freezer crockpot cooking (round 2)- ten dinners, just one prep

freezer crockpot recipes- ten dinners with just one prepI know that this will sound silly, but this freezer crockpot stuff feels absolutely revolutionary to me. Part of it, I’m sure, is that I count on naptime to ‘work’ (sew, create, blog), which always makes dinnertime sneak up on me. But having something already-prepped to put in the crockpot in the morning feels… well, revolutionary.

I tried mostly new recipes for this installment (I kept the coconut curry chicken because it was our family’s favorite from the first round of freezer crockpot meals).

I made-

-2 batches of honey rosemary chicken

-2 batches of coconut curry chicken

-2 batches lime salsa chicken

-2 batches of balsalmic fig chicken

-2 batches of santa fe chicken

I also write the cooking directions on the outside of each freezer bag (including what to add besides the contents of the bag) so that I don’t have to look anything up, just add to the crockpot and press some buttons.

Also, I can only vouch for the coconut curry chicken (delicious!) and the honey rosemary chicken (crowd favorite around here- seriously yummy!). We’re still working our way through the meals. If you try one out, let us know in the comments how it turns out.

One note about thawing- all of the recipes except the fig balsamic chicken have enough other added liquid to o straight from the freezer into the crockpot. If I remember to let them thaw in the fridge, I do. However, only the fig balsamic chicken needs it for sure.

RECIPES

freezer crockpot cooking recipe- honey rosemary chickenHoney Rosemary Chicken

IN THE BAG- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces, 1/3 c balsamic vinegar, 1/3 c honey, 1/3 c olive oil, 3 T chopped fresh rosemary, 1 t salt. Let marinate for several hours in the refrigerator before freezing.

TO COOK- Let defrost completely in the fridge. Add 1 cup of water and the contents of the bag to the crockpot. Then cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Ten minutes before serving, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

TO SERVE- Serve over couscous (or rice). Be generous with the sauce as you ladle- it’s fabulous.

freezer crockpot cooking- coconut chicken curryCoconut Curry Chicken (modified from this Chicken Curry recipe at Martha Stewart)

IN THE BAG- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2 lbs. of chopped butternut squash, 2 medium onions,chopped, 8 minced garlic cloves, 1 oz fresh ginger, 2 T curry powder,1 t ground coriander, 1 t ground cumin, coarse salt

TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag and a can of coconut milk to a slow cooker and cook on low all day. 25 minutes before serving, add another can of coconut milk and a bag of frozen peas.

TO SERVE- Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro (except if you’re us and you hate cilantro- then just garnish with cashews).

freezer crockpot dinner recipes- lime salsa chickenLime Salsa Chicken (modified from the Cilantro Chicken recipe at Pip & Ebby)

IN THE BAG- Juice from one lime, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional), a 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning, 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional), 3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or thighs, 1 chopped red pepper, and 1/2 onion, chopped

TO COOK- In a slow cooker, mix together the contents of the bag and one 24-ounce jar of salsa (I used mango salsa, but use whatever kind of salsa you like). Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

TO SERVE- Serve in corn tortillas with rice.

freezer crockpot dinner recipe- balsamic chicken with figs and herbsBalsamic Chicken with Figs and Herbs (recipe adapted from this recipe at What’s Cookin Chicago)

IN THE BAG- Brown 2 lbs of chicken and saute one onion and two cloves of garlic in olive oil until softened, then add of the above to a freezer bag. Also add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup balsamic fig jam, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano,1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1 cup dried figs. **Two notes- the original recipe calls for all of the spices to be dried, but I had all of them growing in our garden, so I just used those. Substitute dried spices if that’s easier/cheaper for you. Also, I had balsamic fig jam on hand- if you don’t, just add 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar.

TO COOK- Defrost the bag completely in the fridge. Add the contents of the bag plus one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes to the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8

TO SERVE- Serve over rice or potatoes.

freezer crockpot dinner recipe- santa fe chickenSanta Fe Chicken

IN THE BAG- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, 1 chopped red pepper, ½  onion, chopped, 1/2 t cumin, 2 T cilantro (optional).

TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag plus 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn and 1 medium sized jar of salsa to a crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.

TO SERVE- Serve over rice.

And you guys are going to love this- I even kept track of my shopping list to share with y’all  (just save the picture above).

And in case you’re looking for more freezer crockpot cooking- check out Freezer Crockpot Cooking Round 1, the Freezer Crockpot Cooking, Garden Edition, more Freezer Crockpot Cooking, even MORE Freezer Crockpot Recipes and some tried and true favorites turned Freezer Cooking Recipes.

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.

Comments

    • Kirstin says

      Thanks Andrea! I can totally vouch for the honey rosemary chicken and the coconut curry- still haven’t tried the other three, though. :) We’re working our way through them slowly but surely. :)

        • Kirstin says

          Hey Cyndy- they serve our family of four (but my kids are little, so if you have big eaters, maybe increase all of the ingredients proportionally).

          • nicky says

            hi. query from England. Often US shops have different size portions so could you give an indication of the size of your bags of peas and sweetcorn?! We have 3 different sized bags in the supermarket.

            thanks
            nicky x

          • Kirstin says

            Hey Nicky- we actually now live overseas, so this is a guess. I think the bags are about a pound, so half of a kg? If you try it, will you let me know?

      • Tina Rappuhn says

        I made the chicken coconut curry it is fabulous! My 82 year old Mother appetite is poor. She finished her serving first. Thanks for sharing.

