Freezer Meals – Who knew they would change my life!?

Hillary is a mom of two very energetic and inquisitive boys – who keep her on her toes. When not working on Great Lakes Bay Moms or spending time with the hubs and two boys she enjoys rowing on the bay city rowing team, baking, girls nights, shopping and traveling!



Well… During my four months of creating and eating freezer meals I have decided  – I LOVE THEM!!! A few of my New Year resolutions were to play more and worry less. I think that as cheesy as it sounds, freezer meals-  allow me to do that! I am spending zero to no time worrying about dinner for my family each night, which allows me to play more and just “be” with them. 

As I get older I am realizing that the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is really true. What really matters, is the TIME you share with you family and friends making memories. You can never get this day back, so make the most of it and love YOUR life! 🙂


Chicken Penne with Sun Dried Tomatoes 

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
  4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
 Cook’s Note To Freeze: Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.To Bake From Frozen: Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

3 pounds extra-lean ground beef
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (about 3 slices bread)
2 tablespoons instant minced onion
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon beef base, or bouillon (granulated or 1 cube dissolved in hot water)
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons corn syrup

Directions: First, make foil “handles.” Fold a 20 to 30-inch long piece of foil in half lengthwise (depending on size of crockpot). Place in bottom of a slow cooker with both ends hanging over top edge of cooker.  The foil strip will make it much easier to remove the meatloaf when it’s done. I also put a piece of crumpled foil in the bottom to keep the meatloaf out of the fat. Thoroughly mix all ingredients except the 2 tablespoons ketchup and corn syrup. Shape into a round loaf and place in crockpot. Combine the 2 tablespoons of catsup and the corn syrup and spread over the loaf. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour; turn to LOW and cook for 5 to 6 hours longer, or until meatloaf is done.


Ham and Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 32 oz. bag of frozen hash browns
8 oz. cooked ham, diced
2 cans condensed cream of potato soup
1 16 oz. container sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, mix hash browns, ham, cream of potato soup, sour cream, and Cheddar cheese. Spread evenly into prepared dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately.

Baked Ziti 

1 pound dry ziti pasta (or really any kind of pasta would work- I actually used Penne pasta)
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef (season with pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and minced garlic)
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce (I added a zucchini to my sauce just for more veggies!)
8 slices provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes; drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray 2 8×8 inch pans with non-stick cooking spray. Layer as follows in each pan: 1/4 of the ziti, 1/4 of the sauce, 4 slices of Provolone cheese, 1/2 of sour cream,  1/4 of ziti, 1/4 mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake covered for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.


Quesadilla Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
16 oz tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 3/4 oz) whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can (4 1/2 oz) green chilies, undrained
6 corn tortillas (8 inch size)
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese


1. Brown beef and onion in a large skillet on medium-high. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chilies. Mix well. Stir in all of the spices except the red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat low and simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste if desired.
2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 9X13 pan (sprayed with pam). I like to use the foil pans for freezer meals. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef and cheese. 3. Double wrap with heavy duty foil and label.  Cooking Instructions: Thaw and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.


Grocery List


Chicken Breast 2
Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Turkey 5 lbs.
Cooked Ham 8 oz.
Onion 1
Mushrooms 10 oz.
Garlic Cloves 4
Tomato Sauce  16 oz.
Green Chilies 1 can
Black Beans 1 can
Whole Kernel Corn 1 can
Sun Dried Tomatoes ½ cup
Worcestershire Sauce  
Beef Base 1 tsp.
Corn Syrup 2 T
Corn Tortillas 6
Cream of Potato Soup 2 10.75 oz. cans
Ziti 1 lb.
Penne Pasta 1 lb.
Salt & Pepper  
Olive Oil  
Chili Powder  
Ground Cumin  
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes  
Minced Dried Onion  
Crumbled Dry Sage  
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 2 cups
Shredded Provolone Cheese 1 ½ cups
Grated Parmesan 2 ½ cups
Sour Cream 16 oz.
Eggs 3
Frozen Hash browns 32 oz.