Ultimate Nachos Recipe. What to cook for dinner tonight from your freezer. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

What to Cook for Dinner Tonight from the Freezer – Meatballs, Larb, Nachos and More

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My ideas for what to cook for dinner tonight from your freezer are for those of you who have had so much going on you’ve left it too late to go shopping let alone plan something nice for dinner tonight. We hear you. Never fear, there are freezer meals. This recipe round-up includes everything from our best ground beef recipes to our easiest chicken mince recipes.

We’ve been so busy that I was not only too late to share this week’s edition of What to Cook this Weekend, our very random weeklyish recipe series with ideas for often easy, occasionally challenging, but always memorable weekend meals, we didn’t have time to go shopping.

Thankfully, if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from this pandemic (we’ve actually learnt a lot of things), it’s to always keep the freezer full of minced chicken, pork mince and ground beef, and whatever else we can cram in there. Chicken thighs and chicken breasts are also handy to have.

You’ll always find ground pork, minced beef and ground chicken in our fridge as minced meats are affordable, quick to defrost, easy to cook with, versatile, and tend to make dishes that make fantastic leftovers, such as meatballs, Bolognese and chilli con carne, whose leftovers are perfect for nachos.

So, like a lot of you who might be poking around your freezer, wondering what you can pull out to pull together a delicious late-night or last-minute dinner tonight, we’re also creating a meal from our freezer contents: frozen ground pork and canned kidney beans will form the basis of a warming bean chilli that will make a nachos with the works.

If you don’t find anything that appeals below, then do browse our recipe archives, which are jam-packed with thousands of recipes: from family recipes to recipes for dishes from around the world that we learnt to cook on our travels to dishes that we cook at home here in Southeast Asia.

Now, before you scroll down to my suggestions for what to cook for dinner tonight from your freezer, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting our work by buying us a coffee. We’ll put that coffee money toward cooking ingredients for recipe testing.

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What to Cook for Dinner Tonight from Your Freezer

Best Ground Beef Recipes from Ragu alla Bolognese and Lasagne to Chilli con Carne

You’ll find some of my best ideas for what to cook for dinner tonight from your freezer contents in this collection of our best ground beef recipes, which includes classic comforting dishes such as ragu alla Bolognese and lasagne from Northern Italy, our Cambodian inspired curried beef sausage rolls, a Tex-Mex chilli con carne, our ultimate nachos, and my recipes for the Russian dumplings pelmeni and Russian piroshki, savoury minced meat-filled hand pies.

Can’t decide what to cook tonight…

If you have time and this is not going to come together quickly, but it’s worth the wait, try our ragu alla Bolognese recipe, which is based on the traditional recipe for the classic meat sauce from Bologna in Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy. The sauce can be used to make both tagliatelle alla Bolognese and lasagne alla Bolognese.

If you follow Terence’s exacting ingredient list and cooking directions, you’ll make a perfect ragù alla Bolognese, which is rich and moreish, just as it’s made in its birthplace. Note: you’ll need 250g of beef mince for this recipe. In Bologna, they use tagliatelle, but of course you can use spaghetti.

Best Ground Beef Recipes from Ragu alla Bolognese and Lasagne to Chilli con Carne

Best Ground Chicken Recipes from Chicken Meatball Soup to Spicy Minced Chicken Salad

There are more of our best ideas for what to cook for dinner tonight from your freezer contents in this compilation of our best ground chicken recipes, which include some of our favourite minced chicken recipes that make Asian dishes such as the Thai ground chicken salad, larb gai, and the Chinese-Australian chicken lettuce wraps to my family recipes for juicy Russian kotleti (chicken patties) and a comforting chicken meatball soup. Perfect if you have chicken mince in the freezer.

Can’t decide what to cook tonight…

Now this is a dish that does come together quickly, so why not try our spicy chicken lettuce wraps recipe which makes a Southeast Asian take on the Chinese lettuce cups from Southern China and Hong Kong, popularised in Chinese-Australian restaurants in the 1970s in Australia.

There the dish usually appears on menus in Australia as ‘sang choy bow’ and can be made with ground chicken, pork or beef. Our minced chicken lettuce cups take inspiration from northern Southeast Asia, from both savoury larbs (minced meat salads) and the local custom of wrapping street food snacks in lettuce.

Best Ground Chicken Recipes from Chicken Meatball Soup to Spicy Minced Chicken Salad

 

Best Ground Pork Recipes for Delicious Southeast Asian Pork Mince Dishes Made For Sharing

There are lots more ideas for what to cook for dinner tonight from your freezer contents in this round-up of our best ground pork recipes, which feature our favourite Southeast Asian minced pork recipes that are made for sharing, from fried spring rolls to grilled pork meatballs. These often gently-spiced pork mince dishes boast punchy flavours and vibrant colours, and eaten with fresh fragrant herbs and crunchy raw vegetables are also healthy. They’re just as fun to make together as they are to eat together, they’re fantastic for spice-loving families.

Can’t decide what to cook tonight…

Why not try this Cambodian pork larb recipe for laab sach chrouk in Khmer, one of our all-time favourite pork mince recipes. It makes a lightly spiced minced pork salad that’s infused with the delightfully funky flavour of fish sauce and dusted with toasted rice powder.

Serve with fresh perfumed herbs, crunchy vegetables and steamed rice. While it has more famous, spicier cousins in Thailand and Laos, Cambodia’s pork laab is a delicious dish that will appeal to those who prefer more gentle levels of spice.

Best Ground Pork Recipes for Delicious Southeast Asian Pork Mince Dishes Made For Sharing

 

Do let us know if you make any of our suggestions for what to cook tonight from your freezer contents as we love to hear how our recipes turn out for you.

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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

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