        • marie says

          if any of you have crock pot freezer meals that I could use pork or bacon or beef stew meat in that can be froze in the bags ahead of time would you please post them too. I have jotted down all the others you have posted. And I do appreciate them. Thanks.

          • Kirstin says

            Hi Marie! We have two more freezer crockpot posts coming soon (both with non-chicken recipes included!). :)

    • Kirstin says

      Haha- I’m with you Etheline! :) The coconut curry is one of our faves, though it is quickly being surpassed by the honey rosemary chicken (I was just thinking last night that I might do a whole freezer-crockpot-cooking with just honey rosemary before we lose our garden- haha!). :) Still haven’t tried the other three, though. If you try them, let me know what you think! :)

  1. Hannah L says

    I’m so grateful for these crockpot freezer meal blogs! I can’t wait to make these! I think I may be going grocery shopping tonight to get these prepped!

  2. Amy says

    Hello,
    These look wonderful. Quick question, do you have to defrost the bag before adding it to the crockpot? I noticed one of your recipes says to but not the rest. Can’t wait to try them:)

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Amy- you don’t have to defrost them if you add more liquid to the mix. I defrost the honey rosemary because you only add another cup of water to cook the chicken in, which doesn’t turn out to be that much in the bottom of the crockpot. Everything else, though, gets cans of beans or tomatoes or coconut milk to make it so that you aren’t just dumping a frozen chunk into the crockpot. :)
      Hope that helps! :)

  3. Tiffany says

    These recipes look amazing! One question: do you need to have all the bags thawed before placing them in the crockpot? I only notices thawing mentioned in one of the recipes….

    • Kirstin says

      Tiffany- the ones that don’t mention thawing have some added liquid that makes it ok to just throw the frozen contents of the bag into the crockpot directly. :)

  4. says

    i kinda want to run over to denver and give you a big fat squeeze for this post! these recipes look soooo good!! i need to use my crock pot more and this school year is going to be a bearcat, so 10 meals in my freezer would be like completely awesome!! can’t wait for the soup edition!! thanks girl, you’ve just inspired me to save my own butt!

  5. says

    Oh my these look so good and I think everyone in the fam will like them! Thanks so much :) I haven’t done freezer cooking yet but am definitely going to make a few of those this week!

      • Jomahna says

        I’m almost done prepping them all, Hurray. I agree with everyone else. ALL these recipes look amazing and they already smell good in the bags. I do have a question, these are still fairly large portions for my husband and I, If I half them is it too little of a portion to put in the crock pot and if not would I adjust the time? I cant wait for some others, do you have any beef recipies worked out?

        • Kirstin says

          You know, I have no idea how much is too little in the crockpot… if you try the halved portion, will you let me know if it works or not???
          Also, beef has been the hardest to find- if you see any, will you send them my way???

          • Meg says

            Hi,
            We are big fans of crockpot cooking in our home, so when hubby saw this he and I decided this idea would help out so much.
            As for beef, I read in a frugal cooking article ages ago that crock pot is saviour to cheap cuts of beef and it is!!! We will find a good deal on beef and the slow and lower temp make fall apart rich roasts to savour. And I’m terrible at remembering to thaw so I just put in and add some broth or rub some oil on it and voila add salt pepper or which herbs you wish and your golden. Also for chicken I brush on some olive oil add some balsamic vinegar and super easy, healthy and when I get home I steam a veg, and find a ziploc bag of salad mix that I had chopped up enough for beginning of week and keep in fridge. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  6. says

    I love this idea! I have a feeling this will revolutionize my menu planning. Question – how many does each freezer bag feed? These amounts seem massive, but for my family it’s just me and my two girls.

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Erin… each bag feeds our family of four, usually with lunch leftovers for my husband. Let me know if you try it! :)

  7. Mary says

    I so love this idea! Once the school year (and winter) start I get busy & stop planning meals and things get ugly around here. I just duplicated your efforts and have a happy freezer. We actually made the rosemary chicken in a pan tonight because I bought so much chicken and I didn’t want to plan an 11th meal for dinner tonight. It was super delicious! Thanks! Also sent a link to my friend who has 4 kids. She needs this too. : )

    • Kirstin says

      Mary, I love this. And so glad you loved the rosemary chicken (I am not kidding when I say I think my kids/husband would eat it every week!). :) Let me know as you try the lime, the santa fe and the fig balsamic! :)

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing! I’m excited to whip up a few of these this weekend while I still have fresh rosemary and cilantro! The flavor combinations sound right up my alley!

    • Kirstin says

      Thanks Alicia! We are still trying everything, but I can with great confidence recommend the curry and the honey rosemary. :) Let me know if you try any of the others!

  9. Kate W. says

    Kristin, I’m a first-timer to your blog (via Positively Splendid) and everything sounds amazing. What size crockpot do you have? The one we have is enormous, I swear, and was used for a huge chili recipe my husband made back in the day. I’m thinking what you have is probably smaller. Thanks in advance!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Kate- welcome (no worries about my name- happens ALL the time!). :) I love Amy- so glad you found us through her!
      Anyhow, my crock pot is not giant- I think it holds 6 quarts? Yours is probably bigger! :)
      Let me know if you try any of these… still working my way through the list! :)

  10. Dayna says

    We love making salsa chicken (sound similar to Santa Fe Chicken). I usually throw 4 chicken breasts in the crock pot with 1-1.5 jars of salsa. Cook 6-8 hours on low & shred. Sometimes I drain the sauce (my husband doesn’t like it runny) and then throw the shredded chicken & more salsa (usually the 1/2 jar) in. Drain & wash a can of black beans & dump in 1/2 bag frozen corn (can use canned too) and let warm. Sometimes we serve it over rice, or put in tortilla wraps. Lately we’ve been eating it with tortilla chips!

