30 Simple Freezer Meals

Every other month I prepare close to thirty meals for my freezer. I am a mom to four kids, a wife to a busy pastor, and I need dinner to be thought for and simple.

I am not a culinary wizard. All of these meals are super easy. All these meals are yummy. And my kids will eat most of these meals. My husband is also a happy camper because this way of cooking saves us money. When I have a plan for dinner, we order pizza and eat out less. I also don’t spend extra money of foods we don’t eat. We eat every meal I make over the course of six weeks. If my husband is happy and my kids are eating, I’m a happy mom.

Yesterday I did a facebook live video to show my friends how easy it is to prep these meals, and I was asked to share some of the recipes. Most of these recipes us Wildtree ingredients. Wildtree is a company that sells USDA organic, preservative free sauces and seasonings. I love Wildtree, but I do not sell Wildtree. I have a few friends that do and I’d be happy to point you in their direction.

If you don’t use Wildtree products, don’t let that stop you from making a few freezer meals. Most of these seasonings can be found in the aisles of your local grocery store. I said this in my Facebook Live video yesterday, this is about what do you already have, and what is easy to make. In January I was low on all my favorite Wildtree seasonings and I just worked with what I had in my pantry. In January, I made enough meals to stock my freezer until the end of February.

We buy all our ground beef, steaks, salmon, chicken, and pork at Costco. My husband actually does all the shopping. Realistically he spent $140 on proteins at Costco, $30 on pantry staples, and I just went to a Wildtree party to restock my favorite items, I spent $180. The Wildtree and pantry staples will last me about a year, the $180 Wildtree cost is not an every time Freezer Meal expense. Even if it was, we spent $350 dollars on dinners that will last us six weeks (conservative estimate, sometimes they last eight weeks). According to my math, it will cost us about $55.00 a week to feed my family of six dinner. That sounds pretty good. It costs us $35.00 to eat at Chick-fil-a just one time.

Recipes. I’m going to share them in the order I made them on the Facebook Live video. Here is the link to the facebook video:

 

Pork Freezer Meals:

One package of pork tenderloins from Costco, contains 4 tenderloins, cost ~$20. Eight meals.

 

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches *feeds my family 2 nights

One tenderloin

1/2 cup frozen chopped onions

1/2 cup Asian Zing Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Crock on low from frozen for 6-8 hours. Serve on sandwiches.

 

Mojo Pork Tacos *feeds my family 2 nights

One Tenderloin

1/2 jar of Wildtree Mojo Sauce

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Crock on low from frozen for 6-8 hours. Serve on tortillas, in burrito bowls, with taco topping of your choice.

 

Asian Pork Tenderloin *feeds us two nights, a family favorite

Two tenderloins

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil

2 Tablespoon minced garlic

2 Teaspoon lime juice

2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag, sear defrosted loin in a hot pan, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

 

Ground beef Freezer Meals:

One package of ground beef from Costco, divided into four gallon ziplock bags. ~$20, for seven meals.

 

Not So Sloppy Sliders, feeds my family 2 nights

Ground Beef

1/2 cup chopped frozen onion

1 teaspoon mustard

3T Sloppy Joe Blend (Wildtree, can be and sloppy Joe seasoning)

1 6oz jar of tomato paste (I subbed ketchup)

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Crock on low from frozen for 6-8 hours. Serve on sandwiches or with slider buns.

 

Best Burgers Ever *feeds my family 1 night

Ground Beef

1 Tablespoon Chipotle Lime Rub (Wildtree)

1 Teaspoon Ranch Steak Rub (Wildtree)

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag, then pay ground beef to form burgers. Grill.

 

Hearty Spaghetti Sauce, feeds my family 2 nights

Ground Beef

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 can diced tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Smoked Tomato Mozzarella Blend (Wildtree)

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag. Brown seasoned ground beef in skillet. Add red spaghetti sauce of choice. Toss with pasta.

 

Hearty Meatloaf, feeds my family 2 nights

Ground Beef

1 cup of breadcrumbs

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp garlic galore seasoning (Wildtree)

1/2 cup onion

4 Tablespoon Smoked Tomato Mozzarella Blend

1/2 cup ketchup

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Shape into a loaf pan. Bake in the oven 400 degrees, 40 minutes.

 

Salmon Freezer Meals:

purchased at Costco ~$25. Cut into 10 fillets to feed our family three nights

 

Salmon Scampi

2 Tablespoons Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

2 Tablespoon Wildtree Scampi Blend

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Grill salmon fillets.

