Why and How to Freeze Cooked Meats

One of my secrets to quick meals is having cooked meat in the freezer.  This is by far the biggest time saver you can do for your meal prep.

 

Ground Beef

You can cook ground beef (or ground chicken, pork, sausage etc) on the stove-top.  Or use this trick to do it in the slow cooker.

Grilled Chicken

If it’s nice out, fire up the grill and cook the chicken outside.  Slice and freeze. The smokey flavor will bring summer to your winter meals.

Rotisserie Chicken

3 Costco Rotisserie Chickens yield 5-6 meals. 13 possible recipes

 

If you’re not in the mood to cook it yourself, grab several rotisserie chickens.  Pull the meat off the bones and freeze it.  You can find meal possibilities here and 10 more meal ideas here.

Whole Chicken 

Or bake a chicken yourself.  Use the slow cooker or do several at once in the oven.

Freezer Friendly Meatballs

how to stretch ground beef

 

Meatballs are so versatile for quick meals.  I have this recipe that includes rice to stretch the ground beef and make it go further.  Or try this more classic meatball recipe that still makes a bunch.

Turkey Breast

turkey breast in slow cooker

 

You can get a lot of meat off a turkey breast.  It’s a great deal if you find a sale.

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork is always good to have stashed away in the freezer for quick meals.  Serve it as sandwiches.  Add pineapple and cheese for a Hawaiian version.  Serve it over rice, like haystacks.  Lots of possibilities.

 

 

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Dessert Recipes to Freeze

Desserts may not be the first thing you think of stocking your freezer with, but there are a lot of great reasons to do just that.

Having something sweet stashed away can help you avoid running to the grocery at night to grab a snack (or are we the only people who do that?).  Kids and teens especially like having cookies in the freezer to grab.

And prepping a dessert for company before the occasion arrives is a great time saver.

No matter what your reason, here are some dessert recipes to consider making and freezing.

peanut butter fluff pie done

Peanut Butter Fluff Pie

cappuccino pie

No Bake Cappuccino Pie

Frozen Fruit Cups

Frozen Mocha Marble Loaf

Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Candy Cane Fudge Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Amish Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops

Black Forest Cherry Ice Cream Dessert

Black Forest Cherry Ice Cream Dessert

coffee toffee ice cream pie done

Coffee Toffee Ice Cream Pie with a Ribbon of Fudge

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Jello Popsicles 

buster bar inside

Buster Bars

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

10 homemade ice creams

Ice Cream of all Kinds!

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

 In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

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Main Dish Recipes to Freeze

There are so many main dish recipes that will work for freezing.  In fact, nearly any recipe will work (although there are some exceptions).

Instead of listing every possibility, we’ve pulled together a short list for you.  Let these get you started, but know that there are lots of other options as well!

minideepdishpizzas

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

chicken lettuce wraps done

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Honey Pork Chops

 

Smothered Steak with Onion and Mushrooms

stromboli done sliced2

Stromboli

Mel’s Diner Chili

Reuben Calzone

50’s Primetime Meatloaf

baked-spaghetti-done-this-one

Baked Spaghetti

freezerburritosdone_thumb.jpg

Black Beans & Rice Freezer Burritos

Chinese Cheater Chicken

Thai Chili Chicken Egg Rolls

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Stuffed Shells

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

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Breakfast Recipes to Freeze

We’re going to be gearing up for our Virtual Freezer Cooking Party all week.  I’ll be sharing different freezable recipes for you, so you can decide what you want to stock your freezer with on Saturday. And even if you can’t join us for the party, you still may want to set aside a time to fill your freezer.

Here are some ideas for breakfast foods:

What breakfast foods do you like freezing?

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

 

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How to make 6 slow cooker freezer meals in 1 hour – February (and a video)

February slow cooker freezer meals

Every month, as part of the Slow Cooker plan for Weekly Meal Plans, we do a freezer meals week.  The goal is to be able to assemble all 6 meals in just about 1 hour.

