For busy nights, these Freezer meals can save you!
This is one of those blog posts that you are going to come back to again and again. I dare say it might even change your life. 10 Quick and Healthy Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals is just as convenient as it sounds, but it gets better. There’s no cooking needed on your prep day which saves you tons and tons of time, and even better, these meals are all really healthy. I have spent weeks on this post! I researched, made lots of recipes, and my family and I ate our way through every single one. The original 20 recipes I started with have gotten paired down to our very favorite 10 recipes. Four of the recipes are vegetarian, four are chicken dishes, one is pork, and two are beef. I feel like I got a lot a variety and delicious flavor without needing any exotic or expensive ingredients. Processed foods were kept to a minimum, and there’s tons of vegetables included!
Click Here for the free printable of these recipes!
Freezer meals make your night easier!
I can’t get over how easy this cooking method is! You dump all the raw ingredients into a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. On cooking day you add the contents of the bag and maybe a little water or broth to your slow cooker and then just let it do its thing! My sister was in town a few weeks back and she helped me prep all of my freezer meals. I had no idea that my kids would end up being sick and staying sick (due to a misdiagnosis…) for the next 5, almost 6 weeks! I was so grateful to have food in the freezer that I didn’t have to think about or run to the store to get ingredients for. These meals were a lifesaver and even now, when we’ve gotten back to feeling better again, I have found myself enjoying them and feeling glad they are in the freezer when I need them. The prep day is a little long and messy but the benefit of having so much of the work done is very worth it.
About half of the meals are one dish wonders (soups and stews that can stand alone as a meal or just need a little bread on the side to round them out). The other half are parts of meals like Teriyaki Chicken and Beef Stroganoff. They need rice or noodles and a vegetable or two served with them to make them a complete meal. I like having both types of meals in the freezer. If I make too many soups and stews my family gets tired of them, and they start to moan a little when they see the slow cooker on the table. When I am adding fresh elements like the freshly cooked pasta or rice and some kind of fresh salad and steamed or roasted vegetables it makes the meal feel like less of a “slow cooker” meal. I still love making the main dish in the slow cooker though because I know it’s going; when 5pm rolls around getting a little rice cooked and some veggies prepped doesn’t feel like a big deal. All the thinking is already done. Isn’t that half of the dinner time battle? Deciding what to make!?
The serving size for each meal is 6 to 8 people. They are pretty big meals but the beauty in that is that you get to cook even less. For my family of 2 adults and 4 small children who eat (I have a nursing baby too but he doesn’t get put into the food count yet) each recipe made almost 2 full meals. I love leftovers and didn’t mind at all having them around. If there wasn’t quite enough for a full supper then we ate the leftovers for lunch. A bigger family or one with kids who eat a little more than mine will love the serving size.
Before you jump on board, read the whole post! It includes 10 recipes, a shopping list, plus a big list of tips and tricks I have learned!
And because I like to make things really easy, here is a printable PDF of all of the recipes, instructions, and tips and tricks! Dinner just got easier, way easier!
Click Here for the free printable of these recipes!
The process for making freezer meals ready for the slow cooker
1. Decide how many and which meals you plan to make.
2. Make a shopping list. The shopping list provided is to make all 10 recipes but does not include any of the serving suggestions.
4. Day of freezer meal prep- collect all needed supplies, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, fun music and snacks are always smart too.
5. Print out recipes to have handy without having to worry about spills getting on an electronic device.
6. Label gallon zipper-top freezer bags with recipe name, date, ingredients that will need to be added to the slow cooker (such as water or broth and how much) on cooking day, and cook time.
7. To make the freezer meals: Place all of the ingredients that are listed under the recipe title into the corresponding labeled gallon zipper-top freezer bag. Fold the top of the bag over and freeze lying flat.
8. On cooking day, take the meal bag from the freezer, run it under warm water to loosen the contents from the bag, add the contents of the bag to the slow cooker, add additional ingredients as needed (broth or water), and cook according to directions.
9. Salt and pepper have been added sparingly, so taste and adjust seasonings before serving.
The Freezer Meal Recipes
Vegetable Beef Stew
2 pounds stew meat
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups green beans, broke into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sweet corn
2 tablespoons beef stock base (I like Organic Better than Bullion)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Day of: Add 1 1/2 cups of water to slow cooker…