 

Chipotle Ranch Salmon

2 Tablespoons Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

2 Tablespoons Wildtree Chipotle Ranch Seasoning

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Grill salmon fillets.

 

Wicked Good Salmon, a family favorite

Salmon Fillets

1/2 cup of Wicked Good Sauce

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Bake Salmon on a lined or greased baking sheet. 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

 

Steak Freezer Meals:

We chose Ribeyes from Costco, we get whatever is a good deal. ~30 for two meals

 

My Favorite Steak Rub

1 Tablespoon Wildtree Garlic Galore

1 Tablespoon Italian Dressing Mix

1 Tablespoon Wildtree Ranch Steak Rub

2-3 Tablespoons Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Grill steaks.

 

My Favorite Marinade

1/2 cup Soy Sauce.

2 TBSP olive oil.

1/2 cup brown sugar.

1/2 tsp Season All {or any type of all-purpose seasoning salt}

1/4 tsp ground ginger.

1/4 tsp black pepper.

1/4 tsp garlic powder.

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Grill steaks.

 

Chicken Freezer Meals:

we chose 24 chicken breasts from Costco, ~50 about 12 meals

 

Sweet Onion Chicken, one meal

3 chicken breasts

1/2 jar of Wildtree Sweet Onion Spread

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Bake in a preheat oven. 350 degrees, 30 minutes.

 

Ranch Chicken Chili, 2 meals, a family favorite

3 chicken breasts

1 bag frozen corn

1 can diced tomatoes

4 Tablespoons Chick Broth

1 bag of Wildtree Creamy Ranch Mix (Or 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Ranch Dip Mix)

1/2 teaspoon of Wildtree Spicy Carne Asada Seasoning

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Can put this bag in frozen, in the crock pot. In the last 30 minutes of slow cooking, stir in one block of room temperature cream cheese cut into cubes.

 

Lemon Dijon Chicken, 1 meal

3 chicken Breasts

1 Tablespoon Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

1 Tablespoon Wildtree European Dipping Oil-Balsamic

1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper

1 Tablespoon Red Bell Pepper and Garlic Seasoning

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Grill Chicken

 

Honey Balsamic Chicken, one meal, a family favorite

3 Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup Wildtree European Dipping Oil, Balsamic

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Bake in a preheat oven. 350 degrees, 30 minutes.

 

Chipotle Pineapple Chicken, one meal

3 Chicken Breasts

1/2 jar of Wildtree Chipotle Pineapple Marinade

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Grill.

 

Chicken Scampi, 2 meals, a family favorite

3 chicken breasts

3 Tablespoons Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

3 Tablespoons Wildtree Scampi Blend

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Bake in a preheat oven. 350 degrees, 30 minutes. Add to pasta and cream sauce.

 

Zesty Lime Fajitas, 2 meals

3 Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup onion

1 teaspoon lime juice

2 Tablespoons Wing Sauce

2 Tablespoons Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil

2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning

1 teaspoon Wildtree Ranch Steak Rub

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Or dump in crock pot from frozen. Defrosted bag can cook for 4 hours on low. Frozen bag, 6-8 hours on low.

 

Chicken Tacos, a family favorite, 2 meals

3 Chicken Breasts

1 cup chicken broth

3 Tablespoons of Taco Seasoning

Add all ingredients to a gallon ziplock, smoosh the ingredients around from outside of the bag. Double bag, label with a sharpie. When it comes time to cook. Defrost bag in fridge. Or dump in crock pot from frozen. Defrosted bag can cook for 4 hours on low. Frozen bag, 6-8 hours on low.

Happy Freezer Meal Making! 

Kroger Online Ordering

There are so many reasons why I am thankful to be a mother in 2015. TiVo is probably the first, not churning my own butter second and the crock pot and the wrinkle free setting on the dryer are tied up for third.

Kroger is now stepping up their online ordering and I have to say, the ability to order my groceries online and pick them up at the store the next day may be better than TiVo.

Yesterday I logged onto Kroger’s Online Ordering website using only my email, a password and my  Kroger Plus Card Number. The website already had all my purchases from the last four months stored from the times I’ve used my Plus Card and all I had to do was go through and check off what I needed.

I then selected a store near me to pick up my groceries. You pick a store and a time. Then you get an email saying Kroger received your order and you get another email when your groceries are ready for pick up.

I was so excited to load up my four kids and PICK UP MY GROCERIES. I was even more excited because it was pouring rain and I didn’t have to run four kids into a grocery store.

We pulled in near the pharmacy window to a clearly marked door. kroger online ordering

I pulled into a clearly marked space.

kroger online ordering

I pushed a clearly marked button and told the online ordering angels my name. kroger online ordering

My kids were so happy and they could not believe what was happening. kroger online ordering

An online ordering angel pulled my groceries out to my car and I paid him from my front seat. You can also give him your coupons if you have them.

kroger online ordering

The angel then loaded my car.

kroger online ordering

And we were on our way home in less than ten minutes. kroger online ordering

The kids gave Kroger Online Ordering TWO THUMBS UP! kroger online ordering

And I was leaping for joy.

You have to try this.

The first three visits are free and then the fee for online ordering is $4.95.

Find participating stores below.

Liberty Twp 7300 Yankee Rd Liberty Township, OH 45044

Lebanon 1425 Columbus Ave Lebanon, OH 45036

Springfield Twp. 8421 Winton Rd Cincinnati, OH 45231  

Easy Freezer Meals

The name of my cooking game is efficiency. I cook for efficiency only.

If your looking for Martha Stewart caliber dinners or dinners that would impress your all-natural-eating-yogi neighbor, you will not find that here.

If you are looking for simple efficient ways to feed your family then welcome to my blog and I am excited to share my time and money saving ways of prepping and freezing dinners with you.

**A note about me: I am a stay at home mom with four kids, three boys ages 5, almost 4 and 2, and a 7 month old daughter. My kids are all little so my dinners may stretch a little farther than yours because my young children eat like they have like tummies. And my sweet husband… I never put anything in front of him that he does not in return tell me, “this is the best dinner I’ve ever had, thank you for making dinner.” He is very gracious husband.

I cook for mostly children so almost everything on here is kid tested and approved.

In this post you will find two different sets of recipes. A starter freezer meal recipe list and the mother-load of recipes.

The starter list contains mostly crock pot recipes with simple ingredients to just get your feet wet in the world of freezer meal cooking. I even have included a list of ingredients at the end of this post.

The mother-load recipe list is if you are a go getter, sleeves rolled up and game face on ready to bust out an entire day of productivity. You will be tired but at the end you will be thrilled with all you accomplished in one day!

I prefer to shop one day and cook the next so I am only focused on one thing at a time. I do not feel any shame in putting a movie on for my kids or sending them out with their dad so I can get my cooking done. I also sacrifice my beloved nap on cooking day. Like I said: game face.

You will need: 

Plenty of Ziplock Freezer Bags (I double bag everything)

Sharpie 

Aluminum Foil Pans (I’ve heard from a friend you can buy these in bulk at Sam’s Club)

Saran Wrap or Wax Paper

Aluminum Foil

Cutting Board and good knives

Empty Dishwasher (I like to clean as I go)

Empty trash can (I don’t have time to waste taking out the garbage)

Apron (Check out ckstitches on etsy for cute handmade aprons from a friend.)

For Freezer Space:

I don’t keep much in my freezer except my dinners, Eggos (my middle two sons love Eggos), Chicken Nuggets, Popsicles, Uncrustables and steam fresh vegetables.

I have a freezer that is a pull out freezer underneath my fridge. I ditch all the bulky packaging of the Eggos, Popsicles, Uncrustables and those are all loose or in ziplocks in the top two drawers of my freezer. This leaves the two deeper bottom cavities of the freezer strictly for meals. You can also stagger when you buy your freezer junk. If you know your cooking at the beginning of the month maybe wait until mid month to restock your chicken nuggets and corn dogs when you’ve depleted your dinner stash a little.

Also, do not forget to press all the air out of your ziplock bags.

For Planning:

I have a dry erase monthly calendar on my refrigerator where I plan out all our meals. I have also found it helpful to plan in iCalendar on my iPhone or iMac. Then your planning is saved electronically.

image

For weekly planning I have an old picture frame on my counter which I have put cheery scrapbook paper inside and scrapbooking sticker letters. I write out what we are eating weekly in dry erase marker on the glass.

image

I pull meals from the freezer two-three at a time the day before I need the first one and keep them in the fridge.

For Fun:

I like productive cooking with a friend. Someone needs to pack up their stuff in a cooler and someone needs to share their kitchen but it is fun being productive and kicking mom life butt when you’re doing it with someone else.

Please share your pictures with me of your freezer meal cooking productivity on Instagram @rachelann314 . We can all kick mom life butt together and celebrate all productivity.

