4 Helpful Freezer Cooking Cookbooks

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I love me a good cookbook. Last time I checked I had three shelves full of them. And counting…. I think it’s time to purge.


Or not.

I could spend hours in a book store, especially if it’s the cookbook section. It’s a family obsession really. Even FishBoy5’s eyes light up at the sight of a book about food, especially if it has the Food Network symbol on it. Yeah, he’s brand loyal. Unfortunately, FN doesn’t have a freezer cooking book — yet. I’m just waiting for them to ask me to write it. You’d buy it, wouldn’t you?

In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you about four make-ahead cookbooks that I have either purchased or checked out from the library. There isn’t a glut on freezer cooking books out there, but that’s okay. We’ll figure it out on our own, won’t we? Any of these would make excellent gifts for the friend who wants to test out freezer cooking or cooking ahead but isn’t sure where to start or the home cook who wants to expand her repertoire.

This baby is the Grandmother of All Freezer Cooking Books. Once-a-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg tells the story of two moms and how they bought themselves a boat-load of time and energy by cooking up a storm once a month and stashing it all in the freezer. The recipes are more your traditional freezer cooking fare, lots of casseroles, but good all the same. Recently they published an updated version called Once-a-Month Cooking Family Favorites which I reviewed this fall. Both would be informative additions to your collection.

Don’t Panic — Dinner’s in the Freezer by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell, and Bonnie Garcia, explains freezer cooking in a general way, including how to make the most of grocery store “loss leaders,” the sale items offered at rock-bottom prices. Their method involves a weekly cooking day, based on what proteins are a great deal each week. Cook up a bunch of meals and freeze, slowly building a stash in your freezer.

Sleep on It by Carol Gordon is not a freezer cookbook, but, instead, focuses on make-ahead meals. A compilation of bed-and-breakfast favorites, it features recipes that can be prepared several hours or even days in advance. Some can be frozen. I particularly like the appetizer and breakfast ideas. Froofy food without slaving in the kitchen? Great for the holiday season.

Dream Dinners by Stephanie Allen and Tina King features recipes that are used at the meal-prep kitchens of the same name. If you’ve ever had a night out at Dream Dinners, then you’ve probably enjoyed some of these recipes. I’ve never tried one of these kitchens, but I know people who’ve enjoyed them. The recipes in this book are formulated so that you can make a single batch to test it out and then make a triple batch to freeze. Recipes also range from appetizer to dessert.

Remember: A recipe book is only as good as your family’s rave reviews after tasting the food. Read about what you can freeze so that you’re inspired to adapt your own recipes for freezer cooking.

And don’t forget….

NYM Make-Ahead and Freeze CV 125x1413/21/13, edited to add: Since the publication of this post, I’ve gone on to write my own Freezer Cookbook.

You can read more about Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook over here.

This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Frugal Friend says

    I love that book by Mimi Phillips too. That's what I've used to get started. But I found the recipes, especially with beef, to include pricey ingredients.

    Now that I save more money on other food items, I think it's time to revisit that book and look at the recipes.

    I have also found the Once A Month Mom website to be a great resource. The recipes were more budget friendly and it also included breakfast and lunch recipes.

  2. The Reeves Family says

    Fix, Freeze, Feast is my favorite and the healthiest I've seen. It's mostly meat dishes and easy recipes.

  3. Jenni says

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm just getting started with freezer cooking and these books will help a lot.

  4. topaztook says

    Three shelves full of cookbooks. Pshaw. My husband and I have a bookcase and a half full of them. (It's his first stop in used bookstores. And my grandmother was a collector, too.)

  5. DarcyLee says

    Okay, FishMama, you've got me inspired. I just may take the plunge and do a freezer cooking day. It's the beginning of a new month which is the perfect time for me plan this. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

  6. rachel says

    The Best Make Ahead Recipe by the Cooks Illustrated team is wonderful! It has freezer friendly and non-freezer friendly recipes.

  7. Marsha says

    I have the "Don't Panic – Dinner's in the Freezer" cookbook and love it. I also use "The 30-Day Gourmet" freezer cooking manual. 30-Day Gourmet has a newsletter and website to give you even more ideas.

  8. rm says

    I have several of the books you mentioned, but my favorite is Fix, Freeze and Feast. Very family friendly food without being a lot of high-fat casseroles.

  9. I just bought all four books off of e-bay! I’d been waiting for two of them for months on paperbackswap.com but I broke down and got them since I’m on the road to CONVENIENCE!!!

  10. Tiffany says

    Thanks so much for these helpful suggestions! My girlfriend and I recently organized a Freezer Meal Idea Swap for our church, teaching other women how this has been a blessing to us & those in our lives. Since then, we have been asked to speak at 2 other churches! We love many of the books that you’ve suggested, plus Cooking Among Friends.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      That sounds like so much fun! Yeah!

  11. Lara says

    I am so excited to get started! The county I live in has a coop library and I just requested all the cookbooks mentioned so I can use them this weekend and see which are ones I want to invest in! I also plan to incorporate veggie purees (got the idea from Deceptively Delicious) into my recipes to up the healthy quota and get more vegetables into our diets without having to SEE them! Good luck everyone!

  12. The Dream Dinners book has a lot of errors in it. Before making one of the recipes, check their website. There are pages and pages of corrections there.

    I’m a huge fan of Fix It Freeze It Fast (or something like that) and Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer

  13. Sometimes I think I have owned every OAMC book known to (wo)man! LOL My all-time fave would definitely have to be 30-Day Gourmet! No question about it! It’s packed with good sense instructions, advice, tips and recipes. PLUS they have a website with a forum that different readers post their menu plans, recipes, etc. on! I have the original book (I think they’re just about to release the second printing (new and improved) soon. I took mine to Kinko’s and had a spiral binding put on mine and added pages of recipes from the forum to it. It’s looking raggedy and I’m going to order the new one soon!

    Come check out my “Freezer Foods Friday” on my blog.

  14. Sam says

    My library also has a newer version called “Don’t Panic, More Dinners in the Freezer”, or something like that 😉 I have requested both the new and old version, along with Fix, Freeze, Feast. Thanks Fishmama and all the others for the great suggestions. I just love this blog and visit it almost every day. There is so much wonderful info on here, it seems to be endless! You have supplied me with lots of awesome ideas and I cannot thank you enough. You are one crafty and creative lady!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Sam, thank you. I appreciate the encouragement.

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