There’s no doubt about it—spring sports and afterschool activities can make cooking dinner impossible. I’m a big believer in BIG BATCH (or double batch) cooking for this very reason! Big batching freezer meals is the best way to stay out of the fast food line this spring!
Plus, there’s no real meal planning involved.
Big Batching (or Double Batching) Freezer Friendly Dinner Meals is the easiest way to protect your budget, your waistline, and your sanity at dinner time!
Double Batching Explained
Double batching freezer meals is exactly what it sounds like. You basically double the recipe you’re making—eat one now & freeze one for later. I literally freeze everything!
Here are things I’ve frozen with MUCH success!
- Bread (French loaf, Italian loaf, bagels, muffins, cupcakes—with the icing!, cookies, hot dog buns, pancakes, waffles…literally EVERY kind of baked good)
- Cooked Noodles (ANY KIND)
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Pesto Sauce
- Vegetarian Alfredo Sauce
- Meats of all kinds (cooked or raw)
- Fruit (bananas for blending or cooking), all berries, mango, pineapple, etc.
- Casseroles (cooked & uncooked)
- Freshly cooked beans of every kind
- Nuts of any kind
- Unused portions of canned tomatoes, paste, or sauce
And, really, I could go on and ON!
Big batching (or double batching) is one of the BEST time saving habits I’ve seen for moms. If you get into the habit doubling up the recipe, it can be the perfect out on busy nights.
ONE CAVEAT: Immediately put the leftovers in the FREEZER. Putting it in the fridge can be too tempting to grazers. Just stick it in the freezer. It’ll be like a friendly little life preserver waiting for you when the shit hits the fan next week.
Recipes for Double Batching
Here are my favorite double batch ideas that are super useful to all of us busy moms!
#1: Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells by Kristine’s Kitchen is such a delish vegetarian option. I have had a deep love of these stuffed shells since I received a batch from my sister-in-law after baby #1 came home! LOVE these! *If you want to please the meat lovers, then add some Italian sausage to the mix.
#2: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie from Meal Planning Magic is a total crowd pleaser! Who doesn’t love a pot pie? If you only have enough meat for one, then just make the second one a Veggie Pot Pie like this one.
#3: Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili from Feast for A Fraction is a great chili recipe to double batch! It is super healthy, and I love the hint of sweetness that comes from the sweet potatoes! Great addition to the rotation.
#4: Slow Cooker Asian Shredded Pork from Joyous Apron is a freaking DREAM! Cook once and you can turn this pork into one, two or THREE meals if you play your cards right. With rice? Yes! Lettuce Wraps? Yes! Full on asian-burrito? YES!
#5: Lasagna Recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen is a total classic, and it will leave everyone hap-hap-HAPPY! Double it up & freeze one to have in a week or two.
#6: Sausage, White Bean & Swiss Chard Soup by Jillian Rae Cooks is the perfect way to fill up those hungry bellies with some whole foods! I love this combo of flavors, and it is just amazing with some crunchy hearty bread (which is also totally freezable!).
#7 Kielbasa & Cheesy Broccoli Bowtie Pasta Bake from Jamerill Stewart’s Large Family Table will be a huge winner with your littles! This recipe is set up to prep 6 large casseroles, but it can easily be cut in half. Bonus: VERY budget friendly!
#8: Enchiladas from That Frugal Foodie is right up my alley! You could easily make one chicken and one black bean if you wanted to go meatless.
#9: Crockpot Mexican Street Corn & Chicken Chowder from Chelsea’s Messy Apron is one of the most versatile recipes on this list! It can be made with or without the chicken, add as many or as few toppings as you like, and spice it up or not, depending on your taste. Totally satisfying!
#10: Crock Pot Ground Beef with Taco Seasoning by One Hundred Dollars A Month was a must for me to include on this list (even thought it’s not a FULL meal). WHY? Because it is a genius way to get loads of taco meat stashed in the freezer. If you’re like our family, Taco Tuesday (and sometimes Mexican Monday) comes fast and frequently! This is a great way to get it done in a hurry!
Big Batching Dinner Saves Time
I’m just not a fan of eating fast food. It makes me feel like crap if I eat too much of it. Plus, with our family history of colon cancer–YIKES. I really feel like I’m the last line of defense sometimes. If I can teach them how to eat well, then maybe it’ll stick for life. (A mom can dream, right?)
Logistically, I’m the only one who cooks in my house. So, cooking a big batch & freezing half of it saves me from cooking EVERY SINGLE DAY. I mean, I want my kids to eat healthy(ish), but I don’t want to slave away. (That’s why I also LOVE Dinners with 5 Ingredients or Less!)
So, Big Batching Dinner saves me time, sanity, money, and my gut. It’s a MUST for all you hard working mamas! GOT ANY FAV BIG BATCH RECIPES? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!