I'm quite happy to share this post with you all. Freezer cooking is something I've been around my whole life. Growing up in a larger family, my mom would make two meals and would freeze the one we didn't eat. Rebekah is here to share 5 tips on how to get started in freezer cooking. She hosts insane goals monthly linkup that I love participating in. Please welcome her and leave any questions about freezer cooking in the comments. Don't forget to stop by her blog too!
Freezer cooking can be a huge help for those busy (or lazy!) days when cooking from scratch isn't an option. However, it can be super intimidating to get started. What recipes should you try? Can you really afford to pay for all those groceries in advance? Do you have the time and energy to devote to a day full of cooking? I would like to encourage you to let go of the intimidation and simply give it a try!
5 Tips for Getting Started in Freezer Cooking:
1) Use Recipes You Already Love - There are many places online where you can find freezer friendly recipes, but start by looking at recipes you already make and love. The last thing you want to do is invest your time and money into a freezer meal that you end up hating!
Common Dishes that Freeze Well:
- lasagna, manicotti, baked spaghetti, and other pasta based dishes
- meatloaf and meatballs
- taco meat
- vegetable soup, chili, and other soups that aren't cream/milk based (Cream based soups might turn out fine for you, but I don't recommend starting with one.)
- muffins, cookies, sweet breads, and other baked goods
2) Utilize Batch Cooking - Batch cooking is when you double a recipe, eat half that day, and freeze the other half for later. Making a double batch of a dish usually doesn't take that much extra time. It is a great way to sneak freezer cooking into your regular meal prep. Every time I make curried lentils, I double it.
3) Explore Freezer Meal Kits - A freezer meal doesn't have to be 100% oven ready to be a time saver. Recently I doubled a batch of chicken fried rice and froze half of it as a kit. I chopped all the veggies and chicken, added the spices, and put a note on the bag with what additional ingredients I would need to add fresh. I also like doing this with smoothies and honey mustard baked chicken.
4) Think Outside The Box - The whole meal doesn't need to be waiting for you in the freezer. I found a really good deal on canned tomato bisque soup. I picked up some extra cans and a loaf of garlic bread for the freezer. Hands down that was the easiest freezer cooking I've ever done! You could also do partial freezer cooking like this with bags of frozen vegetables or freezing chicken breasts in marinade.
5) Gather Inspiration From Sales - Buying a ton of groceries for freezer cooking can be expensive, but it certainly helps if you keep an eye out for sales. I love my discount grocery store and was inspired to try homemade smoothie kits when I discovered they had frozen fruit in stock. Don't be afraid to give freezer cooking a try! Just maybe you'll end up loving it so much that you decide to devote an entire day to freezer cooking. If so, you might benefit from my 10 Tips for a Successful Freezer Cooking Day.
Rebekah is a stay-at-home mom who blogs about frugal lifestyle tips, going green baby steps, and all of life in between at SimplyRebekah.com.
All photos by Simply Rebekah.