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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!

Don’t miss out on any recipes or deals – subscribe to my blog via email or a RSS feed. Also get updates on Facebook , Pinterest, and Twitter!

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

  1. Jody August 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Love, Love, Love this idea!! I am so going to do this. With 5 kids and a hubby that works nights this would be so nice to not be so rushed at dinner time. Thanks you! I will be watching for more great recipes.

  2. Janell August 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    I will see what I can find :)

  3. Ana August 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Thank you so much!!! I made all of these plus 2 more I found. I halfed each recipe since it is just two of us. School is starting back in two weeks so it will be nice to come home after work and not have to worry about meals! Looking forward to next set!

  4. Marlene August 3, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    going shopping today! I love these recipes because the ingredients are ones that are on hand most of the year. Thanks!

  5. Beverly August 3, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    If you are having trouble getting it out of the bag, try running the bag under warm water (look at the instructions first in case they wash off). The bag will become stretchier and should pull loose.

    I’d be interested in another set of recipes too.

  6. Alison August 3, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    I love how simple and yummy these all sound! Thanks!

  7. Janell August 3, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Thanks for the tip! Make sure you sign up for my email news letter or like me on FB so you can know as soon as the recipes are available. They are in the freezer right now waiting to be tested :)
    Email newsletter – http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US
    Facebook page – http://facebook.com/savingyoudinero

  8. Heather August 3, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    I loved these recipes. I use the slow cooker liners in my crock pot. I put the liner inside the freezer bag, then add the ingredients and freeze. When it’s time to cook I take out the liner with ingredients and put it in the crock pot. No washing the crock pot afterwards and I can reuse the freezer bag!

  9. Janell August 3, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    That is an excellent idea. I love how you can re use the bags and clean up is a breeze!

  10. Annie August 3, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Would love more tried recipes! Thanks so much for posting these!

  11. Jeni August 3, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Thank you so much for these this post. I have been searching for slow cooker/freezer recipes and they all seem like nothing my family would ever eat. I am so excited to try these as I feel my family will LOVE them. I am also allergic to dairy and love that I don’t have to sub. anything! Thanks again.

  12. Brii August 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    How do I sign up so I can get more great recipes from you. I love all the the recipes and I love that I can put it in frozen being a full time student and mom Im always forgetting to lay out meat for dinner so we end up having something out of the can or order out. Thank you can’t wait to see what you come up with next. I also love that there all just a few ingredients. :)

  13. Janell August 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    I hope you love the recipes. I am all about easy stuff. My motto is if there is a faster and easier way to do it I will find it! I have 5 meals in my freezer and I am waiting to test them. If they are all good I should have them published in the next few weeks. Here’s a link to sign up for my email newsletter. You will get a daily email from me about everything I post. That way when I do post it, the recipes will be in your email! Just click this link and them cofirm your email – http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US

  14. Janell August 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I hope they will make dinner time a little easier for you! I am not a big fan of cream soups so I am trying many recipes they dont include soups. I like simple and flavorful!

  15. Amy August 4, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    So, when I cook with frozen chicken breasts, I drain off the water and juice before I use them. Will that make things wet or soupy if you put the whole bag of chicken/ingredients in? Thanks!

  16. Janell August 4, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I use frozen chicken breasts and it does water it down a little. If you can drain the juices that would be good – but you don’t want to defrost the chicken, put it in the bag, and then re-freeze them. You can just use the frozen chicken and increase some of the ingredients a little.

  17. KC Quaretti August 4, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

  18. Janell August 4, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Thanks so much!

  19. Sara Morgan August 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    I love crock-pot recipes and these sound like just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks for the post and please send me any others you get

  20. Sharon Rose August 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Are you a genius or what?? I saw this on http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com and immediately made 2 of them with ingredients I had on hand. Heather, brilliant idea for using the cooker liners to freeze them in (did that too!) Tho, I will not use plastic bags, just put into the liners and freeze. Since we have to eat daily they won’t be in the freezer that long.
    Thanks for the genius and brilliant ideas!

  21. Janell August 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Thanks! If you can sign up for my email newsletter. It’s 1 email per day about everything I post. That way you will know as soon as the new recipes are available. I have 5 bags in the freezer to test out next week!
    http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US

  22. Janell August 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Aww that’s sweet :) No I just have 3 kids and we homeschool so I needed something to make dinner time easier! The liners are an excellent idea. I just put my crock pot in the dish washer each night. Its not that bad since I hardly have any dishes to wash since there was no prep work involved! Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Debi August 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    These recipes sound wonderful but I am wondering how many servings per recipe there is. My husband works afternoons so we eat our main meal at 12:30 p.m. and then he takes his lunch from that meal (and he eats fairly large portions). Then this week I will have two of my grandchildren here and they will eat at the noraml dinner hour since they are in school. I really need to know if I need to adjust the recipes to feed everyone.

  24. Janell August 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    I have been meaning to add that information :) I have updated it for you. I hope you enjoy them.

