Freezer meals sound like a gift from God, but then you look at the recipes and it seems like they are all soups or something that you just don’t believe can taste good. Obviously I’m a bit skeptical of freezer meals, but I’ve recently decided to try out a few and I must admit they really are great. I don’t really like soups, stews or anything liquidey, but I’ve tested a select few with great results. Here are the few recipes I’ve tried that have been good.
But first, a few tips.
You don’t have to make enough to serve an army.
I’ll take one recipe, double it, then divide it up into portions that will feed Carl and I with some leftovers. I’m not trying to feed a family of five, so I’m not going to make a giant amount only to have so much of it go to waste. Just adjust cooking time accordingly. This might mean you can’t just dump the meal in a crockpot and leave it alone for 8 hours, but it’s worth not have all the food wasted.
You don’t have to make a million meals at once
Most bloggers post about making 10+ freezer meals in one session. Good for them, but you don’t have to do that. I started out with one recipe and it was not overwhelming or detrimental to my budget.
Test it out first
The very first freezer meal I made, I chose because it was a recipe we had already tried and loved. I’ve since gotten a bit more bold with freezer meals and not tested every one out first, but it is worth it if it’s something you don’t typically eat. Generally we use our freezer meals on days where we don’t want to cook and don’t want to spend money on takeout, you don’t want to get to meal time and absolutely hate what you cooked.
Make room in your freezer before you pack your meals
Definitely made this mistake. I got a huge amount of veggies from the farmer’s market and I knew I couldn’t cook them all before it went bad so I decided to cut them up and freeze them. I hadn’t made space accordingly and now my freezer is a hot mess. I ended up “making it work” instead of reorganizing and the veggies didn’t freeze as flat as I’d like.
Definitely write any missing ingredients or needed cooking directions on the bag
Sometimes I’m missing an ingredient or there’s something that doesn’t need to be added until it’s time to cook. Trust me, you’re not going to remember it when the time comes. It also makes it that much easier to pass off the cooking to someone else. On Carl’s days off when I’m working, he can just take out a bag, read what to do, and I get to come home to dinner with no effort from me.
Taco Soup by Totally The Bomb
I hate soup, so I make this as more of a taco filling or taco salad by cutting out adding water to the crock pot. This also divides up easily into smaller portion sizes. Since the meat is cooked beforehand, all you have to worry about is letting it heat up accordingly in the crock pot.
Hawaiian Chicken by New Leaf Wellness
I’ve done this recipe with chicken breasts and chicken legs and both have turned out great. Also, definitely check out New Leaf Wellness for her freezer recipes. She has sooooo many great freezer recipes.
Fruit Smoothie Packs
I know this isn’t a full meal, but having smoothie packs has made breakfast and afternoon snacks much easier. It also helps prevent fruits from going to waste. If I know I’m not going to eat a fruit before it goes bad, I just prep it for a smoothie and toss it in a bag in the freezer. You can prep the bags following a smoothie recipe, or you can just put fruits in individual bags and grab whatever you feel like mixing together at the time. If you want to follow recipes, The Earthy Mama (her photograph below), has several great recipes.