My June Freezer Cooking Plan

This week, I’m trying to take some of my own advice and cook up some easy summertime meals to stash in the freezer. In months past I’ve crammed it all into one or two days, but this time I’m taking a different approach.

Those two days of craziness always paid off, but I felt like I was missing out on my kids since the days were soooooo long. And one can only watch so many videos, even if it is in the name of freezer cooking.

Instead, I’m bunching up my meal cooking into different segments, spread throughout the week’s end. I’m hoping that I won’t get as tired and yet will still reap the benefits of bulk cooking.

So this is how my freezer meals planning is working out:

Round One:

  • Hamburgers – uncooked, seasoned patties
  • Meat Sauce – a variation on my red sauce
  • Lawnmower Taco – a casserole my kids love
  • Chimichangas – actually frozen burritos that we can microwave or crisp on the griddle at serving time)

I actually did this last weekend when I came home from Costco and saw that there was no room in the fridge for the ground beef and turkey that I had bought. Can you say planning fail? I didn’t want to freeze it only to thaw it and refreeze it in just a few days. Anyway, it worked out well. I set the timer and was amazed at producing a dozen hamburgers, 6 qts of meat sauce, 2 casseroles and 44 chimichangas in three hours’ time. You can so do this!

Round Two:

  • Seasoned Taco Meat – this makes for an easy dinner, just add toppings and tortillas or taco shells
  • Chili – quick to reheat later and serve “as is” or use to top hot dogs
  • Meatballs – so versatile, we use them on pasta in a red sauce or with gravy over mashed potatoes
  • Meatloaf – same mixture as the meatballs, just in a different shape

Round Three:

  • Shredded Chicken – love this for easy sandwich filling, pizza topping, or to add protein to a salad
  • Chicken and Bacon Subs – an experiment from last month that worked out well
  • Chicken Taquitos – yummy and quick to reheat
  • Tortilla Bake w/ Chicken and Poblanos – an experiment that I’ll let you know about later.
  • Garlic Bread – a super big hit around here

Round Four:

  • Stuffed Chicken Breast – another experiment from last month that met with rave reviews
  • Marinated Chicken – a must have for grilling season
  • Whole Grain Rolls – an experiment for this month. The butterhorns were a success. Now going for a healthier bread.
  • Queso Fundido – a not so healthy, but totally yummy taco dish
  • Pizza Kits – going to give freezing dough another try. Aimee has made me rethink it as a do-able option.

I have no idea if I will make it through the final round. We’ll see. But, that’s my plan, nonetheless.

You don’t have to be a marine.

Traditional “once-a-month cooking” involves a long day of cooking. Sometimes I can swing it, sometimes I can’t. But, there are so many ways to approach it. You really don’t have to be a marine to do some freezer cooking. I loved Elise’s comments about how she gave freezer cooking a shot. She hates to cook, but she loves this. She found a way to make freezer meals work for her.

What’s your take on freezer cooking?

Love it? Hate it? Totally skeptical? See ya in the comments! And be sure to come back tomorrow for a Freezer Cooking Q & A.

Would you rather subscribe by RSS?
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. I do freezer cooking spread out over a few days. Can’t imagine how some of you ladies manage to cram it in to one day! I only have two kids and that would be more than I can handle. You Superwomen are an inspiration!

    Loved the 50 Ways to Simplify Your Life Series! Know what I would like? Tips from you (and other Mamas) about how to streamline meal times in terms of preparing and serving even quick foods. I always feel so disorganized getting things on the table and there are only four of us. How do you do it?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Beth, great question. I often plate our food at the counter and have kids line up to get their plates or assign someone to serve them. This is working. I think.

  2. I’m looking forward to trying freezer cooking this way for June. We have a very busy month, and having meals in the freezer will be a HUGE help!

  3. Vanessa says:

    This is how I always do my extra cooking.I just can not do the one day marathon.

