Easy freezer meals are the perfect answer to the perpetual “what’s for dinner?” question.
Use some of these freezer cooking recipes and pop a meal out of your freezer in no time.
Freezer bag cooking is simple, economical, and tasty!
View yummy freezer meal recipes.
Whether you are a stay at home mom or you work outside the home, chances are you have faced the 5 o’clock dilemma: the family’s hungry and you didn’t cook.
It’s not that you didn’t intend to cook; its just that you got busy and neglected to take anything out of the fridge.
So, what are the options?
- 1.Fast Food Burgers
- 2.Pizza Delivery
- 3.Tuna Sandwiches
- 4.Blah Night
If you’re like most moms, you’ll probably buy some fast food or get a pizza delivered.
This way you at least feel as though you provided a “real” meal.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Enter the world of freezer bag cooking.
Prepare easy freezer meals that are on hand, ready to be heated and served, saving you time, and stress.
Think of freezer bag cooking and easy freezer meals as your own personal TV dinners…except they cost less, aren’t filled with preservatives and processed foods, and are custom designed by you.
The concept is easy: prepare several meals at one time, freeze them, and thaw them as needed. Your freezer will be stocked with great freezer meal recipes and you will be less tempted to eat out. Quality, home-cooked meals that you can feel proud of.
Freezer Bag Cooking Supplies
When making easy freezer meals, it’s important that you have the right tools. In addition to your typical pots and pans, whisks and garlic presses, you will need containers to store your freezer meals. You have a few options here.
Glass or Stoneware Baking Dishes
If you have the freezer space, and the baking dishes, one of the best methods of storage for easy freezer meals is to freeze the dinner in the container you will cook it in.
This saves you the hassle of transferring it into a baking dish at dinner time. This is a particularly good idea for casseroles.
Most moms will do one-two freezer meals in a casserole dish and freeze, but not all their freezer meals. Ask around to family and friends to see if they have any extra dishes they can give you, or check Goodwill.
Aluminum (Disposable) Baking Dishes
For those who are short on casserole dishes, but make lots of casseroles as part of easy freezer meals, it is possible to buy disposable aluminum baking dishes at Walmart or Sam’s Club. Don’t be afraid to reuse these dishes if they remain in good condition. Wrap with foil and plastic wrap/Ziploc freezer bag before placing into the freezer.
Tupperware Rock N Serve Containers
My favorite containers for freezing are the Tupperware Rock N Serve containers. They are durable, modular sized, and can go from the freezer, to the microwave, to the dishwasher. They also have a wide variety of sizes that work perfectly. The square sizes fit best in the freezer.
You can buy discount or used Tupperware Rock N Serve Containers on eBay. Check out current auctions below.
Ziploc Freezer Bags
A cheaper solution to Tupperware Rock N Serve containers (at least in the beginning; over time the Tupperware is more economical) is a variety of heavy duty Ziploc Freezer Bags. Make sure you get the Freezer Bags, not the regular storage bags. You’ll want gallon and quart bags.
Pick these up at Walmart with a coupon, or in bulk at Sam’s Club for your easy freezer meals. On dishes with much liquid, double bag your easy freezer meals. Its also a good idea when you have several bags that go to one meal to put them all in a one-gallon bag to keep the contents together.
Methods to Easy Freezer Meals
Now that you’ve acquired your freezer containers, its time to start your freezer meal recipes! Remember, the concept is that you make several meals worth of a particular recipe at one time, and then freeze your food in dinner sized portions. For example, if your family likes lasagna, you could make enough lasagna for three meals at one time, layout three casserole dishes, and when it comes time to cook them, simply wrap them in foil and freeze instead. Now you have three meals ready to go!
There are four main ways to go about freezer cooking. Choose the method or methods that work best for you.
Cook for a Month
When I first came about easy freezer meals and freezer cooking recipes, this was the method I was taught. I had read the book, Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month by Deborah Taylor-Hough. In her incredible book, Ms. Taylor-Hough teaches to set aside a day to a day and a half for cooking up all the dinners you will need for a month.
This method works best if you have an extra freezer in your home, but it is actually possible to get a month’s worth of freezer meal recipes in your standard freezer if you use Ziploc Freezer Bags only, and no other containers.
You make all your food up once a month, and then it becomes an easy matter of eating it!
Do Mini Cooking Days
Ms. Taylor-Hough also gives the option of Mini Cooking Days in her books. Instead of cooking a wide variety of beef, ground beef, chicken, and pork meals on one day, one time per month, a stay at home mom might choose just one main ingredient, ground beef for example, and make up 5-8 meals instead.
This is a great option for those of us who find it difficult to take one entire day to cook, with kids running around, other household chores to be done, groceries to buy, etc. This is actually my favorite method of freezer bag cooking.
Double a Recipe
For those who are interested in the trial version, if you will, of easy freezer cooking, its not difficult to double or triple a recipe suitable for freezing when you are doing your regular cooking.
This way you have an extra meal or two on hand for when you are pressed for time later in the month.
Cook with a Friend
This idea comes from The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy. The two authors cook once every four to six weeks, together. They share the duties, the costs, and the meals. One woman will do the cooking for one particular ingredient, say beef, while the other will do the cooking for another ingredient, say chicken.
This cuts down on the time you spend in the kitchen and gives you a cooking buddy to work with! The entire process, though time consuming, is fun!
Favorite Freezer Meal Recipes
Here’s one of my favorite freezer cooking recipes. I like meatballs because they are so versatile. You can put them in spaghetti and make spaghetti and meatballs, or you can add a cream sauce and make Swedish meatballs. You can even add gravy. Making up several batches of meatballs can be an easy freezer meals dream come true. Diverse, yet simple! Perfect for busy stay at home moms.
Meatballs for Every Occassion
6 lb ground beef
1 1/3 c bread crumbs
12 cloves garlic
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp basil
3 medium onions, chopped
1 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c water
black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients into a very large bowl. Using heavy kitchen gloves (ingredients are COLD) mix ingredients well. Shape into meatballs (you can use a cookie ball tool). This batch will make 160-200 small meatballs.
Line a large shallow baking pan with foil. It helps to spray the bottom with Pam to prevent the meatballs from sticking. Fill the baking pan with meatballs; you will need to do this in several batches. Broil each batch about 8 inches from the heat source for 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs using a large spatula and broil for 10 minutes longer.
Allow meatballs to cool and then package in Tupperware Rock N Serve containers or Ziploc Freezer Bags. 40-50 meatballs per meal. (This freezer cooking recipe makes 4 meals.)
Place thawed meatballs in a large saucepan and cover with a pasta sauce, spaghetti sauce, white sauce, Swedish meatball sauce, or gravy. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes.
Money Saving Resources
Use the following resources to help you on your path towards frugal food.
1. More pages on Stay-a-Stay-at-Home-Mom.com:
Freezer Cooking Tips
Menus for Kids
Start a Food Exchange
Raise Meat Rabbits
Raise Chickens in Your Backyard
Order Groceries Online
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips