I love make-ahead meals! When the weather is warm, I cook outside on the grill as much as possible. This is where my frozen marinated meats come in handy. When chicken goes on sale, I marinate the chicken in freezer bags. You can freeze them for about 3 months. Here is my frozen (uncooked) Teriyaki Chicken. I usually defrost the frozen marinated meat in the refrigerator the day before I need it or defrost it in the microwave.
I also marinate steaks when the price is right. I even make some single serving frozen packages for my college son to take back to his dorm, so he can cook and enjoy some food from home. McCormick makes some tasty marinades. My family loves this Grill Mates pre-packaged seasonings.
If you’re looking for some quick meals to freeze, I suggest freezing your cooked taco meat, spaghetti sauce with meatballs, and sloppy joes. These meals can be defrosted in the microwave and are heated in less than 30 minutes for a quick meal that doesn’t heat up your kitchen. Taco meant, Spaghetti sauce with meatballs, and Sloppy joes are all found in my cookbook.
When ground beef goes on sale, freeze some hamburger patties to have on hand for a quick barbecue! They just take a few minutes to defrost in the microwave.
You don’t need to spend all day preparing these meals ahead. Find an hour here or there when it works for you. You’ll find that it saves you money, trips to the grocery store, and it’s healthier than fast food take-out meals.
Jane Doiron is the author of the cookbook Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms available at Amazon.com (also available for Kindle Download) and Barnesandnoble.com. Need a family-friendly recipe? Check out her blog Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms and see what’s cooking! I reviewed it and showed how to make her Tomato Bacon Mini Cups. She has some wonderful and useful tips!