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Freezer Meal Dinner Recipes

Category Main Dishes
Make ahead meals can be very helpful for those days when you are very busy and don't have time to cook. This page contains freezer meal dinner recipes.
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Recipes

Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these recipes. If you have made this recipe please submit a photo and let us know how it worked. Or, add your own recipe variation.

Cynthia Smith0 found this helpful
May 1, 2006

Say goodbye to generic jarred pasta sauces and experience your own restaurant quality meaty pasta sauce any day of the week. Prepare large batches in advance, freeze and enjoy with every pasta meal.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

In a large saucepan (Dutch oven), cook the beef, sausage and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are tender. Drain the excess fat. Stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, mushrooms, pepperoni, Parmesan cheese, sugar and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Cool the sauce before freezing in serving sized portions.

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To use the frozen spaghetti sauce, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, heat it in a saucepan and serve it over your favorite dish.

This recipe yields 11 1/2 cups of sauce.

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Amy Mahoney0 found this helpful
May 17, 2006
freezer mealsGreat as an appetizer or main meal, these beef-filled cabbage rolls are sure to please.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (uncooked)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 48 oz. can of tomato juice

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix meat and rice together.
  2. Pull individual leaves off cabbage and spread out on parchment paper or large cutting board.
  3. Place 1/4-cup meat mixture in a long meatball shape in the center of each leaf.
  4. Fold in sides and roll ends over meat.
  5. Place carefully in pot, pour tomato juice over rolls and cook on low for 1 hour.
  6. Try to disturb cooking cabbage rolls as little as possible. If you feel you must mix cooking cabbage rolls, do so very carefully.
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  7. Freeze entire mixture in plastic container

Directions for preparing frozen meal:

Allow time to defrost on counter or in refrigerator. You may defrost in microwave, but do so very slowly. Carefully transfer defrosted mixture into large pot and bring to a simmer until rolls are cooked all the way through.

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Amy Mahoney0 found this helpful
May 8, 2006

A perfect addition to any brunch or an easy supper for two, this quiche is delicious with a mimosa in the morning or a salad and white wine in the evening.

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April 27, 20060 found this helpful

When I'm preparing a meal on a weekend, it's just as easy to double the amount and freeze a meal to eat later in the work week. Here are some great recipes that you can double up on and pull from freezer to oven on a busy day.

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Stuffed Green Peppers

Ingredients

Directions

In a large skillet, brown meat and onion. Drain and add cooked rice, tomato soup and seasonings. Add water to produce desired consistency. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add shredded cheese, cooking only until the cheese melts. Lay six of the peppers halves flat in a baking dish. Lay the remaining six flat in a freezer container. Fill each pepper half with meat and rice mixture. To bake immediately, cover the peppers in the baking dish with aluminum foil. Cook at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes.

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Freeze the remaining six stuffed peppers in a covered freezer dish. To bake, transfer frozen to a baking dish and cook at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until tender.


Leftover Beef Roast Pie

This pie is an excellent way to use leftover beef roast. You can make as many as you want at a time, and freeze them for later use.

Ingredients

Directions

In a skillet, heat shortening, and add celery, pepper, and onions. Saute until soft and onions are clear. Stir in beef, soup and seasonings. Place entire mixture on top of one pastry shell in a 9" pie pan. Top with remaining pastry shell, pinching edges together to prevent seepage, and slash top pastry to vent. To cook immediately, bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. To freeze, place pie in a freezer container and cover. Cook frozen pie at 425 degrees for 50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.


Other Make Ahead Meal Ideas

You can also double soup recipes and eat one tonight, while freezing the rest for later. Soups that freeze well are split pea, bean soups, vegetable soups in a beef broth, French onion, and soups with a chicken broth. They can be frozen in gallon size freezer bags, or in covered freezer containers. Just thaw and simmer until done! One of the added health benefits of freezing soup is that any fat in the soup will rise to the top and harden, so it can be removed prior to cooking.

By Patti

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Cynthia Smith0 found this helpful
May 8, 2006

When you need something that looks like it took a lot of effort to make but you don't have the time, these Chicken Wonton Rolls are just the thing! Try serving with chicken gravy to make a complete meal!

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Amy Mahoney0 found this helpful
May 3, 2006

This heart-healthy dish is low fat, high fiber and packed with protein and veggies. However, the authentic South West flavor will ensure that it is a family favorite when topped with shredded cheddar and coupled with warm corn bread.

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Amy Mahoney0 found this helpful
May 3, 2006

This versatile, crowd pleasing favorite can be served over pasta accompanied by garlic bread, salad and a great Cabernet for an elegant, easy dinner party. Or, serve on Italian Bread as a special addition to a casual barbecue.

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Solutions

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By 3 found this helpful
March 2, 2010

My best tip for me is to have all the ingredients for a dish all in a bag. I freeze onion, green peppers, celery and okra in a bag along with chicken cubes. Toss in a pot with chicken broth, garlic. canned tomatoes and you have soup, serve with rice that has been frozen.

In another bag, I have chili beans, chicken stock and chili spices. Add frozen onions and green peppers and you have chili. Find a dish that you like, keep all the ingredients marked for just that along with the directions. Freeze taco meat for salad or tacos.

By Gramfive from Port Orchard, WA

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March 9, 20170 found this helpful

Beef stew can be an easy thing to make lots of. Save some for meals later by freezing some serving of beef stew. This is a guide about beef stew (freezer meal).

Freezing Beef Stew

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Questions

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.

By 0 found this helpful
March 14, 2010

I have a target goal of trying to spend no more than 300 dollars a month for groceries for me and my fiance. My spending for food usually is not very frugal. I have this impulsive urge to buy take out when I don't want to cook. I forget to pack lunches and snacks with me when I go out and end up buying take out.

Cooking meals like casseroles and soups is something I would like to do more. I just don't know where to really start. Any sites that suggest how to make easy simple soups and casseroles, that can be frozen? Or does someone want to share any ideas of your own?

By ChildGoddess from Kenora, Ontario

Answers

March 14, 20100 found this helpful

It really is possible to feed 2 on 300 a month and you are smart to think about casseroles and soups. I get the impression that you might be a beginner cook? Start with something easy but that has big impact, like a lasagne. I happen to love the recipe that is on the no-bake Barilla lasagne noodle box. I have been cooking for 40 years, but that is the best one I have ever used.

You could do two 8x8 dishes that would each yield 4 hearty portions, or enough for 2 nights. I add a couple layers of very thinly sliced, cooked Italian sausage too, which makes it my own. A basic chicken noodle soup is also a great economical dish, especially if you can get your chicken on sale. Go to allrecipes.com and foodtv.com for lots and lots of great recipes. Get yourself a crockpot and make large batches of beef stew (for that night, and to freeze leftovers). Economical doesn't always mean pasta either; think polenta or brown rice. Best of luck to you!

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

I've been fixing this Bisquick Taco Bake for years. I first made it WAAY back when my husband and I first started living together, and it's been a family favorite. I use a can of beans instead of corn (personal preference). I use less cheese (maybe 1 cup) and I mix the cheese right into the Bisquick mixture. I accidentally mixed it in a long time ago, and I liked the results better. I don't think I've ever frozen it, but we usually have leftovers a few nights later, and my husband will take some for his lunch.

http://www.bett  78a-ebce5cbfe9b3

And I agree about using the crock pot. Toss it together and turn it on in the morning, and have a yummy dinner that evening! And you can use the less expensive meats . . . they'll still be nice and tender after the long, slow cooking. We like this stroganoff recipe. I HAVE frozen the sauce before, and it thawed/reheated nicely.

http://allrecip  ff-I/Detail.aspx

And this pepper steak recipe is an oldie but goodie for us. Over the years I've modified the recipe a little. I use low sodium soy sauce, omit the salt, and add maybe a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. I buy no salt added 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (can't find 16 oz anymore!), and add a small can of tomato paste. I serve with brown rice. It freezes well.

http://www.tast  ked-Pepper-Steak

I hope you find some good recipes. If you find that you like a crock pot recipe, you can increase the recipe and you'll have more to freeze. Best of luck!

