as handles. Flash freeze and pull the meatloaf out of the dish by pulling up the tin foil edges. Wrap up in more tinfoil to completely cover. Freeze. Add meatloaf to the same pan and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until tested done with a thermometer.

Day 4-Soup
Prepare your favorite soup recipe or try one of our easy freezer meals soup recipes. Add ingredients in a Ziploc bag and freeze. Unthaw the night before. In the morning place in the crock pot. Make sure you don't freeze potatoes, noodles, dairy products or cheese. Add these after it has cooked, if needed.

Day 5- Taco Kits
Mix refried beans with cooked ground hamburger. Season with taco seasoning and if desired add ½ Cup salsa. Freeze in a plastic container. For dinnertime, just add tortillas and shredded cheese or whatever taco toppings you'd like.

Day 6-Vegetable quiche
Eggs actually freeze well. Mix together 6 eggs, 1 cup milk, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add chopped vegetables of your choice, (broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms) and shredded cheese. Add chopped ham or cooked crumbled bacon or sausage if desired. Pour into tin foil pie plate or use the same method as the meatloaf where we lined the pie plate with tin foil then wrapped it up after it was frozen. When ready to cook add tin foil quiche in pie plate. Unwrap the top or take tin foil completely off. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Day 7-Beef quick kabobs
Add beef cubes and a marinade in a ziploc bag. Freeze. When ready to cook place on skewers and add whole mushrooms, pepper chunks, onions chunks or other vegetables desired.
Teriyaki Beef Marinade:
½ Cup orange juice
¼ Cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dried onions
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 garlic clove minced
¼ teaspoon ginger
Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over 1-2 lbs beef cubes inside a plastic bag. Freeze.

Bonus day: Spaghetti with meatballs
Check out this freezer meals page for a recipe for spaghetti sauce and one for meatballs combine the two together for a great freezer meal. All that you need to do is cook the sauce and meatballs until the meatballs are cooked through and cook noodles.

Angela - posted on 07/06/2010

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Super easy chili

2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 lbs hamburger meat
1/2 cup sliced green bellpepper (1/4 inch pieces)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced onions (1/4 inch pieces)
Chili seasoning to taste
dash of cayenne
salt
pepper

combine meat & bellpepper, onions, brown hamburger meat, cook thoroughly, drain

bring beans & stewed tomatoes to a boil. add hamburger meat and bellpepper, and onion, season with chili seasoning, cayenne, salt & pepper to your taste.

Anna - posted on 06/21/2010

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Any vegetable and meat meal will hold up good in the freezer, a good idea for a meal is Vegetable soup

1 Cup each of Carrots, Celery, Onion, Peas (or Green Beans), Potatoes, and whatever other type of vegetable you want.

I like to make my own beef broth for the stew so I will leave that up to you for what type you want to use. You can also use this for chicken soup, beef soup or whatever type of soup you like.

After it's done cooking take any of the bowls that you use for soup and put a plastic ziploc freezer into, pour the soup and freeze it inside the bowl. Whenever your ready to eat it all you have to do is put it in the bowl and warm it back up.

Patricia - posted on 04/14/2011

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Food .com looks good and so does HomemadeGourmet. Thanks for tip, i could have started same topic which is a great one indeed. I am due my third child in a few days and when cooking i freeze and extra portion for my two toddlers (under 3) so it has to be something healthy and nice. I don't a have a big freezer so i better go and get one quick before baby decides he/she should be here so i can store some frozen cooked food away. Thanks for www addresses. very handy.

Emily - posted on 04/14/2011

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If you go to food.com you can look up all kinds of awesome stuff. There are too many to choose from really. I love it and have found a few favorites, like olive garden Zuppa Toscana soup...just type in OAMC or freezer cooking in the search box. I think the cookbooks by Kittencal were my favorites. You'll love all the recipes you find.

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Emily - posted on 10/08/2013

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Yes, I'm trying to click on a link for the freezable enchilada's and I keep coming to this blog.

Nancy - posted on 10/08/2013

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Best of luck to you Ashley! Make a pot of Yummy Chicken Barley Soup! This is one of my family’s favorite soups!!! The barley adds an amazing amount of fiber and the squash, carrots, celery and onions are loaded with vitamins. Each cup has only 142 calories, 1 gram of fat and 3 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. So enjoy a large 2 cup bowl! http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/tyu...

Alice - posted on 04/13/2011

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Check out HomemadeGourmet.com prep 4 meals in 4 minutes. I am about to become a distributor but I use this method weekly. I always have a meal I can pull out a cook without hardly an effort.

Angela - posted on 07/06/2010

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& spaghetti & meatballs..

