It’s just about that time of year to get started on your holiday meal prepping! It’s always nice to get together with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. Most often, celebrations include time spent enjoying traditional food. But cooking big dinners and preparing food for the family can take a lot of effort— And feels overwhelming if it’s all on the day of celebration. FreezerFit encourages you to tackle some of this burden ahead of time with holiday meal prepping.
Holiday Meal Prepping
What is holiday meal prepping? It’s the simple idea of preparing aspects of your holiday meal ahead of time. Most people do a lot of holiday meal prepping without even realizing it. Grocery shopping a week or two early is common. Then there’s the chopping of vegetables, marinating meat, writing down recipes, and more. Then when it comes down to the day of, there are several things you can do to make cooking less stressful and more enjoyable.
For example, Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. usually involve several side dishes. Consider preparing some of the side dishes ahead of time so they only have to be heated up on Thanksgiving Day. Or, make a casual Thanksgiving dinner potluck-style: Everyone can bring one or two sides or entrees to share with the group. Holiday meal prepping from many different people means a diverse array of tasty dishes to enjoy!
FreezerFit’s Holiday Checklist
It can also be helpful to have a holiday checklist ready to consult. Make a list ahead of time about what needs to be done and when. This means planning the menu, grocery shopping, preparing food, and cooking. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday, it’s essential to prepare ahead of time! A holiday checklist can help things go smoothly in the days leading up to your celebration. Read on for FreezerFit’s own version of a holiday checklist to guide you through meal prep.
FreezerFit’s Holiday Checklist and Tips:
- Locate your Crockpots and instant pots ahead of time: Then, you’ll be prepared to cook many things at once. Plus, you can utilize the Crockpot’s “keep warm” function for a couple hours.
- Ask for help: If you get stuck preparing and cooking too many things, recruit family and friends. Cooking and eating comforting food shouldn’t be overwhelming! Distribute the responsibilities.
- Prepare ingredients ahead of time: For example, mix together your pie crust and put your turkey in the fridge to thaw.
- Don’t forget the drinks: Everyone appreciates a tasty beverage during the holiday season— Whether it’s ice cold or cozy warm, prepare some drink options.
- Include alternative diets: Take into account anyone you’ll be cooking for with dietary restrictions. Keto, paleo, vegetarian, and vegan are all common diet types to consider. And be sure to cook plenty of food for each. There’s nothing wrong with lots of leftovers!
A Couple Things to Avoid
- Too much of one type of food: Plan the meal with different dishes that are light, like salad, along with heavier dishes, like casseroles.
- Cooking foods that need to be watched carefully: Sautéing and constant stirring mean less time spent enjoying the holiday and family and friends. That’s one of the reasons we love the instant pot and Crockpot!
- Complicated clean up: Try to avoid foods that will need a lot of immediate clean-up. This is a good chance to meal prep and utilize one-pot meals.
Crockpot Freezer Meals For Any Occasion
While we love crockpot freezer meals year-round, they can especially come in handy during the holidays. Crockpot freezer meals are dishes that have the ingredients prepared and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook the meal, take it out and let it thaw, then throw it in the crockpot. Side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and more can be frozen and prepared in the crockpot, too. Some of our favorite crockpot freezer meals for the holidays include:
- Lasagna Florentine
- Green Bean Casserole
- Rosemary Pepper Jack Scalloped Potatoes
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Mushroom Risotto
- Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
- Keto Pumpkin Pie
Hosting with crockpot freezer meals is convenient, affordable, and easy. It takes some of the pressure off of your holiday of cooking and allows you to celebrate instead! The main priority should be to relax and have fun. To take even more pressure off of the holiday, try meal prepping ahead with one of FreezerFit’s free cooking classes.