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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Here’s an easy breakfast idea that your family will love: freezer friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles. They are a great way to sneak some nutrition into your breakfast. Make lots and freeze some for later!

whole wheat pumpkin waffle on a white plate

These are hands down my kids’ favorite waffles, aside from the very similar Double Chocolate Zucchini Waffles.  We not only eat them for breakfast but often as snacks by themselves.

Syrup pouring over a pumpkin chocolate waffle

One of the things I love about this Pumpkin Chocolate Waffle recipe, as well, is that they are 100% whole wheat but you absolutely cannot tell. They are also a sneaky way to get more vegetables in your kids.

Baby eating a pumpkin waffle

I will make the bold claim right now that you should double the batch and freeze some of them in a freezer bag for later. In fact, if you trust me, I included Freezer Meal instructions in the recipe (because you know how much I love freezer meal cooking).

Pumpkin chocolate waffle
Syrup pouring over a pumpkin chocolate waffle

Lastly, make it a game for your little ones to fill the waffles with fruit. I’d like to say this was my two year old’s idea…but it was actually my husband’s waffle.

Now go enjoy yourself some Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles!

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 15 4-inch waffles or 6 large waffles 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Waffle iron
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These pumpkin chocolate waffles are made with whole wheat flour and lots of sneaky nutrition. They’re soon to become your next family favorite. Freeze a batch to pull out for a weekday breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (butter will work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
  • Optional: 1 cup dark chocolate chips (for especially decadent waffles!)

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients (first six ingredients, through cocoa powder) in large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted coconut oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, pureed pumpkin.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (do not over mix). (Optional: Stir in chocolate chips.)
  4. Cook according to waffle iron instructions. Mine takes about 3 1/2 minutes for each batch.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions: To Freeze: Place cooked and cooled waffles into a freezer bag with sheets of waxed paper separating the layers. To Prepare: When ready to eat, stick frozen waffles in the toaster on the defrost setting, and you’ve got a fast, healthy breakfast.

Pumpkin waffle on a plate with strawberries and blueberries

Want More Pumpkin Recipes?

With YEARS worth of content and recipes on Thriving Home, it can be easy to forget about some amazing pumpkin recipes that we have shared over the years. Here are our Top 10 Pumpkin Recipes that you simply must try!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Breakfast Cookies

I love this easy healthy breakfast idea: Chocolate Chip Zucchini Breakfast Cookies. These healthy make ahead breakfast cookies are great fresh or also as a freezer meal. 

Zucchini for breakfast!? Yep. And bananas, oats, and nut butter, too. All in one transportable, super nutritious, tasty COOKIE.

Close up of zucchini breakfast cookie

My kids fight over these things, friends. In fact, I usually double this recipe and freeze more for future breakfasts, snacks, and even lunch box treats.

Chocolate Chip zucchini breakfast cookie on a sheet pan

If the zucchini scares you off, though, simply leave it out or try our traditional breakfast cookie recipe. But, I really think your people might go for it if you give it a try.

Batch of zucchini breakfast cookies on a pan
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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Imagine zucchini for breakfast. My kids fight over these delicious, healthy whole grain cookies! Bake a double batch and you’ll have a fantastic treat to pull out of the freezer.


Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups oats (for gluten-free, be sure to be GF Oats)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup nut butter (I used half peanut and half almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup or honey
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 small or 1/2 large zucchini, finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (Dairy-Free option: use DF chocolate chips, like Enjoy Life)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Combine nut butter, maple syrup/honey, bananas, and zucchini in another bowl.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add pecans and chocolate chips and mix just under combined.
  5. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop out cookies (about 2 tablespoons each) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Press them down a little to flatten them, since they won’t during baking.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions: To Freeze: Once cookies are completely cool, store in a freezer ziptop bag or other freezer container. To Prepare: To thaw, let sit out for a few minutes on the counter or microwave the cookies in 10 second increments until defrosted.

Blueberry Avocado Muffins with Lemon Streusel Topping

By Polly Conner

Our freezer friendly Blueberry Avocado Muffins are a popular recipe in our cookbook, From Freezer to Table. This easy breakfast idea packs some serious nutritional punch to your morning. And that tasty crumble topping takes these muffins to a whole different level.

Blueberry Avocado Muffins with Lemon Streusel Topping

I know what you’re thinking. “Avocado? In a muffin? Ladies, you’ve gone too far.”

Before you move on, allow me to make a case for these muffins. They are delish! We had quite a few of our blog readers test them to make sure we weren’t too wacky. They confirmed that these are a hit—even with their kids!

The avocado is virtually tasteless and replaces the oil and butter that is usually found in muffins.

To hide the hint of green that might throw a picky eater off, simply add the sweet and zesty crumble topping.

Close up of Blueberry Avocado Muffin

Branch out and give these a whirl! You will not be disappointed. 🙂

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Blueberry Avocado Muffins with Lemon Streusel Topping

  • Author: Polly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Blueberry Avocado Muffins with Lemon Streusel Topping are a delicious way to win breakfast. Yum-mm-mmy.


Ingredients

Muffins

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large, ripe Hass avocado, pitted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries

Lemon Streusel Topping (Optional)

  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

1. To make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place silicone or paper liners in 15 cups in muffin pans or coat the cups with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Spoon the avocado flesh into the bowl of a stand mixer with a beater attachment. Beat on low until almost smooth. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply mash up the avocado as much as possible with a fork.) With the mixer still running on low, add the sugar. Once the sugar is mixed in, beat in the egg. Add the vanilla and yogurt and mix well.

4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended, being sure not to overmix. At this point, the batter will be a bit thick. Using a spoon, gently fold in the blueberries.

5. Fill the muffin cups about three-fourths full, leaving room for the streusel topping.

6. To make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and lemon zest. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbles.

7. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

9. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Notes

TO FREEZE: After the muffins have cooled, place them in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag.

TO PREPARE FROM FROZEN: Wrap a frozen muffin in a moist paper towel and microwave in 30- to 60-second increments until warmed all the way through.

If you want to use frozen blueberries, just toss them in a bit of flour before stirring them into the mixture. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

The streusel topping is optional. Feel free to leave it off if you are trying to avoid added sugar.

If you want more easy, delicious, and healthy freezer meals at your fingertips, check out our cookbook here. Not only is it beautiful and at an affordable price, but we’ve heard over and over again that this is the most useful cookbook people own. Watch this 1 minute video to see the entire book…

Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Freezer Friendly Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes. This surprising freezer meal can make a great healthy dinner or even a side dish for a large group. Made with real food ingredients too!

We’re so excited to be able to share one of the healthiest, most delicious, and freezable recipes in our cookbook, From Freezer to Table, today–Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes!

Learn to prepare delicious, healthy, stress-free meals for the family that go from freezer to table in no time!

Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes are a rich-tasting, twice-stuffed baked potato that you can actually feel good about! Greek yogurt and chicken broth help replace some of the fat in this typically calorie-laden side dish, while the addition of two superfoods, sweet potato and broccoli, up the nutrition payout. These super spuds are both hearty enough to serve as an entree and decadent enough to serve as a side dish on a special occasion.

Freezer Friendly Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes. This surprising freezer meal can make a great healthy dinner or even a side dish for a large group. Made with real food ingredients too!

