Using freezer-friendly recipes to cook in batches can be a quick and healthy alternative to eating out or using prepared frozen foods. Many people focus on casseroles or soups as freezer-friendly recipes, but there also are many others, such as dishes made with beef, chicken or fish. These dishes contain ingredients that freeze well, such as meat, poultry, fish, rice and beans. When preparing freezer-friendly recipes, one should stay away from dishes that use dairy products, such as sour cream or cream, because they will break down during freezing.
Casseroles are a favorite of many families because they freeze well, feed many and can make use of inexpensive ingredients. Different proteins might be used as a base for freezer-friendly casserole recipes, such as beans, beef, chicken or fish. Another big draw is that it is possible to load a casserole with a complete and nutritious meal, complete with proteins, good carbohydrates, vegetables and wholesome grains. Casseroles might be prepared in a disposable foil container and wrapped in freezer paper or a freezer-safe bag and then frozen for several months. They also might be divided into smaller portions and frozen for one-person meals or lunch servings.
Soups and stews are two more great options for freezer-friendly recipes. They generally are filling and, like casseroles, have the ability to make use of inexpensive ingredients and feed a crowd. After they have been prepared, soups and stews can be poured into freezer bags and frozen for several months. They might be paired with a sandwich or cornbread for a hearty lunch or dinner. Chili also falls into this category, and it is easily frozen for future consumption.
When many people think about preparing freezer-friendly recipes, they often focus on complete meals. This is a very good way to make use of ingredients and reduce preparation time, but it also is possible to freeze components of a meal. Ground beef, chicken and rice can be cooked and placed in freezer containers to be used in the future. Cooked ground beef can be used for tacos or sloppy joes, chicken can be used for pizza or tacos, and rice can be as a side dish or for a one-pot meal.
It is important to use proper containers to prevent freezer burn and spoilage when storing freezer-friendly recipes. Plastic containers, disposable aluminum foil pans, freezer paper and freezer bags are all great for storing food in the freezer. It also is important to mark the date of each meal so that the amount of time it has been frozen can be calculated easily.