Passionate About Columbus
and the Moms Who Live Here

Easy Summer Eats: 6 Freezer Meals for the Grill

freezermealsgrill2

I’m going to let you in on a little trick I use to avoid cooking during the summer:  Freezer to Grill Recipes!  I take 1-2 hours during naptime and put 12-15 marinated meat recipes into freezer bags. Then later, I hand my hubby a bag of meat and say, “hey, wanna grill tonight?”  Seriously though, I think he’s on to my ruse by now, but it has made summer dinner time a lot more fun than it used to be!

Here’s how to make it work:

1. Make your shopping list, checking to see what ingredients you already have on hand. Buy your meat within 1-2 days of preparing the meals. It really should be fresh, not frozen, to avoid having to thaw and then refreeze the meat.

2. Make sure there is room in your freezer to freeze the bags flat. I use a flat plastic plate and put two or three bags on top of each other while they freeze.

3. Prepare your freezer bags ahead of time by labeling and dating them.

labels

4. Assemble all of your ingredients on your work space. It might get a little crazy, but once you get started, you’ll be glad you don’t have to go digging for something you need!

ingredients

5. Do one recipe at a time, filling each bag with the marinade and then adding the meat.

marinadebags

6. Try to get all of the air out of the bag, seal and then massage the meat through the bag in order to cover the meat with the marinade.

7. Let the bags marinate in the refrigerator (laid flat) for at least a couple of hours, up to one day, before freezing. For me this is usually a process of marinating, moving and freezing that can take up to 2 days!

refrigerator

8. Move the bags into the freezer, stored flat, until completely frozen and then store standing upright to save space.

9. Take the meat out of the freezer the night before you plan to grill it, and thaw on a plate in the refrigerator. If your meat needs more thawing before it’s time to cook, place bag in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for faster thawing.

10. Round out the meal with a vegetable and some rice and you’re good to go!

grilled

 

The recipes, as written, are for ONE bag/meal. Double the ingredients to do two, etc.

Teriyaki Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8-10 boneless chicken thighs
1 clove crushed garlic
1.5 Tablespoons minced ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1.5 Tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1.5 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Recipe adapted from A Cultivated Nest

Chili Maple Glazed Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8-10 boneless chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon chili powder

Recipe adapted from A Cultivated Nest

Korean Pork Chops

4 pork chops
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium
2 Tablespoons honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
black pepper to taste

Recipe adapted from Jo Cooks

Chicken Shawarma

8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon ground cardamon
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats

Teriyaki Pork Chops

4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste (sprinkle before adding to bag)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup chicken broth

Recipe adapted from Saving You Dinero

Flank Steak for Tacos

2 lbs. flank steak
4 minced garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, minced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 orange
¼ cup olive oil

Recipe adapted from NeighborFood (who happens to be a Columbus blogger!)

A few tips:

  • Remember, these are marinades, not science projects, so if you’re missing a minor ingredient, or have to use a little less than the recipe calls for, it’s probably not a huge deal. If you want to use chicken breasts instead of thighs, no problem! The whole point of this exercise is to reduce stress in your life! It is easy to double or triple each of these recipes so you can stock your freezer.
  • Don’t store too many bags on top of each other during the marinating or freezing stage or the bags may pop. Once the bags are frozen, they can be stacked on top of each other or stored standing in order to save space.
  • Keep a list on the outside of your freezer that reminds you what meals you have frozen and cross them off as you use them. This will keep you from having to dig through the freezer to remember what’s in there!
  • If you don’t have a grill (or it’s winter and you’re reading this) these recipes can be baked, cooked on the stovetop, or even put in the crockpot.

Here’s to easier meal prep and more time spent outside with your families this summer! Enjoy!

 

 

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