Delicious Make-Ahead Freezer Meals – Your Easy Button to Save Time, Meal Plan, and Eat Healthier
Why are Freezer Meals for New Moms and Dads (or anyone else who wants to save time in the kitchen) a good idea?
They are a good idea for new moms and dads because when you are a new parent you will be tired from late-night feedings, diaper changes, adjusting to a new baby, and so much more. The last thing you will want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen attempting to prepare meals while you can barely keep your eyes open, and the baby is crying (again).
Even if you are not a new parent, this will be a lifesaver for you too. Keeping up with busy schedules is hard enough, and many of us struggle with getting dinner on the table every day.
Life is busy for most of us, and this will make meal planning simpler, save time, save money, and be able to get a good meal on the table with very little fuss.
Did you know with about an hour of prep time you could have 8 or more meals in your freezer? I was amazed to learn that and decided to give it a try. What happened? (Hint: It worked, and was totally worth it!).
Are you ready to give it a try? Let’s Get Your Freezer Stocked!
What are Freezer Meals?
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Have you ever come home, not known what to make for dinner, and digging in the freezer you were so happy to discover spaghetti sauce? Jackpot! Now all you needed to do was make some noodles and heat up the sauce, easy peasy! That is one example of a Freezer Meal.
What if you could put together multiple meals to stock your freezer in about an hour? Imagine how much easier life would be!
The good news is most freezer meal recipes require very little cooking (if any) before freezing, and will save you a ton of prep and clean up time on the day you make the meal. I like to think of these as convenient meals similar to the ones you would buy at the grocery store, only better.
You May Also Like: The Best Meal Planning Apps
Where to Find Freezer Meal Recipes
There are plenty of places to find recipes to stock the freezer. Pinterest, Magazines, Google, and Cookbooks are just a few good resources if you have time and want to browse around.
Another option is a meal planning service that will give you single recipes or full meal plans with all the instructions to make the meals at home. These often come with instructions, grocery lists divided by grocery store section or by recipe, and labels you can order or print out yourself for your freezer bags or trays.
I decided to give MyFreezEasy a try for freezer cooking. It is a monthly subscription service that gives you meal plans you can customize each month, grocery shopping lists based on your meal selections, and more.
You will be able to prep, assemble, and put up to 10 meals in the freezer in an hour. You can search for recipes by cooking method, protein, and dietary preferences.
More specific categories are available including:
- Keto / Paleo / Whole 30
- Clean Eats
- Slow Cooker, Baked, or Dutch Oven
- Instant Pot, Skillet, Grill, One Dish Meals
- Chicken Recipes
- Ground Beef Recipes
- Other Beef Recipes
- Seafood Recipes
- Pork Chop Recipes
Learn more and get a free trial of MyFreezEasy here, or click on the image below.
If you or someone you know is expecting a new baby soon you should definitely check out the MyFreezEasy StorktheFreezer plans. They are freezer meals for new moms separated out by categories for Nursing Moms, Less Than 5 Minutes Hands-on Time, New Mom, Slow Cooker, Vegetarian, All Chicken, and more. These are very reasonably priced, practical recipes to help you get meals on the table.
Another great thing about the recipes is they don’t require fancy ingredients, and there is a good chance you already have many of the ingredients in your pantry.
There are also full-length video tutorials where you can watch someone preparing and assembling the meals in her own kitchen, which I found super helpful! I even learned some new tricks for chopping veggies.
How to Prep and Assemble Freezer Meals
👉 FIRST: get off to a strong start by clicking here to sign up for your FREE Freezer Cooking 101 Workshop & Download a Free Sample MyFreezEasy Meal Plan and more! This is a FREE video workshop about freezer cooking you can watch online at your own convenience, and you will receive some recipes to get you started.
👉 SECOND: The steps to getting your freezer stocked are as follows:
1. Choose 3 – 5 Freezer Meal Recipes.
2. Decide if you want to make a single batch to freeze one meal, or a double batch to split into 2 meals.
3. Add any ingredients you need to your grocery list, and do your shopping.
4. Pick a day to prep and assemble your freezer meals. Allow at least 1 hour for this activity.
5. Place all the ingredients in a central location for easy access on meal prep day.
6. Chop, Mix Marinades / Sauces, Prepare Meats, Open Cans, Etc.
7. Separate the ingredients you just prepared out by recipe.
8. Grab your supplies to assemble and freeze the meals. (Supplies may include freezer bags, freezer bag holders, trays, and pre-printed labels or a marker to label the bags or trays).
