Make Ahead Freezable Meals

Updated on August 28, 2009
M.A. asks from Dickinson, ND
17 answers

In preparation for our new little addition, I was hoping to find some great make ahead freezable meals. Anyone have any recipes or suggestions? That would be greatly appreciated! Anything to make my life a little easier, as my darling husband does not cook even a little bit!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think you should go to Let's Dish. All of those meals are freezable, and you could cut most of them in half before freezing, to feed two people. (Most Let's Dish meals feed 4.)

Congratulations on the new baby!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

We have done taco meat, sloppy joe mix, meatloaf mix and put them in ziplock bags to be pulled out and heated, or meatloaf shaped and baked. We also like lasagna with the no bake noodle recipe and have a wonderful chicken hashbrown recipe that is the kids favorite to this day! If you'd like more specifics, you can e-mail me for recipes or how-tos!

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answers from Des Moines on

Absolutely! I LOVE freezer cooking and have been doing it ever since our first was born. My favorite cookbook is "Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer." This book taught me so much about freezer cooking and the recipe's are fabulous. I'm not a huge fan of the Once a Month type recipe books because they are all cream soup recipe's. Don't Panic has a nice mix of easy throw it together recipes as well as some that require a little more prep work. I usually don't find a cookbook full of recipe's I love. This one was a rare find! I think you can get it on Amazon for around $10.
If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how different types of recipes can be prepped and frozen so that you can take your own favorite recipes and freeze them! (For example, they have a chili recipe, but you could easily make your own chili recipe and freeze it like the instruct.
Essentially, you can put anything that doesn't need to hold its shape (soups, meats in marinades etc) into a freezer ziplock bag. Freeze flat to save space and stack them!
If it needs to hold its shape (lasagne, enchiladas etc) you can either put it in a casserole dish (one time use or your regular glass pan if you have extra to spare) or you can flash freeze it and put it in a ziplock bag. Flash freezing is simply freezing it using your glass casserole dish to help it hold it shape, then removing it from the dish into a ziplock bag to save space and keep your casserole dish for everyday use. (Line your casserole dish with aluminum foil to cover with some hanging over sides, then plastic wrap, then fill your food. cover food completely with plastic wrap and foil, freeze until frozen and then remove from dish. Put wrapped food in a plastic ziplock bag and freeze! Your dish is now free for everyday use. To thaw, unwrap it and put it in the casserole dish in your fridge.
Here are two of our favorite recipe's from the book to get you going:
Cranberry Chicken
(From “Don’t Panic, Dinners in the freezer” Pg 97)

8 oz Catalina Dressing
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1-1lb can whole-berry cranberry sauce (I prefer Jellied cranberry sauce as it makes a thicker sauce)
4 boned chicken breasts

Cooking day instructions:
Mix together dressing, onion soup mix, and cranberry sauce. Place chicken and mixture together in a freezer bag. Freeze, using freezer bag method.

Serving day instructions:
Thaw completely. Place chicken with cranberry sauce in greased baking dish, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1-11/2 hours. Serve over rice.

Heathers tips:
I just put all the ingredients right into a freezer bag. Seal and squish it around, then add the chicken and freeze.
This is great served over minute rice.
We’ve also grilled this, but you discard much of the marinade.

Taco Soup
(From “Don’t Panic Dinner’s in the Freezer” pg 75)

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
1-15 oz can corn
1-15oz can kidney beans
1-15 oz can pinto beans
1-15oz can water

Serving day:
Fritos corn chips

Original recipe yields 4-5 servings

Cooking day instructions:
Brown ground beef and onion in skillet; drain. Place ground beef mixture, taco seasoning, tomatoes, corn, kidney beans, pinto beans, and water in pan on stove. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Freeze using freezer bag method.

Serving day instructions:
Thaw soup and heat thoroughly in saucepan or in crock pot. Place in bowls with Fritos chips on top

Soup may also be served with favorite taco toppings like cheese and sour cream on top. It’s excellent when served with cornbread.

Lemon Glazed Chicken Breasts
(From “Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer” pg 106)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ cup flour
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup honey
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbl. Soy sauce

Cooking day instructions:
Pound chicken breast to ½ inch thickness. (I have the butcher do this when picking up the chicken)
Mix flour and pepper together.
Dredge chicken through flour mixture.
Lay breasts flat on cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and flash freeze one hour.
Mix together butter, honey, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Place in quart size freezer bag (mixture will be watery) Freeze glaze, using freezer bag method. Place frozen chicken breasts in separate freezer bag and freeze.

Serving day instructions:
Allow chicken and glaze to thaw. Place chicken in baking dish, pour glaze over chicken breasts, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Glaze will thicken as it cooks.

Before pouring glaze on chicken, I hold the bag in hot water and swish the bag around until all the butter melts again and redistributes. When the glaze looks mixed again, then I pour it on. I also baste this throughout the bake time to add extra glaze to the tops. It really did take an hour—I was surprised, and it was also VERY juicy! YUM!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I have made several recipes from this website. If the link does not work google moms budget. There are tons of recipes and instructions on how to best freeze meals!

