I am so excited to share with all of you some of our family favorite and frugal freezer meals!
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This summer has flown by so fast and it’s Back To School time already. It seems like just yesterday I was anticipating the smell of grills outside and the beauty of lightning bugs off in the woods behind our house.
I love the crisp smell of fall and the cool August summer mornings in coastal North Carolina. However, it is also the tell tale sign that it is time for not only the children to go back to school but for me, as an educator, it is time to return to school along with them.
I am sharing some of my favorite easy, frugal freezer meals to help keep your schedule less frazzled and less chaotic as the Back To School Madness begins. Not only do I focus on using the easiest recipes, I also want to have a little bit of time each night after I pack lunches to relax.
You can create your own family-friendly fast food that is not only lighter on the wallet but you control the quality of the ingredients! Nice..huh?
I need a good breakfast, and I usually just eat hard-boiled eggs, but the men in my life aren’t quite content with that option only, so here are two tried and true recipes they love eating and ask for over and over! I make them in advance so they can pull one out of the freezer and feed themselves.
There’s no excuse not to eat a healthy breakfast. Feel free to switch out the meats in both recipes. You can exchange sausage for turkey bacon, etc. This is YOUR breakfast after all!
- 12 sausage patties or 18 slices bacon (1 1/2 slice bacon per muffin)
- 2 cups shredded or 12 slices of cheese
- 12 eggs
- butter to grease pan and if you want to put some on muffin before assembly
- 12 English muffins
Heat up a skillet and cook the sausage patties or bacon. Both, if you want variety.
While you are cooking up your sausage patties, start cooking your eggs. The secret is to scramble the eggs in a large pan but let them cook kind of like an omelette so you can cut them into squares and serve on each muffin.
You do want to under-cook your egg just a little bit so it reheats better later.
While your eggs and sausage/bacon are cooking, toast the English muffins lightly in the oven. Line them up directly under the heat source at a low heat, about 250 to 300 degrees depending on your oven and how toasted you want them. Again, you don’t want them to be too cooked because you want them to reheat well in the microwave.
Assembly looks like this: toasted muffin, sausage, add slice of uncooked cheese (it will melt a little – that is okay) or sprinkle some shredded cheese, then add egg, then top off with muffin, wrap in wax paper and place in freezer. You can also put a little butter on each muffin if you like prior to assembly.
Makes 12 Breakfast Muffins
Yum I hope you enjoy!
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
- 10 to 12 8″ to 10″ flour tortillas
- 1-2 lbs. of sausage and/or bacon depending on your preference
- 12 eggs
- 2 cups shredded cheese to your taste
- 2 cups chopped: mixture of tomatoes, onions and peppers (salsa, optional.)
- Preparation is very similar to the recipe above, although we cook scrambled eggs that have peppers, tomatoes, and onions mixed in.
- In a separate cast iron skillet, we have sausage cooking, and close by we have a bag of Mexican shredded cheese.
- If you decide to use salsa rather than the chopped peppers, tomatoes, and onions, just be aware that it can make your burritos soggy.
- Place your sausage and egg mixtures on each tortilla, sprinkle with shredded cheese, roll up your burrito, wrap in wax paper, and voila’ – you have breakfast!
- This recipe makes 10 to 12 burritos, depending on how full you fill each one.
We make a ton of these at a time! What a time saver! Store them in the freezer until you need them.
To store both the muffins and burritos, I wrap them individually in wax paper and place all together in large gallon size zipper bags. Since these go fairly quickly, you only need to use the freezer strength if you are planning for long term storage. You could use plastic containers as well.
For our lunches we don’t quite have as much variety but all of my family members love these lunches and are always quite pleased. We do change things up from time to time but it’s nice to know these are in the freezer ready to go, and they are healthy, too!
Healthy Chicken, Rice, and Veggie Combos
- Lemon Pepper/Italian Seasoning/ or BBQ Rub (Sauce) We alternate between these seasonings each week to keep things exciting!
- 8-12 baked chicken breasts (Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour.)
- 8-12 Cups of your favorite rice cooked (I cook ours in home made chicken broth)
- 8-12 Cups of your favorite veggie roasted (I often use the large bag of vegetable medley from the discount warehouse store), I roast our veggies with just salt and some ghee and they turn out amazing. Our favorite is a broccoli cauliflower blend.
Then I assemble all of the plastic ware (small to medium size plastic storage bowls and lids) and dispense chicken, rice, and veggies into each dish and freeze.
These take about 3 minutes or so to heat up in the microwave. I sometimes have leftover meat or veggies and I just toss them into a stir fry, which we have just about every Monday night during the school year because it’s easy, healthy, and a personal fave of mine!
We use a lot of sauces for dinner time, and so I decided to share one of my favorite dinner ideas that covers all your bases and that seriously, no pun intended, calls for using a tomato based sauce! All of these sauce variations can be made from this single sauce recipe. Just double it or triple it, depending on the recipe you are using.
Karen Lynn’s Base Tomato Sauce
Since everyone likes their tomato sauce flavored differently, I suggest tweaking this recipe to fit your needs and you can double it or triple it depending on your needs
- 1 lb. of cooked ground beef
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 dash of red pepper flakes
- 2 cups diced canned tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat up a large skillet and place 2 T. olive oil, onion, chopped garlic. Cook until translucent.
- Add your ground beef and brown it. (I prefer the leanest ground beef.)
- Add 2 cups canned tomatoes or pureed tomatoes. (You decide!)
- Finish with salt and pepper to taste and a dash of red flakes.
- Simmer on low heat for an hour.
That is all there is to making your own tomato based sauce for other recipes. You can easily double this or triple this for your needs. Or you can use a canned tomato sauce you have in your pantry, if you prefer to keep it on hand. That means you would have your base sauce already prepared!
For a variety of different meals, just add the base sauce to the following recipes in place of tomatoes and seasoning!
Spaghetti Sauce – I just add chopped onions, peppers, Italian seasoning , parsley, and garlic. Cook down some more and done!
Home Made Beefaroni – I simply add the base sauce to cooked elbow noodles, stir it up, and toss with Parmesan cheese and an Italian seasoning blend.
Very quick Chili – Add base sauce to a can of kidney beans, a can of chili beans, or any other beans you like, 1 tsp. cumin, 1st. garlic, and Voila’ – serve with tortilla chips! (If you use dried beans, remember to follow soaking instructions.)
Creamy Marinara for just about any kind of pasta — Heat up a batch of this tomato/marinara sauce and add 4 ounces cream cheese. Stir over medium heat until the cream cheese is melted. Add cooked penne pasta for a delicious vegetarian meal.
Additional Recipe Options You May Be Interested In Trying for Back To School Easy Dinners!
Homemade Sloppy Joes – These can be put together quickly and efficiently once you have a base sauce made and it is so much tastier than store bought.
Chili – Who doesn’t love the smell of a pot of chili cooking on the stove in the fall? For my chili, I add cumin, chili powder, some salt, red pepper flakes, and a couple cans of beans and corn. This could include black beans, chickpeas, chili beans, kidney beans, and great northern beans, just to name a few.
Some prefer a homemade Ready Made Chili Mix that is ready to go when you need it! You still control the quality of ingredients you are feeding your family and it’s a convenient time saver.
*For Gluten Free/Paleo Folks: I serve my sauces over grilled zucchini, spaghetti squash, and eggplant, just to name a few. They turn out absolutely delicious and I don’t miss the bread and pasta! Personally I do like to cook my squash up fresh. There are ways of freezing your squashes ahead of time for future use but they end up a lot softer to work with.
TIP- To make meal planning easier, read how to do it in 6 easy steps!
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