How to Make Healthy and Delicious Freezer Stir-Fry Kits

Freezer stir-fry kits are an excellent way to spend less time cooking dinner, while also saving money on take-out or running to the grocery store last minute. You will love how delicious and healthy this stir-fry is that you’ll be making these kits all the time! Be sure to snag the free shopping list and all the recipes at the bottom of this post.

Save time and money by making these freezer stir-fry kits. There's nothing like having a healthy meal just waiting in the freezer on an insanely busy day!When I had just two kids, I was constantly pulling my hair out while making dinner. Two toddlers running around and “helping” as much as they could was a bit stressful on even the best of days.

Three months in with three kids, and I’ve pretty much reached a point where I sometimes can’t even chop or dice anymore during the “bewitching hour.” Dinner is frequently on the table later than I’d like, and sometimes it’s not exactly what I had planned to make.

Of course, this is my own fault for being overly ambitious with dinner. I mean, cooking is my favorite part of being a homemaker so I do tend to go overboard and choose meals that take a bit of time to pull together. But, truly, it’s time to start utilizing other cooking methods, am I right?

That’s why I’m trying freezer meals for the first time (I’m talking intentional freezer cooking “days” rather than just doubling a recipe and throwing it in the freezer). Freezer meals are such a great alternative to spending time each weeknight making a healthy dinner. Today I’m sharing the process of making freezer stir-fry kits, which are both healthy and delicious, so you can enjoy a homemade dinner without the added stress.

Benefits of Making Freezer Stir-Fry Kits

I’ve been making stir-fry a lot lately. It’s a simple meal with endless possibilities. You can switch up the protein, veggies, and sauce and the method is pretty much exactly the same.

What I realized, though, is that it was taking me a whole lot longer to cook just one night’s meal of stir-fry than it should. This was mainly because I was cooking while I had 3 needy children wide-awake. What should have taken me 40 minutes, tops, was taking at least an hour or more.

So I made it a priority to put together some freezer stir-fry kits right away.

And I saw the benefits almost immediately.

Here are some of the main benefits of making freezer stir-fry kits:

  • You significantly cut down the preparation time of a single meal
  • You are not tempted to get take-out as often since you have these meals readily available in the freezer
  • When the kids ask “What’s for dinner?” on a busy night, you know you’ve got it covered
  • You make the kits at a time that is convenient for you, and especially when the kids are not at their neediest
  • Something healthy is already almost ready, waiting in the freezer, so you don’t have to make something unhealthy for dinner

Those benefits seem almost too good to be true. But, I’m telling you, if you make it a priority to make some freezer kits, you will not regret it.

Now let’s get to this tutorial!

8 Freezer Stir-Fry Kits in 3 Hours

When I decided to make some stir-fry kits for the freezer, I had no idea how long it would take me to put them together. Fortunately, I was able to make them in just 3 hours, which is a lot better than the cumulative 8 hours it would take if I made them all on separate nights! I’m pretty much sold on freezer kits.

Freezer Stir-Fry Kits

There are 5 steps to making freezer stir-fry kits. You can really do the first 4 steps in any order you’d like.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll give you instructions exactly how I did it. But if you want to make fewer or more kits, just adjust where needed. Also, each kit makes enough for 3-4 adults.

Step 1: Prepare Sauce

{I got the recipe for this sauce on Tastes Lovely}

  • Get out all your ingredients: 2 cups soy sauce, 2 cups chicken broth, 4 T. cornstarch, 4 T. honey, 4 tsp. sesame seed oil, 4 tsp. rice vinegar, 8-inch piece ginger, and 8 cloves of garlic.
  • Start by grating or mincing the ginger and garlic. I grated the ginger (normally I mince ginger), and I was a little surprised by all the fibers left, but that’s totally normal.
  • Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until the cornstarch and honey are incorporated. Those two ingredients tend to settle at the bottom so it’s worth it to spend some extra time making sure everything is well mixed.
  • If the sauce is not already in a pourable container, put it in one now. You may put the sauce in ice cube trays to freeze or in sandwich bags (with zipper tops). I tried both ways and prefer the sandwich bags. Either way, you will still need to put the ice cubes into sandwich bags after they freeze.
  • Fill each bag with at least 5 ounces of sauce (you may prefer more or less, but this is what I’ve found to be just right). Once you have filled all the sandwich bags or ice cube trays, put them in the freezer.

