Freezer Cooking

First of all, I promise this isn’t turning into a food blog :) But, I asked on facebook what you all would like me to post next, and sharing my first attempt at freezer cooking won the vote!

If you want more freezer meal ideas, follow me on facebook now!

*update – please see Part 2 and Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6*

freezer

So, yesterday I achieved my first ever attempt at “freezer cooking”. Stephanie, one of my favorite bloggers over at Mama and Baby Love did a post about it months ago, and I’ve wanted to do it ever since, but just haven’t taken the time. She just released her first E-Cookbook! YOU will love it! It’s all about Freezer Cooking! Click here to view more details

 

I wish I would’ve done it a lot sooner, because I found that in “not taken the time” I was actually wasting a lot of time! For real, yesterday during the course of one 2 hour naptime, I unloaded the groceries and prepared TWELVE+ healthy dinners with only 1 mess!

I was pretty happy with my results! I have a lot more I want to do, and I have a lot of extra meat and veges, but I didn’t want to do it while I chase a toddler around.

And my favorite thing, I can control all of the ingredients to make them as healthy as I want. I of course purchase ingredients without high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or sweeteners, and they have to be gluten free, but you can choose for yourself what brands you want for your family).

  • So here is what I did…
  • 1) I made a list of my recipes. I used crock pot recipes I already had, plus some of Stephanie’s!
  • 2) Then, I made an ingredient list and went shopping (don’t forget your freezer bags).

Yesterday, I made:

Teriyaki Chicken that I’ll serve over rice
Lazy Day Stew
Savory Chicken
Healthy Mama’s BBQ chicken (seen on Mama & Baby Love link above)
Stephanie’s Goulash (seen on Mama & Baby Love link above)
Sweet & Tangy Meatballs
Sausage & Peppers (that I serve over pasta or on hollowed out, garlic crusty bread)
Browned Ground Chuck – Italian Style & Mexican Style
Shredded Chicken & Chicken Stock

3)To start, I gathered all of the ingredients I needed. 4) Then, I chopped all of the veges first. Dice all of your onions, carrots, peppers, and mince your garlic. 5) Label your bags with the directions and 6) THEN add your meats (I trimmed my chicken breasts and cut in half to have a total of 4 pieces of chicken strips per bag).
7) Add your veges. 8)Add your other ingredients. 9) Let out air, seal bag, and lay flat!10) Freeze & Rejoice!

Pull the bags out of the freezer the night before you want to use them so they’re thawed when they go in the crock pot! And again, rejoice that you don’t have another huge mess to clean up!

Each recipe gave me TWO gallon size bags. Each bag is enough to feed my family of 3 (two adults and a toddler) at least one dinner, and at least two lunches, but possibly more.

freezer5

PRINTABLE RECIPES ARE HERE

Teriyaki Chicken

freezer2

1teriyakichicken

Savory Chicken

1savory

Lazy Day Stew

1lazy
Sweet and Tangy Meatballsfreezer4Sweet and Tangy Meatballsmeatballs

Sausage and Peppers

1sausage

PRINTABLE RECIPES ARE HERE

Browned Ground Chuck (I cook this while I’m throwing other meals together)

Italian Style

  • 2 lb ground chuck (I always use at least 85/20%, and buy it in bulk on sale)
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 shredded carrots (I add these to a lot of meals, easy/cheap way to bulk up a meal & add nutrition)
  • salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste you could also go ahead and add diced tomatoes if you want

Brown everything together, drain, put everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. Instructions for Bag: Add to spaghetti, Shepherd’s Pie, other casseroles)

- Mexican Style

  • 2 lb ground chuck (I always use at least 85/20%, and buy it in bulk on sale)
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 shredded carrots (I add these to a lot of meals, easy/cheap way to bulk up a meal & add nutrition)
  • salt, pepper, taco seasoning & cumin to taste
  • you could also go ahead and add diced tomatoes if you want

Brown everything together, drain, put everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. Instructions for Bag: Add to tacos, nachos, enchiladas, other casseroles)

Shredded Chicken and Stock (I also cook this while I’m throwing other meals together)

  • 4 large chicken breast
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3-4 large carrots
  • 4-5 stalks of celery
  • salt & pepper as desired

Throw all of above into a large stock pot full of boiling water. Boil ‘til chicken is completely done (about 20 minutes). Once it’s done, remove and toss veggies, remove chicken and cool completely. once cooled, shred with a fork (or in stand mixer with paddle attachment). Place into two gallon freezer bags, seal, label and put in the freezer. Instructions for Bag: Add to tacos, salads, casseroles, chicken salad, sandwiches, etc.

Pour broth into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, remove from tray and place in freezer bags. Use 2-4 as needed at a time in soups, casseroles, stews, and other recipes!

freezer3

Have you ever tried this? I am pretty sure, this will be a routine thing for me! I am a changed girl!

PRINTABLE RECIPES ARE HERE

 

And please check out Mama and Baby Love first E-Cookbook! I promise YOU will love it!

while you’re here, also check out:
How I clean up the mess
My story
The most amazing breakfast treat

 

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Comments

  1. Bonnie @ House of Grace says:

    LOVE IT!!! Thanks so much for posting!!! :)
    Keep them coming!
    Bonnie

    • I love this idea. Can’t wait to try it. One question though…do you combine your raw meat with your veges in the bag? This doesn’t cause any issues???
      thanks

      • Jaima, thank you so much for these recipes. Can’t wait to try them. I have two questions. Are you splitting into 2 bags because the recipe makes two complete crock pot meals or just because it is too much for one bag. Also, do I thaw the bag first before putting in the crock pot?

        • Yes, each bag makes 2 separate meals. There’s about 1.5 – 2lb of meat in each bag. I thaw first. Hope that helps!!

          • Hello.. Is there another way to cook it besides in a crock pot? Say I didn’t have a lot of time to let it sit in a crock pot. Should I put in a pan and when you say 1/4 cup, do you mean more sauce or water?
            Tks so much…

      • Katherine Twigg says:

        I was wonderiing the same thing…I do not think I would want to add the raw chicken either..I might put the chicken in a separate sandwich bag and add to the rest in the larger bag..great ideas for a busy family, giving Mom more time to spend with her family!

        • I don’t see why you would separate the raw chicken from the vegetables. It is all going in the crock pot together so it can be together before cooking. These meals are not meant to be eaten raw, so splitting it all up is just wasting another plastic bag.

    • I wonder if there is a bag that you can freeze meals in, then keep food in bag, transfer to crock pot and let it cook in the bag. Then there is no clean up of the crock pot. Anybody know?

  2. Jessie Saxton says:

    Heyyyy…What's the matter with a food blog?;) Haha! Great ideas for busy working mamas (and dads) that want to feed their families something nutritious, but don't always have the time:) I am giving this link to a few of my friend who think that Mickey D's is their only option;)

  3. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Well, nothing is wrong with a food blog, but it's just not my blog's main focus… Or, I don't want it to be, at least :) Share away, girl! I know people like that too. Kind of makes me cringe. Yuck! All of the meals above are chock full of healthy nutrients! LotsandLots of veges!

    • Thanks for the recipes. I just saw this so I know I am a few months behind the times. Instead of tossing the veggies from the pulled chicken recipe. Put the leftover broth and veggies into a food processor and blend. The broth that you freeze in the ice cube trays will be a little bit thicker but you haven’t wasted the veggies. Thanks and keep up the recipes.

  4. Chatty Chics says:

    Got to try this! My mom has raved about this kind of thing for years and since I don't cook a lot, this is perfect for my family! I could get it all ready in 2 hours! Thanks so much! Featuring you in Sunday Showcase!
    Melody
    ChattyChics.com

  5. Wow you're so organized! I'm sure it's going to make life a lot easier just throwing those things into a pot later on! I have got to try doing this one day!

