}

Sloppy Joes Freezer Meal Recipe

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

There is something very cozy about Sloppy Joes, especially when served in the winter. It’s a meal that brings me back to my childhood and I assume will someday be one that brings my kids back to theirs! This sloppy joes freezer meal recipe has that classic taste.

Old School Sloppy Joes freezer meal recipe that can also be made gluten free

There’s no reason that Sloppy Joes can’t be enjoyed by people who eat gluten free if served on gluten free buns. Of course, if you are not on a gluten free diet, you can make this the same way and use your favourite buns.

You can double, triple or quadruple this recipe and separate into freezer bags to have this recipe on hand for busy days.

Sloppy Joes Freezer Meal Recipe:

1 1/2  pounds lean ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
1/2 cup chili sauce
14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
2 tsp. lemon juice

*If you are making this sloppy joes recipe gluten free, be sure to use a gluten free Worcestershire sauce.

Sloppy Joes square

Brown ground beef. Mix ground beef and all other ingredients in a bowl and put into a large resealable freezer bag. Remove the excess air and seal. Lay flat and freeze.

On cooking day, thaw the bag and cook in a crock pot for 2-3 hours on low or cook on the stovetop until heated through. Serve on regular or gluten free buns, sliced in half. Our family’s preference for gluten free buns is Udi’s whole grain gluten free hamburger buns. They are a great size and consistency for Sloppy Joes.

Sloppy Joes

Other Easy Family Recipes:

This recipe is included in our Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan. The other recipes are also kid-pleasers and the plan includes printable shopping lists, prep lists and printable labels making it easy to fill your freezer with meals your family will actually eat.

Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan

 

Crock Pot Freezer Meal Pizza Casserole

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

It’s always hard to get an appetizing picture of a crock pot supper and this was no exception but this casserole is really a kid pleaser! I often make a gluten free version of it, so will be including that in my instructions below. This is another freezer meal to crock pot so it saves time all around.

Crock Pot Freezer Meal Pizza Casserole...it's ugly but kids love it!This is one of the regular meals in my freezer meal rotation. When I make it, I make two or four of these recipes at a time. The recipe below is for one meal, but if you want to make several to freeze, then multiply the ingredients accordingly.

2 cups of cubed ham
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
10 oz. can chopped mushrooms
28 oz. tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cups small pasta

To make this into a freezer meal, mix all the ingredients except for the pasta in a large resealable freezer bag. Put 2 cups of pasta in a medium sized resealable freezer bag. Seal both and staple them together. Lay flat in the the freezer.

On the day you want to serve it, thaw, put the ingredients from the large bag into the crock pot and cook for 4 hours on low. Cook the pasta on the stovetop and stir into the casserole just before serving.

crock-pot-pizza-casserole-square

To make this gluten free…

To make this gluten free, ensure that you use gluten free ham. Much of the ham sold in stores contains fillers that include gluten so read the labels. Use gluten free pasta. This recipe is very adaptable for those on gluten free diets and we enjoy it just as much with the gluten free pasta.

slow-cooker-pizza-casserole

Other Kid Friendly Recipes…

This recipe is included in our Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan. The other recipes are also kid-pleasers and the plan includes printable shopping lists, prep lists and printable labels making it easy to fill your freezer with meals your family will actually eat.

Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan

Converting Freezer Meal Recipes to Gluten Free Recipes

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

One of the ways that I have been able to manage my time with such a large family and still manage to have dinner on the table is to do most of my cooking in batches of freezer meals. When our son had to begin a gluten-free diet, there were changes that I had to make to my usual freezer meal recipes to accommodate his new food sensitivities.

There are certain considerations to be aware of when converting a regular freezer meal recipe to a gluten free one. I’m sure there are some that I have not considered here, but these are some that I have found when making freezer meals for my family.

