Batch Cooking

Enjoy this guest post from Kathy.  I think she’s right on about batch cooking.  I make use of the same technique to keep my freezer full.

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Batch Cooking and a Recipe for Ziti

Have you tried batch cooking?  It’s where you cook in…well… batches.  If you are planning to make a meatloaf for dinner, you double the recipe (or batch if you will) and make two (or three), allowing one (or two) to go in the freezer for another meal.

I love batch cooking! I never seem to find the time to do the full one day Once A Month Cooking (although Once a Month Mom does make it VERY easy), so I find myself batch cooking.

One of my favorite recipes to make in bulk is ziti, adapted out of the Dream Dinners cookbook. It’s so easy, and everybody loves it. I always have at least one ziti in the freezer to give away. That way when someone in the neighborhood gets ill or someone has a baby or I just forget to grocery shop, there is a meal available.

What you need for one batch of Ziti:

  • 1 pound ziti
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ – ¾ cup sour cream (I use ¾ to make it creamier)
  • ½ – ¾ cup cottage cheese (I use ¾ to make it creamier)
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 5-6 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 -2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I LOVE cheese)

Now, mind you, I never use the above as is. I usually triple it. So, I use a 16 oz sour cream and a 16 oz cottage cheese and don’t have to get any measuring cups dirty.

  1. Boil the pasta until just tender, drain and place it in a large bowl.
  2. Brown beef with onions and garlic and drain the fat. Add that to the bowl.
  3. Pile in the rosemary, Italian seasoning, sour cream, cottage cheese, and marinara sauce. Stir away until everything is incorporated. You will have a big bowl of yumminess!!
  4. Spoon the mixture into your pans (be sure to spray them with cooking spray).  If you have a big family, put it into a 9×13. If you have a smaller family or are giving it away, put it into two 8×8 pans or these handy round ones I bought at our local warehouse store. (I bought 500 of them 2 years ago. I’m almost out.)
  5. Once your ziti yumminess is spread into your pans, it is time to add the cheesy yumminess. I believe there can never be too much cheese. Truly. Never. First, place provolone slices across the top of the noodle mixture. I usually tear them into smaller pieces so they can be placed more evenly, and they seem to melt better that way. After all the provolone is distributed, dump sprinkle the mozzarella evenly.

That’s it! You’re done. If you want to eat it tonight, set your oven to 350 and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your pan.

If you want to freeze it, cover the pan with plastic wrap and then foil. Be sure to label the pan with cooking instructions.

I make ziti in batches. I make Cheesy Broccoli and Rice in batches. I make muffins in batches. Batches are the way I like to fill my freezer, and I like for my freezer to be full.

How do you fill your freezer?

Kathy Hill is a wife, mom, and editor who blogs in her “spare” time over at the House of Hills. She’s new to the blogging scene, but is having a blast and learning lots. You’re welcome in her “house” any time.

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Comments

  1. I’m not very good at filling my freezer, I need to get better in that area! Nice post, I’m gonna take some of this information and use it!

  2. I love batch cooking. I do it all the time, tonight included. It requires very little extra work to make a second of a recipe. And it makes life so much easier to have a few meals in the freezer.

  3. I would love to do once a month cooking..but like you, I can’t find the time. I do batch cooking and I love it. I’m filling up my freezer every day!

  4. I love OAMC and do batch cooking occasionally. We’re having Ziti tonight too!

  5. Kathy is too smart!! I should always do a little batch cooking, but never do!!! That recipe looks great though:)

  6. Great idea, I love these dishes you can freeze and pull out when you are busy.

  7. Now this is something I could get into. Easy!

  8. This is definitely a great idea. Many a Once A Month Mom reader does this method instead of the full cooking day. It is perfect if you don’t have a stand alone freezer or a whole day to dedicate to cooking.

  9. Ever since my first OAMC adventure I’ve been doing batch cooking on and off. It’s just SO nice to have a freezer full of meals!

    Amy, thanks for having Kathy guest post! She’s the best! :)

    a

  10. Love batch cooking recipes…and truly, never is there enough cheese!! :)

  11. Yummo!!

  12. I love batch cooking. OAMC is something I have wanted to try but I am afraid of it. Bathc cooking is really easy for me, I just double my recipe and freeze half. I am planning on making a ziti dish later this week. Yours looks really good and I agree, there is no such thing as too much cheese!

  13. The ziti looks great! Thanks for linking your post to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

  14. Oh my gosh, I am totally going to look for some of those disposable pans on my next trip to Costco! How have I ever lived without them?

  15. Katrina says:

    The recipe looks great!
    On your ziti, if you freeze it, can you take it directly from the freezer to the preheated oven? and if so – at what temp (still 350?) for how long?
    I’ve really got to get into this batch cooking – it doesn’t look near as scary as OAMC. lol

    We’re having a snow day here ~ I hope everyone is warm and safe!

  16. Great recipes I’m finding on your blog! Quick question:

    Where do you find the pans you are freezing in??

Trackbacks

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