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This Week’s Freezer Cooking (yes, I’m *finally* back to it again!)

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

So, as you may have noticed, after years of being a big advocate of Freezer Cooking, I had sort of fallen off the bandwagon.

Well, “sort of fallen off the bandwagon” isn’t even close to accurate.

I fell off hard and didn’t even attempt to get back up on the bandwagon. I kind of just laid on the side of the road and tried to pretend I wasn’t once such a hardcore freezer cooking proponent. 🙂

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

I could state a dozen different reasons why I stopped freezer cooking, but the truth of the matter is that I let other things take a higher priority. And since Jesse’s been doing so much of the cooking, we’ve been surviving just fine without me regularly stocking the freezer.

However, now that summer is here, school is finished, and I feel like I have more breathing room in our schedule, the freezer cooking itch resurfaced again.

For a little while, I tried to ignore the itch.

But then I thought of all the yummy things I used to stock the freezer with. And, well, my appetite got the better of me and I came to my senses and realized that I should stop ignoring the itch and actually get up and do something about it.

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

So I looked through the refrigerator, cupboards, and freezer and made a real freezer cooking list.

And I felt all domestic and homemaker-y just by writing the list.

{Of course, I’m one of those weird people who just absolutely adores list-writing and lists. They make me so happy!}

Here’s what I put on this list:

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

I made the Barbecued Chicken first because I wanted to get it in the oven for dinner. This is literally the easiest recipe on the planet. A bottle of barbecue sauce dumped over chicken breasts.

(I used frozen chicken breasts and stuck it all straight in the oven. Which meant it had to cook longer and probably goes against all the cooking rules. But whatever. I’m a cooking rebel like that. ;))

You can also cook this in the crockpot or on the grill. It’s yummy however you cook it!

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

 This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

Berries have been on sale at Aldi and elsewhere recently, so we’ve been in berry heaven around here. We had some extras and I wanted to freeze them for smoothies. Why? Because my kids down smoothies in summer like their life depends upon it! 🙂

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

Okay, I sort of lied. Because I told you Barbecued Chicken was the easiest recipe on the planet. Except, I think Italian Chicken might tie for first place when it comes to the Easiest Recipes on the Planet Contest.

{If there really was such a contest, you know that I could enter pretty much all my recipes in it. Because, well, I’m the cook who likes one-bowl recipes with fewer than seven ingredients and two steps, thank you very much!}

This recipe is such a winner and every time I serve it to people they rave about it. And then I’m kind of embarrassed when they ask me for the recipe. 😉

People always wonder how I can make so many different recipes in such a short amount of time. Well, it’s because my “recipes” are so crazy easy that we probably shouldn’t even call them recipes. But they are food that my people eat and love and that I make with ingredients (even if there are only two or three of said ingredients!), so that qualifies them as “recipes”, right?

{If you just said “wrong”, please don’t tell me. I don’t want to be wrong! I never like to be wrong, ever, but especially not if it means I have to start using multiple bowls and steps and ingredients I can’t pronounce. No, ma’am!}
This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Southwest Rollups recipe has been a family favorite since the beginning of our marriage. It’s easy (of course!), frugal, and filling. 

I got lazy and decided to change things up a little this time around. Instead of rolling up the filling inside the tortillas, I tried making it like a sort of Southwest Rollup Lasagna. It was super easy, but we haven’t tasted it yet to see if we like it this way or not.

(That’s the only downside to posting about my freezer cooking the week I cook… We haven’t actually tried everything yet! Because the point of freezer cooking is so I have things in the freezer for later! ;))

I think it will work well, but it does kind of negate the whole “being able to pop a rollup in the microwave at any time of the day or night” thing that the usual way of making the recipe allows you to. However, I don’t think my family will complain.

Plus, it will guarantee that no one sneaks rollups without me knowing about it and then me going to serve my family rollups and finding that they are all G-O-N-E! Don’t ask me how many times that has happened!

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session
This Week's Freezer Cooking Session
This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

I loved this Mac & Cheese recipe so much that I had to write a whole post swooning over it already. You can go read it here.

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session
This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

And I made Freezer-Friendly PB&J Sandwiches — a perfect thing to have in the freezer on busy summer days! I even did a quick video about it because so many people have asked me about this “recipe” recently. Watch the video here.

This Week's Freezer Cooking Session

And I saved the best for last! This Berry Crisp is amazing. Amazing, I tell you. (I used blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. I also added some almonds to the crust and used flour instead of almond meal.)

Truth be told, I had no plans to put this beauty in the freezer. It was going straight into my stomach as soon as it was done.

I had it for dessert last night and then again for breakfast this morning. I told myself it was basically like eating a bowl of oatmeal with fruit. Ahem. 🙂

{I’m so good at justifying eating dessert for breakfast. I mean, don’t you know that chocolate cake is basically like eating a cupcake which is basically like a muffin? And muffins are healthy and 100% breakfast food. Therefore, you can totally eat chocolate cake for breakfast! ;)}

So there you have the full scoop on my freezer cooking from this week! It felt so good to be making ahead food in the kitchen and it feels SO good to have food at-the-ready in the freezer.

