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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Stocking the Freezer – Make Ahead Meals

I’ve done a post before about my idea of stocking the freezer.  As I mentioned then, I’m just not big on freezer meals.  I much prefer a fresh made meal, not to mention I love cooking, so freezing foods for later is not something I do often.  I normally prefer to utilize my freezer for stocking up on ingredients and things that I use frequently to make my cooking more convenient, but not to eliminate the need to cook in the first place.  That being said, my baby girl will be here in a week or less!  While we are adjusting to life as a family of four and I reclaim my position as a 24/7 dairy factory, I know I will be glad that I have some meals stored in the freezer.  (And for my regular readers – never fear.  I’ve also been working ahead so that I have lots of material ready for the blog and you won’t be left hanging.)

Let me preface this by saying this list is certainly not all-inclusive of what you can freeze.  As I mentioned in my first freezer post, you can freeze just about anything you want.  Some things freeze better than others.  This is simply a list of what I have done to stock my own freezer in this instance, to give some ideas for those interested.

First, I made four balls of pizza dough.  It may not be a fully premade meal, but topping and baking a pizza takes about 20 minutes.  I always get so excited when I find this in the freezer – it’s like finding money!  (It has been really hard to avoid using these the past month or so.)

I made a tray of baked ziti…but I guess right now, it is unbaked ziti.  I made the whole dish, fully assembled, and stopped before the baking step.  I will either let this thaw in the refrigerator a day before baking or just bake straight from the freezer until it is heated through.  (The containers in the back are a recipe I tried that was just okay, so I probably won’t be sharing it here.  I wish they contained chicken chili or white bean chicken chili.  Both of those freeze very well.)

I made my favorite enchiladas – woot!  Now, because of the regular baking instructions for these, I chose to leave the sauce separate so that I can still crisp the tortillas slightly in the oven before topping with sauce and cheese.  I think if I were making these to take to someone who had recently had surgery or was otherwise incapacitated, I would probably just go ahead and add the sauce and cheese in advance.  I don’t think the quality would be diminished too much by doing so, and I would rather keep it simple for those I was trying help.  We also made some of our favorite burger patties, and I’ll be making hamburger buns to accompany these tonight.  These are great plain or dressed up as teriyaki burgers with mango pineapple salsa.

When I made meatball sliders with pesto, I went ahead and made extra meatballs and tomato sauce.  I also saved some of the slider rolls, and pesto (not shown).  This gives lots of flexibility – we can do the sliders again, meatball subs, or spaghetti and meatballs.  And since it makes so much food, we will likely be enjoying a combination of those meals.  The meatballs are frozen uncooked.  To cook them, I will bring the sauce to a simmer and just add the frozen meatballs to the pot, heating until they are cooked through.

I also tend to keep a few breakfast items on hand.  Right now I have leftover waffles (those are really for Andrew), as well as all kinds of frozen fruit for smoothies.  I haven’t made them yet, but I will probably also add some scones to the stash because I just can’t resist.  With pretty much any type of scone, you can mix up the dough, shape them, freeze, and then bake straight from the freezer.

This gem might be the most important of all.  This is something I consider a freezer staple at all times.  Whenever I make cookies, I only bake as many as I need at the time and freeze the remaining dough balls for later.  Seen here are thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies and giant double chocolate cookies.  Double yum.  In the dessert category, I will probably also be making some vanilla ice cream to keep on hand so that any quick dessert I might serve to guests has the option of being a la mode.

A few additional tips:
Since I was stocking my own freezer, labeling everything with reheating instructions wasn’t crucial.  If I were stocking someone else’s freezer or bringing meals to new parents, I would be sure to label each dish clearly with contents and cooking/baking instructions.  I will label the meal that I plan to have my dad heat up while he is home with Andrew and we are still at the hospital.

If you know in advance that you are trying to stock the freezer, spread the workload out over several weeks.  Rather than devote a full day of work toward making tons of freezer meals (no fun), I just planned one meal per week for the last several weeks where I could make a double batch and freeze half of it.  If you are already making the meal, it takes little more effort to make an extra batch.

