Crock Pot Freezer Meals: Recipes and Shopping Lists | Health, Love & Fire

Crock Pot Freezer Meals: Recipes and Shopping Lists

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Whether you're preparing for a new baby, making meals ahead to help lessen the load during busy weeks or just wanting to plan ahead to save money and time later, making freezer meals was something that I had on my to do list for a while now. I see so many Pinterest posts claiming you can make so many meals for so many dollars in a certain amount of time. For whatever reason, I kept pinning or reading those posts and thinking to myself I didn't have the time or want to put in that much work. When the end of my pregnancy got closer and closer, and the fact that I like to be as prepared as possible (or at least think I am), I decided this was the perfect time to try out this whole freezer meal phenomenon. And because I'm so nice, I wanted to share everything from the meals themselves to our shopping list with all of you in case you're interested in trying it out too.
When looking for recipes, I wanted some variety, especially in the meats being used. I found lots of chicken recipes, but knew we would quickly get sick of eating chicken all the time so I tried to mix up the meats. I also searched for recipes that would be good for leftovers the next day since many of the meals will feed more than two people. So after some searching and pinning, here is what I decided on.

- Chicken Tacos: This recipe can be used for tacos or can be made and served over a baked potato
- Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken
- Hawaiian Pork Chops
- Stuffed Shells
- Beef Roast

We did all of our shopping at one store, but probably could have gotten everything even cheaper if we had price matched and shopped at different places. We also purchased all organic meat, which is pricier than the regular store bought meat. This won't change the recipe at all, but I wanted to let you know that since it could change the overall cost of your bill. I was lucky in that I talked Dan in to helping me prep all these meals so it made the time go by faster, plus it's always more fun to work along side someone else. The prep time from start to finish (including a last minute run to the store and doing all the dishes) it took us about 2 and a half hours.

*The shopping list is based on doubling each of these recipes (except for the stuffed shells which make 6 pans) so that you end up with 14 meals.

Beef Roast: 
Ingredients:
- 2-pound beef chuck shoulder roast
-1-2 pounds of carrots cut into small pieces
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 stalks of celery chopped
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 taco seasoning packet

To Freeze: 
Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to three months. When you're ready to eat, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Brown all sides of the roast in a pan before adding all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-12 hours, or until meat easily pulls apart with a fork. 

Stuffed Shells (makes 6 meals with 13-15 shells per meal) 
Ingredients: 
3 packs of jumbo shells 
3 large containers of ricotta (15oz) 
10 cupes of shredded mozzarella cheese
6 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce - I used some of our homemade pasta sauce 
2 cans o f permasean cheese
Italian seasonings
4 eggs
Cooked spinach (optional) 
Ground Turkey or Beef (optional) 

To Freeze:
Cook noodles in boiling water. Mix the rest of the ingredients together. Put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of your tin pan. Layer shells stuffed with the ingredients on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce on top of the shells. You can also add meat to the top layer of sauce if you want. When you're ready to cook, defrost the pan a day early and cook at 350 for 45 minutes or until hot.

Orange Teriyaki Chicken
Ingredients:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 Tablesoons of chopped onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 Tablespoon of grape seed oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 6oz can of orange juice concentrate
3-4 chicken breasts

The day of cooking just thaw these completely and grill for 35-40 minutes. I have also thrown these in the crock pot with some more orange juice on low for 6 hours.

Hawaiian Pork Chops
Ingredients:
1 package of pork chops
1 fresh pineapple cute and cored in to small pieces
2 Tablespoons of light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce

Based on your shopping list, you are able to make two freezer meals. Throw all ingredients into gallon sized freezer bag and lay flat to freeze. The night before cooking, move the frozen bag to your refrigerator to thaw. The morning of cooking, pour contents into your slow cooker on low for 6 hours.

Chicken Tacos
Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts
1-2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 can of corn
2 can of black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of green chilies

Mix all ingredients in the freezer bad. On the day of cooking, put it in the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. You can serve this on taco shells, as a burrito, over a baked potato or really any way you like!

I hope that this is helpful for others looking for make some meals ahead of time. I was really surprised at how little time it took us to make all of these and very happy that we did! It has been so nice to just run out to the freezer, grab a meal and throw it in the oven or crock pot! What other freezer recipes do you love?

18 comments :

  1. Wow, this is really helpful - I've never done the freezer meals thing yet but like you, have kept pinning them. I especially like that you can cook most of them in the crockpot later...so easy and convenient!

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  2. Awesome, thanks for sharing, I always love discovering new (and healthy) freezer meals!

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  3. Totally using these in a few weeks. :) Thank you so much!!!

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  4. I made a lot of freezer meals before my baby was born as well and am so happy I did. They are definitely a life saver. Taco soup and a chicken zucchini & stuffing casserole are my favorites. I could eat the whole casserole by myself!

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  5. Yes! Love this post. I worked so much that these are great meal options for my fam!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  6. My freezer is seriously one of my bestest friends! ;)

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  7. This is amazing! I haven't jumped in the freezer meal bandwagon but i love all of the information you provided and the recipes that you shared sounds so delicious!

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  8. So helpful! I'm expecting a baby soon so am needing to stock up on meals - this is perfect!

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  9. I have never tried freezer meals, but I absolutely love my crock pot and it sounds like I could use a lot of these for that as well.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    All the Best,
    Allison Jones | www.LiveLifeWellBlog.com

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  10. I love making freezer meals! I too cooked a bunch near the end of my pregnancy and was so happy I did! My favorite are the crockpot bags where you just dump everything in. So easy!

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  11. I don't love the freezer meal process, but I do love the results! ;) Thanks for including the shopping list!

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