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I have to admit, I am a little bit overwhelmed right now.
May is normally a busy month for us. Add in graduation, a couple of giant parties and getting ready for our Dubai-Greece-Turkey graduation trip, and life feels, well, overwhelming.
I need to get organized. First stop on my “Get Organized” agenda- figure out meals. And, y’all, this little Freezer-Cooking-and-then-Crock-Pot-Dinners plan has been revolutionary. So far. I mean, we’re three meals in. But it feels revolutionary (and organized- SO organized!). Plus, we have a freezer full of eleven dinners still to eat.
The best part is the time I get back each afternoon (when I’d usually be dinner prepping). Lovely.
Enough chatter- want to see exactly what I did?
First I found four crock pot recipes (most of them have overlapping ingredients which made for easy shopping and chopping). Then I quadrupled each recipes (to make four of each meal), made myself a massive shopping list, and then chopped… and chopped… and chopped. Lastly, I separated everything into sixteen freezer bags, wrote the directions on the bag and froze everything. Easy enough, right?
Want the recipes? They’re all modified from recipes I found around the internet- for more details, just click each link.
Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken with Chopped Veggies
IN THE BAG- 2 cups onions, 2 cups carrots, 2 cups zucchini, 1 cup red pepper, 1/2 tsp grated lime peel, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp flour, 4 garlic cloves, 2 lbs. cubed boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs.
TO COOK- Dump contents of bag in slow cooker. Cover with 3/4 cup chicken broth and 3 T peanut butter (whisked together). Cook on low for 5-6 hours. For the last five minutes, add in 1 can of coconut milk and 1 bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- To make it spicy, add 1/2 teaspoon of red curry paste before serving (I kept ours not-spicy for the kiddos). Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve over rice.
Coconut Chicken Curry by Martha Stewart
IN THE BAG- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs, 2 lbs of chopped butternut squash, 2 cups onions, chopped, 8 minced garlic cloves, 1 oz fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, dash coarse salt
TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag and a can of coconut milk to a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 25 minutes before serving, add another can of coconut milk and a bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- Serve with rice. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro.
IN THE BAG- 2 cups carrots, 2 cups bell peppers, 1 lb cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 8 oz. orange juice concentrate (orange pineapple juice will work as well)
TO COOK- Cook on low in crock pot, 4 to 6 hours.
TO SERVE- Garnish with clementine slices (use 4 clementines) or mandarin oranges (two cans) and green onions (two, chopped). Serve on rice. Stir fried veggies make a great side.
Maple Dijon Chicken– modified from this Man-Pleasing Chicken recipe
IN THE BAG- 1 cup red bell pepper, 1 cup green bell pepper, 1 cup carrots, 2 cups onion, 3 cups zucchini, 2 Tbsp flour, 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt
TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag with 3/4 cup of dijon mustard, and 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar to a foil lined glass pan. Cook at 450 until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve over cous cous or rice.
1. These bags serve my family of four (including me, my husband and our two young children). Adjust accordingly.
2. The freezer crockpot cooking shopping list for one of each meal follows (if you want to make sixteen meals like I did, multiply everything by four)-
For more freezer crockpot cooking check out Freezer Crockpot Cooking Round 2, the Freezer Crockpot Cooking, Garden Edition, more Freezer Crockpot Cooking, even MORE Freezer Crockpot Recipes and some tried and true favorites turned freezer dinners.
UPDATE- after trying this out for the last couple years, I wrote a review of our freezer cooking experience. It’s a good place to start if you’re new to Freezer Crockpot Cooking.
*If you are looking for the BBQ chicken instructions, they can be found HERE.
I love that you did this. I was actually planning to do a post on this very thing soon. Before I got pregnant I knew I had to make some freezer meals or my family would starve while I was too sick to cook. It worked out great. My husband always had dinner. There were always left overs, so my son always had lunch for the next day. I never had to cook during my first trimester.
Now that this baby is almost here, I am planning to do this again so I don’t have to do much cooking shortly after she joins our family.
Well it sounds like May is going to be pretty busy for you. If you ever have a free day and feel the need to bring the kids to the zoo, give me a call. We would love to meet you there!
Angela- I wish I would’ve been smart like you. My poor family has had a rough time during my pregnancies! I love this idea for a new baby too- genius! 🙂
And we’d love to zoo with y’all! Even with the craziness, our mornings still look pretty much the same- zoo, museum, Ikea, running. 🙂 We’d love to hang out with you!
Mike Baber says
What does the letter T in the ingredients mean? Is it Teaspoon or Tablespoon? If it says 1 T of salt how do you know if it means Tablespoon or Teaspoon?
Capital T = tablespoon
Small t = teaspoon
Hope that helps!
It does!!! Thank you so much for thé idea + receipe!
T=Tablespoon (capital T)
t=teaspoon (lowercase t)
IT’S A PRETTY SAFE BET THAT YOU NEVER ADD A TABLESPOON OF SALT, EVEN IF THE RECEIPE CALLS FOR ONE. IF IT DOES, IT’S PROBABLY A MISTAKE.
t – tablespoon
T – teaspoon??
Gerry Buck says
She enlarged the recipe so the T would be correct.
Big T means tablespoon little t means teaspoon!
Capital T means tablespoon, small t means teaspoon.
susan oppat says
T is tablespoon. (capital T)
t is teaspoon. (lowercase t)
I noticed that some ingredients called for a “T” and others called for a “t”. I’m guessing the capitol is table spoon and lower case is teaspoon. Hope this helps!
Easy way to remember the big T versus the little T: you can put your teaspoon on your Table, but you can’t balance your Table on a teaspoon. ( Little letter for little spoon, big letter for big spoon. ) I learned that as a kid from one of the many, many people who cooked around me. so large T for Tablespoon, small t for teaspoon.
Good memory trick!
Small t = teaspoon.
Large T = Tablespoon.
Capital T generally is Tablespoon…small t or tsp is teaspoon
as far as I know from cooking the last 50 years
Capital T is Tablespoon, lower case t is teaspoon
The big T is for the Big spoon…..Tablespoon
The small t is for the small spoon…teaspoon
No more confusion.
A capital “T” means Tablespoon. A lower case “t” means teaspoon.
capital T is Tablespoon, lower case t is teaspoon
Karen Parsons says
For the crockpot freezer meals, do you thaw them before putting in the crockpot or put the bag full of ingredients in frozen?
Hi Karen- I prefer to let the meals thaw for a day in the fridge. 🙂
Do you have to let them thaw? Or could you put them in frozen and maybe add some time to the cooking?
Hey Ashley- they seem to work better for me if I let them thaw (less bland), but they do work straight from frozen as well.
I have fibromyalgia along with rheumitiod and osteoarthritis , and a 1 yr old LOL…..i am so looking for easy recipes i can make ahead and freeze for the days i dont feel like or cant make dinner. It has to be without onions ( allergic) and mushroom , no one likes those. do u think you guys can help? i would so appreciate it.
Hey Brandi, I bet you could replace any onions with other hearty veggies. Hope that helps!
This is so totally inspirational! It also appears that it would be a very good plan for those who live on a limited budget. You get more bang for your buck by buying and using the ingredients multiple times as opposed to ingredients you may use one time for one meal.
Sheryl, true- these are great for budget menu planning!
Dear Brandi, if you use carrot or cellery you don’t need onion any more. Hope it helps.
Have you used red meat recipes for frozen crockpot recipes? I need to up the iron in my family and need to use only red meat for a while. i.e. mince and pieces. Thanks.
Hey Tina- there is a beef broccoli in one of the later posts that might work for you… Let me know if you try red meat instead of chicken in any of the others (and how it worked out for you).
Hi there..love your recipes! I just had a baby a few weeks ago and I am gearing up to go back to work full time in a month. Last night I made two of each of the above recipes (10 total) and I am LOVING my freezer as well. Have you tried any of the recipes as of now, besides the coconut curry chicken one? Just curious if there are any of them that I may want to alter based on your family’s experience with them. The man pleasing chicken one with all the dijon and maple syrup seems like it could either be totally awesome, or a little too funky. Just interested to hear your thoughts chef! Thanks for the great blog post 🙂
Hey Kayla, YES! We definitely have a few favorites. I wrote about our experience here-
Hopefully that post saves you some time and ingredients. 😉
Shelley Keys says
Thanks for the great recipes! Do you have any that are not chicken?
Yep, look through the freezer cooking posts… there are beef and pork ones…
Why not use crock pot liners instead of zip bags?
Because you don’t want to cook your food in hot plastic! So much better for you to simply cook in the pot 🙂
I put mine in the crockpot liners then stuff them in the freezer bags. I just started doing it that way recently and will always do it that way in the future.
Ammie Wallace says
Do you happen to have your shopping list? This is the first “Frozen Crock pot” meal plan I have come across that the recipes sound so yummy! I am excited to try doing this now!
Ammie- it’ll take some looking, but there is a shopping list that someone else shared in the comments. 🙂
Good luck with your first time putting these together! I made one a freezer crockpot meal tonight, actually… it’s been such a great thing for our family. 🙂
Heather Brauer says
Aww, I’m saddened that you had to do your own meal planning for times in your life like this, illness and deliver of a child. BUT so excited that you thought ahead! I’m so blessed to have a large church “family” and blood family that bring me meals when I’ve been super ill for a month and with the birth of each baby. For about 2 weeks each time.
This would be good thing to have on hand when you “unexpectedly” have to return the favor of providing a meal for a unanticipated situation within your family or church. You can bet they will be talking about the delicious meal that you made at the spur of the moment in addition to your own busy schedule 😉
Sheryl, exactly- I love having the chance to bless people like that.
Have any of you ever considered selling these frozen meal in a bag? I reckon elderly people who can’t do much chopping, or people who struggle on a daily basis (I fall into this category) , well, infact, anyone, would benefit from these, with instructions wrote on each bag…. Just a thought. 🙂
Some of these recipes look amazing, I’ve copied a few of them and going to give them a try when I can 🙂
Stephanie, I think you have quite the idea here! I hope someone runs with it!
elizabeth spruilL says
There is a company who does freezer meals for people who can’t or don’t know how, they are called Dream Dinners. It was started by a busy mom with the idea to create meals for people on the go. Their dishes change monthly. I took advantage of it when we brought home our second baby. We were in the middle of moving, so I didn’t have the ability to prepare freezer meals for myself. This company was amazing! My husband could just “dump and cook” according to the directions that came with the meals.
Thanks for the resource Elizabeth!
It certainly would be good for an elderly relative that may live alone. It is a known fact that most elderly people who live alone do not spend enough time preparing nutritious meals due to the fact that they find cooking for “one” a waste of time. Also a pretty good idea for a college student who may live in an apartment away from home. So many ways these recipes are just an amazing idea!
That’s true, Sheryl! I love this idea!
Starting to sell the bags brings us back to TV dinners at your grocers. The beauty of this idea is that you season it the way you like, personalize it for any allergies and know exactly what in them. if you want to help an elderly person, you might “adopt” one and plan the meal together; then prepare it and deliver for their freezer.
Sharing these is a great idea!
for the vegetables I simple used bags of frozen mixed vegetables which closest resembled what was in the recipes.
Debbi Erichsen says
Hello and thank you for the awesome ideas and recipes!! I didn’t notice that you put how many servings this would make for each? Could you please let me know so I know to double up if I need too?
Thank you so much!!
Hey Debbi- they feed my family of four. Hope that helps!
Does anyone know where I can find veggie free crock pot recipies? I would love to give this a try, but I have a picky eater to cook for
Janelle- have you searched around on pinterest?
suzie Q says
Puree the veggies and call it sauce for fussy eaters. You will have to cook them first to get a good mushy sauce, Give each sauce a name – yummy sauce.. tasty sauce etc etc to encourage them to try it.
I did not know you could freeze raw carrots etc without first.. blanching??? Love the recipes would like to give them a try!
Hey Anne, honestly, the BBQ chicken with the carrots is not my favorite- maybe it’d work better if you blanched the veggies? However, I don’t blanch the squash and the coconut curry is amazing…
WOW!! may is a very busy month for you! hope you are able to enjoy it all. thanks for sharing these recipes… such a great idea!!
It IS busy- feels crazy right now. All good stuff- just a lot of it. 🙂
I was so excited to see your name on here- you girls were one of my SNAP highlights- I just loved having the chance to hang out with you! 🙂
Great recipes! Can’t wait to try them. Definitely need a day of chopping. 🙂
Like I said, it’s revolutionary. 🙂
Mama and Baby Love says
Thanks for the link back! My ecookbook comes out on Wednesday if you need some new recipes for next month! 🙂
What a great recipe- love it! Can’t wait to see the ecookbook!
amazing. i need to do this!! thanks for posting this.
thanks kate! seriously, try it- not having to worry about dinner a few times a week is AMAZING. 🙂
Leigh Anne says
You soooo read my mind! I’ve been meaning to research some crockpot recipes to make-ahead. On those days that I do start something in the crockpot, the afternoon & eve seem to go sooooo much smoother. And, I get in more time to do what I want to do…genious! Thanks for the great recipes…looks like my fam would love every one 🙂
Leigh Anne, thanks for the sweet words. We haven’t tried all of the recipes yet, but the ones we’ve made have turned out great! And I’m totally with you- I love crockpot dinner days! 🙂
Tracy Schoenmann says
what is crockpot liners? and does anyone have any recipes to use pasta in the crockpot.. and how would i do that im sure i could add pasta to just about any as long as i do it right??????
Tracy, I haven’t tried pasta in the crockpot… I would probably make the pasta separately and then add it to whatever I made in the crockpot.
You can find crock pot liners near the storage and freezer bag section in the grocery store. I love, love, love them. I got mine at Walmart for less than $2 a box for 4 liners. Put them in your crockpot dump your meal in and toss it in the trash when you’re finished eating. I especially love them when we are camping. Makes clean up a breeze.
Pasta will overcook fairly quickly so it is best added at the end of the slow cook. You can judge the done-ness by tasting. And you soon will know what time you should plan for which pasta style. I’d suggest not using spaghetti or linguine, unless your crockpot is large enough to add these without breaking them! Elbows, penne, ziti, and other short pastas will work really well.
First off, TOTALLY jealous about your trip. My sister lives in Dubai too and I’m DYING to see her and her fam (webcams are nice but still leaves something missing.)
Second, I’ve got a busy month coming…not crazy busy like you…I think some freeze crockpot meals might be coming our way! Thanks for the tips!
Karen- your sister lives in Dubai??? Did I already know that???? I feel like you and I have a special bond. 🙂 Thank goodness for Skype, but the time difference is killing me lately. I feel like I never get to see my nieces (they’re always in bed when my sis and I find time that we’re both us).
And let me know if you do the freezer meals- it’s fabulous, I tell you! 🙂
Well done! Freezer meals are what kept us eating during my first trimester 🙂
I bet! I wish I would’ve been that smart!
Melanie McClendon says
I love the ideas about having a freezer full of meals! Makes planning it so much easier! Do you by an chance have a shopping list of all the groceries you used? Thanks!
It is making life so much easier.
You know, I started to type up my shopping list to share, but I had a bunch of the stuff on hand (most of the veggies, actually), so it wouldn’t be that helpful. 🙂
Sara Wells says
I typed up the grocery list for myself…here it is:
4.5 lbs. cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast.
5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
6 C onions + 2 medium chopped ( about 5)
6 cups carrots (about 12 or 1 bag)
8 Cups Zucchini ( about )
2 lbs of chopped butternut squash (about )
2 C sweet potatoes
1 Red pepper +5 cups
4 C green bell pepper + 1 C
2bag frozen peas
2 Cans mandarin oranges or use 4 clementines
1 bunch cilantro
19 garlic cloves
1 oz fresh ginger
6 TBS flour
2 T curry powder
1 t ground coriander
Rosemary (to garnish)
1 t ground cumin
3 T salt
1/2 t pepper
2 TBS soy sauce
3/4 C chicken broth
3 Can coconut milk
1 bottle BBQ sauce
3/4 Cup maple syrup
1 TBS of rice wine vinegar
3/4 Cup Dijon mustard
8 oz. orange juice concentrate (orange pineapple will work as well)
1 bag rice
1 handful cashews & Peanuts
3 TBS Peanut butter
OHMYGOODNESS, sarah this is fabulous! Do you mind if I add it to the post?
Sara Wells says
No! go ahead! 🙂 It really helped me, just thought it might help others 😉
I’m assuming this grocery list is for one set of each meal. Correct? Not doubled, tripled, etc.
I’m so excited to try this! June is our crazy busy month.
I think that’s right Alicia… confirmation anyone???
When I had everything doubled and tripled, I had to buy pounds and pounds and pounds of chicken.
Good luck in your crazy month! 🙂
Looks like this grocery list is just for one set of all the recipes given. You’d have to double or triple the ingredients in the list if you want more than one meal of each. 🙂
(Just confirming…was making the grocery list on my own before seeing this post! Thank you, Sara!)
Anytime Julie! 🙂
This is fantastic. Thank you so much for the list. That’s the way my brain works, so that helped tremendously!
My brain works that way too, Crystal. Love the lists. 🙂
This shopping list is to make how many of each bag? Thanks! Can’t wait to do these!
Vikki B says
The list makes one of each meal. I wish I had have read the comments and found the list before I made my own.
THANK YOU for all the work you put into this to give us a list!!! Quick question, in the fruits/veggies section, it states ‘1 red pepper + 5 cups’. Not exactly sure how to decipher this. Can you explain?
Lenora Sikes says
Same question as Kelli—
January 24, 2014 at 7:36 am
THANK YOU for all the work you put into this to give us a list!!! Quick question, in the fruits/veggies section, it states ’1 red pepper + 5 cups’. Not exactly sure how to decipher this. Can you explain?
Hey Lenora- the recipes call for 5 cups of red peppers and also one whole red pepper. Hope that helps.
OMG thank you. I am so kitchen lazy and a terrible cook. These recipes and this grocery shopping list have saved my life. Can’t wait to try them.
Kari, freezer crockpot cooking is a game changer for sure! 🙂
Elsie Faetz says
thank you for posting the shopping list 🙂
Elizabeth Glory says
thanks for this shopping list!
I have a question: when the ingredients list says “1 Red pepper +5 cups, or
4 C green bell pepper + 1 C” I am not sure what that means. If it calls for one red pepper, and then says 5 more cups, that’s certainly more than one red pepper, right? Or, 4 cups green peppers, and then adds one more cup, why not just say 5 cups green pepper?? What am I missing?
I actually didn’t make the list (a reader did), but I think it means 1 whole red bell pepper and also five cups of chopped red peppers. Hope that helps.
Thank You, I was wondering where the grocery list was. Love it.
Deb H. says
This makes life so much easier. Last month, I went to my son and daughter-in-love’s and made 34 freezer meals for them in two days. They did the menu planning and shopping. I did the cooking and cleanup. Last week, I made 10 more freezer meals for my daughter. I did everything on that one! I guess it’s my bad…she doesn’t cook! This is such a wonderful way for me to help and encourage my kids. Your meals look great and I may have to use some of them on the next go round.
I love that- lucky kids!!! 🙂
Rhonda Coker says
Would you like to adopt another child? That is so sweet of you to do that for your family!
Haha- thanks Rhonda. 🙂
Great idea! The recipes look fabulous and without any modifying, will be things my family will eat. Can’t wait to start putting my shopping list together. Thanks!
Nikki @ Outnumbered says
this. is. awesome.
Jennifer Jacobson says
One question. This may seem obvious to others, but do you thaw your frozen ingredients before putting in the crock pot or do you just put it in as-is?
I’ve just been putting them in as is. 🙂 I think the frozen doesn’t matter because they cook all day???
Sarah Reiss says
Thanks so much for asking the question about whether or not you put everything in frozen or have to defrost first. I was reading all of the lovely comments looking for that exact answer. Can’t wait to try this!
Now that I’ve been doing this for a year and a half, I should probably say that I’ve done both. If I remember, I put the meal in the fridge for a day first and then in the crockpot. If not, I put it in the crockpot frozen… Good luck!
I just found your website today. Linked from moneysavingmom. Love your recipes but had the same question. Thawed or frozen? Looking forward to joining the freezer cooking moms! This will be my first try!
Hey Angela, I usually thaw the meals for a day in the fridge before cooking them. However, you can put them right in the crockpot frozen. I feel like they turn out better when I let them thaw, so that’s what I’ve been doing.
for safety reasons,i would suggest that u thaw before adding to crockpot,,i know eventually it is heated to a safe zone,but it will take ALOT longer if items are frozen, u dont want raw meat sitting at unsafe temps since crock pots take awhile and cook at a low temp to start.and depending how solidly frozen the pack it,,depends on thaw time. im not sure raw veggies and meats are a good idea to freeze either,,maybe precook a little beforehand.
Thanks for the tips Judy!
Dot Feragne says
My 7 qt Cuisinart crockpot booklet says that, even if you set it on low for however many hours, for the first two hours it cooks on HIGH for the reason you mention about raw (frozen or thawed) meat in the recipe. That way, it doesn’t build up the nitrates from being in a warm environment too long.
Not an obvious..cause i was scrolling thru to see if i saw this exact question..thanks for asking and thanks kristin for answering…i can’t wait to do this!!!1
I wondered about putting the raw veggies in the freezer…we used to ‘blanch’ veggies before freezing. Do they turn to mush? or are they firm & identifiable? These look delish & I will be trying them for all the soon to be new moms at our church. thanks!
I see someone further down already asked this question…thanks
Glad you saw the answer, Laurel! Also, I had some bags of frozen veggies on hand and those turned out to work great (maybe the nice people at Green Giant blanch theirs first? Whatever the case, those worked great!).
I wanted to know if I could add them frozen too. So cool! Thanks!
Jami Whaley says
That’s what I was looking for. I suppose the bag could thaw in the fridge the night before and work as well. Excited about trying these delicious looking recipes!!
Something I’ve always done when freezing things is to freeze them in flat. This cuts the thaw time down and the flat bags can be easily organized into bins which keep the freezer neat and tidy!
My Crock Pot met with an unfortunate accident and desperately needs to be replaced. Stovetop and oven cooking during the summer in East Texas are major no-no’s! I’m a nanny of 4 kiddos who are probably growing tired of grilled meals. I can’t wait to try out these recipes when I get a new Crock Pot!!!!
Haha, I don’t want to use the oven right now at all either! 🙂
Janet Munro says
Thank you, I was looking for whether or not to thaw the meals first. I thought it would make it hard to get the meals out of the plastic bags while still frozen, and another advantage of thawing them in the fridge overnight is that it cools the fridge down a few degrees, meaning the fridge works less to stay cold, saving a little on cooling costs.
Question – (sorry if I’ve missed something) – I’m a bit confused. There are 5 recipes, but they’re separated into 14 freezer bags? What am I missing?
I love this idea, and the recipes looks so yummy! I’ll be having my 3rd kiddo in about 6 weeks (or earlier!) so this will definitely help out. 🙂
Hey Kristen- you’re not missing anything- I doubled/tripled all of the recipes (actually, I made four of the bbq chicken). 🙂 I’ll add that to the post. 🙂
Since you’ve subdivided each recipe into smaller bags are the “to cook” directions for each small bag or for the whole recipe? In other words, do we also need to divide the “to cook” ingredients? I looked at the original recipes but am still uncertain. Please advise. 🙂
Hey Renee- the ‘to cook’ directions are for one bag each (don’t divide those up). Hope that helps!
kristen duke photography says
woohoo! need to be writing this down…
I just copied and paste to Microsoft word, works great
Next time I’ll try your recipes. But you finally inspired me to do this too! It took a lot more chopping than I could have even expected!
I love freezer cooking, but I don’t do the crockpot ones that often. Great recipes!
You must feel so good to have all those meals in the freezer at the ready. And by the sound of all your activities in May you are really going to need those meals!
You have inspired me to give this a try.
My DIL is due with her first baby at the end of the month.
I’m thinking that she could use some of these quick and easy meals in her freezer!
Tammy, what a great idea! Your DIL will LOVE this. 🙂
Have you tried all of these recipes before, especially the orange chicken. I’d like to know if it turned out well, and not watery.
Hey Sarah- I should put a disclaimer on there- we hadn’t tried ANY of the recipes (though, now we’ve tried the BBQ, the curry and the man-pleasing chicken all with good reviews). Most of the recipes said to add corn starch or flour if the recipes were watery. If one of the recipes doesn’t turn out, I’ll update the post. 🙂
bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com says
Genius! This is my kind of cooking 🙂
thanks bettijo! 🙂
You could have used this little gadget: http://www.amazon.com/Genius-7-Piece-Vegetable-Cheese-Cutter/dp/B003NXVZIW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1335963424&sr=8-3
It’s great and saves time! 🙂
Love this advice on organization! 🙂
no kidding- it was tons of chopping. 🙂 I could’ve used all sorts of help. 🙂
Kelli Greer says
Sounds easy! I had a question. I’ve used those bags before and had a problem with freezer burn. Even made sure all of the air was out before dealing. Any suggestions?
Kelli, the first several I used weren’t even frozen (just used them for the fridge). And they’ll only be in the freezer for a few weeks max (planning on using all of them in the next few weeks). I’ll update the post if I have problems.
The best thing when making these “chop all day” recipes in advance is my vacuum pack machine! Not only does the food not get freezer burn, but they are flatter in my freezer! Which means more “meals in a bag” in the freezer!
Also works great for all the left overs! Vac Pack smaller portions already cooked for lunches or after school snacks
Ooooh, great suggestion! I love that!
Another great way to ‘vacuum pack’ the bags is to squeeze most air out and close all the way but leave room for a straw and suck all the air out. I’ve never had any trouble squeezing my air out and making them flat packs by hand, but this works for those who do.
Sue- I am one of the people who does that straw trick! 🙂 Love it! 🙂
You inspired me! I’ve been meaning to get around to this forever.
Next time I’m trying your recipes!
LOVE this! The curry is our fav so far for when you try this batch of recipes. 🙂 I’ll have to try yours too (love it that they’re low cal). 🙂
Do you happen to have your shopping list still? I have a hard time converting cups of veggies to pieces…This is a brilliant idea.
I had most of the produce on hand, so my shopping list didn’t include most of the veggies. I remember that I had a bag of onions, a couple of butternut squashes and six or seven bell peppers here, though (I bought more bell peppers, I think).
Sorry that isn’t nearly as helpful as it could be- haha! 🙂
Sara Wells says
are the amounts you gave us the trippled amounts or the regular amounts and then you trippled them later? thanks…
Sara, the amounts that I gave are for ONE recipe- so everything still needs to be doubled/tripled/quadrupled. 🙂
Sara Wells says
thanks! I tried the BBQ one tonight, didn’t really like the flavors though 🙁 but part of it might be that I put it on HIGH while I went to work not LOW! oops…haha
Sara- I did that the first time too! I thought is was the recipe, but we tried it again a couple of nights ago (on the right setting) and it was great (I actually put it in in the afternoon and only cooked it for four hours the second time- worked great). Try it again and let me know!
This is awesome! We’re planning a long driving trip this summer, and I was going to take a crock-pot to do some dinners in the hotel room to save some cash. This way, I’ll just throw a few frozen dinners in the cooler and take them with us. One word of warning– be careful about putting a fully frozen chunk of stuff in the crock. I’ve cracked the ceramic liner doing that– the thermal stress between the frozen contents and the hot exterior seems to be too much. You’ll probably want to thaw the bag in the frig for a day or so.
Taryn- what a great idea for your trip! I never would’ve considered that.
Also, thanks for the word of warning. I think all of the recipes listed have added liquid/sauce (I haven’t made the hot and spicy peanut chicken yet, though), so not to worry about a frozen chunk. However, I didn’t know that at all, so thanks for the warning. 🙂
alicia @ la famille says
hey sweets 🙂 did you leave today!?! i just pinned this and realize you so sweetly shouted me out and i never commented to thank you! thanks, sweet friend. hope it’s all going smoothly…i know you’re hitting the road soon if you haven’t already…
So each bag is to feed 2 adults and a couple of small children? I have 6 kids 3-14 and the oldest 4 eat like horses (though you wouldn’t know it to look at them). Did you end up with much in the way of leftovers from them? I’m trying to think if I’d double this or maybe even triple it for each meal.
Hey Dielle! I would triple the recipes probably if you have big eaters. I’ve been making rice and a giant salad for each one and relying heavily on the sides for filler.
If you make these, would you let me know how the portions end up for your family? I think it’d be great to share that info with people. 🙂
Thanks for these recipes! What a great idea! I have had problems with freezing vegetables without blanching first (carrots turning black, etc.) Did you blanch any of the veggies or just freeze them all raw? Have you had any problem with spoiling?
Hey Andrea… you know, I just chopped them all and put them in and haven’t had any trouble at all with the veggies. We did eat everything within a month, though (several of them didn’t even make it to the freezer- just went from the fridge to the crock pot, actually). I wonder if that made a difference?
Do you cook the meat prior to freezing
No, unless noted (there’s a chicken enchilada soup recipe later on that requires cooked chicken I believe)…
Wonderful recipes! I am excited to try them. Do you know how many servings each recipe is for? 4 per recipe? Thanks!
Hey Carley- I’d say they serve around 4- maybe 3 if you’re big eaters. I’ve been making a big salad (and usually rice) to go with each one to stretch the ‘main dish’ a little further. 🙂
Gina at CampClem says
Have you ever been to Jackie Brown’s “Mom On A Mission” website? She has about a gah-zillion freezer meal recipes!
No! I will have to check that out! I was just thinking that I’d love to do this every month or two and wanted to try out more recipes. 🙂
It looks like you put broccoli in one of your recipe’s (from the picture), but it’s not listed on any ingredient list. Did I miss something or does something just look like broccoli?
Hey Betsy- I ended up adding a bag of frozen mixed veggies to the bags (just spreading it around) to boost the veggie count! 🙂 You’re not seeing things. 🙂
Yum! Can’t wait to try these! Thank you for sharing! Did you end up freezing the recipe with the sweet potatoes in it? I thought they would turn black like regular potatoes do…
Stacey- I ended up using butternut squash for all of the sweet potato requirements (I had pounds and pounds on hand). That turned out great, though. 🙂
Ok, can I get some crockpot help, please? I tried the hot and spicy braised peanut chicken and it was just so-so. I don’t think it’s the ingredients because I love all of them. It just lacked flavor. But I’ve found that anything I cook in my crockpot lacks flavor. The only way I didn’t follow the recipe to a T was I put a little less chicken in, but I would think that would only enhance the flavor as less meat would get more flavor. Help!
Heather- I didn’t try the hot and spicy yet, so I can’t compare notes. Do you like curry? The coconut curry recipe is my favorite that we’ve tried yet. 🙂
Made hot spicy peanut braised chicken…need to add 4 teaspoons of the curry and added the ginger the original recipe called for – also added more soy sauce and peanut butter – delicious!
KK- I think the major complaint on the crock pot meals is that they’re bland- I love this help on making it flavorful! 🙂
Easy, freezer crockpot meals that don’t include tomatoes in any form. Do you know how hard that is to find? I desperately want to use the crockpot more often but can’t find a lot of recipes my picky tomato-free family will eat. Thanks to you, I’m one step closer.
Jill, I didn’t even notice the lack of tomatoes- glad that works for your family!!! 🙂
we are on our third recipe today! The orange chicken was completely not a winner, so we won’t make it again. The coconut chicken was amazing, and I will definitely be adding it to my regular rotation. It seemed to make a lot, as just my husband & I ate it, and we probably got six-eight portions from it.
Tonight is Man-Pleasing Chicken night. My son gobbled up his, and my husband & I, who eat later, have been picking from the pan, so I worry this may only be one (very big!) meal. Delicious!
I love that all of these were chicken, because I mostly do vegetarian cooking, we don’t eat beef & pork, and this made a handy way to incorporate more chicken into our meals without me having to think much.
Emily, thanks for the feedback! The coconut curry was my favorite hands down. It’ll make it into my monthly rotation for sure!
And I made a couple of orange chickens and a couple of the bbq chickens and thought they were a mixed bag. I need to tweak a little.
Any other favorite crock pot recipes to share? I want to do another one of these posts!
Kate T says
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Now to talk my hubby into buying me a freezer chest!
Kate, we do have a deep freezer, but we didn’t use it for these. Since they’re in ziplocs, they fit pretty well in the regular freezer. 🙂
Brooke P says
What size crockpot do you have? Do these recipes feed families of four or do you need to double them? Sorry for the questions…I am just getting into the blogging scene, but I am learning a lot from all of the busy mothers out there!! Thanks for the great ideas….this will save a ton!! (we eat out to much out of convienence ;(
I think my crockpot is 5 quarts (just a normal, average size- not bigger than usual, but not teeny either).
Also, all of the recipes feed a family of four for sure!
Love it that you found us. 🙂
I am so excited about this. I have already made my shopping list and ready to go to the store tomorrow. But I was wondering if you had any other recipes beside chicken ones. I would love to try these w beef pork fish and whatever else there is out there. Thank you for my now Organized Dinners.
Hey Mary- you could definitely try these with pork, beef or chicken (if you do, let me know how they turn out). Also, if you’re wanting more recipe ideas, I love searching around pinterest for freezer crockpot recipes. 🙂
I love your recipes!!! They are different than what I usually find and awesome!! I was wondering how you all put your crock pot on and leave for work, errands etc all day and not have it burn? Is it safe to put the stuff in the morning and then have a timer turn it on?
Hey Libby- I usually do stir everything a couple times during the day (the BBQ chicken burned the first time because I either left it on for too long or the crockpot was turned up too high). After that, I’ve been putting the crockpot on it’s lowest setting (low- 10 hours is what it says). I think the meals would do fine without the periodic checking in or stirring. In fact, I’m planning on making one today- maybe I’ll try just leaving it.
If you try it out (dumping them in and leaving them all day), would you let me know if it works for you????
Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Krista Dahm says
Kirstin this is great! I have been wanting to do this for some time. I just returned to work full time 🙁 It is a BIG adjustment and dinner time has become the most difficult and I need to start organizing myself and planning ahead. I cannot wait to try this. I am going to make these this weekend! I hope you are all well 🙂
Thanks friend! It seriously makes life SO MUCH EASIER. 🙂 Also, check in Monday for another batch of recipes (tried a different set for this month!). 🙂
So glad you stopped by (did you see Mary and Rashid’s burrito bar? ;))
Wow what a great time saver. I am going to try and do this soon! Cooking ahead is such a good idea. My husband works 18 hours a day so I mostly cook for one and so I am going to have lots of left overs, helps me from eating a lot of junk food if I cook less!
Amanda, totally with you!!! 18 hours a day is A TON (is he in dental school by chance?). 🙂 We have long days around here too and these keep me and the kiddos from having cereal for dinner. 🙂
Paula @ The Tween & Me says
LOVE this idea! I can’t wait to start making these…. and making my life easier! Crockpots + easy recipes = mom’s best friend!!
YES Paula- absolutely! 🙂
This is great. Anything I can do to save time prepping in the kitchen is wonderful for me. I do not use my crockpot enough bc I cant get organized but this may help 🙂 thank you!
Jenn, totally with you (if crockpot meals are just as much work, it isn’t helpful, right???). 🙂 It’s so nice to get it all done at once! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by…
Exactly my thoughts! I’m going to leave my crockpot on the counter so I remember to use it more often!
I love the idea of this BUT I am curious to know how safe is it really to put raw meat in with vegetables for such a length of time?
Hey Barbara- since everything is frozen until you use it and then gets cooked in the crockpot all day when you pull it out, I think the danger is minimal. I haven’t kept any of the frozen meals for longer than a few weeks though.
Hey Kirst, I just saw a link to this article from money-saving mom and thought I would say hi! I’ve been dreaming about trying freezer meals so glad you have some good ones to share! I’ve been using emeals.com and it is pretty awesome too…have a fun month! Xo
Ruth, I LOVE it that you found us on MSM!!! 🙂 Try the curry and the rosemary chicken- they are YUMMY (still haven’t tried the others yet!). 🙂 So fun to see your name pop up! XOXO!
my question is- how long do all of these bags stay good in the freezer? I seem to be hesitant about freezer meals because i have no idea how long they remain good!
Hey Dina… I wish I could be more helpful, but we eat them within the month, so I don’t know if they last longer than that. I think the more chicken heavy ones would do better for longer (the honey rosemary chicken from round 2 that I posted Monday doesn’t have any veggies in it), but I am nervous about leaving the veggies in the freezer for very long.
