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Part 3 – 1 Hour + 1 Mess = 5 Slow Cooker Meals

Here is the third installment of my Slow Cooker Meals. Now you have 15 meals 20 meals that you can prepare and have in your freezer for those busy nights. This is one of the best way my family saves time and money. I don’t have to spend time in the kitchen preparing dinner each night and the mess in minimal.  It saves me money because I am not tempted to go out to eat when I know we have a busy night. I really can notice a difference in our house when I have these dinners. Our days are a lot less stressful!

In case you missed it  check out Part 1Part 2Part 4,  Part 5, and Part 6  of my 1 Hour + 1 Mess = Slow Cooker recipes.  If you would like to know when more 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. 

Shopping List
(Printable version of just the ingredients)

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ lb boneless beef round steak
  • 1 (2 ½  pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 3-pound boneless pork shoulder blade roast
  • 3 green pepper (1 chopped & 2 ¾ -inch strips)
  • 3 medium onion (1 chopped & 2 medium sliced)
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger  (or  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • baby carrots*
  • chili powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried thyme leaves
  • paprika
  • dried onion flakes
  • brown sugar
  • 1 packet of Ranch dressing mix (dry seasoning mix)
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • cider vinegar (1 cup)
  • ketchup (¾  cup)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • soy sauce
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes or sauce
  • chicken bouillon (1 tablespoon )
  • beef bouillon (2 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 12 oz spaghetti or other pasta*
  • 2 cups shedded cheese (I use a Mexican mix)*
  • 12 rolls*
  • Cole Slaw*
  • cornstarch*
  • Potatoes* (to go with the pot roast)
  • Rice*

*Ingredients that are not needed until you prepare the meal

Here’s a printable version of the ingredients and the recipes.



Recipes

 

Casserole Spaghetti
Serves 6-8

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes or sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt (I add more after it’s cooked)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 12 oz spaghetti or other pasta
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I use a Mexican mix)

Instructions

  1. Cook ground beef. Drain and cool completely. (Or you can cook it the morning you prepare the meal and add it to the Slow Cooker.)
  2. Add it to the ziploc bag with the  green pepper, onion, celery,  garlic cloves, tomatoes, chili pepper, salt, and pepper.

Write in the bag

  1. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 hours on low.
  2. When it’s almost done, cook spaghetti according to package and drain.
  3. Add cooked spaghetti and about 1 cup of cheese to the Slow Cooker and mix well.
  4. Add more cheese to the top and serve!

We really like to eat this with Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.

Garlic Lime Chicken
serves 6

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½  teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients into your ziploc bag.

Write on the bag

  1. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

Carolina Pork Sandwiches
serves 12

  • 3-pound boneless pork shoulder blade roast
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon  salt
  • 1 Tablespoon  brown sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ¾  cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 rolls*
  • Cole Slaw*

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the rolls and the cole slaw)  into the ziploc bag.

Write on the bag.

  1. Cook on high for 6 to 7 hours or low for about 8-9 hours.
  2. Remove pork and shred.
  3. Add it back to the juices.

Carolina Pork has a stronger vinegar flavor than regular BBQ. It is also usually served with cole slaw on the sandwich.

Peppered Steak
(serves 4-5)

  • 1 ½ lb boneless beef round steak
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger  (or  ¼  teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, cut into ¾ -inch strips
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon cornstarch (do not put in the bag)
  • ¼ cup cold water (do not put in the bag)

Instructions

  1. Cut up beef into strips (about 1 ½ inches long).
  2. Add beef, onion, garlic, peppers, ginger, water, beef bouillon, and soy sauce to the ziploc bag.

Write on the bag

  1. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or 6-7 hours on low.
  2. When the beef is almost finished, mix cornstarch and water and mix into beef mixture.
  3. Increase heat to high. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until it’s thickened.
  4. Serve over rice.

Note – the peppers do get a little mushy but I don’t mind them this way. If you would like them to still be a little crunchy you can add them about an hour before the dinner is done.

Delicious Pot Roast
(serves 4-5)

  • 1 (2 ½  pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 packet of Ranch dressing mix (dry seasoning mix)
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 4 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 cup of water
  • baby carrots (do not add to bag)

Instructions

  1. Add all the meat, Ranch dressing packet, brown gravy packet, dried onion flakes, and water to a ziploc bag.

Write on the bag

  1. Add all the ingredients from the bag into the Slow Cooker. Add a bag of baby carrots.
  2. Cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
  3. Serve with mashed potatoes. (Or you can add potatoes to the crock pot in the morning.)

*Note – I like to have more gravy, so I think next time I will double the ingredients.

Here’s a printable version of the ingredients and the recipes.

Additional notes:

  • Slow Cookers can cook differently so make sure you have the proper cooking time. I use a 6.5 quart Slow Cooker.
  • According to the official Crock Pot website, you can safely cook frozen meat in your Slow Cooker. 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.
  • If you use chicken breast from the large bag of frozen chicken please not that 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 crock pot.
  • One reader suggested putting the dinners into Slow Cooker liners and then into the freezer bag.

Has this helped you? My next batch of recipes will have some soup and chili recipes. If you have any recipes you would like me to test, please send them to me at  savingyoudinero@gmail.com. Sorry all the meals don’t have photos. I will update them when I make the recipes again.

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!

62 Responses to “Part 3 – 1 Hour + 1 Mess = 5 Slow Cooker Meals”

  1. Noreen September 17, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Thank you – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I can not thank you enough for these recipes! They are easy, fast, inexpenseive and DELICIOUS!!!

    Thanks (again),
    ~Noreen

  2. Janell September 17, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Youre welcome! Thanks for your sweet comments!

  3. gardenpat September 17, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Just got to say thanks for these! A dear friend passed away suddenly in a car accident and I’ve been getting together once a week with her 15 year old son to help him cook for himself and his dad. I used Part 1- Crockpot meals and he was so pleased! I made sure to label the ziploc bag with all the cooking and serving instructions and he loves it! When he & dad get home from school and work, dinner is pretty much ready! Thanks again!

  4. gardenpat September 17, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Used your Part 1 to help a 15 year old young man put up some freezer meals for himself and his dad that he could start as he leaves for school and have ready to eat when they get home from school and work. His mom, a dear friend died in a car crash a couple months ago and I’ve been helping them adjust to the new normal. Thanks for your help in this!

  5. Rae G September 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Thanks so much for all the work you have done in putting together these three lists.

    We have thoroughly enjoyed making/eating many of these recipes.

    I like to do my cooking for the week on either Sat/Sun each weekend, so both my crockpots are working at the same time. Your super easy recipes have certainly worked for us!

    Keep up the good work and keep the recipes coming our way….

    Thanks again Janell! You Rock!

  6. Ashlie September 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    This helps me so much! I’m a student, working full time on 3rd shift. I take one day a week to prepare all types of meals and then when I get home in the morning, I put them in the crock pot and my meal cooks while I sleep. Thank you!

  7. Janell September 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Thats a great idea! I am glad you enjoy them.

  8. Janell September 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Thanks for the comment! I am so glad you like the recipes!

  9. Janell September 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you can help a friend in need.

  10. katie October 2, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    how do you serve the garlic lime chicken? what do you serve it with?

  11. Janell October 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    We usually eat it with rice and for or broccoli.

  12. CJ October 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    One suggestion is to add the date you prepared the meal to the bag. This would be helpful if you were to keep them in the freezer for a few weeks before using.

  13. Janell October 3, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Yes that is an excellent idea – thanks for the tip :)

  14. Tammy October 17, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    These are great ~ all 3 parts!! And, Gardenpat ~ you are a great friend … I know your friend is smiling down on you as you help her family!

  15. Janet October 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I will be trying your recipes soon…they look wonderful! How long can you freeze them for?

  16. Janell October 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Thanks for the comment. I am not sure how long you can freeze them because I have always made them within 2 weeks :) I would say at least a month. I wish I had a better answer for you :)

  17. laura October 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I love the gallon bags you used with the gift tag on them. I stocked up on those bags after Christmas and got them really cheap as the store wanted to get rid of all Christmas items. I wasn’t freezer cooking at the time but stockpiling a bit. And I’m glad I did. I still have two boxes of those bags left and I’m so glad I nabbed them all up when I saw them. Saved me a lot of money in plastic bags. And how great are the tag parts to write instructions. Happy to see someone using them in September too! Thanks for all the great recipes.

  18. Janell October 23, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    I can’t pass up a good deal. And I do love that there is so much room to write stuff.

  19. Michelle Hamilton October 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    You are so wonderful to share such GREAT recipes!!! I have a home daycare and have been looking for meals that I could easily prepare for both my little ones and for my family. As a single parent of a 21 year old college student and a 10 year old with autism, I don’t have time to prepare a meal from scratch. At the same time, I want to give everyone a quality meal.

    Your recipes allow me to start one meal as I head for bed and serve it for lunch as I start the second meal. Two completely different meals, both tasty and fresh.

    YOU ROCK!!!

    Michelle

  20. Janell October 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Aww thanks for the sweet comment. I am glad it helps you. It really has helped our family. Enjoy :)

  21. Tanya November 25, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I have to tell you how much I LOVE that I don’t have to thaw any of these recipes before putting them in the crock pot! We’ve made every one and they have all been a big hit. I really appreciate your ideas for side dishes and recipes for the leftovers. Thank you so much! Hoping for more!

