Behind The Butter

Five Freezer-Friendly Meals


It’s me again. So, is it just me or does it seem like EVERYONE is having a baby right now? I was chatting with a friend about this yesterday—so many baby photos are popping up on Facebook that it’s not even funny. I hope you don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say though! Babies are amazing….and totally cute. I love babies.

Now, I’m not a mom, or expecting a baby any time soon, but I would assume new moms enjoy freezer friendly meals. Assume.

Let’s be honest though, who doesn’t enjoy freezer friendly meals? The only little creature in my house is my cat and I still enjoy the convenience of defrosting something deliciously homemade when I’m short on time. You, too? Okay cool.

1. Meatballs! Meatballs are great. I actually defrosted some of these turkey meatballs two nights ago and it was such a perfect little meal when I really didn’t feel like cooking one more thing. I like to freeze individual tupperwares of four cooked meatballs with marinara sauce, and then it’s easy to defrost the perfect amount for one!

2. Chicken n’ Biscuits. The ultimate comfort food and perfect for every occasion. Plus, one time a reader emailed me to let me know that she made this recipe for her boyfriend and then ten minutes later, he proposed to her. As a result, she told me I should rename this recipe “Chicken n’ Biscuits to catch a husband”.

To make this recipe freezer friendly, simply assemble the whole thing (stick the biscuits on top and everything!), then cover tightly with tin foil and freeze uncooked. When you want to bake it, pop it in the oven at 400 for about an hour, or until biscuits are golden and puffy and chicken is bubbling.

You’re welcome.

3. Since we’re already talking chicken, might I add this chicken pot pie to the list? It’s major yum. To make it freezer friendly, assemble with pastry crust on top and then freeze it unbaked. When you’re ready to eat it, bake at 400 for about an hour (same as above!).

4. Vegan stuffed shells. Delicious. Stuffed shells, to me, are the perfect “hi, you just had a baby so let me bring you over dinner!” dish. They freeze well, taste great and everyone loves them. These are made with tofu instead of ricotta cheese but I bet you’d never be able to guess….(if my boyfriend can’t tell the difference, neither will you). Freeze these unbaked and then bake at 400 for 45 minutes until done.

5. Portobello and Summer Squash Lasagna! The perf thing for a vegetarian new mom…or anyone, for that matter! Lasagna is such a classic freezer friendly meal…you can’t go wrong!

‘Cause what better way to say I love you than a homemade meal?

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  • Valerie At The Year Of Living Healthfully
    June 2, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I like freezer friendly meals too. I package them for one as you did with the meatballs and then I have something to easily grab out of the freezer to take to work for lunch. By the time lunch rolls around, it is pretty much thawed out. Thanks for the great post.

  • Kristina LaRue
    June 2, 2012 at 4:20 am

    I love freezing meatballs too….bonus that they don’t require a lot of freezer space.

  • Angie @ Pint of Goals
    June 2, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Perfect timing! I have a friend who just had a baby girl and I have been wanting to bring dinner over. Now I have a big decision – which of the five do I make? Thanks for sharing!

  • Katrina
    June 2, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Freezer meals are a must. Love the look of these!

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen
    June 2, 2012 at 5:34 am

    These freezer meals look incredible! I love the meatball idea, and what a cute story with the chicken ‘n biscuits. I read it out lout to my hubby and he got a chuckle out of it. πŸ™‚

  • polly
    June 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

    love ALL of these ideas, hon! Have a lovely Saturday! I emailed you yesterday i think. hugs hugs hugs. Can’t wait to see you, sugar cream pie! πŸ™‚

  • Brittanie @ Three Bracelets
    June 2, 2012 at 6:28 am

    This is all too perfect! My boyfriend’s brother and wife are expecting a baby and these will definitely be a hit! You always share the best πŸ™‚

  • Hillary
    June 2, 2012 at 7:11 am

    My sister just had her first baby a week ago! I agree, there are babies everywhere. My theory is that when the weather starts to get cold, couples get cozy and, voila, babies in spring/summer πŸ™‚ The dishes look awesome. My mom and I just spent all of yesterday making freezer meals for them. We will definitely use these for the next session!

  • Jen
    June 2, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Are you freezing these in foil pans or do you have some other kind of freezer-safe baking dishes? I am guessing that Pyrex pans are not safe for freezer-to-oven use.

  • Jen
    June 2, 2012 at 7:22 am

    P.S. I want to make all of these!

  • Megan @laughlovefood
    June 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

    A most likely silly question…. Do you have to defrost these at all before baking?

    • jenna
      June 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

      Nope! You really can go straight from freezer to oven.

  • Terri A.
    June 2, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Just pinned all five of those. Can’t wait to have them in my freezer.

  • Jill
    June 2, 2012 at 7:51 am

    These all sound great! I love freezer meals. Mmm…

  • Margarita
    June 2, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Hey Jenna! I just delivered some meals to a pregnant friend a couple weeks ago but I wasn’t smart and didn’t make freezer friendly meals. One was a stir fry… Maybe I expected her to eat it for dinner right that night. Thank you for posting this, all great ideas for big freeze”able” meals that are taste friendly even to the pickiest eaters.

