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Freezing Meals

My tip today is about freezer cooking. I do my freezer cooking a little different than most I know. I have read quite a few freezer cookbooks. Most talk about freezing 30 meals in one day or something to that extent. I did do that at one time, but have adapted my freezer cooking to fit our need now.

I do usually have a pan or two of baked spaghetti or lasagna in the freezer, but most of my freezer meals are not really meals but the meat part of the meal. When I freeze something, I try to freeze things that are versatile. I want some variety in my meals, and I find most freezer meals are very similar, mostly pasta and soups. I like to have things in the freezer for the days I do not have time to make dinner. The meat part of the meal is usually what takes the longest to cook. Having that step out of the way is a big time saver.

My recommendation is to look at what you can do with what you are freezing. I almost always have cooked chicken in the freezer. It is one of the most versatile things I freeze. I fill up my crock pot with chicken, usually boneless, skinless breast, but any chicken works fine. Cover with water and let cook until done. The time will vary depending on the cut of chicken. When done cut up and cool. I then wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in a Ziploc bag and freeze. I then can use it in soups, enchiladas, chicken tacos, chicken sandwiches, chicken pot pie, and more.

Meatballs are another example. I have several different meatball recipes, but the idea works the same. Cook the meat balls, place on a cookie sheet, freeze until solid, remove from sheet, and place in a Ziploc bag. You can then remove as many as you need each time. I use them several different ways. I add them to a jar of spaghetti sauce and serve over pasta. You can use them with a white sauce and serve over rice, or you can make meatball subs with them.

Cooked roast beef can also be used different ways. I cook it up in the crock pot and then freeze it in some of its own juices. It works for french dips, for roast beef sandwiches, with gravy over rice, as a topping for baked potatoes, or serve it plain with any side dish.

Chili works great. I make up a double or triple batch. I freeze it, and then use it as chili, as a topping for baked potatoes, or I place it in a casserole dish and pour cornbread batter over top to make a casserole we call Chili Pot Pie.

Last week I talked about freezing taco meat. That is another one I almost always have in my freezer. It can be used for taco salad, tacos, enchiladas, or as a topping for baked potatoes.

This week I am serving freezer chili over potatoes. I am also making tacos, so I will cook up 5 lbs of meat and freeze the majority of it.

I hope this helps you look at your freezer cooking a little different.
Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Great idea! do you write it down so you remember what meal parts you have in there too?

  2. Yes, I keep a list on my fridge of what I have in the freezer and then I mark it off as I use it. Then I know if I only have 1 package of cooked chicken left I need to plan to make more. If I didn’t use a list I don’t think I could remember what I did or didn’t have.

  3. I do this, too! While I do make some ‘freeze ahead’ meals, I’m more likely to freeze prepared meats to use as I want later on. This works especially well with ground beef. I just brown it up in the oven in big batches when it’s on sale, then I divide it up.
    I like the idea of making chicken in a crockpot to freeze. I never thought to do that!

  4. Sonshine says

    do you have a good recipe for french dips??? Been looking for a good one for something different to feed the family!

    I just keep browned ground beef in the freezer to help with making quickie meals. The last few times that I did any other meat the family complained that the meat taste different than usual. So I just take and put all my chicken in raw but in meal size portions. 🙂

  5. I will try to post how I do my french dips tonight. It is pretty easy but probably not authentic. 🙂

  6. I do this too. I will cook up chicken, ground beef etc and keep it in the freezer. I also love having several marinade type main dishes in the freezer, like Korean Chicken, Honey Mustard chicken. This way we are less tempted to eat out when we have something we can pull out of the freezer.

  7. Thanks for these great ideas! I’ve been making some freezer meals this week because my husband is having a major surgery next week. I need to have some stuff on hand when he gets out of the hospital! I like the idea of just freezing the meat. Right now I have chili in the freezer and shredded pork and pinto beans (for chalupas). Tomorrow I’m going to make spaghetti pie and chicken enchiladas. I also make homemade pesto, freeze it in ice cube trays and then pop them out, wrap them in plastic wrap and put in a ziploc bag. Then when I need it I take out one or two “cubes.” Works great! Chopped onions and peppers in the freezer are handy, as well.

  8. Sarah Heredia says

    This is such a good way to approach it. I bet it’s a lot quicker to defrost and use so I think I’ll give it a go.

    When I freeze meals, I usually forget to take them out to defrost the day before I want to use it. I guess I’m not good at planning that way.

  9. Raising Isabella says

    I just found your blog on pinterest, very interesting! I’m working on stocking up my freezer and I’m really loving this new habit of freezer cooking! I’m like you, I prefer to make and freeze parts of meals so they are more versatile for later! I like to do breakfast foods (muffins, pancakes, baked oatmeal), meats like chicken and ground beef, and pizza crusts, cornbread, beans, oh yeah, and tons of broth! Taco meat can be used so many ways!


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