Here’s another epic cooking session! It’s for those folks that appreciate freezer crockpot meals! For this one, we used 11 recipes and came up with 122 freezer meals in a little over 4 hours.
In our first one, we used 8 recipes and made up 110 freezer meals. The steps are a lot alike, but the menu is completely different for each.
For both these cooking sessions (and anymore I do in the future hopefully) you can print:
- The color-coded menu
- A full grocery list (to make everything just like we did here)
- A color-coded, detailed shopping list (so you can add and subtract recipes as you like)
With the detailed list, if there’s a recipe you don’t care for, print out the detailed list and mark off the ingredients associated with that color. Add a different recipe, double something else, or toss one less bag in the freezer.
You’ll still have the benefit of a large stack of stress-less meals ready to pop in the slow cooker anytime you need one!
So, if you’re looking to save yourself some time, minimize your stress level, or want to toss a dozen bags together over a couple hours for “just in case” …read on!
Crockpot Freezer Meals Topics
- 1 Crockpot Freezer Meals Topics
Crockpot Freezer Meal Menu
Here’s the link for the printable version of these freezer crockpot meals. This is the color-coded menu and sort of a “key”. It also has direct links to each recipe and makes for super easy access!
Why the Menu Looks Like it Does
This menu is a motley mix. And all I mean by that is it isn’t “just chicken” or “ground beef”. It’s a lot of different meals. Variety is good. Or at least I’ve learned that over the years.
And you can see that a few quantities are greater than others. That is because that’s what I’ll be needing (I think) as these different things get cooked.
Example, the crock pot spaghetti & meatballs…18 servings. There’s that much for 3 reasons.
- We like it
- I’m feeding it to guests one night
- When I went shopping I was in the mood for Italian
For no other reason than that, there are 18 servings of crockpot spaghetti. In hindsight, I should have purchased a second package of pork chops and doubled the 3-Ingredient Ranch Pork Chops. But, I didn’t…you CAN.
That’s all I meant earlier and adjusting. Cook what your crew will eat. Add in the healthy stuff. Feed everyone a salad, substitute healthier and homemade items when you’ve time. Add in the comfort foods and yummy stuff that you enjoy as well.
Semi-Homemade is still better than most things you’ll pick up in a drive-thru. And it’s a heck of a lot easier on your wallet too :)
122 Freezer Crockpot Meals Step-by-Step
Okie Dokie, honest time here. I didn’t take notes as I went on this. I didn’t because on this cooking session it was just me for this round.
My buddy, Dora…she and I did the first one of this epic cooking session while I was visiting in Texas. I’m back home, she lives there. And my other cooking buddy is still visiting her kiddos in another town in the same state…
So it’s just me and that means aside from setting a timer, I am writing out the steps by memory. I did NOT take notes as I went. So here is the order of cooking to the best of my recollection.
Dicing & Chopping
This step takes the longest by far. If you are going for economy, then purchasing boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a full roast is a great way to go. If you’re cooking organic or more on the whole-foods wagon, fresh and/or organic takes longer to process. I went for about half and half here.
I bought bags of fresh onions via the produce section. You can purchase frozen, diced to save time. I bought fresh carrots and celery. Same thing there.
Meat-wise, I purchased chicken tenderloins and beef stew meat. The stew meat was a little more expensive than a roast but worth it to me. You can go either route, of course. The tenderloins were the same price per pound as the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. That (for me) was a no-brainer.
Gather Your Supplies
Get out all the supplies, label all the freezer bags, and preheat the oven for baking the bacon.
For me, this was 18 baggies. Our meals are usually made up for 4 to 8 servings at a time. We eat a lot of leftovers for lunches.
Whether you decide to make up 18 bags (like I did) or twice that will depend on a number of factors.
- How many people are you feeding?
- How much does each person eat at a meal?
- Do you like leftovers?
- Would you be better served to bag things up for 2 to 3 servings?
These are all questions to ask yourself. But don’t make it too difficult! It really isn’t. Once you do the steps once or twice, it’s not only easy, it’s a life-saver you’ll not mind every now and then :)
One last note on this “gathering the supplies” section…it probably took me longer than it should have. My kitchen, pantry, and supply area are a disgrace right now. Nothing much is organized and it drives me a bit batty.
It’s on my list to correct, but it’s one of those lack of time things and one reason I need to do freezer crockpot meals! (Me = 36 minutes)
Place bacon on baking sheets and put in the oven (Me = 3 minutes).
Dice Up Onions for Ground Beef
Dice up 4 onions, allow eyeballs 2 minutes to stop watering (Me = 5 minutes).
A really sharp knife is your BFF when processing any sort of freezer meals. If you have the opportunity to splurge on yourself or someone wants to give you a gift, these are a few excellent choices.
