Starting your one week freezer cooking plan requires that you get prepared. Having all the ingredients and tools that you need prior to starting will ensure a successful experience when preparing your menu for freezer cooking.
The first thing you need to do is to decide on your menu. This will allow you to create a list of items you need to purchase at the grocery store and what tools you’ll need to make the plan come together. Here is a sample one week menu plan that you can use.
Sunday — Chicken Quesadillas & Green Salad
Monday — Chicken Pot Pie & Cucumber Salad
Tuesday — Hearty Chili & Corn Bread
Wednesday — Chicken Penne & Collard Greens
Thursday — Chicken Enchiladas & Mexican Rice
Friday — Meaty Lasagna & Italian Salad with Garlic Bread
Saturday — Baked Mac & Cheese & Sliced Tomato Salad
The Plan of Action
The day before cooking…
Purchase your ingredients. You’ll need to get a fresh start in the morning so plan to shop the day before you want to cook. Store the meat in the refrigerator for use the next day. If you want, you can prepare the Homemade Mexican Spice ahead of time as well. Soak the beans overnight. Don’t worry if you forget, you can do the quick soak method in the morning.
In the morning prepare all meats according to instructions at the same time. In this group of recipes, for instance, the ground meat needs to be browned, and the chicken, all of it, needs to be roasted. Do them all together, to save time. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate for use when preparing the meals.
Assemble your storage containers to be sure you have what you need. Each recipe has storage instructions under them and the next section talks a bit more about proper storage and safety. You can use your kitchen table to help you have enough room, prepare the pans by spraying with nonstick spray if the recipe calls for it. Just get out each recipe and prepare each pan as instructed, and get the items out that you need for storage such as foil, freezer bags, sharpie, and masking tape.
Chop all the veggies first that are for the main dishes. Such as green peppers, onions, and so forth. This is a list of all the veggies from the main dishes that need to be prepared. Caution about chopping potatoes or apples before needed, they may turn brown so you may want to set them aside until you need them for the recipe.
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Sweet Onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1/2 Green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
- 11 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 6 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 Carrots, finely chopped
- 4 Carrots, shredded
- 2 Celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 Cup chopped tomato
- 7 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
Shred all the cheeses, checking recipes to ensure you have the right amounts for each dish. It’s a good idea to set them in bowls easy to dip your measuring cup in. This is a list of all the cheese needed for each recipe totaled up. Shred and store in the fridge for when needed so it doesn’t melt and stick together. You can also purchase them already shredded to save time but it will cost more money.
- 1/2 LB Pepper Jack, shredded
- 1 Cup plus 2 TBS Grated Parmesan
- 4 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Set the canned items aside ready to open when needed, group them per recipe. Ensure that you have a working can opener at the ready.
Prepare the non-meat dishes first, which in this case is the Baked Mac & Cheese and the Collards, which while not a main dish it will be frozen. The remaining side dishes need to be prepared fresh.
Next, prepare the ground beef dishes.
Simply follow the instructions for each recipe in individually. Remember that you’ve already prepared the veggies, and cheeses.
Then prepare the chicken dishes.
Follow each recipe individually, using your precooked chicken in the dishes and all your prepared ingredients for ease.
In this way you will avoid problems with cross contamination. Wash your surfaces between each preparation.
Put together finished dishes and freeze according to instructions right away. Set aside the items for the side dishes for preparing the night you plan the meal.
How to Store Properly
Each recipe has the instructions for storing properly on it, but it’s important that you understand that each dish needs to be wrapped tightly and preferably double wrapped with both foil and a freezer bag when stated.
If you don’t have the vacuum bags, you can easily get the air out of the bags by getting a huge sink full of water, and carefully submerging the bag with the recipe inside into the water which will force the air out. You can also suck the air out of bags with a straw. However you chose to do it, the less air in the bag the better your food will taste and the longer you can freeze it.
