Kitchen

Freezer Cooking: An Unplanned (Lazy) Approach

Written by Annie Boyd

We’ve all read a lot about freezer cooking. What a great idea to save so much time, right? And Pinterest is full of ideas of how to freezer cook. You’ve all seen the pins:

-47 freezer meals for $2.19 each

-Invite your friends over and make a month of freezer meals in an evening

– 100 recipes to make for you freezer

These and other pins like these are chocked-full of wonderful information, but I haven’t been able to make them work for me. Sometimes the meals listed are not ones that our family would eat, and I am certainly not organized enough to plan out freezer cooking for an entire month. And to be honest, inviting a bunch of friends over to chop, mix, and freeze sounds like a lot of work. I would rather meet up at a coffee shop and visit for a awhile (unproductive, but true).

But I do love using my freezer to help me with meal prep. I just take a really relaxed (LAZY), unplanned approach in this area. I thought I would share a few of my methods with you in case you are a non-planner type as well.

  1. Prep main dishes once, but double the amount. Often when I make lasagna, meatballs, or egg casserole, I just double the recipe. I bake one pan for that night’s meal and freeze the other half. Dirty the mixing bowls only once for two meals! Don’t go searching on the internet for freezable recipes; just doubly prepare your family’s favorites and pop half in the freezer.
  1. Cook double the amount of meat. Whenever I need cooked meat for a recipe, I triple or quadruple the amount that I cook, and then freeze it in 1-2 pound portions. You can whip up chicken tetrazini, chicken soup, chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas, chili, etc., etc. so quickly if you’ve already got cooked meat. I find that I don’t need to have a plan for that extra chicken, pork, or beef when I’m cooking it, but I will soon need it and be so glad that it’s ready to go.
    Extra chicken is frozen and later used in dishes such as chicken tetrazini

    Extra chicken is frozen and later used in dishes such as Chicken Tetrazini

  1. When making cookie dough, make a BUNCH! I double or triple or quadruple cookie dough, scoop it into balls and freeze the balls. (I freeze the balls on a plate, and then transfer to a plastic freezer bag after frozen hard.) What a treat to bake only 2 cookies (for hubs and me after the kids are in bed) or a quick dozen for a sick neighbor without dirtying a mixing bowl. Again, just use your family’s favorite recipe.
  1. Make an entire box of pancake mix. On a morning that I make pancakes, I just go ahead and make the entire box of pancake mix into either pancakes or waffles. After breakfast, I freeze the pancakes into bags with just enough in each bag for one family breakfast. Boy am I thrilled on another busy morning to just grab a few pancakes out of the freezer and defrost in the microwave. So easy and so perfect on a morning when one kid wants pancakes, and one wants cereal, and one wants toast… you know how it goes.Freezer Cooking: An Unplanned (Lazy) Approach   www.herviewfromhome.com
  1. Freeze leftovers! I freeze leftover roast beef and use it in quesadillas. and leftover pasta sauce and use it on meatball subs, and leftover sausage and throw it on some pizza. I find that my kids don’t really want to eat roast beef in three consecutive meals, but when it is upcycled into a new recipe in a week or two, they don’t mind at all. Again, this takes no extra planning or prep; my kind of system.
    Freezer Cooking: An Unplanned (Lazy) Approach   www.herviewfromhome.com

    Leftover chicken is frozen and later used in Chicken Tetrazini

    Ok, I’ve shared some of my tactics with you. How do you best use your freezer to make life easier in your kitchen? I always love new ideas! Happy Freezing! 

About the author

Annie Boyd

Annie Boyd was raised on a farm in Iowa. She graduated from The University of Northwestern in St. Paul with a degree in elementary education. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they have five children. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling her kids. She blogs with her family over at http://www.theginghamapron.com/

1 Comment

  • What a great article! Love the ideas and the reminders of things that I used to do and somehow stopped? I have a roast lingering from Sunday in my fridge right now, and I am going to freeze the rest of that bad boy and bring it back next week in something different! When I make soup, I make a double or triple batch and then I freeze it for another time. I usually portion out in scoops that way I know how much in each container, and I usually freeze one meal portion in a throw away container so that I can take to a new mom or sick friend and they don’t have to return the container. I can then make a batch of muffins and keep 6 for us and send 6 with the soup to a new mom.