10 Meals in an Hour™: Part 4


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10 Meals in an Hour part 4 | Freezer Cooking | Freezer Meals | Meal Planning | Food Made Simple

Here at Living Well Spending Less we are 100% committed to bring you easy recipes that taste great and don’t take a lot of time, effort, or expensive ingredients to throw together. As a busy mom, I also want meals that can be made and frozen ahead of time to save time on hectic weeknights, especially as part of a Sunday Prep plan. My goal is to spend less time in the kitchen, not more, but I still want to be able to provide tasty meals that my family loves!


This list of ingredients creates ten meals in one hour. Don’t stress about what you are going to serve your family for dinner tonight. With just a bit of planning, you can create 10 meals for your family in just 1 hour.


Over the past year we have shared three different 10 Meals in an Hour™ plans, which have each included 5 great freezer recipes that can be prepared together in about sixty minutes. (You can find those plans part 1 , part 2 and part 3.)  They have been a huge hit, not only with our own families, but with many of your families as well, and we’ve absolutely loved hearing how much you all are enjoying these tasty recipes!

Today I am super excited to share this Winter Classics Edition of 10 Freezer Meals in One Hour, which includes five delicious home-cooked meals that are the perfect remedy to the chill!

As usual, in order to make the cut, each recipe must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Deemed delicious by both my kids and husband (plus additional testers!)
  • No pre-cooking required (aside from browning ground beef)
  • Freezer friendly
  • Easy to cook
  • Uses budget-friendly ingredients and pantry staples

In this one post you will find everything you need to prep 10 awesome freezer meals in about an hour of hands-on time (not including grocery shopping.)   Just think, in just one quick weekend session you could have almost two weeks worth of absolutely delicious, family-friendly meals all ready to go!

Before you begin, you will need to gather your tools & supplies and also make sure that you have all your groceries on hand. I find it is easiest to go grocery shopping the day before I do my cooking. To save time unloading, only put away the items that need to be refrigerated. Finally, make sure your kitchen counters are cleared of clutter and sanitized and empty your dishwasher and sink of any dishes. (Check out this post for more tips on freezer cooking like a pro!)

These dinner recipes from cheesy chicken and rice casserole to balsamic roast beef are delicious.

Here are the five recipes we will be making:

Here are the supplies you will need:

10 gallon size zipper freezer bags
labels or permanent marker
large mixing bowl
cutting board
sharp knife
garlic press
can opener
dry measuring cups
liquid measuring cups
dry measuring spoons
liquid measuring spoons
12 inch frying pan
stand or hand mixer

  Assemble all your ingredients and pantry staples on the counter before beginning to cook.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

2 bunches green onions
4 large carrots
4 large celery ribs
3 large sweet onions
2 16oz bags baby carrots (optional; only needed for cooking day, not for prep)
4 pounds baby red potatoes (optional; only needed for cooking day, not for prep)
Pantry Staples
Olive oil
Brown sugar
Soy sauce
Apple cider vinegar
Minced Garlic (the kind in a jar)
Rice (optional; only needed for cooking day, not for prep)
Black pepper
Chili Powder
Bay Leaf
Seasoned salt
Garlic powder
Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne pepper
Canned/Dry Goods
2 cups pineapple juice
Chili garlic sauce
3 15oz cans great northern beans
3 15oz cans navy beans
12 cups chicken broth
4 cans condensed cream of broccoli soup
2 10oz packages yellow rice
2 cans whole cranberry sauce
1 8oz bottle French dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups beef broth
2 cups milk
1 16oz container sour cream
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 pounds fully cooked ham (enough to make 4 cups cubed)
2-3-4 pound chuck roasts
1 rotisserie chicken
1 16oz bag frozen broccoli

These 10 recipes all come together in just one hour.


Be sure to print the following pages before getting started. You can get them HERE.


Be sure to also print the following recipes:



  1. Prep your bags—either print labels using these ready-made printable labels or use a permanent marker to label each bag with the name of the recipe, date prepared, and cooking instructions. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!  While you might think that you’ll remember what is in every bag, I promise you will forget!
  2. Chop ham and set aside
  3. Chop rotisserie chicken and set aside
  4. Chop onion and set aside
  5. Chop 4 whole carrots and set aside
  6. Chop 4 celery ribs and set aside
  7. Prep raw chicken if necessary

Marinade balsamic roast beef in freezer bags.


