I’m not talking about the Dinner’s in the Freezer or Once A Month Cooking methods. Those are great methods if you have the time and desire. But if you still want be a little ahead of the game without that much work, here are some easy ways to do it:
- If you have a lot of recipes that use “chicken breasts, cooked and shredded”, then the next time you’re cooking chicken to shred, cook extra and freeze it in 1 cup increments. Then the next time you have a recipe that calls for shredded chicken, pull out the appropriate amount and you’re good to go.
- If you have recipes that call for “1 pound ground beef, cooked”, do the same thing. Cook several servings of beef and freeze them in one pound increments (don’t forget that 16 ounces cooked shrinks down to about 12 ounces). Again, if a recipe calls for one pound cooked beef, it’s already ready and usually doesn’t even have to be thawed.
- Double and freeze. Some recipes lend themselves well to doubling – like chili. So when you make one of those types of recipes, make a double batch and freeze the second batch. Another good one to double is taco meat.
- Vegetables. When you’re chopping green peppers, red peppers, onion, etc. – go ahead and chop more and freeze.
- Pizza Crust. Make pizza dough. Roll out the crust, cook about five minutes to set, and then freeze. To serve, pull out the crust, put on your favorite toppings, and bake. Or you can make the dough, shape it into a ball, put it in a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer. To serve, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight or all day, roll out, put on your favorite toppings and bake.
- You can even freeze meat in a marinade. For example, prepare chicken, place it in a zip lock bag, add the marinade, and put the bag in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, put in the refrigerator the night before and it’s good to go when you’re ready to fix dinner.
These are just a few ways you can make life simpler by cooking ahead and freezing. But depending on what you cook, there are probably a lot more things you can do ahead and freeze. Take a look at your recipes and see what you can do ahead to save yourself time later.