I’ve written before about items that are good to always keep in your pantry. On a similar vein, it can be helpful to keep your freezer continually stocked with certain food products as well. Everyone has different needs and preferences, but these are things I regularly keep stocked in my freezer:
- Quick easy meals. These can be grocery store Chinese takeout-style meals, store-bought or homemade casseroles, lasagna, hamburgers and French fries, fish fillets, chicken tenders, or frozen pizza. These meals can range from healthy to processed. There are times when I need some meals that can be thrown in the oven or microwave fast and be ready without a lot of effort.
- Cooked chicken. I like to cook a whole chicken in my slow cooker or roast one in my oven and then pull it apart. I divide the chicken among several freezer-safe containers, label them, and pop them in the freezer. Then I have cooked chicken ready to toss in casseroles, or my favorite thing to do is reheat the chicken in a skillet with some Tikka Masala sauce and serve it alongside basmati rice and naan for an Indian-inspired meal. (I also keep a package of naan in my freezer for these times.)
- Breakfast items like sausage patties and hash browns. My family enjoys a big home-cooked breakfast on the weekends, so we make sure to have all the supplies on hand.
- Frozen vegetables. When I don’t have time to pick up fresh veggies from the store, it’s good to be able to fall back on some frozen veggies like steamable broccoli or a California mix.
- Frozen fruit. This is good for desserts like crisps, cobblers, or pie. Frozen fruit also is great for making smoothies or for mixing into oatmeal or pancake batter.
- Cool Whip, or its generic equivalent. I keep at least one tub of this in the freezer for hot chocolate (we top our hot chocolate with Cool Whip rather than marshmallows) and for times when we want a topping for pie, brownies, or apple crisp.
- Freezer jam. This is easy to make using fresh fruit, and it keeps for several months in the freezer. My family prefers it over store-bought jam.
What basics or staples do you keep in your freezer?