Welcome to our Nutritious Freezer Meal Carnival! So glad you could join us! Today we are joining forces in providing a selection of meals that are easily freezable to simplify your homemaking and time in the kitchen.
TO start off, here is a book recommendation if you are new to the world of freezer cooking, you may want to check out The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy. This resource comes highly recommended by one of our readers with tips and ideas on making freezer meals.
There are several options for freezer containers.
1. One suggestion is to layer your baking pan with aluminum foil, and then fill with your contents. Once frozen, you can simply remove from the pan and slide the frozen contents into a freezer ziploc bag or another container of some sort (vacuumed sealed packages is an option here for extended freezer time). This will reduce the amount of space required for storage in the freezer.
2. Disposable aluminum pans are reasonably cheap, especially if you find them at your local dollar store. You can often find a pack of three for just $1. These are especially nice when you are making a meal as a gift for someone else (then they don’t have to worry about returning your pan). Cover your pan with aluminum foil followed by completely wrapping with freezer paper to avoid freezer burn. Freezer paper is necessary if you are planning on freezing for a longer length of time (more than a week), otherwise it can be skipped.
3. If you desire to avoid aluminum or disposable products, I would highly recommend investing in some glass pyrex containers with the plastic lids. These are very reasonably priced and are easy to freeze. They stack very easily as well. Costco sells a similar set for a great price as well.
4. At our house, I like to multiply pretty much every dish I make, but most commonly with casseroles. I will multiply the recipe to make one dish for the evening meal and freeze the other. This is a wonderful way to simplify and have a meal ready on hand for a busy day. I use pyrex glassware for these purposes or glass canning jars for such freezing purposes.
Now on to the recipes…
Here are our family favorite recipes that freeze extremely well. With each recipe, you will find basic instructions on how to freeze it. One requires pre-baking (as marked), but most freezer recipes can simply be assembled, frozen, and then removed from the freezer and baked. Overall, both methods work well.
Chicken & Dumplings (requires pre-baking)
Homemade Pizza Crust & Spaghetti Sauce – I often make 4 pizza crusts at a time, using one for the evening meal and freezing the other three portions of dough. I also make a large batch of spaghetti sauce at a time and freeze in small glass jars for topping our pizzas. To keep things simple we don’t use a special pizza sauce, as the spaghetti sauce has a ton of flavor. I make a large batch not only for pizza but also to serve for spaghetti.
Chicken Curry- you can layer in a pan with brown rice or simply freeze the curry sauce on it’s own!
Shepherd’s Pie- one of my all time favorite freezer meals!
I have had great success freezing all my soup recipes. I simply cook as instructed in the recipe, allow to cool completely and then place in Ziploc bags or as I prefer, put into quart size or half gallon size glass jars. Make sure to allow at least 1 inch for breathing room.
Garden Chowder – despite the combination of multiple vegetables in this soup, it freezes just fine after being cooked.
Chili & Cornbread -I will often multiply and freeze both the prepared chili and baked cornbread for a future meal. We love chili topped with cheese on nitrate free hot dogs! A yummy high protein lunch!
I like to make a large batch of chicken stock at a time and freeze in smaller quantities. I recommend freezing this in large Ziploc freezer bags. Glass jars just have not worked for me. They break too easily as the stock expands.
I often like to prepare a batch of cookie dough for the freezer. This is a wonderful way to be prepared for last minute or unexpected guests. Simply pull the dough out of the freezer and bake! Yum! Our favorite recipe is the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies….they are not healthy but are a delicious special treat, easy to make and great for company. Ice Cream is another dessert that can be made ahead and frozen. Try our Coconut Ice Cream or Peanut Butter Ice Cream.
Now it is your turn…Please share your favorite freezer meal recipes and provide the link to your direct post with the recipe. Make sure to include a return link to this post! If you don’t have a blog, share your favorite recipe in the comments below!
Do you have any tips to share for freezer cooking?