Tips for how to convert freezer meal recipes to gluten freeThe most critical thing to know to be able to convert regular recipes into gluten free recipes is how to read labels to find hidden gluten. Gluten can be called many things and it’s important to be able to identify it. Here is a list of ingredients to be on the lookout for if you are trying to avoid gluten.

Another thing to be aware of is that the consistency of gluten free items can be very different than non-gluten free, so for certain recipes, you will have to experiment.

For pasta, I prefer Tinkyada brand because it maintains its shape well and doesn’t seem to get as mushy as some other brands. The other trick I’ve found with pasta when it comes to gluten free freezer meals is to either cook it to just under what you normally would before including it in the freezer meal or to leave it uncooked and attach it to the bag and then cook it normally and add it on the day you serve the meal.

When it comes to things such as tortillas, the gluten free varieties don’t always hold up well to being in a freezer meal. I have yet to find a recipe that works for gluten free burritos in the freezer. I have personally used Udi’s gluten free tortillas in some of my freezer meals and had them turn out and have also used corn tortillas. I suggest you experiment to find what works best with each recipe.

When I make freezer meals, I generally plan ahead and make one or two month’s worth of meals over one or two days. I often do it in a small group or with a friend. Just a week ago, my friend Christie and I made 110 freezer meals (55 each) over the course of two days. I have it down to a system! You first need to plan it out, then need to get everything prepared, and finally, execute it on what I call The Big Day. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it! I love not having to think about what I’m going to make for supper for the next few months!

There are some ingredients that seem to be very popular in freezer meal recipes that you need to be careful of when avoiding gluten.

Dry Onion Soup Mix

Most of the store-bought versions of this contain gluten. There are some versions that are gluten free but you need to read the labels very carefully. At a bulk bin store near me, they carry a gluten free dry onion soup mix. Alternatively, you can also make your own using a recipe such as this one.

Condensed Soups

There are condensed soups available to purchase such as Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup from Pacific Natural or Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato. There are also recipes readily available online for making your own cream soups such as this one for cream of mushroom soup because gluten is usually found in most condensed soups.

Sauces

Some of the common sauces often called for in freezer meal recipes usually contains gluten. These include soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Be careful to choose a brand of soy sauce or hoisin sauce that does not contain gluten.

Seasonings

Many seasonings, especially seasoning blends contain gluten. A lot of my freezer meal recipes call for taco seasoning. Most taco seasonings contain gluten, but there is a tex mex seasoning blend that does not contain gluten. This can be substituted for taco seasoning without compromising flavour. Again, you can also make your own taco seasoning mix. This is my recipe for homemade gluten free taco seasoning.

I buy many of my seasoning blends through Epicure Selections, as they have really wonderful spice blends and mixes and they are gluten free. Many are also sodium free which is a preference of mine because then I have control over how much salt I add to the dishes.

Gluten Free Freezer Meal Plan

Our gluten free freezer meal plan includes 5 of our tried and true recipes, shopping lists, prep list, and printable labels.

Gluten Free Freezer Meal Menu PlanOf course, for the fastest freezer meal recipes (enabling you to assemble 10 meals in just one hour), check out my Chicken Dump and Beef Dump Recipes. All of the recipes include gluten free instructions.

beef and chicken dump recipes

Homemade Gluten Free Taco Seasoning

A list of our gluten free freezer meals:

Beef Dump Recipes

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

Dump recipes are the easiest and fastest way to stock your freezer full of meals. I’ve been making them for about a decade and though the name may not sound that appealing, it speaks to how fast these really are to make. Most of my dump recipes can be cooked in the crock pot, saving even more time.

When I wrote about my Chicken Dump Recipes, the response from busy women (and men) everywhere was overwhelming! They loved the ease of the system, but the resounding feedback was: more recipes!

I have been working since then to create a book of Beef Dump Recipes for you. It contains 6 meal plans of 5 recipes each which include shopping lists for each plan and printable labels for each recipe.

