I’ve done a lot of small batch freezer cooking, where I just double a recipe and put the extra in the freezer for another meal. I really wanted to try a few “power hours” of freezer cooking and get several meals in the freezer at once. I invited my sister to join me and she was happy to share the experience with me. It was a definite success – in two hours we were able to make enough for eight supper meals and at least four breakfasts (I’ll share the recipes at the end of the post). Based on our experience, here’s what we learned!
#1 Use Simple Recipes
We chose recipes that didn’t really require a recipe and that we’d made before. The recipes involved little prep and few ingredients, making the shopping and the cooking much simpler.
#2 Choose Recipes With Overlapping Ingredients
We used ground beef, pasta sauce and shredded cheese in several different recipes. It was easy to cook all the ground beef at once and then divide it for the different entrees.
#3 Don’t Try To Do Too Much
We originally had two additional recipes on our list, but cut them out before we began to keep things simple. We were really happy with what we accomplished in just two hours.
#4 Think Through Each Recipe and Discuss With The Other Cooks
I listed out each recipe and all the ingredients, that way we could both reference it as we were cooking. We chose recipes that both our families enjoyed and made sure the ingredients and portions were suitable to everyone’s tastes.
#5 Clean As You Go
We kept the sink full of soapy water and washed the prep dishes when we had down time. It was a big help to finish our last recipe and not have a mountain of dirty dishes to wash!
Here are the recipes we used:
- Chicken Enchiladas – we layered the meat/cheese/tortillas instead of rolling them – it was faster!
- Baked Pasta – just penne pasta, ground beef, pasta sauce, italian seasoning and mozzarella cheese
- Italian Beef Cups – this recipe, using pasta sauce instead of BBQ sauce and ground beef instead of ground turkey
- Mini Omelettes – we mixed ham, spinach, peppers, onions and feta cheese with the eggs. Make sure you let them completely defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
There’s also a video of our freezer cooking session, if you’re interested! The first part of the video is me talking through what you just read, so skip to about the 4:00 mark if you want to get right into the cooking footage. 🙂
Have you done large batch freezer cooking? I would love to hear your tips!