  6. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    It is so easy! And healthy! Your family would be super impressed! I'll be posting a few more recipes soon!

  7. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    And HUGE thanks for the feautre!!!!!

  8. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks, Maria! It has already made things easier! Especially on those days when I just don't feel like cooking! I'll be posting more recipes soon and hoping to do 1-2 days of "cooking" for an entire month!

  9. Organizing Made Fun Becky says:

    This is fantastic! I really think I'm going to try some of these when I get back from Blissdom – I saw this on Tip Junkie and now pinned you!!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  10. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thank you so much!!! I can NOT believe BlissDom is in 4 days! So excited!

  11. How ingenious! Saw this on Tip Junkie and am so glad I visited. Pinned :-)

  12. I saw this from Tip Junkie too. I actually saw the original over at Mama Baby Love's blog and when I saw this one, I was so excited to see you tried it and will be offering more recipes as well. I can't wait to see what else you come up with! I tried a few of the recipes from her site and absolutely loved how easy it was!!! I also really like your Italian and Mexican ground beef ideas too and will be trying them this weekend for this next week. It's worth the small amount of prep time to make the week nights run so smoothly. Thanks for doing this and I look forward to new recipe ideas!

  13. Angelina Ballerina says:

    Jaima, you are my hero…

  14. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks for your comment! Please let me know how it goes, and keep an eye out for my second edition coming next week (hopefully)!

  15. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Comments like this totally make me giddy :) I am just a regular ol' gal! Thanks though!!!

  16. So question.. Once frozen how do you use it? Do you cut the bag apart and put the frozen square glob in the crock pot? Or defrost the day before and place in the pot the next morning with everything defrosted? Also the first picture teriyaki chicken has something written on the bag "add 1/4 cup teri. sauce" is that what it says? So add that to the pot when cooking? This looks like a great idea but still a few questions! Thanks

  17. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    After it's frozen, I will lay it out the night before to thaw and throw it in the crock pot in the morning, Or, since I'm home most days, I'll even pull it out in the morning, lay it in the sink to thaw and put it in the crock pot around 2:00 for dinner at 6:15.

    For the Teriyaki Chicken, yes, add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to crock pot when cooking. I'm not sure why you don't just add it all in, but I'm thinking it probably helps thicken it a little more. Sorry I forgot that in the recipe, good catch by seeing it in the picture. I'll edit it now!

    Feel free to ask me more questions! I'll be doing another post about this soon!

    • Rebecca says:

      What size crockpot do you cook these recipes in? Mine is 7qt, and I want to make sure that I don’t have to double anything, or decrease the cooking time.

    • North of 45 says:

      I thought it wasn’t safe to thaw frozen items outside of the fridge. They have to stay within a food safe range. I’ve taken food safety with our city twice and use to work in a restaurant.
      http://www.stilltasty.com/articles/view/9

      I’m totally going to try these recipes… By the time I get home from work, I’ll grab a chip bag and that is not cool. Keep up the great ideas!!!!

  18. Question: Is it okay to add in the uncooked meat with the vegetables? Is there any concern with cross-contamination? I always worry about this when using raw meat. Thanks!

  19. Question! Are you putting everything in two separate one gallon sized bags or one two gallon sized bag?! and if it is two separate bags is that so you can make it two dinners or are both bags required to make the one complete meal? Sorry! I would love to try this but want to be sure I do it right!

  20. As you're cooking it all together cross contamination isn't an issue. You only have problems where you store raw meat in contact with foods that aren't going to be cooked before eating. Of course you need to take care to clean up as usual after handling the frozen/thawed chicken mix.

  21. Thanks So Much I am going to FINALLY do this Monday and save our family so much time and Money,I have been using the home made laundry soap and cleaners for 3 wks now and have saved a ton already so this will ad to MY Happiness thanks again

  22. Becka @ Just a Bunch of Momsense says:

    Hi there! I've been telling myself lately that I really need to do this (take my crockpot recipes and create freezer meals with them.) This was a great reminder and thank you for making it look like such a no-brainer! I'm also going to try some of the recipes you posted. They sound delicious!

    I found it on Pinterest & repinned! ;)

  23. I'm wondering the same thing!

  24. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes, each recipe makes 2 one gallon size bags. which makes 2 separate meals.

  25. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    A lot of people have asked this. While I am no food-handling expert, I have never ever heard of an issue. It all cooks and cools at the same time and temperature, so there should be no risk of salmonella if it is cooked thoroughly. Just like when you cook a big pot of soup and throw everything in at once.

    I do always wear gloves when I'm handling raw meat (because I have a sensory issue with it more than a fear of disease). And I always clean my counters/cutting board afterwards with my favorite all-natural germicide.

  26. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks for stopping by, for pinning, and your comment!!! Let me know how it goes :)

  27. for the teriyaki chicken…so is that 1 and 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce all together?? 1 cup in the bag when you freeze and 1/4 cup when you put it in the crock pot? I'm not freezing ahead.

  28. Can you help me out a bit? Am I understanding this right? Once I split the Teriyaki Chicken into 2 bags I will end up with only 2 chicken breasts in each bag? How is that enough for a meal, unless you are only 2 people? I guess for a family of 4 I'd have to add both bags to the crockpot? I absolutely love this idea but need some clarification before I go ahead and try it. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. They are making my mouth water :)

  29. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    There are only 2 of us and a toddler, so it makes plenty. I try to buy large breasts. And I split them in half long ways so it ends up being 4 pieces of chicken breasts. Also, once it cooks, it will shred apart so it seems like more. And once you add your rice, it is a pretty hearty meal. It gave us 2 good dinner portions (plus a toddler size portion) and 2 lunch portions. You could always add a 1 more breast or so per bag for your families needs!

  30. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes, 1 and 1/4 to 1 and 1/2 cups of teriyaki sauce total. I actually added 1/4 cup when it started cooking and then drizzled a bit at the end once it was plated.

  31. Brilliant!

  32. Encouraging ideas to eating healthier. One huge gripe is the wastefulness of one use Ziplock bags. How about reusable containers and recipe cards? Our pursuit of convenience is seriously bad for the environment.

    • I re-use my bags normally… wash them out good dry them, and use them again! But containers would do the same if you prefer to use containers.

  33. I do freezer meals but for some reason my chicken meals is really runny when i unthaw it and its still watery after it cooked. How can i thicken it up?

    • I was wondering the same especially the savory chicken…

      • I am having the same problem. I was so excited to try these. We just tried the teriyaki chicken last night and it just turned out weird. The chicken was kinda mushy and dry while being in a bunch of liquid. I am wondering if I am cooking the dishes too long. My meals cook on low for 9-10 hours. I know that is WAY too long, but it is the only way I can do it with my job. Any ideas or suggestions? I am open!!

        • Mama to V says:

          Kelly, yes in my experience 9-10 hours in the crockpot is waaaay too long for chicken breasts! I haven’t tried any of these recipes yet (but will be soon…baby is due any day), but for recipes with chicken breasts I typically don’t cook them longer than 6 hours on low. If a recipe needs a longer cooking time or if it’ll be cooking all day because we’ll be out of the house, I use chicken thighs, which can handle a longer cooking time. You may want to invest in a programmable crockpot!

  34. Thank you soooo much for sharing this! I saw this on a friend's board that had 'pinned' it and I am so glad that I checked it out! My son is in high school and in sports, so for those late nights from practice or a ballgame this really is genius!! I've always thought about throwing something in the crock pot for those nights, but I would cringe just thinking about preparing everything the morning of! So thanks again & I look forward to reading more of your blogs!!

  35. My husband has celiac and follows a gluten free diet. I noticed you mention that you can't find GF meatballs. We use Farm Rich frozen meatballs and he has had no problems, for over a year. Just thought I would let you know to help you save a step. :)

  36. photogrl001 says:

    Could you add the nutrients counts to all of these recipe? Please!
    Specially cal,per serving size.

    • mamma to be says:

      Why not use myfitnesspal.com yourself- it will calculate the calories and other nutritional info once you enter all the ingredients?

  37. Karen Elizabeth says:

    Hello! Thanks so much for posting this – I have a lot of health issues and am so happy to find some healthy freezer meals to save me energy. My question is: How big is your crock pot? My husband got ours when he first went to college, and it's rather small. My first time trying to use it, it overflowed, and I've never gone back to try it again. But obviously, all of these recipes are working with your crock pot, so what size is yours? Thanks!

  38. For the teriyaki chicken, does it have 1 cup of sauce divided between the two bags PLUS 1/4 cup of sauce added when cooking???

    Thanks for these recipes! My friend and I are going to try freezer cooking, and since this makes two bags it works out great! We can each just have one bag.

  39. Saw this on pinterest. Love it!!!

  40. Krissy Sherman Bonning says:

    Great post on freezer cooking. I did this in preparation before having my baby and it helped SO much when I ended up going on bedrest and also postpartum. But now we've used up our stock, so I'll have to make another batch up. I can't wait to try your teryaki chicken recipe!

  41. Jens Craft Corner says:

    I made this for dinner this evening. It was delicious! I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing them. I will be working on making freezer bags this week. This makes life so much easier when your a busy mom. I am following you on Pinterest. Can't wait to see more!

  42. Your sausage and peppers, is that ground sausage or links? And if links do you slice them? I'm so trying this freezer food next trip to the grocery store.

  43. Great receipies thanks for sharing. If you want to try this on a smaller scale you can make one receipe which makes two meals and cook one for dinner tonight and freeze the other for another night. This works really well when cooking for a smaller family and you have to buy a large piece of meat (like roast) or 5 pounds of potatoes for just 2-3 people in the home. It is a little easier on the budget in the beginning.

  44. GREAT idea. I hope to try this for myself and also to give some to my elderly parents – dad has been doing much of the cooking!!

  45. I bet this saves money too, I know as a family we are bad about "what's for dinner" and then "well, I could go out and grab some…….to make this or that" and those multiple trips get into your budget pretty quickly! Definitely going to try this!

  46. Saw this on pinterest. Gonna try the teriyaki recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Let me know how you like it. I think it's my favorite from this set of recipes!

  48. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes! It saves so much money! Just remember to lay it out!

  49. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I know they would appreciate that!

  50. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I used Italian Sausage links (casings removed). I do not slice them.

  51. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yay! So glad you liked it!

  52. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes, divide it into, and then add 1/4 cup when you cook each bag. I also drizzle a tad bit over it when I plate it.

  53. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I will have to look for those, thanks!

  54. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Hmm… Never had that happen. I do not add any other liquid when I cook them. If it's really runny, you could try to disolve a little bit of corn starch in water ('til it's not lumpy) and mix it in with the crock pot. Let it set for a few more minutes.

  55. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:
  56. Made the teriyaki chicken tonight – it was delish! Thanks for sharing. These are so easy even my hubby can do it. :)

  57. Haley and TJ Anderson says:

    I love this! I usually cook about 6-7 full meals and prep and freeze in individual serving sizes. It takes longer, but our main issue is buying food for lunch. This way, my husband can grab and go for work and I can pull something out when making breakfast and its thawed and ready for the microwave by lunch. It has saved us a TON of $$

  58. Angie Carlson says:

    Fantastic! I haven't tried the freezing before, but I tried making 3-4 bagged slow cooker dinners and keeping them in the fridge…my goodness–the SMELL. I'm going to do your recipes this coming week and FREEZE them. Now I know why the fridge is not the preferred method :)

  59. Super excited to try this on Sunday! I just bought all the ingredients today.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I found this on pinterest and am so glad I looked at your blog! Great recipe ideas that I can't wait to try. How long are the meals good for frozen? A couple of weeks…..longer?

  61. Anonymous says:

    I made the Teriyaki chicken tonight and was so bummed. I couldn't eat it because of a diet I'm on but my husband said there was not much teriyaki flavor and it was SUPER runny :( It had more of a runny stew appearance. Anyone else run into that issue? What kind of Teriyaki sauce do y'all use? Wondering if I should have drained off some of the liquid from the pineapple?

  62. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever started with frozen chicken vs. fresh? I have a lot of frozen breasts in the freezer but am afraid with the defrosting the chicken would be mushy once cooked because of the added moisture?

  63. Anonymous says:

    these recipes look wonderful & I'm trying a few this weekend. One question, for the meatball recipe, what size are the jars of grape jelly? I have quite a variety of sizes in my pantry. Thanks.

  64. GingerPeachT says:

    This is the best description and detailed how to for bulk crock pot meals! I actually feel like I can do this!!! And do you eat g free? I just started last month so it's been tough trying to figure out meals :-)
    Thanks so much!

  65. Spoonie for Life says:

    Quick question… in the directions for the Shredded Chicken and Stock you said "Once it’s done, remove and toss veges" – just to be a little bit frugal, I'd use those veggies for dinner that night or mix them in with one of the other stew bags or whatnot. I would NOT be able to bring myself to throw them away. Those would be very useful for mashing into baby food, adding to other meals and or sauces (blend and mix into spaghetti sauce), etc.
    I'm really excited to try these freezer crockpot bags though! Thanks for the recipe and ideas. I would like to link you to my *new* blog http://www.twokidsahubbyandaninvisibledisease.blogspot.com

  66. Chelsea says:

    Perfect. Thanks so much!

  67. Jessa @ Shalom Sweet Home says:

    Thanks so much for these recipes! My husband and I adapted the teriyaki one to be cooked on the stovetop instead of a crockpot, and it came out delicious! I linked to you from my blog; you can check it out and see photos of how ours turned out too! :) Thanks again!

    http://shalomsweethome.com/2012/03/04/the-sunday-seven-episode-11/#ss4

  68. Spoonie for Life says:

    Oooops, I just realized that I put "Quick question" and never asked my question. I was wondering, do you have any more of these types of recipes?

  69. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes! I just did Part 2 here! Working on Part 3! http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/02/freezer-meals-part-2.html

  70. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Great idea! After they're cooled, I will usually give them to our dog (who has a lot of food allergies herself) as a special treat. The only thing is that I'm not sure they have any nutrition really after being boiled with the chicken for that long, and they are pretty bland! I usually steamed my veges for making baby food and used the cooking water or breast milk to puree it.

  71. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks! I have been gluten free for FOUR years now! Before there were many choices or much knowledge of it.

  72. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I use a 12 oz jar.

  73. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    To make the chicken stock I have, but not for freezer cooking. I don't think you're suppose to refreeze meat after it's been thawed. At least that's what I've always been told.

  74. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Weird that it was runny. Sorry you couldn't eat it. I add about 2 cups of brown minute rice to the crockpot about 30 minutes before it's done cooking (and also reduce the heat to warm) so mine isn't runny at all. I also add a little drizzle of teriyaki sauce once it's plated. Hope this helps! We love the teriyaki chicken.

  75. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    They should last up to 3-4 months, but chances are, you'll use them up before then!

  76. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yay! Let us know how it went.

