DON’T PANIC.. It’s In The Freezer….
I’m Baaaaack…. and armed with recipes!
I know you didn’t sleep a wink last night just waiting on these super yummy freezer recipes I am about to share! What, you slept like a baby? Well, OK, I’ll just share them anyway.. but warning, your mouth might start watering and I am not responsible for drool clean up on your keyboard. Seriously, over the years we have perfected some mighty fine recipes and I just know your family is going to enjoy them as much as we all do. Most are super easy to make, economical for the food budget and just plain yummy to serve your family. So without further ado: Let’s get cooking! (freezer style that is)
First off is Chicken Bruschetta! Have to say this one is great for company or just feeding a hungry bunch of teenagers. Lots of Italian flavor to tingle your taste buds too!
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil and 3 tsp. minced garlic
OR 3 Tbsp. Homemade Gourmet Garlic Basil seasoning
1 pkg. Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
8 small boneless Chicken breast halves
1 small bottle Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing (Or Zesty Italian) Split 1 bottle between 2 pans
Mix tomatoes, 1/2 cup cheese and basil in a bowl. Add stuffing mix, stir until moistened.
NOTE: You will have enough stuffing mixture and Dressing to do 2 recipes of this… so plan accordingly!!!
So if making 2 pans.. all you need for the 2nd pan is the chicken and cheese to top! Very economical, sorry this one is hard to divide and make 1 pan .
Company’s coming directions:
Place 2 chicken breasts at a time in a freezer weight plastic bag. Pound with a meat mallet until chicken is flattened to about 1/4 inch think. Repeat with rest of chicken. Spread each chicken breast with several Tbsp. of stuffing mix. Roll up and put seam side down in a greased 9×13 pan. Repeat with all chicken. Drizzle 1/2 bottle of dressing over top of chicken. top with remaining cheese. At this point Cover with Foil and Freeze.
Cooking Clan’s PREFERRED directions:
We are not LAZY, we’re just good time managers! LOL 🙂 FORGET pounding the chicken… just lay the chicken in the sprayed pan, cover with Italian dressing, the stuffing, then cheese. Freeze and bake as before… we found the stuffing doesn’t get as mushy this way and gets a bit crunchy which adds to the YUM factor 🙂
On cooking day:
Thaw completely before baking. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 40 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and cheese is golden brown.
A helpful hint for all of you that have timed bake on your oven… Pull freezer pan out of the freezer in the AM and place on a cookie sheet (Glad ware pans we use can’t be baked above 400 degrees and also must cook on a cooking sheet…. just trust me, otherwise they start to sage and bend and it’s just not pretty!)
Onward to our next recipe: Taco Soup!
This is hands down our favorite freezer soup because it is easy to assemble on cooking day and even easier when you put it in the crockpot on serving day. It’s hearty, healthy (lots of beans for protein) and even the picky kids in your family will love it!
As I write I am wrapped up in a blanket typing because it is a cold rainy day in Iowa and I would really LOVE a bowl of this RIGHT NOW…. Good thing I have another one of our favorites in the crockpot to enjoy when the family gets home… Chicken Tetrazzini… you get to peak at that one tomorrow!
1 pound ground beef 1 small onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans (drain)
1 can black beans (drain)
1 can chili beans (do not drain)
1 can corn (drained) or 1 1/2 cup frozen kernels
1 small can green chili’s (optional)
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can Tomato juice (Just give a can of this to each of the cooking clan — they will add it later when they actually cook the soup)
Brown hamburger and onion, drain.
Put all ingredients in a zip lock and freeze.
A little tip for using freezer bags: If you have room in your freezer, I like to freeze my bags sitting in a small bowl that will fit in my crock pot… why? Then your bag of frozen food goes directly into your crock pot on cooking
Place frozen soup in the crockpot. Pour in can of Tomato juice. Cook all day in the Crockpot on low.
Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips, sour cream if desired
COMFORT FOOD: Everyone loves it. This next recipe is just oozing with comfort! We have been making this one for all 11 years I’ve done cooking and every single group requests it and it gets made almost every month. Yes, it’s that good! Creamy pasta, cream cheese and more, C O M F O R T F O O D at it’s finest.
Did I mention this one is serious comfort food? What’s NOT to love???
Cream Cheese Chicken
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons melted butter
salt & pepper to taste (If I use salted butter I omit the salt here)
1 package dry Ranch Dressing mix/seasoning (or 3 Tbsp.. of the large pantry size container of the Ranch mix)
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese cut into 1 inch cubes (softened)
1 Tbsp. minced onion (optional)
Place chicken in a crock pot on low. Pour melted butter over, add salt/pepper as you layer it in. Sprinkle dry Ranch mix over all. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or overnight works great).
About 45 minutes before you want to serve this if not freezing:
Mix soup, cream cheese, and onion in a small saucepan or microwave. Cook and stir until smooth. Pour over the chicken and stir. Cover and cook another 45 minutes if serving immediately, otherwise, for freezing, turn off the crock pot and allow to cool completely. Put into a gallon sized freezer bag. Label with name and cooking instructions. Freeze.
If freezer space is hard to find, lay flat to freeze. If not and you want to re-heat in the crock pot, place in a bowl that will fit in your crock pot to allow for easy freezer to crock pot transition.
Thaw completely and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave in a glass bowl.
OR Put in crock pot on low for 4-5 hours.
To Serve: Great over pasta (our personal favorite) rice, or potatoes…. or use for sandwiches filling.
We like to add the pasta to the chicken just before serving. Get creative, you really can’t serve it wrong or mess this up no matter how hard you try! ENJOY!!!
Whew…. that’s a wrap for today….. hope you’ll tune in tomorrow for more (3 more to be exact) yummy recipes and great freezer ideas!
That was easy wasn’t it?!?!
See you tomorrow for more great recipes!