Many people freak out when they think about “stocking” their freezer but to many of us home cooks and foodies, it’s a normal thing to have freezer meals and our freezer stocked with “ready made,” food. It’s nice not to have to make dinner every night and to be able to just go to your freezer and “pick out,” dinner.
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What kinds of foods are in my freezer?
Well some of the items in my freezer are probably a little eccentric for many of you. I do have the staples but I also have things like pesto cubes, salsa, chipotle peppers frozen singly in adobo sauce, a bag of vegetable ends and peels for broth, as well as bags of jalapeños, serrano peppers, the list of weird things go on and on.
But I also have “normal” things in there too! Such as these freezer meals and foods:
Recipe list of 18 freezer meals and foods to stock up your freezer
- Chicken Noodle Soup – frozen individually into 1 c. packages
- Chipotle Egg Cups – great for breakfast, pull one out every morning
- Homemade Fresh Roasted Tomato Jalapeño Soup – again frozen in single portions
- Not Your Granny’s Meatloaf – in individual meatloafs
- Scrumptious Turkey Sliders and Healthy Jalapeño Adobo Turkey Sliders – frozen in packs of 6
- Instant Pot Kalua Pig – this is great in wraps, over salads, rice bowls
- Homemade Spicy Chicken Sausage -you can do so much with this one!
- Homemade Tortillas – with parchment paper in between so you can grab just one if needed
- Instant Pot Beef and Bacon Soup
- Healthy Black Bean and Lentil Chili
- Slider Buns – frozen in small packages, thaw a few out at a time as needed, great with turkey sliders.
- Focaccia bread – yes frozen into packages of 6 tiny squares so I don’t eat them all and can pull out some to go with soup.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie dough – balled up, and frozen individually so I can bake a few and not overindulge.
- Cinnamon Oodles – same as above
- Healthier Homemade Apple Dumplings – frozen individually
- Turkey meatballs – recipe coming soon! Still experimenting
- Vegetarian meatballs – recipe coming soon! Still experimenting
- Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup – recipe coming soon! Still in the works!
- Leftovers frozen into single portions
Other staples I keep in my freezer:
By now you’re probably wondering what size of a freezer I have! Well I do have a big one in the garage for frozen prepped food, plus a smaller one with just meat. Having owned a restaurant, I just can’t have one freezer in the house. But we could probably live out of just our garage freezer for a few months!
How to actually begin to stock your freezer
It’s actually not hard. Here are a few ideas:
- When you make a recipe, make a double batch. Eventually over time this adds up. This is what I do. If I’m getting low on soup, I make a double batch of soup, one for dinner, one for the freezer.
- When you have a lot of vegetables that will go bad soon, throw them in a plastic bag, stick them in your freezer until you’re ready to make soup or broth.
- Freeze your leftovers into single portions – have a little soup left in the pot, freeze it! Have a little left over Kalua Pork? Freeze it.
Important things to remember when stocking your freezer
- Label it! I am the worst! I think I’ll remember that is soup and then later I thaw it and it’s salsa.
- Use a food sealer – If you really want to get serious about freezing, buy a food sealer and use quality vacuum sealer bags . There’s no point in freezing something long term in a typical Ziplock bag. All that hard work ends up getting freezer burn.
- Organize – This can be hard if you don’t have a lot of space but try to keep things together so you can easily find them. Put all the soup packets in one spot, etc.
- Freeze in portions – Even though my family eats a ton, I still freeze soup in 1 c. portions. It’s easier to just thaw out 4 portions than a whole container and nothing goes to waste. If you have guests for dinner, it’s easy just to add a few more portions.
- Make sure to rotate your food and use up the older frozen foods first
Other helpful foods to store in your freezer
My boys love the Costco bread – the artisan type such as the country bread or parmesan bread but my husband and I don’t eat much bread. I was tired of throwing it out after they didn’t eat it all or it became moldy. Now I bring it home, slice it up, save a few pieces out and freezer seal the rest in small portions. It’s great when we have soup or need a “piece of bread.” No waste!