With baby #2 arriving in a few short weeks, I’ve started prepping my freezer again with pre-made meals that should make my life easier to feed the family for the first few weeks. I did this when I had my daughter two years ago and it really helped. Once prepped, freezer meals should last in a deep freezer for about 3 months before they need to be cooked. Some hold up better than others and you have to stick with recipes you know that work. I have a few recipes that I will be repeating from last time, which I’ll share with you. I also went to my group of running moms, East Orlando Moms RUN This Town, to see what their tried and true favorites were when it came to freezer meals.
Kayla T’s VEGGIE LASAGNA!
(Lasagna cut into single pieces is her go-to. Microwave for 5 minutes and serve!)
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
2 (8oz) of mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 chopped zucchini
1 chopped yellow squash
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp dried basil
4 cans Hunts brand diced tomatoes: basil, garlic & oregano
2 (15oz) containers of part skim ricotta cheese
2-3 cups spinach leaves
1 chopped carrot
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1) Prepare lasagna noodles as directed. (They also have the no bake ones that come in handy)
2) In a large sauce pan, add vegetable oil and stir in mushrooms (chop up with spatula), onion and garlic, 2.5 cans tomatoes, basil, chopped carrots and zucchini. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 min.
3) In a large bowl, mix ricotta, eggs, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and shred the spinach together.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees & grease 9×9 baking dish
5) Spread a layer of tomato sauce in bottom of pan, and then layer noodles, ricotta mixture, noodles, and veggie sauce mix. Repeat. Top with remaining Mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-30 min (until cheese is lightly browned on top). (I cook a few min less if I am going to freeze so when I reheat the frozen lasagna the cheese doesn’t burn.)
*This will yield 2-9×9 baking dishes. Perfect to divide portions after baking and freeze for dinners!
Bake and freeze – then reheat at 350 for 30 min and serve!
Tiffany M’s go-to is DUMP CHICKEN recipes. There are a lot of dump chicken recipes on Pinterest . All you have to do is throw everything in a bag and put it in the freezer. When you are ready to cook it, just thaw the bag and dump it in a crock pot. I have done several of the recipes from this blog.
Denise P’s SALSA CHICKEN: Mix raw or frozen chicken breast and salsa in the crockpot. Add jalapeno and other goodies to taste. Cook 8-10 hours and then shred. Freeze individual portions of ‘salsa chicken’ and then take out to eat over a bed of spinach or brown rice. From the liquidity of the salsa in the mix, I don’t need or use salad dressing!
My Mother in Law’s “CRUSTLESS QUICHE/FRITATTA” recipe:
(This is always a hit no matter where I take it – serve with fruit or with salad)
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 (12 oz) container of small curd cottage cheese
2 small cans chopped green chilies
8 oz grated Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapenos
8 oz grated Cheddar Cheese
Pour into a 9×12 greased baking pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Freezes well – just cut and reheat individual slices in microwave.
Crystal S’s WHITE CHICKEN CHILI: Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, one medium onion, one can of red and green chilies (drained), two cans of white beans (drained), 2 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, 1 pound of chicken, 2 cups of chicken stock…Cook for 4-5 hours on low in crock pot.
Shannon M wrote her own blog on this subject with 16 great recipes listed. Read her article HERE. She says that 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, and 14 all freeze and reheat well. The bread never lasts long enough, and the cookies also freeze and thaw well. 2, 8, and 16 I’ve only made fresh. The Chicken Quesadilla Pie recipe is super versatile. I never make it the same way twice. I change up my filling every time. Sometimes I take some of the leftover taco chicken bowl and put that in. Sometimes I use ham & cheese. That one is great and I will make several and freeze them before cooking.
Here are 2 additional websites that have great make-ahead meals you can look into on your own: Mama and Baby Love and Once a Month Meals. This is a highly recommended book on freezer meal if you prefer to have something sitting on the kitchen counter: Don’t Panic–Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead.