Freezer Meals for Busy Parents
Looking to make meal-prep a whole lot easier? Consider over-cooking these items and throwing them in the freezer to be used for a variety of purposes later on:
Shredded, diced, however you’d like! Preparing extra chicken and freezing leftovers is a great idea because it can be used in many different dishes. Looking for variety? Leave the chicken unseasoned until thawed and decide what dish you’ll be using it for. Don’t waste your leftover protein—freeze it and find a clever way to incorporate it into another tasty meal! Some recipes to consider:
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Detroit ShwarmaFest Champ Shares Healthy Chicken Shawarma Recipe
- Don’t be chicken, try these tasty fajitas!
Pastas, casseroles and bakes are great meals to cook in large amounts and store in the freezer for re-heating later on. For the best results when it comes to reheating pasta, be sure not to over-cook the noodles originally to avoid a soggy or mushy texture when cooked over again after freezing. Some recipes to consider:
- Think Healthy Food Can’t Taste Good? Try This Recipe for Tortilla Black Bean Casserole
- One-Pot Meals for Easy Weeknight Dinners
- Basil Chicken Pasta
Repurposing sauces can help spice up a new dish or recreate the original meal. After letting the original sauce you’ve made cool, separate it into large bags or freezer-safe containers. If you’re working with different kinds of sauces, be sure to label them so you aren’t repurposing for the wrong dish later on! Some saucy recipes to try:
- 5 of the Healthiest Hot Sauces to Spice Up Your Food
- 3 Noodle-Free Recipes to Amp Up Your Spaghetti (Squash) and Meatballs
- Braised Pork with Green Chile Sauce
Soups and Stews
That’s right, the slow-cooker recipes we all know and love usually make great meals to freeze and re-use. Soups and stews are especially easy meals to freeze. Like sauces, it’s important to wait until your soup is cool before storing in the freezer. Check out some of these savory options:
- Traverse City: Empty Bowls Chicken Vegetable Orzo Soup Recipe
- Slow cooker recipes: Simple soups
- Crockpot Chicken Stew
What are your favorite meals to over-cook and freeze? Let us know by commenting below!
Looking for something unique to cook extra and freeze for the summer time? Try this!
2 1/2 c. cooked quinoa at room temperature
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. finely chopped chives or green onions
1/3 c. finely chopped yellow or white onion
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese (goat or feta cheese is good, too)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 c. bread crumbs
1 T. olive oil, for cooking
To cook quinoa:
Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups of water and 1/2 t. of salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. (This will make more than you need for this recipe. Cool and refrigerate or freeze the rest for later!)
To make quinoa patties:
Combine 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, shape 12 1″-thick quinoa patties. They don’t have to be perfect. I’ve found the easiest way is to scoop 1/4 cup (use a measuring cup) of the mixture into wet hands, quickly press it into small patties, and slide it into the hot oil with a spatula.
Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes until the underside is golden brown, flip, and repeat until the other side is also a golden brown and the quinoa patty is firm (cooked in the middle). Serve hot or cold with your choice of toppings, if any.
Recipe source: Frugal Living