Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Bulk Cooking - The Easy Way.

There are plenty of cook books,  YouTube videos and blogs dedicated to cooking lots of meals in one day.  Have you watched / read them ?  Although I love a good bulk cooking video I feel exhausted just watching them.

I have to ask though,  who has time  to set aside a whole day or weekend to cook meal after meal ?  Then there's all the dirty dishes to clean up.

There is lots and lots of planning,  shopping and food prep that goes into a bulk cooking day.  Not forgetting you need to have a decent amount of freezer space available to store all these meals at the same time. . 

Bulk cooking really does sound like a good idea but might not be practical for many people.

I've been bulk cooking for many years but my way is much different to the usual method.  My method takes far less time,  uses less gas / electricity and still provides a dinner to eat that night as well as meals for the freezer.

Here's how I bulk cook -

*  Each night that I'm cooking a meal,  I cook double,  triple or quadruple the amount of food at the same time.

*  We eat some of the food for dinner that night.

*  After eating dinner,  the rest of the food is portioned out into single,  double or family sized portions.

*  The food is cooled for a few hours in the fridge,  the lids are put on and labelled with names,  dates and serves.

*  The food is then frozen.

It's really is that simple.  Yes it takes a few extra minutes to cut more veggies. . It might take an extra 10 minutes to cook the larger meal,   It takes about 5 minutes to portion out the extra food.  That's it.  

REPEAT this process a few times a week and over time you collect a variety of meals in the freezer.

I have a small 120 litre freezer dedicated to prepared meals that are rotated on a regular basis.  Because I have a good stockpile of meals,  there are some weeks I don't need to cook from scratch at all.  Then perhaps the next week I bulk cook one or two meals to keep the supply going.

Here are a list of meals I've successfully bulk cooked / prepared and frozen -

*  Spag bol meat sauce.  I only need to cook the pasta when we eat this.

*  Lasagne - I cook a large lasagne and portion out.  We add steamed veggies to round out the meal when I pull the frozen lasagne portions out of the freezer.

*  Chicken curry - This is cooked in the slow cooker and portioned out into takeaway containers.  If I have too much rice from dinner that night I portion the curry and rice into complete single serve meals.

*  Chop suey -  I portion out the chop suey and freeze.  I cook mashed potato or rice on the night we eat it.

*  Beef stew ( or any stew ) -  Is cooked,   portioned and frozen as is.  I cook mashed potato on the night we eat it.

*  Massaman beef curry - I portion the curry and any leftover rice into individual meals.  If there is no leftover rice the curry is frozen by itself.  Rice and poppadums are served with the curry. 

*  Salmon patties -  These can be quite messy and time consuming to make.  I open 3 - 4 tins of salmon at a time,  add mash and veggies to stretch the salmon out.  This can make about 60 patties at a time.  If I'm making a mess,  I do it once and make many meals.  The patties are frozen into meal sized packages and any odd patties are frozen for lunches or single serves.

*  Hamburger patties -  I season bulk amounts of fresh beef mince and use a hamburger press to portion the patties out.  Some are eaten that night and the rest of the raw patties are frozen with plastic cereal packet squares in between to make them easy to separate.

*  Tuna pasta bake - I cook up all the ingredients and assemble it in casserole dishes.  Add the cheese on top.  One is baked in the oven to eat that night and the others are frozen to be baked at a later date.

*  Sausage casserole - I cook it in bulk in 1 or 2 slow cookers ( at a time ).  It is portioned into casserole dishes and frozen.  When we eat it I cook mash or rice to serve on the side.

*  Soups - This is an easy one to bulk cook.  Just keep adding lots of veggies to the pot.  We eat it for dinner that night and freeze the rest into family and single sized portions.

*  Zucchini slice - Just cook large slabs of it and cut into squares to freeze.  This is great to add to salad in Summer or meat and veg in Winter.

*  Meatloaf -  Prepare the raw mince as per recipe and portion into meal sized tins and cook.  Cool the meatloaf and take out of the tin.  Slice and double wrap in plastic / foil and freeze  


Chunky chicken and veg soup

Beef stew and soup

Sausage casserole portioned to freeze

Slabs of zucchini slice

Cooking sausage casserole in bulk

Hamburger patties

Chicken curry meals

What meals do you bulk cook ?


