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Coupon Abbreviations
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freezer cooking

To help us get ready for the next few weeks of craziness, I took a day this week and knocked out all the cooking we would need for the next month!  I am not a big freezer cooker normally, but now that it’s done I’m pretty excited to know that after long days (and long nights with a new born) that I won’t need to worry about dinner.  The freezer cooking recipes that we did all used common ingredients to cut down on cost and time.

If you are new to freezer cooking, let take some of the stress off and share a few tips with you.  You can see my freezer cooking day and learn some tips in the video below:

Ready to get started stocking your freezer?  I’ve put all the recipes below that we made. To make this super simple for you I’ve made a few printables to help out:

  • Printable Shopping List – everything you need to make 23 meals!  Don’t feel the need to buy this all at one time, this will help you shop from your pantry too.
  • Printable Labels for Meals – cooking instructions and details all ready for you.  Print on labels or just cut them out and tape on.
  • Printable Recipes – a copy of what is below, just more handy.

 

Chicken Pot Pie

(makes 5 pies)
3 sticks butter
6 medium onions, diced
salt and pepper to taste
9 cups frozen peas and carrots
2 1/4 cups flour
12 cups chicken stock (3 32 oz cartons)
6 cups cooked and shredded chicken
3/4 cup heavy cream
10 pie crusts (for bottom and top crusts; you’ll only need 5 if you want just top crusts)

1. In a stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and cook until heated through.

2. Sprinkle in the flour over the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring continuously, until the flour has turned a blonde color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Allow to come to a gentle simmer and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly. Stir in the shredded chicken and heavy cream.

3. If you’re using bottom crusts, press a crust into each of your 5 pie pans (I used disposable). Ladle the chicken mixture evenly between the pans and top with the remaining crusts. Press the bottom and top crusts together at the edges and crimp.

4. Allow to cool before covering with foil, labeling, and placing in the freezer (it might be easiest to freeze your pot pies on cooking sheets so they don’t spill out).

To cook: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 4 small slits in the top crust of your pie to allow for ventilation. Bake on a cookie sheet for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. If your crust begins to get too brown before the filling is ready, you can cover the whole pie in foil.

Shepherd’s Pie

(makes 3 pans)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups frozen peas and carrots
3 cups diced onion
salt & black pepper
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups ketchup
3 lbs cooked, ground beef
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bags russet potatoes
2 cups milk (may need more or less)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the peas, carrots, and onion and cook until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and heat through. Add the ground beef to the mixture and stir.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, make the gravy. In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour is a blonde color (about 1 minute). Whisk in the broth in small increments until smooth and allow to cook until slightly thicker (about 4 minutes) while continuously whisking. Add the gravy to the meat mixture.

3. To make the topping, peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Add them to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil until tender. Drain completely and mash with a potato masher. Add the milk and mash until your desired consistency is reached.

4. Add the meat mixture to the bottom of a casserole pan (I used disposable). Add the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture and be sure that they are even and that all holes are sealed. Cool, cover, and freeze.
To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and slightly bubbly.

Chicken Enchiladas

(makes 3 pans)

3 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, diced
3 bell peppers, diced
3 jalapenos, diced (optional)
3 cups frozen corn kernels
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups cooked and shredded chicken
salt and pepper
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 block cream cheese, cut into cubes
6 cups shredded cheese, divided
3 jars salsa
24 large tortillas

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the corn and black beans and heat through.

2. Add the cooked chicken, along with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir in the cream cheese and 3 cups of the shredded cheese. Keep stirring until everything is melted and well combined.

3. Add a half a jar of salsa to the bottom of each casserole pan (I used disposable) and spread around (this helps prevent sticking on the bottom). Fill a tortilla with approximately 4 tablespoons of the chicken mixture, roll tightly, and place in the pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until you have 8 rolled tortillas in each pan (24 total).