Want to try out another easy, freezable recipe from our cookbook? Your crew will love these English Muffin Pizzas.English Muffin Pizzas from "From Freezer to Table" Cookbook (copyrighted)

If you want even more easy, delicious, and healthy freezer meals at your fingertips, check out our cookbook here. Not only is it beautiful and at an affordable price (only about $13), but we’ve heard over and over again that this is the most useful cookbook people own. Watch this 1 minute video to see the entire book…

If you are making one batch of Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes, definitely double and freeze the second. These require a little bit of work ahead of time, but they make for a tasty, one-dish wonder lunch or dinner for all ages.

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Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Rachel
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 stuffed potatoes (4 servings as a main dish or 8 servings as a side dish) 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Freezer-friendly Super Stuffed Baked Potatoes are a rich-tasting, twice-stuffed baked potato that you can actually feel good about!


Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup store-bought or homemade Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 11/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 pound uncured bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces

Instructions

1. Prep Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the potatoes, poke a few holes in each one with a knife, and wrap only the sweet potato in foil (leave the other potatoes unwrapped). Bake on the middle rack for about 1 hour, or until soft in the middle when a knife is inserted. Let them cool enough to handle. Increase the heat to 425°F.

2. Prep Broccoli: While the potatoes bake, fill a medium saucepan about one third full with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Once the pot of water is boiling, carefully drop the broccoli florets in, cover, and bring back to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until fork-tender (under cook just slightly). Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Once cooled, lay the broccoli on a towel to dry and then chop into smaller, bite-size pieces that can be stirred into the stuffing mix.

3. Stuff Potatoes: Cut all of the potatoes in half. Carefully scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in a large mixing bowl, making sure to leave a bit of the flesh around all sides to keep the potato skins intact. Discard the sweet potato skin but keep the others. To the mixing bowl, add the yogurt, chicken broth, butter, salt, pepper, and chives. Use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash and combine the mixture. Using a spoon, gently stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the bacon, and broccoli. Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins evenly. The stuffing will heap over the tops. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese (about 11/2 teaspoons per potato half). (Freezer meal instructions begin here.)

4. Bake and Eat: Place the stuffed potatoes on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and golden brown on top.


Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To freeze: Prepare potatoes through Step 3. Place in a single layer in a 13″ x 9″ freezer container or in 2 gallon-size freezer bags in a single layer. Seal well and freeze.

To prepare from frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours or use the defrost setting on the microwave. Bake according to the recipe directions. If the potatoes are still partially frozen, increase the baking time until warmed through. Cover the tops with foil if they begin to brown too much.

Hearty Vegetable Lentil Soup (Freezer Meal)

By Polly Conner

What better way to clean out your fridge and freezer than to make a satisfying pot of vegetable soup? This healthy freezer meal is a win for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. I love to make a bit pot ahead of time and have it for lunch all week. Makes a great freezer meal too!

Freezer Friendly Hearty Vegetable Lentil Soup in a bowl

I make a form of this at least once a month and then eat it all week long or freeze it for later. Sautéing the tomato paste along with the aromatics adds a bit of umami flavor to what can often be a boring broth. Now, let’s talk lentils for a moment. Not only are these small dried seeds of a legume plant high in fiber, protein, and many other essential vitamins and minerals, but they also lend a mild-tasting creaminess as they “melt” into the soup. If you don’t have lentils on hand, black beans or garbanzo beans are a good substitute.

This recipe can be found in our cookbook, From Freezer to Table.

cookbook

Here’s a one minute peek into this amazing resource.

Don’t own the cookbook? No worries! A similar recipe on Thriving Home is our Hearty Vegetable Soup.

From Freezer to Table: Killer Carnitas

By Polly Conner

These slow cooker carnitas are one of my all-time favorite freezer meals. As one of my go-to recipes for large groups, our Killer Carnitas are a no-fail dump and go freezer meal.

From Freezer to Table: Killer Carnitas

“Woman, what have you done?!” This was my husband’s affectionate way of telling me he was a big fan of this recipe. After cooking it for 8 hours in the slow cooker, you’ll be left with fall-apart, flavorful chunks of juicy pork that you can then broil for a few minutes in order to give some extra texture. Wrap up the meat in a soft tortilla and top it with cheese, avocados, diced red onions, lime juice, cilantro, or whatever Mexican toppings you prefer, and you’ll be going loco over these carnitas.

This recipe can be found in our cookbook, From Freezer to Table.

cookbook

Here’s a one minute peek into this amazing resource.

Don’t own the cookbook? A similar recipe on Thriving Home is our Pulled Pork with a Mexican Flare.

Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner
Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire Gallery®. But the opinions are all ours! 

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

My kids are totally on a quesadilla kick. No matter what we put in it, if we put something between two tortillas and call it a quesadilla, it’s a win. 

In light of the kids’ quesadilla obsession and my continual hunt for easy, healthy, freezable breakfast ideas, a breakfast quesadilla recipe was born.

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Here’s the great thing about breakfast quesadillas: they are totally customizable. Each person can pick what they want on them which makes fickle, power-hungry children happy. Kids also love to help with the assembly so this is a great way to get them involved in the meal making process.

On this particular morning, we assembled Farm Fresh Quesadillas. The ingredients were simple and things that you mostly likely have on hand:

  • eggs
  • ham
  • bacon
  • cheddar cheese
  • spinach
Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Three secrets you need to know about making breakfast quesadillas:

  1. Assemble them on top of parchment paper or foil. This makes transferring them to the skillet or freezer bag a lot easier.
  2. Start and end with cheese. The cheese serves as a binding that holds the quesadilla and its contents together after cooking. It needs to be in contact with the tortilla to do this.
  3. If you plan to freeze these bad boys, undercook your eggs a tad. They will likely cook a little in the reheating stage so you don’t want overcooked eggs.

Assemble Your Breakfast Quesadilla

Starting with cheese, add your preferred ingredients to make your Farm Fresh Quesadilla. Here’s what mine looked like.

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

After it’s assembled, warm a large skillet to medium heat and melt a little butter in the pan. Slide the quesadilla off of the parchment paper and onto the pan. Top the quesadilla with a bit more melted butter. (The butter on the tortilla helps give it a little bit of a crisp when cooked). Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the tortilla starts to brown.

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Want to make a bunch and freeze them? Here’s how:

There are two ways to go about freezing breakfast quesadillas.

Freezing Method One: Assemble the quesadillas and freeze just before cooking. To prepare them, simply let them thaw out and cook them as normal.

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Freezing Method Two: Cook quesadillas as normal, let cool and then freeze. To prepare, either wrap frozen quesadilla in a moist paper towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds OR let them thaw and warm them up in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes. (I prefer the oven method.)

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

Feel free to branch out with the ingredients! Some other ideas to get your creative juices stirring: grilled onions and peppers, breakfast sausage, ham & pineapple, fresh herbs, pepper jack cheese, etc.

Eat up!

Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!
Freezer Friendly, Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas. A simple, kid-friendly, healthy breakfast idea that anyone can make. Kids love that they can be customized and love to help assemble them. Make lots and freeze them for later!