    I also have a great recipe for beef brisket. Let me know if you’d like me to email it to you.

    P.S. Cilantro is gross. HA.

  11. says

    Oh, I am so excited! We are nearly finished with our bags from the first round (I only made a batch of each, but we don’t eat a lot of chicken). I’ll def. do the curry again, and also the man-pleasing, but these will be a delight to try as well. It’s such an easy way to feed chicken to my family as I really can’t stand to cook it, and letting the slow cooker do the work means on other nights, I have energy for fish & veggie dishes that haven’t been in the freezer. thanks!

    • Kirstin says

      Emily, I forgot about the man pleasing chicken. My family liked that one too (though, I think I’ll add more maple syrup next time).
      So glad this is working for your family!

      • says

        It’s amazing! And I wouldn’t have done it if not for you doing it! My only glitch so far is the chicken always seems dry to me: I don’t know if I am cooking too long, if I should cube it smaller, or something else.

        • Kirstin says

          Hey Emily- so glad you tried it. I started cooking the chicken on low… and I like the ones that are cooked in liquid (the chicken stays more moist).

          • Rachel says

            Chicken thighs do better in the croc-pot than chicken breasts do; if you’re feeling like your chicken is too dry, try thighs. Thighs are also nice because they are about 1/2 the size of a chicken breast, so it’s easier to serve not-so-hungry people without having to cut up the chicken beforehand (I hate raw chicken).

  12. Angela T says

    Thank you for sharing this! I cannot believe I have never thought to do this. This is such a Fantastic Idea!

  13. Laura says

    These recipes look great! I love finding more ways to use my Crock Pot! Quick question- for the Santa Fe chicken, do you drain the can of beans first?

  14. Jennifer says

    Curry was AMAZING I doubled the curry powder because we like our curry HOT next time I’m making 4 bags of this

    • Kirstin says

      I always wonder what’s in store when Piper Jane stops napping… glad I’m not the only one banking on those hours. :)

  15. Jean says

    Just wanted to say I stumbled on this looking for freezer crockpot meals. I tried the lime salsa chicken last night (although I made it up and threw it in the crock pot yesterday). I went for spicy, used hot taco seasoning and medium salsa (just a regular tomato salsa). I also left out cilantro and the bell pepper because dh doesn’t really like them (and I don’t like to chop food up and then watch it get picked out).
    It was fabulous! Dh liked it (He’s very picky).
    The chicken is saucy, so I made brown rice and poured sauce over the rice. Dh will eat brown rice with sauce on it, but not by itself.

    • Kirstin says

      Jean, thanks so much for the feedback! We haven’t tried that one yet (I’m not a cilantro girl either!). Can’t wait to try it. :)

  16. noelle says

    With school and extra-curriculars starting I figured I’d give this a shot and I’m excited to get started. In your honey rosemary chicken it says to add cornstarch but I can’t find out (or where it says) how much?? thanks!!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Noelle- you just add cornstarch at the end. I added a few tablespoons actually (which seems like a lot). It thickens up the sauce so that it is more ravy like and less soupy.

  17. Hannah L says

    Lime Salsa Chicken = complete.
    Coconut Curry Chicken = complete.
    Balsamic Fig Chicken = going in the Crockpot now.

    These have been AMAZING so far! I’m so grateful to you for sharing on your blog!

    • Kirstin says

      Hannah- you’re further along than I am! :) I love it that you’re loving this round… I’m working on next month’s line up next weekend. Any suggestions/crock pot go-to’s?

      • Hannah L says

        Sorry! No suggestions yet. I’m really new to the whole Crockpot world. I’m LOVING it though! Can’t wait to see your new ones. :)

        • Kirstin says

          Thanks Hannah- I am pretty new to it too! It’s great, right? If you find anything fabulous, pass it along, ok?

          • Hannah L says

            Of course! Most definitely will…I’m FINALLY sitting down to plan out meals for the next couple of weeks. Will let you know if I come across anything fantastic. :)

  18. connie says

    I’m wondering if the liquids (bbq sauce, chicken broth?) can be put in the bags too? When freezing some veggies and fruits it is recommended that you cover them with oil or juice or something before freezing so maybe it would even help? Anyone have any experience with this? Also, My chicken (and black beans if I start with dried) always seem to taste dry too. I have always cooked on high because even 7 hours on low left my food barely warm and not cooked (I have a large and spendy crockpot but not sure why it doesn’t cook it enough). Do you think the dryness is because I’m cooking on high? Thank you! -and thank you for all of the great recipes!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Connie- I haven’t tried putting all of the liquid in the bags because I’m scared to put big frozen lumps in my crockpot (I like to put a frozen lump PLUS liquid- I feel like it defrosts quicker). And I HAVE had the dry chicken problem if I cook on high. On the other hand, I haven’t ever had barely warm/uncooked on low, so that’s been my answer. Hmmm. Hopefully some other people have ideas for you too… :)

    • Lisa says

      I’ve been reading through the comments just to see if anyone mentioned this problem! I’m no cooking/crock pot expert, but I’ve found that chicken breasts just aren’t great in the crock. I’ve had better luck with thighs, and I plan to buy thighs next time they’re on sale and go to town with these recipes! Love the concept!

      • Kirstin says

        Hey Lisa- actually, for Round 1 I ended up using thighs and then mostly used breasts for Round 2. I haven’t noticed a difference in dryness, but I do know you can totally use thighs instead! :)

    • Rachel says

      Almost all of the croc- pot cooking I have done, I have added the liquids to the bag and frozen them all. I usually let it defrost overnight in the fridge before putting it in the croc, but I have had times where I just ran the bag under hot water to loosen it from the bag and break it into chunks and put it in the croc pot- still cooked on low, just added 30 minutes to how long I’d normally cook it. Never had a problem.

