SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Friday, August 31, 2012

Fill Your Freezer with My Ten Favorite Frozen Meals | Family Economics

By Erin

            

Spicy Southern Chili in Bread Bowls

The end of summer means leaving our leisurely summer days behind and shifting to our busy school schedules. Getting ahead in the kitchen by creating meals and then freezing them is a quick, easy and mess-free way of making a dinner that leaves me feeling less frazzled come dinnertime.

Below are my ten favorite go-to meals that freeze, thaw and reheat well and are sure to please the crowd at your house! I’ve included 2 of my favorite “slow cooker freezer meals” in this list as well.

My Ten Favorite Freezer Meals

1.    Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas: Freeze these with cooked shredded chicken before baking. Just sprinkle the cheese on top, cover with foil and freeze.

2.    Italian Stuffed Shells: This is one of those “triple up” meals. They take a little time to assemble, so while you’re at it, you might as well make three meals worth or more if you’re feeling ambitious.

3.    Chicken Taco Bake: Freeze chicken mixture, reheat and serve over chips with cheese melted on top.

4.    Spicy Southern Chili in Bread Bowls: Freeze just the chili portion and serve in a bowl or with a bread bowl if you have time to make them.

5.    Tortellini Casserole: Dump the ingredients in a Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags with the Smart Zip® Seal and thaw when you’re ready to use. Do not freeze with the sauce. Make it as you are reheating the other ingredients, pour over the top and reheat all together.

6.    Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan: Save time, money and calories with this lightened up Italian favorite.

7.    No Boil Freezer Manicotti: Italian doesn’t get tastier or easier than this manicotti.

8.    Baked Oatmeal: A great breakfast for dinner. Be sure to bake before freezing. If you want a quick breakfast on the go, cut the baked oatmeal into squares and freeze individually.

9.    Slow Cooker Mango Chicken with Zucchini: Freezes beautifully. Thaw partially before loading into the slow cooker.

10.    Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry: Freezes and thaws well, This is sure to be your next family favorite!

As mentioned above, I like to use Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags with the Smart Zip® Seal to keep these dishes fresh and ready for my family.

Do you cook and freeze meals or have any questions about freezer cooking?

5 Comments so far

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On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Katie from FL wrote

Those Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas are SO good. I've already had two people ask for the recipe! Thanks!

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, Jo from MI wrote

If you zip the bag 3/4ths closed then put in a big bowl of water-keeping only the top corner of the zipper that is not zipped yet out of the water-squeeze the bag slightly and zip the rest of zipper closed-all the air is out fast

On Thursday, September 6, 2012, MaryBeth from NJ wrote

When I tried to print the receipes listed above, my computer gave a "broken link" message. Is there anywhere else I can find these meals?

Editor's Note: Hi MaryBeth. We've looked into this and the links seem to be working now - hopefully it was just a temporary glitch. We hope you'll try again to get the recipes - they all look delicious!

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012, Michelle from CA wrote

Julie - Make sure you get all the excess air out of the bag. We usually roll the bag up and they zip it closed squeezing all the air out. Or you can smush it down and lay it flat. Just gotta make sure that it's as air tight as possible.

On Monday, September 3, 2012, Julie from Raytown wrote

when I freeze cooked chicken then try to use it ... it takes a bit off. Not spoilt but just not right. I put it in a ziplock bag. what am I doing wrong??

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