March Freezer Meal Madness

Looking for some FREE freezer cooking plans? Here they are:

I’ve been working on my March Freezer Cooking plan. I think I found a workable model. But, only time will tell. A few months ago my regular approach was to prepare many casseroles and store them for later. Last month, I tried preparing many “meal components.” This month I’m combining the two methods and doing both.

Beef Dishes
ground beef taco kits
meatballs and red sauce
marinated tri-tip
marinated top sirloin
lasagna

Chicken Dishes
jalapeno burn pizza kits
shredded chicken taco kits
chicken enchiladas
chicken chili
marinated chicken breast
asian-marinated chicken for topping Asian Chicken Salad with Noodles
marinated chicken for rice bake and the rice mix to go with

Meatless Meals
beans for beans and rice
burrito/chimichanga kits
BRC enchiladas (beans, rice, and cheese)
greek egg casserole
quiche lorraine
red sauce for pasta

Other
pancake mix
breakfast cookie dough/cookies
maple granola
chocolate chip banana bread
stuffed foccacia
mashed potatoes

I’m aiming high this month. I’m not really sure I can pull this all off. But, I will most likely make some of these things over the weekend and into Monday and Tuesday. If you’ve not yet attempted Freezer Cooking, you might want to review my freezer cooking tutorial and the type of planning that will make your freezer cooking day a success.

Don’t forget to share your plan over at Money Saving Mom tomorrow afternoon.

Have you got a good chicken chili recipe? Let me know ’cause I’m on the hunt for one.

My cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook is now available for purchase!

It’s chock full with over 200 freezer-friendly recipes, planning pages, and basic and advanced how-to’s to making freezer cooking work for any home, family, and lifestyle.

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Comments

  1. One of our fave chili recipes: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/white_chili/

  2. I have been doing what you plan this month…some whole meals and some meal components. Seems to work well for me. I was just writing up my meal plan for the month and I still had some leftovers from Feb. in the freezer. I will be making just a few things and I only need about 3 items from the grocery store for the month besides produce and milk. March looks to be a super budget friendly month around here!

  3. I’ve been doing the casseroles and the meal components too. It does seem to work well. I’ve added some chicken “dump” recipes that worked out great this month, so I’m adding a few more for next month. But I’m no pro :) I’ve got a big plan for Monday and actually started doing little things this week while I was making other things. I guess you could call that “batch cooking”? Anyway, your meals looks great!

  4. Would you mind sharing your enchilda recipes? I love enchiladas, but have yet to find a homemade recipe that I love. Thanks!

  5. If you have a chance, could you please give me some homemade pizza advise: I have tried a number of different dough recipes, including yours, and every time I make a pizza the bottom crust is three-quarters doughy while the rest of the pizza is well cooked. I have tried pre-baking the crust and limiting the amount of sauce, which doesn’t seem to help much. This has been ruining my homemade pizza experience, and I think my husband is losing faith in me :) I really want to make it work! Your pictures always look so delicious. Do you have any tips for me? Do I need a better pan or something? Am I not rolling it out thin enough? Thank you!!!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Sheri, I agree with Jennifer that machine kneading may be helpful. As I reflect on my pizza making years, I think getting the bread machine did make a difference. But, don’t go buy one just for that. See if you can borrow one first.

      Also, in the early days, I made individual size pizzas and stretched the dough thin. The California Pizza Kitchen cookbook has a great tutorial on stretching the dough. Maybe your library has the book?

      Hope that helps!

  6. Sheri – I spent a LONG time experimenting with crust. I’ve found it’s best to mix whatever recipe you’re using in a bread machine. (I wasn’t kneading enough.) Then I use a pizza pan (the kind with holes all over the bottom) and prebake the crust for 5 minutes at 450 degrees on the bottom oven rack. Then I add sauce and toppings and cook for another 7-8 on the top rack. That’s the only way I’ve found it to work in my oven. Hope that helps! :)

    • @Jennifer, Thanks Jennifer and Jessica. I do use a bread machine, so that shouldn’t be the problem. I might have to get a pan with holes, I was wondering if that was the problem because the center is always more doughy than the outside. I am definitely going to check out the CPK cookbook, I like their BBQ chicken pizza! Thanks again!

