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Once a Month Cooking Recipes

Once a month cooking may be helpful for organizing your busy schedule. This page contains once a month cooking recipes.


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August 26, 2008

In just three hours, I made dinners to freeze for the entire month. I do this each month and it's so much easier than freezing the raw meat, then thawing it then cooking. This way, the kitchen is only hot for a few hours.

The shots you are seeing are lemon pepper chicken, tuna kabobs, tip beef and polska kielbasa, fajita chicken, and a turkey casserole.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I usually fry strips in butter, but have been trying to cut down on fats. So, I put the lemon pepper on the chicken, poking holes in the breasts for good saturation, added 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. I bake it at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes. If the inside is still pink (I use pretty big pieces), just add another 15 minutes to the baking time.


Tuna Kabobs

I get these in a vacuum packed package at the local warehouse store for $2.99. I bake them for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, but the smaller ones need to be taken out when that time is up, leaving the larger ones in another 10 minutes or so. Or, you can make the larger ones smaller if you are not worried about the looks.

Fajita Chicken

I cut up into chunks (4 per breast) the amount of chicken I want to cook, then add two packages of dry fajita mix (the powdered kind you get in the gravy mix isle). Then I add enough water just to cover in my crock pot, and turn it up to high. Once boiling, I turn it to low and leave in over night. The next morning, I have chicken you can eat with a spoon.

Ideas: If you like this idea, it makes a nice meal. Once this chicken is done, I make sure there is ample juice in the container when I freeze it. When I am ready to heat and eat, I make sure I put the "frozen chunk" in a larger container. Once the chicken and juice is almost cooked, I add some instant spuds to make a nice creamy "casserole" without having to do much more to it. I also add some corn and when it's done, you have a wonderful meal in just one container.

Tips and Kielbasa:

I bake these together because the juices can mix without changing the taste, as they are both similar meats. They will be used for sandwiches, soups, or casseroles and freeze great as is.

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Idea: I like to cut up Kielbasa and add it to red beans and rice.

The tips go great in a box of au gratin spuds and a drained can of corn. I always add just a bit of real cojack shredded cheese before I put in in to bake.

Turkey Casserole:

You need a 4 quart casserole dish or pan with a lid. Line the bottom "layer" with a package of stuffing mix, or left over from a meal. Then, a layer of sliced turkey. I always use Winco's Garlic Herb Turkey, but you can use leftover turkey or even chicken. Then, I put on a layer of drained corn, and one of cojack cheese. The top is a package of Idahoan Instant Spuds, my favorite being 4 cheese flavor.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. I serve it with a package of gravy over each serving, and some cranberry sauce. It's like Thanksgiving any time you want!

I hope you enjoy this. Keep in mind that a little work now, (a Sunday or a day off?) can save you lots of time in the kitchen when you are tired or rushed. I hope these ideas have helped.

Comment Was this helpful? 5
January 2, 20150 found this helpful

I did this prior to having hand surgery. It was nice knowing I didn't have to worry what my family would be eating for dinner since I couldn't cook for them. Since my hubby & I now take turns cooking, we cook the meat and freeze it so that we aren't limited in regards to menu options.

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8 found this helpful
October 19, 2010

It might take a while to get all these done in one day, but it is worth it later on.


Meat: Dairy: Frozen: Packaged Goods: Optional Extras: Have on Hand: Food Storage Needs*: *or just use whatever you have available.


Easy steps to fast, fuss-free dinners! (Recipes below)

Bring 2 large pots of water to boil. Cook penne pasta until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Cook pierogies; drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, in large skillet over medium-high heat brown beef in vegetable oil, in several batches, about 10 - 12 minutes per batch (6 pounds cooked yields about 12 cups; 7 pounds yields 14 cups). Set aside in refrigerator.

Meanwhile, dice ham; reserve. Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. In large skillet over high heat saute chicken in vegetable oil, in several batches, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 10 - 12 minutes per batch (20 chicken breast halves yields 20 cups cooked chicken pieces). Set aside in refrigerator.

Preheat oven for chicken potpies. Make and bake pot pies.

While pies are baking, make Beef Chili and Beef and Vegetable Paprikash; cool completely before freezing.

