The Easiest Way to Make Lasagna

Raise your hand if you never make lasagna because you think it’s too difficult. Come closer, my friends. Allow me to let you in on a few secrets so that you can learn the easiest way to make lasagna for your family and for guests!

lasagna23

Ten years ago when I first launched my website, this was a recipe I included in my first cute little eBook series. I’ve since taken these eBooks out of my shop and shared most of these recipes on my blog. But somehow, I failed to ever share this recipe for The Easiest Lasagna!!

In the Kitchen eBooks

Awww. Remember these? Precious memories.

Until now. In celebration of 10 years of blogging, it is a must that I finally tell you my secrets for making the easiest lasagna on the planet. Forgive me for waiting this long. Your life will be better now that you can make lasagna with so little effort. Your family will be so happy!

lasagna33Trick #1: Do not cook the lasagna noodles ahead of time. Simply lay the dry noodles in the pan and layer them with the sauce and cheese. Drizzle about 1/2 cup of water over the lasagna before baking and cover with foil. The water will cook the noodles while it bakes. Easy!

Trick #2: Stir the cottage cheese into the sauce instead of working in vain to spread it onto the noodles as you create layers in the pan. This makes no difference in the taste, but it sure does alleviate a challenging step in the lasagna-making process!

Trick #3: When making one lasagna, for the love of all things simple, make two or three. It takes no extra effort to do this! Then you can put the extra lasagnas into your freezer to effortlessly bake another day!

lasagna11

The Easiest Way to Make Lasagna

The Easiest Way to Make Lasagna
 
Author:
Serves: 6-10
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground hamburger meat
  • 4 Tablespoons minced onion or chopped fresh onion
  • 32 ounces spaghetti sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8-ounces cottage cheese
  • 16-ounce box lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (our favorite is Colby jack but you can also use mozzarella)
  • ⅓ cup water
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook hamburger meat with onion. Drain grease if necessary.
  2. Stir in pasta sauce and salt.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese.
  4. Lay ⅓ of the lasagna noodles (uncooked) to cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. Pour ⅓ of the sauce mixture over the noodles and spread to cover the noodles.
  6. Sprinkle ⅓ of the shredded cheese over the top.
  7. Repeat these layers twice more.
  8. Drizzle ⅓ cup water over the lasagna.
  9. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.

The Easiest Way to make Lasagna

I can think of no better time to make this Easy Lasagna recipe! This is a fabulous meal to have in your freezer during these busy holiday weeks. In addition, Lasagna is a wonderful meal to feed guests! Get your ingredients rounded up, and crank out some Lasagnas!!

If you’d like to watch a video of me making three lasagnas, here you go! See how easy this is!

Now, can anyone tell me why Lasagna is spelled with a “g” in there? I may have figured out ways to make this dish simple, but I have  yet to learn why it is spelled so silly.

More Simple Recipes

728x90

Join Simple Meals

Make life even simpler when you sign up to receive our weekly Menu Planning Packets. One tiny price, loads of weekly help. Read about this and sign up here!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Woohoo! In honor of our 10-year Heavenly Homemakers anniversary, be sure to pick up your very own printed copy of The Best of Heavenly Homemakers!!

best of cover4

Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Roll

Go bunless or go home. Wait. That’s just weird. Yes, that’s my weird way of saying that with this Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Roll there is no bun needed.

bacon meat77

Would you look at that bacon-wrapped meat, just waiting to be put into the oven to make everyone come and ask you forty times when dinner will be ready? This is the worst and the best thing about this recipe. All the smells. And the waiting. Because of the bacon and the cheese and the spices and the meat – everyone will be so eager to eat this delicious-smelling dish. It’s the best! And the worst. Life is very hard because of the good smells and the waiting.

Note how simple this is to make. It is also worth a big mention that this can be made ahead of time (up to two days), then slid into the oven in time to bake for dinner (and to frustrate all the people with the smells).

First, lay your bacon in a pan.

bacon wrapped meat 11

Then press your hamburger meat over the top and sprinkle on everything that makes it smell better and taste better.

bacon meat44Next, sprinkle on the shredded cheese.

bacon meat55

Then roll it up. Do you see how easy this is?

bacon meat77

You will bake this and smell this and try to be nice while you have to smell it but still wait eat it. We pray for strength to make it through these hard times.

bacon meat88

Then slice it and try to remember to throw out some form of fruit and vegetable because really? We’ve forgotten this nutritional need because today we’re all just in it for the bacon and the smells.

bacon meat33

Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Roll

Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Roll
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Lay bacon slices in single file into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Pat hamburger meat evenly over the top of the bacon.
  3. Sprinkle garlic powder and onion salt over the meat.
  4. Top with shredded cheese.
  5. Roll it up.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until bacon is cooked to your liking.

Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Roll

More Simple Recipes

728x90

Join Simple Meals

Make life even simpler when you sign up to receive our weekly Menu Planning Packets. One tiny price, loads of weekly help. Read about this and sign up here!

Psssst! Remember that right now, Simple Meals members get this Getting Ahead for the Holidays resource packet for FREE in this week’s regular email!

Bonus: Now through November 15, get $10 off your first year’s subscription! No coupon code needed. Simply click through to order and the $10 discount will be automatically applied! Offer expires Wednesday, November 15.

Simple Meals Yearly Subscription
Your yearly subscription equips you with a 52 week's worth of meal plans, grocery guide, recipes, and bonus tips, plus you get over $60 worth of bonus eBooks! Your Simple Meals plan will arrive in your inbox each Thursday morning.
Price: $52.00

Getting Ahead for the Holidays Cover2

Getting Ahead for the Holidays – New and Improved FREEBIE for Simple Meals Members!

You might remember that a couple of years ago I spent the entire month of November detailing how we get ahead for the holidays so that we can (wait for it…) actually enjoy the holidays.

Call me selfish, but I like to actually enjoy eating my turkey instead of sweating over it while guests are walking through my door. And you and I both know I can’t talk and cook at the same time. It’s perfectly ridiculous how bad I am at doing both tasks simultaneously.

Here’s more proof (as if you need any): A few weeks ago a college girl stood in my kitchen with me while I finished preparing the meal I was about to feed a crowd of students. Dreamily, she asked, “So tell me how you and Matt met!” And I was like, “Matt who?”

matt and laura3

Oh, that Matt. I remember now.

I try to be a delightful hostess, I do. And it’s ridiculous how much I love feeding people in my home. But why do people ask such difficult questions like “Where’s your bathroom?” and “Is that your youngest son?” when I am trying to remember if I salted the green beans? I don’t have a PhD. You know who has the answers to your difficult and practically impossible questions? Google. Or better yet, Jesus. Jesus is THE answer. Ask and it shall be given to you. Read your Bibles, people.

So once again, as we head into a Merry Thanksgiving and a Happy Christmas season, I encourage us all to alleviate holiday stress and to give ourselves the best chance at enjoying our wonderful guests by doing everything we can ahead of time. Maybe you are better than I am at synchronized talking and cooking. Even so, we’ll all be blessed to have our creamed whipped and our potatoes mashed and our stuffing stuffed ahead of time.

Getting Ahead for the Holidays

Getting Ahead for the Holidays Cover2

This is an absolutely free resource we’ve created to be new and improved – made available once again for all Simple Meals members! Here are a few of the sample pages in this downloadable packet:

Make Ahead Holiday Sample

And rest assured, we included links so you can access all the recipes and instructions for how to make all of these wonderful holiday dishes ahead of time!

I can think of no better time of year to join Simple Meals. You know why? Because you have turkeys to bake and presents to wrap and carols to sing. This is no time for you to have to figure out what to feed your family on a regular Tuesday or to calculate how much chicken to buy.

728x90

Simple Meals does all your meal planning, grocery listing, and recipe finding for you. The meal ideas are all perfectly simple and fast, and of course, they are family friendly.

Read more details here, and sign up today. You’ll get a complete weekly planning packet every Thursday morning in your inbox. The hard work is done. Simple Meals saves the day, every day of the week, for only $1 a week. Score!

It comes with oodles of freebies, and for this week and next, it will include this one, the Getting Ahead for the Holidays resource packet! (Current members: watch for yours to come in your regular Thursday Planning Packet email!)

Bonus: Now through November 15, get $10 off your first year’s subscription! No coupon code needed. Simply click through to order and the $10 discount will be automatically applied! Offer expires Wednesday, November 15.

