Save time and stress in the kitchen with this bulk cooking method. Learn the easy steps for how to make easy freezer meals in just a few hours!
I’ve mentioned before that after decades of cooking dinner every day, I finally admitted that I really don’t like to cook.;)
The truth is, I don’t mind cooking – but I just don’t want to do it every day!
Over the years, I discovered that my biggest sanity saver when it comes to dinner time is freezer meals.
I find my favorite kind of cooking is blocking off some time and getting a whole bunch of meals cooked and in the freezer.
Then, on busy days, I can simply pull something out of the freezer for dinner!
I just did a bulk cooking session the other night, and thought you might be interested in some nitty gritty details on how to make easy freezer meals.
How to Make Ahead Freezer Meals
Choose your best freezer meal recipes and make a plan
The key to success in quickly preparing freezer meals is in the planning. I’ve put together a handy dandy free menu planning printable set that will help you as you begin the process.
Here is how the planning process works for me:
- Plan how many meals you’d like to freeze ahead. I like to use the “month of meals” sheet and roughly jot down meals there. I put the same recipe in at least twice – because we don’t mind repeats!
- Choose recipes that freeze well. Here is a list of 10 freezer meals that are some of my favorites.
- As I choose recipes to use, I check to see what ingredients I need and add them to my grocery list.
- Once the grocery list is made, we purchase the groceries. When you plan to cook in bulk in this manner, you can take advantage of things like large family packs of meat – which can potentially save money in the long run.
- Plan to have your bulk cooking days either the day you buy the groceries or the day after – so the groceries are fresh.
- Check your supplies and make sure you have appropriate containers for your meals. I use large freezer zip-loc bags and covered pyrex dishes for mine. Disposable aluminum pans also work well if you don’t yet have an inventory of freezer containers.
Cook your meals in batches according to meat type
You can certainly do this however your work style works for you. However, I tend to do my bulk cooking in 2 separate time blocks. One is for ground beef dishes and one is for chicken and other dishes. It just seems to work easier for me when I divide up the recipes based on type of meat.
Helpful Freezer Meal Prep Tips
Lay out your recipes and take note of what they all have in common. For instance, if you are cooking ground beef recipes, you may note that each one calls for a diced onion.
Take out all the veggies that need to be chopped and prepared for the recipes.
Line up canned goods needed for each recipe and lay the recipe card on top of each pile.
Have a sharpie marker or freezer tape and a pen handy to mark finished dishes.
Chop all the veggies needed for the recipes and set aside
This is when it’s helpful if you have a helper in the kitchen. If my husband and I are working together on this, I often chop the veggies while he starts sautéing the recipes.
Cook as many recipes simultaneously as you can
We often have 2 large pots on the stove on the go at the same time. Follow the recipes that you are using and double them if appropriate for your situation. It’s really the same amount of work, and you get multiple meals out of the work!
Package the meals appropriately for the freezer (affiliate links are included for your convenience)
A general rule when freezing food is to freeze it in airtight containers. Zip-loc bags & pans or dishes with plastic wrap and aluminum foil on the top work great.
My favorite freezer dishes of all are pyrex dishes with plastic lids. Just make sure to take the plastic lid off when you’re ready to bake!;)
A real life freezer meal prep example
Just the other night I decided to make freezer meals with a 5 pound package of ground beef we had just purchased. In just a few hours, we had 11 freezer meals for two tucked safely into the freezer! Here’s what we made with it:
Save money & stress with make ahead freezer meals
I hope these freezer meal tips will help you as you create yummy meals for your family. I find it takes so much stress out of cooking and the dreaded “What’s for Dinner?” question.
A bonus incentive for cooking this way is that when you limit the amounts of time you go to the grocery store, you save money. It’s a win win!
Some of my favorite freezer meals are included in the Comfort Foods recipe Book
The Comfort Food Recipe Bundle is a handy dandy resource that you can download and print – and it’s currently 50 % off!
Click here or the button below for all the details.
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