Burrito Pans {Your New Favourite Freezer Meal}

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When I got thinking about what I wanted to share with you for freezer meals…as much as a fun recipe is always welcome, you need strategies…not more recipes! The concept of this meal is simple- you have the bulk/protein of your meal all cooked+prepped and ready to pop from freezer to oven. There isnt a single recipe I could make that every one of you could use. Every family has different preferences, different resources, different allergies and sensitivities. So instead, I’m bringing you Burrito pans. I’ll get into building your own in a few, but for now, know this- this pan can become burrito filling, taco filling, the base of your burrito bowl or part of a taco salad. It doesnt require a whole freezer cooking day to put in your freezer and with a few of these tucked away? You’ve got a world of options on how you’ll serve it for dinner. Its simple, it doesnt require fancy steps or cooking food you hope your family will like. Youre taking things you know your family already likes, linin’ er up in a freezer safe casserole dish and pop in the freezer until you need dinner help. One of these pans how I make them feeds 6 adults as tacos. These are portioned based on my families preference- not a lot of bean lovers but we have some major rice lovers! I made three pots; the rice was 4 cups rice cooked with broth, tumeric, garlic, coriander, salt and onion. The meat was 5 pounds ground beef with my taco spice mix. The beans was 1 quart pinto beans and 1 quart home canned baked beans (kid brought me wrong jar from cool room and I just decided to roll with it…) cooked with bacon fat and taco spice mix, mashed with a potato masher. Of course my home canned refried beans would be great too!! When they were cooled, I divided amongst 3 of my favourite pans, labeled and popped in the freezer! The night we wanted to eat- I popped the pan in the oven, turned the oven on to 400F and an hour later it was hot and ready. Its not instant…it does take take to heat up from frozen solid! But its hands off time in which you can clean the kitchen, supervise homework or…lay on the couch reading a book! Lets break it down and give you some options- The Pan- Look at how many your feeding and if you desire leftovers or not. An XL family might need two of them. My pans werent full full. A FULL 9×13 pan could easily feed 10 adults. This pan fed our whole family dinner in which we all gorged ourselves, plus a light lunch for the kids and I the next day. Maybe a 8×8″ pan is a better fit for your family size/appetites. I prefer to freeze things in aluminum pans for a few reasons. The first being I dont have a big inventory of casserole dishes I like freezing. The second being sometimes I gift meals out of freezer meal stash and this way its no sweat. Also, I dont love freezing glass pans. Not with kids freezer diving for me. I did a whole post for insiders on tools and resources we love for bulk cooking and freezer stockin’. The Protein- For us we chose meat and beans. If you’re plant based, maybe you’re going to do a whole lot more beans and some roasted vegetables to bulk up the pan more. Take this strategy and make it your own. What about pulled pork? Or BBQ pulled chicken? Ropa Veja beef? Ground turkey with lots of spices? I think this works best with meats that have some sauce/moisture to them and would be hesitant to try this with something like grilled chicken. Refried beans, black beans seasoned with lime juice, chickpeas roasted with coriander, lentils sauteed with onions…mmm I’m getting hungry just talking about it! The Carbs- This may be a category you choose to leave out, in which case I’d downscale this to a 8″ pan not a 9″x13″. Like I said, I just threw some spices and salt in the instant pot along with the rice and broth, but feel free to follow an actual recipe, or just cook plain rice! You could cook your rice with salsa too, kind of like a cheater spanish rice?! Yum! Brown rice, wild rice, its all up to you! The Planning- Use the amounts I cited as a guideline, or plan by how many you want to make. If you know a 4 pound roast of pork makes enough pulled pork for your family for 2 meals, then you’re wanting 2 pounds of pork for every pan you’re making. Some of it will have trial and error to get the amounts juuuust right, but it all works out in the end! For example- Mac said more meat! No beans next time. Marius said less rice! More beans next time! I’m never going to make everyone happy… The Assembly- Cook your various components and let them cool. (You could even make your components over a couple days, storing in the fridge until you’re ready to use. Take your pans and line em up! Divide each food amongst your pans. If you feel your ingredients are on the dry side, you may want to add a few tablespoons of water drizzled over the top so when it reheats it has moisture. It wasnt needed for what I made. With the pans I use, I just pop the lid on, pinch it on tight and label it with sharpie. This is not long term storage- this is use in about 3 months or less. If you’d like longer term storage (6ish months) you could wrap the whole thing in saran wrap. If you’re using casserole dishes that dont have good lids, do a couple layers of tinfoil. Label it well! You think you’ll remember but I’m sorry, you probably wont. Not for long anyways. To Cook- Take the pan from the freezer, pop it in the oven and turn the oven on. If your pan is a lot more dense than mine, it may take longer. For me, they take 1 1/2 hrs at 350F or 1 hr at 400F. I ended up turning the oven off and leaving it in there for another hour until Marius was back inside. To Serve- The fun part! This could be taco or burrito filling. Burrito Bowls. Taco Salads. You can dress em up however your family loves! We are the classic salsa, sour cream, cheese, lettuce family. Except Marius. He likes avocado and hot sauce, no one else does, hah! In winter we often use sauerkraut instead of lettuce- my Carrot Ginger Kraut is excellent for this! Use what you have on hand. Use what your family likes. Take this method, and make it your own!… This content is for members only.Login <a href=""...

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