Simple Meals Yearly Subscription
Your yearly subscription equips you with a 52 week's worth of meal plans, grocery guide, recipes, and bonus tips, plus you get over $60 worth of bonus eBooks! Your Simple Meals plan will arrive in your inbox each Thursday morning.
Price: $52.00

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

My favorite aspect of this Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole is that I can get it completely ready the night before, then slide it into the oven in the morning without having to think, measure, talk, or care. Allow me to share with you a bit about myself and how mornings work for me.

pumpkin spice french toast3

I typically get up at least an hour before my family rolls out of bed in the morning. Do you know what that means? That means that for at least one hour every day no one talks to me, asks me questions, makes a request, or assumes I actually know the time of today’s soccer game. Once the people wake up, my brain must be on full power, ready to answer all the questions, write all the sentences, make all the reminders, plan all the meals, and remember to add toilet paper to the list.

pumpkin french toast4

For the first several years of my married-with-kids life, I woke up and immediately hit the ground running. My quiet time in the mornings meant I could actually accomplish something before a small child unraveled my efforts with his sticky but adorable hands. I could get work done without interruption and perhaps enjoy some productivity – in the quiet.

This was all well and good, except that I missed out on one very important aspect needed in life: actual quiet.

I was deceived into thinking that productivity meant checking tasks off my to-do list. Now I know the truth, that productivity can look like rest. Productivity can mean that I’m sitting, savoring, breathing, and simply being loved by the Father in the moments of quiet. Nothing in this world is more productive.

Do I miss out on that precious and much needed hour of work time? No. I absolutely do not. The work is still there. The work still gets done (no it doesn’t). There’s peace in my heart that didn’t exist before I started giving my days to God in the quiet, and this means much, much more than a house full of completed check-lists.

All that to say: Making this French Toast Casserole at night, then effortlessly slipping it into the oven first thing in the morning means that I can still present an amazing breakfast to my family while still enjoying my quiet morning with the Lord. (Though to be clear, sometimes I present a half-hearted breakfast of stale cereal because as easy as this recipe is, I don’t have time to do something like this every night. No one ever died eating the stale cereal and everyone is happier when Mom starts her day with Jesus.)

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole grain bread
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • 6 eggs
  • 8 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice*
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • ⅓ cup pecan
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice*
Instructions
  1. Cut bread into cubes and spread them into a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk milk, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin spice.
  3. Pour liquids over the bread cubes.
  4. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight (or all day if you plan to make this in the evening for dinner).
  5. Before baking, stir together the topping ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle topping over the prepared casserole.
  7. Place casserole into a COLD oven, then turn it on to 350 degrees.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until casserole is lightly browned.
  9. Serve with real maple syrup.

*Find the recipe for our Pumpkin Spice mix here. Or substitute: 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg in this recipe.

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

 

Have you been able to find some quiet moments with the Lord in your day? What time of day works best for you to do this?

From Burrito Bar to Casserole – a 5 Minute Way to Use Leftovers!

728x90

Allow me to tell you about two of my favorite new Simple Meals tricks! From Burrito Bar to Casserole, here are two meals that go together super easily!

chipotle4

The first favorite Simple Meals trick is this: Any time I’ve been privileged to feed a large crowd lately, I have been setting up a Burrito Bar. I fed Asa’s soccer team this way (35+ college male athletes, phew!). I fed Matt’s soccer team this way (20+ college women athletes – Matt’s their assistant coach).

It is important, yet frustrating, to note that I took no pictures of either meal because I always get too busy with the food and the fellowship and I forget to take a picture. I regret this every time. But moving on…

What is great about setting up a Burrito Bar is that each person can build a burrito (or three) to his or her liking. And best yet, those who have food allergies can still eat this meal! (My gluten free friends skip the tortilla but can eat everything else. My dairy free friends can skip the cheese and sour cream and eat everything else. It’s so simple!)

Burrito Bar Fixin’s

chipotle22

And now for my second favorite Simple Meals trick! After I’m finished serving the Burrito Bar, I stir together the leftovers and spread it into a casserole dish. This makes it super easy to put away leftovers! And it makes for a very delicious meal on another day, which takes zero effort!

I fully admit that this doesn’t look super appetizing. For shame. Something so delicious should not look so…blah.

burrito casserole11

I will now attempt to give you an idea of measurements so that you, too, can stir together Burrito Bar leftovers and create a new meal of…what shall we call it? Burrito Bar Casserole? Cheesy Mexican Rice? Mom’s Night Off? Yes, let’s call it that.