  4. Kathryn says:

    Would you mind sharing your recipe for “Lawnmower Taco”. I searched your website and found it mentioned several times but no recipe. You mentioned this as a favorite casserole for your family – I’m always looking for those. I would appreciate any help you can provide.
    Many thanks!
    Kathryn

  5. Even though we are “empty nesters” now, I still do freezer cooking. I’ve been doing it in some form or another for over 20 yrs now I think. I don’t do all day cooking anymore, I do it in small doses. This month will be an easy month, as the freezer is pretty full from last month. So my list for this time is red sauce w/ and w/o meat, pizza dough, and maybe some garlic bread.

  6. Will you be posting the “Lawnmower Taco” recipe?

  7. I think spreading it out over a few days is more sane, for me at least. So HOW much ground beef and ground turkey did you buy to use for all those Rounds? That seems like an awful lot!

  8. I spread it out. If I have something in the fridge I need to use (like eggs) or leftovers (like ham) I’ll make it into a quiche and freeze it for a quick meal later.

  9. I rarely have time to do a big freezer cooking day but I usually spread it across a week, doing a little bit at a time. I don’t like cleaning the kitchen that many times but it works much better for my family dynamics doing it that way.

  10. Stickykisses says:

    I do my bulk cooking based on sales, a little at a time. If there’s a great sale on boneless chicken, I buy a lot and marinade and freeze it in meal-sized baggies. Or if there’s a great sale on ground turkey, I’ll do the meatloaves & meatballs and freeze several meals’ worth. Banana sale? Make several breads/muffins at a time to freeze. You get the idea. So rather than have one marathon day per month, I tend to have a mini-one once a week or so.

  11. Lawnmower tacos?!? Do tell!

  12. I love your pictures they always looks fresh and yummy!!! I’ve been cooking for about an hour every day this week so get my list done. I started a job as a baker at the local bakery and so I don’t get home until about 10:30 am. After we’ve eaten lunch and my husband heads off to work, I’ve browned 4-1/2 lbs of ground beef for taco meat (I found one on allrecipes that we LOVE. it has corn flour in it to thicken it…so good!) I also finished up 3 lbs of ground beef for spaghetti. Today I finished up ground turkey and ground turkey Italian sausages for lasagna, although I’m rethinking it so I can just stick it into the crockpot and reduce the heat in the kitchen. Monday we made oatmeal bars, fruity breakfast burritos, homemade spaghetti-o’s. I’m hoping to finish up by Friday but it not, we’ll just finish up over the weekend. You do what works for you, so you can have more time with your family for the rest of the month.

    I’m looking forward to the Bacon Chicken Subs and Lawnmover Tacos! YUM!!!

  13. I’m skeptical that I’d ever really use up everything that I put effort into, whether the effort was day-long or week-long. I think I’d need a meal plan that coordinated with what was in my freezer just so I’d know stuff wasn’t going to waste. But that kind of defeats the whole idea of having items in the freezer…to have for those “just in case” moments that you don’t feel like cooking / get sick / home from a vacay or some such….or maybe I’m missing the point of freezer cooking. Either way, I’d like to try it at some less hectic point in my life.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Yes, you definitely need to keep a freezer inventory and plan around those meals.

      Mine aren’t for “just in case” – they’re for almost every night. I cook enough food so that at least 4-5 nights we’re eating from the freezer stockpile. It gets used up regularly. Everyday is “just in case!” ;)

  14. I’m still waiting on the Chicken Bacon Subs recipe! I need some more summertime freezer meal recipes, and that one sounds really good! :)

  15. Lawnmower tacos?? Do share!

    Do you have a recipe for chicken taquitos? I never thought about make these and freezing them! They are so expensive at the store. – like chicken dh beef so making them myself is the perfect solution I’m excited about this!

    I’ve only tried freezer cooking once I did breakfast foods and over 4 nights (after work). It went well I think I’m ready to try a few dinners!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I’m still working on writing the taquito recipe down. I usually just throw them together. So, gonna try to write down this time.