What to Do with Leftover Tortillas

P.S. If you have leftover tortillas, did you know you can freeze them? Here is the best way to freeze tortillas for later.

tortillas in a freezer bag
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Farm Fresh Breakfast Quesadillas {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican-American

Description

Farm fresh quesadillas are your family’s next must-try! Every family member can choose his/her favorite toppings in order to create the perfect, healthy masterpiece.


Ingredients

  • 12 whole wheat tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 pound ham, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 23 tablespoons butter

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Lay out parchment paper or foil for assembly.
  2. On a tortilla, assemble by evenly distributing ingredients in this order: 1/4 cup shredded cheddar, about 1/3 cup scrambled eggs, 1/3 cup spinach, sprinkle of bacon, sprinkle of ham, and end with another 1/4 cup shredded cheddar. Top with another tortilla.
  3. Warm skillet to medium and melt a little butter in the pan.
  4. Using the parchment paper as help, slide assembled quesadilla carefully into hot pan and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until tortilla begins to brown and cheese is melted.
  5. Slice it up like a pizza and serve!

Freeze For Later: Method 1: Assemble the quesadillas and freeze, just before cooking, in a freezer bag between layers of parchment paper. Lay flat in the freezer. Method 2: Cook quesadillas according to instructions but do not cut into pieces. Let cool completely and then freeze in freezer bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper. Prepare From Frozen: Method 1: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook according to instructions. Method 2: Either wrap frozen quesadilla in a moist paper towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds OR let thaw in refrigerator and warm up on sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes.

Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition!

Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire Gallery®. But the opinions are all ours! 

I could eat these super healthy Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves hot or cold, I tell ya. They really aren’t just for kids, although my three children gobbled them up with a side of ketchup tonight. I’m glad I doubled the recipe, so I can freeze half of them for another night. Snaps for #freezermeals, eh?!

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition! #realfood #freezermeal #healthy

Here’s the other thing: If you have a hard time getting enough vegetables into your family, these mini meatloaves are also a winning way to sneak some extra nutrition in (which you may know I’m a fan of). I would suggest using the food processor to chop the vegetables finely, if you have some suspicious kiddos. Give your munchkins a good squirt of ketchup for dipping purposes and you’re good to go!

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition! #realfood #freezermeal #healthy

I served our Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves up with a twice baked potato, steamed broccoli, and some strawberries. Want to really hit a homerun when it comes to the sneaky nutrition, though? Try a side of Cream Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes. You’ll have just fed your kids zucchini, carrots, onion, and sweet potatoes in one delicious meal. Boom!

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These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition!

Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves are a kid-favorite and a great way to sneak in lots of extra nutrition!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about one small onion)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (about one carrot)
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze out excess liquid with hands)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or whole wheat panko)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup all natural ketchup, divided
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley, crushed in hand
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed in hand (or dried oregano)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack over the sheet (baking rack keeps bottoms from burning and allows drippings to fall below.) Grease baking rack generously with cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, sauté vegetables in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Lightly season vegetables with salt and pepper to taste while they sauté. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine cooled vegetable mixture, ground turkey, egg, panko, 1/4 cup ketchup, broth, garlic powder, parsley, basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Do not over mix.
  4. Gently scoop out a heaping, loosely packed 1/2 cup of meat mixture for each meatloaf. Gently form into a patty that’s evenly about 1 1/2 inches thick. Do not press down hard on mixture to avoid compacting it. Top each mini meatloaf with about 2 teaspoons ketchup, spreading around on top evenly.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the middle is no longer pink.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze: Bake and let cool completely. Seal in freezer bag or container, squeezing out all the air. Freeze up to 2 months.

To Prepare: Thaw in refrigerator overnight and reheat in microwave, using a lower power setting, just until warmed through. Or if reheating from frozen, use the defrost setting on the microwave.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 meatloaf

Southwest Grilled Chicken Kabobs {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer
These Grilled Marinated Chicken Kabobs are one of our favorites for the grilling season. Make ahead and freeze before or after grilling!

You want a killer marinade that everyone will like? Give this baby a try. This Southwest-inspired marinade packs a little smokiness, just a hint of heat, and a salty punch. We love it, especially on these fast-cooking kabobs.

For juicy, tender bite-sized chicken that will please a crowd try these Southwest Grilled Chicken Kabobs.

Just chop up your chicken, throw it in a bag with the marinade, and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two. While it soaks up the flavor, sit your kabob sticks in some water so they don’t get obliterated on the grill.

These Grilled Marinated Chicken Kabobs are one of our favorites for the grilling season. Make ahead and freeze before or after grilling!

Then, all you have to do is quickly thread them on the sticks and grill away. This recipe only takes a few minutes on each side. The marinade would also be great on grilled veggie kabobs like peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. But, I prefer to cook them on separate kabob sticks, because they cook at a different pace than the meat.  

For juicy, tender bite-sized chicken that will please a crowd try these Southwest Grilled Chicken Kabobs.

As long as you don’t overcook these guys, you’ll end up with very moist, tasty pieces of meat. Serve them over rice, a salad, inside a taco, or on their own with some of your favorite sides.

For juicy, tender bite-sized chicken that will please a crowd try these Southwest Grilled Chicken Kabobs.
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Southwest Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Marinated Chicken Kabobs {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Southwest

Description

These Grilled Marinated Chicken Kabobs with a southwest flare are one of our favorites for the grilling season. Make ahead and freeze before or after grilling!


Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup olive oil (or I like avocado oil b/c of it’s high smoke point)
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar (sub: white vinegar) (Gluten-Free: Make sure your vinegar is gluten-free.)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (sub: fresh parsley)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crush in hand
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except the chicken) in a large zip top bag and shake. Add chicken and shake again. Place bag in a dish and set in the refrigerator. Let chicken marinate for an hour or two, occasionally turning the bag to evenly distribute the marinade.
  2. While chicken marinates, place wooden kabob sticks in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
  3. Grill chicken kabobs over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Chicken is done when you cut into it and there is no more pink. Do not overcook.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions: To Freeze: Place marinade and chicken in a freezer bag, shake, and freeze. To Prepare: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Grill according to directions.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

This freezer friendly spinach and bacon quiche recipe has been circulating in my home for quite a while now. You guys, it is SO good. I wish I could say it was healthy but I can assure you it wouldn’t be on the weight watchers website. However, with the exception of the pie crust, it is made with real ingredients so that’s a win, right? #silverlining

Some other perks about this amazing, delicious recipe is that it is super easy to double and freeze one for later. In fact, I never make this without doubling it.

My kids, especially my husband, LOVE it. It makes for a great breakfast or dinner!

To get started, put your pie crust in a round baking dish.

Here is the baking dish that I prefer to use for this recipe. I like this one because it is deep enough for a quiche recipe AND has a storage lid so you can store leftovers or freeze the recipe easily. Baking dish for quiche

Back to the pie crust… Either make your own or use a store bought one. I cheat and use the store bought ones. A busy mom can only do so much. I’ll make my own crusts in like, 18 years.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

Now, add your cooked bacon to the pie crust. Hello, beautiful.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

If you have little hands around that you need to keep busy, this is a good task for them. Just be warned that not all of the bacon will make it into the crust.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

Now add two cups of chopped spinach. You are balancing out all of the unhealthiness with this super food.

