Recipes to the rescue.
When your job has you working late, and after-school events come one right after the other, when the family is famished and you have no energy left to even shake it and bake it, what is a busy mom to do? Give yourself a pat on the back for planning ahead, fix yourself a much-needed Bourbon cocktail, then reach into the freezer for one of these make-ahead super-hero freezer meals. Able to revive tired, hungry children and adults with just a few warm bites, this lineup of powerful yet easy freezer meals will give you the tools to win the “what’s for supper” battle. Each recipe is strong enough to stand on its own, but pair it with a healthy green salad or warm homemade bread, and you have an unbeatable team.
Meatball Pasta Bake
Recipe: Meatball Pasta Bake
If you are preparing this for the freezer, there is no need to thaw the frozen meatballs. Save the cheese topping until you are ready to bake.
King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
This top-rated, freezer-friendly casserole combines the flavors of two classics – King Ranch Chicken and Mac and Cheese. Wait until bake time to sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Freeze this hearty favorite in lidded bakeware for easy transport between oven, freezer, and fridge.
Savory Hand Pies
Recipe: Savory Hand Pies
This recipe calls for leftover turkey and green beans, but use your imagination. Any leftover protein and vegetables, such as ground beef, shredded chicken, roasted broccoli, etc., will work great. Unbaked pies can be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen pies 30 to 32 minutes or until golden brown.
Recipe: Chicken Chili
This soup comes together in under an hour, so make a double batch and serve one for dinner and freeze the other.
Recipe: Pasta-Chicken-Broccoli Bake
When preparing this casserole for the freezer, leave the topping off until bake time.
Chicken-Andouille Gumbo with Roasted Potatoes
Spend an afternoon cooking up a pot of this freezer-friendly classic Southern dish. Here is an easy freezer trick: line an empty cereal box with a zip-top bag (like lining a trash can). Fill, then seal the bag and freeze flat while still in the box. Once frozen, remove the bag from the box and stack in your freezer.
Recipe: Zucchini-and-Spinach Lasagna
Pack your farmers' market favorites in this freezer-friendly vegetarian lasagna. Fresh basil, zucchini, and spinach are baked with both ricotta and flavored cream cheese for a hearty casserole. If preparing for the freezer, wait until bake time to sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Recipe: Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
This recipe makes a lot. Perfect for a potluck supper, it can also be divided into smaller baking dishes and frozen. Leave the cheese and almonds off until you are ready to bake.
Recipe: Spinach Lasagna
Keep a pan of this flavor-filled lasagna in the freezer for when friends and family plan an impromptu visit.