Today’s show is all about tips and tricks for making family mealtime easy with freezer cooking. That’s right! Your humble freezer is full of untapped potential. Freezing meals saves time and money, and it can easily expand your cooking skills as well as your family’s appreciation for new foods and flavors. Are you ready for a freezer feast? How about a freezer party? This week’s guest, Rachel Tiemeyer, takes us on a deep dive into our frosty freezers.
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Rachel Tiemeyer is the co-author of From Freezer to Table, and you can find her over at Thriving Home Blog. Rachel’s partner in freezer cooking fun is Polly Conner. Their goal: gathering families together over healthy, hassle-free meals. With six young children between them, that goal used to seem impossible. But when they discovered the power of freezer cooking, getting dinner on the table night after night became as easy as defrosting a lasagna!
This week, Rachel and I dish about the do’s and don’ts of freezer cooking, how to start a freezer club, and how to throw a freezer cooking party. We answer questions from listeners and share a few recipes from the cookbook including flavor-filled Cheddar Chive Burgers and Sheet-Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken and Veggies.
“The beauty of freezer cooking is that we double most of the meals that we make by eating half of it right away and freezing the other half.”
– Rachel Tiemeyer
GIVEAWAY OVER: Thanks to Rachel and Polly, I’m giving away a copy of, From Freezer to Table: 75+ Simple, Whole Foods Recipes for Gathering, Cooking, and Sharing.
To enter the giveaway (U.S. and Canada only, please), post a comment below telling me about your favorite freezer meal and/or why you’d like to win a copy of the cookbook. I’ll pick one winner at random on October 4th.
- Rachel and Polly are co-bloggers, co-authors, and Freezer Cooking Evangelists.
- Thriving Home Blog is their healthy freezer cooking destination.
- Rachel discusses the benefits of utilizing your freezer.
- What in the world is a Freezer Club?
- Storage matters! Learn how to keep your food fresh in the freezer and why air is your enemy.
- A recipe for Cheddar Chive Burgers.
- Did you know Mason jars are ideal for freezing meals?
- Discover the three BEST ways to thaw your delicious freezer meals so they’re safe to eat.
- Rachel answers questions straight from the Podcast Posse!
- How long can food last in the freezer? Tune in to find out.
- Get ready to host your own Freezer Cooking Party.
- Rachel and I discuss our favorite freezer-ready recipes.
- Hear what’s next for Rachel and Polly and their cookbook adventures.
My email: [email protected]
Recipes from the show:
Connect with Rachel: ThrivingHomeBlog.com
I’m able to bring this podcast to all of you thanks to my sponsors: Zespri Kiwifruit and Bush’s Beans
Have a question about the show or a suggestion for a future show? Ask away by posting a comment below or joining my Podcast Posse.
I have a recipe for freezer jambalaya – straight from freezer to slow cooker & 8-9 hours later you have yummy jambalaya!
Carolyn Freedell says
I’ve been prepping and freezing extra cooked meats but would love some tips and more recipes for full meals! I used to belong to a cooking co-op, we’d make 7 sets of meals.
This book would not disappoint! Good luck with the giveaway! I’ll pick a winner at random in a few weeks 🙂
Love The Thriving Home. This cookbook would be awesome. I don’t think I have a favorite freezer recipe. Muffins for the freezer are super easy for me to do and I like cooking dry beans and then freezing them to use.
Laura S says
Amazing looking cookbook, I would love to go through it and see what wonderful recipes work for our family! One of my favorite things too put in the freezer is cookie dough balls, I don’t imagine this is quite what you were thinking though, they are just such an easy dessert to have on hand when you have last minute guests!
I like to make muffins, baked oatmeal and smoothie packs. I have also made many freezer to crockpot meals and burritos. I would love to win this book.
I freeze just about everything and have a great recipe for Honey Sesame Chicken. I would love to win this cookbook to help me with whole food recipes that are quick and easy! Thanks for the opportunity!
Jennifer K says
I’d love to win a copy because we rarely have time to cooking during the week. Freezer meals would allow us to eat healthier, home-cooked meals instead of ordering out.
Meatballs are easy to freeze and cook. I’d like to Eli the cook book so I can get more freezer recipe ideas.
Cooking makes me so stressed and I feel like crying three times a day when I have to feed my four year old. I wish I loved it and was great at it like you do Liz (the thought of throwing just ONE of your dinner parties gives me an anxiety attack – how do you do it?!) I feel like if I could get a handle on freezer cooking, then mealtime wouldn’t be so stressful and perhaps my son would enjoy eating more?!
Christine: I don’t want you to feel stressed. Hey, try the burgers that I just blogged from the book and see how they work out for you. I agree that freezer cooking could really help to reduce your stress. Hang in there!
Hi Liz! Wishing you all the best on this new venture. My go-to freezer meals are chili and baked broccoli pasta. I usually make a double batch and freeze one.
