Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes General Recipes I need Help with Freezing Meals !!!

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    • #268730

      As most of you know I am expecting in July !!! I am really trying to be more prepared this time. SO I would really like to have some meals and dishes frozen before July.

      I have a few ideas but I was wondering of any of y’all had any good recipes that freeze well. I thought that I can make about 5 or 6 meals a month to freeze starting this month so that way I will be done cooking and freezing by the end of June. So any help or tips advice you might have would be truly appreciated !!!

      Also if you have any other tips on how I can be more prepared this go around I would be truly greatful :angel12: !!! Thanx

      Mandy

    • #408097

      I don’t freeze many meals, but I wanted to help, so I’ve found some recipes that freeze well. I hope these hlp you. 🙂

      Spicy Freezer Chili
      1 lb. ground beef
      2 onions, chopped
      5 cloves garlic, minced
      2 (14 oz.) cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
      1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
      1 Tbsp. chili powder
      1 tsp.

      ground cumin
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
      2 Tbsp. cornstarch
      1/4 cup water

      Cook ground beef with onions and garlic in heavy skillet until ground beef is brown and vegetables are tender; drain. Mix all ingredients except cornstarch and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes.

      If you want a thicker chili, mix cornstarch and water in small bowl until smooth and add to chili, stirring well. Uncover and cook for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. 8 servings

      To freeze, do not add cornstarch and water. Cool quickly in refrigerator, then place in plastic freezer containers and freeze until solid. To reheat, place chili in saucepan with 1/4 cup water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reheated.

      At this point you can add the cornstarch and water mixture if you’d like a thicker chili.

    • #408098

      Veggie Pasta Shells

      24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
      1 (10-ounce) can vegetable broth
      1 carrot, minced
      1 potato, peeled and diced
      1 onion, finely chopped
      2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
      1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
      1 egg
      1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
      1 (28-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
      1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

      Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain, and let cool.

      In a large saucepan, heat broth to boiling. Stir in carrots, potatoes and onions and cook 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender. Drain vegetables well.

      Combine with ricotta, mozzarella, egg, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Stir in Italian seasoning. Fill each cooked and cooled shell with this cheese mixture.

      Pour 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer on the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top.

      Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

      To freeze, refrigerate at this point until cold. Then wrap, label, and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw whole casserole overnight in refrigerator.

      Bake as directed below, adding 15-20 minutes to baking time. To thaw and reheat individual shells, microwave on 40% power for 2-4 minutes until thawed. Then microwave on 60% power for 1-3 minutes until hot and bubbly.


      To bake immediately, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Serves 8-10

    • #408099

      Chicken Potato Casserole

      10 oz. can condensed reduced fat and sodium cream of chicken soup
      1 cup sour cream
      1/4 cup milk
      2 cups cubed cooked chicken
      1-1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
      3-1/2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
      1-1/2 cups frozen peppers and onions, thawed
      1-1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
      1-1/2 cups crushed potato chips

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, milk, chicken and 1-1/4 cups cheese. Spread three-quarters of this mixture in a greased 2-quart baking dish.

      Sprinkle hash browns and peppers and onions over the top of the casserole and press down lightly, then top vegetables with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and potato chips.

      Bake casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. 8 servings

      To freeze, assemble casserole as directed, except do not thaw potatoes, peppers, or onions and do not sprinkle with potato chips. Wrap casserole in freezer wrap or heavy duty foil and freeze. Reserve potato chips in pantry.

      To thaw and bake, let thaw overnight in refrigerator. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes until bubbly. Then top with crushed potato chips and bake 5-10 minutes longer.

    • #408101

      Chile Rice Casserole

      2 cups cooked white rice
      1 cup milk
      2 eggs, beaten
      4 oz. can chopped green chilies or jalapenos, well drained
      2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix rice, milk, eggs, chilies and 1 cup cheese in large bowl. Pour into greased 1-1/2 quart glass casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

      Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes until set.

      To make and freeze, undercook rice by about 5 minutes. Combine all ingredients and cool in refrigerator until cold. Wrap thoroughly, labell, and freeze up to 3 months.

      To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator, stir well and bake at 350 degrees F for 60-75 minutes until set and top is golden brown. Serves 6

    • #408103

      Vegetable Chicken Casserole

      8 oz. medium egg noodles
      1 cup water
      1-1/2 cups chicken broth
      16 oz. pkg.

      frozen broccoli, cauliflower and red peppers, thawed
      1 onion, chopped
      2 cups chopped cooked chicken
      1/2 tsp. garlic powder
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1/4 tsp.

      pepper
      1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

      In 3 quart microwave safe casserole dish, mix noodles, water and chicken broth. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 6 minutes, stirring once during cooking. Add vegetables, onion, chicken and seasonings.

      Cover and microwave on high for 7-9 minutes, stirring once during cooking, until vegetables are hot and crisp tender and noodles are tender.
      Stir in half of cheese and mix well. Sprinkle casserole with remaining cheese. Cook, uncovered, on high for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.

