10 Cheap and easy freezer meals will save your family on busy days
There will come a day when the primary cook in your family will work late, get sick or go on vacation. What is a family to do? Will everyone have to fend for themselves?
In my family, my husband is the Top Chef — gender roles be damned. I have tried my hardest to perfect my skills in #basic Crock-Pot cooking, but truth be told, cooking with a recipe does not interest me at all. My husband, on the other hand, has picked up an amazing hobby/cooking obsession based on YouTube videos. As you can imagine, I strongly encourage his passion, because I'm selfish like that.
But when the master chef in your house takes a break, someone has to think of the children. Thankfully, we always have Reddit to the rescue. One Redditor requested help in thinking up some quick and easy freezer meals to tide her husband over while she was out of town for Christmas for three weeks.
The thing about freezer meals is that not just any recipe will do. Some dishes don't freeze well. Other dishes thaw and reheat with a funky aftertaste. The only true way to determine the best freezer meal for your family is based on experience — or someone else's trial and error.
Experienced Reddit cooks who have been there and done that confessed their most successful family freezer meals. Check out the 10 best freezer meal ideas to use for a last-minute family dinner:
1. Breakfast burritos
Reddit's breakfast burrito pro tip: "I wrap mine in freezer paper, then tin foil."
Reddit's chili pro tip: "Just make one big pot at a time, and portion them out into single serving size and freeze."
3. Fancy mac 'n' cheese
Reddit's mac 'n' cheese pro tip: "If you have little metal dishes, like tin ones, you could make mac 'n cheese with like, chicken and broccoli or something, but don't bake it. Freeze it and tell him the temperature and time for it."
4. Homemade pasta sauce
Reddit's pasta sauce pro tip: "[Try] a range of pasta sauces (Bolognese, spicy tomato and chorizo/bacon, pesto, etc.), beef/chicken stroganoff."
5. Homemade soup or stew
Reddit's soup pro tip: "Most broth based soups freeze well. Get or make some frozen egg noodles that can be added to chicken noodle soup once it's hot."
Reddit's lasagna pro tip: "I'd suggest you buy a few of those throw-away loaf-sized aluminum pans and make lasagnas that are one-lasagna-noodle wide."
7. Premade chicken tenders
Reddit's chicken tender pro tip: "Trimmed, skinless chicken tenders -> season with salt, pepper, and lemon on each side -> cook in olive oil on stove."
8. Roast beef
Reddit's roast beef pro tip: "Probably my favorite roast beef recipe: a 2-3 lb chuck roast, a pack of ranch mix, a pack of au jus mix, a stick of butter and a splash of juice from a pepper jar (no other liquid), roll it on low for 8 hours."
9. Shepherd's pie
Reddit's shepherd's pie pro tip: "The secret to making it work is give him simple instructions for reheating and tape them onto the top of each dish."
10. Shredded roast chicken
Reddit's roast chicken pro tip: "Buy a whole chicken and roast it (or buy an already roasted chicken). Pull all the meat from the carcass and use it for chicken salad for sandwiches, or burritos (freezable), or just freeze the meat in little bags for him to reheat."
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