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From Bowl to Freezer – Good Freezer Meal Options

This post is written by contributing writer, Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents.

Homemade Pizza Crust

I’ll be honest, I’m not a freezer cook at heart. I enjoy my daily time in the kitchen, making meals and cleaning up afterwards. I’m a rare breed, I swim upstream, I argue with fence posts (or at least my Daddy says so). BUT, I would be lying if I didn’t say that having freezer meals on hand rocks.

When both of my children were born, I found that having freezer meals on hand was what kept us from living on PB&J for a month. I was so glad to have 10-15 meals ready to go for those nights when I was just too exhausted to cook and no one delivered food.

I understand freezer meals intimidate some of you… I know, because I was one of you. Here’s the good news – they don’t take much work. When I would make something for our family, I would just make a double batch and freeze the other half… it didn’t take much additional time at all.

Some things can just be made quickly and frozen before you cook them – it doesn’t get much easier than that. So, if you’re wondering what dishes might be good for freezing or how to do it, I’ve got you covered. I’ll share some freezer-friendly meals, tell you how to prep them, and in no time your freezer will be as full as you are after that big Thanksgiving feast.

Baked Oatmeal Cups

Let’s start with breakfast, shall we? Our favorite breakfast at the Myers house is my Baked Oatmeal. It’s quick and easy to throw together, and you can put whatever add-ins you want inside its oatmeally goodness.  But let’s say you want to freeze it. Go ahead and bake your pan of oatmeal. When it’s done, cut it into squares and freeze them individually in parchment paper… put all the pieces in one large Ziploc® bag. To reheat, I get them out the night before and let them thaw in the fridge. Then they only need a few minutes in the oven at 350 to be like fresh-made! Another option is to make Baked Oatmeal Muffins and freeze those. Follow the same reheating instructions – a few minutes at 350 until warm.

Cinnamon PB Granola

Granola keeps for a loooooong time at room temperature, depending on what’s in it – sorta like a Twinkie. But, you can keep it indefinitely in the freezer! Make up a batch of Cinnamon PB Granola  and then freeze it for 6 months in an airtight container – airtight is KEY. Otherwise it will absorb odors from your freezer.

Summer Squash Pancakes

Pancakes and waffles are also awesome for the freezer! Go ahead and make a double batch of each. When they are cool, store them individually between sheets of wax paper in a box or Ziploc® bag. The wax paper will let you take out one at a time without them all sticking together like a bunch of teenagers – they just pop right off the paper when you pull them. To reheat, simply toast in your toaster oven (or regular oven) at 350 until warm. I like doing mine in the toaster oven as though I am making a piece of toast. Try making up a batch of Summer Squash Pancakes or Waffle French Toast and see how easy it is!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Now let’s talk bread. Bread is SO EASY to freeze… I make it a regular habit to always have bread of some sort in the freezer – whether it’s a sweet bread or a yeast bread.

For sweet breads, simply go ahead and make the loaf or loaves. When they are done and completely cool, cover with clear plastic wrap and then put inside a Ziploc® bag (or bread bag). Freeze. To thaw, let it do so in the refrigerator and then store it there. Yum! I have some Chocolate Zucchini Bread waiting on me in there right now. Other good options: Chunky Apple Bread and Oatmeal Raisin Scones.

Honey Oat Bread

For yeast breads, you have two options: freeze the dough or freeze the bread. I prefer to freeze the baked bread. For that option, I just make Honey Oat Bread and when cooled, I cover with clear plastic wrap and then pop into a Ziploc® bag. Thaw in the fridge and then slice as needed. Yummy!  You can also do this with Hamburger Buns {Note from Leigh Ann: Stacy’s hamburger buns are amazing!!}

If you want to freeze the dough, go through the first rise and then when you form your loaves, freeze them on a cookie sheet. When totally frozen, transfer to a Ziploc® bag for longer storage. To bake, remove the loaf, place it in a greased bread pan, and let it thaw at room temperature. As it thaws, it will also rise, so continue on with the recipe as though that was your second rise… but know it will take a lot longer. This is the method I use for pizza crust. I make the dough and freeze it and then let it thaw in the fridge. When it’s thawed, I pat it out in the pan and let it rise, proceeding as normal.

Freezer Biscuits

I can’t forget Freezer Biscuits! These are especially for the freezer. Follow the directions and you can have fresh biscuits whenever you please – even at 2am if the fancy strikes you. And it does strike me. {Another note from Leigh Ann: These are my family’s favorite! We love Stacy’s Freezer Biscuits!}

Crock Pot Cowboy Beans

Well, how about dinner? My favorite way to serve dinner is straight from my crock pot – I have a fascination with it. But a crock pot meal wouldn’t be a good freezer meal… would it? Wrong! Crock pot meals are great for the freezer!

You have two options here – make the crock pot meal and then freeze it to serve at a later date, OR you could prep the ingredients for your crock pot, stick them in a Ziploc® bag, freeze them and then throw them into your crock in the morning before you need them (minus the Ziploc®) – the dinner is ready when you get home! You should still be able to cook them for the same amount of time, but you might need to add an hour or two… check after the specified time and see if you need to cook it longer.

Crock pot meals good for freezing AFTER cooking:

Greek Chicken Pitas

Jerk Chicken Hoagies

Meatloaf

Mexican Chicken Chili

Spaghetti Sauce

Whole Chicken (cook chicken, pick the meat off, and freeze in 1 cup portions)

Cowboy Beans

Taco Meat

Beans

Crock pot meals good for freezing BEFORE cooking:

Chicken Fajitas

Beef Burgundy Subs with Au Jus

Greek Beef Roast 

Mexican Pork Roast

Barbecue Beef Brisket

Now you have no excuse for your freezer to be empty. Quit your whining – get to crocking… or cooking.

This post is part of our freezer cooking series. See all the post in the series here.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Great post! I love the idea of crockpot cooking but never seem to do it. Can’t wait to try the cowboy beans and freezer buscuits. I always have one or two soups I. The freezer ready for a simple supper. These buscuits would be the perfect companion. Thanks.
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