I personally don’t mind eating the same meal over the course of several days, especially when it’s a favorite of mine like baked ziti or enchiladas.  However, I know a lot of people don’t feel this way.  You can always freeze large meals in multiple smaller portioned trays so that they have only one or two servings each, allowing for more flexibility in meal options each day.

If you are taking meals to new parents, please see my post on that topic.  It has some suggestions on what to avoid, as well as what you can add that will be much appreciated touches.

A few additional ideas on meals to freeze:
Chicken Pot Pies
Pappa al Pomodoro
Chicken in marinade and pita bread for Chicken Gyros
Turkey Burgers
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
Classic Lasagna

  • http://www.elizabethannsrecipebox.com Elizabeth Ann

    This is a GREAT post! :-) I always take food “hot” to new moms and wish that I could take 1 “hot” meal and one meal for them to stick in the freezer and pull out later when they aren’t getting food every day! :-)

  • sarah

    Awesome post! I am going to definitely make some of the recipes to have on hand for my husband to heat up when I work weekends(pharmacist and working all weekend drains me). Do you put the frozen waffles in the toaster to cook them? My kiddos love waffles and I would prefer to not always give them eggos on busy mornings!

  • Tracy

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! We are just entering the world of after school and evening sports/activities and I still want to be able to serve my family hot, healthy, real food meals – quickly. You gave me so many great ideas here of meals to make and freeze.

  • Amber

    what a great post which can also be used for someone preparing for surgery. I froze lots of food when pregnant with my last. Freezer food was definitely a life saver the days when my 18 month old needed me as much as the newborn.

    I hope your labor and delivery goes smoothly and the big brother adjusts easily to his new role. Thanks for sharing all of your kitchen gifts.

  • Angela

    I will be thinking of you in the coming weeks. Everytime I read your blog I am amazed at all the things that you are able to do. You inspire me to do more! And to think that you are thinking of your readers as you will have blogs to share while you are enjoying getting to know your bundle of joy! May God bless you and your family.

  • Tristi

    Awesome post! I’ll definitely be taking your advice with my next baby…I think we ate pb&j for a week after I had my daughter!

  • http://www.asgoodadayasany.wordpress.com Marilyn Yocum

    Such an excellent and useful post! Thanks!

  • Ann Parsons

    If you are visiting new Mums who are breast-feeding, you
    shouldn’t really give or take her hot spicy meals as this can
    effect her milk for the baby. Otherwise, I think it is a fab
    idea to help out taking a prepared meal either fresh or frozen.

  • Annie

    That’s actually not true across the board. I ate whatever I wanted and I breastfed my son for 13 months. I always specifically ask the mom if she has any dietary restrictions to keep in mind.

  • Annie

    You can reheat any way you like. I don’t keep a toaster out in our kitchen so I usually use the microwave to defrost and then sometimes recrisp in the oven.

  • http://planetbyn.wordpress.com Robyn {Planet Byn}

    i was just referencing your post on meals for new parents this weekend. i made a batch of carrot ginger soup, cheddar buttermilk biscuits and banana muffins for my friends who just had their first baby.

  • Holly

    Thanks Annie – great practical and creative suggestions! I hope everything goes smoothly with the birth of your new baby. We’ll look forward to “meeting” her!

  • http://cookiecrazedmama.blogspot.com Kim

    Annie,
    Good luck and congratulations on your new baby girl! How exciting that she’ll be here in such a short period of time! And how awesome are you to have posts ready for all of us? So organized! I would have missed them greatly, but it is soooo understandable when you have a new bundle of joy. Take care!

  • http://www.thespiffycookie.com Erin

    Great post! I was actually looking for good freezer-friendly dishes last week.

  • http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com Julie @ Willow Bird Baking

    Love useful posts like this!

  • Ludivine

    Great post! Love all the ideas and tips. Can you freeze the pita breads?

