2. Frozen Veggies. Our freezer is packed with them! Sure, you can throw them into the microwave and heat them up for an easy side, but think bigger. Add a whole bag of mixed vegetables to cooked instant brown rice. Add a few dashes of teriyaki or soy sauce, and top with a fried egg for a super-quick take on fried rice. Or add half a bag of frozen peas and carrots to jarred pasta sauce. (We love Muir Glen® Italian Herb Pasta Sauce.) Cook up some spaghetti and top with your veggie-packed sauce and shredded cheese.
3. Easy-Peel Shrimp. Don’t forget about protein. To thaw the shrimp, simply throw them into a plastic bag (make sure it’s sealed) and submerge in cold water for 15 to 20 minutes. To speed things up a bit, change the water once or twice while thawing. Then cook however you like.
Stir-fries are a big go-to for us since they are so fast. (And you can use a bag of frozen veggies, making things extra easy.) Sesame-Ginger Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry is great! Or for delicious roasted shrimp, toss shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper and other seasonings of your choice, spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Burgers and Meatballs. Buy precooked hamburger patties and meatballs. Or make them yourself by shaping ground beef, chicken or turkey into patties or meatballs, placing in a resealable plastic bag and freezing up to 4 months. When ready to use, remove what you need from the freezer and bake or grill. If you like mushrooms, definitely give these Grilled Mushroom Swiss Burgers a try. Or use lean ground turkey and make Italian Turkey Meatballs; thaw, heat in pasta sauce and serve over spaghetti or in hoagie rolls.
5. Individual Pot Pies. We absolutely love making Mini Crescent Pot Pies and Turkey Sweet Potato Pot Pies. We eat a couple and then freeze the rest for another day. All you need to do is pop the frozen pie into the oven and bake until heated through. Easy!
6. Casseroles and Soups. It’s always a good idea to have a selection of casseroles, soups or stews that you know your family loves and that you can just slide into the oven. Next time you’re making lasagna (or Creamy Chicken-Chile Enchiladas and Macaroni and Cheese), make a double batch and freeze one portion for an easy, stress-free future meal.
7. Pasta Sauce. A huge lifesaver for us is pasta sauce. Just thaw, heat and spoon over noodles or even grilled chicken and beef. We’ll often make a batch of meat sauce, such as Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce, and freeze it for the next time we want something meaty and comforting at a moment’s notice.