      To freeze casserole, do not thaw vegetables. Cook noodles as directed above and then cool in refrigerator until cold. Add vegetables, onion, chicken, seasonings, and half of cheese; sprinkle with remaining cheese, wrap well, label, and freeze up to 3 months.

      To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Microwave on medium for 3-5 minutes, stirring once. Then microwave on high for 1-3 minutes until noodles and vegetables are tender and casserole is thoroughly heated.

      4-6 servings

    • #408104

      Alpine Meatballs

      1/2 lb. ground beef
      1/2 lb. ground pork
      1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, divided
      1 egg, beaten
      1/2 cup finely chopped onion
      1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
      1/4 tsp.

      ground nutmeg
      1/4 tsp. allspice
      1 cup cooked rice
      10 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
      3/4 cup milk
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      2 cups cooked rice

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine beef, pork, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, egg, 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, celery leaves, nutmeg, allspice, and 1 cup cooked rice and mix gently. Form into 1″ meatballs and place on a large baking pan.

      Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until browned.
      Combine 1 cup Swiss cheese with soup, milk, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and 2 cups cooked rice in large bowl. Add cooked meatballs and mix gently. Pour into 3 quart baking dish.

      Bake 325 degrees 40-45 minutes, until sauce bubbles around the edges.

      To freeze, bake meatballs and cool completely in refrigerator. Combine with remaining ingredients and pour into lined baking dish. Wrap, label, and freeze up to 3 months.

      To thaw and reheat, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Stir casserole gently, then bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serves 8

    • #408105

      Santa Fe Chicken

      1 onion, chopped
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1 Tbsp. olive oil
      9 oz. pkg.

      frozen fully cooked diced chicken
      2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
      24 oz. jar thick and chunky salsa
      1 cup taco sauce
      8 corn tortillas
      1 cup sour cream
      2 cups shredded Cojack cheese

      In medium microwave safe bowl, cook onion and garlic in olive oil on HIGH for 2-3 minutes until tender. Stir in frozen chicken, black beans and salsa. (If freezing, cool onion and garlic mixture before adding frozen chicken.)
      In 2 quart glass baking dish, pour taco sauce.

      Lay four corn tortillas over sauce. Top with half of chicken mixture. Spoon on half of sour cream in small dollops.

      Sprinkle with half of cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, sour cream and cheese. Cover with foil.

      At this point, you can wrap the casserole well and freeze up to 3 months.
      Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until bubbly. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

      If frozen, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator, then bake covered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until bubbly; uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer until cheese melts. Serves 6

    • #408107

      Vegetarian Lasagna

      20 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
      1 onion, chopped
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      2 (8-ounce) cans chunky tomato sauce
      1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
      1/2 cup water
      2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/8 teaspoon pepper
      12 ounce carton ricotta OR crumbled drained tofu
      2 eggs, beaten
      1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
      3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
      1 cup grated provolone cheese
      12 ounces lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
      24 ounce jar cheesy Alfredo Sauce
      1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

      Cook and drain chopped vegetables as directed on package, measure out 3 cups, set aside. Brown onion and garlic in olive oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in tomato sauce and paste, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; simmer for 10 minutes.
      In large bowl, mix the ricotta or tofu, eggs, parsley, mozzarella and provolone cheese.

      For the freeze-oven method, line a 9×13″ baking pan with heavy duty foil, long enough to fold over the casserole. Spray the foil with cooking spray. Place a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan.

      Layer noodles, tomato sauce, vegetables, Alfredo sauce, ricotta mixture, and Parmesan cheese in that order, repeating to make three layers of each. Fold the foil over the lasagna and close with a double fold. Freeze until solid.

      Remove the foil wrapped casserole from the pan and seal it in a 2 gallon heavy duty ziplock bag. To bake, place the foil wrapped casserole in an oven dish, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then bake, covered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

      Then uncover and bake for 15-20 minutes longer until bubbling and heated through.

      For the freezer-crockpot method, assemble the recipe in a foil-lined one gallon ice cream container. Wrap well and freeze. To cook, remove the foil from the frozen package, place it in a 5-quart crockpot and thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

      Cook covered one hour on high, then turn to low for 6-8 hours (automatic setting on most crockpots). If it seems a little juicy, remove the lid and turn the heat to high for the last hour. Serves 8-10

    • #408109

      Pizza Spaghetti Style

      1 lb. ground beef
      1 onion, chopped
      1 green bell pepper, chopped
      8 oz. pkg.

      button mushrooms, sliced OR 2 more bell peppers, chopped
      26 oz. jar pasta sauce
      8 ounce can tomato sauce
      1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
      1 lb. spaghetti pasta, broken into 2″ pieces
      3/4 cup whole milk
      2 eggs, beaten
      1 (5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
      1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
      2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking spaghetti. Cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and mushrooms in heavy skillet over medium heat until beef is browned, stirring to break up beef.

      Drain well and add pasta sauce, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning; stir well and let simmer while preparing spaghetti.
      Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine eggs and milk in large bowl and beat until blended. Drain spaghetti and toss with egg and milk mixture.