If you try it and figure it out, let me know, ok?
These look great! I’ve been doing freezer meals for ages, but haven’t done much with the crockpot. I’m wondering if you have trouble with the skins of the bell peppers? Mine always seem to get really tough or come off in peels which I think are just… nasty. Does the zucchini come through freezer and then crockpot okay? Haven’t had much luck with that in the freezer either. Thought I’d ask in case there’s a trick, or maybe you just need the right recipe!
Hey Kate- I haven’t had trouble with any of the veggies yet. My theory is that we eat them so quickly that the freezer doesn’t have much time to do its work??? If you try it and still have trouble, will you let me know?
Thanks for the ideas – wondering if you put this all in the crockpot to cook frozen, or if you defrost first? Trying to get an idea for if your cooking times are based on thawed or frozen. Thanks!
All of the cooking times are based on starting frozen. If you thaw it first, you can put it in the crockpot for less time on low instead of high. 🙂
Hannah L says
Hubby’s concern…is it safe cooking chicken from raw in a crockpot? He’s worked in food service for years and seems like it would keep in the “danger zone” for too long?
Hmmm, hannah, your husband is way more of an expert than I am about this! We haven’t any trouble yet though… 🙂
Hannah L says
That works for me! 🙂 If you’re already on month 2 and no problems…I’m sure it’s fine.
Everything looks good and I’m hitting the store tomorrow, but first a question. In some of the pictures, the bags look like they contain broccoli. Did you substitute broccoli in any of the recipes and if so, which ones worked best?
Hey Carla- I added broccoli to the BBQ chicken (I added some frozen veggies from a bag and there was broccoli in the mix). I’m not sure I would recommend it, which is why it isn’t in the recipe. 🙂 Very observant, friend! 🙂
love this! and I love the idea of doing this now, while all those veggies are in season, and saving them for colder days ahead!
Hey Liz- I am totally with you- trying to take advantage of the summer veggies while we still can.
hey i’m sure i probably missed it in the comments, but how many servings does each bag make? this is my first attempt at freezer meals, i’m hoping it goes well!! thanks for the recipes
Hey Heidi- they each serve a family of 4 (more if you serve with a big salad and a batch of couscous/rice). 🙂
Gen Le says
I just started working full time and have two girls, 8 years and 5 months, and a husband that works nights, I am so glad I found you!! I have three made, the coconut chicken curry for tonight, and the Santa Fe chicken and honey rosemary chicken for later this week, I can’t wait! Just one question, how many servings are there per recipe?
Gen- your life sounds crazy (ours is that way too). Having dinners done is such a hue help in the chaos, right? I use the serving size listed for our family of 4 (usually with a big batch of couscous/rice and a big salad). Sometimes we have leftovers (not of the honey rosemary, though- haha). 🙂
Gen Le says
Thank you so much! Having one prep day and dinners for the week is going to be great. I can’t wait to try them all.
Thanks for doing this. I am really excited about trying it! I was wondering if anyone has tried the Man Pleasing Chicken in the Crock Pot instead the Oven. Also, did you put the mustard mixture in the bag and freeze it or just put it on right before you cooked it? Thanks!
Mustard mixture right before cooking (not frozen)- and I don’t know about the crockpot vs. the oven. 🙂
I’m so excited about this! I have all these meals prepped and in the freezer. Just one question, anyone have an estimated cooking time for the man-pleasing chicken?
Hey love- are you doing it in the oven? I think people have done it in both the crock pot and the oven, but I’ve only done it in the oven (defrost in the fridge the day before and then bake for 45-ish minute [mine took a little longer than that]).
Hope that helps! 🙂
Thanks, Kirstin! We’re eating this tonight! Love you, girl!
Anika Ferguson says
I’m trying the coconut curry chicken tonight. The Martha Stewart recipe you adapted this from doesn’t have the butternut squash in it. After adding 2 lbs of cubed squash my crock pot is FULL! I can’t imagine tying to double this recipe. We have a large family (6 kids) and I am sure this will be enough. I am going to serve it over jasmine rice though. I’m looking forward to leftovers.
Hey Anika- how did it turn out?
Yep, the squash is an addition (there are several modifications, actually). The curry is GREAT leftover. Hope you guys enjoyed it. 🙂
I want to prep the orange chicken but have frozen chicken breasts…any suggestions on what to do? Do I prep everything else and just throw the frozen breasts in the crockpot and not cut up?
Hmmm- that’s what I would try. Will you let me know how it turns out if you try it?
Just found this through Pinterest, and was wondering if the ingredients just get put straight in the bag or do you mix stuff together then put it in the bag?
Thanks for the great idea!
Hey Kacey- I just put everything straight into the bag (it mixes a little before you freeze it and then, of course, mixes in the crockpot). 🙂
Thanks for the recipes. I read somewhere – sorry I can’t give credit where credit is due, but instead of ziploc bags, put everything in one of those crock pot liner bags, then right into your crock pot! Gen-i-ous!!!
What a GREAT idea, Kathy, love that!
I read this a couple of months back and immediately went out and bought all of the ingredients and froze all of the recipes. Afterwards, I came back and read the reviews. We’ve tried all of the recipes, except for the Orange chicken. I’ve been saving that one because some of the reviews said that it wasn’t all that great. I tweaked it a little. I added some of the sauce that it cooked in to a saucepan, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and red pepper flakes and brought it to a simmer. I then added some cornstarch and water and let it thicken for a minute. I chopped up the chicken and put it in the sauce and coated it, served it over rice and it was excellent! I will definitely make it again. We have now completed our freezer meals, so I’m looking for some new recipes. Thank you so much, these were so simple and perfect for my busy family!
Amber, thanks so much for the input. I will have to try that with the Orange Chicken! 🙂
Glad these are working well for you!
Out of curiousity, did you cook the orange chicken in the crockpot then alter the sauce after cooking, or was this just a different way of cooking the recipe?
Hey Liz, yes, just a different way to try this recipe. However, honestly, many times I just make the ‘freezer crockpot’ meals in the oven- it seems to work just as well for us.
Thank u so much for doing this!!!!! I love it!!!
Me too Angela! Hopefully it makes your life easier (like it does around here). 🙂
I have a question for you. I’ve made two of the meals from this post, froze them, and have been using them this Fall (I just made them a month or so ago, so they haven’t been frozen that long). I leave them in the crockpot for 6 or 7 hours on lo and while they smell great, we get them out and they are so bland. Do you have any thoughts?? I haven’t been tasting them along the way simply because I don’t know at what point the chicken is cooked, but I’m disappointed and wondering if it’s my crockpot – could it be overcooking things?? Any suggestions would be appreciated because I love these recipes and the smell lovely!!
Hey Lisa. That’s happened to me too. I have started cooking them for shorter (4 hours or so) and they seem to do fine, done-wise.
Also, sometimes at the end, I add more of whichever spices are in the dish (more orange juice, for the orange chicken for example, or more honey, rosemary and balsamic for the Honey Rosemary chicken. Garlic salt seems to help as well.
If you try anything else that works, will you let me know?
Same here Lisa. Adding ingredients has helped the flavor when I tried it on the BBQ Chicken. Hey Kirstin! I didn’t realize that you were the one commenting on the post I referenced. I feel like I should thank you for your dedication to the success of the recipes! You seem genuinely interested in the results of these recipes! Thank you!
Karyn- glad the extra ingredients help you too…
And thanks for your sweet comment. I want this to be something that helps people (not something burdensome, if that makes sense). Plus, I’d love tips for my own crockpot cooking! 🙂
I just see the 5 recipes….where are the others? Thanks!
Hey Karla- it says in the post how many repeats I made (two of one, three of another, four of another, etc.) to equal the fifteen meals. 🙂
Oh my God ! That’s fucking brillant ! That takes so less place than cooking the whole thing and then freezing it in tuperware. Plus, your meal is fresh cooked. I love this idea !
haha- laughing out loud, anne! 🙂
Love this idea, but one of my 4 kiddos does not eat beef, pork, or chicken, so I’m often stuck making two meals (tonight was chicken and fish) or going all vegetarian (which is fine with me). I’d love to see more meatless slow-cooker recipes.
Good idea Elizabeth! I have a meatless chili that I make in the crockpot- maybe I’ll add that next round.
Great-Grandpa Mike says
These recipes all look great, nice just for those who prepare the meals !! Also very nice for those who consume them as well; sure beats “Meals on Wheels” or Hungry Man (mini)Dinners !!! Economical too !!!
Totally beats those options (we’re moving and ChickFilA is our go to right now- so expensive!). 🙂
Hi! Great post. I was wondering what size crockpot works best with these recipes. Thank you.
Hey Jennifer- I have a 5 qt crock pot (just a normal size). Hope that helps!
I like this! Grate ideas!!! I’m deffenetly trying this recipes.
I have only one ,
I love this idea, but I work full time and am away from the house for 9-10 hours every day (longer than the cooking times on these)…wondering if anyone has tried doubling or tripling the recipes, making one batch and then separating and freezing the fully prepared meals? That might take away the concerns about freezing fresh veggies and/or putting frozen chicken in the crock pot. would you adjust the cooking times if you were making in batches?
Hmmm, Carrie, I have no idea. Perhaps someone else has tried something similar and can give you some tips? Anyone????
And if you figure it out, will you let me know?
I have a KitchenAid slowcooker. Once the cooking time is up it sets the cooker to a ‘keep warm’ setting and stops the cooking so you can be sure the food is kept hot and safe to eat, would that help?
Jenn, I think that mine might have a ‘warm’ setting as well. Carrie, that might solve your away-from-the-house trouble…
Thanks for the idea Jenn!
This is fantastic! Your sis Jordan sent me a link and I am THRILLED she did. Yumm-o!
These sound fabulous and I can’t wait to try them. I wonder if chicken is the only protein that will work? Thank you so much for sharing!
Paula, I have ‘try new crockpot freezer meals’ on my to do list and would love to make some non-chicken ones. 🙂
If you try any of these with another protein, would you let me know how they turn out?
I just put the Braised Peanut Chicken in my crockpot for tonight’s dinner! I substituted green bell pepper for the red pepper and I didn’t have any zucchini.
I hardly ever use my crockpot, but I need to start using it to make our busy evenings less hectic. I have three kids (two of them are very picky eaters). I am hoping to find some “kid-friendly” recipes to make everyone happy. Thanks for the great recipe ideas!
Thanks Melissa- mine are both picky too (UGH- it’s tricky, right?). Anyhow, I was just marveling the other night at how much they both love the honey rosemary chicken (recipe in round 2 and in the garden edition). That one makes it into the rotation at least once a month. 🙂 I hope the Peanut Chicken is simiarly popular with your kiddos! 🙂
Hi! This is a genius idea, and I’m actually prepping to buy my first crockpot. I’m a university student and I think if I’m spending 6-9 hrs of my day at school coming home to a nicely cooked meal would be great. Take out is expensive. I was wondering if I could switch the chicken with any type of fish (I’m a pescetarian) like tilapia without compromising the moisture in the cooked fish?
Cassandra, I love it that you’re trying this- take out IS expensive!
I haven’t tried any of these with fish… I think the tastes would work, I’m just not sure if fish holds up in the crockpot? Perhaps try it in the coconut curry (it’s kind of soupy already, so if the fish fell apart, it might not matter).
One request- if you try this, will you let me know the result either way? I’d love to hear how it goes for you…
Michele Mercer says
I made the BBQ Chicken yesterday and the house smelled amazing! My husband will eat anything, but the BBQ Chicken was not a fan favorite at all. It was a big soupy mess in the pot…I followed the directions but it just wasn’t at all appealing. BUT it made the house smell super tasty! (gotta have a positive somewhere)
The Man Pleasing chicken is good though. I recommend that one with seasoned baked potato pieces. Gotta make more now.
First round of CrockPot meals I had 27 meals together. THat didn’t include all the homemade pasta sauce I did. One tub of that made us 5 bags and that lasts for 2 meals. My husband can eat 2-3 people’s worth of food, me just one. But I have two little boys who are beginning to eat foods like crazy and if Daddy’s appetite is any indication, I’m in trouble! These easy meals are great. Now to weed thru what we like and don’t like so I can get a much better shopping list together! (Oh, my 27 meals that fed 4 each bag only cost me $210 total…AWESOME!)