You can also use freezer to microwave glass containers with lids. But, even with these, as compared to vacuum freezer bags it would be best not to keep the items frozen for more than a couple of weeks. With the vacuum storage systems available today you can freeze a lot of the items for up to 4 months.
Remember to let items cool down first on the counter, then in the refrigerator, before putting in the freezer. This avoids problems with containers as well as over production of ice crystals from condensation which can harm the flavor of your food. Plus, putting hot items in with your cold items will reduce the temperate for all items in your fridge or freezer and could cause food poisoning.
Each recipe includes reheating instructions, but keep in mind that you must be very careful with glass items. Always thaw glass in the refrigerator first, then set outside on the counter for 10 to 20 minutes before placing in your preheated oven. Some people have had success putting their frozen pans in a non preheated oven without problems. Glass can break if either cooled down or heated too fast.
The important thing to note is that each cooking time is an approximation and depends on how long you’ve thawed your dish. Check your food at half the time, and then don’t be scared to add more time. You want your dishes to be hot all the way through so that they taste freshly prepared.
The Shopping List
Creating a shopping list can be hard. But if you have the right tool it’s not as hard. There is an online tool called ZipList that you can input your own recipes, by imputing the ingredients or by finding them on the Internet. It will combine them all together to help you create your shopping list. The list will come in very handy so that you don’t forget things. You can take things off the list if you already have them in your pantry too.
Here is the shopping list for the menu and recipes above.
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Bag pre-washed and chopped collard greens
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
1 Large bag American Blend Salad
10 Tomatoes – get a variety
2 bags (5 to 8 ounces each) mixed salad greens
3 red potatoes
2 Red Onions
25 Gloves Garlic (about, buy them fresh by the head, they store a long time)
4 Banana Peppers
5 Sweet Onions
6 Bell Peppers, 2 of each color
Bag Celery Hearts
Large Bag of Carrots
Bread & Baked Goods
1 loaf French bread
1 pkg of at least 10 big tortillas (Normal Quesadilla size not jumbo not small)
8 flour tortillas, (8-inch)
Condiments, Dressings & Oils
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Spicy Brown mustard
10 Medium chicken breasts
3 LBS Lean Ground Beef, browned, drained
4 Skinless, boneless breast halves
Canned Foods, Soups & Mixes
1 can of green Chile enchilada sauce
1 Small Can of Diced Green Chilies
2 15 ounce cans beef stock
3 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
5 15 ounce cans chicken stock, or get the cartons, but total ounces should be the same
5 can 15 ounces, diced tomatoes
Small Can Black olives
Grains & Pasta
1 LB mixed dried beans (like kidney, pinto, white, etc…)
1 LB macaroni pasta
1 Package Lasagna Noodles (should be at least 12 inside)
1 LB Bag, uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 LB Dry penne pasta
1 Dozen Eggs
1 LB Pepper Jack Cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 containers (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
8 Ounces Cheddar Cheese
8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
8 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese
8 ounces Parmesan cheese
Small bag frozen peas
Baking & Cooking
All Purpose Flour
Chipotle chili powder
Crushed red-pepper flakes
Dry mustard powder
Himalayan Pink Salt
Non-Food Items (optional – based on what you have on hand)
Freezer Storage Containers
Baked Mac & Cheese
Just like grandma used to make. Great as a meal on its own or a side dish for roasted chicken.
1 LB macaroni pasta
2 Cups Milk
2 TBS Flour
2 TBS Margarine
8 OZ Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 TBS Breadcrumbs
2 TBS Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Boil noodles according to instructions until al dente.
- In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, set aside.
- In a sauce pan, using a whisk, blend together flour, milk, margarine, salt, pepper, dry mustard until it starts to thicken.
- Add cheese, stir until melted.
- In a large bowl, mix together cheese mixture and cooked pasta.
- In a glass baking dish, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, pour the pasta mixture.
- Top with breadcrumb mixture.
To store: Cover with foil, and put into an airtight freezer bag. Label and freeze.
