A Day of Freezer Cooking

Heather says:

Recently someone sent in an email or left a comment -I can’t remember which- asking for recipes fit for the freezer. I know we’ve covered it in the past, but I thought today would be a good time to post a refresher.

It’s been a very hectic season in our home. This has lead to more evenings of slacker frittata‘s, sausage, peppers, and onions, and other quick meals than I care to admit. This morning I woke up with the actual desire, time, and energy to invest in some serious cooking. I also have willing help, something I must take advantage of while I can.

Today I’ll be cooking a bunch of meals for the freezer including:

Beef Stew – maybe I’ll get around to replacing that picture. . . or maybe not, we’ll see.

Refried beans

Sue Polinsky’s Chili – recipe to follow, later today or tomorrow, hopefully

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Bog

and Shrimp Étouffée – that’s dinner

What are your favorite meals to make for the freezer?

You may also find the following posts helpful:

How to Freeze Food

Freezing Food, Part Two

and A Guide to Choosing Freezer Friendly Meals.

I’ve got a bunch of podcasts -you know I’m a geek, it shouldn’t be surprised- on my phone and I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.



9 Comments

  1. Kris on December 15, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I prefer to freeze most stuff in individual servings – they make great lunches or provide more choices on those rushed evenings.

    I always keep lasagna in the freezer – I bake it, let it cool, and cut it into single servings and wrap them individually. Also – burritos are easy to make a bunch of then freeze. When the vegetables were in season, I made a HUGE pot of ratatouille, and there are just a couple of servings of that left. A couple of weeks ago, we had roasted a pork shoulder, and some of that, along with the vegetables, got divided up and frozen, too.

    And often, when I make soup, stew, or chili, half of it goes into the freezer, since most of my soups are not cream-based. I recycle quart-sized yogurt tubs. A quart of soup can go in the 1.5 quart crockpot around noon and be ready for dinnertime – it’s usually about 3 servings.

  2. KimberlyEvansSchratwieser on December 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    How do you determine the amount of microwave time to cook/reheat from frozen? I have some dual compartment plastic ware that I could use for individual “tv” dinners.

  3. deneicer1 on December 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

    When I make lasagna for our small family of three I make two square pans instead of the rectangle. I cook them both and freeze one. Works like a charm.

    I also freeze all leftover potatoes, leftover chicken or beef, all broth, overripe bananas (whole,) remaining amounts of bell peppers, onions, celery, apples, berries, spaghetti sauce, cheese, all leftover soups in 4 cup containers….pretty much everything except lettuce!

    Some things I buy in bulk and freeze in smaller amounts in zip bags like the cheese. It thaws out just fine in the fridge.

    I can make myriad of lovely quick dinners. Potato soup, chicken and dumplings, grillades (made with leftover beef,) smoothies, pizza, banana, pumpkin or zucchini bread, or just heat up a container of leftover soup.

    I have to be diligent about labeling. I always think, “Oh, I will remember what this is!” My answer to myself is, “S-U-R-E you will….get the sharpie!” LOL!

    • stacyl on December 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

      It’s funny that as I was reading your post, I felt as if I could have written it, in almost every detail. I do the same, freeze the same types of things, have a family of three, and have the same issue of labeling. Recently I’ve been using a dry erase marker and writing on my containers. I like to freeze spaghetti with sauce, or just noodles, to use for future very quick dishes or soup. My favorite not-amazing-or-fancy-but-quick dish is spaghetti pie or spaghetti casserole. It’s a decent way to use leftover spaghetti. @deneicer1

      • deneicer1 on December 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm

        @stacyl Its nice to know I am not the only “Freezer Queen!” My Hubby gives me a hard time – in fun, of course – about all the things I freeze. We just don’t eat things fast enough and if I don’t freeze ’em they go in the trash. I hate throwing away perfectly good (a few days ago, anyway!) food!

        • stacyl on December 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

          I probably don’t freeze quite as much as you sound like you do, but it’s an ever-increasing thing. I freeze a lot of smaller portions of leftovers for workday lunches lately, and another one I discovered recently is big loaves of French bread–sometimes sliced and sometimes not. You can make garlic bread quickly and anytime, or bring them with a meal to someone who’s just had a baby, is sick, etc…or just have it with spaghetti for unexpected company. @deneicer1

        • KimberlyEvansSchratwieser on December 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm

          I freeze my French bread too. I like to make bruschetta little bits at a time and can’t use a whole loaf at one time. Panera Bread’s plastic bags are good for freezing in. @stacyl @deneicer1

        • deneicer1 on December 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm

          @KimberlyEvansSchratwieser@stacyl Kimberly ~ I wonder if you could make the bruschetta using the whole loaf, then cut it into portions and freeze? I don’t know if you would cook it first, partially cook it or keep it in its pre-made form….but you could experiment with it if you think it would be a good idea for you and your family.

        • KimberlyEvansSchratwieser on December 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

          I don’t think the tomatoes I use in my bruschetta would freeze well, the texture would be off. You could pre-slice the bread before freezing. It would defrost faster, but it doesn’t take all that long anyway. @deneicer1 @stacyl

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