Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School Dinner Ideas: Beef Freezer Meals

Since we're working on our "Back to School Unit"
for hairstyles; I thought, why not share with you one of my BEST tricks for back to school:  
Freezer Meals!

They are the greatest idea since sliced bread.

So while it's still summer.  And I still have some time (and some kids at home to help me). I try to make a bunch of meals and store them in the freezer for those hectic school nights, or work nights, or blogging nights, where no one wants to (or has time to) cook.

I have a huge stack of favorite recipes for chicken, ground beef, pork, ham, sausage, soups.  I keep the categories in mind, and then I watch the grocery ads.  And when chicken or ground beef, etc is on a great sale, I plan to make those recipes.

It saves me a TON of money.  In fact, I rarely by full-priced meat.  I've become too spoiled at getting it when it's cheap and then never buying it otherwise. 

I hope you will try this.
When you are making the recipes in mass, you might find yourself cursing my name.  But when you're pulling them out of the freezer and dinner's already'll be praising my name.  So will your grocery budget.

So let's start with ground beef. 
On those off days, when you're not getting a tutorial on great hair ideas, 
I'll continue to post my recipes for:

Happy cooking.  
Let me know if you're up to your elbows in ground beef and cursing my name.
Click here to see more of our  Recipe Ideas

I put all of these recipes in Ziploc bags and smash them flat.  Then I lay them no-more-than-two high in the freezer until they harden.  Once they're solid, I stack them high.


**Combine in fry pan or skillet:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion chopped tiny

**Brown beef, then drain 
**Return to heat.  Then add:

1 T chili powder
1/2 t seasoned salt
1/2 t garlic salt
1/3 t paprika
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t cumin
1/4 C flour or corn flour
1/2 C water

**Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked away

Fabulous Meatballs

**In a large bowl mix together:

1 lb ground beef
onion chopped
1/3 C skim milk
1/3 C grated
Parmesan cheese
2/3 C
seasoned bread crumbs 
1/2 t salt
1/2 t
garlic salt
1 1/2 t
Italian seasoning
3/4 t
1/2 t
red pepper flakes
1 1/2 T

**Spray a broiler pan or cookie sheet
**Form into meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through

Sweet & Saucy Meatloaf

**In a large bowl mix together:

1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1/2 apple chopped
1 sleeve saltine crackers crushed
2 eggs
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 T honey mustard
1/4 C ketchup
1/2 t Worcestershire

**Spray bread loaf pan, then sprinkle bottom with:

1/2 C brown sugar

**Shape your beef into a loaf shape and place in pan
**Squirt 1/2 C ketchup around all sides
**Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for approx 40 minutes, or until cooked through
**Remove foil and spoon the cooked sugar and ketchup from bottom of the pan over the loaf.

Caramelized onion & Beef Patties

**In a large bowl mix together:

1 lbs ground beef
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1/2 t Worcestershire 
1 egg
salt and pepper

**Shape into patties and grill them on the barbecue or bake them in the oven at 375 degrees until done
**In a separate pan saute:

2 T butter
1 large onion sliced into rings
1/2 bell pepper sliced into strips
1 clove minced garlic
2 t soy sauce
2 T brown sugar

**Once softened, add:

4-6 mushrooms sliced

**Saute until desired softness of veggies.  Then add:

1 T sour cream
2 oz cream cheese

**Simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring
**Dollop them on top of the cooked patties and serve

Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
1/2  small onion chopped
1/2  bell pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 T brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste

**Saute first 6 ingredients together until beef is cooked through
**Drain beef and return to heat.  Then add:

2 t yellow mustard
1/2 C ketchup
1 can (10 1/2oz) chicken gumbo soup

**Simmer for 5-7 minutes
**Serve on toasted hamburger buns


2 lbs ground beef 
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion chopped
salt & pepper to taste

*Saute first 4 ingredients together until beef is cooked through
*Drain beef and return to heat.  Then add:

1/2 packet onion soup mix
1 T Worcestershire
1 beef bouillon cube melted in 1/2 C water
1-2 small cans chopped mushrooms or fresh

*Simmer for 3 minutes then add:

2 (10 1/2 ounce) cans mushroom soup
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 T sour cream

*Bring to a boil.  Then simmer for 2-3 minutes
*Pour over already cooked egg noodles


  1. You guys do it all. I've always wanted to try cooking like that. Maybe I'll try it.

  2. This going to save my life this year! I'm back to full-time teaching and I still need to be a full-time mom. Thanks, Miriam! Camille

  3. This is an awesome idea... I've been looking for a way to omit grabbing fast food on really busy days between church and school... Thank you!!

  4. Are you suppose to use the directions that are listed for cooking each meal before or after freezing the ingredients?

    1. Good question. I leave the meatloaf, meatballs, and beef patties raw inside the ziploc bags and then defrost them and shape them later just before cooking them. The taco meat, sloppy joe meat, and stroganoff meat I cook before freezing and then just defrost them and add them to the rest of the fixings for the meal. I hope that helps.

  5. YES! You've learned, as I have, that cooking the meals before freezing makes a MUCH better-tasting meal! Many frozen raw vegetables have awful texture, like potatoes and carrots. I make my own dehydrated onion soup mix and mushroom soup mix. They save dollars, use only pennies.