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6 Freezer-Crockpot Meals: Recipes & Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Updated on March 12, 2015
Prepare 6 meals in 1 hour,  freeze, thaw, and cook in a Crockpot:  Creamy Garlic Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Turkey Meatballs, Tater Tot Casserole, Creamy Salsa Chicken,  and Chicken Noodle Soup.
Prepare 6 meals in 1 hour, freeze, thaw, and cook in a Crockpot: Creamy Garlic Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Turkey Meatballs, Tater Tot Casserole, Creamy Salsa Chicken, and Chicken Noodle Soup. | Source

6 Freezer-Crockpot Meals

We're sharing 6 meals, photos, tips and reviews for:

  1. Creamy Garlic Chicken
  2. Cilantro Lime Chicken
  3. Turkey Parmesan Meatballs
  4. Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
  5. Creamy Salsa Chicken
  6. Chicken Noodle Soup


The 1 Hour Process

Turn on a favorite movie or TV show and get started! It is very helpful to do like tasks in a row rather than to prepare one recipe at a time. After you've decided what recipes to make and purchased the ingredients, here's our preferred method to preparing 6 Meals in 1 Hour:

  1. Recipes: Have all the recipes you are making on one sheet of paper posted in the area in which you are working (all you really need is a list of ingredients for each recipe).
  2. Label: Using a permanent marker, label a gallon size resealable baggie with the recipe name, cook time, and any notes for yourself (example: Add 1 cup pasta last 30 minutes). Set these aside.
  3. Ingredients: Gather ALL your ingredients for ALL the recipes you are making (including spices) and place them out on a counter.
  4. Meat: We buy our meat in bulk, so we separate it into 1 pound piles and clean the meat as needed (like cutting any fat off the chicken). Then, go through each recipe and cut the meat as needed (strips, cubed, halved) and place in each bag. Wash hands often!
  5. Veggies: Since you're already chopping, now is the time to chop any fresh veggies or fresh herbs as needed for each recipe, place in the corresponding bag. For frozen veggies, simply dump into the bag.
  6. Cans/Jars: Rinse any canned items if needed (like beans) and place in bag. Simply dump any items in jars (like salsa) or bagged items (like cheese) into the corresponding bag.
  7. Spices: This is a little tricky, so take one bag at a time and add all the spices.
  8. Seal: Double check that the bag has everything needed, then squeeze the extra air out and seal it closed.
  9. Freeze: Place flat either in one or two stacks in your freezer. It is also helpful to use a large cookie sheet and place smaller stacks on the sheet, then slide on top of any other items in your freezer. When frozen, you can stand them horizontally so they are easier to remove.

If you have a helpful tip of your process, please leave a comment at the end!

The 1 Hour Process in Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 1 & 2: Have all your recipes on one sheet of paper, then label the bags with a permanent marker.  Step 3: Gather all the ingredients you'll need.  Note the recipes on one page hanging by the ingredients.  Step 4: MeatStep 5: Chop fresh veggies and herbs for all the recipes at the same time, then pour into the corresponding bags. Step 5 (continued): If the recipe calls for frozen veggies, place those in as well. Step 6: Open and rinse any canned items as needed. Pour into bags.  Step 6 (continued): This also includes any bagged items like cheese.  Step 7: Go through each recipe and add spices for one recipe at a time.  Step 8: After you add the spices, go through each recipe and make sure each bag has all its ingredients.  Then squeeze out extra air and seal the bag.  Lay flat.  Step 9: Freeze the bags horizontally.  You can do this in a large stack or smaller stacks.  Step 9 (continued):  It is helpful to freeze smaller stacks of the meals on a large cookie sheet.  When they are frozen, stand each bag vertically in your freezer.  When you're ready for the meal, pull it out and thaw overnight in fridge.
Step 1 & 2: Have all your recipes on one sheet of paper, then label the bags with a permanent marker.
Step 1 & 2: Have all your recipes on one sheet of paper, then label the bags with a permanent marker. | Source
Step 3: Gather all the ingredients you'll need.  Note the recipes on one page hanging by the ingredients.
Step 3: Gather all the ingredients you'll need. Note the recipes on one page hanging by the ingredients. | Source
Step 4: Meat
Step 4: Meat | Source
Step 5: Chop fresh veggies and herbs for all the recipes at the same time, then pour into the corresponding bags.
Step 5: Chop fresh veggies and herbs for all the recipes at the same time, then pour into the corresponding bags. | Source
Step 5 (continued): If the recipe calls for frozen veggies, place those in as well.
Step 5 (continued): If the recipe calls for frozen veggies, place those in as well. | Source
Step 6: Open and rinse any canned items as needed. Pour into bags.
Step 6: Open and rinse any canned items as needed. Pour into bags. | Source
Step 6 (continued): This also includes any bagged items like cheese.
Step 6 (continued): This also includes any bagged items like cheese. | Source
Step 7: Go through each recipe and add spices for one recipe at a time.
Step 7: Go through each recipe and add spices for one recipe at a time. | Source
Step 8: After you add the spices, go through each recipe and make sure each bag has all its ingredients.  Then squeeze out extra air and seal the bag.  Lay flat.
Step 8: After you add the spices, go through each recipe and make sure each bag has all its ingredients. Then squeeze out extra air and seal the bag. Lay flat.
Step 9: Freeze the bags horizontally.  You can do this in a large stack or smaller stacks.
Step 9: Freeze the bags horizontally. You can do this in a large stack or smaller stacks. | Source
Step 9 (continued):  It is helpful to freeze smaller stacks of the meals on a large cookie sheet.  When they are frozen, stand each bag vertically in your freezer.  When you're ready for the meal, pull it out and thaw overnight in fridge.
Step 9 (continued): It is helpful to freeze smaller stacks of the meals on a large cookie sheet. When they are frozen, stand each bag vertically in your freezer. When you're ready for the meal, pull it out and thaw overnight in fridge. | Source

What Do I Do To Cook the Frozen Meal?

The night before, simply pull the meal out and place it in your freezer to thaw. In the morning, pour the meal into your Crockpot and set it for the recommended temperature and time. Enjoy!

Approximate Cooking Times

Meal
High
Low
1. Creamy Garlic Chicken
2-3 Hours
5 Hours
2. Cilantro Lime Chicken
2-3 Hours
4 Hours
3. Turkey Parmesan Meatballs
1-2 Hours
4 Hours
4. Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
2-3 Hours
4 Hours
5. Creamy Salsa Chicken
2-3 Hours
4 Hours
6. Chicken Noodle Soup
3-4 Hours
6 Hours
These times are based on our experience. However, they may change based on how thawed your meal is and the temperature of your Crockpot.

Cooking Tips

Sometimes you may forget to thaw your meal overnight (like us), or forget to put it in the crockpot (like us), or simply want it to be cooked faster or longer. If so, here are some tips we have learned:

Want the meal to take longer?

  • If you partially thaw your meal, you can break it in half, so you can put it in your crockpot in large frozen pieces which take longer to cook.

Want the meal to be ready faster?

  • If you thaw your meal completely, it will be done faster.
  • Place your meal, whether frozen or thawed, in a large pot on the stove. Cover and cook for 15-30 minutes.

1. Creamy Garlic Chicken

Source

Write on Bag:

Personalize for your preferences.

LOW 5 hours/HIGH 2-3 hours. Serve with rotini and broccoli.

Want to Make Your Own Cream of Chicken Soup?

In the Bag:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, halved
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup, reduced sodium
  • 1 dry packet Italian dressing seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Notes

  • Serves: 4
  • This is one of our favorites! We found it to be a little salty, so we will try to use reduced sodium next time. Also, it helped to mix some broccoli into the pasta to help balance the salt.
  • Delicious with whole grain pasta.

2. Cilantro Lime Chicken

Source

Write on Bag:

Personalize for your preferences.

LOW 4 hours/HIGH 2-3 hours. Shred. Serve with tortillas.

In The Bag:

  • 1 pound chicken
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 cups corn, frozen
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Notes

  • Serves: 4-5 people (2 filled tortillas each)
  • Delicious with homemade whole wheat tortillas, if you have time to make them!
  • We did not taste much cilantro and would sprinkle some fresh on top at the end.

3. Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Source

Write On Bag:

Personalize for your preferences.

LOW 4 hours/HIGH1-2 hours. Serve with linguine.

Mix Meatballs in the Bag

In the Bag:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • To taste: powdered garlic, salt, pepper, basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs or crushed croutons
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce

Notes

  • Serves 4 (3 meatballs each)
  • Along with the creamy garlic chicken, this is one of our favorites. We make this often, whether or not we freeze the ingredients ahead of time.
  • You can put all the ingredients in the bag except the sauce, mix together with your hands, form the meatballs, then pour the sauce in. Saves an extra bowl!
  • We find it helpful to cook the pasta the night before, drizzle with a little olive oil, cool, and refrigerate. Then all we have to do is warm it up.

4. Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Source

Write on Bag:

Personalize for your preferences.
Spray insert. Pour 3/4 c milk on top. LOW 4 hours/HIGH 2-3 hours. Serve with green beans.

In the Bag:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen tater tots
  • 1 (3 oz) bag bacon pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Notes

  • Serves 4
  • It is helpful to spray the insert first as the cheese and tots tend to stick a little (that part is crunchy and tasty too). Remember to add milk too!
  • The tater tots crumble as they cook, so they become more like diced potatoes.
  • We like to serve this with a green veggie like broccoli or green beans.

5. Creamy Salsa Chicken

Source

Write on Bag:

Personalize for your preferences.
LOW 4 hours/HIGH 2-3 hours. Shred. Serve with bow tie pasta or quinoa.

In the Bag:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 jar (15 oz) salsa
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4-8 ounces cream cheese

Notes

  • Serves: 4-5
  • Our favorite pasta to serve this with is bow tie pasta. However, it is quite tasty with quinoa as well, which cooks up in 10-15 minutes.
  • Top with fresh cilantro and cheese before serving, if desired.

6. Chicken Noodle Soup

Source

Write on Bag:

Personalize for your preferences.
LOW 6 hours/HIGH 3-4 hours. Add 1 1/2 cups rotini last 30 minutes.

In the Bag:

  • 1-2 cups diced chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Notes

  • Serves 4 (1 cup each)
  • We like to eat this with grilled cheese or a cheese quesadilla.
  • This soup can stay in the crockpot a long time because it is mostly broth, however, we actually do prefer chicken soup made on the stove, then frozen. But this is a decent alternative if you're like us and don't want to make a pot of soup over the stove in summer.
  • It is important to note that the carrots do become a little mushy after being frozen then heated in the crockpot. You can add frozen sliced carrots 30 minutes before serving to avoid this.

Source

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How We Use Freezer-Crockpot Meals

We find it very helpful to meal plan. When we are both working full-time, a typical week of meals for us looks like this:

  • Sun: Freezer-Crockpot Meal
  • Mon: Freezer-Crockpot Meal
  • Tues: Leftovers
  • Wed: Quick & Easy Meal
  • Thurs: Leftovers
  • Fri: Pizza
  • Sat: Freezer-Crockpot Meal

Having meals in the freezer are great not just for a backup, but also for everyday meal-planning!

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great ideas as usual. Haven't done it for a while, but I love crockpot cooking. Your recipes remind me. Thank you.

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