Start with one thing, like Ground Beef Mix or Basic Beef Starter and prepare future meals in less time. Or try some freezer-ready dishes that you can make ahead and have ready the next time you're wondering, "What's for dinner?" You'll also find some fabulous Freezer Tips from other readers.
From Newark, Ohio, Candace Robinson shares her secret to succulent suppers—Ground Beef Mix. She seasons a batch of ground beef, divides it into meal-size portions and keeps it in the freezer. With a few additional ingredients, she can quickly whip up Bacon Meat Loaf, Beef-Stuffed Shells and Meatballs with Gravy.
For Bacon Meat Loaf, Candace thaws a portion of Ground Beef Mix, shapes it into a loaf and covers it with tomato sauce and bacon. Since there's little preparation before popping it in the oven, this main dish is ideal for busy weeknights.
To assemble Beef-Stuffed Shells (shown above), Candace fills jumbo pasta shells with her beef mixture, then tops them off with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Add a green salad and breadsticks for a made-in-moments meal.
Preparing comfort food is a cinch when you have a batch of Ground Beef Mix in the freezer. In Meatballs with Gravy, Candace tops hot cooked noodles with mouth-watering meatballs smothered in a savory sauce.
Amie Wollgast prepares Basic Beef Starter, a savory combination of ground beef, onions and garlic. Then she stores it in her freezer. "This mixture has saved me many hours in the kitchen," says the Florissant, Missouri cook. It gives a head start on Beef-Stuffed Peppers and Start-Ahead Stroganoff.
Use a container of Amie's beef mix and your microwave oven to make Beef-Stuffed Peppers in minutes. Green peppers are stuffed with the ground beef blend, tomato sauce, rice and seasonings.
It only takes a few moments to stir up this hearty Start-Ahead Stroganoff when you have a portion of Amie's basic beef mix on hand. Simply combine it with canned mushrooms and a few other items, and simmer gently. Then ladle servings over cooked noodles for a sensational supper in no time.
Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas are likely to be as popular at your house as they are at Kaylin DeVries' home. "I have many requests for this recipe," relates the Magna, Utah reader. "For weddings, I place the recipe in a nice casserole dish to give as a gift."
Janice Garvert dresses up English muffins with sausage and cheese to make Mini Sausage Pizzas. "My husband and son really enjoy these handheld breakfast pizzas in the morning," remarks the Plainville, Kansas cook.