My favorite freezer recipes include pulled pork, taco meat, lettuce wrap filling, chili, and muffins. I would love some new ideas!
I love pulled pork too. Freezes so well.
Frozen fruit (peeled bananas, blueberries, strawberries…) goes straight into the blender for smoothies with the thickness of blended ice cream.
Bagged frozen vegetables can go directly into the recipe or meal. For example, stir frozen chopped spinach into almost any cooked dish!
Kristie Blum says
I would love to win a copy of the book. With a recent move, new job, 3 boys in new schools and a major house remodel, healthy family meals are rare right now. I need some inspiration to get us back on track and eating better
Three boys. You do need this book 🙂
Well right now my freezer is full of homemade baby food and breastmilk!!
So right now my favorite meals are meals I can make into babyfood. I take leftovers that I made healthy for my family, pop in the Beabacook to blend it all up and freeze in portion silocone cups. Then take them all out and throw in a ziplock bags with the names of the meals on them.
Chicken, sweet potatoes and strawberries
Pork, broccoli and apples
chicken, peas and kiwi
meatballs, carrots, pasta and broth to name a few.
Sounds good to me 🙂
I like to freeze soups
Lori S says
I would love to win this! We are so busy during the week and freezing meals ahead really helps in managing time on busy weeknights!
Martha Anne Singer says
Mine is pretty boring. My favorite freezer meal is chili, vegetarian chili. I always keep some in the freezer and it’s lunch for me daily and dinner/snack for the kids. Easy, easy. 🙂
Not boring at all 🙂
Sandi G says
My favorite meals for the freezer are soups . I lie to make a big batch of minestrone for example , freezing it in meal portions for one or two , work lunch for me and to bring to my mother wh if cindy g cooking a bit more difficult . Of course the Italian in me loves to make red sauce and freeze some
I have had freezer cookbooks that use too much processed food. I’m excited to see that these are whole food recipes. I had not heard of the Thriving Home blog. Thank you for the podcast and the give-away!
You won’t believe how many herbs they use in their recipes. This book is delish!!
I’ve been cooking the freezer meals from Cooking Light magazine and I find they are a real life saver on busy days. Having a cookbook of more of these meals would be fabulous!
Mindy Zeigler says
My freezer standby is lasagna. I would love the book for more ideas.
Love cooking healthy “clean eating” meals for my family!! One of our favorite comfort foods is chicken pot pie. I make large batches of the mix and freeze in one-allotments. It’s wonderful just by itself. I enjoy trying new recipes for the family and would be excited to try some from this cookbook!!
I love that idea. What’s your go-to pot pie topping?
I like to make breakfast wraps and pancakes to put in the freezer. It makes a healthy and fast grab and go for busy weekday mornings. I would love to win a copy of this cookbook because I love freezer meals that are healthy and delicious
I love to make pumpkin pancakes. My family’s favorite. Freezes up beautifully!
Amanda Hahn says
I do freeze alot of muffins but want to start learning some gtrat entree options.
I like to freeze muffins, waffles and individual servings of soups and chili. I would love to win a copy of this book for more freezer meal inspiration.
My favorite thing to have in the freezer is shredded chicken breast. I’ll make a big batch of shredded chicken in the crockpot and freeze it in small servings for salads, potatoes or tacos.
I love to make up a big batch of meatballs. I can use them for Italian night, make Swedish meatballs, or meatball subs. I also cook up lots of grains & beans and put them in cup size servings in the freezer. Makes cooking so much easier!
My husband and I have recently started a “diet”…really just trying to eat healthier. So this cookbook would help us to do that!
Mary Lynn Quattlebaum says
I freeze a lot of things but I feel I need to up my freezer game which is why I would love this cookbook.
I love the book’s balance between clean eating and readily available ingredients. This book would be amazingly helpful both for cooking family meals and for meals sent to those in need. Thank you for this opportunity and your blog, Liz!
My pleasure. Hope you’re enjoying the podcast and blog! Have you had a chance to tune in yet?
Melissa Thompson says
I have the best results freezing turkey meatballs, turkey chili and black bean soup. I love the convenience of having these on hand for busy weeknights. The cookbook sounds like it has great freezer meal ideas!
I just found your podcasts last week and look forward to my drives to listen everyday! I already picked up Chop Chop for my daughter and she is so excited to get cooking!
I’d love to learn more about freezer meals. I always food prep on Sundays, and think adding some freezer meals would be a great addition to our routine to save time and serve a healthy dinner during the week.
