Are you tired of staring into the refrigerator, hoping something will magically make itself for dinner each night? With school starting back into session and crazy schedules before and after school, my friend Amie Johnson and I decided to spend 3 hours putting together some Freezer Meals, so that when we look into the FREEZER, we actually see dinner ready to go!!! Eating out can be so expensive and buying frozen food to be heated is great, but I just love providing my family with a homemade meal – wholesome, yummy and everyone is so happy.
So, here is what Amie and I did – this is really so simple, but getting prepped makes it go that much faster. (An interesting side note, Amie and I had prepped all these meals and I ran into a friend in the store who shared with me that a family member had gotten ill. You know what I did, I grabbed one my freezer meals and brought it over to them – they loved it and I loved that I could provide their family with a delicious meal!)
Amie and I went to Costco together and purchased all the meat we needed, basmati organic rice and we found the rest of the ingredients on sale at Kroger (that just worked out and was totally not planned)! Before we started prepping our freezer bags, I had made shredded chicken in our crockpot (chicken, water and 3 hours later – done!) and had cooked the meat.
When all was said and done, I had 16 meals in my freezer, costing only $8.04/meal (which feeds a family of 5) and I had leftover pork roast and 5 leftover bags of rice, too!!! Amazing stuff!!!
See below for the tasty recipes we made!
Creamy Baked Pasta (make recipe x 2)
• 16 oz pasta, cooked and drained
• 1 jar pasta sauce
• 8 oz tub sour cream
• 1/4 c parm. cheese
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 bell pepper, chopped
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Mix all ingredients in pot over medium heat until all ingredients are combined.
Pour in casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake @ 350 for 30 min (45 min – 1 hr if frozen)
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
• 10 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
• 4 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I bake mine in the oven like this.)
• 4 cups chopped broccoli, lightly steamed (can use frozen or fresh)
• 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or 2 batches cream of mushroom soup)
• 2 cans cream of chicken soup (or 2 batches cream of chicken soup)
• 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
To freeze: Divide into four ziptop freezer bags and seal tightly. Freeze flat.
To serve: Thaw overnight (or for 8 hours) in the refrigerator. Dump into a greased casserole dish (each bag will fill an 8×8-inch pan; two bags will fill a 9×13-inch pan). Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.
This recipe makes around 15-18 servings. Each freezer bag serves 4-5 people.
Ranch Pork Chops ( double this recipe)
• 5 boneless pork chops
• 1 packet ranch dressing
• 2 cans cream of chicken soup ( healthy request)
To freeze- dump all ingredients in freezer bags and seal tightly. Freeze flat.
To Serve: Dump into crock pot and cook on low for 8 hrs. Serve over rice.
Taco Soup– Makes 4 bags
• 5 lbs ground beef
• 4 cans crushed tomatoes
• 2 cans black beans
• 2 cans kidney bean
• 2 packets taco seasoning
• Onion chopped
• 1 large bag frozen corn
Directions- Have 4 ziploc freezer bags open and divide up ground beef. Add a can crushed tomatoes to each bag. Add 1/2 a can of black beans and 1/2 can of kidney beans to each bag. Add 1/2 taco seasoning to each bag and split of the corn evenly to each bag. Add 1/2 cup onion.
To serve put all items in crock pot and add 1 cup of water. Cook low 6-8hrs.
• 2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
• 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 1/4 cup chopped onion
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed (minced for slow cooker)
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 cup water
Directions: Add all items into bag and then dump into crock pot
Cook on low for 6-8hrs.
Chicken Pot Pie
• 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed and cut into bite-sized
• 1 small yellow onion, diced (one cup)
• 2 large (or 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and chopped (1.5 pounds)
• 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, and peas)
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
• 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream *not needed until day of cooking
1. The night before cooking, move to refrigerator to thaw.
2. In morning, add to crockpot and cook on “low” setting for 4-6 hours or until chicken
is tender and vegetables are cooked through and tender.
3. Add heavy cream and cook additional 5 minutes or until heated through.
Find out more about how I am “Capturing Life’s Beautiful Moments” in my All Natural Light Studio and On Location as the Augusta GA Newborn Photographer and Augusta GA Family Photographer in the greater Augusta, GA area by visiting my website www.MaryBethsPhotography.com.