This may seem like a ton of spinach but when it cooks, it shrinks up and really doesn’t seem like much when the quiche is done. My husband, who turns his nose up at cooked spinach in recipes, doesn’t even bat an eye at this when it’s done.
This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

Now sprinkle 1.5 cups of Swiss cheese over the top.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

Lastly, place 6 eggs and 1.5 cups of heavy cream into a blender and pulse it a few times until it is thoroughly mixed together. Pour it over all of the ingredients to the point where it is almost overflowing.

(Sorry, no picture of this one. Had to deal with a sibling brawl in my kitchen. The smell of bacon brings out the animalistic qualities in all of us…)

If you doubled the recipe, it is at this point that you would cover the uncooked quiche and freeze it. If not, continue on to baking it!

To bake it, cover the quiche loosely with foil and put it in the oven. This keeps the top from burning. After one hour, remove the foil and cook about 15 more minutes or until the top starts to barely brown and the middle isn’t jiggly (must…refrain…from…immature…joke).

(Baking tip- if you are using a shallow baking dish, place a baking sheet underneath the dish. You might have an overflow issue on your hands.)

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

Take it out and let her cool down a bit.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

Slice it up and serve warm.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

This spinach and bacon quiche recipe is a family favorite. I usually make it for dinner instead of breakfast! It is not only super easy to assemble but it also makes a great freezer meal.

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Bacon and Spinach Quiche

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Freezer Meal
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Description

This easy to make, easy to love comfort food makes a great breakfast OR dinner. Simple ingredients and freezer friendly!


Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 pound of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach
  • 1.5 cups of shredded swiss cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Place pie crust into baking dish
  3. Add bacon, spinach and cheese.
  4. Blend together eggs and heavy whipping cream. Pour mixture over the top of all ingredients.
  5. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour.
  6. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until the middle doesn’t jiggle when you shake the dish.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Follow directions all the way up to baking the dish. Cover tightly and freeze. Store in freezer up to 3 months.

To Prepare:
When you are ready to eat it, let quiche thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 for one hour. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner
A delicious twist on Asian lettuce wraps. Add a tortilla for a whole different, healthy dinner. Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps are also freezer friendly and would make a great meal to take to others. | Thriving Home

Freezer Friendly Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps

Confession: there are a handful of recipes in our Recipe Index that I have yet to try. Don’t worry– every recipe in there has been tested by either Rachel or myself. (We wouldn’t share a recipe if we hadn’t tried it and given our stamp of approval on it.) BUT, with two bloggers in the mix, it just so happens that there a few gems in there that I have yet to tackle.

A recipe that Rachel has been yapping about for a while was the Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Every time it has been brought up, she reminds me of how good it is.

Since my blogging buddy is usually pretty spot on with her recipe recommendations, I threw it on the menu plan and gave it a whirl.

I shouldn’t be surprised by this but I liked it! So did my husband. To be honest, my kids weren’t big fans but I think that was primarily because it looked suspicious through their eyes.

A delicious twist on Asian lettuce wraps. Add a tortilla for a whole different, healthy dinner. Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps are also freezer friendly and would make a great meal to take to others. | Thriving Home


A great perk about this recipe is that it makes great leftovers.

A delicious twist on Asian lettuce wraps. Add a tortilla for a whole different, healthy dinner. Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps are also freezer friendly and would make a great meal to take to others. | Thriving Home

A few nights later, the plan was to have the leftovers for dinner but I was out of lettuce. Luckily we had wraps so I thought I’d give it a whirl in those. 

Guess what. We liked them even more! This time my kids were a bit more open to them too.

So yes, I pretty much snagged an existing recipe, repackaged it and am sharing it as a “new” recipe: Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps.

A delicious twist on Asian lettuce wraps. Add a tortilla for a whole different, healthy dinner. Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps are also freezer friendly and would make a great meal to take to others. | Thriving Home


I can’t wait to make these again!

A delicious twist on Asian lettuce wraps. Add a tortilla for a whole different, healthy dinner. Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps are also freezer friendly and would make a great meal to take to others. | Thriving Home

One last thing–I think this would be a great recipe to take to someone who needs a meal. It would transport easily and be something that they typically wouldn’t get. Make sure to pin this recipe so you don’t lose track of it!

Follow me on Pinterest for more yummy dinner ideas!

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Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

A delicious twist on Asian lettuce wraps. Add a tortilla for a whole different, healthy dinner. Asian Chicken Tortilla Wraps are also freezer friendly and would make a great meal to take to others.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground chicken (or sub ground turkey or beef)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I usually cut this back to ½ onion)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce or any hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 4 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • Optional: 2 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground chicken in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. Saute the yellow onion in the same pan over medium heat until tender, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions. Stir and let simmer 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, browned meat and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions, carrots, and cabbage just begin to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. If mixture seems too dry, add more hoisen sauce and/or soy sauce to taste (just be cautious, as it can get too salty).
  4. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat mixture into a tortilla. Prepare to get messy, and enjoy! Optional: Add cooked rice to the tortilla and then top with mixture.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: In large pan, saute the chicken and onions in cooking oil over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add chicken/onion mixture to slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients (garlic through sesame oil). Do not include the lettuce and rice. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Then, set to “warm” until ready to serve.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Cook the veggie/meat mixture according to recipe and then freeze.

To Prepare:
When ready to serve, thaw veggie/meat mixture (either in microwave or in fridge overnight) and warm up (on stove or in microwave).

Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal (with Sneaky Spinach) {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer
This dark chocolate banana baked oatmeal is sure to be a crowd pleaser! With fresh ingredients and a rich, chocolatey taste, this dish pairs perfectly with fresh fruit. You won't even be able to taste the sneaky spinach!

You caught us. Yes, it’s slightly ridiculous how much we eat oatmeal around here, whether it’s Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packs or another baked oatmeal recipe from our breakfast recipe index. We love them all!

But, I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Rachel’s gone off the deep end on this one. Spinach in your oatmeal?” Look, my baked oatmeal philosophy is similar to my smoothie philosophy: what they don’t see, they won’t taste. It’s true. You really cannot see or taste the spinach after using the blender to puree the wet ingredients. This warm bowl of comfort is just pure dark chocolaty goodness…filled with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals!

This warm bowl of comfort is just pure dark chocolatey oatmeal goodness...filled with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals!

Chock this recipe up to just one more genius way to sneak more fruits and vegetables into a kid favorite (check out 50 more ways here)!

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Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal (with Sneaky Spinach)

Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal (with Sneaky Spinach)

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This warm bowl of comfort is just pure dark chocolaty oatmeal goodness…filled with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (or regular cocoa powder)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1 large or 2 small bananas

Optional: 2 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 baking pan with coconut oil or baking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (from oats through salt).
  3. In a blender, layer the wet ingredients in order (from milk to spinach). Blend until very smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes or until set in the middle.
  5. Serve warm with milk and fresh sliced fruit on top.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Make the batter and pour into baking pan, but do not bake. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and/or foil and freeze for up to 3 months in back of freezer.

To Prepare:
Let baked oatmeal thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours or defrost in the microwave using the defrost setting. Bake according to directions. Cook time will increase if baked oatmeal is still cold or partially frozen. Cover with foil if top begins to brown too much.

