Freezer cooking doesn't need to take all day or use up a wallet full of cash. The easiest way to begin freezer cooking is with 'batch cooking with club packs'. Basically, when large packages of meat are on sale at your local grocery store or Costco, buy a package and cook it or prep it for quick meals. It won't take you a whole weekend, just an hour or two in an afternoon, and you'll have a bag full of breakfast sausage and 3 meals of sweet-and-sour meatballs in the freezer (or some other fabulous meal!).
One frying pan freezer cooking!
For this plan, we're using a 6-7 pound package of ground pork from Costco. We'll make a freezer bag full of flash frozen sausage patties (3 pounds of it!) and 3 meals of sweet & sour meatballs, ready to just heat and serve.
Here's what you'll need:
- 6-7 pound package ground pork
- spices & seasonings (salt, pepper, fennel, thyme, sage, nutmeg, red pepper flakes)
- soft bread crumbs
- fresh produce (onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, ginger)
- 2 20 oz cans pineapple chunks
- apple cider vinegar
- soy sauce
Your first step is dividing the pork. You'll need 3 pounds for the breakfast sausage, 3 pounds for the sweet-and-sour meatballs, and one pound for the freezer if your package is larger than 6 pounds.
Freezer cooking breakfast sausage
Put the 3 pounds of ground pork in a large bowl, combine the seasonings (see the printable recipe below) and gently mix them with the pork. Shape the pork into small patties (I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup) and cook them in a large nonstick frying pan, about 6-7 minutes per side.
Then it’s on to the meatballs…
Use the same bowl (no need to wash it out!) and mix up the ingredients for the meatballs. Using a cookie scoop, form small meatballs. When the breakfast sausage has finished cooking, wipe out the pan and cook the meatballs until browned on all sides. No need to cook them through at this point. Put all the meatballs on a cookie sheet and pop into the oven for 10 minutes at 375 to finish cooking them through. (You can also just cook the meatballs in the oven without browning in a pan, but the flavor is much better with this step.)
While the meatballs are cooking, slice up your veggies and make the sauce. Cook the veggies in the same frying pan you used for the meatballs, following the directions outlined below.
Now all you need to do is prep everything for the freezer.
Place all the cooked sausage patties on a large cookie sheet and pop into the freezer until they are frozen. Then you can package them up and they won’t stick together (very easy to pull out just what you need each morning).
For the meatballs – portion the meatballs, pineapple, and cooked veggies between 3 freezer bags. Cool the sauce before dividing between the bags. Squeeze out all the air, zip the bags, and lay them flat in the freezer.
Now you have 3 meals, lots of breakfast sausage, and one extra pound of ground pork for another meal stashed away in your freezer.
Click the image below to download the complete plan: