20 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in 4 Hours
We are excited to share with you our 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in 4 Hours meal plan. This plan will allow you to have dinner planned for almost three weeks or more depending on your family size and if they like to eat leftovers. I love to save time in the kitchen so I can enjoy more moments with my boys. I also like to be prepared and know what I am serving for dinner, so I am not spending money dining out or running to the store.
This was my fifth time prepping freezer meals for my family. I will say that the first time took a long time, but I am now getting a rhythm down and get through it quickly. If you think 4 hours is a lot of time you have to consider that you are going to have 20 meals ready at the end of 4 hours! If you are new to preparing freezer meals or don’t have the 4 hours to invest you may want to start with this plan —>How to make 8 Freezer Meals in 2 Hours. We love it too!
First of all, invest in a good quality slow cooker. Our favorite is this programmable cook and carry 6qt oval slow cooker. To start you will want to go through your kitchen and pantry and make a list of what ingredients you will need to get at the store and what you already have on hand. I had all of the spices in my stockpile.
I spent the majority of money on buying freezer bags, fresh produce and fresh meat/poultry, which I only spent $157.00 at my local Kroger store. When you are ready to prepare the meals, you will want to set everything out on the counter that you will need.
Next, you will want to label all your ziploc bags with cooking times and if you need to add anything to the recipe when you place it in or out of the slow cooker. The next step was to cook any meat that needed to be cooked for a recipe (ground beef for several meals) or you can do like I did, and I cooked the beef the night before and covered and placed in the fridge overnight. I did this first so that the meat could cool before putting in the bag.
Next it is time to chop, slice and dice the veggies and fruit. I put them in bowls to keep together to make it easier when I needed to measure them out into bags.
At this point I started with my meals that contained whole chicken breasts that did not need to be cubed. I filled the bags with the chicken and added ingredients. Placed the bags in the freezer.
Now I started on my meals that needed cubed chicken. After they were filled, they went in the freezer. Next, I worked on my beef meals. After completing these I finished with my veggie freezer meals. Once all the meals were in the freezer, I put dishes in the dishwasher and hand washed the rest. I put all the spices away and took a big deep breath, I was super excited to know that my family had meals for the next three weeks and I would not have to stress about it.
One of the best parts is when I went to the store, I spent less than $50 dollars on what I needed, however I did not buy most spices, broths or canned vegetables and fruits because it was in my stockpile. You may also want to consider investing in a food saver if you decide to freezer cook on a long-term basis. It extends the life of your frozen food by up to two years according to the manufacturer.
Check out this slow cooker conversion chart as it helps to figure out if you are adjusting the time.
20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours
Slow Cooker Maple Bacon Pork Loin Recipe – Gluten Free
Crockpot Honey Mustard Pork Chops and Potatoes
Crockpot Chinese Beef and Broccoli – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Lasagna
Crockpot Ginger Peach Chicken Recipe – Gluten Free
Crockpot Beef Hash Freezer Meal Recipe
Slow Cooker Garlic Lemon Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Mexican Chili with Cornbread Topping
Pot Roast Freezer Meal Recipe – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken Recipe – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apples and Sweet Potatoes – Gluten Free
Crockpot Chicken Paprika Recipe – Gluten Free
Crockpot Cheesy Garlic Chicken
Slow Cooker Pepper Steak – Gluten Free
Crockpot Meatballs and Tomato Sauce Recipe
Slow Cooker Turkey Stuffed Peppers – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pork Chops Recipe – Gluten Free
Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Stew – Vegetarian
Crockpot Black Bean Fajitas Recipe – Vegetarian & Gluten Free
Click here for the —>20 Freezer Meal Shopping List
Additional Meal Plans:
8 Crockpot Freezer Meals in 2 hours plan
20 Healthy Freezer Meals For Your Slow Cooker in 3 Hours Plan
10 Crockpot Freezer Meals in 2 Hours Plan
20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours Plan (not all slow cooker meals).
15 Back to School Crockpot Freezer Meals in 2 Hours
New to Freezer Cooking? We have a Freezer Cooking 101 Series that you may enjoy!
Most Popular Posts:
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2 Ingredient Crockpot Pork Chops
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How to Season your Beef for Spaghetti
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Shelley is a boy mom, marine wife, and is blessed with an amazing family. She loves sharing recipes, travel reviews and tips that focus on helping busy families make memories.
I just wanted to say I really enjoy your website and getting your emails. Thank you for everything you share. I really appreciate you two and find your website very helpful.
No shopping list this time?
Not yet but thinking of adding it!
Would LOVE to have the shopping list for this!
I would really love a shopping list! It would be so so so so helpful! 🙂
The post has been updated with the shopping list now.
Melissa. Are you familiar with what ingredients are gluten free? I’d love to see you indicate any recipe titles that are /could easily be made gluten free. Many people need this. You are awesome! Thank you!
Great idea! Updated for you with each that is gluten free (naturally and with slight modifications). Thanks!
Where are the freezer bag labels? Thanks for this!
Are u putting the shopping list online?
It is already available.
Oh my I really need this please post the shopping list! Thanks for sharing this with us!
Hello. I know this is an older post but I just printed the shopping list out along with the 20 recipes. I noticed most of your recipes were set to 4-6 people. I cook for 8-9. Is the shopping list set for a 4 person recipe? Should I double the ingredient list?
Yes, for sure! Our meals are for 4/5 depending on age and appetite.
I would love 20 slow cooker vegetarian meals, with shopping list please! 🙂
Me too! So hard to find vegetarian/vegan freezable slow cooker meals. For my family of 5, convenience is key.
Please post the shopping list! That’s where I need the most help, what to get and how much!
This is an awesome idea
We have a vegetarian at home. Any vegetarian meal recipes?
When it says thaw overnight should it be done longer? When I do this it barely ever makes a difference and the food is still pretty frozen. Is that how it should be or am I better off thawing for 24 hrs or so.
You can thaw for 24+ hours or even run it under a little bit of warm water if not all the way thawed in the morning. You can also cook frozen or semi frozen with no concerns.
Hi. Waiting on the shopping list! Thanks!
It was updated this morning
I can’t get that page to work with the shopping list…..I’ve clicked on it in several places and it tells me it can’t be displayed.
Oh! My! Goodness! I think you are an angel from heaven. I just finished making my 20 Crock-Pot meals in four hours with my 11 yr old son. We shopped and made them all in 4.5 hours. The shopping list was an added bonus. My family thanks you!!!
AWESOME! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
How many people does each meal feed?
They serve a family of 4/5 depending on how much your family eats.
How many servings are your meals? I have a family of nine.
These meals serve a family of 5. I would suggest doubling them all depending on the ages of your children and how much they eat.
Would I have to cook all of the meat or just certain ones?
You don’t HAVE to pre-cook any meat because it will fully cook in your slow cooker 🙂
I love the variety and can’t wait to try! Do you think you can switch out the cottage cheese for ricotta in the lasagna?
Yes, for sure!
Is the ground beef the only meat you precook?
Yes, but you don’t even have to pre-cook it if you don’t want too.
I love to cook with my crock pot. I have a very busy family and this will help so much. Can’t wait to start.
Love my crockpot. Thank you for sharing !!! Never premade and froze before . Started with just 5 yesterday.
Where do I find Roast Chicken Master Mix? Is it a dry spice package? And it is not included in your shopping list…
Which recipe are you referring to?
Your meals say to cook form 6-8 hours. I work 10 hour days and with commuting, I’m gone for about 11.5 hours. Would these meals still be viable for that amount of time?
Do you have a slow cooker that clicks over to warm once the timer ends? I would suggest that plus I would place into the slow cooker frozen or semi frozen versus thawed to help with the timing.
Hi, I’m curious as to how much cubic space these would use?
Each gallon size bag is approximately 9.5″ x 9.5″ x 1.5″ = 135.37″ x 20 meals = 2,707.5″ – I have all 20 stored in my side by side freezer if that helps.
How many does the 20 meals feed? I have a family of 5 and sometimes 7.
This plan was made for a family of 5 however I would suggest depending on what you will serve with you might need to considering doubling depending on the ages/appetites.
Is there a certain process to follow to do all these in order or quickly? I see the recipes above but just wondering if there’s a way to do multiple at once or in an organized fashion.
We literally just go down the list and make them 1 at a time. You could do all of your chicken recipes, pork and then beef.
Is there a print all recipes click here? I am going back to work and I am a crock pot queen so this will help drastically during supper time.
No there is not a document with all the recipes. Just click through to each recipe to print. Thanks and enjoy!
Have you considered making a list this way? I think I’d prefer to write on all the bags before starting to handle the raw meat, and would like to just add to the bag what is written on it.. It would save printing/paper as well to just scroll down while writing. Prevents handing a laptop/tablet/cell phone with all that food, too! 😉
Thank you in advance!
Is raw chicken okay to add into the bags with the veggies and other ingredients or should it be frozen chicken?
Yes it it is totally fine. They will cook thoroughly in the slow cooker before eating.
Hi! What size crock pot do you use? I’m buying one for my sister as a housewarming gift and was thinking about getting a 3 qt because it’s just her and her daughter. But she posted this article on facebook, so I know she would like to make these meals. Thanks!
We use a 6qt. This is our favorite – https://www.amazon.com/Crock-Pot-SCCPVL610-S-Programmable-Carry-Cooker/dp/B004P2NG0K/?tag=stockmoms-20
I would suggest a programmable that shifts to warm setting automatically once the cook time is complete. A 4qt minimum even for a family of 2 but most of our meals feed a family of 4/6 which would be great for leftovers for her.
My problem is we just eat the old fashion stuff. We do not eat anything with cheese and I myself do not like many meats. And most of the recipes that I see is stuff we don’t eat any ideas?
Try this – all of these recipes are dairy free and simple clean eating recipes – https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2016/07/20-healthy-freezer-meals-for-your-slow-cooker-in-3-hours/
How many people does each meal feed?
It serves 4/5 depending on your families appetite with no leftovers.
Yummy plans, thanks! A freezer tip for you…I cut cardboard pieces the size of my gallon bags (and quart size too if I use those) and stack them in between my bags when I first freeze the meals. That way the meals freeze flat, so I can take one out of the stack without upsetting the whole thing (or having to use them in order). After they freeze hard you can pull the cardboards out and tuck them in the cupboard for next month.
Great tip! I will be sure to try that myself!
Can you just put a shelf sized one and stack them on top of each other?
Great idea! It took me more than 4 hours to prepare…but I adapted 18 of the 20 recipes to fit our Paleo lifestyle…but kept the cheese in some of the meals. The two meals we have made this far have been amazing! Thank you!!
Awesome! We also have this one and all the recipes are Paleo and Whole30 Compliant. – https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2016/07/20-healthy-freezer-meals-for-your-slow-cooker-in-3-hours/
Thank you for 2 things #1 taking the time to document and share and #2 for allowing others to ask for you to do so… I will be giving birth in a few days with baby #3 and haven’t had much time to focus on the fact that baby will be here soon and what are we going to eat so this is EXTREMELY helpfull and then the fact that i don’t have to go thru every recipe to get a shopping list together!! You are one awesome chick!!! Thanks a TONNNNNNN!!
Has anyone tried just mixing all ingredients in bag and just dumping it in the crockpot veggies, rice or potatoes and all? Curious to know if it would still work
Not many vegetarian recipes:( or seafood. Is this because these stem cook quickly? I only eat seafood. No meat.
We are working on a vegetarian freezer meal plan right now! Coming soon. As for seafood we do have a few but yes the seafood gets rubbery if you are not careful. https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2016/02/crockpot-shrimp-fajitas/
Sorry I’m new to this. Do you recommend printing all 20 recipes then so I know what goes where or just open one at a time and make them open 2nd and make?
I guess I assumed it would be a huge assembly of all 20 at once?
I’d prefer not to have to print them but I’m not sure if it works to just do one at a time? Like if one calls for half and onion but so does another shouldn’t I just cut the whole onion to begin with?
Yes, a huge assembly all at once. You can do either way you want. I personally just have my laptop on the counter when I cook or use my phone and just pull them up. I cut my ingredients as I go 🙂
On average, how many does each of these meals feed? I have 4 adults and a 5 year old in my home. Wondering if I should prepare more than the recipes call for?
Stephanie has a family of 5 so I think you should be safe without doubling.
I appreciate all of the time you have spent organizing these; however, I am having a very difficult time printing all of the recipes. It is very inconvenient to print off the recipes one at a time. It would be wonderful for those of us who intend to prepare them all at once to have a document of all the recipes. I took me nearly an hour to print because of the ads and scrolling to the bottom of the page…no fun! I want to use more of your multiple meal prep plans, but probably would use another site that does have the recipes all in one document for a huge time saver.
Thanks for considering this!
We are working on this. Thank you.
I haven’t tried any of these yet but fully intend to. Just reading through the comments here and felt compelled to add one of my own……after all the work and effort you put into all this are people REALLY complaining that they have to print recipes one at a time??!!!! My goodness……shame on the laziness of today’s world!
Anyways, I do have one question tho. Do any of the vegetables end up mushy or breakdown after cooking from being frozen? Thanks so much for making many people’s lives that much simpler. 🙂
Thank you so much Kathy for saying that 🙂 It has been wonderful to provide this for free and we appreciate you kindness. No, we specifically chose vegetables that wouldn’t break down or get mushy. Veggies to avoid in the slow cooker: squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower – all the really water based veggies. If you use them just add those the last 30 minutes.
When the recipe calls for bouillon cubes, do you put the whole cube in or dissolve it first? I didn’t know if the distribution of flavor would be the same if the cube isn’t dissolved.
You put the whole cube in 🙂 It dissolves in the slow cooker.
Some of the recipes don’t have can size amounts, ie: tomatoes. I think that is a very important issue.
Roughly, how much does this cost you to to make? I know prices vary.
I’m needing new ideas and these look awesome!
As stated in the post – I had all of the spices in my stockpile. I spent the majority of money on buying freezer bags, fresh produce and fresh meat/poultry, which I only spent $157.00 at my local Kroger store
These have been super helpful to me, being a working mom who also homeschools and is attending school myself! Mine never look so nice and neat though? They don’t lay flat at all; I guess I’m afraid of them leaking so I kind of stack them up. I’ll have to try them flat next time for space savings.
I wanted to add a thank you to the many other comments. I am new to freezer cooking, but just know this is a great answer to some of the time loss issues we have here. It is currently a household of 7 with 5 of those being adults. I will be doubling a lot of recipes. Just knowing that these are family tested and the shopping list is already prepared makes me so happy. Keep up the wonderful work and know that you are appreciated.
Julia from Utah.
Can I half the recipes? Just two adults in my house and I don’t want to always have to save out half of the food for another leftover meal after it’s cooked. I don’t mind splitting it into two bags for two meals, but would it be too little bulk in the crock pot?
You could do that but I would suggest cooking it a smaller slow cooker like a 4 qt size slow cooker. We use a 6 qt for these recipes. Hope that helps!
Hi this is a great idea, if I were to give it a go being a novice could I ask are they complete meals, or to be added to rice, veg etc cooked on the day. Thank you
They are mostly complete meals but adding rice or a potato is always an option.
how much more would i have to add to make these meals for a family of 7 people
These fed a family of 5. Depending on the ages and how much they eat.
Is it ok to put raw veggies in the bags and freeze them? I thought they didn’t freeze properly if raw and turned mushy when defrosted? I’m mainly thinking of peppers and mushrooms.
Yes – they work fine. Zucchini and Broccoli don’t work as well though.
I’m totally new to this. In fact, I don’t cook at all but I am going to attempt this. Instead of writing everything out on a bag, I am thinking about numbering the recipes 1-20 (I printed them out) and then putting the corresponding number on the bag that goes in the freezer. Think that would be OK? I don’t feel like writing everything out on the bags and am hoping this is a good short cut!
What a GREAT tip!!!!!
And will these fit in Gallon bags or do I need to get bigger ones? Thanks!
I see these are Gallon bags. My bad!
Such a great idea but isn’t it dangerous to cook chicken from frozen?
Nope not dangerous! Enjoy!
I am going to do the 20 meals today. I had a book from 1983 that did this exact thing based on a missionary family in Africa and the need to have meals on the ready for visitors. They were mainly cook top meals but same idea with the prepare ahead and freeze. They ha 30 meals so it could cover a full month but we always had left overs so it covered almost 2 months for my family. I like that these are crock pot ready as I work from home with 1 baby and 1 on the way. This will make choosing dinner simpler. Thank you so much for your time and huge effort in creating and maintaining this website. This is a huge accomplishment and you should be mega proud of yourself. Thanks for sharing! Kristal
Any weight watchers with points?
Not at this time but we will look into adding.
These plans look awesome. I tried freezer meals before and hated it..but mainly because the ones I was doing really did not save time the day of. Being that I would be putting these in the slow cooker it certainly seems to be a huge time saver. I am looking forward to getting my freezer cleared out enough to try these.
Thank You! Hope you enjoy them.
I actually listed in both recipes accommodations to be sure to use gluten free soy sauce and gluten free bouillon. I have Celiac so you must be aware when making ANY recipe that you use gluten free ingredients.
These need to be made in a video on Youtube. I would love to try these if I could see it done in the crock pot
We were just talking about that today. Be on the lookout for that coming soon!
If I don’t already own a chest freezer, how many Cubic Feet do you think these 20 meals take up?
When you thaw them flat they can fit in a regular freezer if you have a fairly empty freezer. I fit all 20 of mine in mine last time.
What is the meat shopping list? Do you cook all meat ahead of freezing?
No, it varies between recipe.
Why do you have to precook the meat? I have never made a meal in the crock pot where I precooked the meat.
You don’t have too!
I have always at least seared my meat before putting in the crockpot then deglazing the pan to get all that flavor, you get that next level of taste and your meat seems to become even more tender. Glad you do it also!!
Even if the meal is not frozen prior does it still need to cook the amount of time you put?
Is there a document with all the recipes so I don’t need to open and print them 1 by 1?
Not at this time.
Right! I would love for all the recipes to be on on document. But thanks anyway! I’m looking forward to putting this all together this weekend!!
Do you have to thaw each bag before putting in the crockpo?
No you don’t have too. I like to place in the frig overnight to soften or run under hot water.
Question, I’ve had trouble in the past with freezing cooked rice, noodles and potatoes. Once the meal is thawed and cooked it is really soggy. Have you noticed this also?
With potatoes if they are completely dry (pat and air dry) and not wet it will help with the consistency after frozen. As for rice and noodles do not cook them until done before freezing. Al dente is best.
Thank you for the encouragement, instructions and recipes. I just did this for the first time. I did seven meals in four hours. I’m not yet as organized or experienced as you and I have a much smaller kitchen. But it is only my husband and I so each of these will give us several days of leftovers. I used six of your recipes and another soup recipe I found on the internet and worked it to be able to freeze. Thanks again!
Uh oh, I only used four of your recipes, the one I found on the internet and then I did do one repeat. I did two bags of a veggie soup using fall vegetables, just throwing lots of hardy ones in and a bunch of seasonings. But again, I appreciate you sharing all the great details, the great recipes, and just showing that it is possible.
About how many does each meal feed? Also, what is about the total you spent for all 20 meals?
A family of 4-5. We spent approximately $150.
Is there a grocery list somewhere? That would save a HUGE amount of time.
Yep – listed in the post – https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/20-Freezer-Meal-Shopping-List.pdf
On average, how much does it cost to do this?
$150 on average
OMG! I’m so excited to do some of these so I can start a freezer stockpile for maternity leave! I’ve also got a few friends that are talking about getting together and dividing them up by recipe and making multiples so everyone leaves with food! Thank you for posting and sharing these!
Hi all thanks for all the great and helpful recipes and tips. I come from a big family and have always had other people for dinner ( soldiers) away from home. So there is just me and my husband so I’m having trouble making meals for just us ( I have health issues so I don’t eat much but I really don’t like my husband eating sandwiches or something out a bag or can! Any suggestions ? Thanx
How long do you find the meals keep in the freezer? Apparently at least three weeks but could one plan farther out?
Oh sure! I would say 2-3 months.
I LOVE this idea. I’ve done Once a Month cooking before and totally agree that it is a big time saver and money saver. However, I do have one suggestion. In your shopping list, it would be helpful to know which items are not needed until the day of cooking. This is true especially of fresh produce, sour cream, etc.
I do this often, but instead of 40 different meals I make 30 burritos and freeze them. They’re amazing and only take about 30mins to prepare. yummm
I am getting shoulder surgery at the end of December. My husband and I are going to do this to make it easier for us while I work on getting my shoulder recuperated.
How long can you keep these in a the freezer part of my refrigerator? I don’t have a deep freezer.
2-3 months in an airtight freezer safe container
I just realized that some of mine are at 3 1/2 months. I get that the color/quality/taste MAY be affected, but they shouldn’t be unsafe for consumption, correct?
They should be fine. The color/quality/taste may be affected but otherwise you should be ok.
Do you have the instructions for the whole plan?
You click on reach recipe for the recipes.
What would be a good substitution for pork?
Turkey, Beef, Lamb or Chicken
Thanks for all your hard work
On some of the recipes you say you made 2 meals worth, is that reflected on the shopping list?
How do I adjust for cooking in the oven or the stove? I do not have a crock pot and they are very expensive in Kuwait.
I would suggest baking at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and test if done.
I’m sorry if I missed this info anywhere, but I was wondering what size slow cooker you would recommend using for these meals? I have a 2qt on hand and have access to a second 4qt, but I wanted to make sure both would be big enough before I went crazy and prepared everything. That would be a bit of a bummer to say the least.
All of these are prepped in a 6 qt slow cooker. I think a 4 qt will be too small unless you split the meals between the two slow cookers.
I am in the process of attempting to make the 29 crockpot meals (tomorrow) and have already done thr majority of the shopping. I have not purchased any of the pork ingredients however as we are a pork free household. Do you have any suggestions for other meats that I can switch out for a pork free option?
We are really excited to try these recipes out and it will make my life soooo much easier.
I think you could do chicken instead of pork.
Is there an easy way to break the meals down prior to cooking for a single person or a couple?
Yes! Just divide into small bags and cook in a smaller crockpot. I would suggest a 2.5 and half the recipe.
What size are the freezer bags?
Hi everyone…. Just wondered what is the uk equivalent to the spicy brown mustard ? Is it French mustard ? Thanks
You can substitute Dijon mustard, which has a sharp flavor similar to spicy brown. Spices such as chili peppers, turmeric and garlic salt can be added to yellow mustard to make it hotter.
Wow! You put an amazing amount of time and effort into this! Thanks for sharing! One thing you can do to save even more time would be to use a pressure cooker. I love it and wow, it saves so much time. I did a 14lb. Corn beef brisket with cabbage and all the veggies. Everything goes in raw. The whole thing was on the table in 90 minutes! A brisket no less. My beef stew all goes in raw too (even frozen meat at times) and it’s on the table in 35 minutes. Whole game hens stuffed, 25 minutes. I can’t begin to say enough. Anyway, hope it can help you out. Keep up the awesome recipes!
We just got one so be on the lookout for pressure cooker recipes coming soon!
Hi I’m doing this in the uk and wondered how many do these recipes feed and what the equivalent crock pot size would be? Thank you for all your effort this is amazing!!
They feed 4. I used a 6qt crockpot. You are welcome! Enjoy!
Thank you for so many awesome recipes! The best part is using a Green Bay Packers crock pot!!
You are welcome! Go Pack Go!
As a gluten free cook for a serious celiac – 20 years experience – Thank you for the attentiveness about gluten free options. If you have ever cooked for a celiac, you know you have to watch ingredients in sauces. Some people look for things to complain about – or for places to be self-righteous.
Would like to receive any other great ideas like this. We are only two retirees so if you have anything to suit family I would love to get that from you.
Hi, some awesome ideas here. I. Just curious to find out, if one was to convert the serving size from 4-6 or vice versa, would it have a huge effect on the cooking time? Any idea of the adjustments one would make?
No real adjustment necessary for that 🙂 Just be sure you are using a 6qt slow cooker. Enjoy!
Thanks for all the information, recipes, and shopping lists! I did my first 20 meals and it took about 4 hours of prep. The amount of time and money you save doing this is awesome. Not to mention we aren’t having “whatever” for dinner, which my daughter loves!
Thank You! So glad you enjoyed 🙂
Thank you so much for your time and effort. This sure is a lot of work for you and then graciously sharing it with everyone. I am hoping to try this. Thanks again.
You are welcome! Thank You!
Thanks so much for this! Can I use frozen chicken breast in these recipes?
I have a silly question. In the recipes where you add in the veggies at the time of cooking (or at the end of cooking), are those veggies able to be frozen in a separate bag to accompany the main bag? I noticed some recipes where you add in broccoli or potatoes towards the end of the cooking time. I am just trying to limit the amount of additional shopping we’d have to do throughout the weeks to complete the recipes. Thank you all ahead of time for your reply’s.
Yes for sure! It is just to limit overcooking and sometimes potatoes will brown when frozen and change consistency. I don’t have a problem with them but maybe wouldn’t serve them to company 🙂
How many people will these feed?
A family of 5 (depending on the adult/child ratio and how much they eat).
I just did this today for my family of four. It cost $250 because I didn’t have many ingredients already. Some things that I found would be helpful. A cheat sheet of what to write on the baggies so i can write on them ahead of time. Also a cheat sheet of what items need chopped versus sliced or kept whole so I can precut it all before hand.
I tried these but every single meal that I cooked was too watery. Today I cooked some chicken meal and only added 1/2 of the amount of water called for an again, I ended up with a crockpot full of liquid. Any ideas?
Are you thawing it before or cooking it frozen?
What would the advice have been either way? I haven’t began this project yet, but I am definitely going to (especially since I am about to have a baby). Ideally–should the meat be thawed? I know in other comments you have said it’s okay to cook it frozen or thawed, but what are your best practices?
I personally semi-thaw it. I don’t stress over it being 100% thawed.
I love all of these ideas. I keep saying I’m going to use the Instapot more and with 4 kids I definitely need to do more meal prepping. This post gives me a good place to start.
I love your ideas. As a teacher in extremely expensive Silicon Valley, I need cheap crockpot ideas that I can fulfill by buying my groceries at Grocery Outlet and COSTCO. Some of our friends are construction workers, and I have a related question. At times, our school refrigerators are full. I need things I can cook in advance that can sit at room temperature for four to five hours without making me sick. My friends are in worse shape, with no refrigeration at their work sites. We have not been able to find “room temp” food ideas outside of PBJ. Can you help? I make homemade humus sometimes, or salami and cheese. For centuries, people lacked refrigeration. Surely this cannot be that hard?
Have you seen the Crock-Pot Lunch Crock Food Warmer? I am thinking this would be a good solution for you?
You could always do: nutbutter, hummus, dried fruit, jerky, a savory muffin, veggies with dip, bananas with peanut butter – hope these help!
This sounds so great but I would have to double all of the recipes because I have a house hold of 7 and they love to eat! I love the ideas, but not sure if it would fit in just a gallon freezer bag.
I would most likely use 2 to be safe.
Ok. So I finished these 20 meals this weekend. By shopping at kroger (all generic kroger brand ) with your list, it came out to 250$ ??. I got all the stuff. Except the yellow onion that was not in the list ?. I gotta say this barely fit in my freezer and was a bit more expensive than I thought. But hopefully they will taste good.
Unfortunately the cost of groceries have increased since this original post. I hope you enjoy the plan! It is wildly popular!
I have done put together several meals so far. Some are great and some not so great from another website. My issue was how to put the food in the bag, especially liquid or sloppy ingredients like soup. Do you put the bag into a bowl?
You can put the bag in a bowl or you can use Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Clip Storage Bag Holders.
What size freezer bags? Gallon?
On the shopping list, the amounts needed for the spices aren’t listed. Should I assume you need a whole container? Or if I have a half-full container of the listed spice, can I assume it will be enough? A quarter of a container…? Standard size US containers from the spice aisle at places like Kroger…
You won’t need a full container so you should be set!
I love the concept and appreciate all the work and creativuty you put i to these freezer / slow cooker meals. Are you considering doing something for those following a ketogenic diet?
That is a great suggestion! Here are 30 Slow Cooker Keto Diet Recipes – https://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2017/09/30-slow-cooker-keto-diet-recipes/
These are great ideas for freezing meals ahead for working moms, planning ahead for a time you may be unable to cook for a while, or any time you need meals ready in the freezer so as to avoid eating fast food, etc. I have a couple of suggestions; don’t use zipper top bags; instead invest in a vacuum sealer system. It will more than pay for itself over the years and can be used for many more things than freezer meals. The second is to convert some or all of these recipes to the Instant Pot as so many of us have one now. Yes, you can just slow cook in your IP, but the times will be a bit different than a regular slow cooker.
I always freeze my slow cooker meals after cooking. I freeze the cooked meals in portion control sizes and thaw and heat the portions when needed. Your article suggests freezing the raw ingredients first and cooking them when needed. The time saved is in preparing and measuring the ingredients for many different meals. Is there any health or taste advantage to freezing the uncooked ingredients first?
Thank you SO MUCH for putting this together. It’s not only great for moms, but perfect for caregivers of elderly parents, who need nutritious meals with minimal prep. Mom & Dad were so excited to have some variety from the normal dinners. Two thumbs up!
I have cooked 8-10 of the meals. I am not a fan. Most just don’t have a lot of flavor. We did like the Italian sandwiches and have actually made them again, but any of the others have not been big winners. We made the pork chop supper tonight and it doesn’t even look good enough to eat. I feel like I’ve wasted my money. I love the idea, I wished it worked better.
One thing you have to keep in mind when you are trying slow cooker meals is that they are not for everyone. These recipes have been made thousands of times and are well loved. However some people aren’t a huge fan. Always salt and pepper AFTER cooking to increase the flavor profile to your desire as well.
We have tried these meals before, and stopped making them due to budget constraints and time. When we made them last, we noticed that a lot of the meals are just entrées, and it was entirely my fault for not paying attention to the post author mentioning what she served for sides. As for flavors, we found that the first round we couldn’t taste the flavors very well, but the next round the flavor profiles of each dish came out better. This was partially due to the discovery that ninja crock pots cut cook time in half, but mostly because the first round was re-training our taste buds from all the processed foods we had been eating for so long. We are excited to be returning to these time-saving recipies again.
There were a couple of recipes, like the Mexican chili and black bean fajitas that I added green chili to. (Living in New Mexico means we have access to the fresh roasted green chili, but if you’re not used to it or the weather has been extra dry then a little goes a really long way.)
There is one BIG problem with all the slow cooker meals that will go into the freezer , do not waste your time and food and energy placing your meals in ZIPLOCK FREEZER BAGS. They will freezer burn in a very short time and the food will become soggy. Invest in a “ SEAL A MEAL SYSTEM THAT HERMETICLY SEALS AND REMOVES ALL THE OXYGEN OUT OF THE BAGS. This will keep foods fresh, no freezer burn and up to two year size in the freezer . ?
I just want to confirm that all the 20 crockpot meals are frozen ahead. While the instructions say thaw overnight, we could also just put them into the crockpot frozen on low. Our family is gone more than 8 hours a day, so this would be helpful.
Yes all are frozen ahead. You can put in frozen on low (because I have when I forget to thaw).
Hi it’s me again looking for help from ya all…I recently got a air fryer and an instant pot cooking. Really excited to start using them for more then Fries and tator tots. All suggestions welcomed. 🙄
Hello! I have not yet tried freezer meals, but hope to give it a go very soon. I would just like to say THANK YOU! You obviously not only save yourself time, but your generosity in sharing all of YOUR hard work and planning with everyone who is requesting information for their convenience is very admirable and will undoubtedly be very helpful. Thank you!!! 🙂
Thanks so much!
What size freezer bags do I buy for the 20 meals?
We are about to go through a kitchen remodel and I so appreciate you posting all these wonderful recipes. I froze 3 today which should feed us for at least 6 nights. It’s just my husband and I. Instead of labeling the ziplock baggie I double bagged them…I get nervous they will break…then I stuck the printed out recipe in the extra ziplock baggie. That way I have the name of the recipe and the instructions ready to go. I am worried I won’t be able to find any of the recipes once we start the renovations. The freezer is outside so I figure I can find that!! And my crockpot will be ready to go on my bathroom counter. Fun times! Thank you again…
Do the veggies and potato turn brown when they are in half? Apples too
They might slightly discolor but when you cook in a slow cooker it is a moist cooking method and coloration doesn’t remain bright anyway so no concerns.
Hello this is my first time trying the freezer meals, i was wondering if i have to blanch the veggies before freezing them? Or is it ok to prep them and then freeze them?
Thanks so much!!
No need to blanch the veggies 🙂 Yes! prep and freeze.
Such a great idea to do. I see about 5 of those recipes I would make for Mr. G and I.
I just saved this post. I have got to start doing this very soon because things are picking up on the farm so I won’t have as much time to spend on cooking. This is great!
Thank you for these! I need to make a bunch. I hate cooking so it would help to have a ton of meals already ready.
Whoa that’s a lot! I can’t wait to show this to my spouse, our home cook and expert meal planner.
That is a good variety of meals. I need to start using my slower cooker.
These all sound great especially when the whole family is busy, and we don’t want to eat out.
This is such a really fantastic idea!! I really need to get myself a slow cooker. I’ve seen so many great recipes using one of these
I want to do this. This would help make dinner so much quicker on the days that I don’t feel like cooking.
Now that is seriously impressive. Wow, some gorgeous recipes there too. It’s a great way to batch cook and ave time cooking over a few weeks depending on how many you are making it for and how much freezer space you have.
Oh wow, this is an impressive list and the pinnacle of meal planning right here!
This is such a splendid idea. I’m sure it is a great feeling to have dinner already done!
This is amazing. I wish that I could do this but my son is so picky. He doesn’t like things touching even though he will eat them if it was separate.
I love the variety of meals that you can make with a crock pot. I love all the ideas for my next dinner night with my friends.
This is a great idea, love the most is the time saver over time. But, how long does it take to prepare all the bags. The slow cooker makes it easy too.
Thank you so much for putting this together! As gluten free mom of picky boys, these recipes look so family-friendly! I can’t wait to get to work. Happy New Year!
I made all of these for meal prep pre-pregnancy.
The shopping list contains a few ingredients that you need the day you prepare it, and I won’t be needing them for a few months yet, so they kind of went to waste. (most notably the sour cream). Also, the meatball recipe felt a little silly because the ingredients were either nonperishable or frozen. Most of the recipes were rather bland on the spices front, so I defiantly modified most of them. It cost me just under $500 to make them all (I live in Ontario, Canada), and took me about 9 hours to make them all.
Otherwise I’m looking forward to them 🙂