At its heart, Iowa Girl Eats is about providing easy and approachable gluten-free recipes using everyday, in-season ingredients. Yes! Great, fantastic! But you know what? You also totally have my permission to forego the slow-cooking stew recipe (which we made this weekend – droooool,) for a box or bag of whatever you’ve got in the freezer.
That is to say, life is crazy and as much as we’d all like to cook a homemade dinner from scratch every night of the week, sometimes it’s just not in the cards. Rather, it’s in the freezer.
We’ve talked before about what to freeze and how – ie meat, casseroles, soups etc – but I’ve yet to talk about the specific foods and products I keep in my freezer to make our lives easier every single day. We’re going beyond the bags of frozen blueberries and shrimp to the frozen potstickers Ben and I pull out of the freezer any time we’re craving an Asian feast. The frozen pizza I pull out whenever…I’m craving frozen pizza! And yes, the ONLY gluten-free bread I stock my freezer to the very tippy top with.
Since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease over 4 years ago we’ve tried countless gluten-free frozen foods, and the 11 products below are considered my tried and true. At this point we’ve been buying and eating them for years, so please know that I 100% recommend every single one of them.
Before we get to the list, a few notes:
- Gluten-free frozen foods are NOTORIOUS for being produced in facilities with contaminated lines so be sure to inspect frozen food labels (and all labels, really) for a “made in a facility that also processes wheat” disclaimer. These products are NOT gluten-free. The brand that comes to mind with this disclaimer on their gluten-free frozen foods is Amy’s.
- At the time of this writing – March 2018 – all the products listed are gluten-free without the aforementioned factory disclaimer. Manufacturers do change though, so please always inspect labels yourself before purchasing.
- Not all these gluten-free frozen foods products are healthy! Juuust putting that out there.
Ok my friends, clear some space in the freezer for my favorite gluten-free frozen foods!
My Favorite Gluten-Free Frozen Foods
Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White Bread
By far the question I get asked the most is in regards to gluten-free foods is, “What’s your favorite gluten-free bread?” My answer never changes – Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White Bread. Soft, squishy, and can be used in place of regular white bread in any situation – fresh bread crumbs, French Toast, grilled cheese, etc. Super Target usually has the best price and carries the bread in their bakery section, while the regular grocery store and Whole Foods stocks it in the specialty freezer section. I usually stock up on 4 or 5 loaves at a time to keep in the freezer – they last forever.
If I had to pick a favorite product on this list, Feel Good Foods Chicken Potstickers would definitely be it. Not just because I have a possible unhealthy obsession with potstickers, but also because they taste EXACTLY like the one I used to eat in Japan, and I recognize every single ingredient on the back of the box. We buy them at HyVee in the specialty foods freezer section.
The term ‘freezer sausage’ used to give me the heebie jeebies. We’ve all had the rubbery patties or links filled with gristle, right? Jones Dairy Farm Pork Breakfast Sausage Links are phenomenal though. Made from a few real food ingredients and GRISTLE-FREE. You heard it here first, folks! I buy these at Costco and microwave a few links for me and the little boys almost every single morning.
The first time I used So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip was out of necessity – I needed whipped topping for a dessert I was making and Lincoln has a dairy allergy. CocoWhip to the rescue! The whipped topping stayed in our lives though because it’s so, so good and the ingredient list is light years better then regular whipped topping. Here are a few of my favorite recipes using this product:
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Banana-Mango Pina Colada Parfaits
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip
- 2-Ingredient Lemon Whip Fruit Dip
- GF/DF Dirt Cake
File Cappello’s products under “splurge” because they’re pretty pricey, but for good reason. Cappello’s offers high-quality, frozen pasta, pizza, and cookie dough products that are not only gluten-free, but grain-free too. Some are even Paleo-friendly. The cookie dough is outrageous (and egg-free so eat away!) and I have a special place in my heart, and freezer, for their gnocchi. I buy these products at Whole Foods.
You definitely don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on gluten-free frozen foods – case in point, Ore-Ida Tater Tots found in the regular freezer aisle at the grocery store. Sure, the ingredient list isn’t all that clean, but they’re tater tots you guys! (And yes, I’ve tried the “healthy” tater tot brands and no, they don’t get nearly as crispy as Ore-Ida. If you’re going to eat a tot, eat the best tot available. YOLO!) Anyway, we always keep a bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots on hand for Skillet Tater Tot Casserole and random tot cravings, plus their hash browns are the best of any frozen brand out there.
Halo Top Ice Cream
Monday night routine: set out a pint of Halo Top > put the baby to bed > dig in 20 minutes later. Perfection! I’m telling you, this lighter ice cream tastes anything but, and it’s my favorite gluten-free frozen treat. Note: not all Halo Top ice cream varieties are GF, so check labels carefully. I love the birthday cake and salted caramel flavors, especially.
Maybe it’s the 90s teen in me but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for frozen pizza. I tried Freschetta gluten-free frozen pizza through a sponsored opportunity a few years ago and have been buying them regularly ever since. I won’t say we eat them weekly, or even monthly, but it’s so nice to have a few extra stashed in the freezer for pizza emergencies. I buy these at HyVee.
My sister-in-law tipped me off to these Cali’flour Foods Pizza Crusts which are awesome if you’re looking for a cauliflower-based pizza crust but don’t want to go through the hassle of making them yourself. I haven’t seen this brand in stores – just online. I bought a 5 pack of the “plant based” crusts and use half a crust for Cameron every Friday for pizza night. SUCH a great way to get vegetables into little ones!
I try to make Lincoln chicken nuggets only when we’re in a pinch, but do feel ok about these Nature Raised Farms Organic Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets, which I find in the regular grocery store’s specialty foods freezer section. The breading is super crisp and a little spicy from a heavy dash of black pepper. Definitely like to keep a box or bag of these in the freezer for crazy nights. Note: this brand offers both GF and regular products so be sure to double check labels when purchasing.
Breakfast is definitely a meal that I wish would just go away some days! I find myself in ruts with the boys because there’s rarely enough time to make anything more elaborate then toast, breakfast bars, yogurt, sausage, etc, so it’s nice to have quick and easy options including Nature Path Chia Plus Frozen Waffles on hand. Lincoln loves these waffles, which I top with peanut butter, and I love that they’re not packed with sugar. Plus each waffle has a healthy pinch of chia seeds. Note: this brand offers both GF and regular products so be sure to double check labels when purchasing.
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