I stock these away to use on our really busy days.  I love having them in the freezer!  In fact, as I write this I can smell the Chicken Cacciatore cooking for our dinner tonight.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a video showing how I assemble the meals.  I’m not great at video.  I haven’t taken time to learn to edit.  And the storage on my phone is almost out (yes, I’m super high tech and record with my iPhone), so the video cuts out near the end.  But you don’t miss out on too much.

I hope you find the video helpful.  And if not, just skip it :)

All of the slow cooker freezer meal plans have downloadable, color-coded grocery lists.  I love shopping with these.  It makes it so easy to pick up what you need.

The February plans are all available in the member area now.  Members have access to all three plans – Traditional, Whole Food and Slow Cooker.

The recipes I make in this video are all available on the site.  But to get the printable grocery list, recipes and assembly instructions, you’ll need to be a member of Weekly Meal Plans.

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Freezing Single Servings for Teenage Boys and Other Hungry People

Freezing Single servings

 

A reader asked the other day about what types of foods are good for freezing in single servings.  She’s got a hungry teenage boy to fill up. (I can relate to that!)

Short of keeping the kitchen open all the time, with a cook waiting on hand, filling the freezer with single serving foods is the best way to keep those boys filled up.  And it works for others in the family too, who need to eat at off hours.

If you’re trying to feed boys, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1.  Include protein.  They like foods that will stick with them.

2.  Make it easy.  Hand-held is good.

3.  Keep a list on the freezer so they know what’s in there and where to find it. Or is it just my boys who forget what I’ve told them?

Here’s a list of recipes that will keep all kinds of  hungry people happy:   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Peach Chutney You Can Store in the Freezer

Slow Cooker Peach Chutney

 

 

Chutney is not a food that we eat often in my family.  In fact, this may be the first time most of the kids had tried it.  I was inspired by a sandwich we ate in Epcot Norway to try making my own chutney.

Since we’re in the middle of a Summer Slow Cooker Series, it seemed appropriate to use a slow cooker to make this.  I also wanted to be able to freeze it for future use.  For most recipes, you don’t need very much chutney and it’s nice to have it stashed away for when you need it.

Instead of the normal mango, I used canned peaches.  The fruit pairs up with red bell pepper, onion, jalepeno, golden raisins and spices for a sweet condiment with a hint of heat.

And in case you’re wondering what on earth you would actually do with chutney, I’ve got three recipes coming up for you!  I’ll be sharing those on the blog soon.

I know I took a photo of the ingredients, but somehow those photos have gone missing.  Thankfully, even though chutney itself may be a bit unusual, the ingredients are not.  Chances are you have most of these in your kitchen right now.  And the few you don’t have can be picked up on your next trip to the grocery.  Don’t forget plastic freezer bags to store the extra!   [Read more…]

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Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf – a Freezer Friendly Meal

Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf sliced1

 

I am so excited to be partnering with ALDI this year.  On a recent trip to ALDI, I picked up all the ingredients for this Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf.

It looks impressive, but it’s so easy to put together.  And it freezes great too, so you can assemble it ahead of time, but wait to bake until you’re ready.

Fresh mozzarella, pepperoni and marinara sauce bring a twist to the traditional meatloaf.  And because all the ingredients are found at ALDI, it makes it affordable too.

Click here to see the recipe and more photos of the assembly process on the ALDI Simply Smarter Living Blog.

Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf whole baked1

 

Disclosure:  I am partnering with ALDI and have been compensated, but all opinions are my own.