I spent about 35 minutes making the sauce, with a lot of the time consumed by preparing the ginger and garlic.

Step 2: Prepare Veggies

{I follow the guidelines to prepare the stir-fry using this pin on Pinterest}

  • Take out all the veggies that you need to chop. I got out my carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. I would have had celery and mushrooms as well, but I accidentally left them at my mom’s house the day that I bought them.
  • The best way to prepare the veggies, in my opinion, is to chop each one and put it in its own container or bowl. Then, once you have finished preparing all of them, you can easily measure out 1-2 cups of each veggie for each stir-fry kit.
  • When the veggies are ready, get out your quart-size freezer bags and label them with the combination of veggies you are using, if desired. These are the combos I made:
    • Bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, & peas
    • Cauliflower, spinach, & corn
    • Broccoli, bell peppers, & corn
    • Carrots, cauliflower, & spinach
    • Bell peppers, spinach, & edamame
    • Carrots, peas, & broccoli
    • Broccoli, carrots, & edamame
    • Broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, edamame, & peas (this last one was basically just all the leftover veggies I had)
  • In each bag, put 4 cups of veggies, any combination. I like to use 3-4 different veggies, usually. If I am doing a 3 veggie combo, I will add 2 cups of one veggie and 1 cup of the other two.
  • Put all the bags into the freezer and go onto the next step.

I actually only packaged 7 bags because the last combo was for dinner that night. Since I was already cooking, I figured I would just use what I was preparing and not stress about dinner.

It took me about 1 hour to get all the veggies ready. I am quite a slow chopper, though, so it may not take you that long.

Step 3: Mince the Garlic

You may or may not want to do this step. We love garlic in our house, so we like to add more garlic than is even in the sauce. However, when I was making these kits, I did forget to do this.

  • If you want to add garlic to your stir-fry (in between cooking the protein and the veggies), then get out at least 16 cloves of garlic and start mincing.
  • Put 2-3 Tablespoons of minced garlic into each sandwich bag. Put them in the freezer as is, or you can put a small amount of olive oil in each bag first. I have never had a problem freezing garlic without the olive oil.

Plan on about 10 minutes to get all the garlic chopped if you are going to add it to your kits.

Step 4: Prepare Protein

You can make stir-fry with any protein you’d like, but we really like chicken, pork, and steak, so those are what I chose to use. You can also use fish, shrimp, or tofu.

  • Get out your protein. I used 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 3 pounds of pork tenderloin, and one pound of flank steak. If you want these meals to be more frugal, stick to using cheaper proteins or meat you found on sale.
  • Cube the chicken and pork, and slice the flank steak against the grain. I actually just cubed the steak as well, but slicing it against the grain is supposed to make a much more tender meat.
  • Label your quart-size freezer bags with the protein you will be putting inside and fill each one with about 1 pound of protein. I kept 1 pound of chicken out of the bag and put it on a plate covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for dinner that night.
  • Put all your bags into the freezer.

The meat took the longest amount of time for me to prepare. I spent nearly 1 1/2 hours cubing the chicken, pork, and steak.

Step 5: Assemble Stir-Fry Kits

Once all your sauce, veggies, garlic, and protein have been prepared, it’s time to start assembling your stir-fry kits.

  • Clear enough table space, and put out all the sauce, veggies, garlic, and protein in their bags.
  • Get out some gallon freezer bags and label each one, if desired. I labeled mine with “Stir-fry Kit” and the date 3 months from the day I prepared them. The kits should be good in the freezer for at least 3 months. I like to glance at the bag and know when it will “expire” so I put a future date. You can also just put the date that you prepared the kits, if that’s how your freezer system works.
  • To each bag, add one sauce, one veggie, one garlic, and one protein.
  • Now they are ready to be thrown into the freezer!

I assembled 8 kits (only 7 actually went into the freezer, and one was for dinner that night) in about 3 hours for just $8 each.

Save time and money by making these freezer stir-fry kits. There's nothing like having a healthy meal just waiting in the freezer on an insanely busy day!How I Made These Kits for Just $8 Each

Now it’s time to show you how I made these freezer stir-fry kits for just $8. I did not shop sales or use coupons (I rarely do these days), so I know that you can probably make these for even less. It’s also possible that you could pay more for these kits, especially if you live in a higher-cost of living area and/or you buy a lot of organic produce and free-range meat.