Leftover Ham and Nine Bean Soup {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Cheap, rich and savory, and good for you too! This Ham and Bean Soup is a perfect winter comfort food. #freezermeal #realfood

Cooking within a tight grocery budget? Let me tell ya, this soup is the bomb. It’s not only cheap thanks to the beans, but it’s also very filling and boasts a rich savory flavor thanks to the ham. (Want to save even more? Try my equally delicious Ham and Bean Soup that’s even more budget-friendly due to only using a ham bone to flavor it.)

I created this new Ham and Bean Soup recipe after Thanksgiving as a way to use up the leftover ham for my Uncle Rich, who won’t touch turkey with a 10 foot pole. What makes this soup so simple is the use of a nine bean soup mix that you’ll find in the bean aisle of most grocery stores. Just be sure to follow the package directions, because YOU WILL NEED TO SOAK THE BEANS a few hours or even a day beforehand. That’s about the most complicated part of all this, which isn’t complicated at all. Soaking the beans just requires a wee bit of planning.

Cheap, rich and savory, and good for you too! This Ham and Bean Soup is a perfect winter comfort food. #freezermeal #realfood

Make this recipe before winter passes, because it’s one of those soups you need to sip on while watching the snow flakes fall outside your window. Add a hunk of crusty bread alongside it, and you’ll feel that all is right in the world for those 10 minutes. It’s true.

Cheap, rich and savory, and good for you too! This Ham and Bean Soup is a perfect winter comfort food. #freezermeal #realfood

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Leftover Ham and Nine Bean Soup

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Cheap, rich in taste, savory, and good for you too! This Ham and Bean Soup is a perfect winter comfort food.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 64 oz (2 cartons) salted chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 cups of ham steaks, cubed
  • 1 lb soup bean mix (Soak first according to package directions.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, saute onions in olive oil. Add garlic, red pepper, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken stock, water, ham, beans, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower heat, put on a lid (keep it tilted for venting), and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add more stock or water, if it reduces too much.
  3. Taste broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add carrots. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the bay leaves.
  5. Garnish a bowl of soup with some fresh chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

Freezer Instructions:

To freeze:
Simply fully cook the soup, let it cool completely, and freeze in a BPA-free gallon freezer bag or other air-tight freezable container for up to 3 months.

To prepare:
Either thaw in the fridge overnight and warm up over low heat on the stovetop or in a crockpot.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potato and Black Beans {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Look no further for a comforting slow cooker freezer meal. This lean turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. This crock pot chili is delicious fresh but is also a great make ahead meal.

‘Tis the season for a good, healthy slow cooker recipe!

In the midst of heavy holiday meals and baked goods, this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans is…hmmm…refreshing. Can chili be refreshing? Well, not like refreshing in as a cold drink on a hot day. But, it definitely qualifies as a welcomed break from the overindulgent foods of late. It was a winner and will be a regular in our winter menu planning for sure.

Slow cooker turkey chili
This lean turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. The jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day.

Turkey chili in the slow cooker

Be sure to double the batch and freeze one for later (instructions included below). And, let me assure you, your house will smell incredible when you arrive home around 5 p.m. Thank you slow cooker!

Crock pot turkey chili in a bowl

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Healthy Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potato and Black Beans

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This lean chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. The jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day.


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, liquid and all
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounce) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Topping for serving: hot sauce, diced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, diced onions, salsa, thinly sliced green onion, etc.

Instructions

  1. In a large pan over medium to medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté diced sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes, until just softened. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sautéing. Add sweet potato mixture to slow cooker insert.
  2. Turn up heat to medium-high. In same pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the onions, jalapeño pepper, garlic and ground turkey, stirring and breaking up the meat. Cook until meat is cooked through (no longer pink) and onions softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper while sautéing. Drain off any grease. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  3. Add meat mixture and remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans) to the slow cooker insert, stirring until well combined.
  4. Slow cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts. Add hot sauce to increase heat at the end, if desired. Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings (diced avocado, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced onions, etc.).

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze: Complete recipe through Step 2. Add the cooked and cooled meat and vegetables to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container. Then, add the remaining ingredients (chili powder through black beans) to the same bag. Seal, toss gently to mix, and freeze.

To Prepare From Frozen: Thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Cook according to instructions beginning with Step 4.

Cream Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These may be healthier than mashed potatoes, but these Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes will have your family coming back for more! #realfood #freezermeal #delicious

It’s no secret that I like to sneak more nutrition into kid-friendly meals wherever I can. My kids aren’t the worst vegetable eaters in the world, but they certainly aren’t the best. And, hey, my husband and I could stand to eat more too. So, why not transform the ole carb-loaded, fat-loaded mashed potatoes into something DELICIOUS that also happens to be good for you? Right. That’s what I said.

Make Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with some Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin or Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken Tenders and you’re golden. And, don’t bat an eye about freezing the leftovers. They will thaw and reheat heat well for another day.

These may be healthier than mashed potatoes, but these Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes will have your family coming back for more! #realfood #freezermeal #delicious

Ooo, I wonder if I can make a shepherd’s pie with these guys on top? That’s my next challenge.

These may be healthier than mashed potatoes, but these Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes will have your family coming back for more! #realfood #freezermeal #delicious

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These may be healthier than mashed potatoes, but these Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes will have your family coming back for more! #realfood #freezermeal #delicious

Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

With fewer carbs and more nutrients than regular mashed potatoes, these healthy yet decadent-tasting Cheesy Mashed Potatoes are sure to be a family favorite!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced sweet potato (about 2 medium ones)
  • 3 cups diced potatoes (about 2 medium ones)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed in hand

Instructions

  1. Place diced potatoes in large pot of cold water and turn on high heat. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a colander over the sink and return to pot.
  2. Add butter/oil, cream cheese, chicken broth, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. Gently stir until cream cheese is melted and incorporated.
  3. Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
After cooking and cooling, freeze in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

To Prepare:
Thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave. Warm in the microwave or slow cooker on low after thawing. You may have to add a bit more liquid (milk or chicken broth) after reheating, if too dry.

Pulled Pork with a Mexican Flair {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

Try this unique Mexican spin on pulled pork. Made in the Dutch oven OR the slow cooker, it will feed a massive crowd and will become one of your next favorite dump and go meals. Makes a GREAT freezer meal too!

Pulled Pork on a Plate

Lets see. How do I communicate the deliciousness of this flavorful pulled pork recipe? Should I elaborate on the tangy-rich-mexicany flavor that comes with each bite?

Should I explain how great it is in a tortilla combined with guacamole, lime juice and sour cream?

Should I tell you how super easy it is to make AND that the recipe yields a ridiculous amount of freezer friendly pulled pork?

Or maybe I should just quote my husband as he was sneaking bites while I was taking pictures.

  • “Woman, what have you done?”
  • “This is dangerous.”
  • “Oh my gosh. We are never going back to BBQ sauce pulled pork.”
  • “You done did it.”

While I continue to ponder which route I should take to convince you to try this recipe, let’s walk through the steps on how to make your own flavorful pulled pork.

