Meals that freeze well?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SRL, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm having a hysterectomy the week before Christmas. I know the timing sounds totally nuts, but outside of the holiday bit it works best for us as the kids actitivies are done by then, my husband's schedule is freer and he won't have night meetings, and I won't feel pressed to getting back into homeschooling my youngest over the break. I'll be a lot less stressed not having to worry about getting kids to activities 6 days a week plus they'll be around to help out.

    I'd like to put away a bunch of meals in the freezer and am not coming up with a lot of variety with the dinners I usually freeze. So far I've thought of chicken soup, chilli, taco meat (both beef and chicken), lasagne, spaghetti sauce, and turkey meat loaf. That's pretty much all I generally freeze from our typical meal rotations. Everything else I make up fresh, including grilling out a few times a week.

    Easy kid friendly Ideas? I should mention that 2 of my 3 my kids aren't great veggie eaters and I'd like to minimize dishes.
  2. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Italian beef! It is easy to make, freezes well, and can be reheated in the crock pot for an easy meal.
    pour a package of italian seasoning mix and a can of beef broth over a beef roast (cheap) cook on high in the crock pot till it falls apart.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    lmf, that sounds good. What do you mean by "a package of italian seasoning mix"? Do you mean italian dressing mix? TIA!
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    SRL, I just went through a similar scenario. I froze a bunch of meals in late August and early September because I had reconstructive foot surgery in mid-September. We've been eating out of the freezer ever since! My middle daughter is a vegetarian so most of my meals were veggie (which I know your kids might not like). Like you, I made chili and lasagna (I have a really easy recipe for ravioli lasagna -- let me know if you want it). I also made quiches, pizza dough (my daughters like to roll it out, top it and bake it instead of ordering take-out), homemade mac and cheese, ratatouille, mushroom barley soup and vegetable soup. Some I froze in family-size containers for dinners and some in smaller-size containers for lunches that I can grab while I'm recuperating.

    Hope that helps. If I can think of any other freezer meals, I'll post later.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Here's a link I found to a site devoted to freeze ahead meals.

    I may have to try this, it would be so easy, but it is so hard to get organized enough to cook ahead.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I love to roast a turkey, make some gravy, divide it into family-size meal and freeze. Then, you just put it into a baking dish and throw in the oven. Add some potatoes & veggies and you have a great family meal within an hour!
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Make some meatballs and put them into freezer bags according to dish type sizes. Spaghetti would need X amount, meatball subs another amount, swedish meatballs and noodles another amount. Get it?

    You could make up some stuffed shells and freeze those. Serve with store bought pasta sauce.

    Cook up several batches of beef cubes with a couple of cans of mushroom soup mix and onion soup mix. Put into separate freezer bags for dinner of beef stew, one dinner of beef noodles and one dinner of shepherds pie.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Another thought: I have a wonderful recipe for an Italian veal stew that freezes well if you want me to post it. You can substitute beef cubes if you can't find veal on sale.
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I make meals and freeze them in single serving containers. Often in my freezer...meatloaf, chicken noodle soup, white chicken chili, lasagne, baked ziti, pork ribs, pot roast.


  10. ML

    ML Guest

    chilli rellano casserole and chicken enchilladas are yummy too.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For a HUGE variety go to and type OAMC in the search box. It stands for once a month cooking and all the recipes will be ones that freeze really well.

    I have started to depend on it.

    Hugs. You will feel MUCH better after the hysterectomy. Mine was one of the best things I have ever done.

    Just make sure that you talk with the doctor about surgical menopause before the surgery. You will want to have a plan. It is brutal with-o the hormones.

  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Thanks for the idea, everyone.

    Sure, smallworld--I'd appreciate those recipes when you can get to them.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Pasta sauces, chili, lasagne, macaroni & cheese (I froze the sauce separately & but that in a small container in a bag with the pasta noodles). Like another posted above I used to take an entire weekend & cook & freeze for the next month. (When husband & I lived in Seattle & had demanding postions.)

    I found spanakopita (a greek veggie dish) freezes very well. Stews are wonderful; you can freeze cooked pasta along with your sauces.

    A good idea is to print out instructions & such & put them in the freezer bags so it's easy for someone else to handle.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    BBQ beef or pork freezes well and is super easy to make. I do mine by putting it (a loin or roast) in the crock pot covered with a can of broth and water and cook it for 12-24 hours, then drain the brother, shred the meat with a fork, and pour BBQ sauce over it and simmer it. Then you can freeze it up.

    You can do sloppy joes like this, too.
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Ravioli Lasagna

    1 jar (26 oz) red pasta sauce
    1 package (20 oz) cheese or meat ravioli
    1.5 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
    1 cup turkey sausage (optional)

    Freheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch quare baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    Spread a few spoonfuls of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top with one layer of the ravioli (let the edges touch but do not overlap). Top with half of the cheese and turkey sausage if using. Repeat the layers once more, ending with the cheese.

    Cover the lasagna tightly with the foil. Bake for 1 hour, and remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
  16. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Italian Veal (or Beef) Stew

    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 pounds veal stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
    1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
    1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
    3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    3/4 to 1 cup dry white wine
    1 can (35 oz) plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
    1 heaping tablespoon dried Italian herb blend
    1/2 cup black olives, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup green olives, coarsely chopped

    Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the veal (or beef)cubes and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.

    Add the garlic and saute until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the peppers and saute, stirring frequently, 5 minutes more.

    Stir in the flour and tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in the wine and tomatoes. Return the veal to the pot and add the Italian herbs and olives. Season the stew with salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until the meat is very tender, about 1 hour.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings.