Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Crockpot Freezer Meals

Some time ago, I came across a website touting the idea of crockpot freezer meals. I was intrigued by the concept for several reasons, but mostly for the thought it planted that it would be a great way to help out a new Mom.

I don't know about other ladies, but when I had Addison, I was too busy trying to learn how to be a good Mom to even attempt to remember how to be a good wife. Thankfully, folks from our church brought by meals, and although I (and especially Russ) was incredibly grateful, I was recovering from a C-section and sleep deprivation, and it was quite some time before I was up for making meals again.

Also, most of the meals provided were brought ready-to-go during the first week, and once they were gone, the real work started and I was on my own again. We made due after that, but I started thinking about better ways to be a bigger blessing to new Moms that would last longer and be more effective.

Enter the crockpot freezer meals. These meals can be used whenever most needed by the new parents, they last for months, and they are fool-proof, which means Dad can make dinner and even clean up by himself without catching the house on fire or further stressing out the new Mama.

Although the following meals are tailored for new Moms (i.e. nothing spicy or too many onions),  there are hundreds of recipes online to choose from. The list below will make 14 meals plus several cookie rolls, and each recipe is for 4-6 servings, depending on the recipe. You can pick and choose which recipes you want to try, or go all out and really bless someone with 2 whole weeks of meals, plus some great leftovers, depending on the size of their family.

Obviously, this idea isn't just for new parents. You could do it for someone recovering from an illness or surgery, or even just for your own family for days when you don't have time to prepare a meal. I can make all 14 meals plus the cookies in about 4 hours, but it will vary for everyone. Besides cooking the ground beef, it mostly involves chopping, opening cans, and tossing raw meat in a bag. Very simple stuff.

Here is the list I print and send with each batch of meals. I laminate it so it can stay nice and clean for the duration of however long it takes to consume the meals. I deliver the meals frozen with this list and any of the dry ingredients (rice, bow tie pasta, egg noodles, etc.) you want to include. I also include a few boxes of crockpot liners for easy cleanup.

Freezer Meals
Directions: Thaw meal in the fridge the night before.
Add liner. Cook in the crock pot on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Serving Suggestions:
Chicken & Gravy
Serve over rice
Apple Sauce BBQ Chicken
Serve with veggies/salad
Pepper Steak
Serve over rice
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
Serve with tortillas and taco garnishes
Beef Stew
Serve with bread
Beef Stroganoff
Serve over egg noodles
Teriyaki Chicken
Serve over rice
Marinara Chicken & Vegetables
Serve over bowtie pasta
BBQ Pork Ribs
Serve with veggies/salad
Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches
Serve on buns with Provolone cheese and chips
Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
Serve with salad
Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs
Serve with veggies/salad
Cheesy Cowboy Casserole
Melt cheddar cheese over each serving; serve with salad
Orange Chicken
Serve over rice
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slice and bake @350 for 8-10 minutes

Here are the links to each of the meals above. I researched each of these off of different websites, and I do not take credit for any of the recipes linked below.

Recipe Links: 

  • The Beef Stew is my recipe- I just do stew meat, potato cubes, carrots, green beans, and V-8/spicy V-8.
  •  Make sure you get good quality freezer bags so they don’t leak while they are initially freezing- putting them flat on a cookie sheet or large baking dish will prevent messes in your freezer if anything does leak.
  •  I use a large glass bowl and put the freezer bag in it. The bowl will hold the bag while you fill it with ingredients. Seal the bag with no air and you can just mix it in the bag- saves on clean up!

Let me know if you make any of these and how it goes, or if you have your own crockpot freezer recipes you want to share. Enjoy!