From Burrito Bar To Casserole

From Burrito Bar to Casserole - a 5 Minute Way to Use Leftovers!
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • Leftover cooked chicken or hamburger (1-2 pounds)
  • Leftover cooked rice (2-3 cups)
  • Leftover beans (up to 2 cups)
  • Salsa (2-3 cups)
  • Sour Cream (2-3 cups)
  • Shredded cheese (1-3 cups, optional)
Instructions
  1. Stir these leftovers together, not worrying much about the measurements!
  2. Spread the mixture into a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  3. Top it with cheese (optional).
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to warm and serve. Or cover and freeze for up to two months.
  5. When you are ready to serve this meal, cover it with foil and slide it into a cold oven.
  6. Bake a refrigerated casserole at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Bake a frozen casserole at 275 degrees for 2-3 hours or until hot and bubbly.

From Burrito to Casserole - a 5 minute way to use leftovers

Do not get stuck on the measurements for this “casserole.” Simply stir the leftovers together until it looks right for your family. Then your kids might do what mine did, take one bite, and say, “This is actually pretty good.”

Actually?

Yes, because it’s so shocking that my food would taste good. (Okay, but in their defense, it didn’t look super tasty, right?)

More Simple Recipes

728x90

Join Simple Meals

Make life even simpler when you sign up to receive our weekly Menu Planning Packets. One tiny price, loads of weekly help. Read about this and sign up here!

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts (How to Cook Fresh Donuts in Minutes!)

Introducing a perfect idea for this fall: Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts!

donuts4

After learning that it works well to make and freeze unbaked Giant Breakfast Cookies, Homemade Poptarts, Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars, and all varieties of Muffins so that we can bake them fresh in the morning without any trouble, I thought, “Why not try this idea with my Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donut recipe?”

donuts5

One of these things is not like the the other. Someone, who shall remain nameless,
forgot to cut a donut hole in one of the donuts. Hmmm…

Indeed. We can mix up the pumpkin donuts, roll out the dough, cut the shapes, then freeze the uncooked dough on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined cookie sheets. We transfer the frozen dough into freezer bags, then any time we want fresh donuts (and when would we not want fresh donuts?), we can grab some out of the freezer and fry them up fresh to eat while sipping a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

donuts6

Can you think of a better breakfast treat to enjoy this fall than fresh homemade Pumpkin Donuts?

The best part is that the mixing, rolling, cutting, and clean up will have already been taken care of! Well, clearly the best part is eating the fresh donuts. But eating the fresh donuts without looking at a messy kitchen that you’ll have to clean up afterward? Fabulous.

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts

5.0 from 1 reviews
Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts (How to Cook Fresh Donuts in Minutes!)
 
Author:
Serves: 15-20
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard or soft white wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup sucanat or brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • Oil for frying (I recommend coconut oil or palm shortening for healthy frying)
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (I use unbleached powdered sugar)
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sucanat. Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree – mixing until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Roll dough on a well-floured surface.
  3. Cut out donuts and donut holes (makes about 30 of each).
  4. Lay the cut outs on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  5. Transfer prepared donuts to a freezer bag to store in the freezer until ready for use.
  6. To Cook: Set donuts out of the freezer at room temperature for about 15 minutes before frying.
  7. Fry dough in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until donuts are golden brown.
  8. Whisk glaze ingredients together and drizzle over warm donuts before serving.

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts (Whole Grain, Low Sugar, Easy!)

Concerned about the fact that these treats are fried? Don’t be! Coconut and Palm Oils can withstand high temperatures without becoming harmful to us. So instead of fearing the fry, we can actually enjoy the healthy fat we’re getting while enjoying these donuts.

Wow. Who knew we would ever be able to say, “I need some healthy fats in my diet. Please pass the donuts.”

But of course, let us not ever eat more donuts than veggies, yada, yada. You know the drill.

WAIT. There are veggies in these donuts (thank you, pumpkin, for being there for us when we need you). So I guess we can enjoy these to our heart’s delight, all while enjoying the fact that you can make them ahead and freeze them for ease in the kitchen.

This is what I call one happy fall recipe!

