Busy Holiday Cooking Plan – FREE Download for Freezer Cooking

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Looking for freezer cooking plans? After you download this plan, check out these other free printable plans.

Busy Holiday Freezer Cooking Plan & Grocery List | Life as MOM

It has been a freezer cooking MONTH, I tell ya! First there was the wild hair I got to post 31 Days of Freezer Cooking over on Good Cheap Eats. Then there was the release of my book. And this week? I cooked enough to feed us until Christmas.


I have meals and meal components to feed us for more than 30 meals. When combined with leftovers, dinners out, and pizza night, these take us into December’s meal plan.

Busy Holiday Nights Cooking Plan

One day last week, I sat down with The Cookbook, as it’s called around here, and culled  one-dish dinners and casseroles into a cooking plan to get us through the busy holiday nights. I’ve found that on the nights when I’m writing or when we have hockey practice and games, dinner is a little haphazard. I wanted to provide my husband and kids with a way to take care of dinner simply and easily.

Throwing a casserole in the oven is just the ticket. While there aren’t that many casseroles in my book, there was enough of a selection to make it really work.

The cooking plan I developed is massive. And it’s not for the faint of heart. I definitely got a workout this week. I know it will be worth it, though.

My sister jumped at the chance to test the plan along with me, even in the midst of her hurricane preparations and recovery. (Thankfully, the storm kinda skimmed over Williamsburg, so they are fine.) The thing Janel neglected to mention to me was that she’d never done a full day of cooking.

Oh dear.

She’s fine now. Aren’t you, Janel?

This is a full-day cooking plan. In fact, I recommend shopping and doing the prep work on one day and assembling the meals on the next day. In this way you won’t be wore out when you’re done.

Busy Holiday Freezer Cooking Plan & Grocery List | Life as MOM

Between the two of us, Janel and I have put together a FREE download that includes everything you need to pull off a Busy Holiday Nights cooking session of your own. Not only is there a grocery list, prep list, and cooking plan, but there are also labels to print off and an inventory checklist to slap on the freezer or fridge to let you know what you have and what you need to do to get it from freezer to table.

The only thing you need is The Cookbook.

The book already contains ten cooking plans, ranging from two-hours to all-day. This is a bonus. I’ll be sharing more cooking plans throughout the next few months because I really like having a full freezer. And I like you, too.

On Sunday over on Good Cheap Eats, I’ll be sharing a monthly meal plan that shows how these meals can fit into your meals without seeming monotonous or repetitive. You can easily mix and match some of these dishes to make a variety of interesting meals to take you through November and into December.

Busy Holiday Freezer Cooking Plan & Grocery List | Life as MOM

The Contents of My Freezer

Currently, my freezer holds the following:

  • Beefy Mushroom Gravy x2
  • Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes x2
  • Shepherd’s Pie with Green Chile Mashed Potatoes x2
  • Taco Kits x2
  • Jamie’s Spice Mix
  • Sweet and Spicy Joes x2
  • Swedish Meatballs with Dill (with Meatloaf variation) x4
  • Cooked Chicken x2
  • Chicken Enchilada Bake with Green Chiles and Jalapenos x2
  • Creamy Chicken Enchiladas x2
  • Bean and Cheese Nacho Bake x2
  • Cozy Cheese and Potato Casserole x2
  • Six-Layer Nachos x2
  • Potatoes Stuffed with Caramelized Onions and Dubliner Cheese x2
  • Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Thyme x2
  • Buttered French Toast Casserole with Almonds and Ginger x2
  • Cinnamon Bread, BONUS recipe in the cooking plan only x2

Before I got all fancy with those things, I made a mega batch of Pesto and a mega batch of Marinara. Afterward, I had extra pork and extra beef since I bought bulk packages at Costco. I made the filling for Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps and some hamburgers. So, I think we’re set. Don’t you?

(Don’t forget to check Good Cheap Eats this weekend for the lowdown on the shopping trip as well as a meal plan to show you how to put it all together.)

Have YOU done any freezer cooking lately?

We’d love to hear what you’ve been cooking. Don’t worry if it wasn’t a beast of a cooking session. I certainly don’t do this every month. Share how you’re filling your freezer. Inquiring minds wanna know.

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  1. Happy to see all those potatoes – I bought a bunch since they were so cheap, and now need to use them.

