Freezer cooking or make ahead sessions is something I enjoy doing. I started making meals this way a little over a year ago. I find that spending as little as an hour a week, I can accomplish quite a bit. It’s motivating to set the time for an hour or two and see how much I can get done. Sometimes I don’t get everything done on my list before my little guy wakes up from his nap, but the majority is done and I’m always trilled to have a stocked freezer. I like to clean as I go, using only 2 to 3 bowls at a time to minimize the amount of cleaning afterward.
Last week, I had a few things I wanted to make and this is how it went. Friday, I spent five minutes writing out the list of recipes I wanted to do. I picked recipes that required little prep time and required very few ingredients. Next, I set up a little work station of my cookbooks, baking supplies and set the timer to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
I forgot to take a picture of this step so this is an older picture but the first thing I started out with was making seasoned ground beef and hamburgers. In the 20 minutes that the ground beef was cooking I was able to prepare a batch of artisan bread, cornbread and pumpkin muffins.
I tried a new recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients. I made our first loaf last night and we really enjoyed it. The master recipe worked very well for making garlic cheese bread. Yum!
After the ground beef was done cooking, I placed the cornbread into the oven. While the cornbread was baking, I made up a double batch of bean and cheese burritos and boiled water for pasta. Once the pasta was al dente, I made three freezer pasta dishes using the lasagna cup recipe. I stored the pasta dishes in freezer safe containers.
Finally, the cornbread was done after 20 minutes and it was time to put the first 12 muffins into the oven. While they cooked for 14 minutes, I did a quick clean up of the kitchen and started packaging all the food into freezer bags.
Finally, after 1 hour and 30 minutes it was all done! I was able to accomplish: 1 batch of artisan bread, 24 muffins, 12 burritos, 6 oatmeal casserole mix, 4 packages of ground beef, hamburgers, 3 pasta dishes, 1 pan of cornbread, and marinade for chicken. I was also able to re-organized my freezer to accommodate all the food I prepared, just in time for my Little Buddy to wake up and join me for an afternoon snack of pumpkin muffins!
Freezer cooking and make ahead meals is one way I’m able to make quick dinners throughout the week, have instant lunches and sweet treats always available. With a little bit of prep and a designated time to freezer cook, you too could have yummy items waiting in your freezer. If you haven’t tried freezer cooking yet, I encourage you to try it with just 2 to 3 recipes and evaluate if its something you could do often.
Do you do any freezer cooking or make ahead meals? What are your favorite recipes you like to make? Do you have any tips for making freezer cooking a simple process? I would love to hear all about it in the comments!