Make Ahead & Freeze Crockpot Dinners (Feed your entire family for $3-4 Per Night)

So I started thinking about what you can do with a bunch of veggies and fruits, and I thought- CROCKPOT MEALS!!! I’ve heard of those make-ahead meals that they make to prepare pregnant women for the first month after giving birth when she has no time to cook, as well as those make-ahead and “freeze” meals that people who have no time for cooking during the week can do. I did a multiple-website search for recipes that sounded the yummiest, and I’ll show you what I came up with! GROCERY LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED.


instructions

Well first, I ran over to Winco and bought a box of large freezer Ziploc bags, 3 bags of boneless skinless chicken breasts, some vegetables and cans of soup (I’ll write a shopping list at the end of this post) and paid a total of $60. This easily made 12 meals, PLUS I have so much leftover veggies, meat and soup that I couldn’t fit anymore meals in my freezer!! I would say that the total cost of each meal to make in this case is around $3-4 bucks each. It’s really simple. I then went home and chopped up all the vegetables and put them in separate bowls, measured out all the ingredients and added them to each bag!

many pkgs

*I have a small family of 3, so we’ll obviously have TONS of leftovers. These recipes I made can easily feed a family of 4-6 people, using the exact ingredients I used.

ziploc packaged

Special Tip: Remember, when you prepare your freezer crockpot meals, make sure you take your freezer bags out ahead of time, and with a permanent marker, write the meal name and cooking instructions on it BEFORE you add ingredients. After you add all your ingredients, squeeze out as much air as you can, lay flat to freeze, so you’ll have more room to store them. Don’t forget to defrost them most of the way, or at least overnight before putting them in your crockpot!

Extra Tip: Some people say that their potatoes turn black after being frozen. An easy remedy for this is to either buy frozen potatoes to work with, or else boil your potatoes in a large pan of water for about 15 minutes, then proceed to cut them. The starches on the insides are known for changing color if you freeze fresh potatoes. Please let me know if this works for you!


in the freezer


UPDATE: People are asking if the pot roast recipe needs liquid. I’ve done it with extra liquid and without. The roast seasoning usually requires liquid so I’ve just added whatever that required. But I added 1 can chicken stock or broth to the recipe just in case you want more liquid. Also, if your recipe turns out too liquidy at the end, add cornstarch. And the shopping list is below. The price may change depending on what you already have in your kitchen. Thanks and let me know if you have any more questions! -Corri

GROCERY LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED!!!!!! 

CROCKPOT FREEZER MEALS:

(REMEMBER TO WRITE RECIPE NAME AND INSTRUCTIONS ON BAG BEFORE PUTTING INGREDIENTS IN!!!!)

ALL Recipes:

Teriyaki Chicken (Husband-approved recipe)

I made two bags of these using this recipe, one with broccoli attached as a separate steamable bag (because people in our family are allergic to broccoli), and the other with a steamable bag of edamame. When people make teriyaki bowls, they layer it with rice, then veggies (broccoli), then the meat. This recipe has all the veggies inside except for broccoli, and the edamame can be served on the side as an appetizer. Split this recipe below into 2 separate freezer bags.

  • Bag of Baby Carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 Red Onion in Large Chunks

  • (1) 20oz can pineapple (undrained)

  • 1 Garlic Cloves Chopped

  • 4-5 Chicken Breasts

  • 1/2 bottle of Teriyaki Sauce (I used Kikkoman’s Teriyaki sauce with sesame seeds in it)

  • 2 cups Broccoli or edamame (separate, optional)

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on two freezer bags. Divide everything evenly into the  freezer bags. Seal bags, mix ingredients, lay flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over rice, with or without broccoli or edamame.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

I also made two bags of these, one with broccoli inside the bag, the other without.

  • 12 potatoes and cut into ¼ inch round slices or a large bag of frozen potatoes

  • 2 cans of cream of your choice—I used potato

  • 2 cans of water

  • 4 ham steaks, cubed (2 in each bag, remember, this recipe makes 2 bags)

  • 8 oz cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups of broccoli (I only added this to one bag. If you want to add them to both, use 2 cups of broccoli in each)

  • salt and pepper

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on two freezer bags. Divide everything evenly into the  freezer bags.  Seal bags, mix ingredients, lay flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 24 hours. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Sweet Barbecue Hawaiian Chicken (family recipe)

This recipe makes one bag.

  • 4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce

  • 1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, undrained

  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1 Tbs Corn Starch

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on freezer bag. Add ingredients. Seal bag, mix ingredients, lay flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 24 hours. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

Salsa Chicken

This recipe makes one bag.

  • 4 Chicken Breasts

  • 1 Cup Salsa

  • 1 Package Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream (separate, added day of cooking)

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on freezer bag. Add ingredients except for Sour Cream, which will be used last. Seal bags, mix ingredients, lay flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 24 hours. Add everything to crockpot except Sour Cream.  Cook on LOW for 6-8 Hours. Stir in Sour Cream at the end and serve over rice.

