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4 Make-ahead meals to fix and freeze that make dinner a breeze

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Use these tips and recipes for make-ahead meals that are perfect for busy weeknights

Looking for savory ways to save time in the kitchen while keeping you and your family well-fed? Fixing and freezing meals is an easy way to always have scrumptious dishes ready to reheat and serve. Here are some helpful tips and three mouthwatering make-ahead meals.

1. Freeze smart

Separate appetizers, meatballs, cookies, or candy on a baking sheet, freeze solid, then transfer them to a container. Separate layers with parchment paper to prevent them from clumping together.

2. Bag broths and sauces

Freeze liquids flat in plastic bags, then stand them up sideways for storage. They'll take up less space and thaw faster.

3. Cool foods before freezing

Cooling food first speeds up the freezing process and reduces condensation. The faster food freezes, the fresher it tastes when thawed. Cool initially on the counter then immediately refrigerate to hasten cooling. When completely cool, place in the freezer, properly wrapped.

4. Cook when you can

Spend a Sunday afternoon cooking, and freeze enough meals to eat all week. Freeze food in individual or meal-size portions — it will thaw quicker and you can pop out the number of servings you need.

5. Pack food tightly

Squeeze excess air out of bags to prevent freezer burn. Fill containers full, leaving a little space at the top to prevent liquids from expanding and sticking to the lid.

Next: Make-ahead meals to fix and freeze — pecan-crusted orange curry chicken

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