  • http://tellystastytidbits.wordpress.com Angie (Telly’s Tasty Tidbits)

    I’ve been waiting for this post! I’m actually starting to stock my freezer this weekend for when our little one arrives in 13 weeks!! I have similar recipes to a lot of these on my list but I think I’m going to have to add buns. For some reason I just didn’t think about that!

  • jen

    thank you!!! this is a fantastic post and so timely for me, as well! i’m pregnant with #3, live several thousand miles from friends or family, and my husband will be deployed when the newest little guy comes along. for some reason, we always seem to PCS when i’m about 6 months pregnant and i never have anyone i know around to help. so, i do my best to help myself and i will be making several of these things over the next several weeks. from my own experience, my banana bread freezes well, also, so i will add that and some bran muffins to the list for sure! and pancakes. i love pancakes. i invested in a small chest freezer because our apartment fridge/freezer is TINY, so now i can really put it to good use! i’ve been checking out your baby food post, i intend to attempt to make that, as well. thankfully, i will have a bit of time after baby is born to recover before i start all that!! thanks again, love your blog!

  • http://www.bakedbyrachel.com Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    I’m with you – I prefer fresh over frozen but may try to freeze some items come August when we’re preparing for our third. Thanks for the reminder and good luck in the coming week or so and beyond! :)

  • http://cookingwithmichele.com Cooking with Michele

    Most of us who love to cook would prefer something fresh made, but I always make large batches of soups and stews to freeze – green chile, pork and white bean stew, butternut squash soup – and I freeze things that can be pulled out quickly and served as an appetizer to friends who drop by, like my Romesco sauce that I serve with some quick cooked shrimp. Best of luck on the new little one!

  • Liz N

    You are simply amazing! Such great planning, menus and food! You never cease to amaze me. Your post for menu planning for new parents was something I used for some friends. I made your chicken enchiladas and it was a huge hit. I know how appreciative I was when folks in my neighborhood prepared meals for us when our daughter was born. Those kinds of gifts are never forgotten and so much more meaningful. Good luck with your delivery. Can’t wait to see pics of your baby girl!

  • Caroline

    I want to make the chicken chili for friends that are having their third child. How would recommend freezing (container, etc) and thawing. I just had twin girls and we all love spicy food. Congratulations!

  • http://erinkristine.blogspot.com Erin

    I love this post. We spent a ton of time preparing freezer meals before Annie was born, and it was a lifesaver, more so after I returned to work than during my maternity leave since we had so many people coming over then with food.

    One of my fave freezer meals was your baked ziti, but I lined 2 8×8 pans with foil and froze them, then took the foil blocks out to put in freezer bags – just another option for people that don’t have spare dishes or want to buy the disposable kind. Then you just put the whole 8×8 frozen block back in the pan and bake. It worked great for several casseroles (ziti, lasagna, chicken spaghetti).

    I had those 2 kinds of cookies in my freezer up until last week, and DESPERATELY need to make another batch because I am now addicted to popping 2 frozen cookie dough balls out and baking fresh nearly every night.

    Another of my favorite items to freeze is muffins – those were what went first during my maternity leave, and I made 4 kinds. I’ve continued this and make a double batch and freeze anytime I make muffins now – can thaw in the oven, but I usually just zap in the microwave (wrapped in a paper towel) for a minute and they are perfect. Love them for breakfasts and for snacks for Annie.

    Yikes, that got to be long! Anyway, awesome tips – we just made your chicken gyros last night and probably should have made more chicken to freeze for later – do you just freeze the raw chicken in the marinade in a freezer bag?

  • Joy

    I like to do the same thing when we have a new baby! We have a little one due in the fall & I’m already thinking of new things to try as freezer meals.

  • Annie

    Yes, raw chicken in the marinade.

  • elaine

    Great post! my question is, do you have to defrost the cookie dough balls before baking or put right in the oven frozen? thanks!