      The only exception to this is when I’m using a sauce (bbq, teryaki)- and then I will add 1/2 to freeze and add the other 1/2 after it’s been cooking about 2 hours- has better flavor that way.

      Also, I have found any recipes with broccoli taste best if you add the broccoli 30 mins before serving. Gives it just enough time to steam but not be mushy. :)

      • Karyn says

        I ran into a pin where the person froze liquids in muffin tins. While I believe she did this because the liquids were the sauce (pesto, marinara, etc), I am tempted to do this with some of these recipes. Mix up the liquid portion for the recipe add to a muffin tin, freeze and distribute amongst the appropriate bags. This would keep all the ingredients together for crock pot time, and reduce the risk of uneven cooking. It’s an interesting idea…. :-) freezer cooking!

        • Kirstin says

          Karyn, if you try this, will you let me know how it goes? I love the idea of distributing the liquid more evenly (and less in one clump). Brilliant!

    • Meg says

      Hi there,

      I find my crockpot I have now is much more efficient than last, plus I always cover it with teatowel. My old one I couldn’t use low setting and know I wouldn’t come home to wasted raw chicken. Also I squirt some lemon on chicken breast and it helps it out a lot! That’s coming from a dark meat eater too! I love cilantro!!!!! Right now I’m trying to crockpot a spaghetti squash, we will see how it goes!! Happy crocking!

  19. Toni says

    These recipes all sound wonderful I am just now venturing into the world of freezer and make ahead meals. My question is this, really for anyone who has thoughts on it. I am not a big fan of packaged taco seasoning(actually any packaged seaononings like that) and I see tons of recipes that call for it, what ideas do you have for replacing that with something else. Thanks and I cant wait to try these and what you have coming next!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Tony- I actually don’t really like seasoning packets either (just trying this recipe out). There are TONS of recipes for make-your-own-seasoning, though, if that’s more your style. If you’d rather not add any seasonings at all, you could try it without (maybe a little garlic salt) and see how it goes? If you do, will you let me know how it turns out? I’ll experiment here too. :)

  20. Melissa says

    Hi. Thanks for the recipes. These remind me of Dream Dinners, which are really good, but expensive. If you do this again, I would love some recipes for dishes other than chicken. My husband says we eat so much chicken he’s going to turn into one!

    • Kirstin says

      Haha- we eat a ton of chicken around here too. I am working on next month’s freezer cooking installment and there’s pork recipe in there (but still lots of chicken). :)

  21. Amanda says

    Thanks for more crockpot ideas. I will be moving in with inlaws a few months…so we will have to cook for 10 people…I’m hoping two crockpots will do!! :)

  22. Nicole H says

    So excited about this! You may have posted this already, but what size crockpot do you use? I have a VERY large one and there are only two adults in my house…my little guy is 4 and quite picky. What size would you recommend? I am going to go purchase a smaller one. Thank you for all of these!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Nicole- I have a picky 4 year old too! :) He loves the honey rosemary, though, and will tolerate the curry. :)
      And my crockpot is 5 qt sized and I love it (I bet your big one is perfect for crowds).
      If you find any picky eater tips that work, pass those right along, ok?

  23. says

    Hi, thank you so much for posting these! we are going thru the adoption process and life is just pure chaos! but being able to serve a nutritious meal at the end of the day makes life so much BETTER! God Bless YOU!

    • Kirstin says

      Tracy, how exciting! We are hoping to adopt someday- we love hearing about other people who are going ahead of us… :)

  24. Robyn S. says

    Kirsten: Quick question, you mentioned using the herbs from your garden, so are the measurements in the recipes for fresh or dried herbs? I know that there is a difference in how much to use when using fresh vs. dried.

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Robin- the honey rosemary measurement is for fresh, everything else is for dried (I just swapped out fresh instead). :)

  25. Alicen says

    Thanks so much for the great recipes! Just wondering on the rosemary chicken one, do you think it would be okay to use dried rosemary? I don’t have fresh and I’m cheap. :)

    • Kirstin says

      Alicen- I haven’t ever tried it… there is a decent amount of rosemary in there (and it flavors the whole dish), so I’ve been nervous to swap out. If only you lived in Denver, you could have some of my rosemary. :) If you try it, will you let me know how it goes?

  26. Christine Price says

    I’ve made the Fig Balsamic Chicken (without jam) and it’s really yummy! My family loves it. I’ve used regular balsamic vinegar and figs. Have also made it with fig balsamic vinegar and dried cherries (as I didn’t have figs on hand)once and came out fabulous as well. Looking forward to trying the others.

  27. Diane says

    These are great – made and froze all of them today. I weighed all the chicken for each and they made fairly large portions. By serving with rice, noodles, potatoes etc, I think each will make a dinner for my family of five and one or two lunches for my husband.
    Thanks!!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Diane! They are pretty big portions, aren’t they? My husband loves having the curry and the honey rosemary chicken as leftovers. :)

  28. Stephanie says

    I am so glad I found your site!! All of these recipes sound so yummy and I desperately neeeeeeed to find a way to simplify dinnertime. I have honestly never found a website or cookbook that I wanted to try almost every one of the recipes…it’s such a fantastic bonus that those recipes happen to be freezer AND crockpot recipes that will make my life easier. Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!! And I’d love to see an update on recipes you liked, disliked, or would change.