Now tell me, why on earth did I ever think it was okay to fall off the Freezer Cooking bandwagon?? I have no idea… but I can tell you this: I’ve hopped back up on the train and plan to be sharing lots more freezer cooking posts with you in the coming weeks and months! 🙂

Do you have any great freezer cooking recipes to share that you think I should try? Share the link in the comments!

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48 Comments

  • I’ve gotten off the bandwagon a little bit as well, but you are right about it being such a help (and especially with summer). That berry crisp looks so yummy!!

  • Awe! That looks delicious. I have berry crisp envy! 🙂 I’m so glad that you have these posts going again. They are inspiring! Freezer cooking with many of your recipes saved my sanity a few years back. I fell off the wagon too and I’m on the side of the freezer cooking road, in the ditch. Maybe I will climb out! Your brown sugar biscuit twists will be the first thing I will make. Thanks for sharing!

  • Renee says:

    Thanks for sharing the macaroni and cheese recipe. We had it for dinner tonight before church. It was a hit!

  • Renee says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I read your blog daily. Thank you for all the wonderful helpful life tips. I recently discovered a new item for my freezer cooking. Any kids of sandwich that you serve hot. I recently did turkey, ham, mustard, sweet pickle, mild hot peppers and swiss cheese. Make sandwiches and wrap each in foil. Pop into freezer, then pop into the crock pot on low about 2 hours before service time. Straight from the freezer and keep in the foil. I suppose you could do them in the oven for 30 minutes or so too but I live in AZ and anytime I can avoid the oven in the summer months is a good thing. Add some sides and dinner is done.

  • Kristin says:

    hahahaha you had me laughing out loud at the beginning!

    After baby #2, I’ve fallen off the wagon of freezer cooking and meal planning, but this week (2 weeks shy of him turning a year old!!) i think I’m finally back into the groove!

  • Jessica says:

    Welcome back to freezer cooking! I’m counting the days for school to be done and then I’m giving it my all (or a couple hours) next week!

  • Courtney says:

    I loved this post! You sound like you’re in a really good mood and reading this made me smile. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    (I like reading your more serious posts, too; I just feel bad when it’s clear there are some not-so-great things going on. Keep up the great work with both kinds of posts! 🙂 ).

  • Dixyann Smith says:

    You should listen to Bill Cosby’s sketch on chocolate cake for breakfast. Also I’m waiting for chicken to go on sale near me and will probably do 80# of chicken into various crockpot meals. My meals all require about 7 ingredients, but I make about 5-7 different recipes and make them multiple times to be set for a couple of months.

  • Rosanna says:

    I only tried freezer cooking once, but it took way too much time my way and I hated it. I think I like your way better. Maybe I’ll try it sometime.

    I recently fell off the meal planning bandwagon. (Like for the first 4 months of this year) It was terrible! I spent way more money on groceries than I should have and I never knew what to make. So glad that I finally got myself back on.

    • Sherri says:

      One very simple way to freezer cook is to take whatever you are making for dinner and then triple the recipe. It’s just as easy to make 3 meatloaves as it is 1, and the only extra dishes are 2 loaf pans. If you did this once or twice a week, you’d get a nice stock of freezer meals without spending all day in the kitchen.

  • Jen Fitzpatrick says:

    I clicked on the link for the southwest rollups and it takes me to the page, but it only has a picture and no recipe! Do you have it listed somewhere else??

  • I love these posts! So glad that your schedule is allowing you some time for freezer cooking again. I am a teacher and am finishing my last day this week. So, so excited to get to do the same this summer! The other night I cooked up a bunch of chicken, shredded it, and put into small baggies in the freezer. Now I have chicken ready to go for pastas, salads, casseroles, etc.

  • Valerie says:

    I was just thinking this week how you hadn’t done any posts on freezer cooking in awhile! I learned to freezer cook from your blog and it has done us wonders! We stocked an entire chest freezer when I was pregnant with my first baby, and now due with #2 any day we haven’t stocked quite as much, but still have done some! I might have to get back in the saddle a bit more too!

  • Deana says:

    You are so awesome!! My husband said there is a lot of truth to the chocolate cake logic.

  • Kerry says:

    Thank you for this delightful post! I could hear your joy in your writing and couldn’t help but smile as I read it! I have yet to get on the freezer meal bandwagon but will definitely be trying it this summer. But I do routinely freeze berries, bananas, and other fruits for smoothies. 🙂

  • sara says:

    I regularly do the aldi freezer plans by I Am That Lady. I especially love the newer dump meals for the crockpot.

  • You go girl! I love the pictures. 🙂

    I don’t do freezer cooking, because…well I don’t. I don’t have a good reason. I’m not against it, I just don’t. 😀 Sometimes I’ll make a week’s worth of meals on Saturday though.

