Cook food up a head of time for the freezer is so helpful. When I don't want to fuss with putting complete meals in the freezer I will make up "Freezer Mixes". These are made of cooked meats and seasonings that can be used in various meals.
This post shows how I make "Hamburger Mix". This mix is very versatile. You can use it to make chili, tacos, soup, spaghetti.... and more!
For this tutorial I used 3lbs of hamburger to make my Hamburger Mix recipe (this is one of the recipes from my ebook Freezer Cooking with Meal Starters).
The original recipe calls for using 5lbs of hamburger. I added a quart of my home canned red beans to stretch the meat out. The original recipe (posted below) uses just hamburger. Here is what I did…
I cut my pepper (I used a red pepper because that is what I had on hand) and onion. Then gathered the rest of the ingredients..
I cooked up the hamburger and veggies until the meat was done cooking and the veggies were soft. Then added the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes..
Then added my jar of beans, stirred it up and set it aside to cool. After it had cooled down I divided the mix into 5 zip lock bags. I put about 2 ½ cups of mix in each bag. This is equivalent to 1lb of cooked hamburger (1lb of cooked hamburger measures 2 ½ cups).
I then put the mix into the freezer. Hamburger Mix can be used in spaghetti, casseroles, soups, etc.. anything that calls for a pound of cooked hamburger.
This recipe is from my ebook, Freezer Cooking with Meal Starters:
5 lbs. ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 t. chopped garlic
3 t. salt
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
Cook ground beef, onion and green pepper until beef is no longer pink and veggies are soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Divide into 5 containers. There will be 2 ½ plus cups of mix per bag. Label bags and freeze.