(Printable recipe at the bottom)

Start by buying a big ol’ pork shoulder. The recipe calls for one that is 4-7 pounds, so naturally I went with a 7 pounder. This chunk of meat is hilariously huge.

Pat it dry so it will soak up the yummy rub you are about to put on it.

Patting dry a pork shoulder

In a food processor or blender, toss in: 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 2 tablespoons salt, pepper to taste, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white cooking wine, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 medium onion (quartered).

Blend it up until it is nice and smooth.

Marinade for freezer friendly pulled pork

Dump it on your pork shoulder.

marinade on top of pork shoulder

It’s about to get messy so take off any rings!

Rings

Using your hands, rub the rub (hehe) into the meat. Make sure to cover all of the surfaces.

Pork shoulder in a dutch oven

Now, pop it into a 300 degree oven for about 4.5 hours. If your pork shoulder is on the smaller side (4-5 lbs), cook it a little less.

About half way through, at about 2 hours of cooking, flip the pork over.

When pork is done, take it out leaving the lid on. Crank up the heat to 425 degrees. Remove the lid and put it back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the surface of the meat is browned.

Remove the pork from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes or so.

Using two forks, start to pull the meat apart. (Get it, pulled pork!)

Shredding pulled pork

Do your best to fend off hungry children or husbands who may interfere.

After the meat is pulled apart, use a ladle and pour some of the remaining juice over the meat.

Pulled pork on a plate

Serve with your favorite Mexican fixins. We like it with a squeeze of fresh lime, guac and sour cream.

Pulled pork in a tortilla

As I mentioned, this recipe makes a ridiculous amount. It was enough for our dinner, lunch the next day, AND two freezer meals for the future.

Pulled pork in freezer containers

Pulled pork on a plate with limes

As if this didn’t make enough pulled pork for us, next time I make this, I will buy two pork shoulders, double the marinade, make one for dinner, and then freeze one (in the marinade) for future dinners. You’re welcome.

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Great pulled pork recipe that is made in the dutch oven. Packed with flavor and makes a ton!

Pulled Pork with a Mexican Flare {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican American

Description

Try this unique Mexican spin on pulled pork. Made in the dutch oven or the crock pot, it will feed a massive crowd and will become one of your next favorite freezer friendly crockpot meals. Serve it up with all your favorite Mexican toppings. Makes an awesome freezer meal too.


Ingredients

  • 47 Pounds Pork Shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons White Cooking Wine
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 medium Onion

Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder.
  2. Throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine, brown sugar and onion (cut into quarters) into a food processor or blender.
  3. Blend the mixture until totally combined and then pour it over the pork shoulder.
  4. Rub mixture over every surface of the meat you can find.
  5. Place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add 2 cups of water. Cover tightly and roast pork at 300º for 4.5 hours, turning once at the half way point.
  6. When the pork is tender and can peel away, crank up the heat to 425, remove the lid, and roast it, skin side up for another 15 to 20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.
  7. Using two forks, shred the pork. When it’s all shredded be sure to pour the juices all over the meat.
  8. Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa, or whatever other Mexican fixings you like.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions:

Cook the meat and sauce in the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours. Shred and broil for a few minutes at the end to add a crispy crust.

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Follow steps 1-4 but then place marinaded pork into a freezer bag and seal. Freeze that baby up!
To Prepare:
Let the pork thaw for 48 hours in your fridge. Then follow instructions 5-7.

Make sure to check out our 101 Real Food Slow Cooker Freezer Meals too!

101 Real Food Slow Cooker Freezer Meals - Your life just got easier and healthier with this list of the best whole foods freezer meals for the slow cooker. Enjoy these real food crockpot recipes today or freeze for later.

Baked Chicken Fajitas {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner
Baked Chicken fajitas

Confession: Rachel and I had the hardest time figuring out what to call this recipe.

Chicken and Veggie Burritos? Baked Enchiladas? Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas? Chicken Fajitas?

We just couldn’t quite capture what these were because they are a wonderful combination of all things Mexican.

We ended up landing on Baked Chicken Fajitas. It’s by far one of my family’s favorite Mexican dishes. In fact, the night before my husband’s knee surgery, I told him I’d make any dinner he wanted. His request? You’re reading about it right now.

Baked Chicken and Veggie Fajitas-freezer friendly10

This recipe was born out of our cheesy chicken and black bean enchilada recipe. Since I’m not a bean lover, I dabbled with the recipe. It evolved into a delicious combination of Mexican flavored chicken and veggies wrapped up in cheesy tortilla that is baked to make a flavorful dinner that our whole family loves. 

It’s so darn good. AND this recipe is freezer friendly. Just follow all of the instructions up until you bake it.

Here is how to make Baked Chicken Fajitas.

Read more

Host a Freezer Meal Party: How to Store and Thaw Your Meals

By Polly Conner

Throw a freezer meal party--how to store and save your meals

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours!

Whether you throw a Freezer Meal Party or not, we think that today’s post will be super helpful for anyone wanting to stock their freezer with homemade food. As self-proclaimed “freezer cooking evangelists” (ha, ha!), we feel called to share the know-how we’ve acquired over our 12+ combined years of freezer cooking experience. So, today we’re answering some of the most frequent questions we get about how to store and thaw your freezer meals, which are perhaps the two most integral steps to your freezer cooking success. Read more

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer
This Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin is a lean, flavor-packed, crowd-pleaser. It's been part of our family dinner rotation for years. #freezermeal #realfood

Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours!

True or False? Once upon a time, a local news reporter did a 5 o’clock news story about my Freezer Club. My only line in the whole thing was, “I’ve never met a pork tenderloin I didn’t love.”

True. And my husband still loves to quote my “famous” line back to me almost every time we eat pork tenderloin. Hey, but look. It’s truly an awesome, easy-to-fix, and hard-to-mess-up piece of affordable meat. And, this Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe has been part of our regular dinner rotation for years.

This Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin is a lean, flavor-packed, crowd-pleaser. It's been part of our family dinner rotation for years. #freezermeal #realfood

The seasoning rub turns this bland cut into something superb every time. Kids and adults ask for this one around our house. So, don’t forget to double or triple this recipe and freeze extras for later. Freezer meal instructions are included.

This Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin is a lean, flavor-packed, crowd-pleaser. It's been part of our family dinner rotation for years. #freezermeal #realfood
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This Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin is a lean, flavor-packed, crowd-pleaser. It's been part of our family dinner rotation for years. #freezermeal #realfood

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A wide range of dried herbs and seasonings from the pantry makes this simple main dish a win every time. Roasting at a high temperature creates a crust on the outside, while cooking it just until it’s done (and not a minute more) and letting the tenderloin rest, keeps all the juices inside. Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin pairs nicely with creamy mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and a crisp white wine.


Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In small bowl combine garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, thyme, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Place pork tenderloin in foil-lined or parchment-lined roasting pan. Pat dry. Then, drizzle and rub about 1 tablespoon olive oil all over pork tenderloin.
  4. Next, rub the seasoning mixture all over the tenderloin, pressing gently so the seasoning adheres well to all sides.
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees. (Note: At this safe internal temperature, it will still be slightly pink inside.) Do not overcook. (Note: If you prefer to cook in your slow cooker, instructions are at the bottom.
  6. Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes so juices redistribute. Slice on an angle and serve.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions:
Complete recipe through Step 4. Add pork tenderloin to the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. (Internal temperature should be 145 degrees F when done.) Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes so juices redistribute. Slice on an angle and serve.

