A Good Freezer Meal – Tater Tot Casserole

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Y’all, I’ve been following the blog Hallee the Homemaker for a long time now.  If you like a honest blog, one with good food and good family values, make sure you subscribe to Hallee the Homemaker. I asked Hallee to write a post for y’all and she knew I was working on freezer meals for The Bean, so she’s sharing a GREAT freezer meal with us today…and in case you didn’t know, it’s the family favorite of the Duggars. :-)

Image by Tasty Planner

I have been reading and participating in homemaking blogs for over three years now, and one thing that a lot of bloggers really enjoy doing is “freezer cooking”.  They buy a whole bunch of supplies, and spend a day or two in the kitchen making several meals, freezing the meals, and then they can just pull a meal or pre-prepped ingredients for a meal out of the freezer as needed.

It’s a great idea and one that a lot of people have great success with.  However, for me, spending that much time in the kitchen just to save meal prep time just doesn’t appeal to me.  I think I really enjoy the art of cooking for my family on a regular basis, and the time it would eventually save me just doesn’t seem worth the time and energy it would take to properly do the freezer cooking.

However, Jill Bond, author of Mega Cooking, has a BRILLIANT method of freezer cooking that doesn’t require two full days in the kitchen.

Image by Mr. T in DC

You pick one night a week to be your cooking extra day.  Let’s say it’s a Tuesday.  So, on Tuesday, if you have spaghetti in your menu plan, when you cook the spaghetti sauce, make more of it.  As much as you’re capable of making.  It is hardly any more work to make one quart of sauce or seven quarts of sauce.  It’s just a matter of volume.

The next week, on Tuesday, if you’re making meatloaf, make seven meatloaves instead of one.  Then, one day that week, have spaghetti on your menu.  You have now removed cooking one night during the week.

The next Tuesday, if tacos are on your menu, make refried beans and taco meat times seven.  Then, one day that week, have meatloaf, and another day, have spaghetti.  You have now cut out cooking for two nights that week.

If you continue on this trend, after seven weeks, you could conceivably only be cooking on Tuesday nights.  Or, if you have an event coming up (like, oh I don’t know, say an addition to your beautiful family like Miss Stacy here), you can prep your freezer so that you won’t have to cook for a month after said event.

According to Jill Bond, the following is the best “starter” freezer meal.  I’m going to give you the ingredients and prep for one recipe, and I’m going to give you the ingredients and freezer instructions for four recipes:

Hallee

Hallee is a follower of a Christ and a child of God. She loves and respects her husband passionately, and strives to make his home a beacon of comfort and love in this violent world. She has three amazing children, whom you will read about below.Once a professional woman in suits and heels six days a week, her life now is a bit unconventional. She’s an advocate for the Titus 2 model of a womanhood. Research has taught her how horribly unhealthy the food sitting on grocery shelves is for her family, and Hallee has made it a personal commitment to make as much as she possibly can from scratch, using wholesome and whole real food ingredients. She grinds flour, bakes bread, makes cookies and cakes, makes crackers, salad dressings…if it can be made, she finds a way to make it, keeping the constraints of their family’s devotion to following a Levitcal diet.


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her two children, Annie (June 2009) and Andy (August 2012). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.

  • Fran K

    Thankyou, thank you! Finding real food recipes for the freezer has been a bit of a challenge! This is perfect. Got any more?????? lol

  • Rebekah

    I have a child with mushroom allergies. What could I sub for the cream of mushroom?

    • Stacy

      I’m not sure what Hallee would do, but I would use cream of celery instead. Just substitute celery instead of mushrooms in the cream-of recipe.

      • Rebekah

        Thanks, Stacy!

        • Stacy

          You’re welcome!

    • http://www.halleethehomemaker.com Hallee the Homemaker

      Cream of anything will work just fine. Cream of celery would be my first choice.

  • Lisa G

    It looks like there are green beans in the casserole, but I don’t see them in the ingredients?

    • Stacy

      You know, it does look like there are green beans in there…maybe that’s the celery??

    • Bethany

      I was curious too so I clicked on the image and it takes you to another recipe that includes green beans!

      • Stacy

        Well, duh. :-) I didn’t think to do that! Thanks for letting us know!

  • Denise

    Sorry, but I just have to comment. Potatoes are always on the top of the list for vegetables that should be bought organic if you can only afford to buy one veg. that is organic. They are one of the most sprayed crops and are very toxic. Living in MT, I see this – we have lots of potato farmers.

    While you can’t have everything pure, there are some things you should just avoid.

    Tater Tot ingredients:

    POTATOES, VEGETABLE OIL (SUNFLOWER, COTTONSEED, SOYBEAN, AND/OR CANOLA), SALT, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, ONIONS, DEXTROSE, DISODIUM DIHYDROGEN PYROPHOSPHATE, NATURAL FLAVORING.

    Vegetable oils are rancid and to be avoided, 85% of corn is GMO – changes your DNA – and the natural flavouring is MSG – a neurotoxin. These are not food, they are a “frankenfood”.

    I’d give them a miss, great recipe or not. Sorry! :)

    • Dani

      We do not “do” tater tots in our house (anymore) either–there’s just too much yuck in them. I do not know about the ingredients list for Cascadian Farms brand, though, which is the brand recommended here. Even still, I think I’d stay away from processed tots, depending upon what the ingredients label says.

      I would bet that this recipe could be made with “real” hash browns, and they take seconds to make in the food processor. I always hesitate to drag out that sucker for one meal, but if I’m making several meals, then the work would be worth it.

    • http://www.halleethehomemaker.com Hallee the Homemaker

      I actually never buy potatoes or corn that are non-organic, because of the dirty dozen and high gmo lists. I linked the article about it when I suggested Cascadian Farms organic tater tots in the recipe. Here are those ingredients:

      INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC POTATOES, CANOLA OIL, SALT, ORGANIC CORN FLOUR, ORGANIC DEHYDRATED POTATOES, APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE (TO PROMOTE OVEN BROWNING), CITRIC ACID (TO PRESERVE NATURAL POTATO COLOR).

      Even though I personally try to steer away from most processed foods, I allow for an occasional tater tot, and when the ingredients are whole and organic, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Stacy

        We allow for the occasional tater tot too…I think life would be rather boring without tots. ;-)

      • http://www.halleethehomemaker.com Hallee the Homemaker

        Word.

  • Alissa

    Looks delicious! For those of us who aren’t as motivated to make cream-of soups, how much canned soup should we add to this recipe? I wasn’t sure if the amount was the same since the canned stuff is condensed. Thanks for your help!

    • Stacy

      I tried to Google and see how many cups are in a can…but I can’t find it. :-( I would guess it was two cans for this recipe though…I think you’d have to eyeball it. :-)

  • Londa

    I add taco seasoning and it givis it a twist.

    • Stacy

      Taco seasoning is so versatile!