recipes: freezer meals

Getting ready for baby and knowing I won’t want to cook after he’s born, I posted this picture on Facebook of the freezer meals I made, and had several requests for the recipes that I used.  So, here they are!

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Homemade Lasagna (makes one huge family size pan or several small ones)
Meat layer: (mix all)
2 lbs ground beef (browned)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T. parsley
1 T. Basil
Salt
16oz. diced tomatoes
12oz. tomato paste

Cheese layer: (mix all)
24oz. cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
2 T. parsley
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

1 pkg. lasagna noodles, pre-cooked
1 pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

Layer ingredients, starting with meat layer on bottom.  Add a layer of noodles, then cheese layer, then mozzarella, then end with another meat layer. (double the layers if you have a deep pan or like more noodles in yours)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze.  To bake after freezing, thaw first (at least half a day), then bake.

cresentCrescent Chicken (great fresh, or make chicken mixture and freeze)
This is one of my favorite recipes from my mom.  It’s similar to this recipe; the photo is from her blog and shows how to pinch the rolls together.

3oz. softened cream cheese
3 T. butter
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
2 T. milk
1 T. chopped onion
salt & pepper
1 can crescent rolls

Blend cream cheese and 2 T. butter, add chicken, milk, salt, pepper and onion.  Spread 2 crescent rolls into a square, fill with chicken mixture and pinch rolls over to close.  (makes 4 pouches with 1 can of rolls) Spread with melted butter.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  If you want to freeze it, just make the chicken mixture ahead of time and freeze in a ziploc.  Thaw and put chicken mix in rolls when you’re ready to bake. (You could probably assemble the whole thing, with rolls, and freeze that way too – I’ve just never tried it!)

Chicken Stroganoff
6 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
16oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. onion soup mix (dry)
1 pkg spaghetti noodles, cooked

Mix all but noodles together.  Put cooked noodles in the bottom of a large baking pan (13×9 or large aluminum pan). Spread chicken mixture on top.  Cover with plastic wrap and foil; freeze.  To bake, thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 30-60 minutes.  Top with grated cheddar if desired.  This also works as a Crockpot meal, just put all ingredients (except noodles) in a crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. (do not cook chicken beforehand)  Serve with noodles.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie (adapted from Kraft for freezer type meal)
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup Italian dressing
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2c. chicken broth
1 pkg. (10-12oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 refrigerated pie crust

Mix all ingredients (except crust) together.  Pour into 8-9″ round pan.  Place crust on top.  Freeze!  Store-bought pie crusts usually come in a box with 2 crusts, so I usually double this recipe and make two pies.

Chili (for chili dogs in summertime)
1 large can Hormel chili (no beans)
1 can chili beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 lb. ground beef, browned

Mix all.  Put in ziploc and freeze!  Thaw and heat to serve over hot dogs.

1f9b63ca-58df-4c83-9fbb-35de773ae933Mini-Cheeseburgers
I also made these and baked in foil cupcake papers, then froze in ziplocs in portions that we would need for one night with our family. I used the recipe on the Bisquick box for their mini-cheeseburgers and adapted to what our kids like.  It’s basically a regular mix with Bisquick, milk and eggs, and you put hamburger meat and cheese in it.  See the box for recipe or see the link here! (photo credit to Betty Crocker)

For other freezer meals, I like to brown ground beef and freeze in ziplocs by 1-pound or 2-pound portions.  Same with shredded chicken or pork.  I love to make a HUGE crockpot of plain chicken and shred it all, then freeze in portions. Great for adding spices later: taco, bbq, throw in a stir-fry skillet, use chicken in a skillet with pasta/tomatoes/spinach and feta for an italian dish, etc.  Having the meat already made saves you that extra 30 minutes!

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