  22. Janell November 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Thanks so much for your comment! I think I am ready to publish the 4th set of recipes. I made an awesome Mexican soup last night in my crock pot and I can’t wait to share it. I will probably get to it after Cyber Monday deals die down a little :)

  23. Marcie Shock December 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Do you think you could do a vegan/vegitarian meal plan for this…? Love this idea! Thank you so much?

  24. Marcie December 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I love this idea! Thank you so much! Can you or do you plan on doing a Vegitiarian menu plan at all! That would be awesome!

  25. Bonnie December 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Can you put the ziploc bags in the crockpot? This is awesome! Hoping to make this for my son’s Christmas presents! A little more healthful for his current diet. Thanks so much!

  26. Nan December 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Have done all of parts 1 & 2plus several of them twice! Have been so happy to have meals to share when friends have come home from hospital or doing radiation, etc. I sometimes get their crock pot to put meal in so there are not dishes for them to return. Also, usually take two bags so they will have a meal for later.

    This week I plan to do Part 3 to have for December! Thanks for the recipes, pictures, and hints!!

  27. Janell December 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks for the comment. Im glad you like the recipes.

  28. Janell December 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Thanks for the comment. Please do not put the ziploc bags in the crock pot. They do make plastic crock pot liners and you can put those inside the ziploc bags but then remove them from the ziploc bag and put that in your crock pot. It does make it easier to clean up!

  29. Janell December 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    I will see what I can find :)

  30. Eileen December 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Thank you so much for doing this:) Part 3 was fantastic!! Seriously, every recipe we loved and will make again especially the pot roast. For years I have been trying to find one that tastes like my mom’s and this was it!!

  31. Janell December 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Thanks so much for your comment. Im always afraid that no one is going to like my recipes – so your comment makes it worth my time :) Im close to being done with set 4. I am stuck at 4 recipes and can’t find the perfect 5th recipe.

  32. Hazel December 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I want to add my thanks for your recipes! I had to leave my son and husband for about a month for a trip so I found this on Pinterest. These recipes have been a life saver. I made almost all of them before I left and every recipe they tried, they loved! So I will be making them again. I can’t wait to try the rest and make more! Thanks so much. These have been great, easy, convenient, and yummy!

  33. Michele December 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Where can I find part 1 of 1? Thank you.

  34. Janell December 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Hi
    Here’s a link to all 3 sets of recipes – http://www.savingyoudinero.com/2012/12/08/is-december-a-busy-month/
    Enjoy :)

  35. Janell December 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment. It makes me feel good that I can help other :) Merry Christmas!

  36. bernice January 7, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I just made the spaghetti casserole tonight. It was a hit, I did omit the celery and less cheese added fresh basil but left every other ingredient you listed in. I have 6 more bags of dinners in freezer to make…thank you :)

  37. Janell January 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    So glad you liked it! This is one of our favorites! We are not big fans of celery – so I cut them really small. Fresh basil sounds like a great addition.

  38. Shelby January 22, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I made my first massive shopping trip and prepped TEN meals (set one and two) yesterday! I felt SO good about getting so much done! The first dinner is tonight. But then before bed I remembered there’s a potluck at work today and so I threw a bunch of leftover stuff from the recipes into the crockpot for kind of an improvised recipe. We’ll see how if goes. I woke up and the house smells amazing, so….
    THANK YOU for doing these lists! I hope you keep it up, I’m a big fan!!

  39. Janell January 24, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Thanks for the comment. I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  40. Katie March 24, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    Im curious if anyone has frozen the meals in the Slow Cooker Liners from Renyolds.. I LOVE them because clean up is so easy!! I think it would be great to put it all together, freeze, then throw the liner & ingredients in the crock. You could freeze in a Gallon bag with instructions on it & reuse the gallon bag when you make that recipe again..

  41. Janell March 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi – I have read that people have used these and they really help with clean up. I haven’t used them – but it sounds like a great idea!

  42. Kathy May 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Carolina Pork Sandwiches sounds like it would be great even in a omolete

  43. Stacey Orendach June 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Oh these all look really great, and what a time saver! Thank you !!

  44. nicole July 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Never put the plastic bag in the crock pot. Always dump out the contents to prepare your meal

    I will not Ask why youhad to add that bit of info in! lmao..

  45. Janell July 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    :)

  46. Katie November 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    This might be a ridiculous question….but do you defrost these before putting in the crock pot or can you just put the whole frozen t hing in there?

  47. Janell November 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    It’s not a ridiculous question :) There is no need to defrost them before you put them in the crock pot. The instructions are based on the food being frozen. If you defrost them you can cook it for about 30-60 minutes less. I hope you enjoy them!

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