  • Lisa says:

    Yay freezer cooking!

    My big freezer is off right now so I’m more limited in space but I have somewhat stocked up this week. Our favorite summer strategies are having plenty of containers of cooked beans and chicken frozen in marinades. I got that idea from Jessica at Life As Mom. Last week cut up chicken was on sale so I snagged two packs and divided them into meal’s worth and dumped in the marinades. This week it was boneless skinless breasts so were all full up with chicken.

    My husband taught me to grill last summer so it’s my new favorite way to make dinner. When I have time. Yay summer!

    • I need to get more comfortable with the grill, too!! Way to go on learning that!

      • Jen says:

        My husband taught me how to start our old grill (the starter button had broken) so I didn’t burn off my eyebrows. ;-0 Luckily, we have since gotten a new grill with all buttons, burners and knobs functioning.

        That said, I am a much better grill master than my husband. He tends to cook the life out of meat whereas I keep it moist (and sometimes a bit charred on the edges).

  • Kacy says:

    This is true vintage Money Saving Mom right here! Reading about your freezer batch cooking brought me back, girl! I remember first reading your freezer cooking articles with a baby on my hip and now she’s 8! I just had to tell you the post bright back some nostalgia ?

  • cheryl says:

    Another way to “easily freezer” cook is to make a double batch of whatever you are making and then freeze it, or if we have a nice amount of leftovers, I’ll freeze them the same day. Right now I have soup and a “Taco Dippers” in the freezer ready to go and it was unplanned freezer cooking. I like http://www.melskitchencafe.com site because she has summer meal plans I can use with recipes and I love your southwest rollups! (I’ll have to make that recipe again, a family favorite!)

  • Riann says:

    I looooove reading these! I also love freezer cooking but get also get lazy. I got so excited when I saw this!! Hope the “southwest lasagna” is good too!

  • Iris says:

    When you do the Italian chicken or just want another version of chicken, I highly suggest coating the frozen pieces with mayonnaise and spices of your choosing. You can get creative. Adds a whole other flavor and moisture to your chicken. Cook like normal. I do this for wedding receptions and get rave reviews.

  • Heather says:

    Someone else said it…. but couldn’t agree more! This is classic vintage money saving mom! And Vintage in a COOL way!! These are the posts that got me hooked on your blog and gave such encouragement to be a blessing to my family!!! EXCITED to see this post!!

  • The BBQ Meatball recipe you shared during a freezer cooking challenge a few years ago has become one of my family’s absolute favorite things to eat. We could eat it once a week and not get tired of it 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    I feel like I learned most of my freezer cooking tips from MSM or Andrea Dekker, so you probably are the one who originally “taught” me to make these, haha… in any case, my favorite things to freeze are:

    – plain cooked chicken, shredded + cooked ground beef – we freeze these in sandwich-sized ziploc baggies and it’s enough to easily add to quesadillas, taco salad, chili, etc.

    – individual rice bowls: some type of cooked protein (chicken, beef, pork) + brown rice or quinoa + 3-5 types of roasted/cooked veggies (carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.) We freeze them in individual portions and my husband takes for his lunch nearly every day. If you’re really fancy you can change up with soy sauce, salsa, ranch dressing, etc. to have different flavors. It’s a good bit of work on the front end (though mostly hands-off cooking in the oven or rice cooker) but it is worth it to have 2 weeks of lunches for him.

    – “egg dish” – we make a 13 x 9 egg casserole (I like the recipe from Our Best Bites for Overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole) at the beginning of the week and then leave it in the fridge for a few days, eating the leftovers each morning for breakfast. When we didn’t have kids, we would freeze it in individual portions, but these days we never really get to the freezer point because we eat it all first. 😉

    Thanks for the ideas! 🙂 I am going to have to try that mac and cheese soon! 🙂

  • Tonya says:

    It is so nice to see the results of your year of rest. Meal planning is such a great blessing!

    Have you tried browning ground beef in the crockpot? I mix in all the veggies too, onions, celery, grated zucchini etc and seasonings, then cool and freeze for recipes.
    You can also do your taco meat. Stick your extra lean ground beef in slow cooker with your taco seasonings and come back a few hours later, crumble with a fork and serve

  • Jill says:

    Thank you! You are the person who taught me about freezer cooking when my daughter was born. She’s now 6. I too had gotten away from it and am thankful for grace. It’s now time to get back in the saddle and thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kathy says:

    I agree I learned a lot of my freezer cooking ideas from you – six years ago soon after I had my first child! Recently our family started making this freezer recipe, although its kind of more of a snack. But since it involves strawberries, I’m thinking you might love it. 😉

    http://www.frugallancaster.com/2016/04/06/frozen-yogurt-bites/

  • Linda Cagnetti says:

    I am subscribed and love to read, but never got a freezer cooking guide and would love to. How can I do that?

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