5 Freeze-ahead recipes
Try cooking and freezing these easy, delicious meals to keep on hand and reheat on nights you're too busy to cook everything from scratch.
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup breadcrumbs or corn flakes
- Dried chopped onion
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle onion, salt and pepper into breadcrumbs and mix. Note: If you're using seasoned breadcrumbs, you can skip the extra seasoning.
- Dip chicken into eggs.
- Dip chicken in breadcrumb mixture on each side to coat.
- Bake 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning once.
- Let chicken cool, then layer between pieces of waxed paper in a freezer-safe container.
Easy seafood pasta
This recipe from Sue M. in Chicago, Illinois, can be served warm or cold.
- 1 package rotini pasta
- 1 jar Alfredo sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 small can sliced black olives
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon each oregano and pepper
- 1 can each cooked shrimp, drained, and imitation crabmeat
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Cook pasta per package directions; drain.
- In large mixing bowl, combine pasta with Alfredo sauce.
- Season with garlic and oregano pepper to taste.
- Add seafood, peas and olives, then mix well.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Freeze in 1- to 2-cup portions.
- 1 pound chicken or beef, sliced into strips
- 1 yellow or white onion, sliced
- 1 yellow, green or red bell pepper, sliced
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Coat skillet with cooking spray.
- Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
- Saute peppers for about 2 minutes or until they reach desired softness.
- Remove peppers and put on a plate to cool.
- Add beef or chicken to pan; saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through.
- Add cooked meat to pepper plate to cool.
- Combine meat and veggies in a large plastic zip freezer bag, then freeze.
- To reheat, microwave on high for 7 to 9 minutes or until heated through. Serve with flour tortillas and toppings such as salsa, cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
Baked pasta casserole
- 1 pound ziti or penne pasta
- 1 pound ground beef, turkey or vegetarian crumbles
- 4 cups homemade marinara sauce or 1 (16 ounce) jar prepared marinara sauce
- Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Cook pasta per package directions.
- While pasta cooks, saute protein over medium-high heat until cooked through.
- Coat a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add pasta.
- Add 2 cups homemade sauce or 1/2 jar prepared sauce.
- Fold in protein.
- Add remainder of the sauce.
- Cover with cheese, then freeze.
Hearty bean and vegetable soup
- 4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock, or 1 box prepared stock
- 1 cup each chopped carrots, onions, celery, kale
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can white kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add all vegetables and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft.
- Add stock; bring to light rolling boil.
- Add beans, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Season as needed with salt and pepper.
- Let soup cool, then freeze in individual portions.