Instructions:

  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.
  3. Shop
  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.

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 before cooking
Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours on low
Serve with: fresh bread or biscuits
Serves 6 to 8

Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 pounds stew meat
  • 1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon beef stock base (I like Organic Better than Bullion)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Day of: Add 1 cup water to the slow cooker before cooking.
Stir in 1 cup of sour cream just before serving.
Cook Time: 8 hours on low
Serve with: egg noodles or rice and green beans
Serves 6 to 8

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast (I recommend thighs, they don’t dry out as much in the slow cooker)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1, 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Cook Time: 6- 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high
Serve with: treat this like you would taco filling – add to tacos, burritos, 
taco salad, nachos, or make burrito bowls with it. It’s very flexible.
Serves 6 to 8

Teriyaki Chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I recommend thighs, they don’t dry out as much in the slow cooker)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1, 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Cook Time: 8 hours on low
Serve with: cooked brown rice and green veggies
Serves 6 to 8

Butter Chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I recommend thighs, they don’t dry out as much in the slow cooker)
  • 1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1, 15-ounce can coconut milk (I used full fat)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Marsala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Cook Time: 8 hours on low
Serve with: cooked brown rice and green veggies
Serves 6 to 8

Tips for Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals:

• Plan ahead! If you are going to prep all the recipes provided in one day then shop one day, prepare the second.
• On prep day, wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothes. Your body will thank you that night.
• Print out the recipes so that you have them right in front of you without worry about spilling anything on them. Make notes on any changes or adaptations you made as you go. If you make them a second time you’ll know what you did and what you like.
• Write the name of the dish, date, and anything extra you need to add the day of cooking on the bag before filling it. It’s much easier to write on a clean flat bag then a full one.
• All recipes were tested with all ingredients going into the bag uncooked. You can sauté onions and sear the meat for additional depth of flavor though it adds to the overall prep time significantly.
• I don’t like fresh potatoes, cauliflower, or broccoli frozen and then cooked in the slow cooker (sweet potatoes are fine though). If you are going to use these ingredients in a freezer to slow cooker type meal, I suggest buying them already frozen (instead of fresh), it works a little better.
• I prefer to use “baby bella” mushrooms in the slow cooker. They have great flavor and texture when cooked.
• I like to fold the top of the gallon bags over (so that the bag is about half as tall as it is wide) and then lay them flat to freeze. I have found that if I lay them out completely flat then they don’t fit in my slow cooker once they are frozen.
• In my research I noticed that some people suggested thawing the freezer meal in the fridge overnight the night before they plan on cooking it. They then cooked a thawed from the freezer, freezer meal. I put my meals straight from the freezer into the crock pot during recipe testing. I assume that both methods work fine, but I haven’t tested the thaw-first approach.
• Running the outside of the plastic bag under warm water for a minute or so made it easier to get the frozen contents out of the bag and into the slow cooker.
• In general cook frozen meals on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 7 to 8. I generally prefer the low and slow method, but a few times if I had forgotten to get the meal in the slow cooker until lunch then I would cook it on high for an hour or two and then drop it down to low heat for the last few hours.
• Most recipes call for one onion; in general, one onion is equivalent to 1 cup chopped onion.
• I don’t often buy the pre-chopped garlic in a jar, but I did for these. I made all 10 recipes in one day and having the garlic already chopped was a great time saver.