Hello everyone! I’m Allee. I met Rachel online because of breastfeeding. Now she’s one of my most favorite people in the universe! She asked me to post here, and I’m happy she did!
Today I’m going to talk about freezer meals. It’s something I wanted to do for years, but always found reasons not to do it. A few months back I realized those were just excuses – the time was now! I go all out and spend some time planning/prepping/freezing dinners for the entire month. However there are multiple ways to do freezer meals. Including doubling up something you’re already making and put half in the freezer for another day. Most of my meals are done in the slow cooker (mine is a 7qt), because that’s my preference. But I’ve found some of our favorite meals that are baked work well too!
Some things don’t freeze as well as others. Raw russet potatoes do not freeze well. Cooked, cubed and cut russets turn more into mashed potatoes. But, they’re still good! I have never frozen them raw, knowing they turn black.
You don’t have to be a SAHM (or SAHD) to do this either! The way I do it is very time consuming but well worth it in the end. There is no scramble at dinner time trying to throw something together, because you’ve already prepped and planned for it! And best of all, I get to spend more time with the kids in the evening! My plan is “laid back”. I write all the meals on a calendar but don’t usually cook/serve that day. It’s just a guideline for me to know what I have and that the entire month is planned out. The biggest thing is pulling something out the night before and putting it in the fridge so it has a chance to thaw, especially if going into the slow cooker. Some meals get “rock hard” and impossible to get into the slow cooker without thawing at least some of the way.
When shopping for freezer cooking, don’t forget to buy plenty of freezer bags! If you’re making lasagna or another casserole type meal to go in your freezer you can line your pan first with foil, then with plastic wrap then assemble the lasagna on that. Wrap it up, freeze it. Once solid you can pull out the “package” from inside your pan and have your pan available for another day/recipe. Then when you want to make it, unwrap it completely and put it in the pan you used to freeze it in, and then let it thaw before baking.
Always make sure to write on the packaging for the meals – the date you prepped/put in freezer, what it is, cooking instructions, and I also like to write on it what I’d planned to serve with it.
If it’s bagged in a freezer bag, you should lay it flat in your freezer until its frozen solid, and then you can put it upright to store.
Here’s a picture of some of the many meals that are ready to go into the freezer:
Unfortunately I do not have pictures of the cooked products, but I do want to share one of our favorite recipes with all of you!
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Penne
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or your favorite homemade alternative!)
¾ c milk
3/4c Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 c Swiss cheese
2c cubed ham
1lb penne pasta
Label your freezer bag first – the date, what it is, cooking time, etc.
Then go ahead and put everything but the penne pasta into the bag. Squish it around a bit to mix it up really well, seal the bag while removing as much air as possible. Lay flat to freeze then stand upright.
The night before you plan on cooking, put it in the fridge (as far to the bottom as you can, as it’s generally warmer there) to thaw.
Put in slow cooker and cook on low 6-8hrs. If it gets really thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.
Before dinner time, cook your pasta as usual, once drained add that to the slow cooker as well and mix up. I serve salads with this (and write that on the bag of course).
Thanks for having me here 🙂