We are still hanging out by the pool and sipping lemonade, but it’s not total relaxation around here anymore. Instead of planning our next camping trip, I’m realizing that school days are just around the corner. Can the end of summer really be here already?
To help myself ease into the harried school days ahead of us, I’m prepping some freezer meals that can be ready to eat on a busy weeknight in less than 30 minutes.
This Easy Freezer Taco Filling is a family favorite because it tastes so good and is easily customizable for picky eaters. It’s also a Mom favorite because it’s a meal that I can pull together without much effort.
To freeze the taco filling, just cool it completely and then divide it up into small airtight containers. It will freeze for up to three months, so make sure to label your containers with the date.
If you plan ahead, which I rarely do during a busy week, you can defrost the filling in the fridge overnight. In a rush, however, it’s fine to defrost in the microwave just before dinner is served. The flexibility of this freezer meal is what makes it an ideal back-to-school menu addition.
To serve it, just pull together whatever you have in the fridge. There are so many options when it comes to tacos! Serve it with rice, black beans, cheese, olives, baby spinach, and fresh cilantro. I like to deviate from standard taco fillings too and add baked sweet potatoes, sautéed zucchini, or quinoa as additional healthy options. You can be creative because there are so many things that taste good in a tortilla!
What I love best about Taco Dinners, however, is that the kids can make them how they like them, which means everyone will eat something. I like to serve them Taco Bar style, so everyone can pick and choose their favorite toppings. They like the freedom of putting together their own dinner and I like the warm fuzzy feeling I get when everyone eats without complaining!
I am going to miss our lazy summer days when the daily grind is back in full swing at the end of this month. However, I feel better knowing that I’ve done some planning ahead and I have a few good back up meals in the freezer that I can count on in a pinch.
We won’t be at the pool soon and we’ll have to trade in our salt water sandals for more sensible cold weather shoes, but it’s been a great summer and I’ve got meals in the freezer. It’s going to be a happy ending and a great new beginning!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups diced onions
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno chile, finely minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 can (28 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions until softened and golden, 5 or 6 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, and spices. Stir and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.