I can personally vouch for Victorinox knives. I’ve slowly been collecting a full set for about 8 years now. They are by FAR my favorite. And they make getting kitchen utensils for a gift completely worth it!
Fry Ground Meats
Toss the diced onions, ground beef and minced garlic in the skillet. Cover and brown over medium-low heat while you proceed to the next step. (Me = 3 minutes)
This step might take you a little longer than me. Here, at home (on the farm), I have a rather large collection of cast iron. One of my babies is a really big cast iron skillet. I can brown up to 8 pounds of ground meats in at once…so it all goes in at once for me.
Wash the Veggies
Toss all the veggies in a sink of cold water/vinegar to soak. I do this to remove pesticides. Here’s an article about that if you’d like to learn. These will soak for about 20 minutes while I’m doing other stuff…
Also, on the same note about pesticides. I try to buy my celery organic. It’s a personal choice because it’s considered one of the “dirty dozen”. If you want to read about why check out this article. (Me = 5 minutes)
Stir & Flip the Beef
Stir, chop and flip ground beef (Me = 3 minutes)
Drain the Bacon
Remove the bacon from the oven and place on toweling to drain. Drain bacon grease and wash pan (Me = 6 minutes). Pst…Turn OFF the oven. I forgot for almost an hour. Pfft.
Drain the Beef
Ladle out the ground beef and set aside to drain. (Me = 4 minutes)
Dice up the Chicken
Dice up almost 10 pounds of chicken tenderloins into bite sized pieces. Toss into a large bowl as it’s being cut up. When done, it will go into the refrigerator so it doesn’t get warm (Me = 22 minutes).
Place diced chicken in the refrigerator. Sanitize cutting board and wipe down all surfaces the chicken might have touched (Me = 4 minutes).
Process the Veggies
Drain, rinse and process the veggies. The longest processing time is here…but it’s my lunch too. I’ll snack as I go.
It really wasn’t that bad. Not at all. The corn I bought frozen. It’s out of season as I write this. Fresh is difficult to find and rather gross this time of year anyway.
The green beans, I lucked into those. They weren’t local or organic, but they were still fresh and looked good so I purchased them.
So, all-in-all I needed: 6 diced onions, 20 peeled and diced carrots, 2 bunches of celery and a bunch of baby potatoes.
The potatoes just need to be checked for spots and set aside. I’m not peg baby potatoes. If I was using regular sized potatoes I would peel them before freezing. Potatoes are rather difficult to deal with in the freezer any time. Leaving the skins on…that’s asking for epic failure.
- Peel and dice carrots = 20 minutes
- Snap ends off the green beans = 10 minutes
- Dice up the celery = 7 minutes
- Dice up onions (again) = 10 minutes
Processing time for all vegetables was 47 minutes…and I’m rounding it up to 50 even to toss everything in bowls and clean the island (Me = 50 minutes)
Prep the Tenderloin
Process pork tenderloin. I purchased one large 6-pound pork loin. I’m making one recipe each of the Pineapple Glazed and Bacon-Maple recipes. Both pork loin recipes call for the pork loin to be scored partially through for cooking.
Processing just involves cutting the tenderloin in half and scoring ¾’s thru every 1 inch or so. (Me = 5 minutes).
Assemble the Freezer Crockpot Meals
Get out the baggie holders and set up. Okay, not ALL of the baggies get set up at once. I don’t have enough holders for that. I have 6. It’s a great number for me and how many freezer crockpot meals I tend to assemble at once.
There are times I could use more, but not often. They help a LOT when you need an extra hand and help you not spill sauces all over the counters and floors while you’re working. (Me = 3 minutes).
Spoon a quarter of the hamburger meat into each of the four baggies and add the vegetables as per each recipe. Dump in the canned goods if desired.
Make a note on the outside of each bag to add the dairy (milk and sour cream) at the end of each cook time. If you prefer or you’re lacking on freezer space, you can also make a note to add the canned goods when cooking. (Me = 10 minutes)
- Batch #2: Only one baggie here, I only remembered to purchase one package of chops. Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops: Sprinkle the pork chops with ranch seasoning on each side and place in freezer bag. Spoon a little gravy between each chop as you go.
Psst…If you prefer, you can make your own homemade gravy too! It freezes well and doesn’t take long either. Here’s that recipe. AND if you want to save even more money, here’s our homemade ranch dressing recipe too! (Me = 4 minutes)
- Batch #3: Bacon Maple Garlic & Pineapple Glazed Pork Loins. Sit out both loins and assemble per the directions on each recipe. Gently slide each into a baggie. (Me = 6 minutes)
- Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken: My chicken was already in a package and pre-seasoned with barbecue spices. I didn’t take it out of the package. I added the veggies to a baggie, poured the barbecue sauce over the top and shook the bag to coat the vegetables. Then I used freezer tape like in this Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie picture to attach everything. (Me = 5 minutes)
- Beef and Barley Soup: Nothing special needs to be done with this recipe…unless you’d like to brown the meat before freezing. I don’t do this with freezer meals, some folks do…your choice.
Dump the meat, then veggies in the freezer bag. Either pour the vegetable juice and the beef broth over the top or just the broth. But if you don’t opt to add the vegetable juice, add a note to the baggie to add it before cooking. (Me = 8 minutes)
- Chicken & Dumplings, Chicken Noodle Soup and Ranch Chicken and Mushroom assembly.
- For the Chicken Noodle Soup, you’ll also need a small separate baggie for the noodles and herbs. No biggie, it’s just to keep them from getting gross. Assemble the baggies as per the directions on the recipe, label, and freeze. (Me = 6 minutes)
- For the chicken and mushrooms, I would personally use canned mushrooms. I don’t like the texture of frozen, fresh mushrooms. It changes the look of the dish, but not the taste over much…so it works. Sprinkle the diced chicken with the ranch seasoning and dump everything in the freezer bags except the corn starch and water. Either freeze the corn starch in its own baggie like the egg noodles I talk about above or add a note to the freezer bag. (Me = 5 minutes)
- With the chicken and dumplings recipe, I don’t freeze the biscuits. I bet you CAN, but I’ve never tried. Everything else goes in the baggie and a note goes on it that I need a package of biscuits when I make it. (Me = 8 minutes)
- Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs. Boy, I made 3 of these. BUT I don’t toss everything in one bag for this. I used/usually use frozen meatballs.
Some prefer to make their own sure, but around here, it has to be a compromise between saving time and not. So, I don’t make meatballs very often.
Anyways, assembly…the meatballs come in their own bag. So does the mozzarella cheese. I tape them together and write on the freezer tape “Plus 3 Spag Sauce, 1 pound noodles, 1 can beef stock & 1 tub C & O Cream Cheese”.
My handwriting is horrible, but if I write small the note fits. You can also attach a freezer label if you prefer…I just haven’t gotten around to that yet. (Me = 18 minutes)
And Last But Not Least…
Here, as much as I wanted to take a break, I didn’t. I put everything as neatly as possible in the freezer, cleaned the kitchen and took out the trash.
Since I’d already sanitized as I went, there wasn’t a lot to do except take out a rather large canister of scraps to the chickens and wash a couple things. Well…and a trip to the dumpster.
Yes, we have a dumpster…we live on a farm. This place is almost 150 years old and we’re far from having all the remodeling done. Plus, that’s the only way we have trash service this far out.
Anyways, between washing the dishes, wiping everything down and the trip to the chickens and dumpster…36 more minutes.
It might have gone faster if I’d have taken that break in the middle…but I didn’t. We have new puppies. Well, they aren’t NEW, they were new at Christmas. But they are just big enough now to stand and put paws on the island, counters, and table.
And mentally, they are still babies…so they DO put their paws anywhere they can reach. So, clean up happens first…even when I’m tired.
Psst! I was going to add pics of the new additions here BUT my phone is acting wonky about my pics…AND I sorta figured getting this out to you was more important than pics of my fur babies. So more on the new additions soon!
Freezer Crockpot Meals At a Glance
So what’s all that babbling mean to you? Can it save you time? YOU BET IT CAN! This whole cooking session took 4 ¼ hours! That’s not even a whole afternoon!
Now, add in printing off the recipes and cooking, sure it’s a full afternoon…but it’s so worth it for just the peace of mind.
For us, this will be at least 122 freezer crockpot meals. That’ll be (at least) 17 dinners (some with guests) and 14 lunches. Two whole weeks of food for a bit over 4 hours of my time? You bet I’ll be doing it all again…probably in about 2 weeks!
Got any questions? Want to see another meal or recipe in the next EPIC cook session? Cool! Contact Gwen with your suggestions. I’ll do my best to accommodate.
Later folks…and Rock That Crock!
Printable & Pin It for Later Options!
MORE Epic Crock Pot Freezer Meal Sessions
More Freezer Crockpot Meals!
If you like this epic freezer cooking session…here are a few more you might want to check out!
- 110 Crockpot Freezer Meals: This was Slow Cooker Kitchen’s 1st round of meals over 100! That one, Dora and I were crazy enough to take pictures through the whole thing. OHHH, here’s a tip… DON’T buy frozen chicken. Ugh!
- 7 Ground Beef Meals in Less than One Hour: 57 minutes to be exact…but hey :) OHH…there’s a printable grocery list for this one too.
- 60+ Meals & Sides Crockpot Menu…yep, printables for this one too!