How Can Crockpot Freezer Meals Help You?
Life happens. It gets hectic and it sometimes it seems to stay busy… crockpot freezer meals can be a HUGE lifesaver when life simply happens.
It does here too. Even though I run a cooking website. Life happens. I’ve run into situations in the last couple months when there was nothing cooked! Insane yes, but true. So I wanted to make some freezer meals. And boy, oh boy it happened BIG TIME.
So, if you’re looking for an epic crock pot cooking experience… here’s one heck of a cooking marathon my friend Dora and I did.
Freezer Meal Topics
How Long Did It Take?
I intended to sit down after we pulled this off and write everything out. I didn’t. I had one of those “life happens” times…and it lasted over a week. Insane, I know. But everyone has them.
And today was finally the day to sit down and write this out and share. Part of the notes we wrote down were for both of us…and part of them were for one of us. So sadly, I don’t have any idea how long it took.
After totally everything I came up with 100 minutes. THAT is before clean up time and AFTER we had all the supplies lined up. I know that cleanup took about 30 minutes for each of us. I know because I was simply shell shocked we were completely done with this in one afternoon!
AND That 100 minutes included the time to take pictures. So while I was taking pictures, Dora was making labels, cleaning and pretty much being my assistant. I’m not used to having one of those in the kitchen since my daughter is grown 🙂 It was completely insane. And it was actually fun. So if you get the opportunity to have a partner, do it! It’ll take the boredom away and turns it into a fun time.
How Many Crockpot Freezer Meals Did We Make?
Are you ready for this??? We made 110 freezer meals! NOT 110 recipes. I am not completely insane…8 recipes, 110 meals. One of them…the crockpot pierogies and sausage meal. We made TONS of that. It didn’t all go in the freezer. Part of it went straight in the slow cooker for a huge meal requested by another friend.
Here’s the breakdown on what we did:
Crock Pot Freezer Meals Lists & Printables for Cooking
I wasn’t sure quite how to do this. I mean YOU might not want to make 24 servings of Crock Pot Pierogies & Sausage (We didn’t eat all that…a HUGE batch was given away).
- All the lists are color coded. Each recipe was assigned a color. And it serves as a kind of key/legend. It also has direct links to all the recipes. Here’s the printable version…Crockpot Freezer Meals | Slow Cooker Kitchen.
- Then there is also a list for ALL the ingredients IF you want to make all 110 meals. Here’s the shopping list you’ll want to print…Crockpot Freezer Meals Shopping List ALL 110 Meals | Slow Cooker Kitchen
- And there is also the list broken down by color for each individual recipe. If you decide to give this cooking session a shot but want to modify it. That list is here…Detailed Crockpot Freezer Meal Shopping List | Slow Cooker Kitchen
So without further ado…there we go! Enjoy, holler with ANY questions. And Rock that Crock!
Slow Cooker Pierogies and Sausage Casserole
The Slow Cooker Pierogies and Sausage Casserole came out to 24 total meals…which btw makes a deliciously cheesy crock pot potato casserole sort of thing…these took 5 minutes to assemble.
We made up two bulging quart bags for her and she later told me it made her 3 very filling meals…so that’s 6 meals
We also made up 2 gallon sized bags for me and the hubs too. Thankfully I didn’t fill them to the top. Because each gallon sized bag made us 2 meals each, plus a lunch sized portion each as well. I’m going to average the two lunch-sized portions as 1 dinner each. So 5 meals per bag and 10 meals total.
I also sent my Cook & Carry Crockpot to work with yet another friend. 8 people had a full plate out of it. I don’t know if there were leftovers or not, so I am not counting anything there.
You can check out the printable recipe to see the quantities but I tripled the top one that’s for 8 to 10 people. That’s the amount included in the grocery list. If you want to make less, just divide the ingredients on the grocery list by half or a third.
The recipe page includes breakdowns for much smaller quantities if you just want to toss it together…it also has the freezer directions included for the largest quantity, but you can always do less if you like.
Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
The only prep work on that was washing and dicing the potatoes. And then dicing up the chicken. Everything else, you toss in your freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible, label and freeze.
The potatoes took 5 minutes to wash and dice and I bought bagged frozen vegetables for the time savings. The chicken took about 5 minutes to dice up as well. Filling the bags took an additional 5 minutes to deal with…so 15 minutes’ total on this recipe.
There are two notes about this recipe you need to be aware of. Freezing the potatoes and the milk…
Some people have great luck freezing potatoes, I usually don’t. I’ve had some epic, nasty fails over the years with this one.
I’m happy to say it worked this time BUT that leads into the deal with the milk…you can NOT substitute regular milk for this crock pot meal unless you don’t add it until the end.
This recipe is designed so you “dump and go”, no adding more stuff later. Regular milk can separate. It doesn’t always. I’ve always had great luck with my Crockpot Potato Soup but it has other stuff in it that I think helps. I’ve not studied up on it so that’s a guess.
And to backtrack about those potatoes…this freezer meal had the broth and the milk to coat the potatoes. I am pretty sure from everything I’ve read that it makes a sort of barrier/coating to keep them from getting gross.
Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup turned out to be almost a duplicate of the Chicken & Rice Soup. And by duplicate, I mean the preparation process NOT the taste.
We managed to get 12 meals out of this one. The servings aren’t physically as big because the consistency is so much thicker. But they don’t need to be…This is super filling.
It’s also creamy and delicious AND works great if you don’t have time to make Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie. If you’ve time to make biscuits, they pair up with this dish perfectly.
4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Tips
The recipe for Crock Pot Beef Tips and Gravy turned out really well too! Not just in taste…which was awesome… but in the prep department.
