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Batch cooking - ideas please

(75 Posts)
Skydancer Tue 14-Feb-23 11:48:37

Many posters have mentioned that they batch cook. What sort of thing? Ideas please - I haven't a clue. Presumably cook a large amount of something and then freeze some of it? I am a very unimaginative cook.

kittylester Thu 16-Feb-23 11:48:20

And, gf pasta doesn't freeze well. So, I freeze the sauces and assemble with fresh pasta when we want to eat it.

And, I would argue with the point of not leaving homemade meals in the freezer for too long. I never date my home made freezer stuff and have never noticed any loss of quality or been ill after.

janipans Thu 16-Feb-23 11:49:39

Don't forget desserts - useful to divide and freeze in single portions for when you just fancy something sweet. I even froze a whole Tirimasu when expected guests got Covid and couldn't come - it was just as good when they did finally arrive! Haven't tried pastry dishes, but crumbles are ok and cakes (undecorated) - especially lemon drizzle as you can either have as a cake or serve warm with extra lemon and sugar "drizzle", a dollop of creme fraiche and fresh raspberries as a quick dessert.

micmc47 Thu 16-Feb-23 11:50:21

My favourites are chilli con carne, bolognese sauce, gulasch,
cassoulet, chicken breast italian casserole, curries various, braised steak and onions, and hearty broths. I have a large, 6.5l slow cooker, and find that I can produce up to 10, generous 2 person servings per cook. I then bag them up and freeze them. I have also recently invested in an air fryer, and find that by combining that with the slow cooker and the microwave I hardly ever use the oven these days. Loads of recipes on line. Spoilt for choice.

Nannashirlz Thu 16-Feb-23 11:52:10

One of my daughter inlaw asked me this question a few months ago and as i said to her if you go into a supermarket and see what are in the freezer you can do at home from veggies to meat just make sure it’s cold before you put in the freezer and also label date and time and routed it. So now she does soup cupcakes veggies etc it all depends on what you like to eat. As I’m on my own I cook for two eat one and freeze one

nipsmum Thu 16-Feb-23 11:52:35

Look for a cookbook of batch cooking recipes. I have one that I bought on Amazon years ago.

janipans Thu 16-Feb-23 11:54:08

I forgot pancakes which can be sweet or savoury but take ages to make and seconds to eat!

Dickens Thu 16-Feb-23 11:56:40

Is there anything that doesn't freeze well - in terms of ingredients?

Or can you really just freeze anything?

janipans Thu 16-Feb-23 12:00:22

NB - I used to freeze soups, but now have a small soup maker (2-3 portions) and soup only takes 20 mins so I save freezer space by making fresh. You can just put it on whilst you go off and do something else and 20 minutes later you hear a racket in the kitchen (which is when it is liquidising it!) followed by a loud beeping and it's ready to pour and eat!

SueEH Thu 16-Feb-23 12:00:54

Grated cheese!!

Longdistancegrnny Thu 16-Feb-23 12:02:49

I do freeze lots of the above meals, and am now much better at labelling - so we don't get any nasty surprises! I also make big batches of brownies, cut them up and freeze - they are ready to eat in minutes or you can warm them in the microwave - ideal if someone pops round for coffee. But be warned, they are delicious straight from the freezer and very tempting!

cc Thu 16-Feb-23 12:03:12

I bought a pressure cooker book by Catherine Phipps and have just gone back to using my pressure cooker which I can use to cook almost anything in quantity.
I find that the most useful frozen batch cookery is minced beef sauce, then I can season it up and use it for different things. Some people batch freeze rice or mash but it's so quick in the pressure cooker that it's hardly worth the bother.
My experience with frozen casseroles hasn't been great, they take a while to defrost (I don't like to defrost them in the microwave) and the meat can disintegrate a bit on reheating.
I sometimes make bread and slice before freezing - my best purchase in recent years has been a very good manual slicer which I can use for cold meats too.

JANH Thu 16-Feb-23 12:03:18

If I make pastry, not very often, I will make extra and freeze it if there is any left over. If I make pasty pie for Xmas, I will make 2/3 and freeze. The same with fish pies, I make 3 at at time and freeze two.
I buy diced beef instead of minced beef, cheaper, and mince it myself. Batch cook spaghetti and chilli, generally just one extra of those.
If I make sausage rolls for Xmas, I freeze a load of those, too.
Basically anything I make, I make double of. The same as others, I can eat from the freezer when too busy to cook, or too lazy. I have never had anything go off or taste badly.

