Post # 1
I am trying to make a few meals and freeze them so we have some things in the freezer for when we come home with the baby. I am going to make a large sauce and make some lasagna and chicken parmesean. Am I supposed to bake it before freezing or just assemble to dishes and cook them when I take them out of the freezer?
On my list lasagna, chicken parm, chicken pot pie, chili, beef stew, and tomato bisque soup. Any advice on how to freeze any of these is great. Also, feel free to add if you have another great recipe.
Post # 3
You can do it either way. I find it easier to freeze before cooking so I can just cook it when I want to eat and it’s nice and warm from the oven. Otherwise you just deal with microwaving individual portions to eat.
I usually put the food I want to cook into the fridge for a day or two to thaw before cooking it.
Post # 4
If I “mix” foods (i.e. meat and cheese in lasagna) then I always cook before freezing. Meat by itself is fine to freeze, but if you are mixing several things together (like in a casserole), I suggest cooking first!
Post # 5
I always cook before freezing. It makes it easier to defrost and then heat up via pot/crock pot and oven. =)
Post # 6
If you pre cook things like lasagna, it will take much less time to be ready in the oven when you actually want to eat it. I’m planning on cooking up a bunch of freezer meals when I’m close to my due date too. Although I’m probably going to plan things that don’t require the oven (and Darling Husband will probably BBQ a bunch) since I’m due in June and I don’t like using the oven during the summer.
Post # 7
Thanks, seems like it can be done a few different ways.
@MrsSawyer- What meals are you planning on making ahead of time that you freeze but they never need to be cooked? Just wondering maybe there is something I can add to my list.
Post # 8
It depends. When I freeze lasanga I just pop it into the hot water for a few minutes, but don’t cook it all the way. I’ve found it tends to get mushy on the other side if I do. Same goes for most of my casseroles-I’ve found it keeps the flavors better.
Beans I usually cook first and then freeze, but you have to make sure they are fully covered in their cooking liquid before you freeze it or else they crack and get a weird taste. I’ve done them just soaked and then frozen as well-works well for chili.
Post # 9
@roxy821: I haven’t looked any up yet but I was thinking things that could heat up in a crock pot (which can easily even be plugged in outside on our deck) or things like pre-assembling homemade burger patties, or chichken kabobs for the BBQ. Maybe even some soups that can go in the microwave. I have a feeling I’ll have some free time at work today and end up looking some up so I’ll let you know if I find anything good.
I’ve seen on pinterest these “crock pot ziploc” meals where all the ingredients and the sauce and stuff is all in a ziploc bag and frozen and then just gets dumped into the crock pot to heat up and voila!
Post # 10
I always cook my lasagna first and definietely cook the chicken parm first as It tastes soooo much better after it has sat at least 24hours. Yum you are making me hungry! Chicken pot pie I cook the chicken and potaoes and make the gravy then if you are using frozen veggies I just throw them in frozen, top with crust and freeze. I always cook chili then freeze it. If you are planning to Boyfriend or Best Friend you may want to rethink the chili. Beef stew is something that has never frozen well for me but beef stroganoff does. I have never had a problem freezing tomatoe soup but some BFing infants has issues with tomatoe dishes just FYI. You could make vegetable lasagna which freezes well. I will try to look up more recipes for you when I come. back.
Post # 11
i cook all of my meals before freezing them. it’s easier to heat them up. i find chili, soups and stews to be the easiest and i put them in individual size serving containers. those are great for lunches when you are by yourself.
Post # 13
@secondchances- I didn’t even think of all the things she could be allergic too. Hmm, I guess worse comes to worse my husband will have some meals.
Post # 14
Just thought of this as I was showering (yes, random thoughts.. haha). I usually cook a dinner for that particular night, but cook enough to freeze for another night! It makes it so much easier and you don’t feel as if you’re doing too much at all. =)
Post # 15
It depends on what I’m making. If I’m freezing chicken so that it’s easier to add it to pasta or soup or something, I cook it. I’m I’m chopping up the carrots and potatoes for a pot roast, I just throw them in a freezer bag with the raw meat because it’s going in the crockpot anyway.
Post # 16
@MsAmandaAnn: Completely agree that it depends onw hat you are making.
I have been pretty much doubling a lot of the meals I make and freeze half so we are stocked up for the baby. So far I have stuffed shells, Chicken alfredo, and chili without beans, and quiche -which I did pre cook. I have roast with the seasoning I used uncooked, so I would just have to throw it in the crockpot to cook. I also have chicken in fajita seasoning with peppers uncooked.
Some meats, thin noodles and vegtables will have changes in the texture when you reheat them.
Here are a couple of websites I have been looking at for ideas.
menus4moms.com and lovingmynest.com