Pre-Cook and Freeze Meats to Make Dinner Quick – 15 Minute Meal Series

Pre-cook and freeze meat

 

One of the things that can slow down dinner prep is dealing with the meat portion.

A beef roast or whole chicken that is frozen is going to take a long while and some hands on work to get it to the table.  Frozen pork chops, chicken breasts or beef steaks won’t take quite as long to thaw and cook, but they still aren’t quick.

My solution to this is to keep my freezer stocked with meats that are already cooked.

Here’s a list of what I like to keep on hand, along with a few links that explain the process of prepping them:

Cooked Chicken

whole chicken in the slow cooker

Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

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

 

Using Rotisserie Chickens

bbq chicken for fajitas freezer1

 

Freezing grilled chicken

turkey breast in slow cooker

 

Turkey Breast in the Slow Cooker – it’s not chicken, but it works the same way for recipes and soup.

Ground Beef

I usually just brown ground beef and/or sausage on top of the stove.  Rinse it under hot water to remove extra grease and then freeze in a zip top bag.  A quick minute in the microwave is all it takes to thaw.

If you’d like to cook a lot of ground beef easily, try cooking it in the slow cooker.

hamburger in the crock pot

 

Meatballs

meatballs for freezer done

 

Having meatballs cooked and frozen can really speed up dinner.  They are so versatile and can be used for a lot more than rounding out a plate of spaghetti.

Ham and Smoked Sausage

smoked sausage

Both ham and smoked sausage are already cooked.  These meats are wonderful for quick dinners, because you basically just need to heat them.

I don’t do it as often, but cooked beef roast can also be shredded and frozen.  Use it in casseroles or Mexican dishes.

15 Minute Meal Series – Popcorn Chicken Parmesan

I’ve created a lot of recipes, but this one for Popcorn Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorites.

Popcorn Chicken Parmesan - 15 Minute Meal

 

A friend mentioned at church the other day that her family really likes this recipe too.  It’s not only quick and easy, it’s also full of flavor.

The frozen popcorn chicken is an excellent “cheat” for speeding things up.  It gets tossed with garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese then put in the oven to bake a few minutes.

Meanwhile, you’ll whip up a homemade sauce and boil the pasta.  So easy, but it tastes like you really spent a long time fixing dinner.

Find the recipe for Popcorn Chicken Parmesan here.

15 Minute Meals for Back to School

This post is part of our new series on 15 Minute Meals.  You can find the other posts in the series linked here.

Drive. Play. Feed. Sports Season Suppers – 15 Minute Meals

Judging from the comments, this is a series that hits close to home for many of you.  Juggling kids, activities and dinner can be difficult.  But it can also be done, with a bit of planning.

So far, we’ve covered packing meals, grocery store meals that can be put together in a quick buzz through the store, and rockin’ the slow cooker.

Today, we’re talking super-quick meals you can cook in just minutes.

Gather Your Go-To Meals

We all have meals we can make quickly.  You know the kind.  Your family likes it and you can make it with your eyes closed.

Make a list of those meals.  Post it in a visible place, like the inside of your pantry door.  That way, when you come in with hungry, frazzled kids you know exactly what you can fix.  Minimal thinking required.

Be sure to keep all the ingredients on hand for those meals.  If you know you’ve got the makings of a 15 minute meal at home, it will be much easier to drive right past the fast-food places.

Having a plan saves you money!

One spin through a fast-food restaurant sets my family back at least $20, often a bit more.  And that’s with sharing fries and only ordering water to drink.  I can make dinner at home for less than half of that and often have enough leftover for lunch the next day.

Once a week = $80 per month = $960 per year!

Twice a week = $160 per month = $1920 per year!

Have you been trying to save for a big ticket item?  Are you eating your vacation/new furniture/debt reduction little by little each month?

My fastest meals can be found in my ebook, Feast in 15.

Meals like Garlic Lime Shrimp and Italian Nachos are fast to fix, but taste like you spent lots of time cooking.

Much better and cheaper than drive-thru.

Want to save a little bit more?  Use the code DrivePlayFeed for a 20% off discount, bringing the price to just $3.99!

 

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