Question from a reader:
“I’ve thought about freezer cooking, but it seems like the first time would take longer trying to plan out meals and then shop for the things you don’t have… … …I don’t usually have much more than an hour at a time (nap time!!) to get things done…What are your very favorite freezer meals?”
When I first started freezer cooking, I was surprised to discover that most recipes are freezer friendly. While I haven’t been freezer cooking for a terribly long time, I can safely say that I’ve never noticed any change in food consistency or taste as a result of freezing.
I won’t take the time to go through lists of “all things freezable” when others have done a great job at compiling those lists for us already. Here is one of the best lists of that nature that I’ve found. Prepare to be amazed at what can be frozen!
In regard to not having a lot of time to freezer cook; I think you can do some aspects of freezer cooking in even tiny snippets of time! As another reader suggested, you can always make double or triple your dinner meal on any given night and freeze the extras. That shouldn’t take much longer than your normal dinner prep time. When you grocery shop for the week, just buy extra of your ingredients…enough to make and freeze some extra meals!
A few simple freezer tips that I’ve learned:
One of my favorite things to freeze is pizza dough (*recipe coming soon*). I make several batches of pizza dough, let it rise, punch it down, and freeze in gallon size freezer bags. When I’m ready to make the pizza, I thaw out the dough the night before (in the fridge) or the morning of (on the counter) and make my pizza as normal. I love how much time this saves!
Another very simple time saver is how I freeze my chicken! I often buy chicken in large quantities when it goes on sale.
~A few pieces of chicken, I throw in a Ziploc bag and freeze as is.
~I boil a few chicken breasts, shred them, and freeze them for later use in a casserole, chicken salad, etc.
~Other pieces of chicken I will marinate. I prick the chicken with a fork in several places, plop it in a freezer bag, and pour the marinade over the chicken. Probably the easiest marinade is Italian salad dressing (or whatever your favorite flavor may be). A marinade recipe we enjoy is Zesty Chicken Marinade. There are countless marinade recipes all over the internet, so go find one that will tickle your taste-buds. When you’re ready to eat the chicken, you can bake it in the oven or crock pot!
I also freeze ground beef (well, actually ground turkey). Obviously you can freeze it uncooked (which I do…check out this nifty tip), but I also cook up several pounds with onion, garlic, and green pepper and freeze it for use in tacos, casseroles, etc. That little step really does save a lot of time!
I freeze casseroles quite often. A few we enjoy are lasagna casserole, taco twist casserole (*recipe coming soon!*), hearty hamburger casserole, green rice casserole, etc. Honestly though, you can freeze just about any casserole you want!
I freeze burritos, chicken wraps, etc. for quick lunches. Just pull them out of the freezer, pop them in the microwave, and you have a hot lunch waiting for you!
I also freeze pancakes, cinnamon rolls, muffins, egg cups, and breakfast burritos for breakfasts on the go! Having breakfast food ready made in the freezer helps Jared and I to actually eat breakfast, rather than skip it all together! (shame-shame!)
Now, I’d love to know…what are your favorite freezer recipes?