  2. Hi Jessica!! I’m looking forward to this menu plan! I received “The Cookbook” 😉 last week & I LOVE it. It is completely covered in sticky notes marking the recipes I’m extra eager to try! 🙂
    I’m going to be doing some freezer cooking this week including your Lawnmower Tacos, shredded beef filling, and Chicken Bacon Subs. I’m also going to try freezing a couple soups (Broccoli Cheddar & Baked Potato–think those’ll freeze ok??They have half & half in them & would be completely cooked before freezing)
    I was wondering if there is any where we can print off the blank planning worksheets that are included in your book. 🙂

    1. So glad you’re enjoying the book. Let us know how it turns out for you. While I don’t know about the soup recipes you have, there are some that might be similar in the soup chapter of The Cookbook. You might review them and see how similar they are and see my method for freezing. For instance I prefer to freeze potato soup only if it has red potatoes. The chunks seem to hold up better.

      As for the planning sheets, similar ones are here, here, and here.

  3. Hi! Wanted to let you know that last night we ate the chicken and wild rice bake…it was awesome. And it is true…Jessica’s book has a range so that if you are just starting out, you can take some baby steps in freezer cooking! (I will admit, my husband is ready to go all out one day!!!!)

    1. I’d love to have you report back on the full day of cooking with your hubby!

  4. Just checked out the download….that is awesome! Love the labels! This would be a great monthly feature to see on the blogs. =)

  5. Perhaps you cover this somewhere, but do you have any advice for freezer cooking without a chest freezer? I would love to plan ahead a little more, but my freezer is fairly full as is. Thanks!

    1. You can do this without a chest freezer, but you have to eat down the contents of your fridge freezer first. I suppose that is obvious. It’s covered in the book. But, I also talk about it a video on my Youtube channel. For some reason, YT is having errors. I’ll try to leave the link later.

  6. Thank you thank you for this extra meal plan!! I’m so excited to say my family had our first freezer meal from “the cookbook” last night;). We had the fish fillets with almond-lime butter…it was AMAZING! We had it with rice and roasted broccoli. My family all gave the thumbs up so were super excited to try the easy peasy cheese pizza tonight. Your cookbook is so easy to follow. Thanks again for the extra meal plan today.

  7. Thank you so much for this! I love the plan and the labels. I love, love love “THE COOKBOOK”. Can’t wait to give this a try!

  8. Ha! Yes, I think my body has recovered from the cook fest…but my kitchen has not! I better get back to washing more dishes. I really miss having a dishwasher!

  9. Thank you for this bonus meal plan! I’m so excited to do it and I just did most of Breakfast plan 1 and the Meat & Poultry plan yesterday (minus the pork chops – I will wait for a sale before I buy the pork.) My family RAVED over the burritos we had for dinner last night. So glad I have 5 more meals worth in my freezer. 🙂

    You have given me the push I needed to get back on the freezer cooking wagon. Thank you! We have eaten out far too much lately because of our crazy fall schedule. But now I am prepared for the next few weeks and hopefully with another big cooking session I can get us through Thanksgiving & Christmas with a meal plan.

  10. In prep for 2nd baby coming in 2 weeks

    Freezer cooking that has taken place in my home recently (each serving listed is enough to provide at least 1 night of leftovers for our family too…or feed company should the need arise):

    Meatloaves (7)
    Spaghetti Meat Sauce (2)
    Shepherds/Hamburger Pie (2 – but we are eating one this weekend)
    Stew Starter (2, but we ate one batch last weekend)
    Mashed Potatoes (9 family sized portions)
    Brown Rice (9 family sized portions, have been eating those for a couple of months, so we are down to 2, and it’s time to make more)
    Salmon Patties (ate those for a couple of days, have enough left for 1 meal)
    Pork Roasts (3 – bought on sale)
    Boneless/skinless chicken breasts
    Chicken leg quarters (SUPER CHEAP meal starters need to be pre-cooked, frozen and used for other things, like casseroles and chicken salad, as my hubby doesn’t like them plain, and I can’t stand the skin and bones, so I don’t like to do anything “fancy” with them when they are cooking)
    3 lbs of sausage sliced/diced/seasoned/portioned

