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Friday, March 15, 2013

6 recipes, 22 freezer meals

6 Recipes, 22 Meals... Healthy,Tasty Dinners prepped in advance, frozen and ready for easy cooking perfect for the busiest of evenings or the nights you just don't feel like being in that kitchen!

The following recipes are for a Fajita Chicken Dinner, Teriyaki Chicken Dinner (with an optional recipe for home made teriyaki sauce), Two Meat Spaghetti Sauce, "Divine" Chicken (with an optional recipe for cream of chicken soup), Mexican Restaurant Sweet Pork, and Hubbys Best Hamburger Patties. And, for a nice bonus: incredible homemade salsa- because having a snack around makes food prep so much more enjoyable. 

* The home made teriyki sauce and cream of chicken soup recipes ensure that these meals will be GLUTEN FREE for my family.
Note that what I refer to as a meal is enough food to feed a small family. For example: a family that would all together eat 4 hamburgers for dinner or 3 chicken breasts along with side dishes. If planning to feed a larger group, resist the urge to cram more food into a bag. Instead, thaw and prepare two bags instead of only one for that evening. 

All chicken meals and the hamburger patties are frozen raw thus maintaining optimal nutrients for a frozen dinner only cooked once. The pork and spaghetti sauce are, however, cooked before being frozen, but I don't feel bad about it. Easy and deliciousness are achieved either way!

Freezer meals hardly seem worth it to me if the prep time is outrageous. I've compiled our favorite recipes based on how quickly they come together, and twinked them to our liking. I like to divide the work up into two days. I prepare the chicken meals the first night, this takes no more than an hour, and the pork/ beef freezer meals a second night. The second night takes slightly longer than the first, and the sweet pork needs several hours in the crock pot though the actual hands on prep time is very short. Also, the more I learn to multi task, the quicker everything comes together. Have the pork cooking in the crock pot while getting the spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove, then move on to mixing hamburger... etc. 

Oh, and in case you are wondering: All 22 meals fit in the freezer compartment of a standard size refrigerator/ freezer set. It took some work, but I actually fit the 22 meals in there along with frozen bags of berries and veggies, frozen juices, an ice cube tray, ice packs, frozen sea food... 

Fajita Chicken Dinner (recipe makes three meals)
Adapted from Ring Around the Rosies
 9 Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and raw
 6 8oz cans diced tomatoes with chiles
1 large onion, sliced
3 green bell peppers, sliced
3 red bell peppers, sliced
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder

Split ingredients equally between three large zip lock bags. Seal, mix, lay flat and freeze.

To prepare, remove one bag from the freezer, let thaw almost completely and cook in the crock pot on low 4 to 6 hours. Serve with corn tortillas and sour cream.

Teriyaki Chicken Dinner (recipe makes three meals)
Adapted from Ring Around the Rosies
 9 Chicken breasts, halved; boneless, skinless and raw
 9 Large carrots, peeled and halved
 1 red onion, cut into large chunks
 3 large cans of pineapple, and half of the juice from each can
3 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups teriyaki sauce
3 red bell pepper, sliced
 3 small cans water chestnuts, drained

Split ingredients equally between three large zip lock bags. Seal, mix, lay flat and freeze.

To prepare, remove one bag from the freezer. Let thaw almost completely and cook in the crock pot on low 4 to 6 hours, adding an additional 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce is optional. Serve over rice.

Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce
Combine and heat:
1 cups gluten free, low sodium, soy sauce
4 cups water
2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cups brown sugar
 6 tablespoons honey

Mix and add to above once hot:
1 cup cold water
6 - 8 tablespoon cornstarch

Remove from heat once it has reached desired thickness.
Note: What I don't use in preparing the teriyaki chicken freezer meals, I divide into three sandwich sized zip-lock bags and freeze. I then thaw it out on the day I serve the teriyaki meal so I can have extra sauce for rice.

Two Meat Spaghetti Sauce (Recipe makes 4 meals.)