  25. Teena August 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I LOVE these recipes and will be making these probably next weekend! I have 7 children: 13 months, 2 1/2 yrs, 5, 7, 9, 16, and 20 and the 2 yr old has a severe dairy allergy so I am always on the lookout for recipes that aren’t loaded with dairy! These are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  26. ELAINE MOORE August 5, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    please add me to your mailing list. These all sound wonderful and great for making when traveling in our RV.

  27. Deborah Jennings August 5, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    On the Chicken Fajitas, do you think it would be OK to use Beef strips instead of the chicken? I love Chicken Fajitas, but Hubby likes the Beef ones. Maybe I could make both and have left-overs. =) We do have 2 crock pots!

  28. Janell August 5, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    All you need to do is click this link and then confirm your email address. (You will just have to click a link in your email.) http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=SavingYouDinero&loc=en_US

  29. Janell August 5, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    It would probably be good with beef. If you do it – let me know how it tasted!

  30. Bella Welker August 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    This may be a silly question but I an just starting out using a crock pot. Do I need to thaw out the food before putting it in the crockpot??

  31. Janell August 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Its a great question. The beauty of these recipes is that you just dump them from the freezer to the crock pot. No need to defrost :)

  32. September Vaquera August 6, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    I love this idea. My kids are somewhat picky eaters but all of these recipies are something they will eat.

  33. Linda August 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Put the instructions inside of a 1 quart or sandwich zippie bag and put that inside of the freezer bag.. facing out so you can read it.. when it is time to thaw, run under water, open bag and the instructions are there and ready to go, nice and dry and on a piece of paper and reusable!! Love these recipes and am going to make them for me and my teenage daughter.. :) Thanks!!

  34. Diane August 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    These meals are wonderful! They were very easy to prepare, and my kids enjoyed helping. (My 5-yr-old is an excellent ziplock bag holder-opener!) We had the beef burritos with cilantro lime rice tonight, and all 5 of us loved them! Rice bowls are in the fridge with the leftovers, ready for hubby’s lunch. Thank you SO much for making this so easy by supplying the shopping list and great instructions. I’m looking forward to more of these! Oh, and I shared on Facebook and was surprised how many friends were enthusiastic about trying them too!

  35. Janell August 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Thanks for the comment and for sharing this with your friends! I hope you love them.

  36. Nicole August 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Do you cook the Garlic honey chicken for both 3-4 hrs on high and 5-6 hrs on low or could you cook it just on low for 6-7 hrs like the other recipes? Thanks for the great recipes.

  37. Janell August 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    No it’s either or. My crock pot seems to get really hot so things cook faster for me. I generally will start stuff on low and if it’s getting close to dinner time and it doesnt look done I will put it on high.

  38. Niki August 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Tried the garlic honey chicken tonight….it was awesome! :) Thank you!

    Niki Blake

  39. Suzanne August 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Wow….we had the Hawaiian Chicken tonight…..my 9 year old proclaimed it a keeper!!!!!! Love all these recipes….thank you for making my life so much easier!!!!

  40. Robin August 8, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    Thank you for these great meals. Cannot wait to try assembling them this week. I’m cheating with the peppers and onions in some of the recipes and will use frozen stir fry mix. They are already chopped so even less work for me!

  41. Kelly August 8, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    I had most of this stuff already in my pantry/fridge, but I purchased the rest of the ingredients yesterday (along with some crock pot liners) and I plan on prepping everything tonight. I can’t wait to try your recipes!

  42. Tara August 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Thanks for the post! I put the bags together on Monday and we had Hawaiian Chicken for dinner tonight! It is yumtastic! A bit too sweet for me but I added soy sauce to my bowl and it was great! I will make again with chicken broth instead of pineapple juice! I look forward to your next crockpot freezer meal plan!

  43. Georgette August 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Just got my bags all put together in very little time and very little clean-up!! Love this idea and can’t wait to taste them! The best part is my son, who is allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts can eat these, so I don’t have to make 2 meals!! Thanks so much and look forward to more!

  44. Georgette August 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Just put my 5 bags together!! So quick and very little clean up!! The best part is my son, who is allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts, can eat these also!! Thanks and I look forward to the next set!!

  45. Heather@French Press August 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    what a fantastic idea! I am going to do this for sure

  46. SaraBeth August 11, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    This is genius. I never thought of freezing my meals before cooking them. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow after church.

  47. Jennifer Creekmore August 13, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    These 5 bags are amazing! How long do you think I can store them in the freezer? Looking forward to your next bags. Thanks.

  48. Janell August 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Thanks. I am not really sure how long you can freeze them. I would think at least a month.

  49. Tonya Wilkinson August 15, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    I love this idea! I am currently pregnant and with a planned C section this will be so wonderful for that first week home from the hospital where my other half can easily start dinner for all of us :)) Can’t wait to try it!

  50. Rhiannon August 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Quick question…I only have the larger crock pot. Can I still cook these recipes in it and how should I adjust it? I see crockpot recipes all the time but I am intimidated by my larger crock pot and I don’t have the money right now to get a smaller one:(

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