    To be done today:
    Add sauce/add-ins to 4 1lb packs of ground beef that I cooked yesterday so they can be frozen (possibly more spaghetti sauce, shepherd’s pie & stew starter)
    cook up 1 lb breakfast sausage, divide, add potatoes o’brien, for easy breakfast tacos
    cook 2 lbs bacon & freeze for easy bacon sandwiches
    shape & freeze hamburger patties (ABSOLUTELY MUST DO, sale meat has to be cooked or frozen today)
    Cook brown rice and make more rice balls for freezer? (not urgent, so maybe not today)

    Wow, looks like I’ve been busy…but it has been super easy 🙂

  11. Hey Jessica!

    I don’t suppose you know when your book is due to be released in the UK do you? I’m eager to get started in time for Christmas. This plan looks fabulous.

      1. Thanks for that Jessica,

        Kind of annoying I won’t have it for Christmas, but every cloud has a silver lining, right? Guess who has a birthday in early January… :o)

        1. great attitude! Will they let you buy from US Amazon or US Barnes and Noble. I think that the Nook version is already available.

          1. I can’t buy E-books but can buy paper versions on Amazon. I’m a bit nervous about getting hit for import tax though, so will probably just be patient and wait now I know it’s not 6mths away.

  12. I can’t wait to try this, but my Nook pre-order won’t arrive until Nov 6th. Thanks for putting together this list!

  13. So I have not done a big day cooking, but I am starting on the freezer cooking phenomenon. I often take the ingredients for a smoothie to work (fresh and frozen fruit and veggies with yogurt). So I bought a big box of mandarins, peeled and Individually Quick Froze them, as well as half price bananas. I also cooked up ground beef to use for: tacos, nachos, burritos, spaghetti. My roommates just moved to Rwanda, so I am down to cooking for one – which is boring, but by following your meal plan I could have enough food for 3/4 months, and now just need to find some breakfast make ahead and freeze menus!

  14. Thanks for the free download – looking forward to looking it over and picking out a few tidbits I can adopt on my own. We are in the midst of (dave ramseys) babystep 2 (arg! taking forever!!), but I was at Barnes and Nobel and hoped to peruse your book and it was gone! I was so bummed. These ‘extras’ aren’t in the budget at the moment but I have heard you talk about it so much I was looking forward to at least looking at it. a bittersweet moment – stoked for you they were sold out :). We have a tiny kitchen and just a top freezer so I don’t have near the space I dream about to do all this freezer cooking. I see the value in it and look forward to really doing it one day. Until then, I’ll fit in what I can and improve my freezer packing skills. thanks for all you do. you are a great encouragement to me.

  15. There only only two in our household and my husband does not like to eat leftovers. It is hard to make only two portions. I had a marathon cooking session similar to yours. I divided everything into single meal portions, froze them and then vacuum sealed them with my Food Saver. I made a list in Excel listing everything and the number of portions. Each morning we decide what we want for dinner (always different for each of us) and take it out to defrost and cross it off the list. My husband does not have to eat leftovers, we don’t throw out food, and nothing gets freezer burned. It works for me.

  16. If it makes you feel better I have decided to freezer cook my way through thanksgiving between the 16 and thanksgiving I will be baking up 3 24 lb turkeys the night I bake it we will have turkey and trimings (our favorite meal) then I will cut up the left overs into 2.5 cup portions to do up 25-30 turkey based casseroles on thanksgiving while I am in the kitchen cooking dinner I will put together the casseroles. I figure since I will be in there anyways I might as well stock my freezer. I will be doing a pork plan first week in dec and the end of dec I will be doing a sesion with my mom that calls for 140 lbs of chicken leg quarters. Not planing to cook anything really all of jan and maybe feburary. Lol and the only food I will need to buy those months will be milk and fruit and maybe some salad stuff.

  17. This is awesome! Thank you so much. I have your cookbook, but I have a hard time diving in. This was exactly the plan that I needed. December is such a crazy month with a birthday, Christmas, and visitors, so this plan will get me all set. Thanks!

  18. Hello! I just wanted to make sure that the cook book is necessary for the cooking plan? I already went grocery shopping and started prepping and saw the beef gravy listed under that section. Just want to make sure because if so I need to order it ASAP! Lol

    1. Yes. This particular plan requires the cookbook in order to access the recipes. You may be able to check it out from the library or via Overdrive if you need it right away. Bon appetit!