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

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chicken cilantro lime recipe

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) **

(To view all FIVE recipes, click the link below “Read More / Post Your Comments”.)

Teriyaki Chicken Freezer Bag Meal

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

  • 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!

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 69

  1. Anu

    All sounds so amazing. Thank you. Can’t wait to try them.

  2. rebecca

    We made 4 of these few weeks ago. Highly recommend the Chinese Beef and Broccoli and the Creamy Italian Chicken.

    • Jenn

      Those were my favorite ones too

      • Beth

        LOVE the creamy Italian chicken! I e also started making 2-3 of these as “new mom” gifts when we go to meet new babies. Rave reviews!!

        • Vivian

          That is a great idea!!!!! I was skeptical of the beef one and was going to skip it, but I think I’ll try it now 🙂

    • Betsy

      Hi. So you slow cook the meals right i the bags?

  3. Catherine

    Yum! These look great and so easy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. janet

    These meals look delicious! I am a vegetarian but will definitely make them for my family this weekend and for me i will just eat them with out the meat. Thank you!

  5. GMJ

    How long do these recipes stay fresh/tasty in the freezer?

  6. Gina

    Love this! Please do more recipes!

  7. patty k

    If you know a senior or handicapped person think of these as gift ideas. Most will thank you many times over!

  8. Tracy

    Looking goodddd. Thank you Collin!

  9. Melanie

    Awesome – thank you so much!!

  10. MommySpendsLess

    Anyone have any tips or suggestions for a working mom who’s out of the house about 10 hours? If I get a crock pot with a timer will the food really not spoil? Is it safe to leave a crock pot on and alone for that long? (I’d love to come home to a fairly nutritious meal that’s all ready to eat but not a house fire!)

    • Michelle

      Watch for a crock pot that will go to auto-warm. The one that I like the most is called a Crock-Pot 4-qt. Programmable Slow Cooker. I can set high or low, pick the number of hours, and it switches to warm when it’s done cooking. (I usually leave around 7 am, and make it back about 6 pm, and I’ve never had any problems.)

    • Rachel

      I work too and between my commute and work, I’m gone from 6am – 6pm. It sucks. I bought a slow cooker that switches to “warm” after I set the cooking time and I love it. It’s a digital one and a little more expensive but worth it!

    • janet

      You could try to cook your meals when you have time and freeze them like in this post. I think the crock pot meals would be good too. There are many meals that could be cooked on low setting for a long time. It should not spoil.

    • eemommy

      If a recipe calls for 8 hours on low I leave mine for 10. Looks burned around the top edges sometimes but food is ok and I don’t think it’s unsafe (hope not). I’m not sure about the timer. A friend of mine puts dinner in her oven (frozen) in the AM and set the timer to come on later in the day. Not sure how safe that is though…

    • Alison

      I use my slow cooker weekly. It’s great!! I leave at 6:30am and don’t get back until after 4:30/5pm. My husband was really nervous at first but now he’s in love with it as well. We have 2 kids under 3 and they love it and get a complete meal. Don’t be scared… Use the slow cooker! It’s my life saver! 🙂

    • Lisa

      I leave around 6am and back around 6:30 or 7pm. I have 2 kids under 3 and use my crock pot weekly. On the weekends (Sunday), I cook enough for Monday with a little left over for Tuesday lunch. So then when I use the crock pot during the week, I mainly use it to “cook” the meats because I prefer to have fresh green veggies when we eat – so I just steam up broccoli, peas, or whatever when I get home at night (5mins tops).

      • Brian

        I was surprised to find out that green peas do not count as a vegetable; they are a bean. We stick with avocado, broccoli and spinach.

    • shopper

      Buying Tips:’programmable’ in slow cooker terms means it goes to warm automatically after time has passed. A ‘manual’ slow cooker does not have timers (just high and low; some have warm) nor auto warm, once plugged in it’s on until you unplug it.
      Kohl’s has a Crock Pot branded 4quart programmable one with a few different timers for $40 before coupons. It feeds about 4. Oval shaped is easier to put cuts of meat in.
      Recommended 4 hours on warm, since they are supposed to be on all day.

    • beth n.