4. Top the enchiladas with the remaining salsa (about 1/2 a jar for each pan). Add the remaining cheese to the top (about 1 cup for each pan). Cool, cover, and freeze.
To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook covered for about 25 minutes and then cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Creamy Baked Penne

(makes 3 pans)

2 sticks butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper
4 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 1/2 boxes penne pasta, cooked al dente
3 cups frozen peas
3 cups chopped broccoli

1. In a stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream along with the salt and pepper and allow to come to a gentle simmer. Cook until slightly thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in 2 cups of the grated Parmesan and stir continuously until the cheese has melted and everything is smooth. Add the cooked chicken and stir. Add the pasta along with the peas and broccoli and stir until everything is well coated with the sauce and evenly distributed.

3. Divide the pasta mixture between 3 casserole pans (I used disposable). Sprinkle the tops with the remaining parmesan. Cool, cover, and freeze.

To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook covered for about 25 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until everything is bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

(makes 3 meals)

3 garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
3 lbs cooked ground beef
3 cups white mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1 1/2 blocks cream cheese (divided and to be added during cooking)
3 cups sour cream (divided and to be added during cooking)
egg noodles (for serving)

1. Whisk together garlic, broth, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, parsley, thyme, flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

2. Add 1 pound of the ground beef and 1 cup of the mushrooms to a large freezer bag and repeat with 2 more freezer bags (3 total). Divide the broth mixture evenly between the bags. Seal tightly and freeze.

To cook: Thaw freezer bag in refrigerator overnight. Add contents to slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cream cheese (1/2 of 1 block). Stir and break up after 15 minutes and cook for 15 more minutes. Stir in the sour cream (1 cup) and heat through. Serve over egg noodles.
Tip: Remember that the ingredients listed are for 3 meals, so you’ll have to divide each listing by 3 for it to make sense in each recipe.

Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder

(makes 3 meals)

15 cups diced red potatoes
3/4 cup flour
3 cups diced onion
3 packages frozen corn kernels
18 cups chicken stock
6 tbsp italian seasoning
salt and pepper
3 cups heavy cream (divided and to be added during cooking)
bacon, cooked and crumbled (for serving)

1. Toss the potatoes with the flour and divide between 3 freezer bags. Divide the rest of the ingredients by 3 and add to the freezer bags (1 cup of diced onion in each bag, 1 package of corn in each bag, etc.). Seal tightly and freeze.

To cook: Thaw freezer bag in refrigerator overnight. Add contents and 6 cups of chicken broth to slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in the heavy cream (1 cup) in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve with crumbled bacon.

Tip: If you’d rather simply store your stock in your pantry, you can freeze all the ingredients except that in your freezer bag and add the stock when you’re ready to cook. Also, remember that the ingredients listed are for 3 meals, so you’ll have to divide each listing by 3 for it to make sense in each recipe.

Slow Cooker Chili

(makes 3 meals)

3 lbs cooked ground beef
3 onions, diced
3 bell peppers, diced
3 jalapenos, diced (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
9 tbsp chili powder
6 tbsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
3 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 cans tomato sauce
3 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1. Divide all ingredients into 3 freezer bags and shake to combine. Seal tightly and freeze.

To cook: Thaw freezer bag in refrigerator overnight. Add contents to slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

I also had 3 cans of pasta sauce and 3 cans of tomatoes that I threw into bags with the extra hamburger for spaghetti sauce.  Go ahead and also mince a garlic clove in there too.

freezer cooking recipes

    • mommalana

      As an empty nester household I just naturally freezer cook by doing regular recipe amounts and freezing the rest in meal size amounts. We typically have 2-3 meals from the freezer every week. I am loving it! I am pinning this for the chicken pot pie recipe. It would be great to have those in the freezer!

    • mommalana

      Foil pans are abut 30 cents each at Sam’s in the bulk pack.