  77. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Nice! I usually make at least 2 extra servings of dinner to pack for my husband's lunches. You're right, it does save a TON of money, and his coworkers are usually super jealous of what he's eating compared to their lunches :)

  78. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Ha! I LOVE that! I'm going to have to share that quote! :)

  79. D.Mitchell says:

    Sorry, I am still confused. If I put all in to a 2gallon bag (I know you have in separate bags) do I put 1 cup teriyaki in bag and then add an additional 1/4 cup in pot when cooking? Thanks excited to try. Gotta love Pinterest for making blogs known.

  80. I found this on pinterest but would love to follow this… Can you give me tips on how to stay in touch with your crockpot recipes

  81. Carlye Jean Rankin says:

    Just found your blog on pinterest! Can't wait to read more! My goal for the month of March was to challenge myself – I planned out an entire month's worth of meals thanks to a recent blog I found. I have made all but 3 meals – all were freezer meals. I have a total of about 20 meals and it did not take me long at all. I am totally in love. They are healthier meals and I am way under budget for the month! Great job!

  82. Aly Porter says:

    I love this! This is amazing! I am going to try this. Thanks so much!

  83. Great ideas! What kind of freezer bags do you use? I don't have a food sealer, so I'm wondering if I can just "mash" the air out of regular bags and freeze and still have good results.

  84. brigid | naturally attached says:

    I have been wanting to do this too ever since I read Stephanie's post but I keep putting it off! I don't know why. I literally thought about earlier today and told myself I was going to make time to sit down and write out everything I need. It's such a easy way to get dinners done!

  85. Anonymous says:

    Great recipes. Your picture show carrots in the teriyaki chicken but not reflected in the recipe? I am making these to give to my sister who is about to have her first baby. Perfect gift too, for new parents.

  86. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    it's the first ingredient listed ;) Yes, it is GREAT for new parents!

  87. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I just use the target brand… I usually don't let them sit in the freezer for more than a month and have not had a problem.

  88. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    way to go! that's awesome!

  89. I am so excited about trying this way of cooking! Baby William will be arriving soon and I think this will be perfect especially with a crazy little four year running around my feet. :) Life is wonderful!

  90. Anonymous says:

    Do you blanch the veggies before freezing? They are not soggy after cooking?

  91. How do you make your GF Meatballs?

  92. Anonymous says:

    Saw this on Pinterest! I have the teriyaki chicken in the crock pot now and I am hoping to do the sausage and peppers tomorrow! Thanks for the great ideas!

  93. Sara Hinton says:

    I'm totally not a cook, so I'm going to copy all of your recipes (hope you don't mind!). Thanks for this post! As a working woman/newlywed that works 10-hour days, this will help me and my hubby tremendously in our attempt to eat healthy. :) :)

  94. I made all these meals last weekend. I tried a couple of them this week. Tonight we had the Savory Chicken. YUM! I liked Stephanie's Goulash, too. I need to play with my crockpot some — it seems to cook faster than the recipes need, which means I just need to start a bit later in the day. Thank you for sharing!

  95. I am gluten free as well… Do you have a favorite Gfree teriyaki sauce that you use? Thanks so much!

  96. Katherine (Aurora Spitfire) says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea! I'm really excited to do this in preparation for our new baby, who's arriving any week now… I added a link to your post on my blog: http://auroraspitfire.blogspot.com/2012/03/tasty-tuesday.html

  97. Wonderful ideas and recipes! I'll definitely be giving it a try, and I'll give you credit on my blog when I do!

  98. I usually buy a giant bag of flash frozen chicken breasts. Would it be ok that I am throwing in frozen chicken with fresh unfrozen food and then refreezing?

  99. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for these great ideas…just came across your blog. One question, have you done the low for 8 hours? My husband complains that the meat is always so mushy, but I work during the day and am gone usually for longer than 8 hours…so my crockpot clicks to warm after 8 hours, but we still end up with mushy chicken or pork. Beef works okay, but not the chicken or pork. Was wondering if anyone had any ideas for that. Thanks!
    Krissy

  100. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    hmmm, never had an issue w/ mushy meat. the veges are sometimes mushy, but not usually the meat. Maybe buy a timer and plug the crock pot into it. That's what I did when I worked full time.

  101. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes. I would assemble all the other ingredients and then put in the frozen breasts, and then freeze the bags before the breasts have time to thaw.

  102. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thank you! And congrats!

  103. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Glad you liked them!

  104. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    enjoy :)

  105. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Here's my recipe. I use gluten free breadcrumbs. You can buy them or make them your own w/ your favorite gf bread (mine is Udis).

  106. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I do not blanch them. They are not crisp, but we do not mind. It actually helps the digestion process too.

  107. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yay! Congrats! You're so right: Life IS wonderful!

  108. Ooooh, what kind of timer? Where can you get one of those? I could use one since I am usually gone for 9 hours or so when I work.

  109. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    You can find them at hardware stores, walmart, target, etc. I think they're usually in the "projects / electrical" section. A lot of people use them to cut lamps on at a certain time.

  110. I was wondering the same thing. What size crock pot do you have for these recipes Jaima?

  111. Ohh! Duh moment. I sell those at work! :-P I was thinking there was some sort of special timer for a crockpot, lol. Thanks for all the feedback!!

  112. Anonymous says:

    You are brilliant! Thank you! :)

  113. Anonymous says:

    what a great idea! thanks

  114. Anonymous says:

    I had the same issue when I made it the other night and was totally bummed.

  115. Laura @ Hip Pressure Cooking says:

    I just linked to this from my facebook page. This is great for a pressure cooker. You probably don't even need to defrost them. Just add a cup of liquid, and toss them in frozen.. after 15 to 20 minutes under pressure (depending on the meat) everything is ready! I'm looking forward to more freezer meal ideas from you to share with my readers.

    Ciao,

    L

    • Wow, Laura, thanks for the tip! I have a pressure cooker that I mainly use for dried beans and using it would make the meals quicker to cook.

  116. Sheila G. says:

    I've shared this website with several people after I posted pictures of what it looked like when I tried it! We had the Sweet and Tangy meatballs last night. Yum! Healthy BBQ Chicken is on the menu for next week. Thanks!

  117. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU!!!! CAN'T WAIT TO TRY THESE!!! While I am not a Mom, and certainly not as busy as a Mom is, I do love easy-to-prepare meals… ESPECIALLY crockpot meals! Those are the best for our dinners at church! :) THANKS!!!!!

  118. Anonymous says:

    Enjoyed your blog.

  119. Anonymous says:

    Loved your blog. Keep it coming. :)

  120. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great ideas. We also follow the same "food rules". And it is awesome to find receipies I do not have to alter to fit our needs. I will be trying a few of these.

  121. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing. :) These look awesome. I cant wait to try these.

  122. Thanks so much for the wonderful idea! We are going to be putting a new kitchen in our home in a few weeks, so I'm doing some planning and freezing meals ahead of time. This will be so easy ~ looking forward to good food while my kitchen is being put in!

  123. AvienUSMCwife says:

    Awesome job!! I too used to do all of this but fell away from it somehow? Only concern is that you are so super careful with all of your food choices, except meatballs….PLEASE consider making your own to avoid the pink slime issue that has been in the news lately. We are fortunate to have a butcher here in town and ever since pink slime hit the news I just can't bring myself to purchase ground beef at the local stores. Sam's club even has a "notice" to customers that they do use it but of course they call it something that sounds better than pink slime. To make your own meatballs simply use your meatloaf recipe and ball 'em up like golf balls or smaller and then put them on a cookie sheet to freeze for oh maybe an hour then pop them into your recipe bags or just a large freezer bag on their own! Best of luck with it!!