    • Kirstin says

      Stephanie- we must have similar taste in food. :) You might’ve read in the comments that the rosemary chicken and the curry get highest marks from my family (we had the rosemary chicken tonight actually). They could eat that one every week I think. :) The Fig Balsamic was also a hit around here (it’s sort of similar to the honey rosemary actually). I will add modifications/etc. as I find them- thanks for stopping by. :)

  29. Jessica says

    Hey there – made a few of these and cooked the rosemary honey chicken yesterday. We were so hopeful, but the consensus was not so good. Chicken was overcooked and it lacked flavor. Do you have any suggestions? What size crock pot are you using? I cooked for 6 hours on low. How much starch did you add? Thanks. . .

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Jessica- hmmm… perhaps more honey/rosemary/balsamic? I added a couple of heaping tablespoons of cornstarch (until the sauce is thick like gravy). Also, I only cook mine for 4 hours on low. Perhaps that is part of it? My crockpot is 5 qt sized.
      Hope that helps!

  30. Karyn says

    Kirstin,
    Thanks for these golden nuggets! I’m excited to try all of them! Although with hunting season coming up there’s likely to be a battle over the freezer space between me and the hub!

    • Kirstin says

      Hmmmmm….. I read on the reviews at Martha Stewart that using light coconut milk made it super water-y. Did you do that, by chance?

      • Carrie says

        I didn’t use light coconut milk. I was thinking maybe my crockpot’s low is too high? I added some cornstarch in milk at the end and that fixed it up pretty good. I guess I’ll just see how the next batch goes.

        I’m loving the ideas here! Thank you!

        • Kirstin says

          Cornstarch to the rescue (that’s what I do for the honey-rosemary chicken as well!). :) And I have been experimenting with crock pot temp- I think mine is mostly to high- I’ve started doing all of mine on low for 4 hours. :)

      • says

        Last week we enjoyed these recipes! I made everything the previous Saturday (took about 1 1/2 hours to prep) and started enjoying them on Monday. I didn’t have a crock pot (mine broke) so some recipes were grilled on the barbeque. For the fig and balsamic chicken, I didn’t have figs so I used dates and it was a fabulous recipe. I grilled the chicken but made the marinated into a sauce using cornstarch to thicken it just a bit. The recipes that I didn’t grill I slow cooked in the oven. I place all the contents of the bags and added needed items to a baking dish, covered with aluminum foil and cooked on 300 degrees for 2 hours. The chicken came out moist and VERY flavorful! I will be doing these recipes again!

  31. Rachel says

    Thank you for all the fabulous ideas! I love croc-pot cooking; so easy and cost-effective!

    My favorite recipe thus far for beef is Croc-pot beef fajitas:

    Ingredients:
    2 lb beef round steak cut into strips (across the grain)
    2 8 oz cans diced tomatoes w/ chiles
    1 large onion or 2 small
    1 green pepper, cut into strips
    1 red pepper, cut into strips
    2 tsp cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tsp chili powder , 2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper to taste
    1 jalapeno chopped (optional, obviously not a good toddler choice)

    Split between 2 bags, seal, mix, lay flat, freeze
    Directions for Bags:
    Cook on low 5-6 hours. Scoop with slotted spoon onto corn (or flour) tortillas. Garnish with sour
    cream, avocado, shredded cheese, pico de galo, etc

    :)

  32. Deb says

    I’m a big crock-pot fan and have adapted most of the recipes I’ve made into “doing” in the crockpot! I have spaghetti sauce and meatballs to offer-it takes only one more step in that you would pre-cook the meatballs, but it works well enough so that you’re only making one huge batch of meatballs enough for 4 meals, it would make 4 one-gallon size-freezer bags I believe depending on how big you make the meatballs and your family size. The only extra step involved in making these meatballs is pre-cooking them – so they hold their shape better, but I’ll bet you can just freeze them uncooked. You can easily make the meatballs and cook them while assembling other crock pot meals! You’ll be in the kitchen anyways!
    Step 1. Mix all ingredients (you’ll need a pretty big bowl-I use a big soup pot) and make into round meatballs:
    4 lbs lean ground beef, 1 chopped onion, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp salt & pepper to taste, 3 tbl. parmesan cheese.
    Step 2. Lay them touching each other on big tin-foil lined cookie sheet and cook in oven approx. 40 minutes until browned. Take out of oven and drain off fat and cool completely. After cooled for 20 minutes or so, I put them in the fridge to thoroughly cool down for another 20 minutes or so.
    Step 3. Divide meatballs into 4 bags. Into each add 1 small can tomato paste, 1 can diced petite tomatoes, 1 cup pre-made tomato sauce, 1/2 cup red pepper, 1/2 cup onions, 3 diced cloves garlic, 1/2 ts. basil, 1 tsp. oregano. Adjust to your liking and if you have fresh herbs so much the better!
    Seal in freezer bags; I usually make between 16 and 20 meatballs to a pound of lean ground beef, you may want to freeze more in each bag and make only 3 meals. When reheating – dump bag into crock pot with 1 cup water, low for 3-4 hours.

