Search Results for: freezer meals
Thank you for signing up for the Freezer Meals and Recipes email series. I hope you will be able to have your questions answered as well as to find some new family favourite recipes.
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, I had to make changes 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 what works for me when making freezer meals for my family.
The 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 like 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. This is done 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) in just over 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. However, you need to be careful when avoiding gluten.
Ingredients to be cautious of for gluten-free diets:
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.
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.
Some of the common sauces often called for in freezer meal recipes usually contain 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.
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 flavor. 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 lists, and printable labels.
Of 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.
A list of our gluten-free freezer meals:
- Slow-Cooker Mixed Bean Casserole
- 5 Chicken Dump Recipes
- 5 More Chicken Dump Recipes
- 5 Beef Dump Recipes
- Freezer to Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup
- Gluten-Free Stuffed Peppers
- Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
- Better Than it Sounds Prune and Olive Chicken
- Freezer Vegetable Pesto Minestrone
- Sloppy Joes
- Spanish Rice Casserole
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas
- Beef and Corn Casserole
This crockpot soup is one of my favorite freezer meal recipes. It has healthy ingredients and the flavor is one that will have you craving more. In a busy family like ours, having delicious meals that can go from the freezer to the crockpot saves a lot of time and money. When I make this recipe, I made it two or four at a time and then freeze. I love having these on hand!
My neighbor Christie and I held another marathon freezer meal session last week and when we were planning it. This recipe was one of our “must-makes”. I am planning to take this soup camping with us. Bringing freezer meals will cut down on the amount of work that I have to do while on vacation. I’m planning on bringing our crockpot along so this will be an easy day of cooking for me!
I have to admit that not all of these made it to the freezer in the last batch. It’s just such a good recipe that I put one batch in the slow cooker the day after making freezer meals. We all thoroughly enjoyed it!
So as not to confuse you, I am giving the recipe to make one meal. However, you can double or triple or quadruple it as you need.
Chicken Taco Soup Recipe:
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 14 oz. can chili style beans
- 19 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. can kernel corn, drained
- 8 oz. can tomato sauce *
- 1 can of beer (be sure to use gluten-free beer if you are wanting this to be gluten-free)
- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 4.5 oz. can diced chilies
- 2 tsp. taco seasoning (note: some store-bought taco seasoning contains gluten so I make my own)
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
optional: tortilla chips or strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions for serving
*for our freezer meals, I actually buy a ginormous can of tomato sauce (over 100 oz.) and measure it out for each recipe. This saves a lot of money and it cuts down on time because I’m not having to open each individual can.
Place all ingredients in a large resealable freezer bag. Remove excess air and seal. Freeze.
For a soupier Chicken Taco Soup, you can add a tetrapak of chicken broth on the day of cooking. Without the chicken broth, it is thick enough for my kids to spoon this into tortillas and top with cheese. They love eating it that way.
On cooking day, thaw and cook the taco soup on low in crockpot for 4-7 hours (depending on your slow cooker). You can add the chicken broth to this step if desired. Shred the chicken breasts before serving.
Serve the individual bowls of soup with these topping ideas: sour cream, tortilla chips, sliced green onion, and grated cheese, or eat it as is.
To make this recipe gluten-free:
Most of the ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free. The only ones to be careful of are the chili-style beans (read the labels and select one that does not have any fillers that may contain gluten), the can of beer, and the taco seasoning. For the taco seasoning, you can either make your own (which probably tastes best anyway) or buy one that is a gluten-free blend.
(thanks to a very astute reader who caught that I had originally forgotten to note that beer can contain gluten!)
If you are looking for other recipes that can go from the freezer to the crockpot, you can find 24 other time-saving recipes in my ebook Chicken Dump Recipes.
This Chicken Taco Soup recipe is included in my Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plan which includes printable shopping lists, prep lists, recipes, and printable labels. You will love having the guesswork taken out of dinner!
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 x 14 oz. can chili style beans
- 1 x 19 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 x 15 oz. can kernel corn drained
- 1 x 8 oz. can tomato sauce *
- 1 can of beer be sure to use gluten-free beer if you are wanting this to be gluten-free
- 1 x 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 x 4.5 oz. can diced chilies
- 2 tsp. taco seasoning note: some store-bought taco seasoning contains gluten so I make my own
- 3 chicken breasts skinless, boneless
- optional: tortilla chips or strips sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions for serving
Place all ingredients in a large resealable freezer bag. Remove excess air and seal. Freeze.
Thaw. Heat in a stovetop pot or in the crockpot. Shred the chicken before serving.
These quesadillas are really, really good. It may sound like a strange combination of ingredients, but these are delicious! I make these in large batches so that I have 8 bags in the freezer ready to make for lunches. Any recipe that has my kids happily eating vegetables and beans is a winner in my book!
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 cups grated, peeled sweet potato or yam
19 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
sea salt to taste
Mix ingredients and put in 2 medium-sized resealable freezer bags. Remove excess air, seal, and freeze. You can instead put all of the mixtures in one large resealable bag but I prefer to freeze this recipe in smaller quantities so that I can take just one bag out as a lunch-sized meal for the kids and me.
Additional ingredients for the cooking day:
grated jalapeños jack or tex mex cheese
Udi’s gluten-free tortillas
On cooking day, thaw and then fry the mixture in a greased pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Spread mixture on one side of tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese and if desired, add some sliced jalapeños. Fold over the other half of the tortillas.
Bake in 350* oven until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa or guacamole.
In the interest of full disclosure, the picture at the top is of a cheese and onion gluten-free quesadilla. I made sure to take a picture of the sweet potato and black bean mixture as I was cooking it up but then by the time I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture of the finished quesadilla, the kids had eaten them all up! So I quickly made up a simple quesadilla just for the picture and Einstein was more than happy to eat it.
- 1 med onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 cups sweet potato or yam peeled and grated
- 19 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- salt to taste
- jalapenos jack or tex mex cheese grated
- jalapenos optional
- Udi's gluten-free tortillas
Mix ingredients together and place in 2 medium resealable freezer bags for a larger meal or in 1 large bag for smaller lunches
Remove excess air and freeze
Thaw and fry mixture in a greased pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes
Spread mixture on one side of tortillas
Sprinkle with cheese and jalapenos, if desired
Fold over the other half of the tortillas
This comfort food meal is perfect for cold winter days. Beef and corn casserole was first introduced to me by my friend Tyler and she helped me figure out how to make it gluten-free because she and I both have kids that are on gluten-free diets. This freezes well and is a fairly well-balanced meal. It is also extremely kid-friendly.
Beef and Corn Casserole Recipe:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 12 oz. can kernel corn, drained
- 20 – 24 oz. tomato soup – this can be creamy tomato soup that is gluten-free or gluten-free condensed tomato soup
- 1 Tbsp. ketchup
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked gluten-free noodles*
- 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
Brown the ground beef until no longer pink, adding the onion about halfway through cooking time. Put cooked meat mixture, corn, soup, ketchup, and seasoning in a bowl and mix.
Cook noodles (al dente). Drain. Mix into the other ingredients. Put the whole thing into a large resealable freezer bag. Remove excess air and seal.
Put the grated cheese into a medium resealable freezer bag and seal. Staple it to the top of the other bag, being sure to staple above the seals on both bags. Lay flat and freeze.
On cooking day, thaw the bag, carefully remove the staples and throw staples away. Pour casserole into a baking dish and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes, covered. Uncover for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 12 oz can of kernel corn drained
- 20-24 oz tomato soup
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 2 cups gluten-free noodles cooked
- 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese grated
- 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
Brown beef, adding onion about half way through
Add corn, soup, ketchup and seasoning to the beef
Cook noodles (al dente), drain and mix in with other ingredients
Put everything into a resealable bag, remove excess air, and seal
Grate cheese and seal in a bag, then staple it to the top of the other bag
Carefully remove staples and thaw ingredients
Pour casserole into an oven-safe dish and sprinkle cheese on top
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, covered
Uncover for the last 10 minutes of cooking
I prefer Tinkyada past to other brands of gluten-free varieties.