  124. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thank you so much for your comment. Here is my gf meatball recipe. http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2009/08/italian-gravy-meatballs.html

  125. I always thought that veggies had to be BLANCHED before freezing………you've tried this and the veggies are fine???? You may have just changed my life! :)

  126. Madeline Miller says:

    In my experience, teriyaki sauce is usually runny. It's a very liquid sauce, not a sticky one like orange chicken.

  127. Madeline Miller says:

    Thanks so much for the recipes! I have a question for you – in the Savory Chicken recipe, it says you don't put the broccoli in the bag. Does that mean you just have fresh broccoli on hand when you make that meal? Or do you freeze it separately and then add it as instructed in the recipe? Thanks!

  128. do you put the raw chicken in the same bag as the veggies or do you use two different bags?

  129. Anonymous says:

    Two questions for when you pick your own recipes to make into these meals… do you take the original recipe and multiply all the ingredients by two to get the full recipe? How does one know what can be put in the bag to be frozen and what has to be added later?

  130. Anonymous says:

    Oh wow, you may have saved my sanity. Starting back to work full time (after 20 years) for 45 hr. week Tuesday. Kinda freaking out how to feed a family! Thank you, I'll be looking here for more meals next week!!! :)

  131. This is GREAT! Thanks for sharing. :)

  132. Anonymous says:

    Would this same amount work for a family of 5? How much meat would I need to add to each meal to accommodate?

  133. Though I love the idea of this "freezer cooking" thing, I was wondering, how would I make these feed a family my size? We are a family of 3 adults (our oldest child isn't so much a child anymore at 21) a teenage boy, and two smaller, though nowhere near toddler age, children. I would just LOVE to be able to make up these and have them waiting for days when cooking is just NOT what I want to do, but it just doesn't seem feasible! Any ideas how I could make this work for us? :)

  134. Anonymous says:

    I have been making extra size meals for years and freezing left overs for another day. Now I have more tried and true recipes to add to my list! Thank you

  135. So, I'm a lazy dude who is on a pretty thin budget but like to cook. I really like what all I've seen here and my sister is really recommending I try the crock-pot "freeze-now-and-slow-cook-later" method… Is there anyway I can get a list of all the groceries needed for these recipes, so I can just go out and get them and prepare the bags? I know you posted the recipes but I'm really bad at transferring those into a grocery list…

  136. Anonymous says:

    About to get married, ideas like these will help me look more domesticated to my husband! Thanks :)

  137. Tammie H says:

    Love this idea and will be doing this over the weekend. Only request, printer friendly version that won't waste ink and paper. I cut and paste into a word doc if you want me to send it to you.

  138. These all sound great, but I have a concern about the teriyaki, as pineapple has an enzyme that dissolves proteins. Does the freezing halt this process? Have you noticed the chicken in that dish is soggy or mushy?

  139. Anonymous says:

    This was a great idea and I really appreciate the post. A few notes though: It REALLY is worth it to invest in freezer containers and labels. Not only can you be eco-freindly and re-use them, but I used a good well-known brand of bags and the smell of food has permeated my freezer, the bags stuck together (one of them ripped when we tried to separate them) and the sharpie ink is just not staying on the bag. Oh, also the shape that the bags freeze in will NOT fit into a crockpot, if in a different shape (like a block) a lot of these meals could be cooked from frozen saving even more time! Freezer containers aren't very expensive and can be found on Amazon! Just a tip!

  140. cakebaker_cakemaker says:

    I wondered this too?…I have never frozen meals as such..especially raw vegetables so am intrigued as to how it works. I want to try this now because my Daughter will be a new Mum in July and I want to stack her freezer full of nutritious meals beforehand.

  141. lilysmom0208 says:

    PLEASEEEE keep these recipes coming…how wonderful!!!! Farmer's Market here we come!!

  142. cakebaker_cakemaker says:

    I wondered about the enzymes of the pineapple too…..any info on this question would be helpful..thanks

  143. Hi! These are awesome!! One question – how to you serve the Savory Chicken? Over rice? I might pass one of the bags on to a family who just had a baby and since I haven't eaten mine yet I'm not sure what to tell them. Thank you!

  144. Wash and reuse ziploc bags! We reuse plastic containers, don't we? If you are concerned about the raw meat in the bag, add a teaspoon or so of bleach to your dishwashing water and it will disinfect the bag. Rinse in hot water and hang to dry. We pack lunches every day and use ziplocs for leftovers and I only buy plastic bags once every 3-4 months.

  145. mrswolf39 says:

    How big of a jar of jelly for the meatballs and how big a can of pineapple? I am soin love with this idea. it also cuts my shopping time way down!

  146. Hannah g says:

    This may be a dumb question but do you put one whole recipe per bag or split the recipes in half?

  147. Hey there!! Found you through Pinterest, & SOOOO happy I did, I was just thinking about this, this afternoon, as I sat here wondering what to make for dinner?!?! This would make life so much easier. AND you added the recipes, I could just hug you!

  148. Anonymous says:

    You can by your own food scale anywhere or a Weight Watcher store.

  149. Anonymous says:

    Hi there,
    Ready to start this today, will follow you on FB as well! I have a question, what size can of tomatos do you use for both the Savory Chicken, and Sausage & Peppers? Thanks!

  150. Anonymous says:

    What size are the cans of diced tomatoes in the Sausage and Peppers recipe? Thanks!

  151. Mishelle says:

    I made your teriyaki recipe last night to see if my family liked it before I froze a few meals worth it was really good. I'll be throwing out my old teriyaki crock recipe. If you want to check out some of my recipes come on over! loveandbutterblog.com

  152. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the great recipes!

    Ground Brown Chuck Recipes-
    Both the Italian and the Mexican are exactly the same. I imagine you add either Italian seasoning and/or some sort of Mexican seasonings. Can you please update with amount of seasonings you add (since I am new to this and don't know how much seasoning is lost in the freezing process).

    Thanks!

  153. Anonymous says:

    Always defrost in the refrigerator…leaving it out overnight or all day to thaw poses risk for contamination and bacteria growth with the meat. Just a helpful hint.

  154. Anonymous says:

    I have a cookbook called the Big cook .I get toegether 4 times a year with 3 other moms that are intrested in large cooking and freezing .Each mom brings enough for their choice of recipie and at the end of the day you go home with 16 meals and the best part is the shared cost .What a timesaver.

  155. Anonymous says:

    So, I'm just about to have a baby and I am FREAKING OUT because I've been looking over an hour and haven't found a free guide to 1-2 weeks of freezable meals that also include cooking instructions, so THANK YOU THANK YOU! And it's gluten-free and healthy. Oh, wonderful. Most of what I found for free out there is like tater tot casserole or it's long & complicated. Thank you, Jaima, you just saved my life!

  156. Gina Crotts says:

    I didn't see anyone ask this in your comments… but can you do this with frozen chicken breast? I have a lot that I would like to do with the frozen chicken. Is this possible? I'm a horrible cook, so I am excited to see if I can make these work. :)

  157. Came across this on Pinterest! & LOVE the idea! With one kid in baseball & one in t-ball, I was so glad to have found this!! Thank you for sharing! Spent 4hrs in the kitchen this time. Hoping my 2nd time is faster! LoL! And can't wait to try all these recipes!!

  158. Anonymous says:

    Came across this on Pinterest! :)
    I have 3 teenagers, my husband & myself, my son is in football & eats us out of the house! I guess I would need to double or triple the recipe for us! LoL
    I'll let you know when we try them & how everybody liked'em! Leah =)

  159. educatingqueenscarlet says:

    Love this idea and am trying it…one question…the ingredients unless otherwise stated are for one bag correct. I.E. 2 cans of stewed tomatoes in the savory chicken recipe would be 2 cans for each bag or split that in half…1 can in one bag?