2 lb Italian Sausage
1 lb Ground Beef
2 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 12 oz can tomato paste
4 6oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder

Prep for freezer: Brown sausage and beef in a large dutch oven on stove. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for about an hour. Allow to cool. Divide equally among 4 gallon size zip lock bags. Lay flat and freeze.

Prep for dinner: Remove from freezer and allow to thaw. Empty bag either into a microwave safe bowl, or a sauace pan and heat accordingly. Serve over pasta.

Divine Chicken (Recipe makes 2 meals.)
Adapted from Ring Around the Rosies
6 Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and raw
1 large bag of frozen broccoli
1 bag baby carrotts

Prep for freezer: Divide ingredients between two gallon sized freezer bags. Lay flat and freeze.

Prep for dinner: Remove a bag from the freezer and thaw. Empty contents into a crock pot and add 1 cup of milk and 1 can cream of chicken soup. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours.

Cream of Chicken Soup
Recipe taken from food.com's cream of anything soup mix

2 C Powdered Milk
3/4 C cornstarch
2 T minced onion
1 t basil
1 t thyme
1/2 t pepper

To prepare: Add 2/3 C of dry mixture to 1 C chicken broth.

Mexican Restaurant Sweet Pork (Recipe makes 4 meals.) 
4 2-3lb boneless pork roasts
4 cups brown sugar
4 cups spicy salsa
If you have a huge crock pot, you can prepare this all at once! I have to divide the recipe in two and cook each half on high about 3 hours. When cooked through, shred the pork and return to the crock pot. Allow to cool in the juices. Divide recipe into four gallon sized zip-lock bags including the juices. Lay flat and freeze.

To prepare for dinner: Thaw. Heat stove top or in the microwave and serve as sweet pork burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos...

Hubbys Best Hamburger Patties (Recipe makes 26 patties; about 6 meals.)
7 pounds of ground beef
7 eggs
3/4 box of rice chex cereal, crushed
Mustard powder, garlic powder, and onion powder used liberally

Combine ingredients well. Shape into approximately 26 hamburger patties. Arrange on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, two layers thick and freeze for about an hour. Cut parchment paper around patties and stack 3 or 4 high. Wrap in plastic wrap and return to freezer.

Prep for dinner: Thaw desired amount of patties. Grill, or prepare as desired.

BONUS!!! Our Favorite Salsa!
Quick and Easy Blender Salsa by Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks
Picture courtesy of mountain mama cooks
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz can original Rotel
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
small to medium sized handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos.

Note: We like to put all ingredients EXCEPT for the diced tomatoes in the blender and stir in the tomatoes once everything else is blended. This just makes for a little chunkier of a salsa. 


  1. I do this with spaghetti sauce,stuffed shells, manicotti, lasagna, and then I do chicken enchiladas and also beef. My kids always joke when I go in a bulk cooking spree. Who is going to die mom? I don't know but when I have a full freezer we seem to give away several casseroles to families that have a death. Kind of creepy, I have 7 Jr. Miss dresses to hem today, I wish you were close to help!

  2. You are awesome :) Thank you for all the recipes!

  3. WOW, this is AMAZING!! Just what I've been looking for for our busy little family! Thanks for linking up over at Showy Sunday! www.leroylime.blogspot.com

  4. That's a great tip! The teriaki chicken dinner sounds so delicious, I'm sure our boys will love it! I'm visiting from Marvelous Mondays,

  5. stopping by from Frugal Foodie Mama! :)

  6. adding a few of these to my own list thanks so much
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  7. Wow, this is so awesome! I just pinned. I love to have freezer meals, and you have some great ones. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent! So thrilled you shared with us! Happy Friday!! I just followed you on bloglovin, too! :)

  8. Great ideas and very useful for us gals who work full time during the week! Thanks so much for sharing on Marvelous Mondays! This was last week's most viewed link. Carrie and I will be featuring it at tomorrow's party.

    Have a great weekend!

    Julie @ This Gal Cooks

  9. Thanks for all of the recipes! Im pinning to save!
    Following you thru "Marvelous Mondays"! =)

  10. Thank you for posting this. These recipes have been the best combination for my family as far as things we would like and that are easy to make. I'm printing this off and going to the store today to get all of this!