Part 5 – 1 Hour + 1 Mess = 5 Crock Pot Dinners

by Janell on April 17, 2013

chickenranchtacos

Here’s the next set of Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes. In case you missed it check out Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 6 and Part 7  of my 1 Hour + 1 Mess = Crock Pot recipes. There are now 35 recipes!

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This set of recipes includes: Crock Pot Ribs, Simple Beef Stew, Comfort Chicken, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and Crock Pot Chicken RanchTacos.

What I love about these meals is that so many of the ingredients are items I already have in my pantry.

Shopping List
Printable Shopping List and Recipes

Meat

  • About 2 lbs of ribs
  • 2 lbs cubed stew meat
  • 3 1/2  lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder roast

Produce

  • 4-6 large potatoes
  • 2 Bags of baby carrots
  • 2 Large white onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes

Grocery

  • brown sugar
  • garlic powder
  • ¾ cup Coke (I saved a 2 liter with flat soda to use)
  • honey
  • BBQ sauce
  • Better Than Bouillon (Like beef bouillon but it has a richer flavor.)
  • Chicken bouillon
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • apple cider vinegar
  • chicken broth (or you could just make your own with chicken bouillon)
  • chili powder
  • yellow mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 1 Packet taco seasoning
  • 1 Packet Ranch Dressing powder
  • Ranch dressing
  • taco shells (soft or hard)
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • salt
  • pepper

 

First take 5 large freezer bags. Grab a Sharpie and label each bag. You should also write the instructions on the bag.

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 crock pot when it’s frozen. Take them out in the morning and cook according to the instructions.

Click here for the printable version of the recipes.

Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos (Pictured Above)

  • 1 -1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Packet taco seasoning
  • 1 Packet Ranch Dressing powder
  • 1/4 cup Ranch dressing (do not add to freezer bag)

Write on the bag:

Dump in the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When the meat is cooked, shred and add back to the crock pot with 1/4 cup ranch dressing until heated.

Instructions:

Dump all the ingredients except for the Ranch dressing into the freezer bag. On the day you serve the meal you will need the additional items:

  • taco shells (soft or hard)
  • lettuce
  • cheese
  • tomatoes
  • salsa
  • sour cream


ribs

Crock Pot Ribs

  • About 2 lbs of ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup Coke (I saved a 2 liter with flat soda to use)
  • 1 Tablespoons honey
  • Extra BBQ sauce, optional

Write on the bag:

Cook on high for 4-5 hours or  on low 8-9 hours. Cooking time varies according to the size of your crock pot.

Instructions

Add all the ingredients to the freezer bag.

After you have prepared them, you may want to drizzle about a ½ cup of BBQ sauce about 15 minutes before serving. Although my husband said they were perfect without the extra sauce. I did not use the juice that was inside the crock pot because it had a lot of grease. There was plenty of flavor on the ribs.


Simple Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds cubed stew meat
  • 1/2  white onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon (Like beef bouillon but it has a richer flavor.)
  • Bag of baby carrots*
  • 2-3 large potatoes, cut into large chunks*
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Write on the bag:

Add Potatoes and carrots to the crock pot.  Cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

Instructions:

Add the beef, onion, garlic, water, and bouillon to a plastic freezer bag. *Don’t add the potatoes nor carrots to the freezer bag.

confortchicken
Comfort Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2  onion, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon (or 1 cube)
  • Bag of baby carrots*
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup*
  • 2-3 potatoes, chopped*

*Do not add these items to the freezer bag.

Write on the bag:

Add 1 bag of baby carrots, 2-3 chopped potatoes, and cream of mushroom soup. Cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Also include a note to remove chicken and veggies from broth. In a saucepan pour the chicken juices. Mix 2 heaping tablespoons of flour and about 1/4 cup of water. Add to the chicken juices to make a gravy. Let it boil a little to thicken. (The gravy in the slow cooker is good, so you don’t need to thicken it up when you prepare it.)

Instructions:

In a plastic freezer bag add chicken, onion, water, and chicken bouillon. (You will need to add the additional items the day you prepare the meal.) You can peel and cut the potatoes the night before to make prep time faster the next morning.

pulledpork


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 hamburger buns (When you prepare the meal)

Write on the bag

Dump all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When the meat is done, shred the meat with 2 forks and add back to the crock pot for a few minutes to absorb the juices.

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients (except for the buns) in a freezer bag.

 

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.
  • The fuller the crock pot, the longer it will take to cook your food.
  • 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.
  • Never put the plastic bag in the crock pot. 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 crock pot liners and then into the freezer bag.

Make sure to Pin this on Pinterest. 

You can also check out my Batch Cook Day!

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Mandee April 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I love that it only takes an hour and there is only one mess! I feel overwhelmed lately trying to come up with meals that don’t take a ton of time now that I’m back to work. Thanks!

Coralie April 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm

What a great idea! I really need to do this. Thanks for the great recipes and ideas.

Valerie May 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

Hi is it possible to use a sirloin tip roast instead of the pork for the sandwiches? I’m not very knowledgeable with meats but I’d like to use what we have in the freezer

Janell May 16, 2013 at 9:21 am

Hi – Sure you could probably use the beef. Let me know how it turns out!