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

Let’s make a long story short, shall we? When you put the words “bacon” and “cheeseburger” in the same title, everyone gets excited. When you add the word “simple” to its name, you know everyone wins. So without even seeing the recipe, you can bet that Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole needs to hit your table very soon!

bacon cheeseburger casserole4

Save yourself some effort and make two or three of these at once. Bake one for your dinner, then freeze the others (unbaked) to use another time. Then you’ve got “simple,” “bacon,” “cheeseburger,” and “freezer friendly” all in the same sentence. All the busy mothers everywhere cried with joy over this news.

bacon cheeseburger casserole 3

I recommend making Bacon Bits like this. I cut the bacon with kitchen shears to make it simple.

bacon bits 1
Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • 1 pound bacon, uncooked, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons dry minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-ounces tomato paste
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (divided)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, brown hamburger, bacon pieces, and minced onion together until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Drain excess grease if necessary.
  3. Stir in garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper, tomato paste, eggs, cream, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  4. Spread mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly.

Simple Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

More Simple Recipes

728x90

Join Simple Meals

Make life even simpler when you sign up to receive our weekly Menu Planning Packets. One tiny price, loads of weekly help. Read about this and sign up here!

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven, Freeze, and Warm up Fast!

Recently I have discovered the amazingness of baking several pounds of bacon, freezing it for later use, then pulling it out to reheat and serve in about 2 minutes.

oven-bacon3

Where has this tip been all my life?

I already knew how to make Bacon Bits ahead of time for ease in making salads and bacon-cheesy eggs. But strips of bacon? Well, I’d never tried making it ahead before. I will make bacon this way from now on because it is an incredible time saver!

Also, it keeps my hair from frequently smelling like bacon, so I think we can all be grateful for this delightful bonus.

How to Cook Bacon Ahead, Freeze, and Warm Up Fast

  1. Lay bacon on a a broiling rack in a single layer.
  2. Place the rack of bacon on a baking sheet to catch the grease as it bakes.
  3. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-30 minutes (time varies based on thickness of bacon).
  4. Pull bacon out of oven just before it has reached the crispiness level you prefer.
  5. Allow bacon to cool on paper towels.
  6. Transfer cooked and cooled bacon to a gallon-sized freezer bag. (I leave the cooked bacon on the paper towels when putting it in the freezer bags. That way I can do two-pounds at once with a paper towel in between layers of bacon.)
  7. Freeze up to three months.
  8. Rewarm bacon by taking desired amount of cooked bacon slices directly from freezer and heating them in a skillet for about 1 minute on each side.

Can you believe how easy this is?

how-to-cook-bacon-in-the-oven-and-freeze-it-for-quick-reheating

I recommend that you lay the bacon on a broiling rack like this and place it on a baking sheet like this. This will allow the bacon grease to drip into the pan and prevent a mess.

oven-bacon-1

Once the grease has cooled and thickened, I recommend transferring it to a jar in your fridge. Bacon grease stirred into green beans or other veggies makes for a super flavorful side dish!

oven-bacon-2

Being able to offer my family bacon with zero effort on a busy morning has been a life saver. After all, as my men will tell you, bacon is a necessity of life.

Do you usually cook bacon on the stove or in the oven? Ever tried making it ahead of time and freezing it as described above?

More Bacon Posts You’ll Want to Check Out

This post contains affiliate links.

Hey, what’s for dinner?

It’s the question of the day, right? The frustrating part is when I’m asked this question while in the middle of five other tasks…and I haven’t yet figured out the dinner plan. Ugh, sorry kids. Dinner is…something. I’ll have to get back to you on the specifics.

Enter: Simple Meals. It’s saving my brain (and many of yours too!). If you haven’t joined yet, now’s the time. Get all the details here!

728x90

The Best Homemade French Fries (That You Can Pre-Make for Your Freezer)

Homemade French Fries are about the most amazing food in the world, my family loves them, and they’re easy to make except for one little thing: They kind of take forever. (Translation: easy and delicious but time consuming. Super bummer.)

The most amazing homemade french fries

Granted, I have a big family of big eaters. Making French fries is a big deal because I know I’m going to have to commit, you know? Between scrubbing and cutting and frying and cutting and frying and cutting and frying – I’m making fries for at least an hour.

Worth it? Oh my. So much worth it. But not often. It takes too much time.

But guess what I just learned to do? I learned the lovely tricks it takes to make fries ahead of time for the freezer. All the cutting is done ahead so all we have to do at frying time is…fry. Beyond saving me time, I’ve discovered that this method of slightly pre-cooking them before frying is what crispy, perfect fries are made of.

Come closer and learn with me.

