Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crockpot Freezer Meals Recipes: Round 1

We have been enjoying our freezer meals for the past week.  All in all I'd say it was a great experience and this is pretty much how we will be doing dinner from here on out.  I'll be compiling recipes and shopping lists for Round 2 this week.  Payday is Feb 8th.  Since I refused to shop with kiddos when doing a whole months (yes, this time a whole month of meals!  Woohoo!)  worth of grocery shopping I'll either have to drop kids of at my sister's that day or wait until the following Monday when Hubs will have a day off.

For now I've had a lot of requests on the recipes I've used so far.  I have one VERY picky eater.  Every night he has something bad to say about the meal or, as he's learned from his father, a slight suggestion on how to improve upon the meal (HE'S ONLY 7!  Is this what I have to look forward to for the next 11 years?).  So for those of you with their own child suffering from picky-eater-pain-in-the-buttitis, I will post ratings along with each recipe.  0-5 stars.  Each star represents one member of my family.  Hopefully that will help you.  I have a bad habit of experimenting on my family.  Sometimes I hit a home run, but most of the time I'm a foul ball hitter.

*Reheating is very simple.  Remove a bag a day or two ahead of time and put in the fridge to defrost. When you're ready to cook just empty the bag into the crockpot. If you brown the meat before freezing, and defrost fully, most of the meals will be done within 4 hours on low.

1.  Apple Butter Pork Chops    
5 STARS (Everyone loved this meal!)

4-5 Pork Chops
1/2 t pepper
1 t olive oil
2/3 cup Apple Butter (can subsitute with applesauce, I used home bottled apple butter.)
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 t chili powder

Brown pork chops (not necessary, but I recommend), cool and place in freezer bag.  In a bowl combine all other ingredients, pour over chops in bag, flatten and freeze.

2.  Garlic Pesto Chicken     

2 boneless chicken breasts, chopped and browned
1/2 bottle Lawry's Herb & Garlic Marinade
2 large spoonfuls of Pesto
8 oz Penne Pasta (cooked)
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 spoonfuls of pesto
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup half & half

Heat olive oil & garlic.  Add 2 spoonfuls of pesto.  Add broth and simmer until 1/2 is cooked down.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer 5 min.  Toss in pasta and chicken.  Allow to cool before putting in freezer bag.  Lay flat and freeze.

3.  Chicken Cacciatore     
1 1/2 STARS (I loved this, and Baby Bear ate a bit, but no one else liked it at all.)

4-5 chicken breasts (browned)

28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper sliced into strips
1/2 large onion sliced
1 t oregano
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup basil or parsley 
Combine, lay flat, and freeze. 

4.  Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks     
4 STARS (Mr. M wasn't too thrilled with this one)

6-8 drumsticks

3 T coconut oil (didn't have any, used sesame)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 T soysauce
1/2-1 T honey

Coat drumsticks in oil.  Mix ingredients and freeze.

5.  Orange Chicken     


1 lb chicken breasts (bite sized and browned in 3 T coconut oil...again I uses sesame)
juice of 2 oranges
zest from 1 orange
1 t fresh ginger
3 T soy sauce
1 t chili garlic sauce (I couldn't find any, so I sprinkled a little garlic and chili powder)
3 green onions, chopped

Combine all but chicken and onions in sauce pan over medium heat until thick.  Cool, and combine with chicken in freezer bag.  Lay flat and freeze.

6.  Honey Garlic Chicken    

1 1/2 - 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic clove
1 t basil 
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

Combine and freeze.  

7.  Beef Tips w/ Gravy     
5 STARS (Only complaint suggestion came from Mr. M "This tastes good, but you need to figure out how to make it easier to chew."  In my defense I didn't crock this like I should have so the stew meat didn't tenderize enough.  Don't make the same mistake I did.)

1 1/2 lb beef stew meat, browned
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth

Combine and freeze.

8.  Maple & Mustard Pork Roast      
3 STARS (I cooked this too long and ran out of juices to keep it moist.  Otherwise I think it would have been liked by more of us.)

2 1/2 lb pork roast
1 cup maple syrup
4 T dijon mustard
2 1/2 t cider vinegar
2 1/2 T soy sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Combine and freeze.    

9.  Corn & Potato Chowder     
0 STARS (This was disappointing.  Tasted more like a creamed corn stew and we're not big creamed corn fans.  May try it again with double the bacon...you can't even taste it.)

1/2 lb crispy bacon   
2 1/2 lb potatoes unpeeled and diced
8 cups corn
1 med onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
6-8 garlic cloves
1/2 t season salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups half & half or heavy cream
salt & pepper

Combine all but half & half and freeze.  (I had to use 2 bags) When serving remove 1/2 and blend in blender. Add half & half/heavy cream and return to crockpot to reheat and serve. 

10.  Sausage & Tortellini Soup    
0 STARS  (Worst thing I've ever eaten, but here it is for you anyway.)

3 cups sausage
3 cups totellini
4 cups water
1 cup evaporated milk
6 chicken boullion cubes

1 T oregano
1 T parsley
1 T chives
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

Combine all but tortellini & cheese.  Freeze.  Cook tortellini and add during cooking.  Top with cheese.

11.  Salisbury Steak    
 5 STARS (plus 1 more for no "suggestions" necessary.  EVERYONE loved this one!)

2 lbs hamburger
1 pkg onion soup mix
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk

Combine and shape into patties.  Coat in 1/4 cup flour and brown in 2 T veg oil.  Cool and place in freezer bag.

2 small cans cream of chicken soup
1 pkg au jus mix (dry)
3/4 cup water

Mix and pour over patties in freezer bag.  Lay flat and freeze.


  1. Do you have the reheating directions? Some of these sound really good. I like your star method.


  2. Oh, thank you for reminding me! I meant to go back to the top to post those instructions! Remove a bag a day or two ahead of time and put in the fridge to defrost. When you're ready to cook just empty the bag into the crockpot. If you brown the meat before freezing, and defrost fully, most of the meals will be done within 4 hours on low.

  3. Sounds so good, I wish my picky eater would at least try the food I make.