It’s freezer meal round up time for our household. Freezer meals make dinner prep way easier and it cuts back on the amount of money we spend going out to eat. It also tends to be healthier for us because we are cutting back on fast food.
Fall is approaching, which means our life is going to get pretty crazy. Whenever I can predict that life will be a little crazy, I like to stock up on freezer meals. Fall gets busy for us because I go back to work for the school year and my husband coaches varsity football, which is a major time commitment, on top of working full time. This year will be even more interesting with the pup added to the mix.
Speaking of the pup, since I know I will have Little MK (age 4) and the puppy running around while I am making the freezer meals, I went pretty simple in the amount this round. I normally make upwards of 20 meals at once. But I decided to cut myself some slack this time. Some meals are better than no meals right?!
Here are the recipes in this freezer meals round up:
- Freezer Fajitas (from thekitchn.com)
- Million Dollar Casserole (from everyday simple)
- Chicken Tortilla Soup (from Loving My Nest)
- Chicken Taco Soup (from Loving My Nest)
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew (from Loving My Nest)
This roundup is a little chicken heavy. Normally, I try to balance the meats used a little more. But I was loving some of the recipes from Loving My Nest and wanted to give them a try. In addition to these recipes, I also made 1 pound of taco meat to freeze as well as two pounds of Sloppy Joe meat. I went simple. With the taco meat, I just used a store-bought seasoning and then froze it in a freezer bag once it cooled. I used my Grandma’s recipe for the Sloppy Joes. Although Grandma doesn’t call it Sloppy Joes. She calls it BBQ. And truthfully, this is not her true recipe. Because Grandma is a pro and doesn’t use a recipe. She uses the old, “dump and taste” method. Here is her recipe that I have adapted from making them myself.
Grandma’s Sloppy Joe Recipe
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 3/4 can condensed tomato soup
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
Brown meat. Once it is browned add the rest of the ingredients and stir. That’s it. So easy!
Freezer Meals Shopping List (including taco meat and sloppy joe meat)
Grocery Items Needed for the Freezer Meals
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 yellow onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 bell peppers (colors of your choice for the fajitas)
- Garlic (2 cloves)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 4 lb ground beef
- 10 Chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 26 oz spaghetti sauce
- 15 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 28 ounce can whole stewed tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 can condensed tomato soup
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- Fajita Marinade for Chicken
- 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 15 ounce can whole kernel corn
- 16 ounce can chili beans
- 15 ounce can black beans
- 10 ounce can enchilada sauce
- 2 (1.25 ounce) packages of taco seasoning
- 4 ounce can chopped green Chile peppers
- 8 oz sharp cheddar shredded cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 8 oz ricotta (you can also use cottage cheese)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 12 fluid ounce can or bottle beer (or broth)
- 10-ounce package frozen corn
Seasonings Needed for the Freezer Meals
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Bay leaf (1)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
Ingredients needed when you make the freezer meals
- 1 cup nonfat, low-sodium chicken broth + 14 oz can of chicken broth
- shredded Cheddar cheese (optional garnish after cooking)
- sour cream (optional garnish after cooking)
- crushed tortilla chips (optional garnish after cooking)
- 1 package taco shells
Tools I used to prep the freezer meals
- Gallon and quart size freezer bags
- Aluminum Pan (like this)
- This bag holder is on my wishlist but in the meantime, I used a container (see picture below)
Steps I took to prep the freezer meals
***Note – You can make each recipe one by one. I just like to try and figure out the most efficient way to get it all done.
Label the bags
2. Prep your meat
- Brown Beef; two pounds of the meat gets used for the sloppy joe recipe above, one pound gets made into taco meat, and the fourth pound is used for the Million Dollar Casserole.
- Place three chicken breasts in the Chicken Tortilla Soup freezer bag and three Chicken Taco Soup bag. Cut up four chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and put it in the Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew bag. Slice the remaining chicken breasts for the fajitas. Place in a quart-size freezer bag with the fajita marinade.
3. Prep your veggies
- Peel and dice potatoes then place into Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew bag
- Peel and cut up 2 carrots and place into Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew bag
- Dice up two onions; place one into the Chicken Tortilla Soup freezer bag and one into Chicken Taco Soup bag
- Slice the third onion and three bell peppers for the fajitas; add fajita veggies to a quart-size freezer bag and seal.
4. Finish the fajita bag
- Place the quart bag of chicken and quart bag of veggies into a gallon-sized bag with the tortilla shells.
5. Finish the Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
- Place the whole stewed tomatoes (28oz) and the seasonings (1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon celery seeds, 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cub fresh basil, and 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg) into the gallon freezer bag; push the air out of the bag and seal it up.
6. Next, add everything to the Chicken Tortilla Soup bag
- [can (10 ounce) enchilada sauce, can (4 oz) green chilies, 2 cloves garlic, package (10 oz) frozen corn, can (15 oz) whole peeled tomatoes (mashed),1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro]; push as much air out of the bag as you can and seal the bag
7. Cook the pasta according to the package directions (for the Million Dollar Pasta)
8. Finish Chicken Taco Soup Meal
- While the pasta is cooking, you can add everything to the Chicken Taco Soup bag [can (16 oz) can chili beans, can (15 oz) black beans, can (15 oz) drained whole kernel corn, can (8 oz) tomato sauce, can chicken broth, 2 cans (10 oz) undrained diced tomatoes with green chilies, and package (1.25 ounce) taco seasoning]; push as much air out of the bag as you can and seal the bag
9. Finish the Million Dollar Casserole Meal
- Step 9 consists of prepping your last meal in the round-up. Spray a disposable 9×13 aluminum pan (like this) and add half of the cooked pasta to the pan. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese in a bowl. Add on top of the pasta that is in the 9×13 pan. Add the remaining noodles into the 9×13. Top with slices of butter. Put the group beef on top of the noodles. Then put the whole jar of spaghetti sauce on top of the meat. Seal the 9×13 pan and it’s ready to freeze.
Once you have completed the recipes, just make sure they are sealed up good and put them in the freezer. Here is a final picture of the prepped freezer meals.
Have you done a freezer meal prep? I just got an Instant Pot so my next round I want to do some Instant Pot friendly recipes. I heard it’s a big time saver!