  160. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  161. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    It depends on what the recipe originally calls for. I like to make enough at one time to prepare two separate meals with. Sometimes I have to double the recipes, but sometimes the recipe already serves 8+… Hope that makes since.

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  162. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    so glad you're here! That's a hard transition back to full time work…

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts here http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  163. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I would just use the entire recipe (just dump it all into 1 bag). You will probably have left overs :)

  164. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    You probably need to dump the entire recipe into 1 bag. I usually estimate 1/4 lb of meat per adult. And we usually have left overs that way, too.

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  165. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    congrats :)

  166. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I have not experienced that, after they've been frozen, but I usually don't freeze them for more than 2 months.

  167. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I do use some containers for freezer cooking :) I actually need to invest in more. I have never experienced the smell or the tearing with my bags though… I always thaw my meals in the fridge the night before and do not put them in the crock pot frozen.

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  168. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:
  169. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Either over rice, or mashed potatoes :)

  170. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    No question is dumb! Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  171. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I use the standard 15-16 oz cans for everything unless otherwise noted :)

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  172. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I use the standard 15-16 oz cans for everything unless otherwise noted :)

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  173. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yay!!! So glad they loved it :)

  174. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    so happy you're here :)

  175. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Yes. Just add them to the bag at the very end and refreeze right away!

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  176. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    4 hours is better than an hour every night :)

    Don't miss my newest post too! http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  177. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Every recipe above makes TWO meals in two separate bags for my family of 3 (2 adults and toddler) with at least 1 or 2 lunches.

    Please see my new freezer cooking posts that answers a lot of questions http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/more-freezer-cooking-meals-part-3.html

  178. Anonymous says:

    I have a question, i am gluten free too but have not been able to find a gluten free teriyaki sauce. Where or what brand did you find a gluten free version? I love teriyaki and have missed it since being gluten free!
    Thanks!

  179. Jennifer says:

    Also found you from pinterest =) I went grocery shopping last night and just spent 3 hours in the kitchen, prepping my 10 days worth of dinners. The time went by so fast and I'm sure will pay off in the long run!

    Gina – I don't see any reason why you can't use frozen chicken. But You wouldn't want to defrost the chicken and re-freeze. I used frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts from Walmart as that's all I had on hand. What I did was take the bag out of the freezer this morning. I prepared all of the dinners then cut the chicken and added them to the bags. They were still frozen (what I wanted) but they were easier to cut than if I had just pulled them out of the freezer.

  180. Anonymous says:

    "Pink Slime" has been in our meat FOREEVVVERR. Scare tactics.

  181. JennyNIN says:

    For the teriyaki chkn is the teryaki sauce in the ziplock bag…and i also add some when i cook it? and also if im just going to make this and not freeze it is the coooking time the same?

  182. I made up several of these meals a few weeks ago. Last night my husband and I enjoyed the teriyaki chicken. It was so good! I used frozen chicken breasts for all the chicken meals. I put all the other ingredient in the bags, then added the chicken breasts and popped them into the freezer. Next time I make the teriyaki chicken, though, I will cut the chicken into strips or cubes about halfway through the cooking. I loved the taste that the vegetables soaked up. I think that picky kids might even eat their vegetables!

  183. I am so grateful to you for this post! As the mother of 4 boys, I am always looking for quick meals during sports seasons. Often end up having to settle for less healthy choices when we are on the run. This is going to help us out so much! I tried 4 of your recipes yesterday and look forward to tasting them in the next week. My gratitude to you for sharing your ingenuity!

  184. Anonymous says:

    I wanted to love these. I tried the chicken Teryaki and thought it was marginal. Didn't even keep the leftovers. I think it was way over done after 8 hours on low, and I started everything from the frozen state. I used strips of chicken packaged for Fajitas and I am sure that led to my problem. Perhaps better results if it cooked for less time and larger intact breasts.

  185. The Halbert Home says:

    I usually only do breasts for 3-4 hours on low if they're thawed. Other wise they are quite mushy.

  186. I just made all of these today! It took me from 3pm-12am to do everything BUT the shredded chicken & stock (which I'm prepping tomorrow after work)… But I am very excited about it all! Can't wait to start cooking all of this!

  187. Do you take these recipes right out of the freezer and put in the crock pot or do they need to thaw? Thanks!

  188. Christy Drake says:

    These are great! My sister and sister-in-law are both pregnant, and I'm going to use your ideas to stock their freezer for once the babies arrive! Thanks!

  189. For the Teriyaki Chicken…do you cut the chicken in any way. Also, do you add teriyaki sauce into the bag and then just add 1/4 cup also?

  190. Teriyaki Chicken….do you cut the chicken in any way? Also, do you add Teriyaki sauce to the bag and just add the 1/4 cup also?

  191. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Hi Kat, I usually cut them in half length wise (I do this for most of my chicken while I'm trimming the fat, though it's not necessary).

    Yes, add the other amount of sauce to bag. Add 1/4 cup when you cook it. I also drizzle a tad on top after I plate it!

  192. Thanks!!

  193. HotsyMama says:

    Thank you for posting this! I can't wait to try it!!

  194. OMG… this is amazing. I've heard about "Freezer Cooking" but never really found anything realistic that I'd do. I am a cancer survivor (6x – yes that's six) that has issues from the cancer treatment along with Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia. I have a lot of problems making good homecooked meals for me and hubby anymore but this would be a WONDERFUL way to assure I always have something for dinner. I cannot thank you enough. You are a true blessing to me in finding this.
    Simply AMAZING! I can't wait. I'll have to make a grocery list for next week and try to get everything. Darn! I just came home from grocery shopping so it'll have to wait until next grocery week.
    Thanks again.

  195. Anonymous says:

    Question? Is one recipe for one meal or two? I know it says that you put it in two different bags. Do you combine the two bags when it comes time to cook it?

  196. LitGirl says:

    One thing to note: If you're trying to be healthy, which it looks like you are, use Ziploc brand bags, as they don't have BPA in them anymore. Since you're freezing your bags you're going to want to make sure that you don't end up leaching all kinds of toxins into your healthy foods by using cheapy bags. I used to use Great Value bags until I found out that I could spend a bit more to keep dioxins from entering my body through frozen plastic. Awesome idea! I do this already and LOVE it! I have one day where I cook/prepare all my meals for the week and it makes my life SOOOO much easier!!

  197. LitGirl says:

    One thing to note: If you're trying to be healthy, which it looks like you are, use Ziploc brand bags, as they don't have BPA in them anymore. Since you're freezing your bags you're going to want to make sure that you don't end up leaching all kinds of toxins into your healthy foods by using cheapy bags. I used to use Great Value bags until I found out that I could spend a bit more to keep dioxins from entering my body through frozen plastic. Awesome idea! I do this already and LOVE it! I have one day where I cook/prepare all my meals for the week and it makes my life SOOOO much easier!!

  198. I have seen on food shows to not add pineapple to meat ahead of time because the enzymes in the pineapple can make the meat mushy. Have you had a problem with the texture of the meat after having it in the freezer?

  199. Anonymous says:

    To Anne, I think they were referring to fresh pineapple.

  200. Tara B says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I have two teenagers and I struggle with working, their schedules and feeding them healthy food. We made 6 meals on Saturday. We have eaten the Newlywed Beef Tips and the Beef Fajitas are making the house smell wonderful right now! I am so excited to be able to feed my family healthy, delicious meals no matter how busy we are! THANK YOU!

  201. Anonymous says:

    Is there any danger of cross-contamination from storing uncooked chicken with veggies? Even if you cook the chicken thoroughly, the chances of food poisoning go up if some juices seep into the veggies and don't get cooked thoroughly. I'd recommend separating the chicken from the veggies in separate smaller bags, then stored together into the larger bag. More plastic waste, but safer.