To serve: Thaw in refrigerator overnight, bake covered with foil for 30 minutes at 350° F, until bubbly. If you have extra grated cheese on hand, put a little more on top the last five minutes and bake uncovered.
Sliced Tomato Salad
Use any type of tomatoes that you enjoy. Be creative. You can slide in thin wedges or however you prefer to eat them.
4 Assorted Tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
2 Celery Stalks, sliced thinly
1 Vidalia Onion, sliced thinly
2 TBS Oregano, chopped
4 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
4 TBS Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a carafe, or glass measuring cup, mix together olive oil, oregano, vinegar, set aside.
- Place all cut tomatoes in a serving bowl, with celery and onion, toss with dressing.
- Salt & Pepper to taste.
These are really simple enchiladas to make, but remember that some people cannot tolerate cilantro, if you have anyone in your family who complains about cilantro tasting like soap, don’t put cilantro in your dishes. It’s a genetic thing. You can read about it here.
4 Medium Chicken Breasts, cooked and cut in strips
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
1 PKG 10 LG Tortillas
1 Can Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
1 Small Can Diced Green Chiles
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 15 oz Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
Chopped Fresh Cilantro (optional)
1/2 pound of Pepper Jack Cheese shredded
To cook the chicken breasts braise the outsides in 1 TBS oil in a non stick skillet, transfer to baking pan, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes uncovered in a preheated 400°F oven until no longer pink inside. Check temperature with a meat thermometer. Internal temperature should be 170° F. Let chicken stand for 30 minutes to cool before cutting into strips.
Tip: You can precook chicken as above, then after cooling for 30 minutes, individually wrap chicken breasts in waxed paper. Then put into individual air tight freezer bags. Label. You can freeze cooked chicken breasts like this for up to 4 months. This way you can thaw them out to use in recipes like this.
- In the same non stick skillet you braised the chicken, adding more oil if needed, cook the bell peppers, green chilies, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, cumin and garlic until the peppers are done about 10 minutes. Add the chicken strips to coat.
- In a separate bowl large enough to dunk the tortillas, place the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce. Dip each tortilla in the sauce, coating both sides.
- Place 1/10th of the ingredients into each, roll and place in a 9×13 glass baking dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray. (Tip: use the glass baking pan for your rolling station to avoid a mess.)
- Pour over top any remaining sauce. Top with 1/2 pound shredded pepper jack. Cover tightly with foil or if your pan has a lid put on the lid. Label and Freeze.
To Serve: Reheat from frozen for 45 minutes to 1 hour in 350° oven with foil on. Remove foil last 10 minutes. Serve with Sour Cream with fresh cilantro on top.
This is a great side dish to serve with any traditional Mexican food. It’s also very easy to make.
3 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Uncooked Long-Grain Rice
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
2 Cups Chicken Broth
- Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add rice and cook, stirring continuously until rice is golden.
- Sprinkle with garlic salt and cumin.
- Stir in onion and cook until onion is tender.
- Stir in tomato sauce.
- Stir in chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork.
To store: Cool until room temperature, place in air tight freezer bag so that you can freeze it flat in the freezer. Label and freeze.
To serve: Thaw in refrigerator the day before. Heat in microwave.
This is a hearty meal, in one pot. Pasta, no matter what they say tastes even better reheated. The flavors get to marry and nothing is better for dinner after a busy day. Since the cheese is going to be melted, it’s fine to freeze the cheese either on top of the casserole if in a pan, or taped to the sealed freezer bag.
1/2 LB Dry Penne Pasta
1 TBS Flour
1 15 ounce Can Chicken Stock
2 TBS Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves, cut into cubes
1 Onion, sliced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 15 ounce can, Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Cook penne in boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes (follow package instructions) until al dente. You may want to cook just before al dente for one minute less than instructions to get a better texture when you thaw and reheat the dish.
- Drain and reserve the pasta.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour and stock until smooth.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan, add in the onion and bell pepper, cooking for about 2 minutes, add the garlic and chicken. Staring and cooking, for about ten minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the stock mixture and season with the oregano and basil.