2 (30 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce

2 lbs lean ground beef
2 eggs
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente
Directions
1Place sauce in a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat.
2In large bowl mix beef, eggs, crumbs, parsley, garlic, salt and parmesan.
3Shape into 18 meatballs.
4Place meatballs in simmering sauce.
5When sacue returns to a simmer, cover and cook 30-35 minutes (or more!) till cooked through.
6Serve sauce and meatballs over warm spaghetti.

Angela - posted on 07/06/2010

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Chicken & dumplings is easy also to freeze

hicken, 1-2 pounds
1 can cream of chicken
2 cans chicken broth (you can use the boullion cubes)
1 1/2 cup water
1 can peas
1 can carrots
1 package of biscuits (buttered or unbuttered)
(I add celery if I have any)
Cut chicken into small chunks to ensure it will cook.
Combine chicken, chicken broth, cream of chicken, water, peas, carrots, and your choice of seasonings, such as parsley, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to the Crock Pot and turn it to low (high if you want it to cook faster). Cook until chicken is tender; about 5 hours but this will vary according to your Crock-Pot (newer ones tend to run at a higher temperature).

About 15 minutes before ready to eat, cut biscuits into quarters, roll into balls and place in the Crock Pot. Stir occasionally. Cover again until ready to eat.

Angela - posted on 07/06/2010

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I just cooked & froze several "post-baby birth" meals. The easy lasagna was one of them.

Another one my husband really likes is red beans & rice with hamburger meat.

2 boxes rice-a-roni "wild long grain rice" boxes
1 1/2 lb hamburger meat
2 cans Bush's dark red kidney beans
1/4 cup sliced onion (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
1/4 tsp any cajun/creole seasoning you prefer
dash of salt
dash of pepper

1. Cook the rice as directed on the box.

2. Combine hamburger meat, onions, cajun seasoning, salt & pepper, brown & cook meat through.

3. Boil beans, drain, set aside.

4. Combine rice, cooked hamburger meat & beans. Voila!

Angela - posted on 07/06/2010

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Easy Lasagna


8 ounces lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 ounces mushrooms, optional
1 jar (about 16 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, brown beef, and onion; drain well.

3.Stir in spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, salt, oregano, and basil.

4.In a 2-quart buttered baking dish (about 11x7x2-inches),
layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the ricotta cheese,
Monterey Jack cheese, and Parmesan cheeses.

5.Repeat layers twice.

6.Bake lasagna at 350° for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and bubbly.

Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Serves 6 to 8

Lunie - posted on 07/06/2010

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I love this thread, it's very helpful! I'm a wife, mother of a 4-yr old boy, soon-to be full-time student, and a part-time employee. I neeeeeeeeed this thread, thanks!!!

Amy - posted on 07/02/2010

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What a great thread! I was just going to post a similar one! I like to brown up burger with onion and garlic and put it in the quart sized bags and freeze it "flat" so it's quick to defrost. Then I can easily add spaghetti sauce or cook it up as stroganoff.

I also like to make up several meatloaves at one time, and freeze them raw.

Macaroni and cheese
chili
lasagna
spaghetti (any noodles with red sauce, really)
stroganoff
enchiladas
chili
soup (cream based soups tend to separate or curdle, though)

Any of these that you already make are easy-freezy! I like to make large batches of these when I make them for dinner so there's plenty to freeze. Same amount of effort for several meals.

Melanie - posted on 06/28/2010

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As a child these were always my favorite of my mom's freezable recipes. And as it took about an hour to make she often made enough for 4-6 trays so that she wouldn't have to make it again for a while.



This recipe is not modified to make extra trays.



White Chicken Enchiladas (makes 1 pan)

3.5 lbs cooked chicken breast halves, cut into bite size cubes

1 4oz can green ortega chiles

2 c. sour cream

2 10.75oz cans Cream of chicken soup

1 4oz can sliced olives

1 lb monterey jack cheese

12 10or12 in flour tortillas



Preheat oven to 350 degrees



Grease a 9-13 in pan. Cube the chicken. Mix together chiles, sour cream, soup, olives, and 1/2 of cheese. Divide mixture in 1/2. To 1/2 of the mix add the chicken. Spoon chicken and mix into center of each tortilla and roll up placing in pan. Cover enchiladas with the other 1/2 of the mix and add remaining on top.



Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until heated through

if frozen about 1hr 15 min in preheated 350 degree oven.



If the cheese is browning to fast cover with tin foil that has been sparyed with cooking oil on the downward facing side.



Serve with refried beans.



This recipe makes 2 trays.



Mom's Lasagna (Makes 2 pans)



20 servings



1 lb hot or mild bulk Italian Sausage

2 jars Any Spaghetti Sauce

2 lbs mozzarella cheese

1 c ricotta

1 c cottage cheese

1 egg

1tsp Italian seasoning

1 can sliced black olives

1/2c parmesan cheese

12 no boil lasagna noodles (for 2 layers. Increase by 12 for every 2 layers desired. so for 4 layers use 24 and so on.

