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1 Hour + 1 Mess = 5 Slow Cooker Meals! (Freezer Meals)

Slow Cooker Meals

**Update – In case you missed it check out Part 2Part 3Part 4,  Part 5,  Part 6 and Part 7 of my 1 Hour + 1 Mess = Slow Cooker recipes. So far we have 35 recipes.

 If you would like to know when the next set of recipes  will be available you can sign up for my email newsletter. You will get an email that you will need to confirm you want the subscription. 

We are all very busy people. We have jobs, kids, baseball practice, etc. Because of our busy lives we don’t get to eat dinner together very often. I took 5 of my favorite slow cooker recipes and put together a plan to spend 1 hour in the kitchen assembling 5 freezer bags with dinners that I can just throw in the slow cooker! Slow Cooker freezer meals will make your life so much easier!

With this list below you will have Garlic Honey Chicken, Beef Burritos, Chicken Fajitas, Hawaiian Chicken, and Teriyaki Pork Chops. These dinners easily feed our family which consists of 2 adults and 3 kids.

Click here for the printable version of this meal plan.

Shopping List

  • 2 Lbs London Broil
  • 5-6 Lbs Chicken
  • 4 Pork Chops (about 1 inch thick)
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • White vinegar
  • Garlic cloves – 12
  • Soy sauce
  • Large can of pineapple chunks
  • Onions 1 large or 2 small
  • Whole peppercorns
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 16 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper (you can buy a small can and freeze the leftovers)
  • Chili Power
  • Ketchup
  • Honey
  • Chicken broth
  • Peppers (Your choice for the Chicken Tacos)
  • Taco seasoning
  • Paprika

You will need more ingredients, but you just need the ingredient above to make your bags.

First take 5 large freezer bags. Grab a Sharpie and label each bag. You should also write the instructions on the bag. Cut up the onions – half slices and half diced, cut up the peppers, and peel the garlic (You can dice the garlic as you fill up your bags).

Go through and add all the meats to the bags. Then go back and add the rest of the ingredients. (You can fill them up in any order, this was just my preference.) Freeze the food and make sure the food will fit in your Slow Cooker when it’s frozen. Take them out in the morning and cook according to the instructions.

 

Hawaiian Chicken


Hawaiian Chicken
(4-5 servings)

  • 2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½  cup white sugar
  • ½  cup vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½   cup of pineapple juice (use what’s in the can)
  • ½  can of large pineapple chunks

Add all the ingredients to the bag. Cook 4-5 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Serve it over rice and enjoy. While I am cooking the rice I  like to shred the chicken and put it back in the juice before I serve it.

Beef Chipotle Burritos

Beef Burritos
(6+ servings)

  • 1 London Broil or top round roast (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – Use just 1 pepper!! (It’s in a can.)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder (you can adjust this according to your taste)
  1. Add all the above ingredients into a freezer bag.
  2. When you are ready to cook the meal, dump the contents of the bag into the Slow Cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
  3. When the meat is cooked, you will need to strain the juices and add the juice back to the slow cooker. (You want to remove the peppercorns and onions.) Shred the meat and add back to the juice in the slow cooker for about 30 minutes. This is one of our favorite recipes. My kids eat it as long as we have leftovers.

 

* If you like the taste of chipotle but not the spiciness, you can remove the seeds.

You will also need:

  • 16 burrito sized flour tortillas
  • Anything else you like on burritos – cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

We also like to add Cilantro Lime Rice to our burritos. All you need to do is make some white rice and add lime juice, cilantro, and salt.

 

Honey Garlic Chicken

Garlic Honey Chicken
(4-5 servings)

  • 1 ½  to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup  soy sauce
  • ⅔  cup ketchup
  • ¼  cup honey

(Feel free to double the sauce if you like extra sauce)

Add all the ingredients to a freezer bag. Cook 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.  We like to eat this with mashed potatoes and a veggie.

 

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Teriyaki Pork Chops 
(4 servings)

  • 4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper to taste (you can sprinkle them before you add them to the bag.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth

Add the pork chops, garlic cloves, brown sugar,  soy sauce, and chicken broth to the freezer bag. Write the following instruction on the bag –  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. We ate this with mashed potatoes.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas
( 5-6 servings)

  • 2 peppers (your favorite)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 1/2 pound chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • taco seasoning packet
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt

You will also need tortillas, cheese, cream, etc.

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large freezer bag. (Make sure you label the bag with instructions.)
  2. When it’s time to cook it, dump it all in your slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
  3. When it’s cooked, shred the meat and add it back to the pepper mixture and serve on warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.
With the leftover you can make this delicious Chicken Fajita Casserole!

That’s it! I actually did this in about 45 minutes! Since we also like to eat rice with a few of these dinners, I like to make a large batch at the beginning of the week and heated up what we need. Some of these meals make enough food so you can eat them for leftovers. We used the leftover chicken fajita meat to make fajita quesadillas.

I have made all these dinner and I can’t believe how easy it has made my life. I have a seven year old, four year old and 2 year old – so it’s hard to find time to make a good dinner. I put the stuff in my slow cooker when my  2 year old naps and when it’s dinner time I just have to think about side items. This really reduce the mess in the kitchen.

Additional notes:

  • My slow cooker cooks at a high temperature, so please check your food to make sure you have the proper cooking time.
  • According to the official Crock Pot website, you can safely cook frozen meat in your crock pot. If you still don’t like the idea, you can put the bag in the fridge the night before and it should be defrosted by the morning.
  • I use chicken breast from the large bag of frozen chicken. This type of chicken has a layer of ice which melts and can dilute the flavor of your meal. You will not have this problem with fresh chicken.
  • If your slow cooker has a hard to remove layer of gunk on it, try soaking it with a half a sheet of fabric softener. It will wipe right off!
  • Never put the plastic bag in the Slow Cooker. Always dump out the contents to prepare your meal.
  • When you freeze the bag, make sure the frozen lump (for lack of a better work) will easily fit into your Slow Cooker.
  • One reader suggested putting the dinners into Slow Cooker liners and then into the freezer bag.

Click here for the printable version of this meal plan.

So what do you think? Do you like this idea? If so, I can test out a bunch of recipes and get another 5 recipes together to share. I loved this. It really was a huge help in the kitchen!

You can also check out my Batch Cook Day!

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455 Responses to “1 Hour + 1 Mess = 5 Slow Cooker Meals! (Freezer Meals)”

  1. Dana July 26, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Would it be better to take the bag out of the freezer the night before and let defrost in the fridge till the am… and let it marinade a bit? Or does that not matter? These are great recipes! I’m putting together 3 of them now!

  2. Haley July 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    I just put this all together today and can honestly say, every bag I made smelled better than the last! I can’t wait to start cooking these.

    If you have any more weekly plans like this, I would LOVE them. I’m a huge fan and am linking this idea to all of my busy friends.

  3. Janell July 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoy them. I just got back from vacation and I am going to try to get another plan together. It has really saved me a lot of time in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing with your friends.

  4. Janell July 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    You could try to defrost them. I have never done it. It will cook faster if it’s defrosted. I hope you enjoy the meals!

  5. Joyce July 27, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    I can’t wait to try this. I’m going to try to get them assembled this weekend. Thanks!

  6. Sara July 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    How many servings are these intended for??

  7. Janell July 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    I would say most meals are for 4 people – but I always have a ton of leftovers when I make the Chipotle Burritos and Chicken Fajitas.

  8. Nancy July 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Can I just say I LOVE you :)
    I’ve been looking for something easy good and practical like this for a long time!!! Keep’em coming, Thanks!!!!!!

  9. Janell July 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    You are so sweet. Thanks for the encouraging comment :) I am working on a few recipes now.

  10. Kristi July 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    I am so excited to make these!!! I am planning on making 30 frozen meals before school starts…thanks

  11. Kristi July 29, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    I am so excited about these recipes! My daughter is allergic to milk and it is always a challenge to find crockpot recipes that don’t have a ton of cheese or cream soups. I am definately going to make these before school starts. Thank you so much, and would love to see more:)`

  12. Gindy July 29, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I am just preparing these meals in there bags now. And cant wait to save time in the kitchen during the week. One less thing off my mind during the day.

  13. Candice July 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    This was so easy to put together. 45 minutes, easy clean up. I want more recipes. Awesome!!!! Thank you.

  14. Dawn July 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! Football season starts tomorrow and this is sooooo helpful!!!

  15. Dawn July 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! Football season starts for us tomorrow and this is sooo helpful!!

  16. Janell July 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I have my shopping list ready for the next batch of recipes. I should test them this week. I hope you enjoy the dinners.

  17. Janell July 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I am so glad they will be helpful for your family. I am not a big fan of cream of whatever soups.

  18. Deb July 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    Thank you Janell!!! This sounds great!

  19. Erin July 30, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I just made my shopping list I’m so excited!! Thank you! Not only do these sound great and not a crazy expensive shopping list! I have a lot of what’s on the lists!

  20. Janell July 30, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    That’s great! I am working on the next set of recipes this week and my list only has 16 things I need to buy. It’s mostly meat and produce. I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  21. Reannon July 31, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Looking forward to next list! Shopping today for this one!

  22. Erica July 31, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    This may be a silly question, but what kind of vinegar do you need for the Hawaiian chicken? Regular white vinegar?

  23. Janell July 31, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Yes its white vinegar – it’s a good question :)

  24. Amy July 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Love this idea!!! This is great for nights that the kids have activities right after work! Will you be posting more? If so, how will we find out? Can I subscribe to your page?