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Healthy Whole Grain Waffles – Freezer Friendly

Back-to-school time is upon us once again. The hustle and bustle of getting the kids out the door, looking presentable, with everything signed and packed, and a nutritious breakfast in their bellies is no easy task. Even if your kids don’t have to leave the house, or if you don’t have kids at all…breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Your body needs it to jump start the metabolism and get needed fuel to those brain cells. With that being said, it’s sometimes so much easier to grab a bowl of cereal, or a granola bar as we are running out the door. That’s where these freezer friendly waffles come in!

freezer waffles EAH

A healthy breakfast is just a few minutes away when you have a freezer stocked with homemade, whole grain waffles, that only need to be popped in the toaster. In just minutes you have a hot, filling breakfast.  The kids will enjoy deciding what toppings to put on their waffles, while moms will love knowing they are getting whole grains, along with energy from natural sugars.  Some topping ideas may be bananas and peanut butter, blueberries and walnuts (my favorite), chocolate chips (my kids’ favorite)…the possibilities are endless! You can even fold them and carry them with you for breakfast on the go. If your kids do like them plain, you could always add in some extra cinnamon, pumpkin or apple pie spice, or whatever they like. I like to think of waffles, pancakes, and muffins as a sort of “blank canvas” that you can design however you want!

healthy whole grain waffles, freezer friendly

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles – Freezer Friendly
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (cow's milk, almond milk, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons oil*
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey (could also use maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • *I like to use a combination of olive oil and canola oil, or coconut oil.
Instructions
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together.
  2. Pour onto a greased waffle iron.
  3. Cook until steam is no longer coming from waffle iron.
  4. Eat immediately or cool and freeze.
  5. This made about 6 six-inch round waffles.
  6. To prepare from frozen: These can be microwaved, but for best texture I recommend cutting them in half (or fourths) and placing in the toaster until warm and crisp.

This recipe does not contain eggs, and could easily be made vegan.

 

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Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops

Welcome to new contributing writer, Angie from Big Bear’s Wife!  I got to meet Angie in person at the Food Blog Forum conference in Disney World, where we chatted over Monsters Inc. cupcakes.  I’m excited to have Angie sharing recipes with us here.  And these Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops look right up my alley!

These Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops have become one of my recent “go-to” snacks and they’re so easy to make. I’ve always been a fan of popsicles.  I remember having the molds as a kid and making popsicles with anything I could get my hands on.

EAH1

Kool-aid pops, fruit juice pops and pudding pops where stuffed into every section of our freezer. Banana pops were one of my favorite flavors growing up! Do you remember those? The banana pops with the two sticks that broke apart in the middle. I think they were made like that so that you could share, but I’m not sure if I ever wanted to share my banana pops. They where the “King” of all popsicles in my eyes.

I love banana pudding and the combination of chocolate and banana is just the perfect match, so it was only a matter of time before I combined them together into this frozen treat! These come together in a flash with the longest part of the whole process being the wait for them to come out of the freezer. Plus, you only need 4 ingredients to make these beauties happen: Banana Pudding Mix, Milk, Chocolate Magic Shell and Crushed Vanilla Wafers.

EaH9

The banana pudding freezes but still remains pretty creamy, the chocolate shell hardens in seconds and the crushed vanilla wafers add the perfect “banana pudding touch”! Where I’m from, banana pudding isn’t banana pudding without vanilla wafers!

EAH3

 

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops

Serves: 4-8 (depending on size of molds)

Ingredients
  • 1 large box banana creme pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup chocolate magic shell
  • 10 vanilla wafers, crushed
  • Popsicle Molds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the pudding mix and cold milk. Whisk the pudding mix for about 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Carefully pour the banana pudding into the popsicle molds and insert popsicle sticks.
  3. Place into the freezer for 3-4 hours or until frozen)
  4. Once frozen, remove pops from freezer.
  5. Working one at a time, carefully run the mold under warm water to loosen the pop. Remove the pop from the mold.
  6. Dip the pudding pop into the chocolate magic shell.
  7. Immediately sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers.
  8. Repeat until all pops are complete.

Looking for more recipe packed with banana flavor? Check out Ingredient Spotlight : Bananas (2012)

Angie is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. She lives in VA with her husband (BigBear) and their 4 dogs (who might as well be their children)!  She blogs over at BigBearsWife.com about her favorite recipes, love of travel and she even throws in a few crafts here and there.You can also find her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

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