Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer Review

Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead by Susie Martinez, Bonnie Garcia and Vanda Howell ISBN-10: 0800730550 ISBN-13: 978-0800730550

This book is full of good in-depth tips and techniques for those still learning about freezer cooking and how to organize your cooking day and wrap food for the freezer.

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I love the layout of the books and the recipes.

The chapters include:

  • Appetizers and Beverages
  • Breads and Muffins
  • Soup’s On
  • Poultry
  • Beef and Pork
  • Pasta and More
  • Now for Dessert
  • Brunch Items
  • Add a Side Dish

The recipes instructions are clear and the measurements for the ingredients are done in a chart by yield so that you can easily make multiples of your favorite dishes. However some of the multiples are for 2, 4 and 6 servings while others are for 3, 6 and 9 servings. If you’re looking for measurements for a single serving it’s to the left of the ingredients list where you’d find it in traditional recipes.

The instructions are broken into ‘cooking day’ including preparation and freezing instructions and ‘serving day’ which tells how to thaw if necessary, reheat, garnish and serve the dish. The authors also include hints and substitutions with some of the recipes.

The down side is that many recipes include “serving day ingredients” or things you need to have on hand that can’t be frozen to complete the dish.

Also many recipes use fresh ingredients while other use canned soups and bottled salad dressings. The recipe for Barbecue Spareribs (pg 119) has a recipe for barbecue sauce where as the Barebecue Chicken Pizza (pg 160) calls for ‘purchased barbecue sauce.’ Thus the recipes are a bit inconsistent.

Most the recipes are what I consider simple family fare, you’re kids will probably be happy eating it.

I’m not sure if I can even say that these are healthy or not because of the wide range of styles. Some are, like the Buttermilk Herb Chicken Breasts (pg 80) and some, like the Broccoli Cheese Soup (pg 62) with velveteta aren’t anything I’d feed my family.

I didn’t like that two of the pasta recipes and most of the side dish recipes don‘t include freezing instructions and even say that they shouldn‘t be frozen.

Another negative is that many of the recipes call for specific brands of products. I assume this is because of the wide variance in quality and flavor of differing brands of canned products.

There are no pictures or nutrition info included and the index is sorted by chapter and thus not very helpful.

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