Since my new Skillet Freezer Meals mini eCookbook is finished, I decided to see what it was like to prep and freeze all of the recipes at once. I was able to prep all seven in only 75 minutes and now our freezer is stocked with meals for nights when we need a break from the crockpot.
Here’s what I made:
- Chicken & Pepper Stir Fry
- Creamy Chicken Penne
- Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Italian Sausage Rigatoni
- Ranch Popcorn Chicken
- Rice & Bean Burrito Bowl
- Turkey Burger Macaroni
We’ve made all of these recipes many, many times before and they are DELICIOUS. They’re also super easy to make because all of the ingredients can be combined in a freezer bag without any cooking ahead of time. (The dry pasta is added to the pan the day of cooking, but everything else can be frozen together.)
Here’s what I love about these freezer skillet meals:
- They’re mostly one-pot meals that don’t require any additional side dishes.
- They include different ingredients and textures that you can’t cook in a crockpot (for example, the pasta in some of the recipes and the crunchiness of the Ranch Popcorn Chicken).
- They’re super yummy, healthy, and budget-friendly.
Why freeze all seven at once?
- It’s nice to have homemade meals on hand that can be ready to eat in 15 minutes.
- By making all of them at once you only have to go to the grocery store once and clean up your kitchen once. Woot!
- You can save money by buying the ingredients in bulk (for example, you need 6 pounds of boneless chicken breasts that you can buy when chicken is Buy One Get One Free at the grocery store).
Here’s how I made all 7 meals in 75 minutes:
- The day before my prep day, I printed the recipes, grocery list, and freezer labels. I crossed off the items on my grocery list that I already had and bought everything else at the grocery store.
- On the prep day, I used the grocery list to get out everything that I needed to make the meals. (I left the meat in the refrigerator until I was ready for it.)
- I stuck the freezer label stickers on my freezer bags. (They’re formatted to print on water-resistant Avery Stickers).
- I set up four “prep stations” so I could fill my bags in an assembly line: 1) a cutting board and knife for fresh veggies, 2) a pile of canned goods, 3) the spices and sauces, and 4) a place to hold the assembled meals before adding the meat (I always add the meat to the top of the bag it’s also the first ingredient dumped into the crockpot).
- I filled each bag one at a time, making the Ranch Popcorn Chicken last because it required a mixing bowl.
- I sealed all of the bags and stacked them in freezer.
- I cleaned up my kitchen and took out the trash and recycling.
Overall, I made each meal in 11 minutes or less!
To make your meals just as quickly, I recommend buying fresh peeled garlic and familiarizing yourself with the recipes. You can also save more time buy using frozen diced onions. Oh, and keeping a kitchen rag or freezer cooking apron on-hand is helpful to wipe your hands, measuring spoons, and messes as you go.
I bought all of the ingredients at my local grocery store for $128 (including the pasta needed for day-of cooking). That works out to $18.29 per meal or $3.05 per serving. That’s more expensive than some of my other freezer recipes, but I think it’s because I spent $63 on organic meat alone ($5.99-$8.57 per pound).
Personally, I think $18.29 for a healthy meal with six servings is a great deal. We spend A LOT more money to eat at McDonald’s or Panera and I’d rather eat a homemade meal.
To save money, I recommend buying non-organic meat or waiting until meat is on sale. I also had to buy some sauces and spices that you might already have on-hand (for example, cornstarch and dried dill).
There are a lot of free recipes on my blog, but the recipes in my eBook Cookbooks undergo a much more rigorous testing process so I can guarantee that you will love them. They also include freezer cooking tips, super organized grocery lists, full nutritional information, printable freezer labels, and color photos of the finished cooking meals (see below).