9. Assemble the meals. These bag holders will keep the bags upright and open to make filling them simple.
10. Seal and Label all the bags and/or trays, and place them in the freezer.
That is it! You now have a bunch of meals stocked in your freezer and ready when you are.
Freezer Cooking Food Safety Tips
Safe food preparation and storage is always a priority to avoid getting a foodborne illness. The same applies when it comes to freezer cooking. Here is a great article from the Mayo Clinic about Freezer Cooking Safety.
Food Safety Tips for Freezer Cooking:
✔ Cool foods before freezing.
✔ Use Freezer Containers or Freezer Bags. These are thicker and specifically for storing food in the freezer.
✔ Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing.
✔ Label the bag or container with the Recipe Name, Number of Servings, Packaging Date, and Cooking Instructions
✔ Thaw properly. It is important not to thaw food at room temperature because bacteria will form. Those bacteria will form heat-resistant toxins that can cause foodborne illness.
Read the article “Are You Storing Food Safely” on the FDA Website for more information about food storage safety.
Tips and Tricks for Freezer Cooking
✔ Place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper between bags to prevent them from sticking together in the freezer.
✔ Cool food completely before freezing.
✔ Always use bags or containers that are specifically for freezing, and remove as much air as possible from the bag. This will help maintain food quality.
✔ Label your bags with the date, recipe name, cooking instructions, and any fresh ingredients needed on the day you cook the meal.
✔ Choose foods and recipes that freeze well. The Free MyFreezEasy Freezer Cooking 101 Workshop is great for learning more.
✔ Use Freezer Bag Holders! These are my favorite thing to hold the bags open for me while I fill them. They hold the bag for me so I am not fumbling around with keeping a bag open and spilling food while trying to fill it.
✔ Place the bags with the meals you are thawing into a baking dish or bowl. Sometimes freezer bags will get a small hole in them causing the liquid inside to leak while thawing out. This will save you from cleaning an unexpected mess, and prevent possible cross-contamination with other foods in the fridge.
Freezer Meal Recipes
I have made a basic pasta sauce and frozen it per the recipe below. This is great for a busy weeknight.
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (4 Servings)
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Jar of Your Favorite Pasta Sauce
Make Sauce to Freeze: Brown Ground Beef in a large frying pan; drain. Let Beef Cool Completely. Pour a jar of pasta sauce into a freezer bag or freezer container and add the cooled ground beef. Label with Recipe Name and date, and place in the freezer.
The Day you Eat it: Thaw sauce in a refrigerator or empty sauce into a microwave-safe dish and thaw in the microwave. Add thawed sauce to a medium saucepan with about 1/4 cup of water, cover, and cook over medium heat until heated through. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water. Add Spaghetti Noodles to boiling water and cook per package directions.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with Veggie Salad and Garlic Bread, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on spaghetti if you like.
To grab even more awesome recipes, I recommend checking out MyFreezEasy. I have used this service myself and have been pleased with the make at home recipes and video tutorials. There are meal plans that allow you to get 10 meals in the freezer within an hour. Click the image below to learn more.
Buy Fresh Boneless Skinless chicken breasts; Cut them into bite-size pieces and freeze meal-size portions in freezer bags. The Bite-Size Chicken Pieces can then be thawed out and used for a quick stir fry or chicken nuggets on a busy weeknight.
Thaw a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies by pouring them into a colander and running cold water over them. The thawed veggies can then be put into the stir-fry with the sauce until heated through. This keeps them from getting mushy.
Bagged Frozen Cheese Tortellini and Frozen Ravioli can be purchased in the grocery store freezer section. Heat up your favorite sauce, and boil some water to cook the pasta (cooks in 3 to 5 minutes). Add a salad and you have a full meal in a snap!
Final Thoughts on Freezer Meal Cooking
I have to admit I was skeptical about freezer meal cooking. I didn’t want to spend an hour of my free time on meal prep. But, it has really worked out well for our family.
Now when dinner time rolls around I know what we are having, and it is very little work for me. Definitely a bonus on those busy weeknights!
I encourage you to try it for yourself. I am convinced you will be happy with the amount of time this will save you in the kitchen. Not to mention answering the never-ending question of “What’s for dinner?”.
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