I’m so glad you found me! Happy to hear you’re enjoying the show. Let me know what your daughter makes first from ChopChop. I’ll pass the info along to Sally. Or better yet, join my Podcast Posse on Facebook if you haven’t already and post a photo of your daughter in cooking action so we can all see her! https://www.facebook.com/groups/283656302090924/?ref=bookmarks
I met with a group last week, we made 15 different freezer meals with ground beef, chicken and pork. Was so much fun to go home with 15 ready for freezer meals, which will come in handy with fall activities. I also make extra of some of our favorite meals and freeze one. Love freezer cooking and would love the new cookbook.
OMG I NEED this in my life right now! We’re in the middle of buying an old house that needs some serious TLC before we can move in, juggling two full-time jobs, our first child is just entering kindergarten, and oh we have a baby due in 6 weeks. We’re just a little busy right now and quick to the table meals from the freezer is what we need!! (Plus the house is coming with a HUGE chest freezer so I’ve got lots more room to store those yummy meals!
Wow. You are busy. Thanks for sharing your story! You are officially entered into the giveaway 🙂 And if you have a chance to tune in to the podcast, I know you’ll get lots of great ideas for how to juggle meal prep in the coming months!
Ramona Satinskas says
Pasta casseroles are my standard freezer meals. It just might be time to change that up! ?
I don’t have a specific recipe to share but I do always make a double batch of any marinade and freeze some meat in the marinade for a future use. Time saving and makes for tasty and tender meat.
Lori L. says
I would love to win a copy of this book! (I already have a copy, but I want to gift it to my sister-in-law for Christmas.) I love freezer meal cooking. I need to make time to do more!
I can’t pick a favorite freezer meal, but this is the one we have eaten most recently:
Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos:
I make muffin tin turkey and spinach meatloaves that my family loves! We take out as many as we need for a meal, heat them up, add veggies and microwaved baked sweet potatoes and we’re set!
What’s your muffin tin meatloaf recipe? Would love to hear about it 🙂
My favorite freezer dinner is green chicken enchiladas. I freeze the sauce and the shredded chicken, so all I have to do to put dinner together is roll the chicken with cheese into tortillas and bake.
Hard to pick a favorite…lately it’s a toss-up between Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya and Chicken Tikka Masala. I absolutely depend on my freezer to have ready or almost ready made dinners. I would love a new cookbook with new ideas!
I NEED this book 🙂
With 4 active boys involved in evening activities, there are too many nights that I’m not home to cook dinner. This book would force me to get organized and provide a much needed plan! Such a great concept!
Four active boys. WOW. This book would indeed be great for your family 🙂
Eleni giannopoulos says
Love the podcasts!! Thank you so much for them. I have never frozen a meal before. I wouldn’t know where to start. But making those meals sounds like a life saver.
Lauren L. says
I just learned that you can freeze raw chicken in marinade and I love that idea! This saves me a lot of time on busy days. I really enjoyed listening to the podcast on my drive to work this morning. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of the book!
I hope you enjoy the podcast. There are many more to come!
I have frozen meals in the past but fell out of the habit of doing it. I think this book would be perfect to rekindle my freezer to table cooking with new recipes!
Sharee Lynn says
I dabbled a bit with freezer meals by making breakfast burritos. I want to get more adventurous and get ideas for dinner. I think this would be great for my husband and I because I get home pretty late in the evening.
I love vegetable lasagna.
I am new to freezer cooking, so I don’t have a favorite freezer meal recipe just yet… which is why I would love to win the cookbook! I’ve saved a few recipes from Rachel and Polly’s blog, but would love to learn more about the in’s and out’s of freezer cooking from their book. I have a long commute to work and freezer meals would make my family’s week nights much more delicious and stress-free!
Thanks for entering the giveaway! If you have a long commute, I hope you’ll download this episode (and others) and tune in! I think you’ll love the interview … and I know you’ll learn a lot 🙂 Enjoy!!!
I love a recipe for Penne and Italian Sausage that I found through Thriving Home’s blog. I’d love to use the book to get meals ready ahead of time.
My favorite freezer meal is a soup with spinach, Italian sausage, cheese, and pasta. Yum! Good fall food! I love the idea for this cookbook. It would be very helpful!
My favourite freezer meal is sweet&sour chicken. Would love to win the book so that I can prepare lots of delicious meals for our busy schedule.
My daughter was just saying she needs to learn more about preparing freezer meals as she just started teaching. I’ll hv to send her a link for your great ideas!
Yes, send her a link! And I hope you’ll both tune in to this week’s podcast for LOTS of ideas!
Beth Pottle says
My very favorite freezer meal is vegetable beef soup saved for a cold rainy day!
Great show – very inspiring about the advantages of cooking ahead and freezing, with lots of good tips. I mostly freeze vegtarian soups and stews which I eat for lunch during the week. I’m ready to take my freezing to the next level and start preparing dinner in advance!
Glad you enjoyed the show. Rachel is a wealth of knowledge. Taking your freezer cooking to the next level sounds good to me!
I love making extra pancakes and waffles to freeze, so we can have a hot breakfast without all the work.
