Make Ahead Freezer Meals – 3 Weeks of Dinner in less than 2 hours!
Make ahead freezer meals make weeknight dinners easy! In 2 hours you will have 3 weeks of make ahead meals – all healthy dinners that your family will love!
Back to school is on the horizon! The last thing I want to do is to go back to school and be completely unprepared. When I first started meal planning, I had the worst timing. I’d plan way too many meals, with too many ingredients. I’d find myself spending hours in the kitchen and leave completely exhausted.
On the other side of the coin was not meal planning and prepping. I would kind of “figure things out” or just order food. Not good for my healthy lifestyle or my budget!!
So – easy meal planning and prepping became the key! I’m not going to lie, some months are easier than others. August is a month that ramps up with activity really quickly towards back to school. I knew that I could take a few hours at the beginning of the month and be set!
Having my meals planned and prepped ahead also helps me to enjoy more summer while it’s still here! Who really wants to spend that much time in the kitchen?
For the blog I’ve been working on a lot of fall and holiday recipes! So, instead of creating a bunch of new recipes myself, I’ve been scouring the web for some tried-and-true prep ahead slow cooker meals that I could prep for back to school. These are the recipes I found that I’m making for the next three weeks!
My meal plan for August includes the following healthy make ahead meals
- Slow Cooker Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole from Kristine’s Kitchen Blog
- No Bean 30 Minute Chili from The Whole Cook
- Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers from The Family Freezer
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken from A Sweet Pea Chef
- Chicken Pesto Parmesan from Twin Dragon Fly Designs
- Taco Meat for Tacos – super simple just browned ground turkey and Frontera Skillet Sauce
How to Meal Prep Quickly
Here is the process I followed to get this meal prep done fast!
- Lay out all non-perishable ingredients, recipes, bag rack holders (these are amazing!)
- Label bags with contents, cooking instructions, and use-by date. Be sure to use good, sturdy bags like these!
- Prep like ingredients – for example I tend to start with one ingredient and prep it all for all of the recipes. I cut all of the onions for all of the recipes and measured them out from there.
- Add all non-meat ingredients. You can do sauces in a separate bowl but I tend to do them right in the bag to cut down on dishes.
- Add meat ingredients last.
- Seal and freeze!
Does meal prepping drive you crazy?
Isn’t it easy to watch someone else meal prep and begin to feel totally inadequate as you try to navigate your way through the kitchen? I’ve been that person who takes hours upon hours to do something that should take no time at all! It’s true – meal planning and prepping can be frustrating – that’s why I’m making it easier for you.
I’m going to share with you my meal plan ideas that have helped me to streamline this process but first let me tell you about two major mishaps that happened during my 2 hour make ahead meal prep session:
- I dropped the jar of pesto for the chicken pesto parmesan on the floor and glass went everywhere. Thankfully my husband grabbed our puppy so she wouldn’t try to eat it!
- I unknowingly cut through the chicken packaging and leaked raw chicken juice all over our counter and floor. Again, thanks to hubby for taking our dog outside so I could decontaminate.
- A third – not so major – mishap was the usual forgetting of some ingredients. I have no idea why this happens but it always does. If you are just starting out at meal prepping just know, you’re not alone!
Moral of the story – meal planning and prepping is not as easy as “they” make it look. Whoever “they” are, LOL! But it is worth it! Sometimes you just have to laugh at pesto and raw chicken juice on the floor.
My Meal Plan Ideas
Here are a few tips to help make your meal planning and prepping easier.
- Find a few simple tools to make meal prepping easier. These are my favorite meal prepping tools that I use daily and weekly for meal prepping.
- Stock your pantry with healthy staples. It will make shopping a lot easier when you know what you have and it’s healthy!
- Devise a simple plan. I never make more than two recipes per week. That means doubling recipes and freezing leftovers.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!