  • http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Wonderful ideas for make-ahead meals, Annie! Some of these I do already, so once my hubby and I start a family I’m sure I’ll have plenty of ideas! Thanks for sharing these great tips, and congratulations on your incoming bundle of joy. :)

  • Annie

    No, just bake straight from the freezer like store bought cookie dough.

  • http://theavidappetite.com Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    Love all of these ideas! It certainly makes weeknight cookie significantly easier to have these on hand!

  • Another Joy

    Annie! Thanks for this post. I am rocking life as a single person and needed a few more recipes that freeze very well, mostly because I can’t eat 8 servings of something in a week and hate to toss food out.
    I like to cook one thing every Sunday, freeze it in individual servings and then rotate what I defrost each evening.

  • http://www.bakingme.com/ Anne @ Baking Me

    Having homemade meals on hand for those busy nights when I don’t have time to prepare a whole dinner from scratch is great! These recipes look delicious, thanks for sharing :)

  • Denise

    Fantastic idea! I should have thought of this before our youngest arrived. My husband and I recently took a mini-vacation and I stocked up the freezer with a few meals so my parents could have a no-fuss, homemade dinner with my kids. Brilliant! I should do this more often.

  • http://aggielandmommycooks.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Arnold

    I love your ideas. Congrats on your growing family! I had #4 10 months ago and made sure I had a fully stocked freezer as well. I like to prepare a menu…double or triple the recipe, and serve one the night it was made, then I have another or 2 for the freezer. It was the best thing I could have done for myself, especially since my husband works nights. Monday nights we have freezer meals or Crock Pot meals b/c #1 has dance at 5:45, we have to eat at 5, and I am still nursing. A few months ago my disabled father came to live with us and my friends from church had a freezer meal party where they made 10 meals for my freezer.

  • http://foodforfuelingup.blogspot.com Danielle

    So organized and prepared! You will be an inspiration to me one day when I need to stock a freezer. Good luck with the new baby when she arrives!

  • https://catalystcupcakes.wordpress.com/ Lia

    I love, love freezing pizza dough and the sauce for later use. I never thought of doing it until i read it on your site. My husband now has requested pizza almost every week. Thank you so much for all the sharing you’ve done over the years!

  • http://shootsandroots.wordpress.com Melissa

    Great article. I passed it on to some friends through Facebook for you. I think I am going to make some of those meatballs tonight. A double batch this time. :)

  • http://joyincooking.blogspot.com Lisa

    Frozen cookie dough balls are the best. I do this all the time. My husband even eats them straight from the freezer! Thanks for sharing a great post. Chicken Gyros are one of my favorite meals, and I never thought to freeze it in the marinade.

  • Liz

    I was off all last week and did a massive amount of cooking and freezing in an attempt to avoid my husband and I needing to do any when baby #3 arrives in May. I now want to take another week off to do more based on this post!

  • http://sweetluvininthekitchen.blogspot.com Michele

    This is a great post and it came at a great time for me. I am only recently pregnant but already having morning sickness and don’t want to cook. I’ve been meaning to get some freezer meals ready but the typical freezer meal just isn’t appetizing to me and I, like you, would just rather cook a meal. However, I love your suggestions of things to keep in the freezer and will be trying to get some into my freezer soon!

  • Sue

    Ditto on the frozen cookie dough. Essential!

  • http://livefaithfully.blogspot.com Urban Wife

    I love how organized you are! You will be in my prayers with the upcoming birth of your daughter. Congrats, again! :)

  • Kat

    Oh my gosh is it that time already? Good luck on your newest little one! We’ll be thinking of you and Ben and Andrew and _______! :)

    Yay Breastfeeding (had to get that in there!)!

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com/ Katrina

    Thank you so much for the ideas! I love freezing meals, it makes cooking so much easier :)

  • http://kellyskitch.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    Thanks for all the tips and the link to the previous post, too! I should be starting to plan what I’m going to freeze for my maternity leave. My poor husband loves my cooking (aka YOUR cooking), but doesn’t like to do it himself. This will help us TREMENDOUSLY if he just had to pop something in the oven!!