    I also substitute boneless chicken breasts to make Chicken Cacciatore, cut in 4 pieces, and beef london broil or sirloin (Beef Pizzaiola) cut into thin strips or ribbons to use in this tomato based crock-pot recipe. I do not pre-cook the chicken or the beef, but I do cook both of those on high for 8 hours in the crock pot. I serve the meatballs with a variety of pastas or make meatball subs garnished with melted mozzarella cheese on top. I serve the chicken cacciatore style chicken with pasta too, but I serve the beef over frozen green and yellow beans with linguini (or any other flat wide noodle). You have a wonderful blogspot, I truly enjoyed reading it! Let’s hear it for crock-pots and casseroles and one-pot cooking! Best Regards, deb

  33. Felicia Wilhoite Ferrigno says

    I do not think it is silly at all. My kids are in middle and high school now, so i am back to work a little, and needing to help Dad to have easy to put together meals that I’ve dont the hard parts. But what I find REVOLUTIONARY is your putting raw ingredients into the freezer bags that can cook in the crock all day. That’s even smarter than my cooking HuGE batches of food and freezing them in one-meal portions, that have to be thawed and reheated in the oven again, leaving them sometimes dry, and putting Dad on the spot to make sure they get into the oven on time. YOUR method lets me put it in the crock pot before I leave for work, and it should be ready when I get home! THAT is revolutionary!! Thank you. Why haven’t i thought of this in 20 years of keeping house? You are a genius!

    • Kirstin says

      Felicia, this comment made me laugh! :) Glad it’s helpful. And I have to quickly say that this is totally not my idea, just something I saw, loved and copied! :)

  34. says

    I found this post to be so helpful in crossing off “what to do for dinner” off my daily schedule. There are some nights where I won’t get home from school or work until almost 10pm, and using the crock-pot is so helpful for those nights when I don’t feel like cooking after coming home so late. I also don’t like eating things that are unhealthy that late too, and these recipes you use aren’t too bad for you either! Thanks for such a wonderful post, I feel the freezer to crock-pot method is revolutionary also. I actually used your ideas for a summary post on my blog http://gardnofeatn.blogspot.com/2012/09/revolutionary-freezer-to-crock-pot-meals.html

    • Kirstin says

      Kristin- love this! Revolutionary indeed (especially with what sounds like a crazy schedule right now!). So glad to find a kindred spirit! :)

  35. Jen says

    I can’t find where it says how many a bag serves. We have 6 in our family (3 ravenous males) and I’m not sure how much to prepare so that no one goes hungry.
    Your website is fabulous! I’m preparing all this food for when I am recovering from surgery and can’t cook for the family!
    HELP!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Jen- sorry you’re having surgery. This will be super helpful. I would say the bags serve 4. Perhaps if you made an extra 50% for each bag? Or you could double the recipes if your family is big into leftovers. How much meat do you usually make for dinner? These are each about 2 lbs of chicken- perhaps that can be your guide???
      Would you let me know what ends up working for you?

      • Jen says

        Thanks so much! I’ll probably make double – that way I have lunch the next day too!
        I’ll let you know how it goes!

      • Phyllis Mason says

        Thank you! I was going through all the comments, hoping to find out how many servings these have. It’s just me and my 18 yr old granddaughter living here, and servings for 4 is perfect for us because she is a busy girl and is ravenous when she gets home and I work for the State from home and like to keep any leftovers for my lunch the next day. I really like this idea. I’ve been doing the 30 day — cook one day and have 30 freezer meals for years, but I think I’ll like this even better. I’m definitely going to try it. Have you got any beef recipes we can use?

        • Kirstin says

          Hey Phyllis- we love having the leftovers as well! And YES, there’s a broccoli beef recipe (and a pineapple pork recipe) on one of the other freezer cooking posts (they’re all linked at the bottom of the post). Hope that helps!

  36. Karyn says

    I tried the honey rosemary chicken, and wasn’t pleased. The broth seemed too runny, so I added corn starch as recommended, but then the taste changed and not for the better. [never froze, cooked 4 days after prep on high for 4hrs]
    The BBQ Chicken was ok. Sauce was runny, again, so I added another 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce. For the amount of prep involved, and for the results I wouldn’t make it again. [Thawed 1 day, cooked on low 6hrs]
    Similarly, I tried the Coconut Curry Chicken (which smelled amazing before it went into the freezer) and the squash was mushy and the coconut milk curdled at some point in the cooking. [Thawed 3 days, cooked on high 4hrs]
    I was really excited about these recipes, but I’m 0 for 3 with these slow cooker recipes. I think that I could do something different in the thawing/cooking process. I’ve got another 4-5 bags in the freezer and I’d really like for them to turn out. Any suggestions/guidance? Thanks for listening folks!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Karyn. I hate it when that happens (your hard work doesn’t turn out). I had trouble with the coconut milk burning once- I’ve stirred occasionally since. No problems with curdling, though. I haven’t ever had trouble with the corn starch changing the taste of the rosemary chicken… hmmm. Perhaps you could just leave it runny and use the couscous/rice to sop it up? I share your thoughts on the BBQ chicken- it’s ok. I think maybe I added too many carrots to mine?
      Thoughts, anyone?
      If you fix anything for Round 2, would you let me know what works for you???

      • Karyn says

        Found a comment on round 1 with similar results, and the suggestion was cooking for less time. I do have to verify whether they cooked them for less time still on the low sitting or switched to the high setting.
        In the meantime, I thought maybe these would turn out better if cooked as a skillet meal (thawed of course), or potentially trying the recipe again, but altering the cook time and adding certain ingredients (like the squash) later on in the cook time. Thanks Kristin!

        • Kirstin says

          I love the skillet meal idea… will have to try that.
          When I shortened the cook time, I left it on low (I felt like everything was overcooking/burning when I turned it up or left it on for 6+ hours).
          I also love the idea of adding the squash later, except for the maintenance that it adds. Though, in the coconut curry, you’re adding coconut milk later anyway…
          Thanks for all of the help and suggestions! :)

    • Cassy says

      Karyn, perhaps you might actually follow the recipe before complaining about poor results?! Honey Rosemary Recipe says marinate a few hours then freeze. You effectively marinated it 4 days. Naturally the quality of your raw ingredients will degrade after a few days in fridge. Similar issue with Coconut Curry having been stored in fridge 3 days… Instructions are to cook most of these recipes from frozen. It’s the theme of the blogpost. ;) Appreciated your comment on the BBQ recipe though.