      Like the other ladies said i now have a crock pot that is programmable to turn to warm once it’s done cooking for however many hours. There’s a couple of times it was REALLY over done by just keeping it warm for anoyher hour or two. so i threw those meals away (yes i just about cried bc meat can be so costly nowadays.) Anyhow before that crock pot i had the traditional one so i would put the meat in while frozen, hook the crock pot cord into one of those lil boxes people use to turn lights on & off when they arent home. So it would turn my crockpot on like 2 hours after i left then have it cook for how many hours i needed it to, and then the box would turn the crock pot off once it was on for that many hours. It worked beautifully! Hopefully, i make sense!!

    • Pat

      I leave my crock pot going all the time while I am at work. It works out some of the time. It depends on if my brother is home. He baby sits it all day and adds more water all the time and doesn’t turn out right sometimes.

      • Maria

        I don’t use a crock pot, but I would highly suggest freezer meals. I would cook all day once a week and then we have enough for the week to defrost or it can even last longer than a week

    • Katrina

      I would say be careful, not about fires but about overcooking and burning these meals. I made some of these a few months ago and, while they tasted good and were convenient, did not seem to take as long to cook as the directions say. I have a crockpot that turns to warm, but that can still cause food to over cook and dry out. Adding additional liquid when first putting into the crockpot may help, and possibly not defrosting but starting from frozen? (Haven’t tried that so not sure if it works). If I were you, I would start with other recipes that are meant to cook for 10 hours, like soups and roasts.

  11. Janice

    What can I use instead of ginger paste in the Chinese chicken and broccoli?

    • mel

      I made this a few months ago and couldn’t find the paste at my local grocery, so I bought a small toe of fresh ginger in the produce section and grated it with a mircoplane zester.

      • Judy

        I had to ask in the produce department because I couldn’t find the ginger paste. In my Harris teeter store it was kept near the produce area fruit dips and the refrigerated salad dressings next to the pre-cut up vegetables. I have also seen it at Walmart in the same area. I hope this helps

  12. samantha g.

    These all sound delicious! I’ve printed out the recipes and grocery list! My husband will be thrilled for new meals! Thanks so much!!

  13. Laura

    These look amazing!!! I am getting ready to have a baby and was looking for freezer crockpot meals. My parents are also separating and I told my dad I would make crock pot meals and freeze them for him so he could have some home cooked meals. These are perfect!!! Thank you!!

    • Luv

      Wow! Laura sounds like you are going through a lot. May God continue to give you strength for the journey. God bless.

    • Maria

      Good luck to you and yours

      • Laura

        Thank you both so much!! I really appreciate it.

  14. Michelle

    Any ideas how well the reheat AFTER cooking? The broccoli one makes me nervous, because I have never had broccoli reheat that well. But any experience with the others? (Since it’s just me, I batch cook when I have time, and freeze in individual serving sizes. So much easier to grab and take to work!)

    • Judy

      Add the broccoli about 30 minutes before you’re going to serve the recipe that way you’re not letting it get mushy by cooking it with the rest of the things all day

  15. Luna

    Anyone tried vegetarian recipes in slow cooker? Planning to buy one

  16. sally

    This idea is awesome. I have not tried but I plan to! Thank you!

  17. sally

    I was recently invited to a freezer meal party, where you pay $85 and then have to buy and bring the meat to make 10 freezer meals. It seems this would be nowhere near that cost and accomplish similar thing. That’s more my kind of party!

  18. Donna

    On the master grocery list (under canned/dry goods) I think it’s suppose to be Cream of Chicken soup (not mushroom), which would be used in the Creamy Italian Chicken recipe. HTH 🙂

  19. Beth

    Just a suggestion, but I bet several of these you wouldn’t even need to thaw. My absolute favorite crockpot recipe uses frozen chicken breasts and cooks in the same time frame. I really like the consistency of the frozen chicken better than fresh, as fresh can tend toward mushy in the crockpot. I can’t wait to try several of these! Thanks for the post!

  20. Nikole

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  21. judyann6224

    I can’t wait to try these… thank you

  22. Counseling Mom

    I absolutely love this. Please post more. Does anyone have a link(s) to other sites that list similar freeze and slow cook recipes??

    • Katrina

      I use pinterest to find them.

    • Linna has a few freezer meal plans with Costco shopping lists – even a gluten-free one! I’ve done several and love them! You have to season most of them to your family’s taste, but I appreciate that. Going to add Lina’s into my rotation as well!

    • Linda

      Agreed! Please Collin and LIna, consider doing this on a regular basis. I made the meals tonight and can’t wait to try them. The Cilantro LIme Chicken smelled AMAZING!

  23. Brooke T.

    We make a slow cooker beef burgundy over buttery garlic noodles and it has to be the most delicious meal ever. The meat is so flavorful (we braise a bit it first) and the resulting jus has to be the best part. I’m hungry just thinking about it. 😍🍴

    • Mindy

      Sounds good! Could you post a link to the recipe please? THANKS!

  24. Julianna

    I love making freezer crock pot meals, they’re so easy! Hope to see more 🙂

  25. L

    I have made these before when I was first experimenting with freezer meals. The only one my family liked was the Chinese beef one. With almost all of them, my meat came out shredded which was not what I was looking for. It was a bummer, but fortunately the experience helped me find ones I liked. I tend to stick with freezer meals that I have to bake. However, I do recommend crock pot chicken Philly cheesesteak sandwiches though from a website blog Mary’s kitchen. We didn’t include the Texas Pete sauce so it wasn’t spicy.

  26. Jill

    I have tried all these meals and I love everyone of them! I just had the sausage and peppers one for dinner today! These are great and so easy to make. I hope everyone enjoys them.

  27. invictus22

    If you haven’t heard of Zaycon foods (, I’d highly recommend them. You can purchase a 40lb. box of fresh (never frozen) chicken breasts (and yes, you can share a box with a friend) for $1.99/lb. The quality is very good. There is some minor trimming to do when you get the chicken to prepare it for the freezer, but these ideas would be perfect to do with part or all of an order. There are also helpful youtube videos showing what an order looks like and what to expect.

  28. Mindy

    QUESTION — my chicken (from Zaycon) is all frozen. So is it safe to thaw it, use it with the recipe, then rethaw the whole bag?

  29. lacey

    I will appreciate if the post can list what can be used instead of meat for vegetarian readers. Its challenging to come up with slow cooker recipes for vegetarian family… thanks for the post

    • shopper

      Beyond meat could work.

  30. Amy Stotts

    I wish my family would expand their tastes a bit, because I’d love to put these together. I do make the creamy chicken, but I’ve never put it together and frozen it before. I will definitely try that out, esp. those times when I have to freeze the meat before it goes bad. As a suggestion, that recipe works well with a dry ranch seasoning mix as well as the grill mates tomato basil garlic and the zesty Italian. I’ve not tried any other ones yet.

  31. ihearthip

    Here’s a tip. I did these this past week. Tonight we are having the lime cilantro ckn and I brought back the sausage with peppers to make Spanish rice. Unbelievable. Super easy and can’t believe something with so much flavor came from my kitchen!! Thanks lina!

  32. Connie

    Because all crock pots cook differently and meat is SO expensive, I always try out a new crock pot recipe when I (or someone) am home to monitor how fast it cooks in mine machine. I once ruined 5 lbs of chicken in attempt to make a friend’s bbq pulled chicken. to make matters worse, I had made it to take to my sister’s bridal shower and it was so burnt it was inedible.

  33. Lisa

    Made the cilantro lime chicken tonight! I just sauted everything fresh. So good and so easy. I think I will double the recipe next time and make burritos to freeze for a quick snack for my 5 teenagers. Thank you, Lina.

  34. ashley

    If your scared to leave the crockpot on while you’re out you can keep these meals frozen or defrosted and cook them in a pressure cooker in under 30 minutes. Pressure cooker is my new favorite kitchen gadget

  35. Patricia Goff

    I have never done freezer meals but maybe I should try them. My brothers (challenged) and my grand kids are picky eaters so not sure if they will eat it or not. My brothers won’t eat Mexican food but the kids will, my brothers won’t eat tomatoes. The list is shorter of what they will eat. LOL

  36. momof4spoiled1s

    Don’t a lot of this stuff come out mushy after its been frozen and thawed to cook?

  37. Roxana Hare

    Thank you! Thank you THANK YOU!!!! This was so helpful and easy and both my picky eaters ate! I hate the kitchen and all chores associated enough it but I used the crock pot liner and dinner was as easy to clean as it was to make!

  38. Frankie Morrow

    Looking to make freezer crock dinners for my daughter, baby #2 😁

  39. Tami McOmie

    Can’t wait to try

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