  1. Good morning Wendy, as there is usually only two of us these days (especially lately with covid) any meals that make 4 serves, we have 2 days in a row.I hate the masses of cooking pots to clean up also. Hope you have a better week it certainly feels wintery here

  2. Thankyou Jenny. I'm trying to relax this week and learn to breathe.

    Although having the same food two nights in a row works well, I tire of the same food easily so freezing means we never have menu fatigue.

  3. I use this method too! It always amazes me how little extra effort it takes to cook a bigger batch of food. Your meals look delicious.

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

  4. I agree Wendy, I dont fancy a whole day cooking although I admire those that do it because they will be working all week and want it done ahead. My way is like yours. Tonight I have a beautiful chicken in the oven. I will plate up two lovely meals. I already cooked double the veggies. After dinner I will plate up another two meals. These will be dinner for us Friday night. Tomorrow I will make up sandwiches and rolls for lunch and a heap of spare ones to freeze. When meat is used up I will make soup from all that is left. Some soup will probably get frozen as well. And so we ate beautiful meals, I only cooked once and meals are added to the freezer. So good! Oh... tomorrow we are having lamb shanks. They were on special so I got 4. Same thing... I will cook four and loads of veggies... plate up dinner then another dinner for on the weekend! It is beautiful and so easy this way!

  5. I love to have some easy options to hand. I make soup, stews and curries and then portion them. It doesn't take long and it provides a stressless solution to the evening meal problem.

  6. I love that your containers all match! Where do you get them...I live in USA so maybe we have different sources? I batch cook like you do, but my containers are all different shapes and sizes and are not really stackable to be efficient. I would love the beauty of uniformity!! Also, can you cook in those containers...are they safe for the microwave? Have a beautiful day! Jane

    1. Hi Jane. The takeaway containers came from a cafe and fast food shops that Darren has worked at or worked near. The containers the soup is in is Starmaid brand. I'm not sure if it's available in Australia any more. They are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe.

  7. That's how I bulk cook but as there is only me and not much freezer space I usually make enough for four portions, eat one, one goes into the fridge for the next day and the other two are frozen. I make a huge pot of soup which gives about 8-10 servings and separate into double portions to freeze then that does me for 2 lunches. One of the favourites is fish pie and others the same as you.

  8. Dear Wendy glad to hear you are relaxing this week.
    There are only two of us and I also like a change in what we eat most nights. I need to be aware of freezer space so I cook our normal meals and if there is leftovers this is frozen.
    Sending you a 🤗😊

  9. It's just Farmer and me here. I have had to learn (still learning) to cook for 2 middle-aged people instead of 2 growing boys, a hungry farmer and his wife. When I make those sized meals, I put it away. Lately I've put spaghetti sauce away, always chili soup and chicken without the noodles (add those when I cook the soup.) Last week I made extra Tator Tot Casserole and we've eaten it for lunches. I make extra chicken and use that in my Salad in a Jar lunch. Farmer got 2 jumbo pizzas on sale the evening he "cooked." Not sure why he thought the 2 of us could eat that much. We've had pieces for lunch and an evening meal and there is almost a whole pie left. I think it will go in the freezer tomorrow.
    I don't really ever do a whole day of freezer meals. I don't have the freezer space and I don't mind cooking most evenings.

  10. Husband visits his relatives in Africa every (other) year for 2 or 3 months, leaving me with 2 dds at home (don't worry, it's working for us). I double or triple cook the meals they like during the year and freeze them, ready to have an easy meal on the table for them when I'm out of time or energy during the summer.

  11. Hi Wendy. I hope you are looking after yourself too and breathing deeply through this time. Xx

    I usually make extra portions of things like pasta sauce or fried rice or soup to freeze but soon I will be increasing my work to four days a week and have been wondering if bulk cooking will make life easier and save me time. I've gotten as far as writing a list of meals I could cook up in a day.


  12. You`re a star!


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