    • It wouldn’t be safer. If you are cooking chicken at the right temperature and long enough to kill bacteria the vegetables will definitely be cooked long and hot enough. The temperature is what kills the bacteria. Meat is thicker and denser then any of your cut up vegetable, so there won’t be any problem with them reaching proper temp. Go ahead and add it all together!

  202. Anonymous says:

    I'm trying to eliminate freezing things, looks like some of these recipes could be canned. Has any one tried this?

  203. Anonymous says:

    I have a question, when you say to split everything into 2 one-gallon size bags, does that mean 2 separate meals for different nights? Or to then combine those 2 bags back together for one meal?

  204. This is good to hear – great example with the soup! I was a little worried about cross contamination

  205. jennimom2 says:

    I follow Stephanie and have her cookbook as well. It is such a great idea. At the beginning of the month I pick out 4 or 5 of these, make them up, and stick them in the freezer. This helps out a lot because I work nights and I was always concerned because my kids weren't getting nice healthy dinners. This way I know they are. It also saves on grocery shopping because you can get things in bulk, and I only have to go major grocery shopping once a month. Thanks for the recipes above, there are a few here I haven't seen before.

  206. Crafts by CJ says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Thanks to your inspiration I had a cook-a-thon of my own and used one of your recipes. You can see how it turned our here

    http://craftsbycj.blogspot.com/2012/05/cook-thon.html

    Thanks again!
    CJ

  207. Megan @ Real Best Recipe says:

    This is amazing! Doing the savory chicken and ground chuck tomorrow! And will definitely be coming back to prepare ALL of these before grad school classes start up again… otherwise, it'll be another whole semester of frozen Amy's meals for dinner! Thanks for the ideas!

  208. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a general idea of how much the meals cost? I'd love to do this, but want to have an idea of what kind of budget it would take!

  209. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing.

  210. I haven't seen anyone ask this: the Italian and Mexican ground beef, once it's thawed, how do you reheat? In the microwave?

  211. Anonymous says:

    Your meals look so healthy and convenient! Do you have any vegetarian recipes though? Thanks!

  212. Anonymous says:

    I just saw this and I think it's a brilliant idea! Specially because I have a second little one on the way, this will be perfect for after the baby is born (I can trust my husband to use the crock pot but not the stove/oven lol), plus I recieved a food saver for christmas that I have hardly used! But I have a question: why can't you use ingredients with gluten, high fructose corn syrup or artifical sweeteners?

  213. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering the same! Thanks for asking…and answering :)

  214. plumbing says:

    You will need to work the icing down towards the tip opening and twist the open end of the bag shut. Now you have a icing bag.

  215. Mrs. Shields says:

    I'm also wondering how big a can of pineapple for the teriyaki recipe? Thank you!

  216. homeschoolingmomof4 says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I am a super busy mom of 2 teens & 2 preteens & I am all for things I can "cook" & not have to stand over, espacially on basketball nights. On the lazy day stew do you brown the meat before you freeze it or freeze it raw??? I amm in the process of freezer cooking right now & don't want to do this one wrong!!! THANKS!

  217. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I only brown my roasts and ground beef before freezing them. Everything else should go in raw unless I specify in the directions. Would love to know how it turns out for you!

  218. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I just let it thaw and then mix it in whatever I'm going to use. Usually enchiladas, spaghetti, or mexican casserole.

  219. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I generally spend about $100 a week on groceries. That includes any of my freezer meals plus fresh produce and snacks for the week.

  220. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    For my family, (me, hubby, and toddler) we get 1 dinner plus 2-4 lunches out of 1 bag. Sometimes a little more.

  221. Love this idea!!! Can’t wait to get started. I linked you on my blog =)

  222. Found you on pinterest and just spent my 2 hours in the kitchen! trying my first recipe tomorrow – very excited! My only question is… when you say you “take it out of the freezer and lay in out the night before”, does this mean you leave it out? Or do you transfer from the freezer to the fridge?? Let me know! Thank you so much!

  223. This is fantastic. Thank you!

  224. Very good information. Lucky me I ran across
    your website by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve saved as a favorite for later!

  225. luvsavin41 says:

    I love this thank you, I have 3 kids and a busy husband, this will come in handy. My husband may even try it for the firestation. But could you please tell me on the teriyaki chicken do you put the sauce in the gallon ziploc with the chicken, then all of the veggies in the other, please let me know! ty

  226. WoW!

    I found the link to these freezer recipes on pinterest and I am so excited. I have been looking for some good recipes to freeze for me, husband and my 15 month old. I love that they are simple to throw together, inexpensive and healthy. GREAT JOB! Can’t wait to get started.

  227. thank you so much for your ideas! they’ve given me motivation to cook again. I think my family is in shock to see meals ready at 6pm again. It’s been a longgg time. =)

  228. Do you pour it out of the bag when you cook it directly into the crockpot? Or do you keep it cooking in the bag? From, the world’s worst cook.

    • Hi Katie! No, I dump the contents into the crockpot without the bag. Hope that helps. These are all pretty easy, so I’m sure you can do it :)

  229. Thank you so much for this. I am doing grocery shopping this week and will do this! I noticed you said you were going to try to post more, were you able to do that?

  230. Terry Atwell says:

    This is absolutely marvelous! I am a nurse and work 3-12hr shifts in a row, therefore I sleep all day the day I am going to work with no time to cook anything! I will be so nice to put these into the crock pot before I go to bed in the morning and have a completed meal ready & waiting when I get done dressing for work!!! I am going to implement this type of thing into my daily work routine as soon as we get moved next week! Thank you so much :)

  231. Freezer cooking rocks and is an excellent time saver for busy moms.

  232. Hello! I’d love to try this! How long can these meals be stored in the freezer before use?
    Thanks!

  233. Do you have a shopping list compiled of all the ingredients needed? Great ideas – can’t wait to try!

  234. This is fantastic! I’m kind of a dud when it comes to freezing – so this may be a really stupid question (or was already answered): do you cook the chicken/beef first? OR can it go into the bag/freezer raw?

  235. Question about adding the broccoli for the last 30 minutes…do you add frozen broccoli? And have you ever had any issues with the chicken drying out? That always seems to be my issue with chicken in the crock. I’ve even tried using frozen chicken, still dry.

    On another note, I am really looking forward to trying this out with my family of 3!!

  236. Melissa says:

    Hi, I just found you on pinterest. I have what may be a dumb question: what size crock pot do you use?

  237. I just made the savory chicken for our freezer! Baby #2 will be here in just a few weeks so freezer meals are going to be my new best friend! Thanks a ton for the many recipes!

  238. I’m a stay at home mom and I am always trying to come up with different cooking ideas for my husband and 3 year old son. These look so easy and awesome and I can’t wait to try them out. I do have one question when you cook the ground beef and shredded chicken in the bags how long do they last in the freezer? I’m so excited to see more recipes.

  239. …..(hang my head in shame)as a 48 year old housewife, married for 28 years,I have grown lazy as our family has changed and our busy lifestyles have got in the way, I have increasingly relied on convenience food….but yesterday I had quite an enjoyable day sorting my cupboards, getting organised and making some batches of your recipes as well as my own…went to bed tired but look forward to having some great healthy food instantly ready, really worth the effort…..thank you for the inspration.

  240. SO disappointed with the Teriyaki Chicken. :( The chicken was dry (how on earth that happens in the crockpot i have no idea), the pineapple tasted funny, and it tasted nothing like teriyaki. Not sure what I’m gonna do with the one in the freezer. :(

  241. Wow! This site was forwarded to me today and it must simply be a blessing! I have a family of five and when I walk in the door @ 5:10 every after noon the first thing I get is “mommy what’s for dinner”. These freezer cooking meals will definitely help me tremendously, especially when school begins-since 5:00-6:15 is both homework time and dinner preparation time!
    Thanks!