1 c shredded zucchini, optional



Preheat oven to 375 degrees



Brown italian sausage and crumble. Combine sausage and sauce. Heat through. *Combine mozzarella cheese with shredded zucchini. Combine cottage cheese, egg, ricotta cheese and seasons. Place in 9x13 pan a thin layer of sauce and sausage mix. Then place a single layer of no boil noodles. On top of the noodles spread a layer of the ricotta mix. Top that with a thin layer of mozzarella. Repeat for the desired number of layers of noodles. (If more than 2-3 noodle layers then increase recipe to adjust for desired number) When you have acheived the desired number of layers top with the remaining mozzarella cheese, olives and parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the lasagna is baked through. Takes about 1 hour 15 minutes if baking straight from the freezer. If cheese is browning too fast you made need to cover with tinfoil sprayed with oil and placed oil side down on pan.

*Note that the zucchini can be added to the sausage and sauce mixture instead of to the mozzarella cheese.



Serve with a green salad and French or Garlic Bread.



Both recipes can be modified for a low fat diet. Both are freezer friendly (if frozen should be cooked straight from freezer).

Genia - posted on 06/28/2010

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I love soup for a great freezer meal and a healthy new-mom meal! If you can make some homemade chicken stock now to use in recipes it will increase the nutrient content sooo much! (stock is really easy - cook a chicken roast or 2, pick off all the meat, then put the carcass(es) in a crock pot with some cut up veggies - carrots, celery, onions, garlic, parsley stems, etc. and herbs - thyme, sage, a bay leaf, marjoram...cover with water, add a splash of vinegar (this helps to leach the nutrients out of the chicken bones and doesn't affect the taste), then cook on high all day or overnight until it smells really good. Strain it into a bowl then stick it in the frig so the fat solidifies on top, then you can just scrape/scoop the fat off. Anyways, some recipes -



Black Bean Soup -

2 cans of drained black beans (or 3 C cooked black beans)

2 C chicken stock

1 C jarred salsa

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp lime juice



Simmer the beans, stock and salsa for 15 minutes, then blend half of it in a food proccesor or blender (I just use a stick blender). Add the cilantro and lime juice before eating. I like to serve with whole wheat corn muffins (also freezer friendly, I use this reciep - http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Coffee-Shop... ) I usually double this soup recipe, oh and i cut the sugar in half for the corn muffins. I'll come back to post more later!

Monica - posted on 06/25/2010

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Baked Spaghetti

1 (16oz) package of spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion
1 (26 oz) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
½ tsp seasoned salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.
3. Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13-in x 9-in x 2-in baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Monica - posted on 06/25/2010

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Swiss Chicken Casserole
4 lg uncooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I cut mine up in 2 inch squares)
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
1 can condensed cream of chicken (I used cream of chicken with herbs)
1/4 cup milk
2 cups herb seasoned stuffing mix any kind
1/4 cup melted butter
a little water
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Arrange chicken in 12x8x2 baking dish top with swiss cheese.
3) Combine soup and milk, stir well. Spoon mixture over chicken.
4) Mix melted butter and stuffing. Add a little water to moisten stuffing, don't soak. Sprinkle on top.
5) Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes

Chris - posted on 06/25/2010

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Ashley,

Way to plan ahead! A great tip is to make casseroles in a foil-lined pan--freeze it, then remove it from the pan so that you still have access to the pan, then just defrost it in that pan again to have it ready to heat!

I also have a great collection of recipes where you prepare meals and freeze them in separate parts (keeps things from getting "mushy")--if you are interested, just send me a note.

Good luck,
Chris

Anita - posted on 06/23/2010

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My favorite meal to freeze away is lasagna. I'll make a huge pan of it and save it for later in the week. I actually just used the recipe that's on the Barilla pasta box, and add a few other things to make it more "personal". Like different types of cheese, or instead of meat put spinach etc...

Anna - posted on 06/22/2010

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I was asking my grandmother for some ideas...
You can make and freeze meatballs for spahgetti meals or whatever you want to use them for. If you make make hamburgers, patty them out when you get the hamburger, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them.

Caroline - posted on 06/21/2010

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We make banana nut pancakes, about 50 at a time, and freeze those because school days are hectic. We pull 2 out at time and pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Then scramble up an egg on the side and a healthy breakfast is done! It is SO possible to make healthy freeze ahead meals. Great topic too!

Vida - posted on 06/15/2010

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Hi, I don't have any recipes, but there's a good book called "don't panic, dinner's in the freezer". Maybe check it out at your library?

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