by Susanne Myers, The Hillbilly Housewife
As a busy mom, I love being able to make bigger batches of some of our favorite family meals and then freezing half or more for later. I developed quite a few different freezer cooking strategies including cooking double (or even triple and quadruple) batches of food, cooking a different freezer meal alongside what you’re cooking for dinner, etc.
One of my family’s favorite freezer meals is baked taco beef squares. I can easily make a double batch of this, have one for dinner and freeze the other one. Here’s the recipe.
Baked Taco Beef Squares
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 C Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, drained and chopped
1/2 C bottled taco sauce
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees and allow the oven to heat. Break up the beef in a large skillet. Position the skillet over medium heat. Brown the meat for 10 minutes or until completely cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain the meat well and return to the skillet. Stir both types of cheese into the meat. Add the chilies and stir to combine. Pour in the taco sauce and blend it in well. Add the egg and stir until completely combined. Spread the mixture evenly into an 8 inch square baking pan. Bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 6 servings
To reheat, partially thaw in the refrigerator. Place in a casserole dish and cover loosely with foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat the casserole for approximately 35 minutes or until completely heated through.
Since you’re browning ground beef with this recipe, here’s another quick freezer meal tip. Buy your ground beef in bulk and then brown all of it at the same time, seasoning it only with a little salt and pepper. Drain off any excess oil, then allow the beef to cool a bit before packaging it in single use portions into freezer bags and sticking them in your freezer. Then when you’re ready to make spaghetti meat sauce, tacos or a casserole that uses cooked ground beef, just grab it and cook with it.
If you’re thinking ahead, you can stick the frozen ground beef in your fridge in the morning and it will be thawed and ready to use in your recipe by the time you get back. If you’re like me and forget to do that half the time, you can either defrost it in the microwave or heat it in a skillet until it’s thawed.
If you’d like more freezer cooking tips, get Freezer Cooking Made Simple. As a thank you for participating in my frugal blog tour, I’d like to give you a special coupon that will allow you to order the freezer cooking made simple guide for $5.00. Use coupon code STRETCHER$5
Of course 20% of all sales during the month of October will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Again, I would like to encourage you to leave a comment and share your tips and ideas. I will randomly pick one person to win a copy of the Freezer ebook as well as several recipe collections that complement and expand on the Freezer Cooking Made Simple cooking made simple guide.
Susanne Myers is responsible for HillbillyHousewife.com website. You may want to check out the HillbillyHousewifeClub.com, a membership site for frugal minded moms where we share recipes, tips and plenty of resources to help us all stretch each dollar to the max.