I don't know about you, but I don't have a gazillion casserole dishes laying around my kitchen waiting to be used. I have a few and if I started filling them all and storing them in my freezer I wouldn't have anything left to cook with. So this is what I do when I'm storing my meals.
First I line the casserole dish with foil. This was a meal I froze last week called Baked Rice and Artichoke Hearts.
Then I put the food in and let it freeze until it's hard. As soon as it's hardened I slip the frozen meal, still in the foil, out of my casserole dish.
Then I wrap it up tight (sometimes just in foil, other times in a Ziploc bag if it fits) tuck the cooking directions into the wrapping and store it in my freezer.
When it's time to cook it I unwrap it, pop it back into the pan foil and all, and cook it. This not only keeps my dishes free to use for other things but I also don't have to wash my dish because the tin foil liner keeps it from getting dirty.
If I'm freezing soups, stews or chili's I let them cool completely and pour them into gallon size freezer bags. I squeeze out the air and seal them up tight. Then lay them on their sides so they will freeze in a flat square that can be stacked in minimal space. When ready to use I run the bag under warm water until the food seperates from the bag enough that it can be squeezed out into a pot to reheat. Sometimes I also freeze soups in plastic containers in portion sizes to be pulled out for a quick one-man lunch or easily transportable meal.
So next time you find yourself with enough ingredients to double a recipe, make sure you put one in the freezer for a busy day. You'll be so happy that you did.
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***I had so many questions to this post that I wrote part two HERE.