Working Mom Meals {Freezer Meals Edition}

In less than 8 weeks or so I’ll be on maternity leave. {Which I think warrants a whole post for itself!}

Only eight weeks? Cue the head explosion!

I’m not one that does the freezer meal thing very often, but I remember doing it when I was about this pregnant with Rylee and it made going back to work 3.5 weeks post partum so much easier! While this time around I’m planning on taking off more than just a couple of weeks, I still really like the idea of making my leave, and subsequent transition back to work, as easy as possible.

Of course, that was four years ago…when I didn’t have a kid already running around my kitchen wanting to “help.” I was able to take an entire weekend and cook like a mad woman to get everything ready. This time around, I figure I’ll take things a little bit easier and get everything ready over the course of a few weeks as opposed to just a few days.

This week my grocery store had boneless skinless chicken breast on sale. Even though I’ve got a more than enough already in the deep freeze, I bought a few pounds and decided to start my post-baby-freezer-meal-stash prep.

I started with our most recent favorite new recipe, creamy chicken taquitos. We’re seriously obsessed. Last time I made them, I made a few extra to freeze and test out to see how we liked them after being frozen. We couldn’t even tell the difference! And the best part? They could be cooked frozen! I was able to make 2 dozen AND have enough filling leftover for one more dinner {Taco Tuesday, Holla!}. I’ll vacuum seal them in 6-packs making 4 easy dinners ready to go!

I also plan on making dishes like…chicken enchiladas, shredded beef enchiladas, lasagna, stuffed manicotti, pesto stuffed chicken breast, tandori chicken, and homemade chicken nuggets. I’ll also have pre-marinated chicken chunks to be used for stir-fry or kabobs prepped.

I figure over the course of the next 6 weekends or so if I just double whatever I’m already planning on making, we’ll have a pretty good stash of freezer meals by the time this little nugget decides she’s ready to make her appearance.

And bonus? Planning on doing this means that I’ve already got most of my weekend meal planning done for the next month too! Woo-hoo!

Have you ever tried pre-making freezer meals? Do you guys want me to share some of my “top tips” (sort of like my working mom meals tips)? Want me to share my recipes?

Of course, I’m always looking to add more variety into the mix…have any go-to freezer meal recipes to share?

14 Comments

  • Lisa says:

    Would love for you to share your freezer tips and recipes! Good luck with your last 8 weeks. I don’t miss that time of my pregnancy at all. Hopefully the time will fly by for you :).

    • Katherine says:

      Thanks, so far I’m still feeling pretty good. Last time for me it was the last 2 weeks that were the worst. All though this time around it’s going to be a whole lot hotter the last month. I figure I’ve got another 2 weeks before I hit the miserable stage. :)
      Katherine recently posted..Clicking for GoodMy Profile
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  • Heather says:

    Not sure if you guys are beef people, but I always have a couple of meatloaves in the freezer that I can just defrost and pop in the oven. I also precook and freeze meatballs: I don’t even defrost them, just heat them up in the pasta sauce(Ragu) before serving! Good luck with your cooking!

    • Katherine says:

      Hahah, I just re-read my post…that’s a whole lotta chicken! We’re definitely beef people…I’d love a link to the meatball recipe if you have one! :) Meatloaves are great, in theory, but my husband & I both had bad meatloaf experiences growing up and now refuse to eat the stuff. We’re crazy, I know.
      Katherine recently posted..Clicking for GoodMy Profile
      Twitter: lilmissrysmama

      • Heather says:

        I don’t have a real recipe for meatballs, I just throw a bunch of stuff in ground beef and form the balls! I use bread crumbs and an egg (to hold the beef together), some ketchup, a little worcestershire sauce, minced onions, a little garlic, Parmesan cheese, and italian seasonings (oregano, basil, parsley, you could use whatever). I then cook them on the stove in a little bit of olive oil. When they are finished I let them cool a bit, wrap em in foil, and then freeze them in single meal portions. I usually take them out in the morning and let them defrost a little bit before heating them up in the sauce, but in a pinch you can just throw them in with the sauce frozen and have them thaw and warm in the sauce FYI: my meatloaf recipe is exactly the same as my meatball recipe, but I don’t cook the loaf before freezing it! I usually buy a huge bulk of ground beef twice a year and make tons of meatballs and a few loaves to freeze.

  • Jessie says:

    Those chicken taquitos are AMAZING! I’ve made them a few times and love them.
    Pioneer Woman chicken spaghetti, and her BBQ comfort meatballs are staples in my house and both freeze really well.
    Good luck with your last few weeks!
    Twitter: jessieyeager

  • cayley rice says:

    This one’s my favorite. I cook it and them freeze it. It’s also what I have given to my friends when they have brought their babies home as a make-life-s-little-easier present.
    http://potroastonpaperplates.com/2012/02/12/grilled-veggie-lasagna/
    cayley rice recently posted..Week of March 11: Guest Post!!!My Profile

  • I wish I’d made more freezer meals–but then again, we didn’t have the chest freezer until after Baguette was born. Plus I never had time to eat those first couple of months. Seriously.

    So if I have another baby, I’d definitely try to do this, but I don’t know how long they might wind up sitting in the freezer!
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted..5 Things I Found While I Was Looking AroundMy Profile
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    • Katherine says:

      See, I’m not one to have them in my freezer all the time, because a) I’ll forget about them and b) I really love to actually cook way too much. But, this is a great option for just after baby. I really love our deep freeze!
      Katherine recently posted..Clicking for GoodMy Profile
      Twitter: lilmissrysmama

  • Donna says:

    I did a lot of freezer meals when I was in grad school. It ensured that the family ate good meals and not out of paper bags 2 nights a week while I was at school. I am thinking this summer of cooking a lot and getting stuff stored up for when school starts back, along with dance class for the little one Monday’s will be tough and freezer meals would be perfect. I did the following:

    Chili, Beef Stew, Lasagna, Enchiladas, Chicken Broccoli Casserole. I also love to cook breads (banana, pumpkin, strawberry) and defrost over night for a quick breakfast along with fruit.
    Donna recently posted..Yes, we use summer daycareMy Profile

  • I know Andy’s not a casserole fan & I see you’re not meatloaf fans buuuuut…my mom makes these little mini meatloaves that are so easy it’s dumb.
    Mix ground beef, StoveTop, whatever else you want to throw in there (I do shredded carrots & onions). Cut crusts off pieces of bread, push them into greased muffin tins like a cupcake liner. Fill with ground beef mixture. Delish.
    mrshiggison (@mrshiggison) recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- no doubtMy Profile
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