Michele, the BBQ chicken isn’t our favorite either. I have two theories- 1- I think maybe the vegetables (which I LOVE the idea of) make it too starchy and bland? Or 2- Cooking it for too long makes it less yummy? Either way, we haven’t cracked the code on that one. I think I’d rather just make the BBQ chicken minus veggies (and with homemade BBQ sauce) and then make veggies the day of.
I just put together a new batch of these with some really good ones (we had taco soup tonight that was great, even for my picky kids and soup-is-not-a-meal husband)… those recipes should be up soon.
Thanks for the feedback! Keep it coming!
Dan Posner says
One of the recipes is “Man-Pleasing Chicken”. I can say all of these recipes qualify for the “Man-Pleasing”. This is an awesome idea to prepare the food and freeze it in plastic bags. This really makes cooking dinner a breeze, and would help a busy parent like myself to stick it in and feed the family in a very tastey way.
Thanks so much! I love how easy these make dinner!
Wilma Munro says
Thank you for the information. Sounds great but can these meals be bagged in vacuum sealer bags and sealed?
Wilma, absolutely. I don’t have a vacuum sealer, but I bet it’d make the meals keep even longer if you did it that way!
In round 2 you put the grocery list for the freezer meals which is amazing! But I want to try theses meals! Do you by chance have the list for these freezer meals?
I don’t have one on hand- sorry! 🙂
I think I found it where you posted on someone else same comment above!:)
I just love all the recipes. They taste fantastic! Yummy. Thank you!
This sounds awesome and I want to try it but one thing confuses me. I was told a few years ago that you’re not supposed to freeze veggies without blanching them first as they will lose all their nutrients during freezing otherwise. If that’s true, that would make your recipes less nutritious. Did you ever hear about that rule for veggies? I really want to do these recipes but need them to be nutritious also. :/
Here’s the info I just found on blanching vegetables and it’s importance:
Hey Jasmine- I’m sure you could blanch your veggies first! 🙂
Thanks! With two kids under two years of age at home, I look forward to having that many meals in the freezer, ready to go 🙂
I am totally with you! These are perfect for busy mama’s!
Thank you from moms everywhere. If we can find someway to make the schedule smoother, that is wonderful. Sent this to all the people I could think of that had a crock pot. Also reposted on http://www.sisterskeeperblog.wordpress.com.
Thanks Marisse! 🙂
Wondering about the coconut chicken curry… In the bag: requests butternut squash, but the actually recipe doesnt call for it. Has anyone tried? Thanks.
Hey Laurie- the addition comes from another coconut curry recipe. My family loves it with the squash, but you could try it without (or double the recipe and try it both ways and see which you prefer). 🙂
H! Thank you so so much for this post. The squash: raw or cooked? Thanks!
Hey Rebecca- raw squash. 🙂
How many people does each one of the prepared meals feed, approximately? Thanks!
Our family has two adults and two kids and we usually have leftovers for my husband to take for lunch the next day… 🙂
Kara B says
I just wanted to point out that putting chicken in the same bag as the rest of the ingredients might not be very good. It is a really good way to contaminate the vegtables before everything is properly frozen. I would put the chicken in a separate smaller bag and then you can put it in the bigger one. Contamination may not happen the other way, but if it does then your family could get sick.
Thanks for pointing that out. Never would have thought of that!
Kammie @ Sensual Appeal says
I hope you’ll see this – what size crock pot do you have and how many servings does each zip lock provide??
Hey Kammie, I have a 5 qt crock pot and the ziplocks usually make 4 servings. Hope that helps!
Your bbq recipe sounds great! The only thing I’m hesitant about is mixing the veggies with the bbq sauce/meat in the crock pot. Can you still taste the veggies or does it all taste the same? I’m thinking my husband might prefer to be able to taste things separately which would require me to cook the veggies separate from the bbq chicken which then defeats the purpose of this being easy. : -/ Thoughts?
Beth, honestly, I maybe wouldn’t do it with the veggies in there. It might be just our family, but my husband isn’t a huge fan of the cooked-all-day-bbq-veggies either. 🙂 I just serve the meat and make a side of veggies. Hope that helps!
Thanks Kristin! I’m thinking I’ll still chop all the veggies to go with the BBQ but put them in a separate bag . . . at least it’s still less work on the day we are ready to eat it. But the man pleasing chicken with all the veggies sounds super easy and really good with the veggies mixed in. Can’t wait to try this and many other freezer recipes. We have baby #6 coming in Feb., so I need to figure this out now! : )
THANKS SO much for taking the time to do this and share with everyone. Great appreciated.
How many servings per meal? We are a large family of 7 and may need to double to have enough awaiting a response thank you.
Hey Judy- I would double the recipes- the bags serve our family of four comfortably. Hope that helps!
The only drawback is, too make plastic bags!!!! I love the idea. I just need to figure out how I can package my food in something other than freezer bags.
Susan LeBlanc says
This is so nice of everyone who contributed. Thank you especially to you Kristin for starting this 🙂 I can’t wait to try it out.
hi! This is fabulous! Question – do you need to thaw the ingredients in the fridge the day before they go into the crockpot? Or can you just put it in frozen?
Maybe the answer is obvious but I am not great in the kitchen!!
Suzanne, I have tried both and prefer to defrost for a day in the fridge first. It seems to help with the taste. You can put them in frozen, though- there’s just a longer cook time.
Hope that helps!
Michelle Irwin says
This website gives an excellent overview of food safety for crock pots: http://www.ellenskitchen.com/faqs/safecrock.html It is really important to know whether your pot heats from the bottom only or if the sides also have elements.
Sorry, there are so many comments, how many servings are in each meal?
Hey Charlene- each bag serves my family of four (two adults, two kids). If you have big eaters, I would make 1.5 or 2 times the amount for each bag.
Hope that helps!
Wow, this looks like an amazing way to cut back on our eating out! My husband is a minister, so we are always out and about, doing something or other for our church!
I’ve never tired curry on my own before, and the coconut chicken one seems to be everyone’s favourite. I may have to test this out… Thanks for the recipes.
Tracy, my family loves the coconut curry! Hopefully yours will too…
And it sounds like freezer crockpot meals would be a great fit for your schedule (ours is similarly crazy!). 🙂
I’ve done this at the meal prep places – they NEVER put the raw meat in the same bag as the vegetables. You might want to research that. It all gets dumped into the pot together but they don’t start that way. Not sure why, food safety issue?
Thanks for the tip Darlene.
I’ve been reading through all these posts for that very reason. Because of bacteria on raw meat, it should never be mixed with anything. Looks like alot of these woman have been eating the dishes and no one got sick. I will just freeze the meat separately. I just don’t want to take the chance.
I am currently making these and so far it’s going pretty good. I didn’t double or triple the ingredients but instead split the given amount in 2 because we are just the two of us… and an infant. I also substituted beef instead of chicken for 2 of the meals and cut the garlic in half for the curry one…only because I’m not a huge garlic fan. This freezer meal thing can be quite difficult to prepare when you have a 3 month old who seems to only want to take 5 minute naps and ” snack” throughout the day rather than a usual feeding!
I feel sill asking, but for the coconut curry chicken recipe,Do I cook the butternut squash first? Do I peel it first? Im trying to just cut it raw and its really really hard. Sorry i have never done anything with butternut squash but mash it. Thanks for your help(:
Hey Jennifer- yep, you peel, but don’t cook, the squash. Not silly at all. 🙂
VERY disappointed in these meals! We just made 2 of them (Hot & Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken and the Man Pleasing Chicken). AWFUL! The Man Pleasing one really just tastes like mustard. 3/4 cup is a ridiculous amount! Sad that i still have a 3rd meal in the freezer that we have to make. Would not recommend anyone wasting their money or time making these meals. I’ve had my kids and husband tell me to stop trying new recipes. They all left the table hungry. Very disappointed. Was hoping for some great new recipes.
That is definitely the tricky thing about trying new recipes- some aren’t a good match for your family. The first time we made Man Pleasing Chicken, I remember it being too mustard-y for us too. Though, we had it the other night and I liked it, so there’s that.
I am actually working on a ‘freezer crockpot cooking review’ post right now where I review our family’s experience with freezer crockpot cooking so far. Like you, we have several recipes that just don’t work for us. And we’ve found several that I just keep making over and over again. Trial and error I guess. 😉
Ger GEntry says
Well, why not just throw out the remainder bag? If I disliked it that much, I wouldn’t hesitate to throw it out. That’s just my opinion.
Same thing happened to us. I broke my right hand (dominant hand of course) so i had my teenage son make five of these recipes, and so far they have been cooked and left half eaten, while my family poured bowls of cereal instead. The orange chicken was so sour even mandarin oranges wouldn’t bring it up to edible, and the man pleaser was just nasty. I have hundreds of recipes that my household of six enjoy, i just wanted a few that were already prepped and easy. This was a total waste of expensive ingredients 🙁
Hey Emily- we have had some that haven’t worked for us too (I shared here- http://kojo-designs.com/2014/03/freezer-cooking-an-honest-review-and-a-few-tips/).
My hubby and I LOVED the Maple Dijon Chicken, and he isn’t a mustard fan. I served it with roasted potatoes that cooked in the oven with the dish, so it was very easy. I was worried that the veggies would be mushy, but they turned out perfect. Great sauce for the potatoes!
I followed the recipes (did my own shopping list since I had some of the items) and made just one of each to make sure we liked them before I got stuck with ones we didn’t like.
We will be making this again. Easy for hubby to get into the oven when he is home before me.
Thank you VERY much for putting this all out there!!!!! Saves us from going out to eat.
Stacy, so glad they worked for you! I think just trying one at a time is a really great plan since you don’t really know what will work for your family! 😉
Steph stevens says
I have the Coconut Curry Chicken in my crockpot right now. Apparently I did not read the directions in their entirety because I cut up the thighs….oh well. I kept wondering why it was taking so long to get in my crock pot! It smells delicious but I am worried. I have read several comments from other sites (Martha Stewart) that it was too bland, so I added more spices. I hope I didn’t just shoot myself in the foot! Any good ideas on where to score Coconut Milk? My Kroger had it with their organic foods and it was close to $4 a can…..here is hoping we have a yummy dinner! I am contemplating running out to the Indian restaurant close by for some of their to die for Naan..
Two things- YES, run to get the to-die-for Naan. Absolutely. 😉
And two- $4 for a can of coconut milk!?!? That’s ridiculous. I look for sales and stock up (Sprouts does a $1 a can every quarter or so), but even full price ours is $2 or $2.50. They carry the brand I like (Thai-something… maybe Thai Kitchen?) at our King Soopers/Kroger in the ethnic food aisle. Hope that helps!
I’m trying to remember if I add extra spices, but I can’t remember… I’m sure it’ll turn out great though! 🙂
I have to comment! I see freezer meals online all the time. They’re also meat,meat, more meat, sauce, meat, and sauce. No nutrition at all. I just scroll past and woe is me that I will never be able to do freezer meals. I happened upon your post and I’m so excited! Freezer meals that have VEGGIES in them! HEALTHY freezer meals! Thank you for this list!
haha- you have to get those veggies in wherever you can, right??? so glad you stopped by!
OK for this batch, we did not like the Orange Chicken & the Man Pleasing Chicken (my man ESPECIALLY did not like the Man Pleasing Chicken!)
The Hot & Spicy Braised Chicken was a hit, the coconut chicken curry was good, the BBQ chicken was also good, although I would lean towards a sweet bbq sauce, and watch the sodium!
Condiments such as salsa and bbq sauce are designed for you to eat a tablespoon or two (or even three) but a whole jar in a meal is sodium chaos!
What are the crockpot cooking directions for the man-pleasing chicken recipe? What you have there now is directions for cooking in the oven. Thanks!
I have made it in the oven the last couple of times, so I’m just guessing, but I think you defrost it for a day in the fridge then put in the crockpot with the mustard, maple syrup and vinegar on low for at least 4 hours (depending on your crockpot).
Rose piurowski says
I totally messed up. I thought the recipes were for 2 bags so I’ve been dividing them up! You really need 2 lbs of chicken for 4 people?
Hey Rose- you could try them in the half portions and see if they work for your family. We usually have leftovers, but we also aren’t huge portion people either.
sharon ratzburgg says
Do you have trouble freezing the raw veggies, won’ t they get tough if they are not blanched?
