I love freezer meals! Mealtime can be time consuming. Some days you know you are going to get home late or you haven’t gone to the grocery store or whatever the case may be. Even when you meal plan your month out, there are days that you won’t have time to make a full meal at dinnertime.
Freezer meals fill in these gaps. By spending a Saturday shopping and making these meals, you have meals ready in the freezer that you can pull out in the morning when you know you aren’t going to have time for dinner.
Why should you use freezer meals?
- Save time preparing dinners-freezer meals are easily batched, which means you make many meals at one setting. This saves you prep time when dinner comes.
- Saves money by buying in bulk-when you make many meals at once, you can buy larger amounts of certain ingredients, which saves you money at the store.
- You can bless others by sharing them-I have given away several frozen meals to people that I am asked to take a meal to at church. Whether it be a new mom or someone who is sick, this is something they can throw in their freezer and use when needed.
- Helps preserve garden veggies-when you have a lot of carrots (or whatever) at harvest time, you can put them into a freezer meal to use later. That helps to keep them preserved until you need them.
How do make freezer meals?
- Choose the meals you are going to make (I usually make 2 of each kind to save on groceries and prep time).
- Make a grocery list of everything you need to make the meals. Don’t forget the freezer bags and labels!
- Organize your ingredients and chop your vegetables (as needed).
- Label the freezer bags with the name of the recipe, the date and any instructions needed for cooking.
- Add your ingredients to the proper bag (I usually put the meat at the bottom).
- Once everything is in the bag, try to squeeze out as much air as possible and then zip it tight.
- Lay the bags flat in the freezer so that they take up less room.
- When you are ready to use the meal, put it in the refrigerator the night before to thaw.
- The next day, pour the ingredients in to the crockpot and follow the cooking instructions on the bag to cook.
- Enjoy a “home cooked meal” without the stress at dinnertime!
Where do I get freezer meal recipes?
My favorite place to get freezer meal recipes is from Kelly @ www.newleafwellness.biz.
She has a TON of free recipes on her blog for freezer meals. They are healthy, easy to follow and taste amazing! She also gives you a grocery list and printable labels for her recipe collections as well.
I have bought several of her digital cook books for freezer meals. They are amazing.
You can check them out on Amazon here:
No Cook Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis
Crock’d: Slow Cooker Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis
15 Minute Freezer Recipes by Kelly McNelis
Meat Free Slow Cooker Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis
Oven Freezer Meals Cookbook by Kelly McNelis
Can I convert a freezer crock pot meal into a Instant Pot meal?
Now I know what you are thinking: I haven’t used my crock pot since I got my Instant Pot. I don’t want to go back!
(If you don’t know about the Instant Pot, I have a post here where you can catch up on the details!)
You can use your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker to cook freezer meals made for the crock pot.
Here is how you do it:
Meat usually takes about 30 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot so you want to put it in with some liquid first before you add the veggies and the rest of the bag.
If the meat is a roast or large piece of beef, you want to let it sit for a few minutes after it is done to depressurize instead of using the quick release. This allows the meat to become more tender.
This step isn’t necessary if you are using chicken, pork or ground beef.
Once the meat is almost finished, add the vegetables and seasoning and cook together for about 5 minutes to get everything soft and ready to eat.
Check out this post for more tips on making the transition from Crock Pot to Instant Pot.
Freezer meals are a great way to provide your family a healthy, yummy meal while saving you time and money. Now when you have those days where you know you don’t have time to make dinner, you will be prepared. And when you are prepared ahead of time, you are less likely to be tempted to pull into a fast food place or eat cereal for dinner (admit it, we’ve all been there).
Do you love using freezer meals? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!