Assemble chicken Pierogies Alfredo, Italian Pasta Bake and Cheesy Broccoli Pasta; cover, label and freeze.

Make Asian Chicken.


Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl combine 8 cups cooked chicken pieces, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, and 1 package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed. Divide between 2 (1 1/2 quart each) freezer-proof baking dishes. Place biscuits from 1 tube evenly over each dish of chicken mixture to form crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees; bake 20 to 25 minutes until biscuits are cooked and chicken mixture is heated through. Cool. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil; freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To reheat: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake, lightly covered with foil, 30 - 35 minutes, until heated through.

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

In large bowl combine 10 cups cooked penne pasta, 2 jars Double Cheddar cheese sauce, 2 packages thawed frozen broccoli florets, 1 package cheddar cheese and ham. Divide mixture between 2 (2 quart) freezer-proof baking dishes. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil; freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To reheat: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove wrap; recover with foil, Bake 40 minutes.

Beef Chili

In large pot combine 6 cups cooked ground beef; 2 jars salsa; 2 cans red kidney beans, drained; 2 can corn, drained; 2 packages chili seasoning; and 4 cups water. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. Cool. Divide mixture between 2 (1 gallon each) plastic freezer food storage bags. Freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To reheat: Pour mixture into large pot. Cook over low heat until mixture just comes to boil.

Best served with: Tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded Cheddar cheese.

Beef and Vegetable Paprikash

In large pot combine 6 cups cooked ground beef, 1 package onion soup mix, 2 tablespoons paprika and 4 cups water. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. Stir in 1 pint sour cream, 1 package frozen bell pepper strips and 2 jars sliced mushrooms, drained. Cook until heated through. Cool. Divide between 2 (1 gallon each) plastic freezer food bags. Freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To reheat: Pour mixture into large pot. Cook over low heat until mixture comes to boil.

Best served with: rice.

A word from the cook - You may want to add about half a envelope more of onion soup mix.

Italian Pasta Bake

In large bowl, combine 10 cups pasta, 2 jars Garden Vegetable pasta sauce, 2 cups cooked ground beef (optional), 2 packages frozen Italian-style vegetables, thawed, and 2 packages shredded mozzarella cheese. Divide between 2 (10 cups each) freezer-proof baking dishes. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil; freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap; re-cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes.

Chicken Pierogies Alfredo

In large bowl combine cooked 2 packages pierogies, 6 cups cooked chicken pieces, 2 jars Alfredo sauce, 1 bag frozen peas, 2 jars pimentos, drained, and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Stir. Divide between 2 (2 quart each) freezer-proof baking dishes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan over each tray. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove wrap; recover with foil. Bake 45 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil; bake uncovered 15 minutes until browned.

Asian Chicken

In large pot bring 4 cups water to boil. Stir in seasoning packets from ramen noodles, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (or 1/4 cup soy sauce) and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Add noodles. Cover; cook 2 minutes. Add 2 packages Asian-style vegetables. Cover; cook until noodles and vegetables are tender, 3 - 4 minutes. Cool. Stir in 6 cups chicken. Divide mixture between 2 (1 gallon each) plastic freezer bags. Freeze. Thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead.

To reheat: Pour mixture into large pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 - 20 minutes.

Source: Woman's World magazine, 2003

By sooz from Toronto, ON

Comment Was this helpful? 8

December 7, 20002 found this helpful

As a busy home school mom, I needed a way to have easy, quick, inexpensive meals without going out. I did not even have one day to do once a month cooking.

Comment Was this helpful? 2


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 4, 2012

Can anyone suggest some good cookbooks for once a month cooking? I would like to cook for two weeks at a time and then build up to once a month if my regular freezer will hold it all. I would be most interested in the cook it, freeze it, thaw it, and reheat it type of books. I've read some cookbooks that are more prepare it with no cooking, freeze it, and then cook it. I would even be interested in good websites. I think this will help my stress level when it comes to "what's for dinner?". Thank you!

