Freezer Friendly Meals (WFMW)

This week’s theme for Works for Me Wednesday is what doesn’t work…  I contemplated kitchen gadgets that have taken up space in my drawers but rarely gotten used. I also thought about under-utilized cookbooks or recipes that have failed miserably for me.

What kept coming back to me, though, was the fact that I will be banned from my kitchen next week. That doesn’t work for me at all!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

You see, I have to have hand surgery later this week.  It’s not really a big deal other than the fact that I will have to keep my hand clean and dry for at least a week. I originally contemplated an investment in some rubber gloves, but my surgeon, who was two steps ahead of me, informed me that my fingers would be splinted together. He also added that I should plan on letting someone else do the cooking.

Cooking is not something I delegate well… And, my husband generally prefers to let me do most of the cooking in our house.  So, when faced with having to stay out of my kitchen for a week, I had to come up with a plan. Since neither my husband nor I could stand to eat takeout or go out to eat for a whole week, I turned to my freezer.  This week, I’ve been making recipes that yield lots of leftovers that I can stash in the freezer so that next week’s dinners are already taken care of!

I know there are lots of reasons (other than surgery) why you may be too busy to cook, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite freezer friendly meals this week with a few pointers on how I like to package the leftovers…

Soup

I find that a lot of soups freeze well, particularly those that are broth based.  For creamy/cheesy soups, I will prepare the soup recipe up to the point when the cream/cheese would be stirred in at the end and freeze the soup sans cream/cheese.  Then, you can reheat the frozen soup and stir in the missing ingredients prior to serving!

If you’re looking for soup recipes from my archives, a few of my favorites are my Chicken Tortilla Soup, Tomato, Pepper, and Jack Soup, Chicken Corn Noodle Soup, and Creamy Carrot and Potato Soup.

Stromboli and Calzones

Stromboli and calzones (calzoni?) also freeze well.  In fact, I wrote a post about freezing calzones a few months ago.  Simply assemble the stromboli or calzone and wrap tightly with plastic wrap (don’t bake!).  Then, pop into the freezer until you need it.  Just thaw and bake for a fresh, tasty dinner!

Just about any combination of filling and pizza dough would work… My favorites are Chicken Pesto Calzones and Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Stromboli.

Casseroles and Slow Cooked Meals

Most of my casserole and slow cooker recipes make much more than two of us can eat in one meal, so I often freeze the leftovers. For some casseroles (like macaroni and cheese or stuffed shells), I will freeze the casserole prior to baking in an oven safe glass baking dish.  Then, I just thaw the casserole overnight and pop it in the oven.  For dinners that come out of my slow cooker, I simply freeze the leftovers in plastic containers.

A few of my favorite frozen leftovers include Shredded Beef Tacos, Macaroni and Cheese, and Stuffed Shells.

13 Responses to Freezer Friendly Meals (WFMW)

  1. Great suggestions Jen! After your calzone post, I made some and froze them and they were great easy meals to have on hand! Also, for soups, I put the cool soup in ziploc freezer bags and freeze them flat. Then you can stack them in the freezer and they take up less space. I always have stacks of chicken broth in my freezer.

  2. Jody, RD says:

    I love this post for many reasons.

    A.) I am completely like you and cannot give up control of what is cooked in our house. My husband and I were considering him staying home to be a house-husband and one of the sticking points was I couldn’t imagine what we’d be having for dinner!

    B.) I am always looking for more ideas for freezer meals! After having foot surgery a year ago and being kitchen banned, then having a baby 4 months ago and loving my freezer stash, now working fulltime – having a freezer stash is the best on nights when I have late night meetings and I’m not getting home until 630!

    blogfoodbetter.blogspot.com

  3. I love these ideas. I always try to freeze extra because it is SO helpful to have a homemade meal on hand after a busy day!

  4. Lasagna is also one of my favorite freezer meals. That and Scotch Broth, mmmm…

  5. Meadows says:

    I only found your blog a few days ago (from Once a Month Mom) and I love it! I have a bunch of your recipes bookmarked to make.

  6. Wendy says:

    Looks like I picked the wrong time to read your blog post… C’mon dinnertime! So hungry now…

  7. maria says:

    Best of luck with your surgery. Great freezer ideas!

  8. Tracey says:

    Good luck with the surgery Jen! It was smart of you to plan ahead. I love posts like this, it’s nice to have a resource for make-ahead meals.

  9. Paula says:

    Best wishes with the surgery Jen. I’m sure Yellowdog will be curled up at your feet as soon as you get back home. Now that you have all your meals in the freezer, you can rest up and get your husband to heat, serve and clean-up!

    Take good care.

  10. I really like your method for stromboli better than mine and plan to give it a try. Thanks.

  11. A great and timely roundup Jen. I am looking for new recipes to make ahead. These look fab!

  12. […] Freezer Friendly Meals from My Kitchen Addiction […]

  13. Gayla says:

    You are a woman of my Heart! Best website I have seen in a long time. I love the use of your garden veggies! I too love cooking from my own garden.

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