  • http://theblissfulbaker.wordpress.com Justeen @ Blissful Baking

    This post is awesome! I always want to freeze meals for days that I just don’t want to cook, but wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. Thanks for the pointers!

  • http://www.tiptopshape2.blogspot.com Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Great post! I just discovered freezing food and it makes weeknight meals much easier!

  • Deborah

    Thank you for this post! It couldn’t have come at a better time as my husband and I are expecting our first child in 7 weeks! I’ve been slowly collecting ideas and recipes for freezing, but this post ties it all together perfectly! Bless you!

  • micaela

    Wow!! I am totally impressed you did all that while pregnant and working and having a little one! I’m due in a week also and have nothing in the freezer! I might have to do a few things this week though! Thanks for sharing all your tips! And best of luck to you and your soon to be baby girl!

  • http://hungryhealthyhappy.wordpress.com Melissa

    As always, this is a wonderful post! I frequently refer back to your post about meals for new parents & it has been my go-to gift for my friends who have babies. They love it! Thanks, Annie, and best wishes to you & your family as you welcome your precious baby girl! :)

  • Jenn

    This is seriously awesome. 2 questions.. how do you bake the frozen scone dough? Defrost it? Bake it longer? Same for the cookies?

  • http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com Paula {Salad in a Jar}

    I just jumped over and read your post re: food for new parents. Great idea to take breakfast food or snacks. Praying the next few days go smoothly for you and the rest of the family.

  • Cara Lynne

    Wow, I just recently started reading your blog. And you have become an inspiration for me! I can’t wait to have some free time between work and chasing my two year old monkey around the house to start making some of these delicious recipes! Thank you for taking the time to post them. Good luck with latest soon to be addition to your family.

  • http://tinykitchenette.blogspot.com Danielle

    Awesome post. I’m a college student who lives on campus. Next year, I decided to opt out of having the campus meal plan because it’s so expensive and I feel they don’t serve quality food for the amount I’m paying. I was a little concerned about how I’d maintain my diet. This offered a great solution. There’s a little kitchenette on the flour of my dorm. I can just pop a meal in for the week so I’m not tied up cooking every night.

  • Annie

    Check the first freezer post for these topics.

  • Debbie

    Annie, Thank you for the info on stocking a freezer. I have wondered about a few items and you answered my questions. But seriously girl you are a Physician, Married, Mother of a 3 year old and soon a new baby girl, AND you make your Hamburger Buns! You are nothing short of AMAZING! Can you please bottle what you have and sell it? I am your first customer! Congrats on the new to come baby!

  • Mindy

    I’m SO glad you posted this this week! once we get paid this weekend, I was going to begin my last few weeks of this pregnancy stocking up our freezer! (I’m 33 weeks right now). could not have come at a better time and everything looks great and sounds like great ideas, some I never thought of (the cookie dough, sadly, was something that never dawned on me… but will definitely be doing!). thanks again and hope you have a smooth, easy delivery of your new addition :).

  • Joelyn

    This is a wonderful post Annie. Have a safe delivery and looking forward to your posts about your little baby girl in the coming weeks! Take care.

  • Sarah H

    Good luck on the delivery of and adjustment to the new one. I’m expecting #4 here in the next 2 weeks and my mom and I have made doubles of everything we’ve cooked for the last 3 days and frozen extras. My biggest problem is I don’t have a deep freeze so I have to be very judicious about freezer space…all the snack food is getting eaten this week so we’ll have room for the meals!

  • http://www.recipesforbaking.com Kathie

    Wishing you a beautiful and blissful labor!

  • Lydia

    Thank you so much for this post!! I am due with my second baby in a few weeks and this is SO helpful. I was curious about the meatballs and sauce. Did you cook the sauce for the two hours before you froze it? And are the meatballs raw or cooked frozen? Thank you!

  • Lydia

    I apologize in advance. I see the answer now to my question about the meatballs! But I am still curious about the sauce.

