food storage

Easy-To-Freeze Meals For The Holidays

The holiday season is a busy, sometimes stressful time of year for families. When your schedule gets full, cooking can feel like a chore, making the drive-thru so much more appealing. But we all know takeout isn’t the healthiest option for a family meal. So what’s a busy mom to do? Reach into the freezer for a healthy meal that’s ready to heat and eat!

The following recipes are some of FNP’s best freeze ahead meals.

freezer meals in food storage containers

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

To Freeze: Prepare enchiladas according to recipe directions. Place enchiladas into a foil-lined baking dish and top with remaining salsa and cheese. Freeze until firm, then remove from baking dish and place into a  freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Unwrap enchilada dish and place into baking pan. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until enchiladas reach 165°F and are steaming hot.

Easy Lasagna

To Freeze: Prepare meat sauce according to directions. Cool quickly in the refrigerator. Once meat mixture is cooled, pour into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw meat mixture. Reheat in saucepan over medium heat until meat mixture reaches 165°F or is steaming hot. Add cooked pasta, cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese on top. Stir well and heat through, allowing cheese to melt.

Pineapple Chicken

To Freeze: Once chicken is cooled, pour into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw chicken mixture. Reheat in saucepan over medium heat until chicken mixture reaches 165°F or is steaming hot.

Porcupine Meatballs

To Freeze: Once meatballs have cooled, place into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw meatballs. Reheat on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F until center of meatballs reach 165°F, about 15 minutes.

Sloppy Joes with Beans

To Freeze: Once meat mixture is cooled, pour into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw meat mixture. Reheat in saucepan over medium heat until meat mixture reaches 165°F or is steaming hot. Serve on whole wheat buns.

Turkey Chili Con Carne

To Freeze: Once chili is cooled, pour into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw chili. Reheat in saucepan over medium heat until chili reaches 165°F or is steaming hot.

Peanut Butter Balls

(Make a large batch of 36 servings to freeze by increasing the ingredients to 3 cups whole wheat cereal, 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, 1 1/2 cups  honey, and 3 cups nonfat dried milk.)

To Freeze: Place into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw peanut butter balls until slightly softened before serving.

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

To Freeze: Once soup is cooled, pour into a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer.

To Serve: Thaw soup. Reheat in saucepan over medium heat until soup reaches 165°F or is steaming hot.

 Carrot Pineapple Muffins, Oatmeal Raisin Muffins, and Peanut Butter Muffins

To Freeze: Once muffins have cooled, put them in a freezer safe container (sealed plastic bag or airtight container). Label with contents and preparation date and place in freezer. Muffins can be frozen for 6-12 months.

To Thaw: Remove muffins from freezer and leave at room temperature for an hour or place frozen muffins on a metal tray and heat in the oven for 20 minutes at 300°F.

Make ahead meals are a great time saver for busy families. This is a really great resource for freezing many different prepared foods from University of Georgia. Have you ever made freezer meals? What is your advice for beginners?

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