I bought the majority of the ingredients from Walmart (I normally don’t shop there, but the day that I did the shopping I was at my mom’s and the closest and cheapest store to her house was Walmart). I also went to WinCo for a few ingredients and to Costco for the meat (which leads me to explain that I normally buy my meat at much lower prices than I did for this post, but I sent my husband to buy the meat and he never looks at the price).

For a lot of the ingredients, I just left the cost of the entire ingredient, even if only a small portion was used (i.e. the recipe only calls for 4 Tablespoons of cornstarch, but I listed the entire can at a cost of $1.30). The reason is because it is a sunk cost once you buy it. You may or may not use the rest of that ingredient in the future. Of course, you’ll be saving money by using it up in another recipe or even in future stir-fry kits.

For the sauce:

  • Soy sauce (15 oz. bottle): $2.12
  • Chicken broth (1 can): $0.99
  • Cornstarch (1 can): $1.30
  • Honey (12 oz. bottle): $5.07
  • Sesame seed oil (5 fl. oz.): $3.48
  • Rice vinegar (12 fl. oz.): $1.77
  • Ginger (8-inch piece): $3.98/lb – $0.88
  • Garlic (1 bulb): $3.88/lb – $0.43

For the stir-fry:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast (4 lbs.): $2.79/lb – $11.16
  • Pork tenderloin (3 lbs.): $3.49/lb – $10.47
  • Flank steak (1 lb.): $5.99/lb – $5.99
  • Garlic (1 bulb): $3.88/lb – $0.43
  • Broccoli (2 ½ heads): $1.78 each – $4.45
  • Bell peppers (2 ½): $0.78 for green and $1.47 for red – $2.30
  • Frozen peas (10 oz. bag): $0.98
  • Frozen edamame (16 oz. bag): $1.98
  • Frozen corn (10 oz. bag): $1.00
  • Carrots (6 carrots): $3.12 for 5 lbs. – $0.62
  • Cauliflower (½ head): $2.97 for one head – $1.49
  • Baby spinach (10 oz. bag) – $1.98

Extras:

  • Gallon-size freezer bags: $4.46 for 28 – $1.27
  • Sandwich bags: $2.90 for 100 – $0.46
  • Quart-size freezer bags: $9.83 for 216 – $0.73
  • Rice (1 cup per meal): $1.00 per 2 cups – $4.00

Total Cost: $65.35 for 8 meals
Cost per meal: $8.17 per meal

I rounded down to $8 simply because I had rounded up for several of the ingredients, and I paid much more for the meat than I usually do, so I know the cost could have been lower than $8 and likely in the $6 range.

Preparing the Stir-Fry Out of the Freezer

Here are my simple instructions for preparing your stir-fry once it has been assembled into a kit and frozen. {Recipe for sauce HERE and recipe for stir-fry HERE}

  1. Take the kit out of the freezer the night before you plan to make it. UPDATE 06/2017: You can remove just the meat from the kit the night before and put it in the fridge. Then you can get out the veggies and sauce right before you are going to make it. I’ve found that this keeps the veggies from getting mushy and tasting less fresh.
  2. One hour before you plan to start cooking the stir-fry, put the protein onto a plate and season it with salt and pepper (only if it’s chicken, pork, or steak). Cover the plate with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
  3. When you are ready to cook, get the protein out. Put a skillet or wok over medium high heat and add 1-2 T. oil.
  4. Add the protein and let it cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Push the protein aside and add the garlic. Let it saute for about 30 seconds, then add the veggies. Stir everything around and cook for about 10 minutes, making sure the veggies are no longer hard. If the veggies start to burn, add a bit of water or stock to the skillet.
  5. Now push all the veggies and protein to the sides so there is a hole in the middle of the skillet. Add the stir-fry sauce in the hole and let it bubble for 30 seconds or so, and then stir it into the protein and veggies.
  6. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

That’s it! I am so excited to be able to make a healthy meal for my family, once or twice a week, that requires a minimal amount of time to pull together once I put in the initial effort.

Do you make stir-fry in your home?

