Food Ideas on cooking ahead and freezing

tikilove81

Member
Oct 26, 2006
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Tampa Bay!
I am going to try to make some make ahead meals to freeze so that when the baby arrives I will have things prepared. Has anyone done this? My question is do I cook it and freeze it or just prepare it and cook it when I need it?

Also I am looking for some easy receipes to make ahead! Thanks in advance!
 

hamstahon

Loooves her babies!
O.G.
Jun 13, 2007
1,034
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CT
Whether you cook it first or not depends on what you're making. But, I would say in most cases, cook then freeze. I do pot pies and lasagna this way. Do a search on RealSimple.com as well...I would pull up the link, but I'm on my BB. They had an article maybe a year ago on prep and freeze meals. I also love using my slow cooker to do stews and chicken. Just throw all the ingredients into the dish and press a button...a few hours later you have yummy dinner :smile:
 

bagaholic85

Member
Sep 14, 2007
6,481
4
i <3 ny
im not a big casserole/cheese person, so baking full meals dont work for me. i do however, make big batches of soup and freeze them. the other thing that freezes well is tomato sauce (you can even throw in meatballs or sausage), then you can just boil some water and throw in pasta for a quick dinner. pesto works well too! ive read but havent tried yet that people freeze them in ice cube trays so you can just pop em in with hot pasta and it melts in with the heat
 

claireZk

Member
Jun 18, 2007
11,892
3
Meatballs, meatloaf and any sort of breaded chicken can be made up and frozen raw. You can make pasta dishes like ziti, stuffed shells and lasagna and freeze it uncooked, too.

Also, you can make up marinades and put the raw meat in, then freeze it in ziploc bags. When you want to cook it, just thaw the bag in the fridge for like 1-2 days before cooking and it will marinate as it thaws. This works well for chicken, pork or beef.

The other really yummy thing that can be made and frozen ahead of time is baked/overnight french toast (I freeze that raw too). I do breakfast for dinner sometimes and serve it with bacon or sausage and fruit salad. This is very similar to the recipe I use (it's a treat... it's not low cal! :P) http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Make-Ahead-French-Toast/Detail.aspx
 

elizat

Member
Sep 21, 2007
9,779
5
^ I was going to suggest pasta dishes, meatloaf, meat balls, too. If you like BBQ, you can do pulled pork in the crockpot and that freezes really well. Casseroles of most kinds freeze well too. I'd look at Allrecipes, Taste of Home or other kind of family friendly sites for casserole recipes.

(We are neighbors too, BTW!)
 

Cornflower Blue

Member
O.G.
Feb 27, 2008
5,773
69
My mother is Queen at this sort of thing! I try but no way am I as good as her! Casseroles, soup, stock, zip-locked bags portions of steaks, chicken breasts in sauce. It's so economical and tasty if you plan in advance:yes: - I've got a lot of catching up to do:nuts:!
 

Kitsunegrl

Fill the Giant Pig!
O.G.
Nov 7, 2006
13,315
87
Cajun Country
Here's a tip I learned for freezing soups. Save a couple of cereal boxes and when you make up a big batch of soup you can line a box with the freezer bag, put in the soup and freeze. Remove the box and you have stackable bags of soup!
You can use the little boxes for individual servings of soup and the regular sizes for family servings. It really does save quite a bit of space in the freezer and frees up your tupperware.
 

PsychoBagLady

Bag & Scarf Crazy
O.G.
Jun 2, 2007
666
58
USA
I make my own "Lean Cuisines" by freezing individual meals in entree size containers. It's a great time-saver.
 

disney16

Sofa King Delicious
O.G.
May 26, 2006
2,821
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Planet Coach
I freeze a lot too since there are only two of us in my household. I freeze everything from spaghetti to bread. I have a deep freeze full of things that I have prepared and then separate and froze into seperate meals. I am a big Baskin Robbins fan and when I buy the freshly hand packed quart of ice cream I keep those containers to freeze food. The way I see if they were made to keep ice cream frozen so I should be able to use it for other things too.
 

bipolarbear

Member
Jun 10, 2009
735
0
Check out your library or bookstore for the Dream Dinners cookbook. It's all about preparing items in batches (usually in triplicate to decrease work/cost) ahead and freezing them. It's got recipes specifically designed to freeze well and lots of tips for freezing efficiency.

Congratulations on your upcoming arrival!!
 

Green Zebra

love to nap
Oct 17, 2008
1,768
1
Second City
I bake meatloaf...cool it...slice it...and then package it in individual servings for two (for DH and I) in Food Saver bags and freeze it. Defrost in cold water in your sink....only takes about 30 minutes. Then microwave or brown in a skillet.

Make chili and freeze...it's great on it's own, or on chili dogs or pasta

Meatballs as others have suggested...great for spaghetti and meatballs (use jar sauce)....or meatball sandwiches

Baked ziti with sauteed onions, red and green peppers, hamburger, and jar spaghetti sauce. Freeze...top with mozzarella and bake.

DH and I have made several chicken or turkey breasts at one time on the rotisserie on our grill....we package each 1/2 breast in a Food Saver bag and freeze. You can also bake them first if you wish...or use whole chickens if you wish. Defrost...and you can make tons of things with it! Chicken salad sandwiches....chicken enchiladas...chicken noodle casserole...etc.

We buy fresh ground beef and pre-make hamburgers and freeze them...just defrost and grill!