Making Freezer Meals: Get Started with 10 Simple Crock Pot Recipes

Making freezer meals means you can cook once and have dinner ready for weeks at a time! Find out how plus my 10 favorite easy crock pot freezer recipes.

Have you tried freezer meals? It's the BEST way to make dinner for your family. Make a few weeks' worth of dinners in just a couple of hours. Get the basics plus my 10 favorite crock pot freezer recipes. Make this meal plan in about 2 hours and don't cook again for weeks!

I love my crock pot. Seriously, my family would not have eaten for the first year of my twins' lives without it. Now that I'm making freezer meals I love it even more.

If you haven't tried this, do it. It is not that hard if you prepare well and you will be so happy when you don't have to cook dinner for weeks at a time. Yesterday I made 13 meals in 2 hours - 10 different recipes with two that I doubled. In one nap time for the boys I made dinner for at least 3 weeks (since there's 2 adults and 2 toddlers in our house these meals pretty much always leave enough for leftovers).

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I've done this a few times now so let me share some of my best tips on making freezer meals plus my menu list for this batch. I wanted to use a lot of fresh produce that I had on hand from my CSA and my garden, and try out some Fall flavors.

The Basics


The basics. Here's the general idea of freezer cooking - you put together your meals, uncooked (with some exceptions), in gallon sized freezer bags. Bags are labeled with the meal name, cooking time, and any instructions.  Freeze flat. Then when you are ready to cook a meal, thaw overnight, dump the entire bag in the crockpot, and go about your day. That's it!

Preparation is key.
The first couple of times I did this it took me quite a while to decide what to make and collect my recipes. I've done that here for you! When I'm deciding on a batch of meals, I start with meat. I decide how many meals I'm going to make with each type of meat (based usually on what is on sale). I also like to have at least 2 vegetarian options.

I made these meals with 8 pounds of pork roast, 8 pounds of chicken (boneless skinless breasts but you can change to your preference), and 3 pounds of ground turkey.

I also choose my recipes based on what fresh produce I have and want to use - we get CSA vegetables for part of the year, so I always have a lot of veggies on hand.

Once you've decided on your recipes, print them all out. I keep all the recipes for each type of meat together to make it easier when assembling.

I also like to make a list of my ingredients - I take a big sheet of paper and make 3 columns - "Pantry" "Produce" and "Spices". Then when it's time to make my meals I can easily make sure I have everything and get it all out on the counter before I start.

Making Freezer Meals

First, start with clear countertops and empty your sink, trash can, and dishwasher. You're going to need all the space you have.

Label gallon sized freezer bags with the name of the meal, cooking time, and anything that needs to be added (I generally only pick meals that are all inclusive, but occasionally I need to add some water or broth on cooking day).

I sort my recipes by type of meat so I can assemble all the chicken meals at once, pork meals at once, etc.

Chop all your veggies first.
I highly recommend using a food processor for chopping your vegetables. It will go so much faster!

Do vegetarian meals first. This will reduce your risk of contamination from any uncooked meats.

If you are doing ground turkey/beef meals that need to be cooked, do it in the microwave.  This is a time saver and you can do other things while it's cooking. You are really only cooking the meat so that you can drain the fat, not so that it is nice and browned. At least that's my opinion, especially for things like chili and soups.

Put your gallon freezer bags in a big bowl while filling them. This will help them stand up straight and catch any spills.

Put a cookie sheet in your freezer and lay your bags flat on top. Otherwise your bottom bag will end up smushed and hard to remove from the shelf.

With the exception of the ground turkey, nothing in my list of meals needs to be cooked ahead of time. Just follow the recipes, put all the ingredients in the freezer bag, and seal. That's it!


Making freezer meals is easy! Get the basics plus my 10 favorite easy crock pot freezer recipes. Cook once and have dinner ready for weeks!

10 Easy Crockpot Freezer Meal Recipes


Chicken
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo (Six Sisters' Stuff)
Chicken with Apple & Sweet Potato (Stockpiling Moms)
Sweet Teriyaki Chicken
Peanut Butter BBQ Chicken (I modified this one for the crockpot. Use all the ingredients except the olive oil. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours).

Pork
Pumpkin Maple Pulled Pork (I made 2 of these because it sounded so good).
Thai Peanut Pork (Who Needs A Cape) This is my husband's favorite meal. It is also absolutely delicious with chicken. I add a bag of frozen broccoli as well.
BBQ Applesauce Pork (Mommy's Fabulous Finds)

Ground Turkey
Pumpkin Turkey Chili (Whole Foods) I made 2 of these and adapted this one as well. Omit the olive oil. Cook the ground turkey, then place all ingredients except the 1 cup of water in your bag and freeze. Be sure to label your bag to add the water (I add chicken broth for more flavor) before cooking.

Italian Turkey Soup (Our Best Bites). Modified for freezer meal - omit olive oil. Cook the ground turkey, then place all ingredients except chicken broth in your bag and freeze. Add broth before cooking.

Vegetarian
Butternut Squash Chili (Stockpiling Moms)
Ravioli with Pumpkin-Tomato Sauce - I added one package of cheese ravioli to this sauce recipe. Cook on low for 3 hours.

That's the list! I also print out a list of the meals that I have in the freezer and hang it in my kitchen. I check off the meals as we eat them and then I know when it's time to start planning again.

Organize Your Recipes & Meal Plans

Freezer meal cooking is all about being organized. Make your freezer meal prep easy with my Printable Recipe & Meal Planning Organizer.

With everything you need to organize your recipes & prepare your meal plans, this organizer has 26 total pages including:

Front Cover
Binder Tabs (pre-printed & blank)
Undated Monthly Calendar
Weekly Menu & Shopping List
Notes
Full Page Recipe Card
Half Page Recipe Cards

You'll also get 17 Category Dividers to organize your recipes, plus a blank divider to customize any way you'd like. To preview the pages and grab the organizer for yourself, click the See More button below.








Laura R

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4 comments:

  1. Stopping by from Family Fun Friday to let you know I'm featuring your post this week! Thanks for linking up with us.

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  2. When you cook the adapted meals like the chilli, do you use a crock pot on low 4-6 hrs, or just dump everything from the bag into a large pot and heat? New to batch/freezer cooking! Your post has given me lots of good fall menu ideas!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you're going to give it a try! I use a crock pot on low 4-6 hours. If it's defrosted, for something like the chili where the meat is already cooked through, you could also cook it on high for 2-3 hours. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

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