I shared a couple posts on my social media last week, which sparked a lot of interest in make ahead freezer meals, as well as tips on freezing single ingredients to have on hand. If you know me, you know that I looooove freezing leftovers, as well as single ingredients to add to recipes, because it makes things SO easy!
Whether you've got a crazy week, are planning meals in advance, or you just love having food already prepared for whenever you need it, freezing full meals, leftovers & other ingredients can be a total lifesaver!
I tend to (meaning always) make a double batch of whatever I'm cooking, not only to have leftovers throughout the week, but also so that I can store some of the extra food in the freezer for quick meals later on!
Enjoy this post for my Make Ahead Freezer Meals & Tips!
A FEW HELPFUL FREEZER TIPS:
- Be sure to label anything that you freeze with the date as well as exactly what it is, that way you know exactly when you placed the item in the freezer.
- When it comes to casseroles, you can either freeze the entire casserole, or cut it into slices and freeze the slices individually. I've included instructions below for freezing the entire casserole. To freeze individual slices, wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap, and then wrap it once more in aluminum foil.
- If you're following a particular recipe, it can also be helpful to write the reheating/baking instructions on the wrapping (aluminum foil, zip top bag, etc) of whatever it is that you're freezing.
HERE'S A FEW INGREDIENTS THAT I LOVE TO KEEP IN THE FREEZER:
Whenever I have a bunch of lemons that I know I won't use before they go bad, I slice them and freeze them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, so that they're close together, but not touching. Once they're frozen, I simply store them in a zip top bag in the freezer, for up to 6 months. You could also easily juice the lemons and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray.
TURMERIC, GINGER & BONE BROTH
I do the same thing with fresh turmeric and ginger as I do with the lemons, only grating it instead of slicing it (although slicing would work great as well). I use the frozen lemon, turmeric & ginger in hot water (also cold water for the lemon), bone broth, soups, smoothies, and other recipes. It makes it so easy to always have these on hand!
Bone broth is also a staple in my freezer. Whenever I make a batch, I store some of it in the freezer by pouring it into a silicone tray (placed on top of a baking sheet so that the tray is stable). I freeze the broth in the silicone tray, then remove each of the broth "pucks" and store them in a zip top bag, or a glass container.
MAKE AHEAD FREEZER MEALS FROM MY WEBSITE:
BREAKFAST CASSEROLES & FRITTATAS
TO FREEZE BREAKFAST CASSEROLES/FRITTATAS:
Prepare and bake the casserole as directed in the recipe, making sure that the eggs are completely set, and then let it cool. Once cooled, wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap, and then a layer of aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
TO REHEAT BREAKFAST CASSEROLESFRITTATAS:
Let the casserole defrost in your refrigerator 24 hours before you plan to serve it. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the casserole until warmed through – approximately 20-25 minutes for the entire dish, or 6-8 minutes for one slice.
TO FREEZE PANCAKES:
Prepare and cook the pancakes according to the directions found on the recipe, and then let them cool. Place a piece of parchment paper between each pancake, so that they aren't touching and won't freeze together. Store the pancakes in the freezer in a zip top bag or sealed container.
TO REHEAT PANCAKES:
To reheat, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the frozen pancake(s) in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil (this is to prevent them from drying out) and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the pancakes are warm and soft.
Layered Taco Casserole (leave off the guacamole and any other toppings that you're using until right before serving)
TO FREEZE CASSEROLES:
Prepare and bake the casserole as directed in the recipe, and then let it cool. Once cooled, wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap, and then a layer of aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
TO REHEAT CASSEROLES:
Let the casserole defrost in the refrigerator 24 hours before you plan to serve it. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the casserole until warmed through – approximately 20-25 minutes for the entire dish, or 6-8 minutes for one slice.
TO FREEZE SLOW COOKER MEALS:
Place all of the uncooked slow cooker ingredients into a sealed zip top bag. Seal and freeze.
TO COOK THE SLOW COOKER MEALS:
Let the bag defrost in your refrigerator 24 hours before you plan to cook the meal. Pour the defrosted ingredients into the slow cooker and cook according to the recipe directions.
TO FREEZE MEATBALLS:
Cook the meatballs according to the recipe directions. Let the meatballs cool and then place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, so that they're close but not touching each other. Freeze the meatballs on the tray until completely frozen, approximately 2-3 hours. Place the frozen meatballs into a zip top bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
TO REHEAT MEATBALLS:
Let the meatballs defrost in your refrigerator for 24 hours before you're ready to cook them. You can easily reheat the meatballs on the stovetop or you can warm them in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until warmed through.
Chicken Zoodle Soup (leave the zoodles out until your reheat this soup, as zucchini does not freeze well)
Chicken Pot Pie Soup (an exclusive Invincible Inspiration Members recipe)
Chicken Enchilada Soup (an exclusive Invincible Inspiration Members recipe)
TO FREEZE SOUPS:
Prepare and cook the soups according to the recipe directions. Let the soup cool and then place into a container or zip top bag to freeze. I also love pouring the soup into a silicone tray so that I have individual portions to reheat whenever I'd like. Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
TO REHEAT SOUPS:
Place the soup into your slow cooker for 2-3 hours on high, or a pot on the stove, until hot.
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