Easy Freezy Casseroles

Beef enchiladas.... ready to go in the oven... or to be covered and frozen for another time.

This week is what I like to designate as “calm before the storm” week. Very soon, we will begin our last hay crop harvest of the year, then roll into corn and bean harvest, followed by cornstalk baling for bedding.  When that is all said and done, it will be Christmastime.  My days of leisure have been numbered, as I have committed to helping on the farm as much as possible during all the harvesting madness.  So I’ve been spending the week preping for it.  Casseroles and other meals in the freezer, bookwork caught up to date and filed away, deep house cleaning, and the like have been on the to-do list.

A few have requested that I share some freezer friendly recipes here.  Ask and ye shall receive. First, some recipes from my friend, fellow farmwife, and sort-of neighbor Jennifer.  I haven’t tried any of these recipes, but they sure make me hungry reading them!  My next grocery list will be based off of these recipes, for sure.

Easy Baked Ziti
Pam Gates of Duluth found this versatile and kid-friendly recipe several years ago and has since modified it to suit her taste. While the ziti bakes, she makes a salad and heats a loaf of Italian bread. “I have also added cheddar cheese and mushrooms, ” she says. “Sometimes I divide it into two 8-inch square baking dishes, then bake one and freeze one.”
Hands on time: Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 8
Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
3 cups ziti, or your favorite pasta, under-cooked and drained (about 6 cups cooked)
1 (26-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, brown meat and drain. Stir in ziti, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon into 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake 20 minutes.
Nutrition:
Per serving: 556 calories (percent of calories from fat, 49), 26 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 30 grams fat, 81 milligrams cholesterol, 792 milligrams sodium.

Country Casserole
2 cups small shell pasta, cooked and drained
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
One can French fried onions, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use canned chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine everything in a large bowl, reserving half of the cheese and half of the onions for topping later. Spoon into 9×13 casserole dish. Bake for twenty five minutes. Top with remaining onions and cheese, bake until cheese is melted, about five minutes more.
Freezing options: Instead of freezing this in your casserole dish, simply spoon it into a gallon ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat so that it will thaw out quicker and place it in your freezer. On the day you want it, take it out the night before and refrigerate or place in fridge that morning.
If you forget to do all of this, no sweat! Just microwave the bag until it thaws just a bit, pour into your casserole, and bake!
To bake a casserole that is still frozen, simply place in the oven while the oven preheats. This allows the casserole to thaw quickly and then bake to perfection!

SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
From Simple & Delicious
INGREDIENTS
1 package (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (used mozzarella cheese)
DIRECTIONS
— Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from the heat.
— Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8-in. square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers.
— Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until cheese is melted.
TO USE FROZEN CASSEROLE: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

Crescent Chicken Bundles Recipe 
• 8 Servings
• Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min.
Ingredients
• 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
• 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
• 2 tablespoons minced chives
• 2 tablespoons whole milk
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
• 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
• 1 cup crushed seasoned stuffing
Directions
• In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, chives, milk, salt and pepper until blended. Stir in chicken.
• Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into eight rectangles; press perforations together. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture in the center of each rectangle. Bring edges up to the center and pinch to seal. Brush with remaining butter. Sprinkle with crushed croutons, lightly pressing down.
• Transfer to two ungreased baking sheets. Cover one baking sheet and freeze until firm; transfer squares to a covered freezer container. May be frozen for up to 2 months. Bake remaining squares at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
• To use frozen squares: Thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed. Yield: 8 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 363 calories, 21 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 622 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein.

Breakfast Burritos Recipe 
• 10 Servings
• Prep: 20 min. + freezing
Ingredients
• 12 bacon strips, diced
• 12 eggs, lightly beaten
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 10 flour tortillas (8 inches)
• 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Directions
• In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1-2 tablespoons drippings. Add eggs, salt and pepper to drippings; cook and stir over medium heat until the eggs are completely set.
• Spoon about 1/4 cup of egg mixture down the center of each tortilla; sprinkle with cheese, onions and reserved bacon. Fold bottom and sides of each tortilla over filling. Wrap each in waxed paper and aluminum foil.. Freeze for up to 1 month.
• To use frozen burritos: Remove foil. Place waxed paper-wrapped burritos on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 60% power for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 20 seconds. Yield: 10 burritos.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 449 calories, 30 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 291 mg cholesterol, 626 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 18 g protein.
Mostaccioli Casserole Recipe 
• 12 Servings
• Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min.
Ingredients
• 1 package (16 ounces) mostaccioli
• 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
• 1-1/4 cups chopped green pepper
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
• 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
• 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
• 3/4 teaspoon pepper
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
Directions
• Cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, soup, Italian seasoning and pepper.
• Drain mostaccioli. Add mostaccioli and 1-1/2 cups cheese to beef mixture. Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted.
• To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 351 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 633 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein.. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 fat.
Spaghetti Ham Bake Recipe 
• 12 Servings
• Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.
Ingredients
• 2 packages (7 ounces each) thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
• 4 cups cubed fully cooked ham
• 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
• 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
• 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives, optional
• 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
• 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
TOPPING:
• 2 cups soft bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Directions
• Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in the ham, soup, sour cream, mushrooms, onion, olives if desired, mustard, seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce.
• Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs and butter; add cheese. Sprinkle over casseroles.
• Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 2 months. Bake the remaining casserole, uncovered, at 325° for 30 minutes or until heated through.
• To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

One for the oven, one for the freezer. A whole bunch of time saved!!

Thanks so much for sharing these Jennifer!  I cannot wait to try the breakfast burritos, spaghetti ham, and chicken crescents especially!  And, here are some links from my archives:

Upside Down Pizza

Oatmeal Pancakes

Super Yummy Meatballs

Cowboy Casserole

Beef Enchiladas

If anyone has any great suggestions or recipes for the freezer, I’m all ears!!

Hazel says, "Summer is over. Bring on harvest!"

Advertisements

2 responses to this post.

  1. Love your recipes. (I’ve been making chicken crescents for years.)

    Right now I’m freezing stuffed peppers & cabbage rolls because our garden is plentiful.

    I’ll have to try some of your other recipes because once harvest time rolls around, our lives get crazy,

  2. I am just getting started making dinners and freezing them – I have done lasagna several times and now when I make it I make at least 4 and freeze them for later. It saves so much time and is not very much extra work. Thanks for sharing your recipes – I will have to try some of them!

    Sarah from The House That Ag Built

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: