UACES Facebook Fill the Freezer - Mixes & Marinades
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Our next Made at Home series with Becca Stackhouse from the University of Georgia will help you fill your freezer with good, nutritious options for meals at home!

Fill the Freezer - Mixes & Marinades

by Katie Cullum, Becca Stackhouse (UGA Extension)

How would you like to have meals ready to cook every night?  But you don't want to pay a small fortune, OR gets tons of extra sodium in the process.  You can fill your freezer with healthy meals at a fraction of the cost that you'd pay for those sodium/fat-laden meals at the store!  We'll help you.

Let's start with easy mixes and marinades!  Check out the video for information on reading labels, food safety tips, and the recipe demo.  Recipes and links below.


Mini Turkey Meatloaves or Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey 

1½ cups salsa, divided in half, (Fresh-Made Salsa – recipe below) *half not needed until cooking day 

1 egg, lightly beaten 

½ cup dry bread crumbs 

¼ cup onion, finely chopped 

½ teaspoon salt 

Dash black pepper


  1. Label your freezer container with the name, cooking instructions, and use by date (3 months from today). 
  2. Combine all ingredients, saving half of salsa for topping. 
  3. Divide meat mixture into 5 equal portions.  Shape into flattened loaves. 
  4. Place loaves in freezer container. Mini aluminum loaf pans work well for this or can place in a freezer bag. 

To Use: The day before cooking move to refrigerator to thaw. If they were frozen in bags, spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Place loaves in dish.  If in loaf pans then cook in the pan. Spoon a light layer of salsa (reserved from prep day) on top of loaves. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon additional salsa to taste over the top, bake an additional 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Nutrition Information per serving calories 250; total fat 9g; saturated fat 3.5g; sodium 140mg; total carbohydrates 11g; fiber 1g; protein 30g 


  • This recipe can be made into one large loaf; increase cooking time to one hour. 
  • Meatloaves may also be baked before freezing and then thawed and reheated. 
  • Panko breadcrumbs, crushed saltines or oatmeal can be substituted for the breadcrumbs. 
  • Recipe can be varied by substituting tomato sauce for the salsa and adding Italian seasoning (1-2 teaspoons). 
  • Italian seasoning, cumin, or chili powder can be added for a flavor variation. 
  • Ground beef (80/20) can be substituted for the ground turkey. 

Fresh Made Salsa

½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped 

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped 

2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped 

1 Tablespoon lime juice or juice from half a lime 

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced unsalted tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved 

½ teaspoon cumin 

  1. Rinse and cut onion, pepper, cilantro, and lime 
  2. Combine above ingredients in a bowl. 
  3. Add some reserved tomato liquid to thin salsa if desired. 
  4. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 24 hours to allow flavors to blend. 

Makes 2 cups. 

Nutrition Information per tablespoon:  calories 5; total fat 0g; saturated fat 0g; sodium 30mg; total carbohydrates 1g; fiber 0g; protein 0g.

Tip:  Add a can of unsalted black beans (drained) and a can of unsalted corn kernels (drained) for extra vegetables. Can be eaten with baked chips or used in any dish that calls for salsa.