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you guys a lot for your feedback and advice. Yes, I'm a beginner cook. Lol. I have a crock pot at home. I want to make some frugal crock pot meals with it.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Soups are the best fast food in the world. Freeze half in two serving containers. Keep the other half for quick microwave meals. And you can increase your servings of vegetables so quickly and be much healthier.

Here are some of the ones I have been cooking this past three months.
http://allrecip  Soup/Detail.aspx
http://allrecip  p-II/Detail.aspx

http://allrecip  Stew/Detail.aspx
http://allrecip  Soup/Detail.aspx

http://allrecip  sque/Detail.aspx
http://allrecip  Soup/Detail.aspx

http://allrecip  Soup/Detail.aspx
http://allrecip  Soup/Detail.aspx

And this one is the best - but cook tortellinis separately and put those in the bowl first (omit noodles from recipe) and then ladle in the hot soup, top with grated Parmesan cheese.
http://allrecip  Soup/Detail.aspx

Use your time wisely by planning to make two or three of these in one day over the weekend. That way you have many meals prepared ahead and just have to clean up the kitchen that one day.
You will be shocked how much money you will save and how much better the food you prepare will taste.
Robin

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Anonymous
March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Both of these are Crockpot recipes and both are freezable ;-)

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
1 can orange soda
1/4 cup of water
1 cup diced celery

Place chicken in crock pot and pour soda and water over the chicken and then top with celery. Cook on low and test for doneness at 6 hours but, depending on your crock pot, it could take up to 8 hours.

Zesty Minestrone - Slow Cooker

A yummy full bodied meal when served with crusty bread smothered with unsalted butter and a mixed green salad tossed with a vinaigrette dressing.

1/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing (I use Kraft)
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can (19 oz.) kidney beans, white beans or garbanzo beans rinsed
2 cans (14 oz. each) vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1-1/2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (fresh or packaged)

Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots; cook 2 minutes or until crisp yet tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer in to a slow cooker. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, water and seasoning and stir. Cover with lid. Cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in pasta and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

This is very easy to cook, economical, and makes enough for several meals.

Easy Taco Soup

1 and &frac; pound ground round beef
1 large onion chopped
2 cans stewed tomatoes ( Do Not Drain)
1 can Ranch Style Pinto Beans (Drained)
1 can regular Pinto Beans (Drained)
1 can cream corn
1 can yellow hominy * (Drained)
1 can Rotel with green chili
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry)
1 package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix (dry)

Brown beef and onion. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer , simmer a couple hours.

This is a thick, dark red, soup with the consistency of chili.

(Hominy not optional! You won't taste it and it adds a little "crunch" that is delightful in this recipe. But if you must, substitute a can of yellow corn kernels. Very festive when served topped with grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and a dollop of sour cream.

Crockpot : You can use your crockpot for this recipe. It makes a nice dinner to come home to on a cold day. Brown the ground beef and onion. Do not drain beef mixture, pour into crock pot, and add all other ingredients. Stir. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

This is a fantastic group if you are looking to get freezer recipes & learn all the little tricks & hints!
http://groups.y  p/frozen-assets/

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March 19, 20100 found this helpful

Learn to make a white sauce from scratch -- google it
You can vary the white sauce to become a homemade version of cream of chicken, mushroom, celery, cheddar etc.
Suggestions:
Mac & cheese casserole with ham and spinach or broccoli pieces in it.
Lasagna can be made with cottage cheese cheaper and frozen too.
Casserole assembly:
Meat
starch such as rice, noodles, potatoes
veggie such as peas, carrots, corn, greens, etc
sauce/gravy
topping such as cheese, seasoned bread or cracker crumbs, crushed potato or tortilla chips, etc.
Line your casserole with foil enough to wrap over the casserole while freezing. When frozen you can take the foil wrapped casserole out of the dish and replace in freezer and your dish is free again.

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