Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
When I make a turkey chili freezer meal, I start with this New Leaf Wellness Turkey Black Bean Chili recipe. But I don't like black beans in chili, so I substitute cans of rinsed kidney and pinto beans. I also leave out the corn, because it's not my family's favorite.
To freeze the chili, I put the liquid ingredients (tomatoes and sauce) in the bottom of a freezer ziptop bag, then the beans and spices, and finally the ground turkey. I use two freezer bags, and label and date the outside bag. Prepping the meal in a bag makes freezing it really easy, because you just have to lay the bag flat in the freezer.
To cook the chili, I pull the bag out of the freezer and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, I dump the contents of the bag into my slow cooker and set it for low all day.
Brown Sugar Turkey Meatloaf
This is another adaptation of a New Leaf Wellness recipe. I substitute turkey for the ground beef, and actually mix the sugar-ketchup sauce mixture into the meat mixture. It makes the meatloaf super moist, and it's delicious.
When freezing a meatloaf, I usually just use a glass loaf pan, and cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil (as depicted below). I use a Sharpie to write the contents and date directly on the foil. You could use a foil loaf pan if you don't want to tie up a glass loaf pan in the freezer.
To bake the meatloaf, I defrost it overnight, then bake it the next day. I put the cold pan into the oven when I turn the oven on, instead of preheating it, to avoid shocking the glass. No guarantees, but it's worked for me so far.
Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
I completely improvised this recipe, adding onion powder, grated ginger, brown sugar, mirin and soy sauce to the ground turkey. My family actually really liked these burgers, so I'll have to make them again and record measurements.
You could defrost and pan fry the burgers, but I opted for the easy route and cooked the burgers in the oven from frozen. I just put them on a Silpat and baked them until they were done.
Instant Pot Turkey Bolognese
I've adapted my favorite bolognese recipe for the Instant Pot, which I love because of the saute function. I skipped the carrots and celery, used the saute function to brown the ground turkey before adding rest of the ingredients and cooking it on the Stew function for a few hours.
Once the sauce was done, I ladled it into mason jars, then labeled the lids with masking tape and a Sharpie. I really like the straight sided mason jars for freezing liquids - even if the center is still frozen, I can slide it out. The core doesn't get stuck the way it sometimes does in the more traditionally shaped mason jars.
Turkey Pesto Meatballs
I mostly followed this New Leaf Wellness recipe, but skipped the tomato sauce because my boys don't like tomato sauce except in baked pasta. These were a hit with my oldest, who liked them way more than the chicken meatballs I made a couple of months earlier.
What are your favorite freezer meals? Plus see the rest of this freezer meal series here.
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