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Five Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals (Make 5 Meals in Just One Hour)

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Five Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals Hip2Save

Are you super busy during the week with little time to make a wholesome dinner every night? Well, what if I told you that you could prep ahead five freezer bag meals for the week in about one hour?!

Yes, it’s true! Try these five simple and delicious make-ahead meals that can be stored in the freezer and then placed in the slow cooker when you’re in a hurry and need an easy family meal. You’ll want to use a gallon sized freezer bag for each meal and store each bag flat in the freezer to take up less space. I recommend removing each meal from the freezer the night before you are planning to serve it so it can defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

** Print Master Grocery List HERE (includes ingredients for all 5 meals below) **

Teriyaki Chicken Freezer Bag Meal Hip2Save.com

Teriyaki Chicken

* Print Teriyaki Chicken Grocery Shopping List HERE *

Fill a freezer bag with:

1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 carrots sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced

To Cook: Place thawed contents in a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Optional: To thicken sauce at the end, whisk together 1/2 cup of the cooked sauce with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and pour back in the slow cooker. Turn cooker on high for an extra 10-15 minutes so sauce can thicken. Serve on top of rice and garnish with sesame seeds if desired.


Sausage with Peppers and Onions freezer bag meal Hip2Save

Sausage with Onions & Peppers

* Print Sausage with Onions & Peppers Grocery Shopping List HERE *

Fill Freezer Bag with:
1-16 oz. package Sausage, sliced
1 onion sliced
3 Bell Peppers (one green, one yellow, and one red) sliced
2 cans diced tomatoes, fire roasted and not drained
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

To Cook: Place thawed contents in the slow cooker for about 5-6 hours on low or 3 hours on high. Serve on top of rice.


Creamy Italian Chciken Freezer Bag Meal Hip2Save

Creamy Italian Chicken

* Print Creamy Italian Chicken Grocery Shopping List HERE *

Fill freezer bag with:

1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut up in one inch pieces
1 bar of cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet zesty Italian salad dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup green beans, frozen or fresh

To Cook: Place thawed contents in the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve chicken on top of noodles and garnish with Parmesan cheese.


Cilantro Lime Chicken Freezer Bag Meal

Cilantro Lime Chicken

* Print Cilantro Lime Chicken Grocery Shopping List HERE *

Fill Freezer Bag with:

1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn, drained
4 oz. can green chilies
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
juice of two limes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin

To Cook: Place thawed contents in slow cooker and cook on low 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve on top of tortillas for tacos or serve on top of rice. Garnish with extra lime or cilantro if desired.


Chinese Beef & Broccoli Freezer Meal Hip2Save

Chinese Beef & Broccoli

* Print Chinese Beef & Broccoli Grocery Shopping List HERE *

Fill Freezer Bag with:

2 pounds beef, sliced (sirloin works well)
1 can beef consume (found in the soup aisle)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli (separate in a smaller bag)

To Cook: Place defrosted contents in slow cooker on low 7-8 hours or high 4 hours. Consider bagging the broccoli separate and adding it in about 30 minutes before meat is done cooking (otherwise, the broccoli tends to over cook!). Optional: To thicken sauce at the end, whisk together 1/2 cup of the cooked sauce with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and pour back in the slow cooker. Turn cooker on high for an extra 10-15 minutes so sauce can thicken. Serve beef and broccoli on top of rice and garnish with chopped green onion if desired.
Freezer Meal Cooking with Hip2Save
 Notes/Tips:

  • I thought it was faster to label all the bags first, cut up all the meat and add to bags, and then focus on the vegetables and sauces etc.
  • Cooking times may vary a bit depending on the size and shape of your slow cooker. For instance, meals cook faster when I cook with my larger oval shaped 6 quart slow cooker as opposed to my medium sized tall shaped 4 quart slow cooker.
  • Servings sizes for these meals are about 4-6. We have four people in my family and we had left overs for all of these meals.
  • You can cook rice ahead of time and freeze it as well. Consider storing cooked rice in freezer bags according to the amount you would use in one dinner.  To reheat, just place on a skillet with a little butter or olive oil and sprinkle with some water and stir fry.
  • Use a Sharpie to label freezer bags with the name of the meal and the date the meal was prepared (you may even want to note the cooking instructions).
  • My kids LOVED the Creamy Italian Chicken the most. It really is a must make if you don’t already make a similar version :)
  • These meals would make a fantastic and thoughtful gift for a new mom or maybe someone who is ill or just had surgery.

Do you have any favorite freezer bag to slow cooker meal ideas? Please share!

Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s recipes created just for Hip2Save, click here.

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172 Hip Readers Commented

  • Deb says:

    Thanks for the great recipes!

  • shelaghc says:

    No love for vegetarians?

    • mel says:

      Seriously? And when meatless dishes are posted, there are comments about that too. If it’s not for you, then don’t read/post.. move on.

      • Anne says:

        I agree. This is a free site. You are not paying for a service. Please be grateful for what Lina and Collin and the rest of the team do for all of us, even if it is not specifically applicable to your situation. If you are really are hoping for vegetarian crockpot recipes, you could ask politely.

      • shelaghc says:

        My point was that five recipes were posted. Not a one was vegetarian or even suggested a vegetarian option.
        It is a free site. And comments are open. I’m free to make a comment and I mind that someone is telling me to shut up if I point out that some of the content is exclusionary.

    • Rita says:

      Even I thought the same thing. Lina do write some vegetarian recipes also as I always look forward to your posts.
      Thanks

    • Jan says:

      The cilantro line chicken could easily be made vegan by just omitted the chicken (and doubling the beans if desired).

    • I agree, I would love to see more meatless options, too. Perhaps shelaghc’s comment could have been phrased differently, but what right do any of us have to be unkind to anyone, especially other adults in a pack-like manner. No one likes to be ganged up on. Reminding someone that a site if “free,” or telling someone the way a recipe can be altered is commonsensical, is belittling and childish. This reminds me of one of my favorite Plato quotes, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” In any event, I’d love to see more meatless options. As well, Lina seems to always know how to inspire me in my kitchen on dreary days like this, and I thank her for doing so! Thank you, Lina!

    • Erin says:

      Google vegetarian blog and you’ll find a wealth of great food blogs that are dedicated to developing meatless recipes rather than substituting or omitting ingredients from mainstream recipes. Likewise, you can find amazing food blogs for all sorts of diets and dietary restrictions, not to mention specific cooking methods. I was perusing some pressure cooking blogs just last night. I follow cooking blogs as closely as I follow H2S! There is so much out there, I’m not sure why H2S bothers with these posts. There is a lifestyle blog for nearly every interest or hobby now, and many bloggers are elevating their niche to an art. I love it!

      • Tara says:

        I really wish people would take a minute to realize that the people that write these are real people. They work very hard on these posts and they have feelings that can be hurt. Just because it’s an open online forum doesn’t justify being rude. It’s just cowardly and nasty to say things that you would likely not be saying to the person if you met them in person. Come on Erin, didn’t your Mother ever teach you that if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it.

    • Check out this post for vegetarian options :) : http://hip2save.com/2014/03/07/5-frugal-delicious-black-bean-recipes/

    • irene says:

      I am a semi-vegetarian and find it hard to pre-prep. The best solution I’ve come up with is making large batches of something and use it several ways. Such as a veggie chili in a chili pie (topped with cornbread crust) and chili enchiladas. HTH! :)

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha) says:

      Let’s brainstorm! Add lots of mushroom instead of chicken and you’ll have a great creamy mushroom sauce over noodles or rice! Add more veggies to the onion and peppers recipe instead of sausage and it’ll be yummy too. :-)

  • Brooke says:

    Everything looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for all your time that you put into all these recipes!

  • Deb says:

    Fabulous! I know what I’m doing this weekend! I will make 2 or 3 of each!

  • julie says:

    Great ideas! We don’t use canned soups though. Anyone have substitute ideas for cream of chicken and beef can?

    • Debbie says:

      If you go to http://www.ourbestbites.com they have a recipe for “cream” soups that would work as a substitution.

    • mel says:

      I use this recipe for homemade cream of chicken – it’s really simple and probably ingredients you already have on hand! http://www.tammysrecipes.com/homemade_cream_chicken_soup

      Not sure on beef, I use a brand (can’t remember the name) that comes in a carton.

      • Anne says:

        There is a substitute on crockpot365 too. They are a GF family. I used Trader Joe’s beef broth or Imagine. Neither have sketchy ingredients and are GF.

    • lj says:

      Here’s my recipe: Melt 1 T. butter, add 3 T. flour. Mix together really good. (it’ll be lumpy and dry) Remove from heat. For cream of chicken, use 1 tsp chicken seasoning or boullion, mix with 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. milk. Return flour mixture to heat and SLOWLY, add the chicken seasoning mixture, stirring constantly. Can also substitute this mixture with 1/2 c. chicken broth and 1/2 c. milk. This is the equivilent of one can of soup. For beef, just use beef seasoning or beef broth and milk. For cream of mushroom, saute a few mushrooms in the butter prior to adding the flour. Cream of celery soup, saute a stalk of celery in the butter. Very simple! I started doing this when money was too tight to even buy canned soup. I already had all the ingredients. And it’s healthier too! no chemicals

    • beth says:

      There are organic healthy ones in cartons. Like pacific brand. Even small targets have them.

  • shop4mybabies says:

    Lina, will you marry me?

  • Victoria says:

    Wow! What a great idea! Why didn’t I think of that? You should write a book with all of these recipes! I’d definitely buy it! :) Thank you Collin, you’re amazing!

  • Love this! @Julie, I use coconut milk, or almond milk in place. Go into the Asian foods section and check out the coconut milk. It has a thick consistency compared to what’s in the carton. Beef broth? Make your own Beef broth from beef marrow bones. I actually just made some last week! Delicious and tons of health benefits. :)

  • Cheryl says:

    Looks delicious! Thanks! Can’t wait to try them!

  • ihearthip says:

    Yay! I have been wanting to do something like this for a long time. You have given me the inspiration! Thanks :)

  • Michelle W. says:

    omg! Great timing!!! We had a dishwasher leak this week. Mold, mildew, torn up floors, car-sized / jet engine sounding dehumidifiers and no working dishwasher has been difficult. We have went back to paper plates and cups and are trying to make very little dishes. I just said yesterday, to myself, I need to find some really good, easy slow cooker meals. And waa-la you have delivered. I think all of these sound so yummy and something that i could actually cook. And I Only have to clean one pot!! BIG Thanks Collin and Lina!! ;-D

    • Anne says:

      We found a gas leak in a connection to our dryer Saturday…very dangerous and scary but is has been mostly resolved now. I feel for you, though; I am using TONS of paper towels because I don’t want damp dish towels or rags to sit around and mildew until we get our new dryer on Friday. It is not very frugal or earth friendly but I only have so much space to hang wet laundry! And thank goodness for the stellar paper towel deals lately. :) hope your dishwasher is repaired soon!

    • Enjoy the meals! I hope all goes well with the cleanup! :)

  • Kim says:

    Thank you! It would be nice if you could add a print recipe button. I pinned it, but when I want to make one of the recipes I’m still old school and would print it.

  • mnotari says:

    Wow this is amazing and definitely useful for our family! Will be trying it out soon.

  • Ali says:

    I’m in my last semester of law school, and I’m a stay at home mom to a 4 month old. Basically, if we didn’t eat the crock pot freezer meals that I prepare, we would be eating cereal or take out for dinner every night! They are a lifesaver, and very budget friendly as well!

    • Anne says:

      We have a 18 month old. I am totally planning on making these before we have a new baby. If I still worked outside the home like you (law school IS full time work, right!), I would make these, too!

      • Ali says:

        Anne, I wish I had known how much these meals would simplify my life. They are a must for any new mom! If we have another baby, I’m stocking up a freezer in my last trimester! Besides the savings on the grocery bill, our electric bill went down by $75 this past month. I would assume that had a lot to do with how much less energy a slow cooker uses in comparison to a stove/oven. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

  • mrl says:

    I have been thinking about doing this for a long time — making up lots of crockpot meals and sticking them in the freezer. I’m done thinking about it — I’m going to do it this weekend. I know there’s tons of crockpot meals all over the web, but there’s something much more manageable about having five, that have been tested and deemed two thumbs up, right here on Hip2Save. Please keep these type of recipes coming.

  • Richelle says:

    Love, Love and love!!

  • Jacki says:

    Dumb question but my slow cooker stuff never comes out well. Can you leave this for 10 hours or so cooking? Or can things be cooked on high for 3 hours? I work so early the stuff goes forever until my kuds get home.

  • Rebecca says:

    Love this! More specific posts like this please!!

  • Amy says:

    Thanks so much! I’m due with twins in June, and have been looking for meals that I can make ahead of time for when I have my hands full this summer. This fits the bill perfectly! :)

  • Maria says:

    If I freeze these, how long would they be good for in the freezer? I have been known to keep stuff in there for too long :-/ thanks for the awesome ideas, Lina!!

  • Nancy Fernandez says:

    Great ideas. …planning to make this for the following week….

  • Erin says:

    I wouldn’t pay top dollar for fresh bell peppers, freeze them, then slow cook them for 5 hours. Use frozen or if you care about the texture, add fresh peppers halfway through cooking. Or better yet, toss sausage and peppers on the grill! It’s too beautiful outside to eat slow-cooked comfort food now!

    • Becky says:

      That was my thought too… I was also thinking how easy it (and quick) it would be to cook any of these in my wok since all the work has been done already

    • Joy says:

      I stock up on my green, red, yellow and orange peppers about once every couple months from the produce markdown bins. usually about 4 for$1. wash them slice/dice them lay them out on cookie pans on layered wax paper to freeze. Remove and put in labeled baggies. oh so worth the work. hth.

  • Elizabeth Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for posting these. I have been trying to find recipes like this online for quite a while. I don’t have a lot of freezer room, but I want to be able to have meals on standby like this for our weekends when we have lots of activities to run too or so can just spend more time with the kids. Especially since it’s getting warmer outside.

  • jennifer says:

    I love my crockpot! One word of caution, the digital ones do not automatically restart if your power goes off. This happened to me and my expensive roast was only partially cooked. However, the old versions will pick up where they left off cooking. I use my digital one still when I will be at home. I love these meals and can’t wait to try, thanks Lina! Lina, what are you going to do all week with your free time now that all your meals are prepared, lol!?

    • shelaghc says:

      Jennifer – I didn’t realize that about digital slow-cookers. I bought one with a dial after a tip from Collin almost a year ago. A month later she posted about a digital one for about the same price and I was feeling disappointed. (I couldn’t afford to buy another.)
      Now I’m sort of happy I didn’t get the digital, *g*

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha) says:

      Oh lol! What is free time, again?

  • jj says:

    So excited to try these! Thank you!

  • viv says:

    Awesome! I’m sooo going to try all this! I’ve been concerned about eating out too much lately!

  • Jen says:

    These look great. Yum! Thanks.

  • Maggie says:

    I just did this for the first time last weekend. And haven’t used one yet. I will be this weekend though! There were a couple I made that sounded really good- a thai peanut butter chicken and a cranberry chicken.

  • mamasweetpea says:

    this is just what I need. thanks so much.

  • Blyane says:

    I am SOOOOOO making these this weekend and passing it on to my friends!!!! Thank you both Collin and Linda….LOVE LOVE LOVE what you do :)

  • Laurie says:

    Lina: I have been in such a food rut. It is myself and my 2 girls. I am going to make all of them soon. I Would love more simple recipes like this. Do you have more on your blog?

  • Joanie says:

    Thank you so so much I had just had a baby and have 2 other children ages 2 and 1 year old. I have been finding it really hard to get dinner together during the week with my husband gone for work. I can make these dishes on the weekend when my husband is home and have no worry how I’m gonna make dinner during the week.

  • Andrea says:

    These are great, thank you!

  • trace says:

    Thank you Lina for posting! We cook at least once a week with the crock pot and if I don’t have meat in it I get a strange look from the hubby! We also we’re getting tired of eating soups a lot in the crock pot, so thank you, thank you!!

  • Melinda says:

    This may be a stupid question, but do you just put everything into the bag as is and then freeze it, or do you combine some of them before? Do you just put the block of cream cheese in the bag whole?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha) says:

      I did, made sure it was more room temp, and then kind of squished it together to make it store flat. Good question. When it was cooking in the slow cooker i stirred all of these meals a couple times to make sure it all combined well. Thanks for the question!

  • Kristy says:

    Don’t mean to ask a dumb question, but do you mix all the “sauce” stuff together before you put it in the ziploc?! Not a big cook and don’t want to mess these up!
    Thanks! :)

  • Jill says:

    This is fantastic!!! Thank you so much. I already it ready for my next grocery shopping trip. Whoo hoo!

  • Debbie says:

    Wow! Quite impressive! These are wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration and ideas! Even if I didn’t freeze these, they are great slow cooker ideas and I appreciate all the pictures! thanks!

  • Heather Cooper says:

    Great post thank you!! I just started trying to only cook on Sundays after church for the whole week…cuts down on a LOT of fast food ;)

  • Jess says:

    OMG, this is just genius! I can’t wait to try these recipes.

  • CW says:

    Thank you for the meat crock pot recipes, I was in need of some new simple recipes! I love them!!!

  • Suzyq says:

    Thank you so much Lina and Collin!! I have everything on hand except for like 5 items, so excited!!!

  • Liz says:

    I love these ideas. They all sound tasty. I can’t wait to try them!!

  • Kim says:

    Where do you find ginger paste? Could I sub ginger? If so, how much? Thanks so so much for the recipes and the pictures.

  • Heather B. says:

    What kind of rice is pictured with the Chinese beef and broccoli? Is that plain white rice?
    These all look delicious, thanks Collin. I have a newborn and an 8 yr old, I have no time to cook during the week between diapers, feelings and homework so this is perfect. I will be making these over the weekend while I have my husband to help with the kids. Dinner for next week just got easier!

  • Mary says:

    I have seen these types of recipes for slow cookers before and they are great, but it does seem silly to me to open a canned product to put in the bag and then freeze it. It is already preserved and takes up freezer space. It would not take that much more time to take it off the shelf and add it to the slow cooker with the bag of ingredients from the freezer. The directions to add the canned good could be written on the bag. Just of thought for those with limited freezer space.

  • Tami says:

    Thanks !!!!! What a fantastic post and now I have no excuse not to plan ahead some meals like this!!!!!!

  • Busy Mama says:

    I love having meals like this in the freezer. It makes it so easy to bless someone with a meal, even if I don’t have time to make one right then. I write directions on the bag, include any canned ingredients they may add on their own, and even measure out the rice for them in a separate bag with directions (if appropriate). I also freeze cookie dough (made with my cookie scoop) and send a bag of one dozen raw cookies along so they can just pop in the number they would like for dessert.

    I am always able to put together a meal for someone in less than 2 minutes, using the freezer slow cooker method. And if they have too much food at that time, they can just leave it in the freezer and pull it out when they need a fresh meal again.

    Works for me!

    Thanks for the great recipe ideas to add to my repertoire. :)

  • LP says:

    Yippee!!!! Perfect for a working mom of three princesses! Thank you;)

  • laura says:

    I have been freezer cooking for several years now. Love, love, love it. Thanks for some new recipes to add to my list!

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