Forsythia Thu 16-Feb-23 12:06:55

One thing I do is label it all with a date on it. I also have a list for what’s in each freezer drawer and as I use something I cross it off. I find that keeps me on top of it.

2420mags Thu 16-Feb-23 12:08:11

Cook books by Edd Kimber
Small batch bakes plus other books specialising in cooking small amounts

madeleine45 Thu 16-Feb-23 12:11:41

I watch for good bargain such as best quality mince, and also good shin beef. With the mince I always lightly fry some onions as I think they have a different and better taste than just cut up raw, Then seal the mince and put it in large pan. I add chopped carrots celery and a small amount of swede or parsnip. They are my base that I like in a lot of things. Then I would divide the mixture up and into one would add tinned tomatoes and herbs such as oregano to then slowly cook to be my bolognaise sauce. That would be divided up to portions to freeze. Another portion would be turned to a curry either with my own spices if i am in the mood to do so , or sometimes just add a good sauce such as Pataks and divide. The last portion I make a gravy and add to that any good additions such as stock I have made previously and frozen. So that way I have got myself a good mix of possibiities for the future. I love shin beef and prefer to cook it in the old way in my pressure cooker as I think it gets better taste and gravy. So I cook about 1-1/2 lb with onions ,carrots and celery and it makes such lovely gravy too so I usually have enough to put away three lots and have some gravy to freeze too. I have back problems and on days I cant manage to stand and cook am glad I have something in ready to eat.

SecondhandRose Thu 16-Feb-23 12:16:03

I batch cook large amounts of mince and veg to make a bolognese type sauce. I freeze them in takeaway type containers and then add to it to make either chili/cottage pie/spag bol/lasagne.

NaughtyNantheRed Thu 16-Feb-23 12:17:50

While weather still chilly, I like to make a hearty beef casserole (enough for 4) have one for dinner and freeze 3 portions. It's good to have some meals frozen because you may not always feel like cooking. It makes sense to batch cook because you are using energy for one meal, you might as well increase the portions and then have a freezer full of tasty meals.

Nellietheelephant Thu 16-Feb-23 12:19:29

Don't forget you can freeze sauces, etc. in the ice cube maker and then push out what you need at the time.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 16-Feb-23 12:23:09

I make portions of soup that are large enough for the two of us to get three or four meals out of. We eat one portion on the day the soup is made, and freeze the other portions.

On the days I bake bread, I make something like Shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese, or a potato or leek and onion pie or cook vegetables like carrots, diced in a casserole in the bottom of the oven at the samme time,

kittylester Thu 16-Feb-23 12:23:45

And you can freeze left over wine (should such a strange thing ever happen!) in ice cube trays ready to add to anything that needs it.

Vintagegirl Thu 16-Feb-23 12:32:11

I thought the alcohol bit of wine did not freeze Kitty? I make mini portions of pureed apple in silicone muffin baking tray then when frozen, transfer to a plastic bag.... also with fresh cream. Same as others on here with basic beef mince in sauce, beef, lamb and chicken cassaroles from slow cooker.

HHBBNN54 Thu 16-Feb-23 12:49:04

When you are cooking something like a stew, chilli I always make more and freeze the rest in individual portions. I usually use the slow cooker and use meat and lots of vegetables (not potatoes) eat it once then diivide up what is left and freeze when cold. I find the plastic takeaway boxes you can pick up from places like home bargains good.

HannahLoisLuke Thu 16-Feb-23 12:58:52

Fish pie freezes well
Other pies to consider
Steak and kidney
Chicken and ham or mushroom
Various quiches and flans.
All the other suggestions are excellent too

It’s worth buying some packs of foil freezer dishes, pie plates etc so you’re not tying up your crockery ones. Very cheap online.

HannahLoisLuke Thu 16-Feb-23 13:04:37

Thanks for the masking tape tip Rumpunch. Never thought of that, excellent idea.

kittylester Thu 16-Feb-23 13:28:45


I thought the alcohol bit of wine did not freeze Kitty?

Apparently, it does!