If you want to prepare nutritious dinners for your family in the shortest amount of time possible, then you have come to the right place. Read on to see how I stocked my freezer with 6 Healthy Crock Pot Freezer Meals in 45 Minutes!
Happy New Year, friends! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and that you're ready to start the New Year fresh. I love this time of year, since it brings with it a sense of starting over, positive resolutions, and a clean slate!
Many of us have goals of feeding our families wholesome meals on a regular basis, but we often don't have the time to prepare them. That's why I thought that it might be helpful to share with you one of my favorite tricks for getting an easy, healthy supper on the table FAST -- even on my busiest weekdays. I hope that these ideas get your New Year's resolutions headed in the right direction!
One of my posts that received the most positive feedback last year was when I documented my morning of preparing freezer meals with my best friend Kristin before the arrival of her third baby. I felt like stocking her freezer with some homemade food was the least I could do to help her, and we had SUCH a good time! It was Kristin's first experience with Crockpot Freezer Meals and she is 100% hooked. They are a busy parent's ticket to sanity!
Basically, all you do is toss some ingredients into a large zip-top freezer bag, label it, and stick it in your freezer. When you're ready to make your dinner, just thaw the bag in the refrigerator overnight and dump the contents into your slow cooker in the morning. Let the Crock Pot do the cooking while you go about your day...then dinner is cooked and ready when your troops are hungry!
For this particular batch of freezer meals, I selected 3 healthy slow cooker recipes that I knew my family would love. When I pull together freezer meal menus, I make a point to choose recipes that use a variety of meats and that offer a nice variety of meals. For instance, you don't want to end up making 6 chicken dinners (boring!) or 6 different chills or soups. With this particular bunch, I use chicken, turkey, and beef to make a chili, sandwiches, and a roast. This way you don't feel like you're eating the same type of food over and over again, which would just lead you to the drive-thru!
I printed the recipes and prepared a shopping list based on DOUBLING each recipe. That way I would get two separate dinners with about the same amount of prep time. When I returned from the grocery store, I didn't even bother to put away the food. Instead, I labeled my zip-top freezer bags (with the name of the recipe, plus the cooking time), chopped my veggies, and tossed the appropriate ingredients into each bag. I actually set my timer to see exactly how long it would take me to make all of these dinners and I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see that I was completely finished in 45 minutes. With a few more minutes of clean-up, my kitchen was spotless and my freezer was full in under 1 hour!
Here are the three meals that we will be enjoying in the coming months (and remember, I doubled each recipe for maximum efficiency!):
Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros from Skinny Ms.
Photo Courtesy of Skinny Ms.
Slow Cooker Beef Roast and Carrots from New Leaf Wellness
Photo Courtesy of New Leaf Wellness
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili from Two Peas & Their Pod
Photo Courtesy of Two Peas & Their Pod
These all look great, right? But are you ready for the best part? I actually have TWELVE dinners ready to go in my freezer, because each individual recipe makes plenty of food to serve our family TWICE. I will cook the dinner one night, keep the left-overs in the refrigerator for a few days, and then serve them later in the week with a slight twist to keep things interesting! For instance, the turkey chili leftovers will taste great served on top of baked potatoes. And the beef roast left-overs will be delicious tucked inside quesadillas, piled on top of homemade pizza, or served in toasted sandwiches or panini. And those chicken gyros? Perfect left-overs for tossing into some pasta with pesto sauce and veggies!
Are you ready to get started? Would you love even more easy crockpot freezer meal ideas? Check out my previous posts here, and have a wonderful (healthy!) New Year!