My husband is really are the recipes we tried and liked.
Honey lime Chicken
Raspberry Glazed Chicken
Sloppy Joes
Dr. Pepper Spaghetti
Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf
Canadian Maple glazed Chicken
Turkey noodle casserole (a little bland but our 2 year old loved it!)
Dijon pork chops
Pizza Burgers

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I love Robin Miller's books. Its they are all about making extra and using it later ihn the week in a different meal. She callls it "morphing". She also does alot of freezing for later. She has a program on the food network, Quick Fix Meals, (or some such thing). I like both but prefer the books.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I stock my freezer full of lasagna's, cavatini's, fettuchini's, it's the best thing for our family! Google freeze ahead recipes and you'll find tons and tons. I buy the disposable foil pans at HyVee or Kmart and use them. I used to use the full sized cake pan sized ones but we never would finish the pan and I'd throw some of it out, so this summer I used the square cake pans that I think are 8 x 8. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

While it's not freezable meals, I am a HUGE fan of Someone recommended them to me and with their help, I have been able to make home cooked dinners almost every night with twin infants and a toddler at home! If you are interested, shoot me a message and I'll forward their info to you. (I get a teeny tiny reimbursement from them if I get people to sign up.)

Here's the gist:
Depending on the plan you pick, you get two sheets of paper (to print) each week. The first sheet has three columns. On it, you will find the "title" of the meals, the ingredients needed, and the directions. The second paper is your groceries needed for the week separated by department.

It's awesome!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I think others have asked for this in the past, so you might find some other suggestions in the archive.

My personal favorite is lasagna.

Remember to make a couple of large versions for when you have several people over to see the baby and smaller versions for just the 3* of you.

You may just want to make a page of quick and easy dinners that can be made in a few minutes for the hubby to refer to.

Ex: Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, and salad. Ingredients needed: blah, blah, blah Time to prepare: 20 minutes. And if necessary directions: 1. put the garlic bread in the oven 2. brown the meat 3. mix the meat with the sauce 4. Put the salad together 5. plate everything when garlic bread is done.

Once you put a quick reference sheet together, you can sell it to the rest of us!

Good luck with the new babe!



answers from Des Moines on

Teach your hubby how to cook simple meals, spaghetti, mac and cheese, things like that so that he can help out more =)



answers from Minneapolis on

I make a stack of pizzas for the freezer!

Flour tortillas
any toppings

I freeze them one-by-one on a cookie sheet, and when they are frozen, I stack them on top of one another with wax paper between them and put them in a zip lock bag.

And....I suggest your husband learn to cook a little bit! Two kids can be hectic and crazy at first.



answers from Milwaukee on

I love the book "Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer." It has lots of great freezable recipes and all the instructions to make a huge batch and then instructions on how to freeze and then prepare. Good luck!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

Buy large quantity of hamburger, brown it all. You can season it with a little salt and pepper, or what I like to do is also add garlic powder and onion powder. Then freeze in small quantities - 1 or 2 pounds. Pull out and micro-thaw it (or put in refrigerator the night before), then add to things like spaghetti sauce, taco seasonsoning, chili mix, enchiladas, etc. Having the meat ready is very handy. Also try some crockpot meals. Throw chicken breasts in crockpot with either chicken broth & seasonings or creamy soup. Leftovers can be frozen and used for quesadillas, enchiladas, chicken salad, roll-ups or sandwiches, etc.
Check out the Let's Dish menu - most of their items are freezable. Different menu each month.
Congratulations on the addition to your family!



answers from Milwaukee on

Looks like you got a lot of good responses. I just got an upright freezer so I was very interested in making meals and freezing them to give me a break from cooking occasionally. I have done enchiladas, chili, stuffed green peppers, any kind of casseroles work, lasagna, chicken pot pie, any kind of soup. Sorry don't have time to give recipes but I'm sure you have recipes for most of those.
Good Luck!
My second son was born Dec. 8th! Can't believe he will be one! Hope everything goes well!



answers from Des Moines on

My personal favorite is meatloaf! Make your favorite recipe, but cook it in a muffin pan, you'll have individual servings you can pull out one at a time! Add a veggie and a baked potato and you've got a real meal that will satisfy even nursing hunger!



answers from Waterloo on

I make: chicken & broccoli, beef taco bake, hamburger pie, tuna cass., enchilladas, stovetop chicken

email me if you want any of those reciepes.



answers from St. Cloud on

Check out my website for recipes:

click on Easy Recipes, then recipe search on the left, under Cooking method choose 4 Meals in 4 Minutes. These meals call for Homemade Gourmet products but any mix you have can be used instead.

Homemade Gourmet specializes in Smoosh Meals (Freezer Meals) we have a new collection called Let's Make Dinner that makes 20 Freezer Meals with just a mix and 1 or 2 additional items and a LOT cheaper than Let's Dish and you can do them at home. Oh I forgot to mention that they are 100% guaranteed also, in case your family doesn't care for them.

Congrats & Good Luck with the baby!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

My family and I love these healthy burritos (you won't know it's turkey). Make them up and wrap them in foil, place them in a freezer bag and when you're ready to eat them preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 20-30 min. Don't add the sour cream in the burrito, serve it on the side.

Meatballs in homemade tomato sauce is great to freeze also, and can be used on spaghetti or hoagies later.

Good luck!

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