In efforts to be more prepared for baby Joy #2, I had a list of freezer meals on my to do list for months! Well, it's been a couple weeks since Mason was born and we have definitely enjoyed a fair share of the freezer meals that I prepared. I would highly recommend doing freezer meals to anyone - new mom or not!
Keep in mind I did all this in one day at 38 weeks pregnant and had Mason at 39 weeks. Shame on me for procrastinating! Probably wasn't the smartest idea, but I got it done and packed away 20 easy and delicious freezer meals! My point is, you can do it too!
I didn't take any pictures throughout the process, so I just have the recipes to share. Obviously there are many variations to some of these recipes as well, this is just what I chose to use. I skipped out on a few additional meals I intended to make because well... pregnant and tired, duh. But maybe next time I'll try those and share as well! And also, I have a pinterest board dedicated to freezer meals that I'd like to try eventually as well!
Chicken Pot Pie (Made 2 pies. I added corn to mine as well and used 10" foil pie pans)
Tater Tot Casserole (Made 4 - 8"x8" foil pans) Baked covered for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Broccoli Chicken Rice Casserole (Made 4 - 8"x*" foil pans)
(This is an all time favorite recipe of mine that my Mama passed onto me)
10 tortilla shells burrito size - 2 pkgs mexican shredded cheese - 2-4 chicken breasts cooked & diced w/ taco seasoning - 1 can refried beans - 1 can black beans - 3-4 cans enchilada sauce.
Layer shell with refried beans, black beans, chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce. Fold both ends and roll shell. Place in foil pan upside down (so the shell stays closed). Repeat until pan(s) is full and all shells are used. Pour additional enchilada sauce over enchiladas and top with additional shredded cheese.
You can bake ahead, let cool, and then freeze. Or freeze and bake later @ 350 for 45-60 minutes.
Chili (Made 3 quart freezer bags)
(There are so many variations of chili, this recipe is also from my Mama!)
1-2lbs ground beef/venison - 1 diced onion - 1 or 2 C diced green pepper - 2 cans hot chili beans - 2 cans kidney beans (drained/rinsed) - 1 can tomato sauce - 2 cans diced tomatoes italian flavored - dash of chili powder
Cook the burger with the onion and green pepper. Drain. In large pot, mix beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and burger mixture. Bring to a boil. Add chili powder to taste. Let cool. Pour into freezer containers or ziploc bags.
Crockpot Dump Cilantro Chicken (Made 2 servings)
(This recipe is from my sister in law, thanks for sharing Jess!)
4-6 chicken breasts (depending on size preference for serving portion) - 2 cans black beans - 1 bag frozen corn - fresh cilantro or 1/2 tube of cilantro - 1 diced onion - 1TBSP minced garlic - 3 limes juiced
Mix all ingredients except chicken breasts. Add more corn or cilantro based on your preference. Place chicken breasts in gallon ziploc, top with bean mixture. To cook: dump bag contents into crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve in tortilla shells or over rice.
Leftovers?! Jess recommends mixing with greek yogurt and stuff in halved avocados for a southwest chicken salad!
Lasagna (Made 1 - 11x13 pan and 2 - 8x8 pans)
(Again, there are so many variations to lasagna, however this one from my friend Sarah is delicious!)
1lb cottage cheese - 9oz spinach (frozen, unthawed, drained) - 2 eggs - 1/2C grated parmesan cheese - 1/4tsp. salt - 1/4tsp nutmeg - 1/8tsp. pepper - 1-2lbs ground beef/venison - 1lb noodles - 32oz spaghetti sauce* - 16oz mozzarella cheese
*I make and can my own spaghetti sauce with tomatoes from our garden using a similar recipe to this.
Cook burger. Drain and add spaghetti sauce. Let simmer. Prepare lasagna noodles. In a separate bowl, mix first 7 ingredients. Set aside. Begin layering lasagna in pans. I do noodles, burger/sauce mixture, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese. Repeat.
Cover with tinfoil. Freeze. To prepare, remove from freezer and bring to room temp or refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. (I would recommend removing the foil halfway through baking so that the cheese doesn't stick to the foil and it allows it to brown).
I am probably the furthest thing from being a good cook... I'm more like a mad scientist in the kitchen and just mix a little of this and that. Hopefully you enjoy these freezer meals (fresh or frozen) as much as our family does!
What's your favorite recipe to make as a freezer meal?!