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Complete Steps 2-4 and place the seasoned, uncooked pork tenderloin in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Seal and freeze.
To Prepare:
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Set on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes right before cooking. Then, roast in a preheated 450 degrees F oven according to the directions in Step 5 and 6. If the middle is still cold, it may take longer to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Need a side dish idea?

Serve this with our 3-Minute No-Boil Corn on the Cob!

On-the-Go Chicken Burritos {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. Be sure to double the batch and freeze some for later.

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. #freezermeal #realfood

Why We Love On-the-Go Chicken Burritos

Our family is kind of obsessed with these make-ahead chicken burritos. I regularly pull them straight from the freezer to either warm in the oven or microwave for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. Keep them in the freezer at work, send in a child’s lunch box (simply heat and wrap in foil), or grab-and-go on busy nights.I have a feeling we are going to depend strongly on these once the school chaos starts up again!

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. #freezermeal #realfood

Similar Recipes to On-the-Go Chicken Burritos

If you want an even simpler, meatless burrito version, try our Make Ahead Lunch Wraps. It doesn’t get much easier to make healthy food in bulk!

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

Or try our delicious Beef and Bean Burritos from our popular cookbook, From Freezer to Table. We include all the freezer instructions, too.

What Sides Should I Serve with On-the-Go Chicken Burritos?

We have several delicious Mexican-inspired and other side dishes that would go well with these burritos. Give one of of these healthy and delicious options a try…

Homemade Guacamole

Guacamole

Texas Caviar Dip

Avocado Lime Salsa

Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

On-the-Go Chicken Burritos are perfect for those crazy evenings when you’re in and out or for a slower sit-down meal around the table. Either way they are great!

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On-the-Go Chicken Burritos

On-the-Go Chicken Burritos {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burritos 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

These simple, individual chicken burritos make for a filling, healthy, and satisfying lunch or dinner anywhere and anytime. 


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (about 1 lb) chicken breasts, diced and patted very dry
  • 1 packet store-bought mild taco seasoning (or use this homemade taco seasoning)
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup cooked black beans (or half of 15 ounce can of black beans, drained)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½1 cup mild salsa (adjust to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • Optional toppings: Guacamole or Creamy Avocado Dip, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, pico de gallo

Instructions

Make It Now: 

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. When the oil is shimmery, add the chicken and sauté until cooked through (no longer pink), about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add water, taco seasoning, black beans, corn, brown rice, and salsa. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat down to low. Let mixture simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Assemble burritos. To each tortilla, add a generous 1/3 cup chicken and bean mixture and 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese . Pull in each end of tortilla and roll up tightly. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Warming options:
    1. Wrap tortilla in foil and heat through in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. (from frozen, 20-30 minutes)
    2. Wrap tortilla in a moist paper towel and warm in the microwave in 30 second increments until heated through.
  6. Serve with optional toppings.

Freeze for Later: Complete recipe through Step 4. Wrap each individual burrito in foil and place in gallon-sized freezer bag. Seal and freeze.

Prepare from Frozen: Options for reheating:

Option 1: Thawed: Thaw burritos in the refrigerator overnight and then place in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through. Another thaw option is to remove foil, wrap burrito in moist paper towel, and microwave in 30 second increments until heated through (about 2 minutes depending on microwave). Open up the burrito halfway through reheating, to allow the inside ingredients to get warmed.

Option #1: Frozen: Preheat oven to 350°F. Keep burrito(s) wrapped in the foil. Heat in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until heated through. Another thaw option is to remove foil, wrap burrito in moist paper towel, and microwave in 30 second increments until heated through (about 4 minutes depending on microwave). Open up the burrito halfway through reheating, to allow the inside ingredients to get warmed.

 

COOKING NOTES:

How to Make in the Slow Cooker:

1. Place whole chicken breasts (note: do not dice!) in the slow cooker and top with the water and taco seasoning. Cook on LOW for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, just until cooked through (no more pink in the center and shreds easily).

2. Shred the chicken. Stir in the beans, corn, cooked rice, and salsa.

3. Following directions from above starting with Step 4.

Slow Cooker Steak Chili

By Rachel Tiemeyer
Slow Cooker Steak Chili is a super easy dump-and-go meal, yet incredibly flavorful! Make ahead and freeze. #freezermeal #realfood #thrivinghome

Three cheers for the slow cooker! I love this set it and forget it Slow Cooker Steak Chili because I don’t have to do anything but dump it in, set the timer, and walk away. Seriously. Several hours later I’ve got a hearty and comforting family meal.

Slow Cooker Steak Chili is a super easy dump and go meal but is full of Tex-mex flavor! Delish! #freezermeal #realfood

Just a few minutes of prep work results in an all-day, slow-cooked Tex Mex flavor! Wouldn’t this be a fun tailgate recipe in the fall?

Note: The heat level is fairly mild, so be sure to kick up the red pepper flakes if you like it hot.

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Slow Cooker Steak Chili is a super easy dump and go meal but is full of Tex-mex flavor! Delish! #freezermeal #realfood

Slow Cooker Steak Chili

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Slow Cooker Steak Chili for the win! This dump-and-go crockpot meal is hearty, flavorful, and freezer-friendly.


Ingredients

  • pounds stew beef, cut in 2-inch chunks
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced (or 1/2 cup frozen diced onions, to save time)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, with juice (tip: use fire-roasted tomatoes for more flavor)
  • 1 cup beef broth 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to add heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Optional toppings: grated cheese*, sour cream or Greek yogurt*, diced avocados, a squeeze of lime, and/or fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, hot sauce or salsa

*Omit if making a dairy-free version.


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the optional toppings, in the slow cooker. Gently stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours, until beef shreds easily two forks.
  3. Shred the beef with two forks before serving, if desired. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, as needed. Add optional toppings of choice and serve warm. 

Freeze For Later:

Option 1 (Uncooked): Add all ingredients, except the optional toppings, to a gallon-sized freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.

Option 2 (Fully Cooked): Cook and completely cool the chili. Place in a freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen:

Option 1 (Uncooked): Thaw completely using one of these safe thawing methods. Dump all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Follow Steps 2 and 3.

Option 2 (Fully Cooked): Thaw completely using one of these safe thawing methods. Warm in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat, until warmed through. Stir occasionally.

Sweet and Savory Salmon

By Polly Conner
Freezer Friendly Sweet and Savory Salmon is a perfect marriage of sweet and savory marinade ingredients, along with the foil-cooking method, take salmon filets to a whole new level. Broiling at the very end is necessary to create caramelization on top.

I’m not a huge fish person.

I know, I know. The Omega-3s that are in fish are incredibly good for you and will help you to live until you’re 120, right? Despite my Omega-3 deprivation, I still rarely get salmon, or any other fish for that matter at the store. It’s just too…fishy.

However, thanks to this Sweet and Savory Salmon recipe, I am here to tell you that I am a converted woman. I can officially say that I now have a salmon recipe that I like and will for sure make again. (If I can convince my fish-deprived family to eat it that is.)