      Spread half of spaghetti/egg/milk mixture in a 13×9″ glass baking dish. Top with half of sauce and beef mixture. Repeat layers.

      To freeze, cool casserole in refrigerator at this point. When cold, wrap well, label, and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator.

      Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until thoroughly heated. Uncover, top with pepperoni and cheese, and bake 10-15 minutes longer until cheese melts and edges of casserole bubble.
      To refrigerate overnight and bake the next day, cover the casserole and chill for 2-24 hours.

      When ready to eat, bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until hot. Then uncover, top with pepperoni and cheese, and bake for 10-15 minutes longer until cheese melts.

      If baking without freezing or refrigerating, bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Top with pepperoni, then cheese, return to oven, and bake for 10 minutes longer to melt cheese. Let stand 5 minutes to set, then cut into squares to serve.

      10 servings

    • #408110

      Chicken Rococco

      8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
      8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
      2 Tbsp.

      butter
      1 onion, finely chopped
      1 clove garlic, crushed
      1 egg, beaten
      2 Tbsp. milk
      2 cups dried bread crumbs
      1 cup wild rice
      1 cup brown rice
      1/4 cup butter
      1/4 cup olive oil
      1 green bell pepper, chopped
      1 onion, chopped
      1 cup chopped mushrooms
      1/4 cup flour
      1 cup chicken broth
      1-1/2 cups half and half or whole milk

      Flatten chicken breasts between waxed paper. In small saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and saute onion and garlic until tender.

      Remove from heat. In small bowl, combine cream cheese with sauteed onion and garlic and blend well. Divide mixture among the chicken breasts.

      Roll up each piece to hold filling.
      Beat egg with milk. Dip each chicken bundle in egg mixture, then roll in bread crumbs. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

      Meanwhile, cook wild and brown rice in water to cover for 45 minutes. Drain off any remaining water.

      Melt 1/4 cup butter and olive oil in large frying pan. Saute chicken bundles just to brown lightly. Remove chicken and set aside.

      In oil remaining in pan, cook green peppers, the second onion, and mushrooms until crisp tender. Add flour and cook and stir until bubbly. Add chicken broth and half and half or milk, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth.

      Combine rice mixture with this sauce and pour into 13×9″ baking pan. Top with chicken bundles.

      Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and chicken bundles are thoroughly cooked. If you’re going to freeze this dish, bake as directed, then cool completely in the refrigerator. Wrap well, label, and freeze up to 3 months.

      To thaw and reheat, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until thoroughly heated. 6-8 servings

    • #408113

      Freeze-Ahead Baked Ziti

      This to-die-for classic Italian dish gets sneaky — with vegetables that is. This recipe calls for two fresh zucchini, but you can also sneak in other vegetables such as muchrooms, carrots, etc. for all of those finicky eaters in your family.

      Ingredients:

      1 pound of uncooked ziti, rigatoni or penne rigata
      1 tsp vegetable oil
      1 large onion, chopped
      2 medium zucchini, diced
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      One 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes in purée
      2 tsp Italian seasoning plus 1 tsp
      1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/8 tsp pepper
      2 egg whites
      One 15-oz container part-skim Ricotta cheese
      2/3 cup of part-skim Mozzarella cheese, shredded
      1/3 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

      Make-Ahead Preparation:

      Prepare pasta according to package directions.

      While pasta is cooking, warm the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, zucchini and garlic. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes, making sure not to brown the garlic.

      Add in the tomatoes, 2 tsp Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional five minutes.

      Add the pasta to the mixture and combine well.
      Blend together the egg whites, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and Ricotta cheese until smooth. Add the Ricotta cheese to the pasta/sauce mixture in dollops and mix in slightly. (You don’t want the Ricotta to disappear, but you do want it to be blended in.)

      Line a 3-quart casserole dish with tin foil. Add in the pasta mixture and completely cover the pasta with foil. Allow to cool, label and freeze.

      When frozen through, you can remove the foil wrapped pasta from the casserole dish and either wrap in plastic wrap or put in a ziploc bag to free up your dish for us.

      Freeze for up to two months.

      Last Minute Preparation:

      Remove pasta from the freezer. Unwrap, place into original casserole dish, cover and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

      Preheat oven to 325. Cook for 30 minutes. Top with the Parmesan and Mozzerella and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta is heated through.

    • #408114

      I hope these help you some! Good luck with the pregnancy! 🙂

    • #408116

      rtebalt
      Some good recipes and great instructions. I think you helped all of us with this posting. My frozen meals usually consist of leftovers to pull back out at a later date for just DH and me.But it would be nice to have a few planned meals on hand, especially for unexpected company, you can visit while still popping supper in the oven.

    • #408137

      I can’t take credit for the recipes. I found them online. 🙂

    • #408233

      I like to make an extra casserole any time I am making one to freeze for later. My familys favorite freezer meals are stuffed pepper, stuffed cabbage, and chicken enchlatas (pardon my spelling:) )

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes General Recipes I need Help with Freezing Meals !!!