Deanna C says
Thank you so much for sharing the Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce recipe. Family and friends loved it! My basil plant was growing like crazy and my family was getting tired of all that pesto sauce that I was making. Using basil in the chimichurri sauce was a delicious!
Now that we are empty nesters, I can’t seem to cut down my dinners from 5 to 2 people very well. We still have lots of left overs! Freezing any extra portions of meals is such a novel idea for me and would solve my leftover food issue. Problem solved!. Thank you again for the inspiration.
You are most welcome. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes!
tracy kelliher says
I have a creamy salsa chicken crock pot freezer meal recipe that is delicious on noodles, chips, or rice. So versatile. I’d love to win this book!
You have been entered into the giveaway. Thanks for stopping by!
With a seven month old daughter who just started eating solids, I would LOVE some new freezer recipes. We love to cook, but find ourselves on the playmat instead!
Ah yes. I remember those days. Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway 🙂
I’ve been wanting to start a cooking club with friends and make freezer meals. This looks like an excellent resource toward that end. One of my favorite freezer meals is apple coconut baked oatmeal. My kids like it and it makes lots!
Thanks for stopping by. The cooking club sounds like a great idea to me, and yes … there is a how-to in the book on how to organize one!
Lately I’ve been trying some Instant Pot freezer meals. I also love to make homemade soup and freeze the extras. I am very interested in learning more about different ways of using the freezer to help with meal preparation. Thanks for the great podcast!
So glad you’re enjoying the podcast! If you’re able, I would LOVE a review on iTunes! The more we can spread the word the better, and those reviews do help. And if you have not joined my Podcast Posse yet on FB, head on over. Would be great to have you in the group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/283656302090924/
Dawn Gilbert says
Love the podcast and would love to win the “From Freezer to Table” cookbook. Would be very helpful for a empty-nester couple that are busy and want to quickly prepare healthy whole food dinners for the two of us.
Ooh. I love the idea of freezer cooking, but don’t implement it all that often. Love the idea of healthy options for the freezer-because other than freezing ready-to-grill chicken in marinade, most of my other freezer meals aren’t all that healthy… yikes. Great podcast! Thanks!
Thanks for your feedback on the podcast and for entering the giveaway. The book is filled w/ so many healthy ideas. I’m a fan all the way. Here’s a link to my Podcast Posse Facebook page in case you’d like to join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/283656302090924/
LOVE THE PODCAST. My fave freezer meal is more of an ingredient. I love to have ground hamburger cooked and ready to go in my freezer so I can pull it out for quick hamburger helper, tacos, loose meat sandwiches, and more. Makes evening dinners go so much faster!!!
Great idea. Thanks for sharing and thanks for your feedback on the podcast! Have you joined the Podcast Posse yet? Here’s a link in case you’re not in it yet and want to be part of the fun! https://www.facebook.com/groups/283656302090924/
Besides the little bags of leftover beans and frozen berries, I am a little stuck on frozen soup meals. Would love some new ideas!
We love freezer pot pie or chicken wild rice soup, but a cookbook full of freezer meal ideas would be a lifesaver! With 4 kids and two full time jobs, we welcome anything that helps with healthy meals!
Corrected email address?
Wow. Sounds like you have a full plate!! Thanks for stopping by and for correcting your email 🙂
I love to freeze extra veggies from my CSA in portion size bags. Okra, chopped, for soups and stews, peppers, sliced eggplant for sauces etc.
My favourite freezer meal is freezer veggie pie.
As a busy Mom of 2. I love freezer meals! But I feel as though I’m in a cooking rut. I would LOVE to get my hands on this cookbook! Terrific podcast! Thank you:-)
Rachel Ferrier says
I would ??? a copy of this book! We have a busy life, with 4 boys active in sports. Not to mention we’re a foster home with many appointments. My husband and I coach. And I have a health condition that limits me some days. Freezer cooking is ideal!! I searched for a podcast this morning in hopes of finding some tips on how to properly freezer cool and was lead to this cast. Thanks for your tips and your book ???
Wow. I’m so glad you stopped by. The book giveaway is over, but I hope you’ll look around the Liz’s Healthy Table blog and podcast for lots of healthy recipe ideas. And if you want to be “in the know” at all times, feel free to sign up for my e-newsletter and join my Podcast Posse. We’d love to have you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/283656302090924/
Jillian Kleich says
My favorite freezer meal has no prep. I take frozen chicken breast, with taco seasoning and salsa in the pressure cooker. Pressure cook it. My pressure cooker is. Ninja foodi so i can top it with cheese and broil it with just a change of the lid. You could shreds it and put it on a tortilla or on rice, top it with avocado, sour cream, whatever you want. I always have a jar of salsa and taco seasoning so I can get dinner in and done quick.
You had me at avocado! Thanks for sharing…