By tnphoenixrising

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 4, 20120 found this helpful

I have been doing this for years. I don't know of any cookbooks dedicated to this but I simply buy whatever is on sale and turn it into soups, stews or lasagna, chili, spaghetti sauce and freeze it in smaller portion and use the microwave to defrost. I have a 2nd freezer in the garage so I never run out of prepared meals.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 4, 20120 found this helpful

http://www.favo  eezer-meals.html

Thank you for asking this question since the websites I found are very interesting to me, and I think my daughter will be interested also. This is a really good idea for busy Moms. I can just imagine how nice it would be to come home from work knowing you have a homemade meal ready to heat up. It's frugal, and sure to please the family.

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0 found this helpful
October 30, 2010

I've been reading stuff online about "once a month cooking". It's definitely something I am interested of because it's budget friendly and cuts down on cooking everyday. However I don't even know where to start with this. It's not realistic in my eyes to do 30 meals in one day and I am sure that's not how you do this. I've written down some frugal meals on paper. I am suppose to just triple these meals and freeze them.


By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 30, 20100 found this helpful

Right! Make a mess once, and eat several meals from it. My friend and I used to grocery shop one day, then the next we would get together and cook all day long, let the food cool, and enjoy the time together. Then we would wrap and freeze the food cooked that day.

Since we both worked, it was done on a weekend, and we had kids so it was marvelous to be able to pull "dinner" out in the AM, leave in the sink to thaw, and easily have it cooked rapidly. Far healthier for us, and less money spent eating out at fast food restaurants!

You can easily thaw in a sink of warm water, meat, etc in about 15 min if you forget to take it out of the freezer. When you make waffles for example: make far more than you will eat for that meal; then freeze for "toaster" waffles. Make your own "hamburger" patties; frozen, you can take out and use in the George Foreman grill. Beans etc; make more and then freeze. Same with soups. There is also a "make a mix" book you can get or find many on line. You mix all the dry ingredients together and just add various variations of "wet" ingredients, etc to make various things.

You can join a yahoo group: frozen assets; the folks running it are experts at freezing, and you can tell from previous questions and answers how to make and freeze almost everything and how to do so. It's marvelous to be able to take out some yummy soup; and have with biscuits made easily from already "made up" mix!

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November 2, 20100 found this helpful

I suggest starting with a half month, which is 2 weeks of meals and some of these kinds of cooking plans include making one meal a week, just for variety. You would be making 12 meals. So, make 1 casserole that covers 3 or 4 meals and then do other casseroles that cover a similar number of meals. Your first try would mean making 3 or 4 casseroles and dividing them up into freezer containers. Perhaps that would be less overwhelming.

I like cooking on the weekend but don't have the freezer space to do a whole month at a time. I also don't enjoy the daily cooking so this is manageable for us right now. Good luck as you try this out!

Make sure you tell us how it went!

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December 5, 20030 found this helpful

Share you once a month cooking ideas.

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April 16, 20050 found this helpful

Great suggestion, Marilyn! I would enjoy a home cooked meal every night, if I could do it:-) has this book for less than's $8.62 and they charge $1.40 for media shipping on one book.

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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

I think that there are groups on yahoo groups who go with this. It IS a great way to go, especially when you are working, with a child, and need to get dinner on the table fast! With it you should also check out (perhaps Google or whatever it) the "make a mix"; you add all ingredients together; and then only have to add wet ingredients to make biscuits, cakes, cookies, waffles, pancakes, etc. both are very helpful to have!

What I used to do is to get with a friend, we would shop on one day; and then cook together on another! We would spend the day (most of it) cooking in crock pots, in the oven, etc. Mixing up the "dry mixes" as we both worked.

Then once cooled, we cut, wrapped and froze. For the soups, and beans: we cooled, then put into containers, or zip locks. Now, for a month is a pretty big step. Doing it for even a week at a time, then 2 weeks, til it is so automatic that whenever you cook, cook enough for more than the one meal you are having that night! And then freeze it, so that you cook once, and eat at least another time as well. You can rapidly thaw, by setting it in a sink full of warm water, if you have forgotten to take it out of the freezer! like in 10 to 20 minutes max.

There is a yahoo group of experts that run a group called frozen assets and they are so helpful and there are so much great information just going through the archives that it is well worth joining!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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