Freezer Meals

When you hear the term “freezer meal,” just what do you think of? Pretty quickly I see images of lasagna, enchiladas, and chicken-broccoli-casserole popping into my head. But really, I have been discovering that “freezer meals” can be just about anything! Over the last year, I have made it a point to keep some frozen things on hand that I can just defrost and heat through, especially on days when medical treatments have laid me low, when I am in the midst of burying another baby, when I am too emotionally overwhelmed to even think straight about cooking, or perhaps when time has simply gotten away from me and I know I won’t have time to spend cooking a good dinner for my family. Another aspect of freezer meals that I love, is that I always have something handy to give away, should a friend of mine suddenly be in need of a home-cooked meal. And thanks to the gift of a stand-up freezer my parents gave me for my 26th birthday, I have even more space for such things.

So anyway… yesterday was a day that I dedicated to stocking my freezer up again with freezer meals. I realize that I still did have some meals in there (turkey chili; coconut chicken and rice; ravioli; cranberry-catalina chicken; etc), but now I have over a dozen meals ready and waiting for my need of them. I am about to give a couple away already to help stock some friends’ freezers too. I’m thankful to be able to help serve others in this way.

Yesterday I made multiple batches of four main dishes: Tonno e Limono Pasta; Pulled Pork Enchiladas; Chicken Curry with Rice; Beef Burgundy (except I actually used our favorite cab-sav instead of burgundy).

All four dishes really turned out well (I taste-tested them all, of course), and I expect them all to freeze & heat well too. I used the crock pot to cook the pulled pork while I made the pasta dish and the curry dish, and prepped the beef dish. Then while I assembled the enchiladas (and put other finished dishes into ziplocs and other containers; and washed up all the dishes; and, well you know, other things…), the beef did its three hours of simmering in the crock pot. This particular combination of meals that I chose worked really well with overlapping use of dishes and appliances. It made it relatively easy to make a dozen meals in just a few hours, even with a two-year-old helping me out. 🙂

What are some dishes that you have frozen? Have you found things that do not freeze well? Do you ever spend a day making a dozen meals simply to stock your freezer? Or someone else’s freezer?

6 Replies to “Freezer Meals”

  1. Sounds delicious!
    Around here, I am not so sure the meal would make it into the freezer before being consumed. ;o)
    But it is a good idea, one I should think about. Esp. for those really busy days when cooking is not a priority.

  2. Don’t you just love the crockpot? I do!! Esp for soups and meat dishes in the winter months.
    But it comes in handy on Tuesdays around here when we get home late from doing the Farmer’s Market.
    My favorite things for putting in the freezer are soups but I also like doing enchiladas and lasagnas or chili rellenos.
    One thing we do is make fruit pie mixes. So all you have to do is the crust, put the fruit in and into the oven. Voila! 😉

  3. Chicken noodle soup, pumpkin soup, stir-fry veggies chicken and rice, meatloaf (if you freeze it flat in a baggie, it defrosts in less than an hour). Those are the ones I can think of right now…

  4. i LOVE freezing soups and chili’s for those unexpected rainy days. (i’ve heard dairy and potatoes don’t freeze well, so i just add the heavy cream after thawing). i’ve also taken to making pb and j (ryan’s favorite lunch) about 10 at a time and he takes them for lunch and they thaw just in time for his lunch break. i needed that cooking encouragement this time of year, as it starts to get chilly and i’m not sure i’m emotionally ready for it…

  5. I so badly want to get back into freezing meals! Jason and I have been discussing buying a freezer for the garage, so I can more easily do this. Right now its just impossible to keep meals like this in my freezer in the house.
    Have you ever been to the freezer happy website? I love her tips and recipes.

    Back in CA, I have a group of friends that each make 6 meals {9×13 in size typically} but all the same dish. SO you would make 6 dishes with enchiladas and then the other ladies make 6 of something different and then they trade meals between them. So you end up with 6 different meals. Sounded pretty fun to me! At the time, I had 3 small, small kids and between time and money, I wasn’t able to “play” but it sounded like such a good idea 🙂

  6. Nice Melissa! I want to get some freezer meals done myself. Like Shelby says, I have found the dairy doesn’t freeze well.
    I want the Coconut Chicken you mention – for dinner right now! 🙂

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