Make Ahead Freezer Meal Recipes and How to Cook them

I recently did a big post on how to do Meal Planning for a Month with Freezer Meals.

Since it was published, I’ve had a few questions that I thought I’d answer here.

Make Ahead Freezer Meal| Learn where to find make ahead freezer meal recipes, how to cook them when you're ready to use them, plus 8 favorite freezer recipes! #freezeaheadmeals #mealplan

Freeze Ahead Meal Recipes and How to Cook Them

Where do you find recipes that freeze well?

I heard about the concept of freezing meals for a month through a book many years ago.  Along with the idea also came the caution, “But be careful, some of the recipes in that freeze ahead book are AWFUL!”

Obviously, I didn’t bother to buy “that” freeze ahead cookbook {I don’t even remember what it was called!}.  After all, who wants the convenience of freezer meals that taste terrible??

So, I ventured into the whole experience with just some of our family’s favourite recipes. (You can find a list of my favorites here.)  A few years ago, a friend gave to me the most amazing “Freeze Ahead Meals” resource.  Unfortunately, it is not a published book…just a series of photocopied sheets written by a lady who cooks only once every 3 months!!  {Now, that, I’ve never tried!} Along with recipes, she includes a lot of basics of batch cooking and storing in it.

freezer meals cookbook

I gained a lot of insight into freeze ahead meals that I’d never thought of before. Here are a few tips that I learned through her writing.

  • Buy boneless, skinless chicken in bulk. Before putting it in the freezer, divide it up into meal sized portions in ziploc bags and put your favorite marinade on it. Then, when you want to use it, take it out of the freezer. As it thaws, it will be marinading! Then it is ready to put on the grill or bake in the oven. Easy peasy!
  • Assemble crock pot recipe ingredients in a ziploc bag and freeze. Then, on the day you want to use it, just pour it all into the crock pot and let it simmer on low. (This sweet and sour sausage recipe is perfect for that.)

Do you thaw things before heating them or do you have a formula for heating frozen casseroles? I love this idea but the last step has me flummoxed!

What a good question!

Again, my friend’s friend’s little cookbook has helped me tons in this area!  She recommends that you take your casserole out the night before you want to use it and put it in the fridge to thaw.  Then pull it out and bake it as you would a fresh one (generally about 1 hour at 350 degrees – or until heated through).  Keep in mind, that for casseroles, I don’t actually bake them first before I put them in the freezer.  I just assemble them so they are ready to bake.

Crock-pot meals have become one of my favorite things.  Having the crock pot simmering all day and the bread machine baking my bread makes me feel like I have an Alice from the Brady Bunch!  {You know, a personal cook!}  I assemble all the ingredients for a crock-pot meal in a ziploc bag, freeze it, and then thaw in the fridge overnight.  Or, if I forget to take it out the night before, I thaw it in the microwave enough to break it apart and put it in the crock pot on low for the whole day.

I do the same with soups.  The only thing different, is that I don’t freeze “creamy” soup with the milk or cream in it.  I let it simmer on low in the crock pot all day, and then in the last 1/2 hour, I put it on to high and add the milk and flour.

Will you post your recipes?

Yes, gladly! You’ll find them all listed with  links, tips, and tricks in this post.

Or if you don’t want to click there, here they are:

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