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Fall in Love with Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

Fall in Love with Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

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PTA meetings, soccer practice, swimming lessons—balancing a busy schedule is hard enough, but trying to incorporate healthy dinners on top of that? Sometimes it sounds impossible. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a miracle worker to make it all work.

Enter, the make-ahead freezer meal. We’ve gathered 5 recipes you can prep and put in the freezer. When it’s time to eat, just thaw it overnight, pop into the oven and bake.

HERE’S HOW:

The secret to a successful make-ahead meal is efficiency. Follow these simple steps for stress-free dinner prep.

  1. Gather ingredients. Prep and chop as directed.
  2. Place family-sized servings in a PYREX® ULTIMATE 7 CUP ROUND STORAGE DISH or smaller servings in several 2- or 4-cup PYREX ULTIMATE containers; cover with lid. They’re freezer safe, so you can store and bake in the same dish.
  3. If desired, write ingredients and cooking instructions on a piece of masking tape; affix to lid.
  4. The night before serving, place the Pyrex dish in the fridge to thaw.
  5. (NOTE: Never place a frozen Pyrex dish directly in the oven; always thaw or bring to room temp first.)
  6. Bake as directed and enjoy!
1. MAC ’N’ CHEESE

Comfort food at its best. No box required. You can actually prep made-from-scratch mac ahead of time. In a Pyrex container, combine, cover and freeze:

  • 4-1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (12 oz)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 cups milk

To Cook: Place frozen meal in fridge overnight to thaw. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes.
Serve with: A side salad.

2. CRANBERRY CHICKEN AND GREEN BEANS

This savory meal is chock-full of everything you need to keep active kiddos (and parents) fueled. With familiar flavors, this simple dish is sure to please everyone in the family. In a Pyrex container, combine, cover and freeze:

  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 can (14 oz) cranberry sauce
  • 3 cups frozen cut green beans
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

To Cook: Place frozen meal in fridge overnight to thaw. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes.
Serve with: Brown rice.

3. PARTY PORK

Though the ingredient combo here sounds odd, it’s actually delicious. Give this one a try for a unique weeknight meal that tastes like takeout. In a Pyrex container, combine, cover and freeze

  • 1 pork shoulder (2-1/2 lb), cut into cubes
  • 1 cup grape jelly
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

To Cook: Place frozen meal in fridge overnight to thaw. Bake at 325°F for 1-1/2 hours.
Serve with: Mashed potatoes and broccoli.

4. STICKY CHICKEN

Looking to shake things up? Add some Asian inspiration to your menu with this quick and sticky chicken. For allergen-free eaters, use almond or sunflower butter instead of peanut butter. In a Pyrex container, combine, cover and freeze:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

To Cook: Place frozen meal in fridge overnight to thaw. Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes.
Serve with: Brown rice and steamed veggies.

5. LEMON-GARLIC CHICKEN

If you’re craving Italian, the rustic flavors of this simple dish will satisfy. Very basic ingredients here, but lots and lots of flavor. In a Pyrex container, combine, cover and freeze:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes or strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste

To Cook: Place frozen meal in fridge overnight to thaw. Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes.
Serve with: Whole wheat pasta and broccoli. With these 5 easy freezer recipes, you can save the dinner hour for enjoying family time…instead of chopping, slicing and dicing.


EXPERT TIPS

YOUR TURN: Share your make-ahead freezer favorites with us on Twitter or Instagram and don't forget the hashtag #Pyrex.