23 answers

Freezing Pre-prepared Meals

Hi ladies! In preparation for baby #2 who will arrive just after Christmas, I've been checking out recipes for meals which can be frozen. Unfortunately, they don't say how to freeze them or reheat them...

What do you freeze these things in? Something like meatballs, I would just put in a freezer bag, but casseroles & the like? I've only got one big & one small casserole dish with a lid- I don't make them very often.

Also, how to you go about reheating them? Just defrost in the fridge the day before & pop it in the oven? This is all new to me- I usually cook just as much as we'll eat that night b/c we don't really do leftovers.

Any advice or additional recipes your family loves would be greatly appreciated!

Just a note: My hubby can cook, but doesn't like to unless I'm there helping. When I shattered my leg a couple of years ago we ate tons of fast food or canned junk like chili & the like because he didn't want to cook. Our then-2 yr lived off hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and cereal! I'd much rather eat healthier this time when I'll be off my feet for a few days b/c I am going to try to nurse our new little guy.

4 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

**Updating my update** I can't believe how many responses I've received for such a simple question!! Thanks so much to all of you mamas! I really appreciate it!

You ladies are awesome! I love this site! Thanks for all the great ideas! I think I'll try the disposable foil pans. We actually just gave away a bunch of casserole dishes I had because they were just taking up space in my already small kitchen since I don't ever use them. We do have a foodsaver, so I'll try that too.
My hubby is already overwhelmed by the idea of having a 2nd child (although they'll be 5 yrs apart!), so anything to make it easier those first few weeks will be great!
Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I did this over the summer when I visited family for 2 wks and my hubby was left to fend for himself! I froze casseroles in foil pans and covered them tightly with foil then wrote what kind of casserole it was on the foil with permanent marker and the cooking instructions. I put the casseroles together like normal except cooked the meat first. Then the night before you are going to make it, put it in the fridge to defrost and then most casseroles only need to be cooked about 20 or 30 min until heated through.
Try looking on kraft foods website for ideas. You could also cook and freeze chicken for salads, meat for tacos, sauce for pasta, or soups. Also look through the frozen foods section at the store for meals that all you have to do is heat up on the stove or in the crockpot. They come with the meat, sauce, veges, etc already cooked. And they arent too expensive
Good luck and congrats on the new baby!

1 mom found this helpful

Freezer meals are really easy, and there are lots out there to Google. One thing I do, when making casseroles to freeze, is line the dish with several layers of foil. After it's frozen, just pop it out of the dish and put it back in the freezer. That way, you can make several in the same dish. You can cook them from frozen or defrosted usually, and the foil makes cleanup easy, too! Good luck, and congrats on #2!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I just finished a big day of freezer cooking yesterday! I now have 28 meals in my freezer ready to go on busy nights! I did the same thing before I had my second baby so you are on the right track to be thinking ahead-especially as it will be during the holidays too when baby is born and you will be wanting to do fun things with your 4-year-old. My blog, www.mealplanningmagic.blogspot.com has several freezer cooking links and cookbook reviews of freezer cookbooks. I've also written about what you can and cannot freeze--you can freeze so many things very well and many times you are just prepping and freezing then cooking the day you want to serve. I LOVE it and have come to rely on this method to save my sanity at dinner time. I will be adding a post soon about this week's cooking session because I told several friends and they want to know how I did it. One of my favorite sites is www.30daygourmet.com--there is a lot of good info. there to get you started. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Freezer meals are really easy, and there are lots out there to Google. One thing I do, when making casseroles to freeze, is line the dish with several layers of foil. After it's frozen, just pop it out of the dish and put it back in the freezer. That way, you can make several in the same dish. You can cook them from frozen or defrosted usually, and the foil makes cleanup easy, too! Good luck, and congrats on #2!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

I did this over the summer when I visited family for 2 wks and my hubby was left to fend for himself! I froze casseroles in foil pans and covered them tightly with foil then wrote what kind of casserole it was on the foil with permanent marker and the cooking instructions. I put the casseroles together like normal except cooked the meat first. Then the night before you are going to make it, put it in the fridge to defrost and then most casseroles only need to be cooked about 20 or 30 min until heated through.
Try looking on kraft foods website for ideas. You could also cook and freeze chicken for salads, meat for tacos, sauce for pasta, or soups. Also look through the frozen foods section at the store for meals that all you have to do is heat up on the stove or in the crockpot. They come with the meat, sauce, veges, etc already cooked. And they arent too expensive
Good luck and congrats on the new baby!