Beef Dump Recipes. Assemble 10 meals in one hour that can go from the freezer to the crock pot and can be made gluten free.These beef dump recipes are easy to throw together and perfect for freezing. Freezer meals make a lovely gift for friends who are going through an illness or loss or adding to their family through birth or adoption.

By doubling these recipes, you are able to assemble ten meals in just one hour! (note that this does not include the time to brown the beef)

The key to successful beef dump meals is to have all your ingredients out before you start assembling. This will save you time and will also save you having to run out to the store to pick up a missing ingredient!

Steps to making Beef Dump Meals:

  1. Brown the beef. This can be done the day before and kept in the fridge until you are ready to use. You can also season with a bit of salt and pepper while browning if you like.
  2. Get out all ingredients.
  3. Label resealable freezer bags (you can use a permanent marker or print labels to stick on) with the name and cooking instructions.
  4.  Prop the bottom of the bags and fold over the top so that they will stay open.
  5. Add browned ground beef into each bag.
  6. Once the meat is in all of the bags, dump the ingredients for the recipe into the bag.
  7. When all the ingredients are in each bag, remove the excess air, seal the bags, lay flat, and freeze.

Beef Dump Recipes. Assemble 10 meals in one hour that can go from the freezer to the crock pot and can be made gluten free.Below is a sample meal plan which uses ground beef for all of the recipes. Don’t forget to brown the beef before you start assembling. You can find the shopping list, labels and other meal plans including those using other cuts of beef in the Beef Dump Recipes book.

Beef Hash

1 1/2 lbs. browned ground beef
500 grams frozen hash browns*
1 onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. dry onion soup mix**
1 cup beef broth
dash pepper

*This amount is the equivalent of half a 1 kg bag, so if you are making two of these recipes at once, buy one large bag and split it between the two meals.

**I use an MSG-free, gluten-free dry onion soup mix.

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Bake at 350° for one hour, topping with grated cheese the last 10 minutes if desired or in the crock pot on low for 2-4 hours, topping with cheese the last 20 minutes if desired.

Taco Soup

1 1/2 lb. browned ground beef
1 onion, diced
2x 14 oz. cans chili style beans
1x 12 oz. can kernel corn, drained
1x 14 oz. can tomato sauce
14 oz. salsa
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. taco seasoning*
*store bought taco seasoning can contain gluten, so I make my own.

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in large pot on stovetop on medium heat until desired temperature or cook in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours.

Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lb. browned ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chili sauce
14 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
dash pepper

*Be sure to use gluten free Worcestershire sauce if wanting this to be gluten free.

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in pot on stovetop over medium until desired heat is achieved or cook in slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours. Serve on bun halves.

Beef Dump square

Spaghetti Sauce

1 1/2 lbs. browned ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2x 14 oz. can tomato sauce
1x 5 1/2 oz. can tomato paste
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. melted honey or sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in pot on stovetop over medium until desired heat is achieved or cook in crock pot on low for 2-4 hours. Serve over pasta or gluten free noodles.

Chili

1 1/2 lbs. browned ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
19 oz. can kidney beans with liquid
14 oz. can chili style beans with liquid
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
5 1/2 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
dash pepper
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (this is my secret ingredient!)

Cooking instructions:

Thaw. Heat in large pot over medium until desired temperature is reached or cook in crock pot on low for 3-5 hours.

Notes:

  • If you plan the meals so that they have some common ingredients, it saves even more money.
  • All recipes can be made gluten free by following the notes indicated.
  • I heard from a reader who suggested using slow cooker liners. I had never heard of them, but it saves even more time because it eliminates the cleanup of the crock pot.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Chicken Dump Recipes for even more options!

To get the recipes listed here along with free printable labels and shopping list, sign up for our emails.

Be sure to check out my Beef Dump Recipes book which includes 30 recipes divided into 5 plans plus one bonus recipe. Each plan comes with printable grocery lists and printable labels. Read the list of included recipes.

You can also purchase both the Beef Dump Recipes and Chicken Dump Recipes together for more meal options and savings!