  16. Im dying to see the lawnmower taco dish also!

  17. Please share the lawnmower taco recipe!! I just love your site. We do our freezer cooking in batches as well. I would get too overwhelmed by tackling it all at once. Baby steps for me.

  18. Freezer cooking rocks! As long as I plan in advance and don’t try to do so much. If I try too many new things and cram too much into the day, I can have melt downs that remind me of Julie & Julia. No fun.
    My freezer cooking usually involves pizza dough, cooked meat, cookie dough – ok, if you’ll excuse me, my 7-month old is trying to take apart our wicker laundry basket. ;-)

  19. Can you pass along your meatball/meatloaf recipe???

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Yes, that is in the works. Part of the trick with recipes is to make sure I’ve got good pics. ;)

  20. The lawnmower taco thing… just SOUNDS intriguing! Do tell!!!!

    This month will be a very simple one for me… plain browned ground beef and seasoned ground beef. I still have plenty left from last month because I completely underestimated how many times I’d get taken out to dinner or invited over for dinner for my birthday last month. A pretty good problem to have! :-)

  21. Angela Shrader says:

    OK, I’m super stoked to do freezer cooking this month….I’ll be a day or two behind schedule due to other issues. But we have been cleaning the pantry this week. Today’s lunch…..Salisbury steak, alfredo noodles, and Boiled Crawfish. What a combination….but everyone was happy :)

    Really looking forward to seeing the recipes for Chicken Bacon Subs……and Lawnmower Tacos!!!

    Thanks again for ALL your hard work!

  22. I keep trying to join you for Freezer Meals but my freezer stays full … seems like the more I try to clean it out, the more I put in it. Example: tonight I cooked a turkey I bought last Thanksgiving and now I have all this meat to use up…. making Turkey Casseroles and Pies, chopping it for salads and other uses… anyway, maybe I AM freezer cooking – just doing it one product at a time. Ha!

  23. Heather says:

    Lawnmower Taco’s!!!! Please share that wonderful recipe!

  24. Christa says:

    I have been doing mine in stages too, the past 3 days I have done so much. Tomorrow is going to be my last day. Hope to get the baked oatmeal, butterhorns and focaccia done!

    yes, please share the lawnmower tacos :)

  25. Elizabeth says:

    The kids are screaming…

    “LAWNMOWER TACOS!! CHICKEN BACON SUBS!! LAWNMOWER TACOS!! CHICKEN BACON SUBS!! LAWNMOWER TACOS!! CHICKEN BACON SUBS!!”

    PLEASE…make it stop. ;-)

  26. Thanks so much for the mention!

    Fantastic line-up! Our freezer is getting full, but we’ve still got room for a few of your ideas.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I had tried freezing scones right before I saw your breakfast post, so that was encouragement that I was on the right track. (Usu I just make up the dry mix.) Baked them yesterday – oh my! They were good. Gonna do it that way from now on. Yum!

  27. Ok that’s it I’ve had it! What’s for dinner? Don’t know forget to get something out! What’s for lunch, don’t know there are no leftovers!
    Do you have a grocery list and recipes for all the meals for June? I told my husband he is helping and we are doing this!

  28. Jennifer says:

    Looking forward to the lawnmower tacos. It just SOUNDS like fun! I’m getting things together to do a freezer cooking session this weekend. Love your recipes, thanks so much for posting.

  29. Virginia says:

    Is the recipe for Chicken Bacon Subs in the works??!!!!!

  30. Rebecca says:

    You are simply amazing!!!!

  31. I don’t do “one big day” or even days, but I do try to make a little extra when I cook so there’s always something in the freezer. I like the idea of freezing hamburger patties. I usually have meal components ready in the freezer, so it’s easier to put together a meal. To be honest, I love cooking, and would probably miss it if I got it “out of the way” once a month.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts

*