Want to throw a freezer meal party? Freezer meals are one of the best ways to meal prep when you are expecting a busy time in your life. Which, in my case, is almost always as a mother. I have phases of time when I feel like I am on top of things and cooking/planning a meal isn’t a big deal. But there are most definitely frequent times when cooking and preparing is hard to do. I have been experimenting with Instant Pot meals and freezer meals to cut down on the stress of meal prep and have become a big fan of Emily Ley’s new book A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living. A significant portion of the book is dedicated to helping you to plan and prepare meals that offer happy family memories and days that you can enjoy instead of stressing about what is for dinner.
I am also so inspired by the Light The World initiative that it happening right now which inspires us to honor Christ’s birth by serving others around us in 25 ways as we count down to Christmas. I wanted to find a way that would touch lives near me as well as serve others in need in a real way. I invited women in my neighborhood to come together to double a recipe in efforts to feed the hungry and the response was incredible. Initially I was planning to have everyone bring their favorite recipe so we could recipe swap and prep meals for our families and give. If I was doing this on a bi-weekly/monthly with a consistent group of people I would for sure do this, but because it was more about quantity in our efforts we opted to offer two recipes we knew would freeze and serve up well.
This is the sign up sheet that I passed around at church for the ladies to volunteer their time and let me know which recipe appealed to them most. This way I knew how much chicken and other ingredients I would need. You can download and print this sign up for free here.
I made sure to ask for a text reminder so that those who signed up would remember the event! I am always running around like a crazy person so I figured this would be a good thing to ask. You will also want to decide if you want those coming to bring their own ingredients or if you will be providing a main ingredient for others to use.
I decided to make a bunch of shredded chicken using my instant pot and I was able to cook up 60 lbs of chicken in a hurry. As a reference, I cooked about 5 lbs of frozen chicken breasts in 20 minutes on manual (high) in the instant pot. I would then take out the chicken breasts and put them in a big bowl and mix them with a hand mixer before putting them in a freezer friendly zip lock bag. Of course you could use a standing mixer if you’re fancy and you have one to use! 🙂
This was a service event so we were able to purchase all of the ingredients beforehand and have them ready to assemble and prep together.
Items you may want to have with you are:
disposable cooking pans (we found the best price at the dollar store)
Serving dishes and bowls
A sign for instruction of how much of an ingredient in a doubled/tripled batch.
The main two dishes we created were Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken pillows. You can find the recipe for the chicken enchiladas HERE
We put together an assembly line so each person could fill and prep the bowl with a few ingredients and then pass the mixture down the line for quick prep. The ladies worked so well as a team and we had such a blast doing it. Notice the sign with what to add?
We all joked afterward that we should do this more often because we had such a good time prepping the meals together. Keep in mind that this recipe can become gluten free if you use corn tortillas, which some of the ladies opted for.
The other recipe we prepared were Chicken Pillows.
- 8 oz Cream Cheese Mix Cream cheese and melted butter together
- 1/4 C melted butter
- 3-4 Chopped Green Onions
- 2-3 C Cooked Chicken Shredded or diced
- 1/4 C sautéed mushrooms optional
- 2 Cans Crescent Rolls
- 1/3 C butter melted
- 2/3 C bread crumbs/cracker crumbs
- Place a scoop of chicken mixture in the large end of a crescent roll wedge and roll up, pinching edges to seal. Roll in butter and then seasoned bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes. This freezes well, thaw before baking and add an extra 10 minutes or so depending on the coolness of the biscuits.Serve with or without chicken gravyMakes 16, 2-3 dumplings per serving.
We hope that you can find one way to “Feed the Hungry” this holiday season whether that is within the walls of your own home or by helping someone else in need. If you are looking for more ways to serve in simple ways please watch the video below and learn how you can #ShareTheLight.