- Stir in the cooked pasta. Cool.
- Pour everything into a greased freezer and oven safe pan, and a plastic air tight sealed bag. Put cheese in a separate air tight container along with the casserole. Just use some masking tape to tape it to the casserole.
- Label and freeze.
To reheat: Thaw in refrigerator the day before. Place in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes until bubbly, add 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, then cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
The time it takes to wash and prepare collards just isn’t worth it sometimes. Now, if you grow your own, or have a handy market that sells collards inexpensively, go for it, but for this recipe we’ve used the bagged, pre-washed and chopped collards because it takes so much less time.
2 TBS Olive Oil
6 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Crushed Red-Pepper Flakes
1 Bag Pre-washed and Chopped Collard Greens
1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 cup water
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, stirring a lot. This take about 3 minutes.
- Stir in red-pepper flakes, cooking an additional 30 seconds.
- Stir in collard greens and 1 tsp salt.
- Add water, cover and turn heat down to medium low. Cook an additional 10 minutes, if there is still water left, heat longer uncovered until all water is burned off.
To store: Cool on the counter and then put into a freezer bag. Label, and freeze.
To serve: To reheat you can cook frozen in the microwave until completely hot after thawing in the fridge over night.
Chicken Pot Pie
2 Pie Crusts (recipe below)
1/2 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
Pepper, to taste
2 TBS Onion, chopped
3 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cups Mushrooms, sliced
3 TBS Margarine
3 Cups Chicken, cubed
3 Carrots, chopped
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
3 Red Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Cups Frozen Peas
Prepare the pie crust according to instructions.
Using a freezer to oven safe ceramic pie 9 inch pie plate, spray with non stick cooking spray. Place one crust on the bottom of the pie plate.
In the meantime, in a large saucepan, melt 1/2 Cup margarine, add onion, cook for 1 minute, then add in flour, salt and pepper. Stir to make a roux. Gradually, using a whisk, stir in chicken broth.
Cook, stirring continuously until smooth and thick.
Combine chicken, and vegetables. Mix well and pour into pie crust bottom.
Top with second pie crust, and seal edges. Make slits in the top and center to allow steam to escape and prevent boil over.
Bake for 30 minutes, in a 400° F oven, until pastry is lightly golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool on counter for about an hour.
Put in the refrigerator for another 2 hours uncovered.
Pack in a freezer bag or zipper bag, removing all the air. Label, and store in the freezer.
To prepare: Remove from freezer bag and thaw in the refrigerator for one night and day, the place in a 350°F degrees oven for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. If the crust is not a golden brown yet, you may heat for an additional 10 minutes on 400 degrees. Serve with Cucumber Salad.
Of course you can buy readymade pie crusts, and do it if you want to. But, you can prepare delicious pie crust on your own. It’s a lot easier than people thing and way cheaper.
1/2 Cup Crisco, refrigerated
1 1/4 Cups All- Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cups Water, ice cold
- Combine four together with the salt, and then crumble the
- Crisco onto the flour until a course meal like consistency. Do this fast because you do not want it to cool down.
- Add the water to the ingredients and stir dough with your hands until it all just sticks together.
- Wrap dough tightly with plastic and keep in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight, until time to use it.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out on a floured board. Double the recipe for 2 pie crusts.
If you want to create a pie crust for use later, you can roll out and make the bottoms only in your pie tins. It’s best to use glass or stainless tins. Cover with parchment paper and plastic for an air tight seal before freezing. You can cook frozen or thawed.
This dish cannot be frozen, but it’s fast and easy to prepare as a side dish to a variety of dishes. It can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator up to a week though. So feel free to make these on cooking day if you can avoid eating them all up before you mean to.
3 Cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
- Place cucumbers and onion into a sealable bowl.
- In a mixing bowl mix together sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
- Pour over sliced cucumbers and onion.
- Seal, give a shake and store in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.
You can also use any leftover poultry in this recipe. So, if your week consisted of any type of turkey or whole chicken you can use that for this recipe.
2 Cups Cooked Chicken
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 Cup Tomato, Chopped
8 — 8 inch, Flour Tortillas
2 TBS Homemade Mexican Spice
- Mix together chicken , 1 cup of the cheese, the chopped tomato and Mexican Spice until well blended.
- Place 1/2 the tortillas on a large baking sheet, covered in parchment paper, spread chicken mixture evenly on each. Top with the other half of the tortillas.
- Freeze for 1 hour on baking sheet.
- Then put in a sealed and labeled storage container along with a sealed bag of 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
To prepare: Remove from freezer the day before, let thaw in refrigerator. Place on a greased (PAM) baking pan into a preheated 400° F oven for 5 minutes, then cover with the shredded cheddar cheese and bake for another 10 minutes..
While baking prepare your green salad and set the table. Dinner is served.
When preparing green salad, it’s always going to be better fresh. You can always purchase bags of salad to be ready to go with any meal that you prepare. Or, you can prepare this salad.
Mixed Greens & Fruit Salad
3 TBS Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, finely chopped
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 TBS Spicy Brown Mustard
2 Bags 8 oz, Mixed Salad Greens
2 Apples, sliced thinly
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Pecans, toasted
- Heat 1 TBS oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until it’s tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the broth, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard into the saucepan and bring to a boil stirring the entire time. Remove from heat, beat the rest of the oil into the mixture using a whisk.
- Mix the greens, apples, cranberries, and pecans in a large salad bowl.
- Toss in 1/2 cup of the prepared dressing at the table right before serving.
- Serve the rest of the dressing with the meal if people want more.
Homemade Mexican Spice
You can use this for a variety of Mexican dishes aside from Quesadillas; it’s good to have on hand or any number of recipes and is less expensive than buying packaged ingredients.
3 TBS Sea Salt, fine
2 TBS Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 TBS Ground Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 TBS Ground Cumin
1/2 TBS Garlic Powder
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Oregano
1 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
Add all ingredients to a bowel. Mix well and store in a sealed container. You can use this for a meat rub, fajitas, tortillas, tacos and more.
Prepare this in the slow cooker on cooking day and it’ll be done by the end of the day. Or prepare as instructed below in your electric pressure cooker, or instant pot, and fix this fast. You can eat it tonight or you can store it in the freezer for eating as planned.
1.5 LBs Lean Ground Beef
1 LB Mixed Dried Beans, Quick Soaked (instructions below)
2 15 ounce cans Beef Stock
1 Large Sweet Onion, coarsely chopped
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
7 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
4 Medium Carrots, shredded
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
3 TBS Chili Powder
1 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
1 Bay Leaf
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- To Quick Soak the beans (you can use a mixture of black, white, kidney, pinto, or just kidney whatever you like), wash the beans, checking for stones, and then place in a large pot covered with water and 2 TBS salt. Bring to a boil, then turn off and cover, leaving off the burner (but be sure you turned it off), for one hour.
- Follow the manufactures instructions for your pressure cooker or instant pot, but use these as a guideline.
- In a pan on the stove, heat half the vegetable oil, brown ground beef in it for 6 to 8 minutes. Throw into the pressure cooker.
- In the pan you browned the ground beef in, add the rest of the oil, and then add onions, carrots, garlic and jalapenos. Sauté until onions are translucent and not browned. Pour into the pressure cooker or instant pot.
- Add the beans, beef stock, bay leaf, chipotle, and chili powder, mix well.
- Cover pressure cooker and lock lid using your manufactures instructions on how long to cook presoaked beans. Usually 7 to 10 minutes.
- Let steam reduce naturally, then you may open and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and let cool for about 30 minutes. Then remove to a freezer safe container, label. Store in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, and then move it to the freezer.
If you decide to cook in the slow cooker, follow all the directions except put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
1 Cup Corn Meal
1 Cup All- Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 TBS Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten slightly
- Stir dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add in oil, milk, and egg, mixing just until blended. Do not beat.
