Cooking for 2 people is hard. Most recipes are made to feed a family of 4, and unless you’re great at eating leftovers you almost always have food waste. Pre-portioning out your meals before you cook them is a great way to make sure you’re cooking only the amount you need. It’s also a great time and money saver.
All of the freezer meal recipes I made today were with ground beef, but I’ll be sharing some recipes soon that include chicken. When you’re cooking in a large batch it’s just easier to use one meat. I hit a good sale today and got about 7 lbs of 85/15 ground beef for $24, so make sure you’re on the lookout for a deal. I don’t like anything fattier than 85/15, and for some of these recipes (like the burgers) you really shouldn’t use anything else.
On a side note, cooking this much all at once is a commitment. Even though it doesn’t take all that long it does create lots of dirty dishes, so do yourself a favor and start with a clean kitchen and an empty dishwasher.
Last year, I replicated a post on Pinterest that was like, make “30 crockpot meals for your freezer in one afternoon!”. Smh…. don’t do it. Talk about a marathon- I thought I was never going to get out of my kitchen. It was horrible, but I couldn’t stop because I was halfway through cooking most of the meals. 10 in one afternoon is doable, 30 is not. Don’t kill yourself!
Also, to keep from getting bored with these freezer meals, mix in other meals in between. These 10 dinners will last us a month or so, because I’ll cook other things in between. You can’t eat all these at once, your tastebuds will get bored.
So what’s on the menu for our 10 dinners for 2? Well, we’ve got 3 quarts of spaghetti sauce, two meatloaves, 4 1/4 lb onion burgers, and 3 Taco Mac n’ Cheese casseroles (it sounds trashy, but it’s so good😊)
In addition to your 6-7 lbs ground beef you’re also going to need all of this:
- 1/4 white sugar
- 1 very large onion, small diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- Taco seasoning
- 1 can tomatoes with chilies
- 1 can tomatoes with basil and oregano
- 2 large cans crushed tomatoes with basil (I like Tuttoroso)
- 1 pouch tomato paste (1 1/2 oz)
- Dried oregano
- Kosher salt
- Ground mustard seed
- Montreal Steak seasoning
- 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
- Black beans
- 1 box of shell pasta or macaroni
- 1 bag shredded cheddar
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- EVOO for drizzling
You’re also going to need a few food storage essentials to get your meals freezer-ready.
- 2 foil loaf pans
- 3 quart sized soup containers
- 2 large freezer bags
- 3 small foil pans with lids(I got mine from the dollar tree)
- Aluminum foil
- Wax paper (optional)
Ok, so once you’ve gathered up all of your supplies and ingredients, it’s time to start cookin’!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 envelope onion soup
- 1 tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning
Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated:
Then divide into 4 equal portions and use a burger press to make them uniform (burger presses are nifty, I got mine at the dollar tree.)
Place two burgers between wax paper and place in freezer bags. These make huge burgers, I think mine were actually bigger than 1/4 lb because of the way my beef was divided.
First recipe I done!
- Remaining beef from first package… about 1 1/2 lbs, I think
- 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 2 tsps dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- Sprinkle of Montreal Steak seasoning
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix with your hands to get everything well incorporated.
Spray your two loaf pans with Pam, and divide mixture into pans. Pat down to form a loaf.
I don’t like ketchup, so I use the sauce on top sparingly but you could definitely make more of you like it.
For the topping combine:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsps dry ground mustard
Spread evenly over the top of your meatloaves
Cover your loaves tightly with aluminum foil and place in freezer. When you’re ready to bake them simply pop them in the oven, foil on, at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes longer.
Recipe #2 is done! Only two more to go!
Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce
- Remainder of diced onion, should be about 1 cup
- Remainder of minced garlic, should be around 1 tbsp
- 1 can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
- 1.5 oz tomato paste
- 2 large cans crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Remaining sugar, about 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- EVOO for drizzling
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
In a large pot (I used a small Dutch oven) brown ground beef over medium high heat. Drain well and set aside. Wipe out pot, no need to wash it yet.😉
Add about 1/2 tbsp of EVOO, onions and garlic to your pot and heat over medium high heat. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
Return ground beef to the pan and stir. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
Cover, and turn heat to low. Let simmer for an additional 20 minutes to get the flavors well mixed.
Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes before portioning it out into your quart containers.
When ready to use, just remove it from the freezer and heat it on the stove until bubbly. You may have to defrost it in the microwave for just a few minutes to get it out of the container.
This sauce is not only great on spaghetti, but great for baked ziti and stuffed shells too.
Okay, here’s the last one!
Taco Mac n’Cheese Casserole
- Remainder of the ground beef, about 1 1/2 lbs
- 1 can tomatoes with chilies
- 1 package taco seasoning (or if you buy the really big package, about 2 1/2 tbsp)
- 1 box shell pasta
- 1/4 cup plus 3 quarts water
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1/2 package velveeta, cut into cubes (or if you buy the one that has 5 small bricks, use 3)
- 1 bag shredded cheddar, divided in half
- Remaining 2 1/2 cups milk
Spray your foil pans and set aside.
Cook shell pasta according to package directions, but only until it’s al dente. You don’t want mushy pasta. Drain it well and set aside.
In a large saucepan, brown ground beef. Drain off fat and return to pan, with the taco seasoning and water. Heat until it gets bubbly.
In the same stock pot you used for the pasta, add the milk and heat on medium low heat. Add the velveeta and stir with a whisk, until you have a cheese sauce, it should be very thin.
Next, add the drained black beans, tomatoes, shells, and seasoned beef to the mixture and stir well. Mix in half of the shredded cheese.
Divide into the three prepared pans
Let cool for about 10 minutes then top with the lids the pans came with.
When ready to use them there are two methods to cook them. You do have to take the white lids off before baking.
- You can remove them from the freezer the night before and put them in the refrigerator. When ready, Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until bubbly.
- Or, you can put them in the oven directly from the freezer and bake at 375 for an 1 1/2 hours.
That’s it! You’ve made 10 meals for 2 people in about 2 hours. Pat yourself on the back and go watch some DIY Network!