  • http://lifeandkitchen.com life and kitchen

    My freezer isn’t nearly big enough to handle this much stuff!

  • Kanishka

    You are awesome for doing this. I can’t fathom how you do it but it gives me something to aim for. Best wishes for a safe delivery!

  • http://cookingbride.wordpress.com Lisa @ The Cooking Bride

    I always love posts on freezing food. I do love to cook, but making a fresh meal from scratch during the week just isn’t always feasible. I usually try to dedicate Sunday afternoon to making something that will freeze and I always welcome new ideas!

  • http://www.happywhennothungry.com Happy When Not Hungry

    You must be sooo excited!!! It’s so awesome that you’re so organized and prepared too!

  • Angela

    Love your blog but now I think I love you…lol. Thank you for this. I’m a military wife and pride myself on home cooking but work full time and have three kids, one more on the way…this is great. Congrats on your new bundle, enjoy every minute of it!!

  • Laura

    What I really would like to know is how on earth do you do all of this with a toddler?? Maybe he naps for longer than 1 1/2 hrs (which is about average for my toddler)…mine doesn’t do too well with playing in the kitchen since it’s a small confined space and she wants to keep moving…anyway, soo excited about your new little girl! (little girls are a blast!) Hope your labor and delivery goes smoothly!

  • Rachael

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m having my third baby in June and I really want to make some meals for the freezer, but I never have any idea which ones freeze well and which do not. These recipes will help me out a ton!

  • Kathryn

    Do you freeze your burgers frozen or cooked? Then how do you cook them?

  • Annie

    Freeze uncooked. Thaw, then cook as usual.

  • Danielle

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!! It never occurred to me that I could make meals ahead of time (or partially make them) and then freeze them! Also, while reading this post, I saw the white chicken chili and enchiladas recipes. Made them both and LOVED them both!! Thank you! :)

  • http://kellyskitch.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    Totally random question (now that I’m getting to the point in my pregnancy that I should start the stocking process).. Where do you get those nice, thick, clear containers for the freezer? If I use my tupperware for all the things I plan on making, I’ll have nothing left in my cabinets! I want really good ones for soup, etc like the three shown in the first picture. Thank you!

  • Annie

    They are from thinkgarnish.com. I love that store!

  • Karyn

    Would you recommend adding the sour cream and heavy cream into your white chicken chili recipe prior to freezing? Or after thawing it? Thanks in advance.

  • Annie

    I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure which is best, but I would probably do it after reheating.

  • http://designbylana.com Lana WIlkinson

    I have really enjoyed several of your recipes and have tried some of them in the past 2 weeks. Thanks so much Annie for “proofing” these delicious treats and I somehow am looking to add your blog to my favorites via fb or bookmarks! Cant wait to try more.
    SO far these were a hit….Thick n chewy choc chip cookies (my 8 yr old and i made and took to her fav teacher from last yr..she missed her so much), Benchiladas ( made to take to a friend who just had a baby..i added blk beans and rice as sides) along with the Hummus(yet to come tomorrow). Keep up the great work!

  • Teandra

    Do you cook the freezer cookie balls directly from the freezer? or do they need to thaw first? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Bake directly from the freezer.

  • Arlene Kalmbach

    Thank you for this post! I am a soon to be new mom expecting twins in 2 weeks and trying to get prepared. This has been really helpful!

  • Arlene Kalmbach

    Thank you for this post! I am soon to be new mom expecting twins in 2 weeks and this list has been very helpful!

  • Arlene Kalmbach

    Thank you for this post! I am a soon to be new mom expecting twins in 2 weeks and trying to get prepared. This has been really helpful!

  • Abby Bruce

    I am right in the middle of a freezer frenzy and your tips have been so helpful! thank you for this post!

  • Not “the” Annie

    Sour Cream separates when you try to freeze it- it’s not recommended to do so.

  • Sarah

    Annie, thanks so much for these tips. I’m freezing lasagna tonight for the first time. If I thaw the lasagna the day before in the fridge, how do I adjust the cooking time? Is there any issue with the sauce being watery?

