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This was my best freezer cooking session to date. I made 80 meals in 2 hours!
You should have seen me (but I’m so glad you didn’t). I threw on an old tshirt, got all my ingredients out, put on some fun music, and I went to town cooking! Like a crazy cooking woman!
I was making spaghetti and chili on the stove, and putting together chicken marinade and chicken crock pot meals on the island.
I was cutting, dicing, stirring, simmering, chopping, and mixing. It was so much fun for me (yeah, it really was!) and I felt like a cooking boss afterward. I actually think I told my husband that!
Is this a weird thing to be proud of? How quickly I can make so many meals? Probably… but call me weird, because I was SO proud when I was done. I just stared at my stack of containers and freezer bags and smiled.
The freezer is stocked! And this wife is happy!!
Freezer cooking seriously makes my life a million times easier. I can just pull something out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the fridge, and either heat it up or finish cooking it when dinnertime comes around. Or even better – dump it in the crockpot and just wait.
We have 40, 2 serving meals of delicious food ready to go for busy nights and nights when I don’t feel like cooking a full meal.
And almost all of the ingredients came from Aldi. I’m a dummy and I forgot to keep my receipt. Otherwise, I would also be bragging about how little it cost me to make 80 meals. I know my Aldi grocery trip was about $30 and I bought my meat from Zaycon so it was a very frugal freezer cooking session.
(Update: Zaycon has suspended business operations since publishing this post. I will keep my posts updated with any changes.)
Want to be a freezer cooking boss, too?
The Ultimate Aldi Freezer Cooking Plan – 80 Meals in 2 Hours
I made everything into 2 person servings for us, but you can make more or less, depending on your family size.
8 containers of Spaghetti (2 servings each)
5 containers of Chili (2 servings each)
3 packages of Salsa Chicken (2 servings each)
2 containers of Beef Tacos (2 servings each)
2 packages of Chicken Tacos (2 servings each)
4 packages of Italian Chicken (2 servings each)
5 packages of Honey Mustard Chicken (2 servings each)
4 packages of Chicken Teriyaki (2 servings each)
3 packages of Chicken Parmesan (2 servings each)
2 packages of Ranch Chicken (2 servings each)
2 packs of burgers (2 burgers in each bag)
40 containers = 80 servings
8 lbs ground beef
22 large chicken breasts (Check out Zaycon Fresh for the best deals on bulk meat – perfect for freezer cooking!) (Update: Zaycon has suspended business operations since publishing this post. I will keep my posts updated with any changes.)
15 8 oz cans tomato sauce (only size my Aldi had but they were only 25 cents!)
1 can kidney beans
2 cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano
1 can pinto beans
1 can Rotel
1/4 cup Masa
2/3 cup Soy Sauce
1 jar salsa
1 bottle Italian dressing
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Dash – Hot Sauce
Dash – Worchestire Sauce
1 bottle Dijon Mustard
1 container of Honey
2 Taco Seasoning Packets
1 Ranch Seasoning Packet
2 Green Onions
Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tbsp. Sesame Seeds
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (or other burger seasoning)
Click here to get the printable shopping list and instructions for this freezer cooking plan: The Ultimate Aldi Freezer Cooking Plan
- Start browning 4 lbs ground beef in large skillet.
- Pour 14 cans of tomato sauce and 2 cans diced tomatoes into large pot to start the spaghetti sauce. Add a dash of hot sauce and worchestire sauce (I don’t measure much, but I would say 2 tbsp. or so of each.) Add desired spaghetti spices. I use about 2 tbsp. of chili powder. I use about 1 tbsp. of garlic powder, onion powder, basil leaves, dried oregano, and about 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper. Mix and let simmer.
- While beef is browning and spaghetti sauce is simmering, you can start the chicken meals. You will have to go back and forth from your chicken meals to check on ground beef and sauce, but I wanted to list all of the chicken meals together.
- Salsa Chicken – Place 2 small or 1 large chicken breast in freezer bag with 1/3 jar of salsa. Seal bag and label. For the two of us, we just eat 1 large chicken breast, so I made 3 bags.
- Italian Chicken – Cut 4 large or 8 small chicken breasts into tender pieces, place in freezer bag with 1/4 bottle of Italian dressing. Makes 4 bags.
- Honey Mustard Chicken – to make The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Style Chicken – mix 1 cup Dijon mustard, 1 cup honey, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of salt, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes in bowl. Slice 5 large chicken breasts in half lengthwise (create thinner pieces), place 2 pieces in freezer bag with 1/5 honey mustard mix. Makes 5 bags.
- Chicken Teriyaki – Mix 2/3 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. sesame seeds, dash of salt and pepper, and 2 diced green onions. Cut 4 large chicken breast (or 2 small) into bite sized pieces. Divide chicken pieces into 4 freezer bags, divide soy sauce mix between bags, seal and label. Makes 4 bags.