1 mom found this helpful

Buy some foil pans. They come in all sizes so you can make what you are going to make, fill up the pans and freeze. Then you can either cook them first and then freeze or freeze before cooking. If you cook first, then they need to be completely cooled down before you put hen in the freezer. Wrap them really well in foil. When you go to re-heat, it should take about an hour in a 350 oven. If you do not cook them, then it will take 2-3 hours since they would have to thaw before the cooking time starts.

Good Luck and Congrats!

I have not tried this myself, but I saw on TV that you can put parchment paper down in the pan BEFORE you put your casserole in and freeze. When it is frozen just pull on the sides and freeze however you like, but you still have your pan free.

King Ranch
cooked and boned chicken
1 can chicken soup (do not delute)
1 can chicken soup (do not delute)
1 small pkg. corn tortillas
1 med. onion chopped
1 can rotel tomato's
1 can chopped tomato's
small amount of garlic if you like pepper to taste
If you like small amount of jalapeno's chopped and added to soups
cheddar cheese shredded

Layer corn tortillas
chicken
mix soups,onion,garlic, pepper
put these on top of chicken
tomato's mixed on top of soups
top off with cheese
bake 350 for about 45 min.
THIS WILL FREEZE AND CAN BE COOKED RIGHT OUT OF FREEZER ADD ABOUT 20 MORE MINUTES.

ANY THING THAT YOU PUT IN FREEZER CAN ALSO BE IN THOSE TOSS ALUMINUM PANS AND COVERED WITH FOIL; JUST ADD ABOUT
20 MINUTES WHEN FROZEN.

Another fast and good meal

Potato soup

Use the boxed or canned chicken broth for your liquid
cook several and peeled and diced potato's in the broth with celery and pepper.
When potato's are just about done thicken with instant potato's.
If you want you can add some chopped ham and carrots.
Very fast meal and easy to cook

Take care of your self and be good to yourself.

D.,

I made a bunch of crock pot meals (mainly stews and things like that) right before I had baby #2 and it was a huge time saver! I doubled the recipes, then portioned them out into the disposable Glad tupperware containers. I labeled each item with the date I made it and the name of the item to make things easier. When it came to re-heating, I didn't always plan ahead and defrost in the refrigerator. So, I would set it out for about an hour or so on the counter to defrost it just enough to get it out of the container, then would transfer it to either a pot and cook it on the stove or simply defrost it in the microwave. Soooo easy!

www.campbellssoup.com has lots of easy recipes that you can double as you cook them and will freeze beautifully.

Best of luck to you and congrats!

Hello - I know you already have received LOTS of great info on freezer cooking, but just in case you have not heard of Homemade Gourmet, I thought I would mention it. I am a Meal Planning Consultant with Homemade Gourmet and the concept behind the company is to make delicious meals fast and easy and in many cases, SEVERAL at a time to keep in the freezer. Here is a link to give you ONE of the HG's concepts - it's called Homemade in a Hurry - these are entrees that you can prepare via the MICROWAVE! They are quick, easy and DELICIOUS and 100% Guaranteed! For as little as $1.90 a serving, which includes all your fresh grocery ingredients TOO, you can't beat it!

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/business/Make-an-Honest-Living...

The 4 Meals in 4 Minutes shows how you can use HG's seasonings and many of the Meal Mixes to make FREEZER Meals in advance to save you TONS of Time for future Dinners. Check out the Easy Recipes Tab on my website for lots of Meal Planning Ideas. www.homemadegourmet.com/TerryHoskins

This month's HG Meal Bundle is Casserole Creations - makes 9 Entrees! And next Month's Meal Bundle will be Savory Soups - 8 of HG's Wonderful Soup Entrees. All 100% Guaranteed!
I hope I can help you in the future. Best wishes to you and your family AND your New SWEET Addition!
Take care,
T.

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