Hot Dishin' Freezer Meals |

Hot Dishin' Freezer Meals - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne


Finally the end of February is here and I can’t wait until spring. Even though I love winter (I know I’m crazy) I do look forward to the start of spring and those fresh tulips that start to pop up in March. I’ve been a Minnesota girl for 56 years and I am very aware of the famous saying, “In like a lamb out like a lion.”  Believe me, I know what could come up in March but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a shorter winter and beautiful spring. There is still some winter left, which to me means comfort food.

With that being said, today we are going to be hot dishin’ it. I have three meals I am putting together for this blog that are great to freeze and make for quick and easy dinners any night of the week. All three of them fit into a 9×13 pan but what I like to do is put them in aluminum foil pans and split them in smaller pans so that I can get 6 meals out of them instead of only 3. They are also great to have around for a nice gift to your neighbor, someone that is laid up and can’t get around or the best is when I don’t have a clue what to make for dinner and I can just pop one of these in the oven and have my meal in less than an hour.  Here is my first comfort meal.

Taco Spaghetti


Taco Spaghetti
Serves: 8
  • 12 Oz. Un-Cooked Spaghetti
  • 1 Lb. Ground Beef
  • ¾ Cup Water
  • 1 Package Taco Seasoning
  • 15 Oz. Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, undrained
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 2/3 Cup Salsa
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Break spaghetti into thirds; cook according to package directions.
  3. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  4. Stir in taco seasoning and water; bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in beans, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese and salsa.
  7. Drain spaghetti; add to the beef mixture and toss to combine.
  8. Transfer mixture to a greased 13×9 inch-baking dish.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  11. Bake 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  12. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Italian Chicken Penne


Chicken Penne Hot Dish
Serves: 8
  • 1 Lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ Cup Onion, chopped
  • ½ Cup Green or Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Parsley Flakes
  • ½ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 T. Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Penne Pasta, uncooked
  • 14 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 T. Tomato Paste
  • ¾ Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • ½ Cup Grated Romano Cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the chicken, onion, peppers and seasonings in oil until the chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Add the garlic cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. Then add tomatoes and tomato paste to chicken mixture.
  5. Stir in broth.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  8. Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture.
  9. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased baking dish.
  10. Sprinkle with half of the cheeses.
  11. Repeat layers.
  12. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  13. Then uncover and bake for 15-20 minutes longer or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Tomato Olive Penne


Tomato Olive Penne
Serves: 8
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 6 T. Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 T. Dried Basil
  • 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ tsp. Pepper
  • 16 Oz. Package Uncooked Penne Pasta
  • 24 Oz. Havarti Cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 Cup Pitted Ripe Olives, serve whole or sliced
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven, sauté onions in oil until tender.
  2. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, broth, basil, pepper flakes and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes until sauce thickens.
  6. Cook penne according to package directions; drain.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Stir Havarti cheese, olives and cooked penne into the sauce.
  9. Transfer to a greased 13×9 baking dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  10. Cover and bake 20 minutes.
  11. Uncover and bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

I hope you enjoy these Minnesota Hot Dishes and keep hoping that winter is finally over. Enjoy! I know I will. - Family, Friends and Food with Jayne