How to make slow cooker freezer meals that are easy and delicious and make meal prep a breeze! Get tips for how to meal prep with slow cookers and 7 delicious slow cooker freezer meal recipes to get you started.
Freezer meals and me are big buds. Like BFFs, really.
For the longest time, I never really froze any of my meals ahead of time, preferring to just make it when I needed it.
Then life got crazy and I somehow wound up with 4 little humans to take care of and a business to run.
Enter the slow cooker freezer meal.
Freezer meals are a super great way to meal prep, since they’re ready for you to basically grab and dump into a slow cooker, cover, and then walk away. When it’s time to enjoy your food, you have essentially a freshly cooked meal that you’d never know was frozen solid just a few hours before. Genius!
Tips For How To Make Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
While the basic concept of a slow cooker freezer meal is prep and freeze, there are some helpful tips for how to make slow cooker freezer packs so you get the tastiest meal possible. Here are my tips:
To pack your freezer meals, only add the ingredients that require long amounts of cooking, like dried beans, vegetables, and portions. Leave the softer foods, like cooked beans, mushrooms, pasta, and zucchini for adding when you’re almost ready to eat.
For freezer meals, I use a 1 gallon freezer ziplock bag which will hold the entire portion, but you can use any freezer-safe container.
If you have the time, you can add more flavor to the meat by browning it ahead of time, but it’s not necessary.
Make sure to label the freezer bag so you know exactly what meal you’ve prepared and I like to add the amount of time needed to cook, too.
You can use either fresh or frozen produce and vegetables to make your freezer meals.
You can either add the freezer pack directly to the slow cooker when frozen or thaw in the fridge the night before.
Freezer meals last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
For these slow cooker meals, you can just take the contents of the packs and add them into a slow cooker. Turn the heat to low, and set your timer.
If you’re concerned about freezing raw meat with produce, don’t worry – it will all get cooked to a safe temperature in the slow cooker.
- Look for a large crock pot to make sure your entire frozen meal will fit into the bowl.
Take just a little prep time now for 7 different easy, healthy meals later. Freezer meals are cooking for the first time in the slow cooker so they don’t taste like leftovers at all. Trust me, you’re gonna love this!
Why You Should Freeze Meals
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” is the basic tenant behind meal prep. To be successful and make your life a whole heck of a lot easier, it is helpful to take the time you do have and be effective with it. When it comes to meal planning, that means it’s great to spend some time ahead of time so you have food later.
Ever gone to the fridge, seen nothing interesting to eat, and then ordered pizza or ate something unhealthy? Me, too. BUT I find that, if I have a plan and I have food ready to go so not much work has to be done, then I am way more successful at eating healthy and staying on track with my goals. Freezer meals make it extremely easy to just grab from the freezer and go.
How To Reheat Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
There are two main ways for how to reheat slow cooker freezer meals: frozen and thawed. Personally, I find it easiest to remove from the freezer and then place directly into the slow cooker. However, you could also allow the freezer meal to thaw in the fridge the night before you cook it.
If you choose to plop the freezer meal into the crock pot when still frozen, you will need to account for that with a little additional cook time. As a general rule, add 1 1/2 hours to the cook time if the freezer pack is frozen.
7 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
Below, I’ve shared 7 delicious, easy, and simple slow cooker freezer meal recipes to make your evenings less stressful. These recipes are dependable, family-approved, hard to mess-up, and come out delicious every time. Taking just minutes ahead of time to meal prep these freezer meals will save you tons of time and stress in the future. When you come home from work and are hungry, these recipes will be reliable, yummy, and on the table in no time.
1. Slow Cooker Minestrone – This easy slow cooker minestrone is vegetarian and packed full of vegetables.
This easy slow cooker minestrone freezer meal is vegetarian and packed full of protein and fiber.
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/3 lb green beans, cut into thirds
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup whole wheat or quinoa noodles, uncooked (optional)
- 1 med. zucchini, sliced (optional)
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained
- 1 15-oz can cannelloni beans, drained
Add all ingredients except for noodles, zucchini, and beans to a slow cooker and cover.
Set slow cooker to Low or 4-6 hours, or until all the vegetables are cooked and tender.
When the minestrone is about 20 minutes away from being ready to eat, you can add in the cooked kidney beans and cannelloni beans, sliced zucchini, plus any un-cooked pasta you’d like to add.
2. Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken – This easy Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken is quick to prep, better than takeout, and way healthier for you, too! Perfect for easy weeknight dinner and kid approved! [GET THE RECIPE.]
3. Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup –This delicious and healthy slow cooker split pea soup requires just 5 minutes of prep time and contains 21 grams of fiber and 28 grams of protein in just one bowl! [GET THE RECIPE.]
4. Slow Cooker Meatloaf with Green Beans and Potatoes – Meatloaf has never been easier. This slow cooker meatloaf is easy to prep and tastes great with the side of potatoes and green beans.
- 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. dried mustard
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 lbs. baby potatoes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 lb. green beans
Combine together all the ingredients for the meatloaf in a large mixing bowl. Then, form into a block.
Place this block into the 1 gallon freezer safe plastic bag.
- Next, toss the potatoes with olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper and place them next to the meatloaf block, followed by fresh green beans.
Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly, then place in the freezer.
When the meatloaf is fully cooked, you can combine the ingredients for the ketchup sauce and then top the sauce evenly over the top before serving.
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup – Yes, you can make chicken tortilla soup in a crock pot! Yes, you can make slow cooker chicken tortilla soup healthy! Yes, it’s amazingly easy, delicious AND it freezes well, too! [GET THE RECIPE.]
6. Slow Cooker Cauliflower Chicken Curry – How to make slow cooker chicken cauliflower curry that is easy, healthy, and delicious! Perfect for a weeknight dinner and freezes well, too! This is a paleo, gluten-free, and clean eating recipe. [GET THE RECIPE.]
7. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan – Quite possibly the easiest chicken parmesan ever. This slow cooker chicken parmesan has so much flavor.
Quite possibly the easiest slow cooker chicken parmesan ever. This slow cooker chicken parmesan has so much flavor.
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 8 0z. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 2 tbsp. parmesan, grated
Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise.
Place the chicken, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic, sea salt, pepper, basil, and oregano into a 1 gallon freezer bag and then press the air out of the bag and seal tightly, then place in the freezer.
Cook on high in the slow cooker, frozen, for 4-5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.
- When the chicken is cooked through, top it with a few slices of fresh mozzarella and grated parmesan and serve over some spiralized zucchini noodles for a healthy satisfying meal.
7 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals | How to Meal Prep
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