My Top 10 "Freezer Meal 2 Crock Pot" Recipes!

home + family recipe May 01, 2014
My Top 10

My Top 10 “Freezer Meal 2 Crock Pot” Recipes

Originally published 5/1/2014

Yummy, easy, crock pot, freezer meals!  What could be better?  Freezer meals are real-life savers.  I try to stock up on freezer meals from time to time to save myself work during busy weeks — or just nights when I’m too tired to have to think about making a meal. Since I'm in launch mode with my new book, M.O.M.=Master Organizer of Mayhem, I thought it would be fun to share my updated “Top Ten Freezer-to-Crock Pot Meal” recipes.

I’ve spent lots of time trying to find recipes, new and old, that I can freeze (at least the majority of the ingredients), and then toss it in a crock pot. I’m hoping that all my research, trial and error, and “tweaking” will bless you as you set out to bless your family and their taste buds. 


Freezer Meals Made Easy!

One way I get freezer meals done is to simply double a recipe as I’m making one for dinner.  It doesn’t take any extra energy to double a recipe, and you get a double bonus of an additional meal to use on a busy day.  I put one in the oven or crock pot and freeze the other.  I find this is easier for me than planning one big freezer meal prep day.  It’s much less daunting than trying to get myself excited about putting together a ton of meals in one day.  I try to do at least one doubled recipe every week or so.  This way I can stock up my freezer for those days I just don’t feel like cooking.

Freezer meals are great for those crazy seasons in life.  So, when I am expecting a busy season in my life, like pre-morning sickness, bringing home a new baby, basketball season (with dinner time practices), or any other long period of chaos, I do plan a big freezer meal prep day.  I gather my go-to recipes, make a big shopping list, have my hubby watch kids, and then I just go for it.  Again, I usually double each recipe and freeze them.   As you are doubling the recipe just make sure you are keeping track of which bowl or ziplock bag you are adding ingredients to.  I accidentally added double the chili powder to a meal.  I caught the mistake early and was able to dig it out before I combined the components.  Could you imagine the surprise we would have had?  🙂


A Few Tips for a Big Freezer Meal Prep Day

  1. Double bag your masterpieces.  This helps to protect you from the unexpected leakage that can happen (& has happened to me).  🙂
  2. Label!  I buy large labels that I can, not only write the recipe name on, but the ingredients to add (if not all are frozen) and directions for cooking. Putting the label on the outer bag is best so that it can still be read if there is a leak.
  3. Put an extra copy of the recipe in between the doubled freezer bags.  I do this especially when I’m delivering a meal to someone.  I usually deliver meals hot and ready to eat, but sometimes I include an extra meal for them to toss in their freezer or refrigerator for another night.
  4. Label or ziplock pantry items to be used in the meal.  This saves me from accidentally using my last can of salsa or marinara sauce for a different recipe if I know that it was purchased for one of my freezer meals.  I sometimes create a little space on a pantry shelf to keep these extra ingredients.  They also serve as a visual reminder that I have meals ready to go in the freezer.
  5. Do similar recipes at the same time. So, if my main ingredient is chicken, I do all those at the same time.  I often have several bags open that I’m tossing ingredients into.  This tip works for ground beef, too.  Just cook all the meat at the same time and divide it out (once cooled) into the bags.  In order not to confuse them, I put sticky notes on them (since I wait to put the official label on the outer bag), so I can keep track of each bag.
  6. Double! I'm obviously a big fan of doubling recipes.  I had to put it on here again.  I love doubling the recipes, at least our very favorites. It is just so easy!!  I just make sure to rotate the meals as I pull them out of the freezer.   Also, this is a great way to share a meal with a friend who needs some TLC.  Make a double recipe — one for yourself and another in a ziplock to take to a friend (be sure it has a label).


 My Top 10 “Freezer Meal 2 Crock Pot” Recipes

The recipes below encompass my favorite, lifesaving recipes that have gotten me through long days and helped me to finish my day off strong — and tasty! 🙂  Simply click on the recipe name to get a printable version of each recipe!

Kaycee's Masterpiece Oven BBQ Chicken   
This recipe has the weirdest ingredient combination, but it is truly delicious.  I waited several years to make it after getting the recipe at my bridal shower, but it’s now a family favorite.  It is also one of my favorite meals to take to people when I’m delivering a meal to a family.  I always get asked for this recipe when I make it for others.  Try it!!  You’ll love how easy and tasty it is!

Chicken Tortilla Soup 
I have a different recipe that is similar to this recipe, but this one is so much healthier and easier to make.  My boys love this soup!  They ask for it.  It is in our meal planning rotation frequently. I still can’t believe how easy, yummy & healthy it is!  I’ve tweaked this recipe to make it feed our family and create some leftovers for us.  The best part about this recipe compared to other chicken tortilla soup recipes is that the chicken is so tender after being in the crock pot all day that it easily shreds.  Hope you like it!!

French Dip Sandwiches  
This is the yummiest French dip recipe I’ve found.  It’s so easy and delicious!  It’s great for Sunday afternoon meals after church.  I dump all the ingredients in my crock pot first thing in the morning, put it on high, and it’s ready when we get home.  I love finding yummy baguettes to use with it.  If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, I highly recommend getting their half-baked bread rolls.  Toast! Serve! Yum!

Salsa Verde Pork Tacos  
You probably won’t believe how easy this meal is!  One of my sons just adores this recipe and gets so excited when he smells it cooking.  I can even get my food-finicky 2-year-old to eat this recipe.  This is my favorite freezer meal!  I bag the pork tenderloins, dump the salsa verde in a bag, & seal it.  Then I tuck a bag of cheese and tortillas in between the two ziplock bags.  Label & freeze — easy!