Freezer Friendly Sweet and Savory Salmon is a perfect marriage of sweet and savory marinade ingredients, along with the foil-cooking method, take salmon filets to a whole new level. Broiling at the very end is necessary to create caramelization on top.

Mmmm. The flavor is complex and hard to describe. It has a sweetness to it but it isn’t…sweet. It has this savory richness and a little bite from the fresh ginger that is balanced well with some rice. By broiling the salmon at the end of cooking it, you get this delicious caramelized top that only adds to the depth of flavor.

You know what makes this recipe even better? It is freezer friendly! Seriously. Just add your salmon to the marinade and freeze it in the zip-top bag. Super easy.

OK, enough gushing about the salmon recipe. Here it is.

Freezer Friendly Sweet and Savory Salmon is a perfect marriage of sweet and savory marinade ingredients, along with the foil-cooking method, take salmon filets to a whole new level. Broiling at the very end is necessary to create caramelization on top.

More Salmon Recipes

Here are few more salmon recipes from our collection you might enjoy…

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Freezer Friendly Sweet and Savory Salmon Recipe

Sweet and Savory Salmon

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A perfect marriage of sweet and savory marinade ingredients, along with the foil-cooking method, take salmon filets to a whole new level. Broiling at the very end is necessary to create caramelization on top.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (Gluten-free option: coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds salmon

Instructions

  1. In a large zip top bag, combine honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, green onion, red pepper, pepper, and salt. Zip shut and shake to combine.
  2. Add salmon filets, zip, and make sure salmon is covered in marinade. Set in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes, turning once or twice to evenly distribute marinade.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil.
  4. Remove salmon from marinade and place onto the prepared baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Pour the marinade over the salmon. Pinch the sides of the foil shut over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed but leaving a little space at the top.
  5. Place in oven and bake until cooked almost through, about 15-20 minutes.* Remove and open the packet. Turn on broiler (don’t worry about preheating it) and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred.
  6. Serving Suggestion: Garnish with green onions and serve salmon and the cooked sauce at the bottom of the foil pack over brown rice.
  7. *The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the filet. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork, no longer looks translucent and becomes a cloudy, pink color. Do not overcook!

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Complete Step 1, preparing marinade in zip top bag. Then, if salmon is not already frozen, place it in a separate zip top bag. Squeeze all air out of bags and seal. Freeze together immediately.
To Prepare:
Thaw bags in the refrigerator or using the cool water method (submerge sealed freezer bag in cold water until thawed, replacing water every 30 minutes). Then, prepare according to directions (Steps 2-5).

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

This Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is an easy breakfast idea AND a great freezer meal. Could you ask for more? Yep. You could. Because it is also a great recipe for a large family or for feeding a group of people. You’ll love it.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Oh, Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. How I love thee.

If I were to count the ways and reasons for my affection for thee, it would look something like this:

  • No matter the age, you are delicious to all who feast upon thy goodness.
  • You are easy to prepare whilst my mind is still half-asleep and the coffee has not yet taken its much needed effect.
  • Your ingredients are healthy to my bones, yet very affordable.
  • You assemble quickly and the freezer is kind to thee.
  • The combination of thy rich flavors combine with fresh coffee brings life to my soul upon a weary morning.
  • You are deceivingly filling, therefore providing myself and my offspring many leftovers to graze upon on the days to come.

Yes, apple cinnamon baked oatmeal. I love thee. I am proud to share thy secrets of your components with many readers today and many readers to come.

Serve them well, Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. Serve them well.

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Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Recipe

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This recipe is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.


Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups oats (quick or rolled)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (or substitute more oats)
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted (sub: avocado oil or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (your choice)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 apple, cored and finely diced (peeled or unpeeled is fine)
  • ¼ cup raisins

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish (or two 8×8 inch dishes).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flaxseed, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted (and cooled) butter, eggs, and milk.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until combined well. Gently stir in the walnuts, apples, and raisins.
  5. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve with warm milk and a bit more brown sugar on top, if desired.

Freeze For Later: Complete recipe through Step 4. DO NOT BAKE before freezing. Wrap casserole dish tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap and one of foil and place in the back of the freezer.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours and bake according to directions. If baking from frozen, cover oatmeal with foil and plan to bake longer, until the middle is cooked through. If cooking directly from frozen, the USDA states that, “it will take approximately one and a half times as long to cook.”

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches {Freezer Meal}

By Polly Conner

Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile, grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwich

Disclaimer: We are an affiliate of ButcherBox and have included links in this post.

It’s amazing what a great marinade can do to plain ole chicken.

For instance, this chicken sandwich would be ho-hum without the flavor-packed marinade the chicken sat in for a few hours. However, now it is restaurant quality. Seriously. It was SO good.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches are the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight! Just prep and freeze all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads. #freezermeal #realfood #thrivinghome

Everyone in my family liked it and I even used the leftover grilled chicken to put on some pasta for lunch the next day. Don’t box yourself in to just using this delicious, gourmet chicken for sandwiches. It is very versatile!

Also, in case you didn’t know, marinated chicken makes a GREAT freezer meal. Just double the marinade, throw half of it in a zip-top bag along with the uncooked chicken and freeze it that way. You can also throw the bun and toppings in a separate freezer bag. When you thaw the chicken in the fridge, the meat will soak up the flavor from the marinade. Result: a super easy and delicious chicken dinner.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches are the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight! Just prep and freeze all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads. #freezermeal #realfood #thrivinghome
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Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Create the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight by prepping and freezing all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads.


Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound uncured bacon, cooked and broken in half (try our No Fail Way to Cook Bacon)
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns (or make your own Homemade Hamburger Buns)
  • Optional toppings: BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard

*Updated ingredient on 8/3/20: This used to be 1 Tablespoon salt, but we found the marinade to be too salty.


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Make the Marinade: In a gallon-sized freezer bag, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger and paprika. Gently shake the bag to mix. Then set aside.
  2. Slice the Chicken: (Note: This step is essential for even cooking.) Carefully cut the chicken breasts lengthwise through the center to create two thin halves out of each breast. If needed, pound down the thicker parts to create cutlets that are the same thickness. 
  3. Marinate (or Freeze) the Chicken: Place the 6 chicken cutlets in the bag with the marinade, seal the bag, and shake to ensure the breasts are coated. (Freezing instructions begin here.) Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours to marinate.
  4. Cook the Chicken: Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade using tongs and add to grill. Discard remaining marinade. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side or until done. (Chicken is done when juices run clear or the internal temperature is 165° F.)
  5. Assemble the Sandwiches: On top of a bun, place 1 chicken breast, 1 slice cheese, some bacon, and optional toppings.

Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1-3 (do not marinate in refrigerator). Package the bacon and cheese slices separately in small freezer bags (or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil). To make a freezer meal kit, freeze the chicken in marinade alongside the bacon, cheese, and buns.

Prepare From Frozen: You’ll need the optional toppings on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the meal kit in the refrigerator. Follow the recipe beginning with Step 4.


Notes

We get our meat from ButcherBox. The bacon is uncured, contains no sugar, and is absolutely delicious! The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat and have used it for years ourselves.