  25. Janell July 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    So glad you like it! I just put 5 more meals in the freezer today to test over the next few nights. You can click the link here to subscribe to my email newsletter. You will get a confirmation email and you will just need to click the link to confirm you want the subscription. If everything tastes good I should have a new set of recipes in less than 2 weeks!
    http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US

  26. Jasmine July 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    My garlic honey chicken is really watery! What did I do wrong?

  27. Janell July 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Im so sorry about that. The only thing I can think of is did you use chicken breasts that were previously frozen? They usually have an ice coating and if this melts it could cause it to be runny.

  28. elaine koop July 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    A word of advice–When you freeze these dinners, make sure you freeze them in a “shape” that will fit into your crockpot. I froze them “flat” & could not get them into my crockpot w/o making a big mess-just a suggestion!

  29. Janell July 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Good tip :) Thanks for sharing!

  30. elaine koop July 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I would suggest that the meals be frozen in a “shape” that can be put in the crockpot frozen!! I froze my bags flat & could not fit them into the crockpot-Duh! The two meals we have had, but it sure is a mess getting them to fit into the pot.

  31. Jamie July 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I bought and mixed these recipes up today and it was sooooo easy. I was surprised. We tried the garlic honey chicken tonight and everyone loved it. Where will you post the next set of recipes so I make sure not to miss them! Thanks for sharing!!!

  32. Jess July 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    These are perfect!! My husband and I are semi-picky eaters and these are perfect for us! Oh yeah, and did I mention that we both work full time (he’s a truck driver and I’m a nurse) and we are expecting a baby boy any day now. I’ve been compiling recipes for a few months now and testing them out but I’m positive we will like all of these! All of that to say, thank you for sharing :)!

  33. Janell July 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Im so glad you liked the dinner. I just put 5 dinners in the freezer and I hope to have a new post out in about 2 weeks. (I want to make sure they all taste good before I write about them :) You can sign up for my email newsletter and you will get an email 1 time per day about everything I posted about. That way you will know as soon as the new recipes are available! http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US

  34. Janell July 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    I am so glad you like the recipes. Congrats on the baby :) It’s definitely a good idea to have meals available in the beginning! If you want to sign up for my email newsletter you will know when the next set of recipes will be available. http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US (Make sure you confirm your email.)

  35. Wendy July 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Fabulous idea!!! Perfect combo of freezer meals and crockpot cooking for the upcoming fall sports season in my house. Thank you.

  36. Sarah July 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Thanks a million for these recipes! My 4 year old daughter and I made these together and it was a great bonding experience! Can’t wait till we get to enjoy with the rest of the family.

  37. September August 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    So I have been trying to subscribe to get the next edition of freezer crockpot meals and the link won’t work :(

  38. Janell August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Thanks for letting me know. It could be the browser you are using. It worked for me in Google Chrome. You can also look on the top right side of the page and you will see a little envelope. Click that and it should bring you to the page to subscribe. Thanks for visiting!

  39. Janell August 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    That sounds like fun. I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  40. Julie August 2, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    I think these are great sounding recipes. One question I have, which is probably pretty basic, is how do you get the frozen block of food out of the bag? I wouldn’t think it would slide out, so do you cut the bag and just peel the bag off of the frozen ingredients?

    Thanks!

  41. Janell August 2, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Good question! It has always just slid out for me. Just make sure it’s frozen into a lump that will fit into your crock pot. If you try to freeze them flat they dont usually fit into a crock pot.

  42. Teresa August 2, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Wow! What a great idea. I love crockpot meals, but I don’t have a lot of time in the morning. This is a simple solution. Very creative:)

  43. Rudi Pittman August 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    On the pork chops you have “Cook on high for 4-5 hours or high for 6-7 hours.” Obviously the second “high” should be “low.” ;)

  44. Jenn August 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I love this idea, I didnt think crock pot cooking could be any simpler :) I cant wait to try the Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken. Thanks again for sharing

  45. Janell August 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Thanks for telling me – I hate typos :)

  46. Caroline August 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Not sure if I missed it or not, but what size crock pot did you use? I have three but only the 6 qt is programmable and sometimes that’s too big for smaller serving dishes. Thanks!

  47. Janell August 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    That would be a good bit of information! I have a 6 Qt slow cooker. You could probably use a smaller crock pot for the pork chops since they dont take up too much room.

  48. Misha August 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I can’t wait to try these! Wondered if you could throw in a vegetarian crock pot recipe, sometime, as my oldest child is a vegetarian. Thanks again!

  49. annamarei August 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    I am new to your site, but these will be a great help for me and my kids. I can’t wait to try them out and will be looking for more. I love my crockpot!

  50. Kelly Love August 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I love that these recipes don’t contain dairy!! Thank you!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

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