Black Bean Taco Soup (also Husband-approved recipe)

This recipe makes 2 bags. Split these ingredients between 2 bags.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (we used turkey beef)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 package mild taco seasoning mix

  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn

  • 1 (16 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed (my sister is allergic to beans so we put half of this can in one bag, marked it, and put the rest away in the refrigerator. The other bag is labeled “Taco soup” without beans)

  • 1 (14 oz) cans stewed tomatoes (half in each bag. I drained these most of the way)

  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis

  • 1/4 cup olives (optional)

Directions: Brown meat and onion, drain. Let meat cool for a minute, then dump into two freezer bags and mix together. Let the excess air out, lay bag flat, and zip bag closed.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW for 2-3 1/2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.

Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo

This recipe makes one bag and feeds a larger family (5-6 people).

  • 4-5  chicken breasts

  • 2 cups fresh or 1 cup frozen spinach, drained

  • 1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce (I use light)

  • 1 large green pepper, chopped

  • 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on freezer bag. Seal bags, mix ingredients, lay bag flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 24 hours. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with noodles, salad and breadsticks.

*This recipe originally calls for 1 cup of broccoli instead of spinach, but again, I simply exchanged the broccoli for spinach due to family allergies, and it worked out great.

Pork Pot Roast

  • 1 Eye of Round Roast

  • 1 Packet Pot Roast Seasoning

  • 1 Bag Mini Carrots or Sliced Carrots

  • 6-7 Chopped Potatoes

  • 1 can chicken stock or broth (10 oz)
  • 1 Onion in Big Chunks for Flavor

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on freezer bag. Seal bags, mix ingredients, lay bag flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 24 hours. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with salad and rolls.

Zesty Chicken

  • 3-4 chicken breasts

  • 1 10oz Can Cream of Chicken Soup

  • 1 Package Cream Cheese cubed

  • 1 Package Zesty Italian Dry Dressing Mix (Or you can Google a homemade zesty Italian seasoning recipe, it was super easy to make)

Directions: Write recipe name and instructions on freezer bag. Seal bag, mix ingredients, lay bag flat and freeze.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw overnight or for 8 hours. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve over noodles or rice.

Swiss Cheese Chicken

  • 2 slices turkey bacon

  • 4 potatoes, quartered

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, sliced into chunks

  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup

  • 4 slices swiss cheese

Directions: In skillet cook bacon until crispy, remove and crumble. set aside. Add other ingredients to Ziploc bag; seal bag, mix ingredients, lay bag flat and freeze. Set bacon and swiss cheese slices (1 for each serving) in separate Ziploc bags and freeze separately, stapled to the original crock pot freezer bag.

Directions to write on bag: Thaw slightly or overnight. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove individual pieces of chicken to plates along with vegetables and place one slice of cheese on each piece of chicken. Sprinkle bacon on top of cheese.

 

stuff I bought meat

ENJOY!

 

GROCERY LIST (HAS BEEN UPDATED!)

I bought mine at a local grocery store; these should cost you around $55 or less for everything, depending on what you already have at your house.

  • 2 Bags of Baby Carrots

 

1/2 Red Onion in Large Chunks

 

2 20oz cans pineapple (undrained)

 

2 Garlic Cloves 

 

24 Chicken Breasts

 

Teriyaki Sauce (I used Kikkoman’s Teriyaki sauce with sesame seeds in it)

 

4 cups worth of Broccoli
22 potatoes 

 

2 cans of cream of potato soup

 

4 ham steaks, cubed 

 

8 oz cheddar cheese

 

salt and pepper
1/3 cup BBQ sauce

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

 

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

 

1 Tbs Corn Starch

 

1 Cup Salsa

 

1 Package Taco Seasoning

 

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream 

 

1 lb lean ground beef (we used turkey beef)

 

3 medium yellow onions, chopped

 

1 package mild taco seasoning mix

 

1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn

 

1 (16 oz) can black beans 

 

1 (14 oz) cans stewed tomatoes 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

 

1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis

 

1/4 cup olives (optional)

 

2 cups fresh or 1 cup frozen spinach, drained

 

1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce (I use light)

 

1 large green pepper, chopped

 

1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained

 

1 Eye of Round Roast

 

1 Packet Pot Roast Seasoning

 

1 can chicken stock or broth (10 oz)
2 10oz Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Package Cream Cheese cubed
1 Package Zesty Italian Dry Dressing Mix 

 

2 slices turkey bacon

 

4 slices swiss cheese

*** Special thanks to Aimee at six-cents.com, Melea at freebies2deals.com, Stephanie at stockpilingmoms.com, Lauren at sixsistersstuff.com, and Terry Davis at food.com for their wonderful recipes!



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