Make ahead freezer meals are ideal for a busy lifestyle. Simply prepare the dish, pop it in the freezer, and bring it out to thaw and bake when you need a meal.
Preparing for Make Ahead Freezer Meals
While casseroles and lasagna freeze well, there are other recipes that can be stored in the freezer for up to about three months. Purchase some freezer bags so that you can put your containers of food inside them. This will ensure the freshness of your meal and help it to keep well in the freezer.
There are plenty of make ahead freezer meals to try, including meat pies with a pastry crust, meatloaves, and spaghetti.
Below are two chicken recipes, one using pastry shells and one with a touch of wine.
Ingredients for Chicken in Shells with White Sauce
- 6 puff pastry shells, frozen
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of dry sherry
- 2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed
- In a saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of butter until bubbly.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour.
- Stir well until blended.
- Add milk by using a whisk.
- Bring to boil while stirring constantly with the whisk.
- Add chicken broth and sherry into the warm white sauce.
- Stir well and add the cubed and cooked chicken.
- Let the mixture cool before freezing.
- To freeze, pour the sauce and chicken into a container.
- Wrap the container in a freezer bag.
- Bundle with the frozen pastry shells.
- When ready to serve, bake the pastry shells as directed.
- Place the frozen sauce into a saucepan and reheat gently on top of the stove.
- Stir well.
- Add 1 tablespoon water or stock if necessary.
- To serve, spoon hot sauce into puff-pastry shells.
- Serve hot.
- Makes 6.
Ingredients for Chicken in Wine Sauce
- 4 pounds of chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 4 ounces of bacon, diced
- 2 small yellow onions, peeled
- 3 ounces of whole mushrooms
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups of dry red wine
- 1 cup of beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan with the olive oil.
- Fry bacon until crisp.
- Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Brown the chicken in the bacon fat.
- Put the chicken pieces and bacon in a 2-quart baking dish.
- Fry the onions and celery in the fat remaining in the pan.
- Add to the baking dish.
- Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan.
- Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Blend the garlic and flour in the remaining fat.
- Cook until browned.
- Add wine, broth, and herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer gently until mixture thickens slightly.
- Pour over chicken in the casserole.
- Let cool and then freeze by covering cooled casserole with aluminum foil.
- Wrap in a freezer bag.
- To serve, thaw overnight in refrigerator or 4 to 5 hours at room temperature.
- Place covered casserole in 350-degree oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until bubbling and hot.
Now that you have some recipes, spend an afternoon preparing make ahead freezer meals so when you need a meal in a hurry, you will just have to take it out of your freezer and heat.