    • Linda Fassnacht

      Jenny, I hear you about the freezer bags! My last two whole sirloin tips, I had to throw out about $30 worth of burgers I had made up. Because I had already had an issue once before (and the Manufacturer sent me Qs to cover some of it), I actually wrapped these patties in plastic wrap, then freezer paper, then into the large freezer bags. I lost ALL of them due to either the bags not sealing properly or a pinhole somewhere in all the bags! I again contacted them, and this time they sent me a check to pay for the meat and Qs for more of their product. Not sure how to continue, other than fork out the money for a vacuum sealer system. Thanks for the recipes and I’ll be praying for your daughter’s surgery and your upcoming delivery!

      • http://www.southernsavers.com/ Jenny

        I have a vacuum sealer and love it for meat. I was a little hesitant to use it for liquid based meals though so went bags. I did inform my husband that those need to be some of the first eaten though!

    • Lisa McMullin

      Hey Jenny! I have always wanted to do this but it was daunting. You made it look so easy…with what you are going through, you are still helping others…THANK YOU!

    • Lauren

      Out of curiosity – does your husband eat separately? I know he’s gluten free. I love the concept of freezer cooking but I’m gluten free and my husband is dairy free, so Unfortunately that knocks out so many of the good cheap freezer meals!

      • jewells0607

        We don’t have dietary restrictions but in general focus more on meat and veggies with very little starch and dairy. You can make up freezer bags of things that you just have to throw in one skillet and sautee briefly like chicken with peppers and onions, ground beef with tomato sauce and spaghetti squash, etc. Then add a bag or two of frozen steamer veggies popped in the microwave. Most nights we just do super quick meat and veggies and just change up the spices, no real recipes required. And you still shop the sales for the meat and veggies you get!

      • Janice

        Lauren,
        I can’t eat either of those things. Try these for freezer meals;
        Buy 10-15 lbs ground meat (generally beef) divide it to make meatloaf (use oatmeal), meatballs, taco meat, sloppy joes (use cornstarch for thickener), precooked meat for other meals (usual saves you 10 minutes and a pan). I cook up all the loose meat at one time and divide it into containers for the appropriate spices/ sauces.

        Chicken: preslice for stir frys, boil for cooked meat and broth for later use, save some out and cover in BBQ sauce. Namaste makes an amazing coating for chicken. Not cheap, but a real treat for those of us who can’t eat whatever we feel like.

    • Jamie

      You are an amazing woman Jenny! I have a very small freezer in our apartment and plan on doing this! Thank you for the video and the recipes. Have you tried using ground chicken in place of ground beef? It is wonderful! Usually 3.99 a pound but you can catch it on sale at Publix and Bilo for 2.99 a pound. It makes great patties too! No oil or spray required to cook it. So good for you too! Have a great weekend!

    • Karen

      Question: How far in advance can these be frozen?

    • salomelife

      This is awesome, thank you for the list and recipes :)

    • Cyndi Kirby

      Jenny, I have frozen chicken pie before; how do you keep the foil from sticking to the pie crust and not pulling the crust off with the foil?

      • Vernon Reese

        non stick spray should work

    • Janice

      I also wanted to suggest just putting some of the leftover pot pie mix in a freezer bag. Reheat until bubbly in the oven and top with some of those Pillsbury biscuits we get for next to nothing (raw, they cook in the pot pie mix) for about 8 more minutes. A friend brought it to me this way MANY years ago when I was pregnant and overwhelmed. I thought it was odd until I tasted it!

    • Ruby McGhee

      Looks like delicious recipes but I suggest healthier versions. Eliminate the sticks of butter – you get used to it and will help your body in so many ways. Also substitute skim milk for heavy cream. You can thicken it with a little corn starch or flour. Seriously – if you eat the fatty recipes it will eventually catch up with you and/or your loved ones.
      Plus – it is cheaper!!

    • Shellaine

      The only thing I’ve tried so far is the chicken pot pie. I had 8″ pie pans because that’s why my store had, and this recipe made 8+ pies of that size. Be prepared! It’s delicious though.