      • @Sheri, I’ve never had problems with doughy crusts since I started using the ‘holey’ pans, and prebaking for a few minutes.

        My experience is that pizza stones are awful for making doughy crusts. Maybe if I had a pizza peel and could slip the crust onto the heated stone in the oven it would work? I don’t know, but I don’t even use my stone anymore.

  7. Rachel Knox says:

    I have a question about the homemade granola. Do you know what happens if you use Instant Oats? I bought some Quaker Original Oats that turned out to be instant…I didn’t read the package too well when I bought it. Can I still use the instant oats in my granola?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I don’t think so. Most granola recipes I have call for old fashioned. However, I sub quick oats for a little of the flour in many baking recipes. And I prefer them in cookies.

  8. Connie Corey says:

    What is your asian marinated chicken recipe? thanks!

  9. I don’t know if this is possible but can you tell us the “recipes” for each thing you freeze. I am so confused on what to freeze and at what point in the baking/cooking if that makes any sense!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Joanna, you can probably use your own recipes in most situations. I will share more specifics later. But, check out this post on what you can freeze.

      I’ve added whatever links I have online. The items without a link are those that I’ll be making up as I go along. But, I will be sharing the recipes soon.

  10. Our favorite white chicken chili:

    White Chili

    Amount Measure Ingredient
    ——– ———— ——————————–
    10 ounces chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C — diced
    1 each onion, whole — medium
    12 ounces chicken broth
    4 ounces diced green chiles — canned
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon cilantro — ground
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    30 ounces great northern beans, canned — do not drain or rinse (two 15-ounce cans)
    2 each green onion

    Spray saucepan with olive oil spray and cook chicken and onion until onion is tender and chicken is almost done.

    Stir in chicken broth, green chilies, spices/seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

    Mash about half the beans (to thicken chili). Add mashed and unmashed beans to saucepan, and simmer another 5-10 minutes.

    Garnish with green onion and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese if desired.

  11. I have a great (simple) chicken chili recipe that is tomato-based. I’ve never posted it, so I can’t offer a link but, if you’re interested, I’d be more than happy to email it to you. :)

    Rachel- I’ve used quick oats in my granola before and it turned out “ok”. The biggest issue is getting the oats mixed and coated with the liquids without “cooking” them. You want to retain that good oat texture. I definitely prefer old-fashioned for my granola, but quick will work in a pinch. :)

  12. Here’s a great chicken chili recipe!

    http://www.stewleonards.com/press/07ChiliCookoff.cfm

  13. We had this recipe the other day. It’s a white bean and chicken chili from Giada. It was delicious- there weren’t any leftovers at our house!

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/white-bean-and-chicken-chili-recipe/index.html

  14. I love your recipe for the breakfast cookies. Can you share how you plan to freeze them and reheat/bake them from frozen?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Cate, I’m going to freeze some of the dough uncooked. Just put it in a freezer bag and suck out the air. The baked ones I’ll freeze in bags as well. They thaw really quickly, so I’m not worried about reheating.

  15. Chili Blanco
    6 cans of great northern beans
    6 cups chicken broth plus 2 tsp boullion
    oil to saute in
    5 cloves garlic
    1 4.5oz. can diced green chilies
    4 tsp cumin
    2 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 tsp oregano
    2 small onions, chopped
    7 chicken breasts cut up about 3 pounds
    1 cup sourcream
    5 cups co jack cheese

    Cut chicken and onions saute in oil add garlic towards the end of cooking. Add all dry spices and stir to coat chk. Add beans, broth and bouillion simmer for 30 minutes. Add sour cream and cheese cook till cheese melts.

    Serve with green onions, sourcream, tomatos, cilantro or tortilla chips.

    This soup is good as left overs.

  16. This is our all time favorite chicken chili recipe. We make it every year for the church’s “trunk or treat” on Halloween so the parents get a little treat too! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-chili-recipe/index.html

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