  • annieseats

    The water content of the sauce doesn’t change whether it is frozen or not. There is no set rule on exactly how to cook it after thawing, since so many factors are at play (how cold was it, how long did it thaw, size of pan, etc. etc.) I just bake it until it’s warmed through enough to my liking. I hope that helps!

  • Sarah

    Awesome, thank you! One last question–do you have to use one of those reusable aluminum containers, or can I put my pyrex lasagna dish in the freezer?

  • annieseats

    You can use either.

  • Valerie

    Thanks for the ideas! I’ve been reading up on freezer cooking and I’m planning to do it very soon. Funny about the waffles – I freeze leftovers of waffles and pancakes for my son. I like them fresh. But, I did read a tip about dividing homemade pancake and waffle mix into ziplock bags. My pancake mix can go into bags in the pantry b/c it is all dry ingredients. My waffle mix has to be frozen, but I just keep it in a Tupperware container in the freezer. It doesn’t take long to fix. If you want the recipes for homemade biscuit mix and pancake mix, send me an email at spccounselor@yahoo.com.

  • Jordan

    Do you freeze the pita bread dough or already cooked?

  • annieseats

    I freeze the finished product.

  • Bethany Denton

    This is a really helpful post, thank you! I love having a few meals stashed in the freezer. I used to freeze pizza dough as dough balls, but there were too many times when we wanted a quick pizza dinner and I hadn’t thawed the dough in advance. Now I partially bake the dough and freeze actual pizzas! I make smaller pizzas so they fit in a gallon-sized Ziploc. To partially bake the dough, I put untopped crusts in a 500* oven for 2-3 minutes, and then cool completely. Then you can top them (or leave naked and top right before you bake), and freeze. Then I bake from frozen at 400* for 15+ minutes. :o)

  • Sharon

    Hi Jen, your post broke my heart that you are thousands of miles away from family and friends and you are going at alone. I’m curious as to where you live because you mentioned your husband being deployed, I am in VA Beach and know ALL about deployments and training. I have a great group of friends in this area that I know would love to help you I know this post is 11mths old but you never know unless you ask if someone is in need. So please if you are in need of some help my church and friends would love to be there for you so as you are not alone. respond to this post and I will provide you with my email address so we can work on getting you some help. God Bless you and Thank you for making the sacrifice of being a military wife

  • http://themirthmobile.com/ kathleen

    Thank you! This post is so awesome.

  • amy

    this is so so helpful!! im due early september and was just thinking about freezing some dinners especially since we live in a rural area-not a lot of takeout! thank u so much!

  • Jerrus_owen

    Concerning freezing the White Bean Chicken Chili recipe, do you add the heavy cream & sour cream before freezing or after reheating?

  • annieseats

    You could do it either way, but probably should add it after freezing for best results.

  • Cdrunge

    Thanks, getting ready for surgery and was looking for some good ideas. I can’t wait to try your chicken enchilladas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/VironikaWoll Vironika Woll

    Just saw this on Pinterest and found myself being swallowed in by all the possibilities! The only problem is I don’t know the first thing about freezing foods for future use! I consider myself a good cook–with a lot to learn! I’ve subscribed and I’m looking forward to learning a lot from you ;)

  • Becca

    when you freeze your enchiladas how to you prepare them when you are ready to serve? Do you thaw them first or stick them right in the oven?

  • annieseats

    I usually try to let them thaw for a day or so before I bake.

  • Karen

    i know i’m late to the game here, but … when i bake stuff i freeze it AFTER baking. is there any particular benefit to freezing uncooked/unbaked stuff? or does it not matter either way? i’d think it might save time to have stuff baked already and then it just needs a quick thaw or toast …

  • annieseats

    I just think it tastes better/fresher when it is only baked once, so it isn’t overdone/overcooked.

  • Karen

    good advice. thank you! so … thaw and cook?

  • annieseats

    Yes.