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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!