Cheers to cooking for efficiency. Recipes found in the links below. 

The Starter Recipes

Starter Recipes Grocery List

The Mother-Load

Shopping List For Starter Freezer Meals

Proteins

12 Chicken Breasts (one large package of chicken breasts from Costco)
A package of pork tenderloin (costco)
5 lbs of hamburger
1 package of flank steaks

***i will cook 4 of the chicken breasts and 1 pound of the hamburger the night before

Other

  • Gallon Ziplock Freezer Bags (enough to double bag)
  • 4 large onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Breadcrumbs ***
  • 2Eggs
  • Minced Garlic
  • Large Container Chicken Broth
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • Orange juice
  • Sugar ***
  • Brown sugar ***
  • Cloves ***
  • Pepper ***
  • Chunky applesauce
  • BBQ sauce ***
  • Chili powder ***
  • Taco seasoning ***
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans beef consumme
  • Frozen tortellini
  • Frozen green beans
  • Cumin ***
  • Frozen Corn
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can chopped green chile peppers
  • Bay leaf ***
  • Cilantro
  • Ranch Dressing Mix (2)
  • Italian dressing mix (3)
  • Olive Oil***
  • Medium Red and Green Bell Pepper
  • Dijon Mustard***
  • Red Wine Vinegar***

***these things you may already have

The Mother-Load of Freezer Recipes

Freezer Meal Recipes- via WildTree Comfort Foods

Chipotle Lime Fajitas (2 dinners)

2 pounds chicken or steak, cut into strips
2 cups bell peppers (approx. 2-3 peppers), cut into slices
1 white onion, cut into slices
4 Tbsp Roasted Garlic GSO
2 Tbsp Fajita seasonings (Optional)
2 Tbsp Chipotle Lime Blend (3 Tbsp if not using Fajita Seasoning)

Italian “Medallions” (2 dinners- I toss this chicken with pasta and a white wine reduction sauce)

2 pounds chicken tenders
2-3 tsp Italian salad dressing blend
3 Tbsp Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil (or 4 Tbsp if not using lemon or basil pesto oil)
1 Tbsp Zesty Lemon OR Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil (OR one more Tbsp Roasted Garlic Grapeseed oil)

Honey Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks (1 dinner)

10-12 Chicken drumsticks (or 6 chicken breasts) (I de-skin my drumsticks)
½ cup European Dipping Oil- Mediterranean Balsamic
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce

Crockpot Chipotle Lime Chicken (2 dinners)

1 cup onion, sliced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken thighs (or other chicken)
2-4 Tbsp Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub
1/4 cup lime juice (juice of 2 limes)
1-15 ounce can tomato sauce

Adobo Chicken (1 dinner)

1 Tbsp Wildtree Adobo Seasoning Blend
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil
2 pounds mixed chicken pieces (breasts, thighs and legs)

Mozzarella and Tomato Chicken Pasta (2 dinners)

1 ½ – 2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed
4 tsp Wildtree Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Blend
3 Tbsp Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil (or your choice of GS oil)
1 tsp Rancher Steak Rub (or more to taste)


Freezer Mac and Cheese (2 dinners but I do two of these making 4 dinners)

via rachaelray.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta, or any shape you like
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups NY aged sharp cheddar (12 ounces), grated
Serves 4-6

PREPARATION

Pre-heat broiler to high or oven to 400°F.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta, and cook just shy of al dente, according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium-size skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in the milk, season with salt and ground black pepper, and bring up to a bubble. Turn the burner off and stir in the cheese in a figure-eight motion until it’s all melted.

When the pasta is done, drain it well and combine with sauce. Pour into baking dish and place under the broiler in or the oven to brown the cheese and enjoy.

Leftover idea!

Make a double batch, pour the pasta into a baking dish and stir in your favorite mix in. Let it stand on the counter until cooled, then wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, it can go straight from the freezer into in a 400ºF oven. Cook for 1 hour, covered with foil, the take the foil off and bake for another 15-20 minutes to brown the top.

Baked Ziti (I double this making 4 meals)

via thepioneerwoman.com

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 pound Ground Beef
1 can (28 Oz. Size) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Salt And Pepper, to taste
16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
1 tub (15 Oz. Size) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 whole Egg
Fresh Minced Parsley
Preparation Instructions
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.
Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Ranch Salmon for the Grill (2 dinners)


I buy one large salmon fillet from Costco and cut it into two pieces.

I season both sides with a ranch packet, olive oil and 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing. 

Thaw and grill