Save time and money by making these freezer stir-fry kits. There's nothing like having a healthy meal just waiting in the freezer on an insanely busy day!

Get a shopping list and the recipes!

Freezer-stir-fry-kits-downloads

Want more ideas to get dinner on the table fast? Sign up now and get the shopping list and recipes for these freezer stir-fry kits!

100% free of spam. Unsubscribe whenever. Powered by ConvertKit

Charlee

I'm a mom of 3 on a journey to feed my family nourishing foods. Personally, I believe that you can feed your family healthy, delicious meals without spending a fortune or slaving away in the kitchen.

Comments

  1. Fred says:

    Did you blanch the vegetables?

    • I did not. You’re definitely welcome to do that, and I found this guide to blanching vegetables before freezing them if you’re interested: http://preparednessmama.com/blanch-vegetables/. I’ve successfully frozen these kits before and had no problem with a change in texture or taste. Of course, one of the purposes of blanching the vegetables before freezing is to preserve nutrients, so it’s possible that if you don’t blanch some of the vegetables your stir-fry will not be as healthy as if you made it fresh. Thanks for bringing this up, I didn’t think about it when I was going through the process of making these kits.

  2. Love this idea, I also sometimes don’t even want or have the time to chop vegetables or spend hours in the kitchen. All I want is something easy to throw together but that it’s also hearty and delicious that my family will like. We love stir fry at my house, so this is great!

  3. Jillene says:

    Approximately how many people does each kit feed? I’m single and don’t like lots of leftovers.

  4. I’m a big fan of freezer meals but haven’t made stir-fry kits before. I’ll have to give it a try with the sauce I use because dinner time does get crazy with little ones underfoot! 🙂
    Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving recently posted…Roll Out Sugar CookiesMy Profile

  5. I am going to have to try this, it’s a great idea to make the kits to have ready. It’s only my two kids and I so we don’t eat a whole lot, these would be a great way to make sure we aren’t letting food go to waste. Any extra veggies in our house I can just chop and make into stir-fry mixes.
    Thank you for sharing this, and for sharing your sauce recipe.
    Cara @ Fashionably Frugal recently posted…Stocking Stuffers for MenMy Profile

  6. Katherine says:

    This may be obvious to others but I just want to be sure. When you said “Take the kit out of the freezer the night before you plan to make it.” Do you mean put it in the fridge or on the counter? I assume fridge since there’s meat it in, but will everything be thawed in time to be cooked, or are things still frozen when they go into the wok?

    • Yes, be sure to put it in the fridge when you take it out the night before. I’ve also successfully taken a kit out of the freezer the morning of and put it in the fridge without any problems. Even if your meat is not thawed by the time you need to start cooking, you can always put the bag in some cold water for 1/2 hour or so to thaw. I have found that the veggies cook more to my liking when they are on the frozen side rather than completely thaw. Just food for thought. 🙂

  7. Mary says:

    I’m going to try this, but also add the rice or noodles. I can just see me forgetting that need that and then I’ll be out of it!!!

  8. Silvana perez says:

    How many oz of meat should I put in each bag?

  9. Natasha says:

    I feel like this is so obvious… but when you say Season the protein and cover it, you mean just Salt and Pepper right? I’ve re-read to see if I have missed a step, but I don’t think I did.

    Thanks!!

  10. LauraB says:

    Love this idea. Ever try sprouts, waterchestnuts, celery, or bamboo shoots? Is there a trick to picking your types of veggies?

    • I have only tried celery. I don’t see sprouts, water chestnuts, or bamboo shoots at the stores I shop. I just choose the veggies based on what is on sale and in season, usually. Thanks for stopping by, Laura!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Stir Fry Kits (I use whatever vegetables I have on hand.) […]

  2. […] When you’re meal prepping dinners stir-fries are a great option because they have endless combinations. You just switch up the veggies, or the protein or the sauce. It’s a pick and mix dinner the whole family will enjoy. And making stir-fry packs in batches to freeze for busy days is a totally genius idea! If you’re going to make these stiry-fry kits regularly treat yourself to one of these to save time. (via Humble in a Heartbeat) […]

  3. […] You can even double them so you have one freezer meal every week for 4-6 weeks. I’ve made both stir-fry kits and homemade pizza for my freezer, and it was so nice to be able to pull a homemade meal out of the […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge