Let’s talk freezer meals. I may or may not have a slight obsession with them in this current season of life. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom with little people underfoot or a working mom wanting family dinners around the table, freezer meals can be a great way to ease the stress in your life. I mean, really, what’s not to love? I spend one afternoon prepping and then end up with 6-8 “ready-to-go” dinners! Not only does it save me cooking time on those other busy days, but it also cuts way down on the amount of clean up as well: there is only one clean-up day instead of six to eight. Freezer meals also allow me the freedom to have people over for dinner last minute, or give me the ability to drop off a quick meal for a family, without really adding to the stress of my own day. So, if you have the freezer space, I would definitely recommend freezer meals as being a #1 way to save yourself some extra time.
Now, If you’re an introvert, you might enjoy just turning on some music and spending an evening doing the prep work for a bunch of different meals by yourself. However, if you’re an extrovert like me, you’ll find that everything is more fun if you’re doing it with friends! I have hosted or been a part of many different kinds of freezer meal parties. However, a freezer-meal swapping party is definitely the most enjoyable and least messy way to go about it. What does this look like? Basically, you invite a group of friends to each pick one recipe that they will multiply times the amount of friends coming. So, if they’re making lasagna and there are going to be six girls, they’d make six pans of lasagna. You then do the same with your chosen recipe. Each participant then completely preps the meals at home before bringing them to the party where you all swap around. By the end, you will be going home with six different meals to try. These kinds of parties are fun because you can have a relaxing girls night together (play games, eat snacks, chat, etc) but also go home with a variety of fun meals for the upcoming weeks.
Below are some of our family’s favorite freezer meals but really, the options are endless!
Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks
This is my favorite freezer meal to have on hand. A great soup that can cook all day long!
I add one chix bouillon cube and some sliced carrots to this recipe for added flavor and nutrition.
Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Comfort food at it’s finest!
Sweet Potato Maple Chicken
Amazingly, with a protein and a veggie this has been child approved by several families.
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- About 3 Tbsp maple syrup, drizzled over chicken
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- About 1 lb. baby carrots (or 4-5 peeled carrots sticks)
- 1 small onion
- Salt and pepper over the top
- Label your freezer bag with the instructions to cook on low for 8 hours.
- Place the chicken in the bottom of the freezer bag. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the maple syrup all over the chicken.
- Place the cubed sweet potatoes, baby carrots or carrot sticks and chopped red onion over the top. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over it all.
- Remove as much air as you can and seal. Freeze up to 6 months in your fridge freezer or 12 months in a deep freezer.
- To thaw, place the bags in the fridge overnight. Or quick thaw in a bowl of warm water.
An easy way to dress up any frozen meatballs!
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 med onion chopped
- 1 16-18oz bottle “Sweet Baby Ray’s” Hawaiian bbq sauce
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits drained
- 1 16oz pkg frozen fully cooked meatballs
Place all ingredients into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Zip close & place in freezer. When ready to use thaw in fridge overnight. Empty contents into crock-pot and cook on low 4 hours
Teriyaki Pork Chops
Melt in your mouth pork chops!
- 4 pork chops about 1 in thick
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4-6 carrots, chunked
Sprinkle salt & pepper on pork chops if desired, place in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Add carrots to bag. In a small bowl mix garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, and chicken broth together, add to bag. Place flat in freezer, when ready to use thaw in fridge overnight. Empty contents into crock-pot and cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6-7 hours.
A few quick freezer meal tips:
-Picking recipes that can be stored in a Ziploc bag versus an aluminum pan will help to cut down on cost and save on freezer space.
– Remember to label all your freezer bags with a sharpie before you fill them with food in order to avoid the moisture problems that can make writing difficult.
– Try to spread the freezer meals out as flat as possible during the freezing process so that later you can go back and stack them neatly.
– Pizza/Stromboli can be frozen solid on a tray initially but then be removed and wrapped in tin foil, without the tray, for easier transferring among friends.