Chicken Acapulco
This is a new recipe in my round-up.  This meal was brought to me by one of my sweet friends when we had our last baby.  It was an instant hit!  So, yummy and easy!  (Do you see the theme of my criteria for meals?)  One thing I did change with this recipe is to buy organic or natural cream of chicken.  Unfortunately, Campbell’s doesn’t make any cream of anything soups without MSG.  It does change the flavor slightly, but not too much.  It’s loved by all in our family.

Healthy Chili
This is a healthy, crowd-pleasing chili. I make this for Super Bowl Sunday almost every year. I tripled the recipe this past Bowl game and found I needed to add a bit of extra Worcestershire sauce, salt, chili powder, and cumin to get the flavor just right. This is not a super spicy recipe, but you can add heat if you’d like. It is really flavorful and filling. I usually make this recipe on the stovetop, but it is easily adaptable for the crock pot. Chili often gets a bad rap as far as health goes. But if you use extra lean ground beef or turkey, drain the fat, it can be healthy. Just be careful with the toppings. My girlfriend who passed this recipe along is very skilled at tweaking recipes to be healthy. I’ve learned a lot from her—remember I’m a “gleaner” as well as a “tweaker.”  🙂 Don’t forget that left-over chili is great for topping baked potatoes and hot dogs. {I've recently updated this recipe to be even tastier!}

Chicken, Potato, & Veggie Soup   
This recipe can be made with chicken breasts or a whole chicken.  This was one of those experimental recipes that I created to work in a crock pot versus making it on the stove.  If using a whole chicken for this freezer meal, be sure to freeze the chicken separately and not in the bag.  🙂  All the liquid items will be added once tossed in your slow cooker.  The whole chicken may take two days to thaw.  It’s okay if it is a bit “frosty” (not completely defrosted) when placed into the crock pot.  Just be sure to allow the full 8-10 hours for this one to cook.  I will also admit that you may have to add a bit more salt and pepper to taste.  I kinda toss things into this one with no exact measurement.  So, I put my best guesstimates on the amounts of spices.

Ground Beef & Veggie Stew   
I already posted this recipe, but it needed an honorable mention again.  This is a great recipe to freeze.  I just wait to add the 3.5 cups of water to the crock pot once it’s defrosted.  No need to take up space in the freezer for water.  I often don’t add the can of beans to the freezer bag.  I just label the can and put it in my pantry.  That way I don’t use it up when I’m ready to make the meal.  Be sure to write how much water and beans need to be added to your label!  You won’t remember otherwise!  At least my mommy brain never does.

Amish Pork Chops
Again, I’ve already posted this recipe, but it is one of my go-to recipes for my crock pot.  It’s easy and so good.  It's also really easy to freeze ahead of time.  I’ve had several people contact me about how much they are enjoying this recipe!  So, be sure to try it if you already haven't.

BBQ Meatloaf 
This is one of our all-time favorites!  What I love about freezing meatloaf is that you can smash it flat in the ziplock and it barely takes up any space.  One thing about cooking defrosted meatloaf that I’ve found is that there is some extra moisture and water that cooks up as it bakes.  It doesn’t affect the taste or anything, it just doesn’t look pretty.  So, I check my meatloaf midway and near the end and just skim off the meat juice.  I think it may happen because this is one of the many recipes that I hide veggies in.  I’ll have to write another blog just on those recipes another time.  🙂


A Few More Tips before I bid you, “Bon Appetite!”:

1. Tweak Your Own Meals! Creating an Easy Meals list is vital to creating a better-functioning home!  Trying new meals is great, but sometimes the solution is already in your recipe box.  Look through your favorite meals and see which ones might work as a freezer meal or a crock pot meal.  Many of the meals above started as meals that I baked in the oven or made on the stovetop.  Now, I just throw them in my crock pot.

2. Use frozen meats! One of my favorite things about crock pot meals is that I don’t have to defrost meats if I’m making them the same day (not from a freezer bag).  One less step in meal prep!  I just toss frozen meat in with the other ingredients and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  I do check on the meat after a few hours to make sure the meat is defrosting.  Don’t want to get 1-2 hours away from dinner time to find that the meat is still raw.  I will point out that I don’t add frozen thick roasts to my crock pot.  I do try to thaw them a bit.

3. Not cooking fast enough? If you are a few hours out from mealtime and your meat is still too raw, you can do a Hail Mary! and toss it from the crock pot and into a pot and just heat it up on medium-high to high heat to get it to finish cooking. Also, know that many crock pot recipes can be made on the stovetop or in the oven in 1 hour (give or take).  It does change the consistency of the meat a bit, but not with every recipe.  I know that with my Kaycee’s Masterpiece Oven BBQ Chicken & the Chicken Tortilla Soup recipes the chicken is so much more tender when it’s cooked in the crock pot.  But in a pinch, it can be tossed in the oven (BBQ) or a pot on the stove (soup).

4. Keep ingredients on hand! I try to keep most of the ingredients for these recipes on hand.  So, if I haven’t frozen it, I can at least pull together the ingredients quickly.  Often I just freeze elements of a meal, like ground meat or cooked seasoned chicken.  This can save me lots of time!

I hope these recipes bring you some peace!  I know that it sounds weird to associate “peace” with recipes. But I know that rotating these recipes this last year, frozen or just tossed straight into the crock pot, has saved me time and stress.  They have freed me up to get other things done or just catch my breath because dinner is not something I have to worry about on the nights I’ve planned these meals.


 So, enjoy these delicious, easy Freezer-to-Crock Pot Meals! 

If you are looking for even more tips on how to best utilize your freezer and crock pot, you might be interested in checking out my Make-Ahead Meal Planning course Be sure to check it out.

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