The most time-consuming thing here is chunking up the meats. And since we tripled this recipe…we needed 6 pounds of meat for this. That’s a LOT of meat!
If you want to shave off even more time, buy beef stew meat. I bought this roast because it was on sale…and I try to balance the convenience of freezer meals with both saving money and health.
And speaking of health…there are several options for low and no-sodium options discussed on the beef tips post. So if you’d like to limit your sodium intake, you can check that out here.
Anyways…total time to chop up all the meat…and bless my husband for the awesome knives he bought me…was 15 minutes. And bag assembling took just 4…so 19 minutes’ total for 18 freezer meals.
AND…though it isn’t listed in the shopping list stuff…you can also do Make-Ahead Crockpot Rice and freeze it for later. It pairs up perfectly with this recipe.
Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli
Our version of Americanized Chinese is this Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli. Love, LOVE, LOVE me some Chinese. If you love Chinese too, this is an awesome option when take-out isn’t an option…
We made 2 batches of the printable recipe. I honestly forgot to write the number of servings down on this one. I know it made at least 6 per recipe…possibly a bit more. But for the sake of frugality, we’ll go with 12 total meals.
Now…here’s another place you can save more time than I did…I bought whole mushrooms and had a huge chunk of meat. If you want to save even more time, then purchase pre-sliced fresh mushrooms and pre-cut steak strips.
For me, it took 18 minutes in total assembly time. 3 pounds of roast took me right at 6 minutes to slice up (I’d finally gotten in the groove after slicing up the beef tips for the Beef & Gravy…bootie dance time). The mushrooms, washed and sliced about 5 more minutes…and the onions 3 minutes.
I try not to rush on onions. I’ve slipped a few times in the past when cutting onions because they are a bit slimy sometimes. I’d rather not go super-fast on them and chance slicing myself.
Bagging it all up took about 4 minutes. We did two large zipper bags. My friend doesn’t like beef and broccoli so this all stayed here for us.
Total time for the beef and broccoli was 18 minutes. That might sound like a lot but not really…it made the two of us 6 dinners (12 total servings).
This recipe also pairs up awesome with our freezable crockpot rice…which you can cook then freeze in individual servings…you are gonna rock that crock any night you choose!
Okay, okay…on to the next crockpot freezer meal…
Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
This crock pot freezer meal was delish! Our version of Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles is a LOT like our Crock Pot Beef & Noodles too…either one (or both) make awesome freezer/”dump and go” crockpot meals…
AND cutting up the chicken takes much longer than anything else…it’s really the only thing you have to do except bag it up. Two timesavers for this freezer meal…if you have the opportunity…BUY CHICKEN TENDERS. Buy chicken tenders and don’t cut them up. Honestly, they’ll be easy to pull apart after they cook. This alone would save you 10 more minutes.
Yep, cutting up the chicken breasts took 10 minutes. Depending on how you buy it, your chicken will either be frozen or fresh…
The key…I am told… to cutting up frozen chicken is to only partially let it thaw. I always seem to get side-tracked or busy doing something else and forget to do it at the right time. So mine’s always defrosted no matter if I buy it frozen or fresh.
And then it is slimy. I know I already said that about the onions…but raw chicken is sorta gross, no matter what you do with it. And like the onions, I opted to go a little slower cutting it up.
We made up this freezer meal x 2. 2 large (gallon sized) with 4 servings each, so 8…2 quart-sized with 2 servings each, so 4 and then one batch went straight in a crockpot to cook up for hubby’s work the next day. 5 minutes to assemble the bags and 2 to tape them together…you can read about that on the recipe info…it’s just an alternate way to keep the ingredients together.
So all in all, 16 total servings and 17 minutes in total to assemble.
Crockpot Ravioli Casserole
This Crockpot Ravioli Casserole tickled me. I am guessing only food geeks feel this way at times. But it totally did it for me, so I guess I’ll have to claim that title 🙂
It’s really, really good! It pleases anyone that likes Italian or even Chef Boyardee. And it took a grand total of 6 minutes!
There are multiple printable recipes on this one…you can pick the one that works best for your crew. We used the printable for 4 to 6 servings and doubled it. I honestly wish I’d bought more meatballs. But alas, I didn’t…so we only got 8 servings out of this one.
There’s nothing to do for this crock pot freezer meal except bag the shredded cheese separately then dump everything in the bigger bags.
It took a total of 3 minutes for them all…and that was the two of us working on it…so 6 minutes’ total.
Crockpot Vegetable Chowder
I didn’t intend to make this Crockpot Vegetable Chowder when we started this cooking bonanza. It happened because I bought HUGE bags of frozen veggies. Like 5-pound bags of both broccoli and mixed veggies. And KNEW after the freezer meals went in the freezer there wouldn’t be room for them because of the shape of the bags.
But I thought if everything laid flat, it would fit. It did! 🙂 Soooo…we got a vegetable chowder out of the deal too!
If you’ve never had vegetable chowder, it’s a lot like broccoli cheese soup. It’s rich and creamy and really good! And super easy. You literally dump everything in the freezer bag OR the crockpot, stir, and cook.
We made up a one-gallon bag and two smaller quart bags. It was 1 printable recipe split up between us. So 8 servings and 4 minutes.
Printable & “Pin it for Later”‘s for Crockpot Freezer Meals
Here are all the printable lists you’ll need. There are links to each, individual recipe within the documents:
- Crockpot Freezer Meals
- Crockpot Freezer Meals Shopping List ALL 110 Meals
- Detailed Crockpot Freezer Meal Shopping List