- Pour into greased 9×13 pan or muffin tins.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a 400°F oven, or until toothpick comes out clean.
To store: You can store this in the freezer as batter in a greased silicone muffin pan. You’ll need to cook 50 percent longer straight from frozen.
Alternatively, you can bake then freeze the cornbread after baking. Bring it to room temperature before wrapping. Then wrap in freezer paper, then an airtight freezer bag. Label. To reheat, thaw on counter, then microwave it for a moment to make it oven warm.
Everyone loves lasagna. This one can’t be beat for its simplicity and flavor. Since you don’t cook the noodles first, you don’t have a messy problem with wet noodles, or a risk of having over cooked noodles when you reheat it.
1.5 LBS Lean Ground Beef, browned, drained
2 15 ounce containers Ricotta Cheese
½ Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded, divided
½ Cup Shredded Cheddar
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
2 15 ounce cans Tomato Sauce
1 TBS Chili Powder
1 TBS Garlic Powder
1 TBS Sugar
12 Uncooked Lasagna Noodles
- Brown ground beef, drain. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, 1/2 of parmesan cheese, and eggs. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and sugar until dissolved.
- Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking pan with non-stick cooking spray
- Pour a small amount of tomato sauce mixture into bottom of glass pan just to coat.
- Place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce.
- Top with 1/2 of the meat mixture. (just the bottom and center layer will have meat, not the top)
- Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top, sprinkle 1/2 of 1/2 of the reserved mozzarella (you want to save half for the top)
- Repeat process, ending with 1/2 of the mozzarella, the rest of the parmesan and all the cheddar on top.
To store: Cover tightly with foil, or slip glass pan into an airtight freezer bag, label and freeze.
To serve: Cover with foil and bake from frozen in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until bubbly. Remove foil last 10 minutes.
Lasagna is delicious served with a traditional Italian Salad. You’ll prepare this while your lasagna is cooking.
1 Bag American Blend Salad Mix
5 Slices Red Onion
6 Black Olives
4 Banana Peppers
1/2 Cup Croutons
1 Small Tomato, quartered
2 TBS Italian Dressing
Parmesan Cheese, grated
In a large chilled salad bowl, combine all the ingredients, tossing with the dressing, and topping with the cheese. Serve. You can store without the dressing or cheese covered in the fridge for one night.
Sure, you can buy a frozen loaf of garlic bread if you want to, which will save you time, but try this one sometime.
1 Loaf French Bread
3 Cloves Garlic, roasted
1/2 Cup Butter, soft
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 TBS Parsley
1/2 tsp Oregano
To roast the garlic:
- Get a lot of large garlic heads, cut off the top, to expose the garlic inside. Using a small pan, like a 9×9 pan, drizzle with olive oil, place the cut side up in the pan, and rub around to coat with the oil.
- Drizzle with more olive oil, they should be completely coated so they don’t dry out. Sprinkle with sea salt, some pepper, wrap tightly with foil and put into a 350° F oven for 45 minutes.
Let cool for 20 minutes, now you can grab the bottom of the garlic heads and squeeze out the cloves.
- They should pop right out and will be very mushy if they’re done. Wrap in foil and store in the fridge for use anytime within a week.
To prepare the bread:
- Mush the 3 gloves of garlic into the butter along with the parsley and oregano.
- Split the loaf and spread butter mixture over the bread.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese
- Sprinkle with paprika
Bake in a 350° F oven for 8 to 10 minutes until it’s nice and golden brown.
These recipes have been prepared and tested. They are all delicious. You can make them even healthier if you choose to use skim milk, low fat cheese, and make other substitutions. They work either way.
Freezer cooking is a time saver in the kitchen, and will save you money in the long run due to the fact that you won’t be tempted to run to the drive through when you’re busy and tired. Knowing you can reheat something fast and easily that is homemade will make everyone want to show up for dinner.