  37. says

    I have had these recipes pinned for a few weeks, and I just got done putting them all together. We’re having the Salsa Lime Chicken tonight for dinner, and the house is already starting to smell good! Thanks for putting all of these recipes together in one place! I’m going to link your recipes on my blog in the next couple of weeks. These types of recipes are a lifesaver!! Can’t wait to see your next installment for soup recipes :)

    • says

      We LOVED the Salsa Lime Chicken! We ate ours in flour tortillas with Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice and sour cream. My husband said it blows Chipotle’s tacos/burritos out of the water. I loved that you could taste the salsa, lime juice and bell peppers, it wasn’t just one flat flavor. Will definitely make again.

      • Kirstin says

        Haley- so glad you guys loved it! That makes me want to make it for dinner this week. :) I think I have one in the freezer. :)

  38. Theresa says

    I have frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts. Have you tried these recipes and NOT marinated first? (since I can’t refreeze uncoiled chicken)

  39. Valerie says

    I’m wondering about saute’ onions and garlic etc before freezing or if it doesn’t matter for flavor. Any comments? Thanks.

    • Kirstin says

      I think the saute adds to the flavor, though I’m not positive. If you try it without, will you let me know if it turns out?

    • Kirstin says

      thanks jane! I was just working on round 4 this weekend… should be up soon (well, after Winter Whites, so in a couple weeks). :)

  40. Pat says

    I just tried the Rosemary Chicken and it was wonderful. I live alone and I made one recipe of the chicken and split it into two freezer bags. I bought one of the small slow cookers (1 1/2 – 2 qts) and this is just perfect. I made the first freezer bag and it was just right for two meals. Thanks! I’ll be trying more.

  41. Ayla says

    How many servings does one bag serve & what size crockpot are you using? I’m trying to figure out how to adjust your shopping list & recipes to fit in my tiny crock pot for one as I’m just cooking for me. Thank you!

    • Kirstin says

      The recipes serve 4 comfortably… and my crock pot is a 5 qt one. Maybe cut the recipe in half for yourself (you’ll have dinner and lunch for the next day probably). :)

    • Kirstin says

      Sadie, they serve my family of four (me, my husband and our 5 and 3 year old kids). I would maybe double or make 1.5 times what they call for for your hungry guys. :)

  42. Stacey says

    I tried the coconut curry chicken, honey rosemary chicken, lime salsa chicken and fig balsamic chicken. The honey rosemary I ended up adding some sauteed kale too after it was cooked and it was really good. The coconut curry chicken I added some extra spices, but only because I like things pretty spicy. The lime salsa chicken I added black beans and corn to. I couldn’t find figs at the grocery store, so I added canned pears, and it turned out really good!

    • Kirstin says

      Stacey, love all of the modifications! Definitely trying the pears in lieu of figs! :) Ooooh, and I LOVE kale- what a great idea.

  43. says

    The Honey Rosemary Chicken is cooking in my crockpot right now! YAY! I noticed it said to add cornstarch 10 minutes prior to serving, but I couldn’t find an amount for the cornstarch. 1 Tbsp? 1/4 cup? HELP! thanks a million for these! they’re amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. says

    Hi! I cannot wait to try all of these. As I went to print off the shopping list, I noticed it said 22 lbs of chicken, but I went back and looked at the recipes, and I think it’s supposed to be just 12… I thought I would just mention it before someone accidently buys way too much chicken!! Thank you for posting these recipes.

  45. Alex says

    Thanks so much for these recipes, you’ve just made my December SO much easier! QQ, does the shopping list cover only the recipes in Round 2, or both Round 1 & 2?

  46. says

    OK I made these last month, and we have been working our way through them. I just wanted to post a review/tips to anyone who hasn’t made them yet!

    I think my favorite was the Honey Rosemary Chicken! So Simple, and yummy! had company over when we made this and they loved it!

    The next favorite is the Santa Fe Chicken. We used this alone, on nachos, and with sour cream/cheese on top!

    The Coconut Curry was great, although I made her other recipes that also had frozen peas in it, so the peas is kind of what you remember from this! I’ve used Lite Coconut milk & regular and they were both great!

    I did not do the balsamic fig chicken, and I did not like the Lime Salsa Chicken – I think it’s important to choose a low sodium salsa, as the one I choose had so much sodium, the dish was so salty! I was able to put it as a topping on salads and it was OK, but not as a meal!

    • Kirstin says

      Ashley, our family has similar taste in meals! Honey Rosemary is our favorite by far!
      Thanks for all of the input- I am writing a review post about our experience with crockpot freezer meals (like you guys we’ve had some winners and some really bad experiences!), so I love the feedback!

  47. Elizabeth L-A says

    Thanks so much for these! I put together a combo of round 1 and 2. Coconut curry, peanut chicken, honey rosemary, Santa Fe, and lime salsa. It’s my first time trying a big batch prep job like this, and apart from my chicken thighs needing some major surgery (note to self: next time, pay a little bit more for a better butcher job…) it was super straight forward. I did my carrots and onions in our food processor, so that made things easy. I think I might have the courage to work myself up to an OAM meal prep next month…. baby steps! can’t wait to try them all!