Sharon, you could definitely blanch them if you want! I haven’t ever tried that, but also haven’t noticed tough veggies… 🙂
I was wondering if you happen to have any of these recipes that would work that are pork or beef. My husband isn’t a chicken fan like the rest of the family which makes doing these difficult for me. I like the chicken and will use them, just curious if you or anyone else has anything that is pork or beef.
Hey Clara- there are pineapple pork and beef broccoli recipes in another one of the freezer cooking posts… And we have some coming up that aren’t just chicken as well! Hope that helps!
DNNIE joNES says
I WISH I KNEW ABOUT THIS WHEN I WAS STILL WORKING AND TAKEN CARE OF MY ELDERLY PARENTS, i COULD HAVE MADE THIS AND PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER FOR MY MOM TO COOK IN THE CORK POT THAT I GOT HER . GOD REST THERE SOLES I MISS THEM VERY MUCH ,BUT I CAN SHEAR WITH MY WORKING DAUGHTER AND HELP HER OUT THANKS SO MUCH
What a great idea!!! I bet this would be so helpful for aging parents!
Hi, it may be a daft question but how many people does each bagged portion serve? Thanks 🙂 x
Hey Natalie- there are two adults and two kids in our family. Sometimes we have lunch leftovers for my husband the next day too. 🙂
Thanks for these!!! I’ve been trying to find a few more recipes.
Also you are the first person I’ve seen have the same spelling as me 🙂
Love finding another KirstIn 🙂
And glad the recipes are helpful!
I haven’t really looked all around your site yet but was wondering if you had a specific post about what worked really well for you and your family… I’ve tried a couple of meals in the crock pot and they’ve been disasters! So I’m a little discouraged about cooking like this. But I love the idea of cooking like this since I just started working full time and am tired of eating out!
Hey Sonja, yes, I did a post on what has ended up working for us- http://kojo-designs.com/2014/03/freezer-cooking-an-honest-review-and-a-few-tips/
Hope that helps!
Cheslea Miller says
How many is this meant to feed? I have a family of 11…
Hey Chelsea- they feed a family of 4. I would triple and do a trial run??? Would you let me know how it turns out?
Do you freeze the raw chicken separate from the veggies to avoid contamination?
Hey Ellen, nope, just all in the same bag.
Are these cooking times/instructions based on thawed meals or straight from freezer? Sorry if I’ve over looked it! Thanks!
Hey Debbie, I usually thaw the meals for a day in the fridge and then cook for 4 hours the day of… Hope that helps!
Can you make any cockpot recipe into a freezer crock pot recipe??
Jessie, I bet you could adjust most to be crockpot meals!
Hi, I really liked your idea!!! and thank you very much for delicious recipes!! the only one cons that i got blister for cutting so many veggies …are you using some machine to cut veggies?
Lea, nope, just a regular old paring knife… if you find a less blistery system, let me know ok??? 😉
Is there a substitute for the coconut milk? The reason I ask is because I’m deathly allergic to coconut and wouldn’t be able to eat anything with the coconut milk in it.
Hmmm, Cory. You could probably use a mix of milk and half and half… you want it be thicker than milk. If you try it, will you let me know how it comes out?
MAria Vivian says
Thanks ! I will be trying all of these. I am so glad I found your Site! I really needed help with food preparation. By the way, can I substitute summer squash or ordinary squash for the butternut? Thanks!
Hey Maria! YES, whatever kind of squash will do!
Might I just recommend cooking a summer squash for less time, maybe throw it in towards the end if possible? I only say this because they usually turn to mush for me in the crockpot…
Thanks for the great recipes!!! I can’t wait to do this. It was getting overwhelming to find recipes on my own and make the lists and still try to stay on budget. I love that these recipes share ingredients and that really helps when you are shopping sales. x0
Great idea Lia!
kate krone says
It’s a great idea but have you considered re-usable containers? The thought of all those thousands of plastic bags languishing in landfills long after your great-great-grandchildren are grown is pretty dismaying. It may take as long as 500 years, some even guess 1,000 years, for a plastic bag to decompose.
How many servings do these make?
Hey Toni- they serve our family of four (sometimes with lunch leftovers). Hope that helps!
i would like to know how many people each dinner will serve? I have a hungry hubby and a eat u out of house an home teen.
Hey Mary- they work for our family of four (me, my husband and our five year old son and three year old daughter). If I were you, I might try adding an extra 50% to everything to be sure you have enough (and then assess and readjust). Hope that helps! 🙂
I save my gluten free bread when it is getting old and run it though my food processor–to make crumbs–then into the oven on a baking sheet until I have toasted bread crumbs. I store them in the freezer until I need them. I use them to make salmon patties or meat loaf. For my meat loaf I use 1 # ground hamburger or turkey, 1/2 c. bread crumbs, 2 eggs beaten, 1/2 c. almond milk, one onion chopped, 1/2 green pepper chopped, salt and pepper. I just mix it all together and put it into greased muffin tins. I use my jumbo muffin pans–and it makes 6 nice servings–actually less meat per serving than if we just had hamburgers–and so easy to store the left overs. I usually put some of my homemade ketsup on the top for a little added flavor as it is baking.
During the summer when sweet onions and bell peppers are plentiful at Farmer’s market I make a blend of onions, green peppers and red peppers and celery and chop it in my food processor–then store it in freezer bags in flat layers–I can break off what I need to use in omelets, meat loaf, or other uses. This is really handy to have on hand.
One of our favorite meals is a one very large sweet potato diced, one sweet onion chopped, 1/2 bell pepper chopped, 1/3 # sausage (can be turkey sausage) crumbled. I start the sausage browning in a large cast iron skillet, add the pepper and onion as I get them chopped, then the sweet potato as I get it peeled and diced. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a little pesto for depth of flavor. Top with a lid and cook until the sweet potato is fork tender. then make 2 wells in the mixture and crack in 2 eggs. Salt and pepper the eggs and put lid back on until the whites are done–but the yolks runny. Serve onto plates with eggs on top of the hash. So filling and easy to make.
Another easy meal for Sundays that I make in the crock pot is to put the amount of rice and water called for on the bag-with salt and little herbs de province. then I lay salmon or other fish fillets on top and let cook while you are at church on high. 3 hours is usually enough for the rice to be done and the meat cooked. The meat juices run down into the rice flavoring it. I have also done pork cutlets or chicken breasts this way. I tried putting in vegetables, but it was too much cooking time and they got over done. But it is very easy to make a quick vegetable or salad to serve with it.
We love a side dish of polenta–replace the water with almond milk in the recipe for quick grits. Be sure to salt and pepper. Stir all the time it cooks. So creamy and flavorful. Serve it under your meat.
We are using the grill a lot this summer–we put the meat on one side to cook and on the other side-a grill pan of sliced yellow squash sliced zuchinni, slice sweet onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. I toss all of the vegetables in a little virgin olive oil and put on for about the same amount of time as the meat. We often eat the vegetables in a gluten free tortilla. Or you can also use the vegetables to make shishkabobs. I will put fresh pineapple or other fruit in with the vegetables. Just sprinkle with olive oil after the veggies and meat are on the skewers and grill. Serve over rice.
Can these recipients be adapted to be made with beef or fish?
Hey Carmen, there is a beef broccoli recipe in one of the later posts. I haven’t tried them with fish (yet!), but as we now live on an island, watch for some crockpot meals using fish in the future! 🙂
I just saw this post and this is a great idea. However, I put frozen food w/liquid in my crock pot that had a ceramic/removal pot. After it started to heat up the ceramic pot cracked. I don’t know it it cracked because the food was frozen or it cracked for some other reason. I replaced the removal pot and now I no longer put frozen food in a crock pot. Just a though for the people asking about thawed or frozen.
Hey Betty- good to know. My crockpot didn’t crack, but I prefer to let the meals thaw for a day in the fridge anyway. Thanks for the input!
Can we all just agree to stop calling things ‘man pleasing’? I love cooking for the people I love but this isn’t 1955.
Haha, fair point. 🙂
angela marie says
My only issue with these recipes are.. they are not very kid friendly. My kids are extremely picky eaters, I’m always on the go and don’t have much time to cook meals so I thought this would be perfect until I read the ingredients!! My kids will eat veggies IF they are hidden and as for spice, not happening!!
Hey Angela, my kids are pretty picky too. We’ve found a few recipes that work for our family- I wrote about it here- http://kojo-designs.com/2014/03/freezer-cooking-an-honest-review-and-a-few-tips/
I noticed that the Orange chicken has broccoli in the picture but none of the recipes call for broccoli
Vanessa, we might’ve added broccoli in. 🙂
Maybe i missed it; but am i supposed defrost before putting it in the crock pot, or is frozen okay?
Hey Nilsa, I always defrost first- it seems to help.
Hey, these are great ideas. One question. Is there a reason you don’t just put the broth or other liquids into the zipper bags and freeze the whole thing? It seems it would be much more self contained and easier that way.
Hey Brad, you could definitely try it, especially if you plan to thaw your meals for a day before putting them in a crockpot (I probably wouldn’t try it if you’re going to put the frozen meal in the crockpot though).
What a great idea and wonderful recipes! Just one question…do you put the ingredients into the crockpot frozen or do you thaw them out in the fridge overnight? Thank you! 🙂
Hey Shannon, I let them thaw.
How many does a bag feed?
Each bag feeds our family of four. Hope that helps!
LOVE THIS!!! Just one quick concern – Can you cook the “Man Pleasing Chicken” in the crockpot? And if so…for how long & on what setting? I may be reading it wrong, but it looks like the directions are to cook it in the oven. Heating the house with an oven cooked meal is not an option for us in the summer, as we live in south Texas where summer temps often go into triple digits. Thanks!
Hey Trish, we live in the HOT HOT weather as well (just moved to an island near Guam) and I am totally with you in not wanting to turn on the oven/stove. I haven’t tried the Man Pleasing Chicken in the crockpot, but if you thaw it for a day in your fridge first, it might work. If you try it, will you let me know how it turns out?
This is amazing! I just pinned this and I will definitely use. Thanks!
Susan galloway says
I plan on using cooked ground beef, pork, and beef in some of these recipes just to spice things up!!! I also do some vegetarian options that can be used as sides when we grill. This is such an excellent idea!!!
Great idea Susan! Let me know how they turn out if you have a minute!
8 months pregnant and SO excited to do this for when our little bundle of joy arrives. I know I wont be up for much cooking the first few weeks of motherhood!!!
Polly, brilliant plan! Wish I would’ve done the same! 🙂
I am 70 and not good at computers. I wanted the grocery list for the crockpot dinners but my printer keeps wanting to print all 160 pages of the GETTING ORGANIZED including all the comments by people. =-( Is there any way you could just e-mail the grocery list to me directly?
I live alone and I know that I do not eat right and I think this would be good for me to try. I could divide the bags a second time and have two meals in each, a lunch and a dinner.
Please try, won’t you?
Thank you! Joyce
Just wondering about combine the raw meat and veggies in the same bag to freeze before cooking. Any concerns about cross contamination?????
Hey Diane, we haven’t had any problems, but you could freeze them separately. 🙂
do you put the raw chicken in with the vegetables would that not spread eqoli all through the vegetables then you put it in the freezer or do you precook the chicken
Hey Patsy, I just put the raw chicken in the with the veggies. If you were worried, you could precook the chicken…
in each recipe posted how many serving does it make? I normal cook for just 2 people left overs are not a problem. But at this time am cooking for 3 adults and 2 small children. two of the adults (male) are big eaters. so I need recipes that cook for at least 6 to 8 people.
Hey Elora! The recipes serve four people, but two of those are small kids that aren’t huge eaters. I would maybe try doubling the recipe to see how that works for y’all?
This looks like a great idea! I am curious how the bell peppers hold up in the freezer and crock pot. Don’t they come out all slimy?
Hey Toni, the bell pepper stand up pretty well in the crockpot. 🙂
I just wanted to verify, should the chicken always be cut into bite sized pieces???
Darci- yes! Unless it says otherwise (I think the lemon chicken in a different post is in bigger chunks).
A friend posted this on FB and I love your idea! I’m going to try round one but just one frozen meal of each recipe to make sure it works for us. Thanks for a super website!
Katherine, I would definitely try out each and every recipe to make sure they work for your family first! 🙂
Bonnie Pillarelli says
In the Orange chicken is the frozen Orange Juice concentrate straight from the can? That seems like it would be very strong. Thank you for the recipes….I love the idea.
