How do I prepare freeze-ahead meals?
I'm expecting a baby in a month, and I want to cook some meals to freeze now and thaw later. But I've never done this before, and I want to know some basic techniques. I'm pretty confident about soups, stews, sauces, etc., but what about stuffed pasta? Meatloaf?
Are there dishes I can stick directly in the oven frozen (without thawing first)? If so, how do I adjust the cooking time/temperature?
Do I have to cook everything completely before freezing, or can I freeze some things raw and throw them in the oven later? (I guess I specifically want to know about meatloaf for this question).
And as far as the stuffed pasta I mentioned - I have a fabulous recipe for stuffed shells (the jumbo shells are cooked al dente, stuffed with a cottage cheese, mozzarella and parmesan mixture, then covered with a can of Italian-stewed tomatoes and tomato or spaghetti sauce and then baked). Would it be best to prepare it entirely (cover it with sauce, etc) before freezing, or just stuff the shells, freeze them, and then dump the canned tomatoes and sauce over them when we're ready to have them for dinner?
Any other tips you have would be very welcome. Thanks!!!
Good news: The public library has one of the cookbooks in that link you gave me.
Bad news: it's checked out until two weeks before my due date. :-(
- SuperGrrrlLv 49 years agoFavorite Answer
For your stuffed shells, I would freeze them without sauce. Usually I would recommend thawing before tossing in the oven. For meatloaf, I suppose you could mix all of your ingredients together, freeze it uncooked and then thaw and bake topped with a yummy glaze? I don't see why not. There are a lot of blogs/pregnancy sites that address preparation of foods before the baby comes, so you can always google that for additional info. I did leave one in the source area that talks about books that may help you out. Good luck! :-)
- 9 years ago
They have a large selection of recipes at www.NoRedMeatRecipes.com that can be cooked then frozen for a later time. I have tried them they are very good. Things like smothered pork chops, SOS, two different kinds of chili. Hope this helps