Sunday, October 7, 2012

MORE "Make Ahead" Meal Ideas

courtesy of my organized cousin Stephanie,
it runs in the family;)
Last week I posted the first of many "make ahead" meal ideas.  As I stated before, I usually take a Sunday or two a month and make a few meals that I can freeze for further use. 

This week are meals that I have made in previous posts.  When I make these meals during the week, I make DOUBLE and then freeze half.  It's double duty and it frees up even more time!!! 

Even if it is a crock pot meal I will still make double, because I already have the ingredients on hand.  Then, when I want to use one of the meals, only reheating is necessary. This usually only takes about 30 minutes, opposed to another 6-8 hours in a crock pot.

In previous posts, I have made double of Italian Chili, Chicken Noodle Soup, and Chicken Tortilla Soup.  The recipes are repeated below. 

*NOTE: Make sure to double the recipes if using for dinner that evening and freezing for another "make ahead" meal.

Italian Chili
(From Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade)

· 1-lb of lean ground beef
· ½-lb of Italian sausage
· 1-chopped onion
· 1-chopped green pepper
· 3-cloves of garlic, minced
· 1-28oz. can of Italian style tomatoes
· 1-15oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
· 1-15oz. can of light kidney beans, drained
· 1 cup of water
· 3 tbls of Worcestershire
· 2-3 tbls of chili powder
· 2 tsp. of dried basil
· 2 tsp. of dried oregano
· ½ tsp. of hot sauce (or more if you like it spicy)
· ¼ tsp. of salt

1. In a large skillet cook ground beef and Italian sausage, breaking them up while it cooks, add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Once the meat is cooked drain.
2. In crock pot combine meat mixture, undrained tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, water, Worcestershire, chili powder, basil, oregano, hot sauce, and salt.
3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
4. At this point, if freezing, let soup cool slightly, then divide into freezer containers and label with date, meal, and reheating instructions.

Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 1 large rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of basil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 4 quarts of chicken stock or 16 cubes chicken bouillon and  16 cups water to desired taste
  • 1 bag of wide egg noodles, cooked
  • 2-1/4 cups of Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  1. Place shredded chicken, onions, carrots, celery, basil, s&p, and stock into a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for and hour.
  3. Cook egg noodles according to package directions.  Combine noodles with soup before freezing.
  4. At this point, if freezing, let soup cool slightly, then divide into freezer containers and label with date, meal, and reheating instructions.  *If you are serving this tonight, continue with the dumplings.
For Dumplings:
  1. Take thawed soup and bring up to a boil.
  2. Combine Bisquick and milk to until soft dough forms, then drop by spoonfuls onto boiling soup for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat, cover soup and cook for 10 minutes longer.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz size – southwest style, if possible I used petite diced tomatoes w/ sweet onion)
  • 1 packet enchilada sauce mix (or if you can’t find this, mild taco seasoning works well too, this is what I used)
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1 can (8 oz)tomato sauce
  • 1 can ( 10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 2 C milk
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breast
  1. In crock pot, mix the enchilada packet together with the water and tomato sauce. Add cream of chicken soup and milk and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Add chicken. Pour drained black beans, drained corn and diced tomatoes on top of that.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  4. Before serving or freezing, take out chicken and shred or dice, then put back and stir it all together.
  5. At this point, if freezing, let soup cool slightly, then divide into freezer containers and label with date, meal, and reheating instructions.
  6. When ready to serve, thaw, reheat and serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, lime, avocado, or tortilla chips.

Now you have 3 more meals in your back pocket!!!  Don't forget to add those to your freezer inventory:)

No comments:

Post a Comment