Hey Bonnie, it is orange juice concentrate straight from the can. It dilutes with the rest of the ingredients. Hope that helps.
JAson Kopp says
I wonder if you could post the shopping list to prepare for all of these. It’s a little bit difficult to know how much of any particular ingredient to buy based on the amounts required in each recipe.
Hey Jason, someone else posted this further up, but I will share it again here-
4.5 lbs. cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast.
5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
6 C onions + 2 medium chopped ( about 5)
6 cups carrots (about 12 or 1 bag)
8 Cups Zucchini ( about )
2 lbs of chopped butternut squash (about )
2 C sweet potatoes
1 Red pepper +5 cups
4 C green bell pepper + 1 C
2bag frozen peas
2 Cans mandarin oranges or use 4 clementines
1 bunch cilantro
19 garlic cloves
1 oz fresh ginger
6 TBS flour
2 T curry powder
1 t ground coriander
Rosemary (to garnish)
1 t ground cumin
3 T salt
1/2 t pepper
2 TBS soy sauce
3/4 C chicken broth
3 Can coconut milk
1 bottle BBQ sauce
3/4 Cup maple syrup
1 TBS of rice wine vinegar
3/4 Cup Dijon mustard
8 oz. orange juice concentrate (orange pineapple will work as well)
1 bag rice
1 handful cashews & Peanuts
3 TBS Peanut butter
Hi what are the actual amounts as some just saw about and then o amount
Also the pepper + 5 cups?
Confused on actual amounts
It means one red pepper plus five cups of red bell pepper. Hope that helps.
Jan Fristoe says
We are senior citizens and even though this idea is a super one, we would get two meals or more from each bag and with that in mind my husband would leave home before he would eat that much chicken in a month or even two months. For a family it would really be the way to go. Also, I don’t have a crock pot but I do have a slow cooker and an electric kettle. I use the slow cooker all the time.
Do the veggeis, such as the zuccini, get really mushy cooking that long? I would think that they would. I’m new to crock pot cooking and have only made dishes with “hearty” vegetables so far.
Hey Lisa, the zucchini is pretty sturdy- though, you could always add it half an hour before serving if you were worried.
Hi! Thanks for the this post. I have in recent times realised how much easier it is to do a slow cooker meal a couple of times a week especially with after school kids activities swallowing up the afternoons. My biggest issue is always thinking what to make, I wonder if other mums are the same as me and tend to cook the same 15 or so meals because they are ‘easy’! I have always thought starting up a facebook group for a group of mums to share just what they are actually cooking each night (not necessarily the recipes, more for the ideas!) as it is always great to get some fresh ideas. Does anyone else want to do this too? 🙂
Anyway – my fave frozen to slow cooker meal is meatballs. Make a few batches in one hit (I do pork and beef ones) of meatballs, freeze them and then on the day of cooking I put them frozen into the slow cooker, and pour over a bottle of good quality pasta sauce and let it cook all day. You can add cheese at the end or a couple of spoonful’s of flour if the sauce is too runny but mine generally doesn’t need this. Then serve over rice or pasta. Would love some more recipes though! Thanks again for posting, will be giving these meals a go too 🙂
Maz, love meatballs, and LOVE the fb group idea. Invite me if you start one!
I love this idea. My life consists of work and a husband, the kids are all grown up and have families of their own. So this is wonderful for us. I will definitely be trying this. As the wife of an avid hunter… can you suggest meals or do you know of a website that has wildlife recipes? Also… I am using a food saver machine, no freezer burn and I can make more meals in advance. Thank you so much for all of these ideas!!!!
Erma, love the food saver! When I make these with my mom, we use hers and I love it!
No ideas on the wildlife recipe, but I love it that you have access to it! Sorry that’s not more helpful.
Janine Barclay says
Your recipes look great. Do you have any vegan recipes?
Janine, there is barley soup recipe in the next batch that might work for you! Stay tuned…
I saw this and was puzzled. Then I realized I had a problem with freezing raw meat/chicken with the veggies..well, duh.. why not? All these years and I never thought about it. As a senior with days when I just can’t stand long enough to cook a full meal, I will get these ready! Fabulous. Thank you.
Haha, Kathy, hope it turns out great!
Grace k says
Why does everyone have a quilting block next to her name? I love quilting! Great recipes …thanks for sharing!
Grace- they’re pretty right? I would love to learn to quilt!
Great post, I’ll try this! One idea, stolen from my dear Mother…. You could label each package with a few letters, like BBQC for BBQ Chicken, then have just one sheet (cardstock is best) printed out with each direction on it, and post that inside a kitchen cabinet door… with FunTak or pushpins, etc. I keep lots of stuff inside cabinet doors like this (’cause my Mother did). Such as…instructions for hardboiling eggs, baking bacon in the oven, and the charts for my rice cooker, etc.
This would alleviate having to write the instructions on all the bags.
Elizabeth, this is genius! Totally trying this next time!!!!
Amy g says
what can i use as a substitute for coconut milk (allergic)? also how long can the meals keep in the freezer?
Amy, I would use these up with a month or two. Also, no thoughts on coconut milk replacements- did you google it?
Don’t you think evaporated milk would be a good substitute for the coconut milk as far as consistency is concerned, especially if someone is allergic to coconut? I think you can even get evaporated goats milk in some markets. I remember a post way back that asked about where to find canned coconut milk, our market has it near the oriental/international foods and I have seen it at many of the $1 type stores which is a big help on the budget.
Maybe so? I haven’t ever tried it- but I often substitute coconut milk for evaporated milk, so perhaps the opposite would work as well? If you try it, will you let me know how it turns out?
The picture of the orange chicken includes broccoli. The recipe does not. Should it be included?
Hey Vicky- I can’t quite remember (it was a bit ago), but I think we didn’t love the way the broccoli came out, so we omitted it from the recipe. Hope that helps!
Is there a grocery list for the above recipes posted somewhere? Thank you.
Hey Nancy, I added it to the post. Hope that helps.
Brilliant! Love it! How much is in a can of coconut milk? What size would that be? Also it’s not too dry just with the contents of bag and a can of coconut milk? Doesn’t burn while cooking? No water needed? Thanks!
Hey Chaya- a can of coconut milk has about 14 oz… you add another at the end as well. And sometimes I stir it, but no, it doesn’t burn. 🙂
If I might make a suggestion put your meat in a smaller freezer bag inside the one with the vegetable’s, I read somewhere that you shouldn’t put the meat directly in with the vegies
Good tip Anna.
What do you serve the Man-Pleasing Chicken with? Rice? Pasta? Thanks!1111
Hey Micaela, usually rice and veggies/salad. Hope that helps!
theresa kovatch says
i swear i looked and looked…someone sent this to me and i admin a few large websights and id love to post this but NOWHERE do i find a shopping list,i really looked hard too.if i want to save time the LAST thing i want to do is assemble all the recipes together to figure out how much to buy…please help me .
Hey Theresa, I added it to the post. Hope that helps.
I see previous people have said they have used these for when they were pregnant/new moms, but this would be great too for handing out to new moms. This way, if someone hasn’t delivered a meal that day, they can whip it out of the freezer and not worry. I had 5 kids and made quite a few meals for friends and neighbors, but never knew if it was a good day, now they could just use it whenever they needed it.
Denise, YES- great idea!!!
I am living in Dubai and constantly on the go between work and kids and social events. Wow, I love this idea! I’ve never owned a crock pot before but I am heading to the mall today to buy one!!! BTW.. is there a reason that you only have tried chicken recipes?
Hey Sarah- my sister lives near Dubai! So fun!
And if you search through the later posts there are beef/pork recipes. 🙂
Marnie Girard says
These are fabulous!!! I can’t wait to try them all. Did you thaw before placing in crock-pot/slow cooker or did you dump in frozen?
Hey Marnie, yes, I thaw them for a day in the fridge first!
I wish the recipe measurements were consistent with using cups instead of lbs, not everyone has a scale in their kitchen.
Is it one pound of meat per recipe? I notice you say that you made, for example, three coconut curries and then the recipe says, In the bag: 3 pounds chicken thighs. Is that “In three bags” or is one recipe calling for 3 pounds of chicken? I’m guessing the former as that would be quite a bit of chicken for 4 people!
Thanks for any clarification!
Hey Ellen- it’s 3 lbs in one recipe of coconut curry. Hope that helps.
How many oz is your can of coconut milk?
About 15 (14.4 I think).
My partner is out of town for 6 weeks and I don’t cook. I’m going to try to put these together for myself. In putting together the shopping list, I find myself confused. Does the provided shopping list include the correct amount for doubling, tripling, and quadrupling the ingredients or should I go through each recipe and double, triple, or quadruple the ingredients before I shop. I just don’t want to spend time doing all that math if the provided shopping list is for the doubling process.
The shopping list is for one batch of each recipe… Hope that helps!
LOrene Coffman says
Someone sent this info by FB and I was really excited to receive the recipes I do have one question of concern.
After chopping all the potatoes an vegetables, and adding them to the other ingredients, plus the raw chicken…..is this really safe? Just double checking, love the idea…just want to be careful.
Hey Lorene- you could definitely freeze the two separately if you were concerned! Hope that helps!
Hi Kirstin, thanks for this post.. My husband saw this and he’s the one who talk me in on trying these..
Last Sunday we did the chopping and all are already in the freezer, I subdivided into 2/3/4 bags the based on the number of bags you did per recipe and also based on your reply on one question that you have subdivided it.. but the to cook ingredients should not be subdivided.. I’m a bit confused because when I was about to cook my first recipe, as I was browsing the comments you said that the recipe is just for one.. Please help before I start cooking my first recipe..
Also I still have some more questions:
1) For the Coconut Chicken Curry, it says to cook all day does it mean to cook for 24 hrs in the crockpot?
2) For the BBQ Chicken, what is the size of the BBQ sauce because it just says one bottle..
3) For the Man Pleasing Chicken, you baked this not in the crockpot? For how long?
Sorry if I have lots of questions, I am just confused.. 🙁
Thanks so much! Hope to hear from you soon..
To answer your questions-
1- All day like 6-8 hours
2- Hmmmm… I don’t have any bottles of BBQ sauce in my pantry right now… It’s just an average bbq sauce bottle… Sorry!
3- Not in the crockpot. I think it takes around 45 minutes…
Hope that helps!
I am very glad I found such wonderful place, where I can have a guide to be better organized . THANK YOU FOR ALL THIS HELPFUL IDEAS AND MENUS.
I was just wondering if the “Man-Pleasing Chicken” can be made in a crock pot, as well, instead of a foil-lined glass pan?
Thanks for the great collection of recipes!
Heather, I haven’t ever tried it. If you do, will you let me know?
william e. says
how many douse one crock pot meal feed? thanks for the ideal.
Hey William- they feed my family of four. Hope that helps!
Nicole Welsh says
Really wanted the Orange Chicken recipe, but the link is corrupted or something… I am unable to see it. That would be my favorite one of the bunch. Can you share it?
Hey Nicole- here is the link- http://www.examiner.com/article/orange-chicken-the-crockpot
sHARON STAAB says
HELLO, i HAVE A QUESTION, i WAS WONDERING IF IT IS SAFE TO PLACE THE CHICKEN PARTS IN A PLASTIC BAG AND FREEZE IT WITH VEGGIES??? I AM WORRIED ABOUT SALMONELLA. i ASSUMED THAT IS PREVENTABLE IF THE CHICKEN OR MEAT IS FROZEN SEPARATE FROM THE VEGGIES AND ISN’T THAT WHY YOU CAN BUY PLASTIC BAGS WITH CUT-UP VEGGIES IN THE GROCERY STORE AND IT SAYS JUST ADD CHICKEN OR MEAT???
DOES ANYONE HAVE AN ACCURATE RESPONSE FOR THIS THAT WOULD REALLY KNOW??? THANKS SHARON
Sharon, you could freeze them separately if you were worried.
An internal temp of 130° sustained for 90 min should kill any salmonella. Since the slow cooker on low is about 200°, and it’ll be in there all day, you should be good.
Freezing DOES NOT kill salmonella, however, so be careful when handling the bags if you’re worried.
Hope that helps!
