Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A little planning goes a long way!

Have you heard of the concept of group freezer meals?

I hadn't till about 8 or 9 years ago.

Once I heard, it sounded like the greatest invention ever!

I shared it with my women friends in Sunday School, and it became a project we did every 1 or 1 1/2 years.

First, you get a group of your friends (I guess they don't have to be your friends...) together, and decide on a recipe that you each want to do.  Then make sure no one is making duplicates.

Then, you can either do all the preparation together, or separately, and come together as a group.

So, for example...say there are 10 of us in my group.

I would make a recipe 9 times (unless I also want one for myself.)

I would totally prepare the recipe, except for cooking it, put it in a foil pan, or other container, and package it in freezer bags.

This is what I mean....

One year, I decided to make Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole.
If you have never had it, you must...if you have never made it...it's the easiest thing to make....
{Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole}

2 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
1 can cream chicken soup
1 c sour cream
1 roll Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick butter
1 1/2 T poppy seeds
 1/2 t salt

Shred chicken and place in greased 8x8 pan.  Mix sour cream and cream chicken soup, and spread over chicken.  Melt one stick butter in the skillet, add crushed crackers, poppy seeds, and salt.  Stir till coated.  Put on top of casserole and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 min.

There were 10 of us in my group, so I made 9 casseroles, packaged them in 8x8 foil pans, slid them in large freezer bags, and froze them until we all met.

When we met, we each brought a cooler, and we each took one one of everything from every person except ourselves.

I had 10 meals that I didn't make, to take home and put in my freezer.  

There were things like beef and noodles, soup, casseroles, chicken enchiladas, cooked spaghetti and meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs, etc.  

All I had to do on busy nights, was pull it out of the freezer in the morning so it could thaw, and then bake it when I got home and add a side dish to it.

Easy, and great.

I think we're doing it again this year with my Sunday School class.  We haven't done it since our kids were small, and that totally doesn't make since, cause when our kids were small...when did we find the time?

Anyway, here are some tried and true recipes I've used to freeze that are easy with only a few ingredients.

{Easy Chicken Enchiladas}

2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas  (or more)

Combine chicken, 1 c cheese and chilies.  In bottom of 9x13 pan, spread 1/2 can enchilada sauce.  Fill enchiladas and roll up, and put in pan seam side down.  Pour rest of enchilada sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25 min.

{Stuffed Shells}
20 jumbo shells (cook accord. to pkg.)
9 oz. cream cheese, soft
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb. hamburger, browned
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Combine the above ingredients, except the shells.  Stuff into cooked shells, and put in 8x8 pan. Mix spaghetti sauce and browned hamburger and pour over shells.  Bake at 375 for 30 min.

Any recipe for Chili would work, or...

{Taco Soup}

1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
28 oz. stewed or crushed tomatoes
1 can corn (or 2 cups frozen sweet corn)
1 taco seasoning packet
1 packet hidden valley ranch.

Cook in crockpot on low 4-6 hours
**for freezer meal, just mix everything and have your recipient cook it.

Even things like green bean casserole would work.  Pretty much anything you can adapt to freeze would work, just don't cook it before you freeze it.

I'm sure this idea is as old as time, but it seems revolutionary!

Try it.  Get a group of women together and make a night of it.

It'll be a blast!


  1. I love the idea! I've been doing a little bit of cooking with a friend lately. She came over and we froze two bushels of corn. The company certainly made the time go faster. Next on our agenda is applesauce for the freezer.

  2. Oh, thank you, thank you! I love new recipes! I should try one of these (or all) and blog about it. I'll even give you props for sharing it. Don't you worry.

    The stuffed shells sound delish! My hubby loves manicotti or anything that includes pasta and ricotta cheese and red sauce! :)

  3. We REALLY need to do this again, Lorie! I can organize it if you want!


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