LOOKING for: Casseroles to Freeze

woodie2September 23, 2005

I've been preparing meals to take to my parents home that they can put in the freezer and easily reheat. Luckily, they both love soup so I've making different soups for them, however, it's getting boring!

I'd love some new recipes for casseroles that I can freeze in small portions for a senior citizen to easily reheat. I'm really looking for a well balanced one dish meal, veggies, meat and a starch all together, soft and easy to chew would be important for those dentures, too :-)

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What about lasagna made with spinach, zucchini and maybe some other vegies? Made with a meat sauce it would have all the ingredients you're looking for.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 3:17PM
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Woodie, I'm so glad you started this thread. I've been looking for things to "stock" Amanda's freezer for when the baby is born, so she won't have to cook for the first couple of weeks. I've thought of lasagna, meatballs, cabbage rolls, then I get stuck.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 3:17PM
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Here are some things I cooked for my in-laws when DMIL was no longer able to get a decent meal on the table. Sorry but most of these are "in my head" recipes.

Beef Stew
Chicken Stew
Chicken Pot Pie
Shepherds Pie with veggies
Vegetable quiche
Chicken Cacciatore(sp?) with lots of veggies
Macaroni,Cheese,Ham and Broccoli Casserole
Stuffed Peppers
Cabbage rolls
Chicken Divan
Meatballs with bell peppers, onion and tomatoes

Hope this helps, it's a challenge, I know. I also did "TV" dinners made from our meals. Just cooked a bit more and then used divided containers to make up plates for them. Bit trickier on the cook side than a one dish meal though.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 4:14PM
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This would work. Just don't add the potatoes when you freeze it.
2 lbs stew beef, cubed
2 medium onions, sliced thin
3 stalks celery, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup tomato juice
1/3 cup tapioca
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
2 or 3 potatoes, cubed in medium pieces

Combine all but potatoes in a 2 1/2 qt casserole. Cover & bake in a preheated 325 oven for 3 1/2 hours. Put potatoes on last hour. Stir occasionally.

CHICKEN & SPAGHETTI (serves 10-12)
8 chicken breast halves, skin on
2 cups water
3/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup margarine or butter, divided
1/2 lb spaghetti, noodles broken in half
3 TBL flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb cooked ham, skin & fat removed, diced in 1/4" cubes
5 oz slivered almonds (1/2 cup)
3/4cup grated Parmesan

In a large saucepan over medium-hihgh heat, combine the chicken breasts with the water. Bring to a boil & reduce the to low. Simmer the chicken covered, until thoroughly cooked, about 30 minute. Set aside, resreving both the chicken & the cooking liquid. Remove the chicken from its bones & rip into large bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin & bones. Put the chicken pieces in an airtight container & set aside. Allow the liquid the chicken cooked in to cool. Skim the fat from the top & strain. Pour the strained liquid over the chicken & refrigerate overnight.

Grease a 3 qt baking dish & set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the mushrooms in 1 TBL of the margarine or butter, stirring frequently until softened. Set aside. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water for about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water & set aside.

Melt remaining 3 TBL margarine or butter in amedium skillet over medium heat. Slowly add the flour & whisk until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups of the liquid from teh chicken, whisking as you do. Reduce the heat to medium-low & cook the sauce, whisking often, until it thickens. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the wine & cream & season w/salt to taste. Mix gently to combine, and set aside.
Drain off & discard any remaining liquid from teh chicken. In a large pot, combine the spaghetti, cream sauce, chicken, ham, mushrooms & slmonds & mix well. Tramsfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with the Parmesan & sprinkle w/paprika to taste. Cover well & refrigerate for 3-12 hours or freeze for up to 3 months.

If frozen, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator & let sit 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 350° & bake, uncovered for 45 minute until thoroughly heated. (Less time if in small servings.)~~

1/2 lb thin spaghetti,
6 TBL butter, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan
15 oz container while milk ricotta or small curd cottage cheese
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced, optional
1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced, optional
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
2 TBL Italian seasoning
6 oz can tomato paste
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 oz grated Mozzarella (2 cups)

Grease a 9x13" baking dish & set aside. Cook the spaghetti per pkg directions & drain. Put 4 TBL of the butter into the hot pot used to boil the spaghetti & return the spaghetti to the pot. Add the Parmesan & mix until the butter melts. Poru the spaghetti mixture into the prepared baking dish & spread it across the bottom & up the sides of the dish as if making a crust. Spread the ricotta on top of the spaghetti mixture & set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the onion & the mushrooms & bell pepper with the garlic in the remaining 2 TBL butter for about 3 minutes. Add the beef & brown it, crumbling it into small bits as it cooks. Pour off the fat as it accumulates. Mix in the Italian seasoning, tomato paste & crushed tomatoes & cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Spoon the ground beef mixture on top of the ricotta. Cover & refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months.
If frozen, allow the pie to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes until it starts to bubble around the sides. Top w/the mozzarella & bake 5-10 minutes more. Remove from oven & let sit for 10 minutes vefore serving.~~

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 4:40PM
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Thanks so much! Great ideas and recipes and thank goodness, Ginger, you didn't disappoint me and you have included a recipe that uses heavy cream :-)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 5:19PM
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Here's an old standby by Diana Rattray.

Chicken Tetrazzini

3 to 4 cups cooked chicken
salt and pepper
8 ounces fine noodles or spaghetti, cooked and drained
6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
paprika, optional

Preheat oven to 425°.
Cook spaghetti or noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat; sauté sliced mushrooms until golden.
In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter; stir in flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until smooth; add chicken broth and cream. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened. Add chicken, cooked mushrooms, and sherry; heat through. Place noodles or spaghetti in a buttered baking dish; pour on sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
serves 8.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 5:22PM
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You're welcome. If there are a lot of typos, it's becaues I'm wearing an eye patch & my space bar keeps skipping. What about stuffed peppers?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 7:08PM
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How about:
scallopped potatoes with ham chunks
meatballs in gravy
turkey & stuffing (dressing)moistened with gravy
salisbury steak -Ann T's recipe is great
kibasa , sauerkraut, onion & noodles
meatloaf done in layers-meatloaf,sliced potatoes,shredded cheese, meatloaf
make a cobbler type dish-use any chunked meat, gravy, peas instead of fruit
french toast & pancakes -just pop in micro

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 7:29PM
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How about Fried Potatoes with Kielbasa,onions and Red Bell Pepper? It's a real hit here.

Beef Lasagna is good with sliced zuchinni sandwiched inside.

I make a Brunswick Stew with Chicken (cooked until it is in small shreds), chopped onions, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes, corn, potatoes and lima beans. You could add anything into it that they like such as hot pepper. It freezes beautifully.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 7:59PM
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8 oz. egg noodles (your favorite size)
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
2 cups chicken broth (homemade or canned)
1 cup milk
1 small can mushrooms (we use pieces and stems)
2 tsp. salt (or slightly less to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt margarine, then whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and broth (separately or can be mixed); then stir in seasonings and mushrooms. Combine chicken, cooked noodles and prepared sauce. Put in ungreased 9x13" baking pan and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

This can be made ahead and heated when needed but will take slightly longer to heat completely through. I have also made this in the microwave--microwave on 80% power for about 10 minutes if freshly made, longer if from refrigerator.

Optional: You can add whatever vegetables your family especially likes. We like the original version better and have the vegetables on the side along with salad.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 9:07PM
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Thanks so much, everyone! I'm really getting some terrific recipes and ideas here. My folks will be happy (and so will Ken :-)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 10:18AM
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Woodie, what about making stuffed shells? That is how I'd sneak spinach into my family without them knowing it! I used the recipe on the back of the box of shells, chose a premade marinara sauce and added both mozzarella and parmesan to the mix as well as sprinkling it on top. Good meal, multiple portions to freeze and contains meat and two veggies.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 1:29AM
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My stuffed crêpes recipe originally came from a Spanish freezer cookbook. I did freeze them a couple of times. Since then I've tried it with many variations for serving the same day. I've made them with salmon and Swiss chard, diced stewed veal and this original way, chicken and spinach. They are certainly soft and easy to eat !


Crêpe mixture:
Makes 10 - 12 large dinner crêpes : 6 3/4 inches (17 cms) diameter
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups (8 oz.) flour
4 eggs
salt & pepper

1) Combine ingredients and mix well with beater. Let stand one hour if possible but not necessary.

2) Make crêpes in non-stick pan, size according to finished crepe length, wiping pan with a cotton ball dipped in oil between each crêpe. (Use tongs to hold cotton.)

3) Carefully turn over each crêpe with a metal spatula after a couple of minutes when underside is lightly golden and cook topside. Arrange on plate as you make them.

Filling: Enough for 10 large crêpes
fresh spinach 2 large bunches to make 1 1/2 cups drained and cooked
2 small chicken breasts, cooked and diced to make 4 cups
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup sultana raisins
1/2 to 1 cup medium thick white sauce (bechamel)
3 TBS cream cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teasp nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
oil and butter for browning

1) If you are not freezing them, preheat oven to 350F.

Steam spinach and sauté chicken in frying pan until cooked. Drain and chop spinach.
Dice Chicken. Prepare bechamel.

2) Sauté onion in pan in butter on medium low heat. When transparent add spinach, diced chicken, raisins, nutmeg, salt & pepper.

3) Stir in beaten egg, add cream cheese cut in small pieces, 1/2 the bechamel and stir gently until all is well blended.

4) Form the crêpes by dropping about 2 - 3 TBS filling in a sausage shape down the centre of each crêpe. Roll one side up over the filling and then bring over other side and place seam side down in a rectangular oiled oven dish. (Check the height of the dish is the same or larger than the diameter of your crêpes so they fit.)

5) Spoon the rest of the bechamel over the crêpes and sprinkle liberally with grated parmesan cheese.


Let cool, cover with foil or plastic wrap and freeze. To thaw - let thaw from 10 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, then top with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and cook as in step 6.

You could freeze them in separate lots of two or three, in which case they'd be best frozen in little tinfoil trays which could then be thawed and placed in the oven.

6) Cook on centre oven rack at 350F for 20 - 30 minutes or until top is golden.
Serve with another sprinkle of parmesan over them.

Note: Leftover filling can be refrigerated and used in an omlette or for other stuffing. Leftover unfilled crêpes may be frozen and filled later. Stack them with a sheet of plastic or foil between each crêpe and wrap well.

These are quite bland. You may want to add some curry powder, chili powder, BBQ spices or other seasoning if you prefer a stronger flavour.

Adapted from: "Comer Bien - Cocinar Primero, Congelar Despues - las recetas más prácticas".


    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 6:06AM
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The only thing missing from this list is a broccoli (16 oz. chopped frozen, cooked), cheese (3 cups shredded) and rice (3 cups cooked) casserole. I always end up adding a large onion (diced and cooked over medium heat until carmelized), 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, and some chicken (2 cups) for a complete meal. This makes at least 3 full size casseroles, or lots of mini ones for the freezer.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 10:57PM
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What about breakfast casseroles, I have several different breakfast casseroles, if that is needed also. I made up breakfast burritos and froze for my Mom that could be easily heated in the microwave.

Tater tot casserole is a good lunch/dinner casserole that has meat and veggies and would freeze well.

Brown 1 lb. ground beef and chopped onions and drain.
Put in 9X13 pan.
Top with frozen mixed vegetables(or your choice.)
Cover with cream of chicken or mushroom soup.
Lay tater tots on top.
Bake 350 for one hour.
Top with cheese, if desired.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 12:47AM
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Thanks for resurrecting this thread and for the new recipes. I'm hungry and I haven't eaten breakfast yet, I wish I could have a nice hot dish of broccoli casserole and a few tater tots right this minute! Much better than oatmeal.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 8:04AM
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Woodie, I am making Paula Deen's Baked Spaghetti to take to the field today and just thought about this post. I bet it would freeze well and you could adjust the seasonings to their taste.

It is baking and sure smells good, if you want the recipe I will post it when I get back from the field. I found it on www.recipezaar.com.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 12:15PM
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Trixie, I'd love that recipe, thanks!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 5:03PM
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It was pretty good, I used 2 lbs. of ground beef instead of 1 1/2 lbs., 3 8z. cans of garlic roasted tomatoe sauce and used thin spaghetti, next time I will add a little more seasoning.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:11PM
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Classic Crowd-Pleasing Tuna Casserole

3/4 cup green pepper, diced
3 cups celery, diced
2 onions, diced
1/4 cup butter
3 cans mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheese
24 oz. noodles
3 cans tuna (9 oz, each)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cups pimiento
1 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Cook green peppers, celery and onions in butter.

Combine mushroom soup and milk.

Add with cheese to vegetables, stir over low heat.

Cook noodles, drain.

Combine with tuna, mayonnaise and pimiento.. Pour sauce over.

Top with almonds.

If you want to freeze it, do it at this point.

Bake at 425 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Serves 24.

I have it down to a science now, but I freeze my family sized portions in ziplock bags and just thaw and dump into a corningware dish to cook. I also freeze the occasional really large casserole dish of this (maybe half the recipe), since we rarely have big crowds at our house.

Enjoy. If you don't like tuna, this can also be made with leftover chicken or turkey.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 9:29PM
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Thanks to Homemaker (I love tuna casserole) and to Trixie. Trixie, I was having trouble on this oldlaptop of mine and I couldn't get on to recipezaar earlier, thanks for the link, it works perfectly with my tempermental computer now. Sounds good too!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 9:51PM
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Has anyone tried Mexican Lasagne? Came from TASTE OF HOME, and w/ the addition of green chilis and maybe some black olives, it's a winner. chery2 [Will post if it's hard to find.]

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 2:45PM
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Chery, I'd love that recipe if you have a chance to post it, no hurry!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 6:23PM
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