Friday, August 22, 2014

In the Kitchen with Jason: Best Freezer Cooking Meals

Tater tot casserole
Freezer cooking has literally changed my family. We have more time to spend together, we use less time to cook, we eat out less often due to poor planning, and we have meals ready for whenever we want to deliver a meal to someone.

The best way to get started in freezer cooking is to cook one meal per week. When we cook meals, we'll usually quadruple the batch, so we'll have 4 meals for the freezer. I prefer to store my meals in freezer gallon ziplock bags. I put the food inside, smoosh the food down so the bag is flat and freeze it like that. It takes up less space in the freezer and the freezer is easier to keep organized. There are some meals this won't work for, but for casseroles, this generally works.

We're forever finding new meals to try, but here's a compilation of the best freezer meals we've made:

We change nothing for the recipe found here. When we make it, we tend to eat half over the course of a week and freeze the other half. We wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap first, then wrap each individual piece in aluminum foil next.

Chicken broccoli rice casserole
We change nothing for the recipe found here. We quadruple the recipe, then store flat in ziplock bags. It's really easy to make and very tasty.

Tater tot casserole
To make up the casserole for the freezer, you'd just be cooking up the meat mixture. Freeze the meat mixture in ziplock bags so they will lay flat. We always at least quadruple the recipe, but have been known to even make 6 batches in one go. You would keep the tater tots and cheese separate until you're ready to actually make up the meal.

Breakfast burritos
This recipe is a family favorite and makes breakfasts really easy. We wrap each burrito individually in a paper towel, then in aluminum foil. When you're ready to eat one, just take off the foil and pop the burrito with the paper towel still on it in the microwave. Microwave for about a minute and you're good to go.

Taco chili
We change nothing for the recipe found here. We quadruple the batch and always have lots of leftovers from each batch as we cook it up.

Barbeque chicken with veggies
This is a fun and unique recipe. It's also fairly healthy. It's chock full of good veggies! We quadruple the batch, and this makes a ton of leftovers.

Chocolate chip pancakes
We don't keep pancakes in the freezer very often, but they are a nice treat to have on hand. They're more of a pain to make than most other freezer cooking recipes. When we're ready to eat them, I just heat them up in the oven.

Chocolate chip cookie dough
This recipe is incredibly easy to make and it's practical to keep cookies on hand. I've also heard other people say they wished they could just make 1 or 2 cookies at a time - well, this is your answer! Never again will you feel obligated to eat a dozen cookies before they go bad. You just can make 1 or 2 and save the calories.

There are a million freezer cooking recipes available online, and we've made quite a few that we didn't care for at all. There are lots of recipes we still have yet to try. If you have a favorite not listed here, please feel free to share it!

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