  • Judalee
    June 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Yummy… I have Zero freezer space, but I am gonna make a few of these for dinner – dinner. Specially the Meatballs!

    P.S. Your Kitty looks just like my Kitty, Zoey. All the way down to the eyes and the white spots. SO Cute.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    June 2, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Great ideas and funny you post this because I just made a big freezer-friendly batch of meals earlier in the week. SUCH a timesaver. Cook once, freeze. Eat many times. Love to reheat. Makes life much more sane around the dinner hour!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    June 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    This is going on so many Pinterest boards as I type. Pinners literally eat this stuff up (pun INTENDED!).

  • Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food
    June 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Haha I am one of those ‘babies popping up on facebook mamas’! Hunter is now 5 days old and yes freezer meals are a life saver (although I haven’t tapped into them too much with meals being brought over). I made as many as my freezer could handle but will totally make more once they’re all out.

  • DessertForTwo
    June 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Love this! You don’t have to have a baby to be short on time! In fact, being short on time sans baby is the reason I don’t want a baby anytime soon, lol!

  • Sarah
    June 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

    All these dishes look amazing! One question though: can I omit the eggs in the lasagna? My boyfriend doesn’t eat any and I don’t want your lagna to become “lasagna to chase a boyfriend away”….

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    June 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Oh I would like some meatballs right now. I wish there were some hiding in the freezer. I stash all sorts of things in there and it is always like Christmas when I can just walk over and make something with basically no prep work.

  • Tracey
    June 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Aww, you have a lovely baby already! Dexter is beautiful. πŸ˜‰

    And I may need to make those Chicken and Biscuits tomorrow – they look delicious!

  • Serena
    June 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Every one is preg I drank the water!

  • Cait's Plate
    June 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Love this! I’m not having a baby, but it’s always good to have easy backups on lazy nights.

  • Cookin' Canuck
    June 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    There is nothing better than racking your brain over that evening’s dinner and then realizing that you have a hearty meal waiting in the freezer. You’ve reminded me that I really need to re-stock again.

  • Kelly @ My Love Affair With Running
    June 3, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Yum the ‘Chicken and Biscuit to catch a husband’ looks amazinggg!
    I might make it on tomorrow night.. I will let you know if my partner pops the question πŸ˜‰

  • Liz
    June 3, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Babies, babies. I think, Jenna, it has to do with your age (and, presumably, the age of many/most of your FB friends.) You’re younger than I was when I first started noticing the babies… I think I was about 32. That seemed to be the age when everyone I went to college with started getting married and the babies quickly followed. Then again, when I was your age, FB didn’t exist, and even when I was a bit older, very few people were on FB. So, plenty of people might have gotten married/had babies at a younger age, and I wouldn’t have known about it. (I’m also from the northeast which is somewhat less child-oriented than the south , so I do think on average people I know from college waited longer than people in some other regions of the country do.)

    So basically… out of nowhere, you come to an age where people start settling down! Now I’m at the age where everyone is having their SECOND child. It’s disturbing, ha ha.

  • Erin Motz
    June 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I want to swim in a pool of that chicken and biscuits! That’s not gross at all, right?! haha

  • Michelle
    June 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I have the same question as above about the type of pan. I saw a response that we don’t have to defrost, but I’m not sure if I will break my pyrex dish if I go straight from freezer to oven. Has anyone tried that? Thanks!

    • jenna
      June 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      You can bake in your pyrex! Or at least, I have probably a dozen times and nothing has ever broken (knock on wood). If you’re worried though, defrost and then bake….but I think you would be fine.

  • Allie
    June 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you so much for including a vegan option. I am a vegan who loves your blog. So I will def try those shells! Keep the animal-free recipes coming! πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      June 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      yay! just wait till tomorrow! πŸ™‚

  • Mo
    June 4, 2012 at 2:00 am

    My favorite freezer friendly food of yours is your plant burgers πŸ™‚ Thanks Jenna!

  • Kimberly
    June 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Is it the same for the lasagna to freeze unbaked and then cook at 400 degrees? I’ve been meaning to cook this for my boyfriend’s sister who just had a baby. πŸ™‚

  • Kim @ The Family Practice
    June 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Those chicken and biscuits look so good I wish I could eat my computer screen lol.

  • Michelle
    June 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Love this post! I need to make the stuffed shells and chicken and biscuits!

  • kacia
    June 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    ummmmm hello perfectly timed post + a premature text! oops!

    I was actually going to see if you had a good vegan stuff shells recipe – i need to pack stuff for the hubs while baby + I are gone.

    thank youuuuuu!

  • Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen
    June 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for the ideas! I’m one of the pregos with a one year old and two year old already, so I’m definitely looking to do some freezer cooking before baby comes in October!

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