- Chicken Tacos – Place 2 large chicken breast (or 4 small) into 2 freezer bags. Mix 1 packet of taco seasoning with 2/3 cup of water and divide between 2 bags. Makes 2 bags.
- Parmesan Chicken – Whisk 4 eggs with a tsp of water in bowl. Mix 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup flour, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Cut 3 large chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create 6 thinner chicken breasts. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then breadcrumb mixture. Place 2 pieces in a freezer bag, seal, and label. Makes 3 bags.
- Ranch Chicken – Cut 2 large chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create 4 smaller breasts. Mix 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, ranch seasoning packet, and 1/4 cup flour together. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture left from parmesan chicken, and then in breadcrumb mixture. Place 2 pieces in bag, seal, and label. Makes 2 bags.
- When beef is browned, drain grease, and add half (about 2 lbs) to the spaghetti sauce and stir.
- Add the other half of the browned beef to your next largest pot. This will be for the chili. I use this recipe from Pioneer Woman. Add the remaining can of tomato sauce and spices: 2 tbsp. of chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground oregano, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Mix and let simmer (recipe says 1 hr, but I have done more and less.) while you finish the chicken meals. To finish the chili, mix 1/4 cup masa with 1/2 cup water and add to beef. Add the kidney beans, pinto beans, and rotel. Let simmer until ready to divide into containers.
- Brown 2 more lbs of ground beef for the beef tacos. When the beef is brown, drain the grease, and add the other taco seasoning packet mixed with 2/3 cup water. Simmer and divide into 2 containers when done.
- Pat out your burgers using the remaining 2 lbs of ground beef when you get done with the chicken meals. I use Lawry’s seasoning salt and McCormick’s GrillMates Montreal Steak Seasoning. I made 4 burgers and put 2 in a bag.
- Once all the chicken meals and burgers are made, you can divide your spaghetti sauce and chili into containers. Again we use 2 serving containers, so I had 8 containers of spaghetti and 5 containers of chili.
- Make sure everything is labeled and freeze.
To finish the meals:
Spaghetti – Thaw sauce in fridge overnight, heat in small pot, boil noodles. Serve with side salad and French bread.
Chili – Thaw in fridge overnight, heat in small pot (or microwave if you’re in a super hurry). Serve with cornbread or Fritos and shredded cheese.
Salsa Chicken – Thaw in fridge overnight, place in small crockpot in the morning on low. Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, and pico de gallo.
Beef Tacos – Thaw in fridge overnight, heat in skillet or microwave. Serve with flour or corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese.
Chicken Tacos – Thaw in fridge overnight, place in small crockpot in the morning on low. Serve with flour or corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
Italian Chicken – Thaw in fridge overnight, grill in skillet with small amount of oil until a glazed brown color. Serve with a side salad and fresh veggies.
Honey Mustard Chicken – The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Style Chicken – Thaw in fridge overnight. Heat oven to 400. Fry 2 pieces of bacon, set aside, keep small amount of bacon grease in skillet, grill chicken until glazed brown color. Place chicken pieces on baking sheet, topped with shredded cheese and bacon. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with roasted potatoes and green beans.
Chicken Teriyaki – Thaw in fridge overnight, place in skillet with small amount of oil. Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli.
Chicken Parmesan – Thaw in fridge overnight, cook in skillet with small amount of oil. Heat oven to 400 and place chicken on baking sheet when done with a slice of provolone cheese to melt. Serve with angel hair pasta and red sauce.
Ranch Chicken – Thaw in fridge overnight, cook in skillet with a small amount of oil. Serve with fresh veggies and a side salad.
Burgers – Thaw in fridge overnight and grill when ready. I love using potato buns!
It sounds exhausting and it kind of is, but you will seriously feel like a boss after you make all this. I might just order a pizza or something super simple for dinner so you don’t have to cook anything else (unless you go ahead and use one of these meals).
Your freezer is going to be packed and you will be ready for those crazy busy nights where you have to rush to get dinner on the table. And if you don’t have enough freezer space, I would recommend getting a small chest freezer like this one. It’s worth the cost to have freezer meals made and ready to go!
But no worry, just thaw a meal in the fridge overnight, and add it to the crockpot in the morning, heat it up at dinnertime, or finish the last couple steps to prepare the meal. Either way, it’s so much easier cooking all this at once, rather than making a meal from scratch every night.
You’re family will be eating good, homemade meals and you will be saving time, money, and your sanity. Win win!
Add these meals to your weekly menu and relax knowing most of the work (and dishes) are already done for you.
What are your other favorite freezer cooking meals?
P.S. Be sure to check out the MyFreezEasy program if you are interested in learning more about freezer cooking. You’ll find customizable meal plans to get 10 meals into your freezer in about an hour! There are 5 different meals plans each month, with something for everyone. Meal plans come in a printable download with recipes, shopping lists, assembly instructions, videos, and printable labels. These plans are designed for beginner freezer cookers and more experienced cooks – really anyone who wants to skip the overwhelm of feeding their family delicious and healthful meals every night. Check it out!