The 9 Best Ingredients To Use In Freezer Meals
I love freezer meals! They allow me to have one, two, three (and sometimes more) dinners on hand for those days when I am running short on time, energy or both!
Freezer meals offer numerous benefits that significantly enhance our busy lives. They streamline meal preparation, making it effortless to maintain a balanced diet even on busy days. They reduce the need for frequent grocery store trips and minimize food waste, as ingredients can be portioned and stored for later use. This not only saves money but also encourages healthier eating habits. Moreover, freezer meals come in a wide variety of options, catering to different tastes and dietary preferences. By providing delicious, ready-to-eat options at hand, freezer meals undoubtedly improve life by simplifying meal planning and granting more time for relaxation and enjoyment.
When it comes to freezer meals, it’s important to choose ingredients that freeze well and maintain their flavor and texture. Here are nine ingredients that are commonly used and work great in freezer meals:
1. Chicken: It freezes well and can be used in various recipes like casseroles, stir-fries, or soups. One-pot dishes like Pelau freeze extremely well! Remember to stick to dark meats like thighs and drumsticks as they are less likely to dry out when reheated.
2. Ground beef: Versatile and convenient for dishes like meatballs, chili, or lasagna. Why not try this recipe for Tyler’s Texas Chili.
3. Pasta: Cooked pasta holds up well in the freezer and is perfect for pasta bakes or one-pot dishes like Trinidad Macaroni Pie.
4. Beans: Whether cooked from scratch or canned, beans are excellent for soups, stews, or vegetarian meals. I like to pre-cook dried beans in bulk and divide them into 2-cup portions for freezing and later use. So economical!
5. Vegetables: Many vegetables can be blanched before freezing, making them suitable for stir-fries, soups, or side dishes. At the end of the week I look to see what vegetables I have in the fridge that may not get used soon and give them the blanch and freeze treatment.
6. Rice: Cooked rice can be frozen and used in fried rice, stuffed peppers, or as a side dish.
7. Cheese: Shredded or grated cheese freezes well and can be used in various recipes like casseroles or enchiladas.
8. Sauces and stocks: Homemade or store-bought sauces and stocks can add flavor to your freezer meals. Freeze them in 1 cup or 1/2 cup portions for easy use.
9. Herbs and spices: Freeze fresh herbs or spice blends in small portions to enhance the flavor of your dishes.
BONUS TIP! Remember to label and date your freezer meals for easy identification and consume them within recommended storage times. Freezer labels like these make this task a breeze!