For once, our freezer is stocked. I still feel like it’s not enough, but I have no room for anymore stuff, so I guess it will have to do! I’ve been making a few extra meals each week for the last few weeks to stock up on meals for when the baby comes. I’ve learned that anytime I make a casserole, to just make two of them and freeze the other one. It really doesn’t take anymore time and saves me from cooking a meal on another day. It’s so handy that I will continue to do it from now on to have an easy meal for busy nights or nights that we just don’t feel like cooking. I thought I’d leave a few of my favorite make-ahead meal recipes here for anyone who wants them!
Confession: I don’t love ground beef. I never have. BUT we raise cattle and my husband loves beef, so we end up eating it more than I would like. My trick to eating it, is to change it up…often. Casseroles allow me to do that. This sloppy joe tater tot casserole is a crowd pleaser. I like that you can easily adjust it to make a little or a lot and it freezes really well. It’s also really easy to add veggies to, like corn or peppers.
We call this Bierock Casserole here in Kansas. I didn’t know what Bierocks were until I met my husband. If you’ve never had one, try one! They are hearty and filling and delicious. Bierocks are usually a mix of beef, cabbage, onions, and seasoning baked inside of a roll. They are great to freeze and pull out for lunches on the go, but they can be somewhat time consuming. What I love about this casserole version is that it’s soooo much easier. You still get all the yummy flavor of a Bierock without having to stuff individual rolls.
Who doesn’t love dinner in pie form? Crazy people, that’s who. I love chicken pot pie. It’s so easy to customize with your favorite seasonings and veggies. Sometimes I make pie crust from scratch and sometimes I don’t. Just depends on my mood and how much time I have. Sometimes we do a savory beef version to change things up, but I’m pretty partial to the chicken version.
This is my favorite. I could eat egglplant parm every day. Throw in a basket of bread sticks and I’m a happy gal. Luckily my husband likes it too. You could make it with meat sauce if you wanted to, but I like this as a meatless meal for a change.
5. Shredded Chicken
I love having shredded chicken ready to go. I don’t have a recipe really, but I usually just throw about 4-5 chicken breasts (I use frozen most of the time) in our crockpot and add salt, pepper, and garlic and let it cook all day on low. Then I just shred it with two forks and put it in a freezer bag. I use it on salads, paninis, soups, casseroles, pizza, etc. I also like to make a batch with red, yellow and green peppers and some fajita or taco seasoning for a quick meal of burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, or tacos.
I also love to freeze lasagna, enchiladas, chili, marinated chicken and breakfast sandwiches and burritos. I love to cook, but man is it nice to have some things all ready to go on busy night!
What are your favorite make-ahead meals? Or quick meals for busy nights?