You can be that mom who’s stockpiled meals in her freezer. You can! It’s easier than you think.
Prepping freezer meals starts with buying enough ingredients to make at least two family meals at once. You can double recipes whenever you cook (especially when cooking casseroles) — one for now, and one for later to go into the freezer. You can also spend a whole day cooking and preparing a stock of meals, but really, who has time for that? Use non-porous containers like glass dishes, freezer bags, and those foil pans you can get 3 for a dollar at Dollar Tree to store your meals. Most of these recipes are delicious for up to four months.
For example soup is so forgiving and can be made with the smallest bits of different things. Paired with a loaded bread basket, soup night is a winner.
Here are 10 foods to stash in your freezer for quick and easy soup suppers:
1. Stocks and Broths
A good stock or broth is key to a great soup. Whenever I roast a chicken, I make sure to turn what’s left into homemade stock. I build a stockpile in the freezer so that soup night comes together easily.
2. Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
Canned cream soups have fallen out of favor, but homemade? Homemade is delicious! It serves as a great soup starter, allowing you to easily build on a base of flavor.
3. Cooked Proteins
I regularly cook up bulk batches of shredded chicken or beef and store them in two-cup portions (the ideal amount to stir into soup or chili). The heavy work is already done, making soup night a breeze.
4. Frozen Veggies
Soups are a great meal for the night before the produce box arrives or when you need to clean out the veggie drawer. But you might not always have fresh on hand. Keep a supply of your favorite vegetables in the freezer so that you can add a handful of this or a handful of that whenever you want.
Leftover cooked meats, grains, and veggies can easily be stirred into soup. I often package up these small amounts in labeled, freezer-safe containers and stash them in the freezer for quick throw-together soup nights.
6. Day-Old Bread and Bread Crusts
Dry bread got you down? No worries. Throw it in the freezer now and transform it into croutons to float in soup later. You can also bake and freeze the croutons if you want things to be super simple.
7. Stale Tortilla Chips
Yep, really. If I have a bag of tortilla chips go stale, I stash it in the freezer. Not only can I work those chips into tortilla casseroles or chilaquiles, but they also work great in tortilla soup!