    • Kirstin says

      Elizabeth, it is super helpful to have these around. I LOVE the coconut curry and the honey rosemary- hopefully your family likes them too! :)

  48. says

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me
    when new comments are added- checkbox and from now
    on each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    Is there a means you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks!

    • Kirstin says

      I have no idea how to fix that- that’s so frustrating though??? If it were me, I’d delete my comment- perhaps that’ll stop the cycle?

    • Kirstin says

      Amy, it varies every time. Sometimes a Tablespoon, sometimes a few tablespoons… just enough to thicken up the sauce.

  49. MicheLle says

    I made your Rosemare Honey chicken a few nights ago but instead of using 3Tb of fresh rosemary I used 3Tb of dried rosemary with horrible results. I think I used to much dried rosemary but are not sure what amount to use – can you help?

    • Kirstin says

      Hmmmm…. the fresh rosemary is pretty essential for the taste to turn out right. I’d try it with the fresh rosemary next time… :)

  50. Kerry says

    I saw in one of the comment section (written in 2012) that you were coming out with a soup version of the crockpot freezer recipes. Can you tell me if you have released this, and if so, where I might find it? My husband and I just found this website and we are so looking forward to trying it! Thanks tons!
    Kerry

  51. Elaine B says

    I have recently started using freezer meals. However, I don’t use a crockpot mostly because I prefer the texture and browning of oven baking/roasting. I defrost the freezer meal in the fridge . When I get home from work its easy to heat the oven 350+ , pour the freezer meal onto a casserole and go do something else.
    So far every crockpot recipe has done excellent in the oven.

    I also look for any freezer meal that does not require pre-cooking. So prep-day is not cook day.
    There is something freeing about seeing all those ready made meals stacked up neat as bricks.

  52. Chloae says

    Hi Kirstin!
    These all sound amazing! I just moved into a new house with the boyfriend and this would make painting all day so much easier!
    I read through most of the comments and #1 and #2 recipe lists and it seems like the rosemary chicken and the curry are the BIGGEST HITS! Is there a super awesome recipe list you made for when you just make those two batches? Thanks!!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Chloae- so glad these are helpful! I don’t have a recipe list for just those two, but if you check out the potager post, it has just pesto and rosemary chicken (then you could add in the curry!). :)

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Kitty- I usually thawed the bags for a day in the fridge before putting them in the crockpot. Hope that helps!

  53. sarah joy says

    When you say red pepper, in the Santa Fe Chicken recipe, do you mean a red bell pepper or a red chilli pepper?

  54. Cherish says

    Hey there!

    I am so excited to try all of these
    Out! Not sure if you need it but I have a crock or pork recipe I use? It actually makes “carnitas”. I take a good sized pork roast and season it with lawrys seasoning salt, ground cumin, pepper and a little bit of pre packaged taco or fajita seasoning. I put it in the crock in the AM on low and it’s ready for dinner. You will be able to tell if it’s done if there is no visible fat left on the meat because it melts away. Also it’s so moist and juicy that it just falls apart. Sometimes I like to add it to a pan and fry it a little just for texture but it’s usually good to go either way! I serve it wil tortillas and taco fillings (lettuce, bell pepper, onion, salsa, tomatoes, and black beans) hope this helps!
    Cherish

  55. Diana Meredith says

    I read through a few comments and didn’t see this, so sorry if you answered already! How much cornstarch do you add to the Honey Rosemary Chicken? Thanks for the recipes!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Diana, it varies each time- I usually try a teaspoon and see if that thickens it up enough. If not, I add more… Hope that helps.

  56. says

    I am about to try the whole chop batch freeze raw slowcook thing for the first time, thanks for this great idea. Quick question how big are your bags of frozen peas and corn. I’m in australia so have just gone through converting weights to metric but am stumped on your bag sizes! over here we can buy in 500g or 1kg!

    • Kirstin says

      Hey Jane… I would guess the 500 kg bags (I think they’re about a pound in the states…). We moved overseas, so I’ve been trying to check for something similar but not finding anything. Hope that helps!

  57. Valerie says

    These look good, but you don’t indicate how many each recipe feeds, and in some cases don’t give sizes of items, i.e. a bag of rice, what size bag? long grain or instant? If you could update these things it would be very helpful. I am assuming you chop the chicken as well by the looks of the pictures.

  58. Evon says

    May I suggest spraying croc pot with Pam or cooking oil to make cleanup easier. I discovered this simple tip recently and couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner!

  59. Chaya says

    Hi again,
    What about if I make this fresh and then freeze it/the leftovers. Would that work and how long would it be good in the freezer for? Thanks you! Very excited to make it.

    • Kirstin says

      Chaya, I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know how that would turn out. But if you try it, will you let me know how it turns out?

  60. Simon says

    For the ingredients and cooking instructions, I just printed the page, cut out each recipe, inserted it into a snack sized ziploc and put that ziploc into the big bag. No sharpie messes or half erased instructions. It’s all in the bag!

  61. Laurie says

    I am excited to try all of these recipes. Do you have any recipes that use other meats? Beef? Pork? Also, I would really love to see the soup crock pot freezer meals. Sounds fabulous for the winter. A friend and I are getting together next week to make up a bunch of these! Thank you so much.

    • Kirstin says

      Kerry, it varies every time. Sometimes the sauce seems to thicken up on its own, sometimes I had to add 2+ tablespoons. I would add a tablespoon and then see what the consistency looks like before adding more…

  62. Jennifer says

    I would love to see a printer friendly version of these recipes. I just tried printing and it is 102 pages with the comments and sidebar pics. Thanks! They all sound yummy!

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