The BEST Homemade Fries

How to Make and Freeze the BEST Homemade French Fries

1. Scrub a bunch of potatoes (or if you’re me, you ask your kids to scrub a bunch of potatoes, which they are happy to do because French Fries).

2. Cut the potatoes into fries – your preference on how thick or thin.

3. Put the cut potatoes into a big pot of water. Bring to a boil.

4. Once water/potatoes comes to a boil, remove the potatoes from heat and strain, running the potatoes under cold water to cool and stop the cooking process.

5. Blot the potatoes dry on a towel.

6. Transfer prepped fries into freezer bags for future use (although you might consider frying some immediately and I bet no one will argue).

7. Freeze prepped French fries in freezer bags for up to two months.

8. At frying time, get the fries out of the freezer a few minutes before you want to cook them.

9. Fry until crispy perfection has been reached. (I have a fryer similar to this and I love it. I use Palm Shortening for healthy and safe frying.)

WARNING: Watch that the fries aren’t holding extra water as they will splatter when frying! Blot prepared fries with a towel before frying if necessary.

How to Make and Freeze the Best Homemade Fries

You’ll never go back to making fries any other way after experiencing these.

Other fun Make-Ahead Recipes I’ve shared recently:

That list looks like a bunch of junk food, but it’s not! How great that we can make all of our favorites with healthier ingredients!

I also recently shared these gems:

Did you find some of these recipes to be helpful? Slowly but surely we can get ahead in the kitchen!

How to Make Healthier Corndogs for the Freezer

Of all the recipes I share, this one is not the healthiest. Just whatever though, because corndogs taste amazing. (With a salad. And fruit. And digestive enzymes.) I’m providing a homemade option so that at least we’ll know these are better than store-bought.

Homemade Corndogs

First – try to find hotdogs that are nitrite free. Also, beef. Always beef hotdogs. Fine, turkey is okay too. Just try to avoid the hotdogs that are only pretending to be meat. I can’t even believe I’m still trying to convince myself that any form of a hotdog is healthy. But for real, at least try to find some that aren’t terrible. Why I like hotdogs is beyond me.

Now that we’ve covered the sacred topic of the hotdogs, allow me to share another compromise I make. This. We bought this fun corndog maker for one of our sons a few years ago as a gift because he is the ultimate corndog lover. (I have no idea where he gets this.) I think having dozens of appliances that only do one task each is fairly ridiculous. But shucks if having a corndog maker isn’t a lot of fun, so there. We’ve used it for more than just corndogs (like muffins and cookies – who knew?!) so hallelujah for an appliance that is actually multi-functional.

I will tell you that this machine makes the effort of creating homemade corndogs so easy and mess free that a few days ago, I made 48 corndogs in less than an hour – while I was making tomato sauce, French toast, and frozen yogurt. The corndog maker allows me to multitask while making food for my freezer. And here you thought that appliance was pointless.

Anyway….

The long and short of making homemade corndogs is that you simply use your favorite cornbread recipe, add a bit of extra milk so the batter will coat the dogs, then you either fry them in oil or bake them in the above mentioned corndog maker.

What about sticks?

Life is too short to poke sticks into hotdogs. Do the stick poking if you must, but as for me and my house, we will skip the sticks and just eat the dogs.

How to Make Healthier Corndogs (in Bulk) for the Freezer

How to Make Healthier Corndogs for the Freezer
 
Author:
Serves: 24-48
Ingredients
  • 2⅔ cup Homemade Jiffy Cornbread Mix*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 24 hot dogs
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornbread mix, eggs, milk, and butter.
  2. If using a corndog maker, cut hotdogs in half.
  3. Dip hotdogs in batter to coat thoroughly.
  4. Fry until golden brown, or cook in a Corndog Maker**
  5. Serve right away, or cool and freeze in freezer bags.
  6. Rewarm corndogs by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

*Homemade Jiffy Cornbread Mix recipe

I put these homemade cornbread mixes together and have them on hand for convenience. I highly recommend this!

** I cut my hotdogs in half, then cook my corndogs in this fun Corndog Maker. It saves a lot of time and mess!

Homemade Corndogs for the Freezer

If you make these to freeze, all you have to do at mealtime is pull them out and warm them up while you’re getting out all the actual nutritious parts of the meal (fruits, veggies, and more veggies with a side of another vegetable).

‘Fess up. Do ya like hotdogs?