Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Freezer Cooking: Squash Casserole

I don't know about you, but there are times when I just don't have time to prepare a meal from scratch!   But then, neither do I want the expense of eating out or just grabbing 'whatever' when time is of the essence and the family needs to be fed.  My solution ... freezer cooking!

For the purposes of this post and my intentions, freezer meals are meals or sides prepared ahead of time and frozen ready to thaw and cook when needed.  My goal is to build up a good supply of freezer meals in my freezer for use when needed.

Since we're harvesting lots of squash right now and since we really like squash casserole, I decided the first thing I would prepare would be squash casseroles.

Here's the recipe I used:

1 quart (about 6 small) yellow squash
1/2 to 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk

Boil squash and onions in salted water until tender, drain.
Mash squash and onions with remaining ingredients, combing well.
Plae in buttered casserole dish
Bake at 425 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until done.



Labeled and ready for the freezer, complete with cooking directions and the date it was prepared and frozen.

As you can see I froze them in tinfoil pans.

Do you do any freezer cooking?  What are your tried and true favorites?  Do you have any freezer cooking tips to share?


patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27





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20 comments:

  1. I like to make an extra pan of uncooked lasagna for the freezer when I'm preparing one for dinner. Sometimes I will freeze leftover soup or stew to pull for lunches. I also will sometimes prepare the filling for shepherds pie or chicken pot pie (meat, veggies and gravy) and freeze portions in baggies. We then thaw the baggie, dump into a casserole dish, top with instant mashed potatoes and a bit of grated cheese, then bake.

    In the fall, when apple season is in full swing, we buy a bushel or two from a roadside stand. We then prepare a bunch of uncooked apple pies and apple crisp for the freezer. The pies and crisps taste very fresh as we bake them when needed. These are then used during holidays, when we have company or just want a nice treat with a meal in the winter!

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    Replies
    1. Rhonda, I have made apple pies for the freezer in the past and you're right, they taste just like fresh baked! I haven't tried apple crisp, can you share your recipe/method?

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    2. Just use your favourite crisp recipe, prepare the crisp in the same type of pan you used for your casseroles above (we have even used aluminum pie plates covered with aluminum foil) as you would normally, and place in freezer unbaked. When you are ready, pull from freezer and bake following the recipes suggested temperature until cooked. We've even baked them from frozen. It takes a little longer to bake, so just keep an eye on it until it's cooked through.

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    3. I almost forgot about making turkey pot pies for the freezer. After the holidays, we usually have lots of turkey and veggies left over that we're sick of eating. What we have done in the past was make turkey pot pies for the freezer. We cook the carcass to make broth. Then we use that for the gravy base and add chopped turkey, leftover mixed veggies plus cook more if not enough, and cooked cubed potatoes to make up a large pot of filling. We then make a bunch of pie shells and start filling them up. You can make individual sized one or family sized one. Both work well but it takes more time to make individual ones. The pies are then wrapped up, labeled and frozen unbaked. They become easy meals that spreads out the turkey over months instead of getting sick of eating turkey for a whole week!

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  2. how long can you keep this in the freezer?

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    Replies
    1. 3 - 6 months is what works for us.

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  3. This is a great idea! Do you cook the squash casserole before you freeze it and then again after it's thawed out? Or do you just cook the squash and onion,put it all together with the other ingredients, freeze it and then cook it when you thaw it out? Also, how long will this keep in your freezer?
    Thanks for any info. you can give me!

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    Replies
    1. olderandwiser, I cook the squash and onions together, then mix in the other ingredients and freeze. I don't cook the casserole until I'm ready to serve it. 3 - 6 months is about how long ours stay in the freezer. If you vacuum sealed the tinfoil containers in a bag you might get a bit longer before freezer burn starts to set in.

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  4. I have fried chicken and frozen large amounts (for a meal). Also I've made lasagna and froze that in plastic containers, enough for two servings in one container. Both items came in handy recently when I was out of town for about a week. My husband came home from work and was able to have a good home cooked meal by adding a few easy fix veggies. (He would place the container in the fridge to thaw out). I've also baked small loaves of zucchini, and banana bread and froze them. They're nice to pull out when you want something with a meal or with our coffee the next morning. In fact, I just got out a small zucchini loaf today--dated July 2016! It's as good as ever. But now we're getting zucchini so I will be baking more loaves. I've also made my own applesauce and froze that and also chili. I have one container of applesauce left in the freezer (from last fall).

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    Replies
    1. Joy, those are some good ideas! Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Right now I have red chili meat, green chili meat, vegetable soup, stuffed cabbage, sloppy Joe meat, pinto beans, meatloaves,taco meat, ground beef, and meatballs prepared and in my freezer. I love batch cooking because it makes life so much easier!

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    Replies
    1. More great ideas! Thank you Susan!

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  6. There have been times in my past when I've made 30 meals all at once. When my husband was finishing college, and we had 3 children, I started doing that. Then, when he took his first job after college, we were living on such a small salary that I would buy groceries at the beginning of the month, and make 30 meals so that I would have enough dinners for the whole month. Then, each day, I would fill in the frozen meal with garden produce, home-made baked goods, etc. I always saved out enough $ for milk, etc. By that time, we had 5 kids, so bought 100 lb bags of potatoes, etc. and I cooked them a LOT.

    I don't do that anymore, but I still freeze excess food from dinners, an occasional casserole, extra baked goods, etc. and it really helps.

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    Replies
    1. Becky, 30 meals all at once is a big undertaking!

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  7. It took me along time to downsize my cooking when my son left home, so I stared freezing leftovers. Now if a recipe I'm following, says it's for 4 or 6 people, I freeze the remainder in 2 portion lots. This give hubby easy meals for when I stay over at my Mum's or work late. It's also helped both of us lose weight because it's not lying around for us to pick at. I freezer pies, casserole's, pizza's and desserts like Fruit crumbles, fruit pies etc. stewed fruit & anything else we like

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  8. This is my favorite squash casserole and one that I make whenever I have lots of squash. It is comfort food for me. I never thought about freezing it though. Thank you for that great suggestion.

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  9. Debbie, it's a comfort food for me as well!

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  10. I take any lefttover veggies, meats, beans and throw them in a freezer bag and in the freezer. After bout 2 bags i take out and make veggie soup. I can mine (im a canner) for meals. So far ive got 30 qts and 20 pts. I do give away to someone that is sick.

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    Replies
    1. I never thought about canning it! I have made soup from leftover bits and pieces saved in the freezer, but canning it never crossed my mind! Thanks for the tip!

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