  1. Prep Chicken & Rice Casserole using instructions found here. Divide mixture into 2 freezer bags, press out excess air, and seal well. Place bags in refrigerator.
  2. Prep Ham & Bean Soup using instructions found here. Divide mixture into 2 freezer bags, press out excess air, and seal well. Place bags in refrigerator.
  3. Prep Balsamic Roast Beef using instructions found here. Place meat into 2 freezer bags and cover with marinade, then press out excess air and seal well. Place bags in refrigerator.
  4. Prep Simple Cranberry Chicken using instructions found here. Place chicken into 2 freezer bags and cover with marinade, then press out excess air and seal well. Place bags in refrigerator.
  5. Prep Sweet & Spicy Chinese Chicken using instructions found here. Place chicken into 2 freezer bags and cover with marinade, then press out excess air and seal well. Place bags in refrigerator.
  6. Once all prep is complete, place all bags in freezer until needed. After you’ve made your meal plan for the coming week, consider setting an alert on your phone to remind you to take your bag out to thaw the day before you plan to make it!

Have you tried making 10 meals in an hour yet? What tricks or tips can you share?

P.S. The new Living Well Planner™ has a  SIMPLIFIED MEAL PLANNING section. It gives you the option to plan just one meal a day, or all three. Check it out HERE.

Use these recipes to cook ten meals in one hour.


  1. samah
    January 16 at 10:53AM

    Do you have suggestions for what to serve with these to make for a complete “meal”?
    Thanks so much

  2. Heather
    January 20 at 12:07AM

    The printable shopping list is missing 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese – hubby had to make an extra emergency trip to the store! I made all 10 meals this weekend, and we had the first meal tonight (the ham & bean soup) – delicious! It definitely took me longer than an hour to prep all of the meals. I’m an experienced cook, so that surprised me. I do have a 2 year old running around, so maybe that’s what slowed me down. All in all, I’m excited to taste the rest of the meals, and I’m VERY thrilled to have so many meals prepped and waiting in the fridge. Thanks for going to all the trouble – I love the labels especially!

    • Shelly
      January 19 at 04:36PM

      I came to this page specifically to post about the missing cheese, but I see you’ve already mentioned it here. Not sure how long ago this was, so hopefully my comment will bring this to the surface again because I printed the list yesterday and went shopping and then realized afterwards that cheese was NOT on the printable. Fortunately, I had a big bag of cheese already in the house. I’m planning to do my prep later this evening and looking forward to trying the meals from Plan 4.

      Ruth, thanks so much for all this information.

  3. Betsy
    January 29 at 08:36AM

    Thank you for sharing these! I’m sharing some meals with my parents & keeping some to help when soccer season gets here this Spring.

  4. Anonymous
    August 7 at 09:19AM

    The family loved all of these meals. I loved that they could be made gluten free. Working two jobs leaves little time for cooking. Thank you so much for sharing your meal plans!

  5. Robyn
    September 6 at 07:21PM

    I cam across your freezer meals on a google search, I am prepping some meals to have ready when our baby comes (due in 9 days!). I’ve made Part 1 & now this one, Part 4 of your Freezer Series. I looked at a lot of different freezer series and yours was by far the best (the printables make a world of difference – thank you for all the effort you put into them!). I also like how you break down what to chop/prep before you dig into each recipe so you can be ready to go. With this series, I noticed what someone else in the comments did – your printable shopping list is missing the 4 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese -I had to run back to the store for that too. 😉 I would also say it does take me much more than 1 hour for these. After doing 2 series, the average prep to freezer time is more like 3 hours. I feel like only a wizard could finish in 1 hour -props to you if you can! My fiancé and I love the meals and are so grateful for all the hard work you put into them to make our lives easier once our little girl arrives. Looking forward to trying more – keep up the great work!!

  6. Brooke
    October 6 at 02:54PM

    You are wonderful! We are saving so much money using this freezer meal system. Thank you so much for sharing. Now…any weight loss tips??

  7. DonnaT
    April 23 at 10:59PM

    Hi Ruth! Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information. I’m looking forward to trying all this. I’m really working on trying to cook for just two and not Cox’s army. Do you know approximately how many serving each of these provide? ThankUmuchly!

  8. Susan
    August 4 at 05:32PM

    I have used your recipes a lot in the past and love the cooking instrution labels. I can’t seem to get the link to work for part 4. All I am getting when I scroll over it is the pinterest link. the black bold area that says print these isn’t a link. I feel like it is something easy I am missing.

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