Kelly Smith June 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Hi,
Thank you for posting the recipes. They look delicious and I can’t wait to try them. I wanted to let you know that for some reason, page one is the only one that printed of the recipes.(part 5)

Janell June 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Thanks – I will check it out!

Tasha July 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hi there! So excited to try this, I am wondering about the crock pot chicken ranch tacos. The recipe does not call for any water, etc. I am assuming the the juices from the chicken will help in that area, right? Just don’t want to mess up before I even begin. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

Janell July 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Nope you don’t need any water – it will cook in the juice of the chicken 🙂 Enjoy!

Beth September 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

This has seriously changed my life. lol
I made Part 5 today. In. An. Hour.
Dinner for the week! In. An. Hour.
You are the greatest.

Janell September 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

Thanks so much! I am so glad it was so easy for you! I can’t believe it took me this long to realize how easy this is 🙂

Amy September 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Thank you so much for these recipes. My daughter just started first grade, so this is the first year she is at school all day. This is a big adjustment (mostly for me!) I also have 2 little ones at home with me all day. These recipes are so great and now I don’t have to spend an hour or more, of the limited time I now have with my oldest daughter, preparing dinner. Thank you!
I have a question about the gravy for the comfort chicken. I understand that I add the flour, water, and chicken juices. The directions then say to let it boil a little while to thicken. The next line says, “(The gravy in the slow cooker is good, so you don’t need to thicken it up when you prepare it.)” Does this mean that if I add the flour, water, and chicken juices to the crock pot, I DON’T need to boil it first? Sorry, that part just tripped me up a bit. Maybe I’m just reading it wrong. I’d really love to make this, so thank you in advance for any feedback!

Janell September 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Thanks so much for your sweet comment. They have helped me so much! It is worded weird but you can either use the juices that are in the crock pot or if you prefer a thicker gravy you can put it in a sauce pan to thicken it up. I would just test the gravy that is already in the crock pot to see if you like it that way.

Amy September 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Oh, I see. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! 🙂

Amy September 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi–me again! Do you know if it’s ok to use Ranch Dip mix instead of Ranch Dressing mix for the chicken ranch tacos. I just got home from the grocery store and realized I picked up the wrong packet.

Amy September 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

Oops..I meant the Ranch Pork Chops, not the ranch tacos. They both call for the dressing mix, but I was preparing the pork chops this time. Sorry for all of the questions…I’m just so excited to get my freezer filled with delicious meals! Thanks again! 🙂

Janell September 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

I have never tried it with Ranch dressing – but if you don’t plan on making it right away, put a note on the bag to add the powder. Or just try the dressing, but I wouldn’t freeze it. I would just add it the morning you make it. Let me know how it goes 🙂 THere are never too many questions!

Amy September 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thank you—I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I’ll just freeze the pork chops and buy the dressing mix before I’m going to make it. I guess it was so simple it escaped me. 😉

Anya October 22, 2013 at 5:25 am

Hi–Some of these have a link to print in the comments, but some don’t. Could you put links for the ones without? Right now I think it is Part 2 & 5…I’m about to look at 3 & 4…I did print 1 & 5. :)) Thank you and I am excited to try them!!

Anya October 22, 2013 at 5:29 am

Ohhh never mind…I found it in the text…had to look a little closer! Sorry!

Janell October 22, 2013 at 8:03 am

Glad you found it 🙂 ENjoy1

Ann February 11, 2014 at 4:01 am

Made the ranch chicken tacos last night. So good! My 2 and 4 year old loved it. I microwaved the tortillas for a few seconds on top of a bowl to make little cups for them to eat with the chicken and toppings inside. My husband who doesn’t prefer to eat Mexican-type meals even enjoyed dinner. The beef stew was also good and easy to throw together. I have 3 more meals waiting for me in the freezer to pull out and cook. Both of these were so good I can’t wait to try the other meals. From a busy woman who’s husband and children really like to have a meal plan, thank you for the thought and time you put into creating this post. The effort to shop, prep, and prepare these meals was minimal. I have a 3rd child due soon, these meals will be great to have in the freezer while we are settling in.

Janell February 11, 2014 at 7:45 am

Congrats on the baby! I am so glad you have been enjoying the meals. They have really helped me save so much time and money. Plus less stress at dinner time. I should have 5 more recipes coming out soon.

beth August 14, 2014 at 6:23 pm

do you put any moisture in with the Crock Pot Chicken Ranch Tacos ? I tried it and it was burnt and dry. I added 2 cups of water.

Janell August 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm

No I have only added the ingredients that I listed. If you have a large crock pot and it is not very full it will cook very fast – so maybe that is why it is drying out? So sorry about that.

Sarah May 12, 2015 at 11:51 am

I can’t remember if I left a review before, but I can not stop raving about your site and recipes! I have told so many people about this!
We have made the recipes from weeks 1, 2, and 3 and have LOVED all of them. This has been a lifesaver for our busy schedule because we can prep everything on the weekend and have dinner in a cinch all week long. Also, it’s just my husband and I so we also have plenty to take for lunches too to help save more $$$. Thank you so much for putting these together!

Janell May 12, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Thanks so much for your comment Sarah. I appreciate you telling your friends about the recipes. We love them because they are simple recipes with ingredients that most people like. They have helped save me so much time and money in the kitchen! Hopefully I will have a new set of recipes soon!

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