Kyle and Maryella Broberg says
Sooo….. this sounds like a wonderful idea and using a Crockpot doesn’t heat up the house and everything is peachy. Right? WRONG!!!!!!
First, make sure you take the time to read the entire recipe because there may be something that is added later that wasn’t in the original list of ingredients=missing the stuff to complete the meal.
Second, ensure you do DOUBLE or TRIPLE the shopping list because if you don’t you will not have enough ingredients.
Are these healthy meals
Most of them are pretty healthy… Serve them with a healthy side of veggies and salad!
First, thanks for posting these recipes. I’ve been looking for something easy to make. I’m always tired when I get home from school/work and I’m sick of eating out. I saw in your other posts you had a couple recipes for pork and beef. Have you tried any recipes with shrimp? I don’t have much experience cooking, and I’ve never used a crock pot, so I wasn’t sure if shrimp could be frozen and cooked in the same way that chicken is. Shrimp is one of my favorite meals – I would love a frozen crock pot shrimp recipe if it’s possible. Thank you!
Rich, we love seafood, but I haven’t tried shrimp in the crockpot. If you do, let me know how it turns out?
I have found you add shrimp 10-15 mins before you are done cooking. They cook extremely fast
It’s rare that my boyfriend and I like the same dish… The Coconut Curry Chicken blew us both away! Amazing!
Next time (and there will be many next times) we’re going to add a little red pepper to add a little heat and substitute pineapple chunks for the peas. I can hardly wait!
Thank you for this amazingly easy recipe!
Yum, love your substitutions! Glad you love it too!
Jenna Bell says
Anyone have an oz amount on the can of coconut milk?
About 15 oz.
I love this idea and having 6 kids 10years to 6months this will help me soooo much! I know that T is a tablespoon and t is a teaspoon but what is tbs? I assume it is tablespoons but I’m not sure :/
Yep, tbs = tablespoon. So glad this will be helpful to your family! 🙂
I saw your crock-pot freezer recipes posted on FB by a friend and I thought this would be great as I didn’t want to use the oven when it’s 80-90 degrees outside. I’ve tried a couple already, some were ok, need to make a few modifications for my family but my boyfriend and I loved the Honey Rosemary Chicken. I have one questions though, I’m going to try the Man-Pleasing Chicken recipe but in your post, it says to cook at 450 degrees until the meat thermometer reads 165. I would really like to cook it in the crock-pot. Could you please let me know how long and on what setting would work for this recipe??
Hey Rhiannon, we love the honey rosemary too! I haven’t tried the man pleasing chicken in the crock pot, but if you do, would you let me know how it goes?
Am I the only one confused? I printed the list and went shopping. Then I grabbed my freezer bags and started writing on them. I realized that the amounts I needed to fill 14 bags didn’t add up on the shopping list. Was this shopping list only for one of each of the five meals and then I was supposed to multiply the shopping list in order to fill 14 bags? I’ve got chopped vegetables all over my kitchen, but when I start to fill my 14 bags, I don’t think I’m going to have enough to fill them.
Diane, I think the shopping list is for one of each recipe…
I dumped the spicy peanut chicken frozen brick into my crockpot just now and realized, oops, I think I forgot to divide up the “in the bag” contents between two bags. Am I right about that? If I put all that’s listed for in the bag into one bag, did I double the recipe? Also, should I defrost first, or just put it in frozen?
I got myself into this mess by deciding to only do 3 of the 5 recipes. I printed out instructions for those first three, but forgot the context I was in that they were supposed to add up to a total of 14 or 15 dinners. If you can help me out, I’d really appreciate it because I love the idea. (So I probably have tripled /quadrupled recipes of my other 2 dinners in the freezer…)
Glenda, yes, you have too much of each one. You might be able to make the big batches and share with another family???
I see that this is for your family of 4. I hope it’s not prying too much, but how are your eaters? I am a family of 5. 2 adult eaters and 3 growing tweens who can go from eating more than is adults to just barely finishing a small portion. Sometimes a family of 4 could be two adult eaters and 2 small child eaters. Thanks so much. I am so excited to go grocery shopping.
Christine, not prying at all- I have two little kids (6 and 4)! I would make 1.5 times the listed amounts if you have big eaters… 😉
I would like to make one change for safety’s sake. Put the meat in a separate bag-maybe with sauce ingredients added to it and then tuck the meat baggie into the baggie with the vegies. Storing them together can be a food hazard. Having my husband work as a chef for many years has made me very careful with food safety. In order to make sure that the meat is fully cooked enough to kill any food born germs that have soaked into the vegies, you would have to totally overcook the vegies.
so I did these tonight and my bags are so much fuller in the pictures.
When you say you did like 2 of a meal then you go down to what goes in a bag is that one bag or 2 bags
So like your 3 coconut curries when you go to what goes in the bag is that for 1 of the coconut curries or all 3?
Hey Jennifer- yes, if it says three coconut curries, they are divided into three separate bags. Hope that helps.
In the “cook” directions for Man-pleasing chicken, it says cook at 450. Is this in a crockpot or in an oven. If its in a crockpot, how long?
Hey Lorrie- it’s in an oven. You could try it in a crockpot (if you do, let me know how it turns out).
I have been doing this for years (20 or more). I don’t always use the crock pot, but put everything in the freezer, either in zip locks or ready to cook in aluminum pans. I do chicken, beef and pork recipes, soups, etc. . I also can items like spaghetti sauce, so all we have to do is cook spaghetti or make baked spaghetti in the crock pot.
I started out making my own dried mixes and seasonings and progressed from there.
I love this! What a great way to make dinner time easier! And thanks for the book recommendation!
BTW – there’s a book called “Cooking for a Month.” Great recipes and tips.
Karen Seybold says
I notice the bags were fairly small and you said it fed a family of 4. I have 4 adults, do you think I should double the recipe for 4. About how many cups do you have after its cooked?
I don’t know how many cups these make total, but for four adults, I would make 1.5 times the amount to be safe. 🙂
I just want to check: for example: in recipe for Hot & Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken it says
IN THE BAG – and a list of ingredients…is the amount listed for each bag or is it split up for the umber of
meal bags you were making? ie: 2 lbs chicken – is that meant to be in each bag or 1 lb in each of the two meals
you were making?
Hope this makes sense…I know what I mean in my head but that doesn’t mean someone else will!!
Hey Arlene- the list is not meant to be divided- i.e. 2 lbs of chicken in each bag. Hope that helps!
Blake Tucker says
So what the heck does 4C + 1C mean? 4 Cups + 1 Cup???? Why wouldn’t you just say 5 Cups?
Hey Blake I think it says 4 + 1c (meaning 4 red bell papers plus another cup of red bell peppers).
gail herrin says
This is so fantastic, thank you, thank you,
We can not use coconut milk in our house, any suggestions for an optional liquid?
Hey Gail- you might try whole milk or almond milk. Would you let me know how it turns out if you try one of those?
The shopping list is a bit short on several items… just an FYI. Going back to the store for more sweet potatoes, chicken, onion, garlic, peppers,… Not sure what else I’ll need to buy, but the shopping list needs refining for sure. I’ll post what I bought in addition in a few days.
good to know!
The BBQ chicken was GROSS! The Man Pleasing Chicken… meh. The other dishes are turning out pretty good with some extra spices. I’ve substituted chicken for stew meat on several meals. Been adding Thai Chili Peppers for extra kick. Haven’t tried the orange chicken yet. The grocery list is so far off it needs to be pulled, revamped and then re-posted. 6 more bell peppers, 5 sweet potatoes, 5 more packs of chicken thighs, medium pack of carrots, 6 more cans of coconut milk, etc etc… I’ve been modifying these recipes to make spicy Thai dishes. They have turned out really good.
Does anyone else have a problem with making these types of meal in a crockpot? What I mean is vegetables like zucchini, onions, and bell peppers are mushy once frozen. I personally have a hard time using it but the convenience sounds nice.
Mine isn’t mushy, however if I cook them to long then yes they get mushy.
At first glance, this looked awesome. I read it over and over, talked my 14 year old daughter into helping me do the prep, and off to the store we went. We followed the list, not realizing that it was NOT doubled/tripled/quadrupled. The chicken breast calls for 4.5 lbs, Luckily, I had a lot more in my fridge that I was able to add, as well as a SECOND trip to the store. We ended up with 8 dinners, and were pretty deflated that it wasn’t the 14 meals that we had high hopes to have completed. There should have been either a list that did that doubling, tripling, etc., or a huge highlighted note saying this was only enough for one of each, ( there would have been A LOT of extras if that were the case) or the shopping list should have been grouped for each meal, so that I could have chosen to double/triple/etc. on my own. But the list was huge, and I had no way to see that one bottle of bb
The list is WAY off….. 6 more bell peppers, 5 sweet potatoes, 5 more packs of chicken thighs, medium pack of carrots, 6 more cans of coconut milk, 6 more Onions, LARGE bag of rice… about 5 pounds, more curry seasoning, I’m probably still short on a few things. I love the convenience of this cooking method!! I’ll be looking on the internet for more recipes, but I doubt I’ll make so much frozen food.
Thanks, So much! This really changed my life and my cooking! I am now cooking more, not just crocking. I did find the coconut milk broke down in those rescipes, ie: lumpy white bits. I would therefore reccommend adding the one can of milk later in the process, about 1/2 hour or so prior to serving. It is an easy change and can be added with the veggies you add around that time. I now have meals to take over for others they are going through surgery, etc. Something I never was good at before. I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!
Stephanie- I also LOVE having freezer meals on hand to share- that’s been one of my favorite parts of this adventure! 😉
Hi, what happened to the BBQ chicken recipe on this page? I bookmarked it and got my bag out the freezer last night but can’t see the recipe now?!
Hey Lisa! We revamped the page a little to make it more user friendly and since that recipe consistently gets bad reviews, we removed it. However, the directions for the BBQ chicken are here- http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2011/04/05/freezer-cooking-with-slow-cooker-recipes/
Ok, I have this saved on Pinterest. I have “Barbecue Chicken” in the crock pot. I was coming back here to see if it is served over rice, or whatever. It’s gone. This whole post seems to have been edited. There were five recipes now there are only four.
Hey Diane- I will add this to the post, but ince that recipe consistently gets bad reviews, we removed it. However, the directions for the BBQ chicken are here- http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2011/04/05/freezer-cooking-with-slow-cooker-recipes/
And YES we edited the whole post to make it more user friendly and to reflect our learning in the past two years since it was published. 🙂
What happened to the peanut chicken recipe???
Hey Victoria, it’s just under ‘hot and spicy braised peanut chicken’ (still on this post). Hope that helps!
Excited to try these meals. I love how simple you made it.
Catherine Carter says
Do you thaw these before you put them in the crockpot? Thanks!!
Sure do Catherine. 🙂
Hi there! I prepped the Coconut Chicken Curry recipe last night (sounds YUMMY!) and am excited to see how it turns out for lunch today. I was just looking up the Martha Stewart recipe as a reference and noticed hers didn’t include the squash. Is that a mistake in your recipe above? Or simply an add-on? I’m hoping it will still turn out OK! 🙂 Thanks!
Hey Danielle- Yep, we like it better with the squash- not a typo. Hope it was great!
I am having trouble getting the orange chicken recipe. When I click on the link, there is a picture but no recipe. I tried emailing the recipe to myself and it sent a link back to the same picture and I also got a spam email at the same time which makes me think the link has been hacked. Any ideas where I can find the recipe?
Hey Katy! I think they updated their site- I changed the link, but the the recipe is here- http://www.examiner.com/article/crockpot-orange-chicken-recipe
Hope that helps!
What is coconut milk and where do I find it? Is it the sweet stuff you use to make Pina Colada drinks?
Hey Janice- canned coconut milk will just read ‘coconut milk’ on the packaging. It is not sweetened. You can find it in any grocery store- sometimes paired with the Asian cooking ingredients. Hope that helps!
Karl H. says
These sound delish and I can’t wait to try them… but I think the link “14 Freezer/Crock recipes” is a little misleading. There are 4 recipes / 16 meals listed on this post. Drove myself crazy looking for the “next page” or similar button.
Nancy Kiplinger says
This is a wonderful resource and a fabulous idea! One comment, though: The font used for the shopping list is difficult to read. I’m hoping you might change it so that the list shows up better. Thanks!
Thanks for the tip Nancy!
Wish there were pics!