Ah, summer. That magical season of campfires and fire flies where everything’s wonderful and easy.
With kids on break and routines nowhere to be found, meal and snack time can be difficult to plan.
Thankfully, there are a few pretty easy ways to have wholesome snacks and meals at the ready when the inevitable, “What’s for dinner?” or, “But I’m hungry now!” calls come in from the backyard.
It’s called batch cooking – making snacks and meals ahead of time, freezing them and pulling them out when they’re needed. It’s a great Sunday afternoon project and will save you loads of time in the week ahead.
Check out a few recipes and ideas to get started.
1. Breakfast Burritos
Make these filling breakfast burritos, freeze them and reheat them in the microwave for about a minute and a half when you’re ready for a quick breakfast.
This batch should take about 30 minutes to make, and makes about 8 burritos. Use smaller tortillas and fill each with a little less if you want to make more, smaller portions.
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 cup shredded Jack cheese
8 large tortillas
1-2 ounces hot sauce
Salt & pepper (to taste)
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook bacon or sausage until crisp and drain on a paper towel. Chop cooked bacon or sausage into bite-sized pieces and set aside
- In that same pan, sauté the onions and peppers until soft (about 2 minutes)
- Add in the egg mixture and slowly stir until the eggs are cooked
- Lay out the 8 tortillas and spoon in the egg mixture evenly in the center of each tortilla until it’s gone
- Distribute the Jack cheese and bacon or sausage evenly throughout each burrito
- Top each burrito with salsa
- To fold: Fold each side of the tortilla in over the edges. Take the side facing you and begin rolling and folding the mixture under. Repeat for each burrito
- Wrap each burrito individually in plastic wrap and toss them in the freezer
- Reheat for 90 seconds to 2 minutes before eating
Tip: They should stay good in the freezer for about a month.
2. Granola Bars
There isn’t a much better on-the-go snack than a granola bar. Kids love ‘em, we love ‘em and it’s a win-win. Here’s our recipe for making pans of homemade granola bars to have on hand all week long.
3. Mac n' cheese
When batch cooking, it’s better to focus on one thing at a time, like the main course. You can always toss together a salad from a bag or corn on the cob to accompany any recipe.
Mac n’ cheese is always a crowd pleaser. Again, make it, freeze it and bake it when ready. Are you noticing a pattern here? Freeze in a microwave-safe, kid-friendly container.
4. Batch Dinners
Lasagna is another easy option to have on hand. Make the lasagna but don’t cook it. Wrap and freeze it, and then pull it out and bake it when you’re ready.
Tip: If you’re ever looking for more freezable, batch-able recipe ideas, take a stroll down the frozen foods aisle. Chances are you can make a homemade version of any of those meals and freeze them yourself.
5. Recipes for Entertaining
Ever notice how summer usually means impromptu guests showing up? Feeding them is no problem when you batch ahead.
Make a batch of spinach dip. Portion it out, freeze it and toss it in the slow cooker to reheat when friends are coming over. Serve it with pita chips or veggie sticks.
Last but not least, keep cookie dough on hand for a great batch dessert. Toss some in the oven before guests show up and voilà!
Have any other great ideas for summer batch foods? Share them in the comments below!