Thursday, September 11, 2014

Top 10: Freezer Meals

Last Thursday I went over Freezer Cooking 101, going over all the tips, tricks, and steps to remember when freezer cooking.  This week I'm covering my personal favorite freezer cooker meals!!  These meals are musts when I plan a freezer cooking day. I always try to pick a few new meals to try for freezer cooking, but these are the staple must haves.  When you're ready to serve these meals put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Also at the end of each recipe I have included "Reheating Instructions" that I would suggest you write on the freezer bag or container.  So without further ado, let's get started!!

#1)  Chili
My absolute favorite slow cooker chili recipe that just also happens to be the perfect freezer cooking chili recipe is from Six Sister's Stuff.  At the beginning of Fall I have to make sure my freezer is fully stocked with this stuff!!!  
Reheating Instructions:  Simmer until heated through in a medium saucepan or in the morning throw this in a crockpot on low if you want this to be ready for dinner.

#2)  Taco Meat
This particular recipe is for taco meat made with ground turkey, which you can absolutely do!  But I always make sure to put away a few bags of taco meat, either ground beef or ground turkey.  Just brown the meat and anything else you want to put in it, like chopped onion, taco seasoning, onions or peppers.  Then allow to cool completely before bagging in your freezer bag.  
Reheating Instructions:  Add a few drops of water and put in crockpot on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours, or in a hurry use the same method but in a saucepan over medium high heat.

#3)  Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is an absolute favorite soup of ours that has to be in our freezer for sick days, rainy days or just any days!  We crave this soup a lot!  Simply let the onion/garlic mixture cool completely after sautéing it, then put everything in the freezer bag.  
Reheating Instructions:  Crock pot on high for 5-6 hours or until everything is heated through and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
#4)  Queso
Queso is one of my favorite things to have on hand in the freezer.  After you've made your favorite queso recipe (I like this one) and allowed it to cool completely simply pour it in a freezer bag, or better yet pour it in smaller numerous freezer bags for smaller portions when you just need nachos or queso for a midnight snack.  Because seriously.  Sometimes you just need nachos.  This is also a great savings tip because Velveeta is so expensive!  Catch it when it's on sale and make up a big batch or so.  
Reheating Instructions:  Put in a medium saucepan over low heat, or let it warm up and stay warm all day in the crock pot. 

#5)  Baked Ziti
It's funny the first time I found this recipe I was hesitant to try it out as a freezer meal because it required a foil pan instead of a gallon bag and I was really trying to save space.  However it is SO delicious we don't care, and typically make a few pans of it at a time to freezer.  It's another Six Sisters' Stuff recipe and it's incredible, totally worth the extra space it takes up :).  
Reheating Instructions:  Since it has completely thawed in the refrigerator for 24 hours this will bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes, however if it is not completely thawed it will take longer.

#6 Sweet BBQ Meatballs
I love having these on hand in the freezer for their versatility.  We use these as appetizers or snacks when friends come over, or served over rice for a meal.  As easy as they are to put together they are even easier when all you have to do is grab them all ready to go from the freezer.
Reheating Instructions:  Crock pot on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours.

#7)  Pepper Steak
This is a delicious meal by itself or over rice  Go ahead and slice the meat and then throw everything into the freezer bag.  
Reheating Instructions:  Crock pot on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

#8 Garlic & Brown Sugar Chicken
This is a delicious crock pot meal that is a favorite of my husband's.  Serve with a side of rice or noodles and enjoy!
Reheating Instructions:  Crock pot on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

#9)  Drip Beef Sandwiches
If I could eat this sandwich every single week I would, I absolutely love this one.  To make this a freezer meal go ahead and boil the broth with spices and then let it cool completely.
Reheating Instructions:  Crock pot on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Then shred like normal.  

#10)  Breakfast Burritos
Mornings are hectic and not food friendly around our house.  We typically either don't want to eat or don't have time to eat breakfast, but we really need to!!  Enter delicious breakfast burritos.  These are delicious and only take a few minutes to fix up. plus you can put whatever you like in them.
Reheating Instructions:  Microwave for 1-2 minutes until thoroughly warmed up.

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