  242. Love it! I have Pinterest your time savings idea’s

  243. So, my question is, for the crockpot freezer recipes, all of the ingredients go into two freezer bags for storage, but when you get ready to put it in the crock pot to make the meal, do you use BOTH freezer bags of ingredients? your directions say “Instruction for Bag” so is this for one bag of the ingredients (meaning essentially you have two meals of each type stored in the freezer?) or do you mean to say “Instructions for Bag(s)” plural?

  244. I made Teriyaki Chicken, Lazy Day Stew, Sausage & Peppers, and Sweet & Tangy Meatballs. I doubled the recipes as well. Our favorite-favorite was the Teriyaki Chicken may add some baby corn and water chestnuts next time served with those crunchy noodles. The Lazy Day stew was good as well could have been a bit thicker. For the Sausage & Peppers I would use drained tomatoes and add regular sauce to make it a little thicker. The Sweet & Tangy Meatballs the verdict is still out…it’s tonights dinner. It seems more of an appetizer type food than dinner. I am going to serve it with a salad and cheese and crackers. I think the strong flavor over just rice or noodles might be too much. THX for the recipes!

  245. All sound good but is it sanitary to have the raw chicken in with the veggies? Do crock pots get hot enough to kill any potential bacteria ?

  246. I just wanted to tell you I love your system and the recipes. I made the teriyaki chicken and doubled it and then had so much leftover—I put it in a roll out pie crust, (covered with another crust) two nights later and called it Polynesian chicken Pot Pie and my family went CRAZY for it. keep em coming!!

  247. Thanks for sharing!
    When you make your stock, don’t throw out your veggies! Chop them small when you boil and then add your stock and veggies to magic bullet or food processer, puree until smooth, and keep all that yummieness and a little fiber in there too!

  248. I cooked the beef roast today and was wondering if I can freeze half of it even after it has been cooked in the crock pot. I noticed you freeze everything raw before it is cooked. We will not be able to eat the whole dinner. Will it still be good if I freeze it after it has been in crockpot all day? The meat has never been frozen before.

  249. Any nutritional info for your great recipes (specifically calories and fat)?

  250. I didn’t see what was particularly healthy about these recipes. Convenient -yes! Tasty looking/sounding – mm-hmm, yup! But, teriaki, bbq sauce are all high in sugar regardless of the brand. And, I didn’t see a whole of veggies. What’s up with that?

  251. thanks for this posting! I am in the process of preparing meals for aging parents in amother state. I wanted to do something healthy and good, but most important, easy. This is just hat I was looking for.

  252. Thanks! I love all the ingredients and the recipes have affordable ingredients.

  253. I found your blog through Pinterest, and LOVE it! I cannot wait to try the freezer cooking. I am a homeschooling Mom, with three sons & a hard working husband. We also have my father, sister & niece living with us, so I have eight people to feed & clean up after. This is going to be a “saver” in so many ways, time, work, & money. We have a large upright freezer, that would love to be filled with already prepared meals.
    Thanks for sharing, and I will definitely post my results!
    God bless!

  254. Love these ideas! I posted a link to your site from a recent post I did on freezer meals and once-a-month cooking: All Things with Purpose

  255. Hi! This is an awesome post and I really want to try this! However I notice most of the cooking times are 6-7 hours. I work an 8 hour day… do you happen to know if a few more hours will ruin these recipies??

    • I recommend getting a timer for those days that you can set in advance! There’s nothing worse than overcooked, dry meat :)

  256. Thanks! Just starting to get into freezer meals since school is almost upon us. (I’m a homeschooling Mama so this will be very helpful!)

  257. I wonder if you could take the stock & veggies, add some chicken broth to it, bring to a boil, add some egg noodles & have chicken noodle soup? There’s another meal!!!

  258. Recipes look great. I always thought that most veggies had to be cooked somewhat before freezing. Are all veggies frozen raw?

    Thanks.

  259. I have frozen my left over cooked meals for years: roast, spaghetti, chili, soups, stews. It does save a lot of time to pull them from the freezer, thaw , heat and eat. Just make the rice, mashed potatoes or noodles to go with it.

  260. I am a crock pot beginnner.. I made the Chiccken Teriyaki first although it did come out yummy.. im a little confused. When i got home and removed the lid, th efood looked like a soup. I dont know where all the liquid came form but i was under the impression that it would ultimatley cook dry. I found this also happened with a second recipe i made. Am I doing something wrong? Or is this the way all crock pot recipes comes out? How would i make something to be dry at the end result?

  261. Wow this is an amazing idea. I have two toddlers so this would save me tons of time and allow us to eat more healthy home cooked dinner. Thank you so much for posting!

  262. Hi! I just wanted to say thanks for this post! My sister and I spent some great time together preparing frozen crock pot meals for our families over the weekend. I wrote about it on my blog in tomorrow’s post and have linked back here because I used some of your recipes. I can’t wait to taste them. Thanks so much!

    ~Bri
    http://room1109.wordpress.com

  263. Great ideas!!!! with 3 very active very boys this makes dinner time alot easier!!!! expically on days with any sport practice or game we come home and dinner is done no more eating out on those nights

  264. I have always wanted to try this, making easy freezer meals for the crock pot. You would think just throwing things into the crock pot before work wouldn’t be that hard, but apparently it is. I have every intention, and it just doesn’t happen. This will give me no excuse! I was wondering if anyone has tried the chicken with hindquarters instead? Would they just need to cook a little longer, like 8 hours? (which would be perfect for me, cause that’s how long I’m at work!) Chicken breasts are SO expensive, and when you can get hindquarters on sale for $0.89/lb its a no brainer!

  265. Jessica Chandler says:

    Made the Teriyaki Chicken in the crockpot! It was YUMMY:) It was a hit at our house and we added it to our favorite meals. Easy prep. I froze it and then used later in the week. It was wonderful and so easy. Served over rice. Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

  266. Are you supposed to soak the Lima Beans before freezing, they did not cook at all. It was quite gross. I guess I am going to pick them out before I serve them to the family.

    As for the runny issue in the terriyaki – I added a tablespoon or so of cornstarch and it thickened right up.

  267. I found your site through Pinterest and I cannot wait to try these recipes, plus freezing extra meals. I cook for seven people, and this will be cost and “work” effective. Not to mention how delicious & healthy these meals sound.
    Thanks & God bless!

  268. Good idea! I’ll have to think of some vegetarian options as I don’t cook meat. I’ll let you know if we discover any great ones! I’m thinking curry? Chille? Hmm…

  269. Do you make or buy your terriyaki sauce?

  270. do you thaw each frozen bag before you crock pot it or just throw it in frozen?

  271. This may be already in the comments but what do you do with the browned ground chuck when you get it out of the freezer? Do you put that in the crock pot all day or what? Thanks!!

  272. My mom and I also have a question about the lima beans in the Lazy Day stew. The dried beans’ bag says to rinse and soak overnight then cook in the slow cooker for 10 hours on low. We aren’t sure that putting them in the bag dry will cook them well enough in the time you give for the recipe. Thanks!

    • I am wondering the same thing. Also, does it matter if you use baby Lima beans or the big ones? Thanks for your blog!

  273. Hi Jaima! Thank you for all of the great ideas! Please keep them coming. I am NOT adventerous in the kitchen on my own so this is AWESOME! I am in the process of an adoption and am trying to think ahead regarding ways to keep my family healthy once she arrives, I doubt I will want to spend hours away from her cooking! LOVE THIS SITE!! In addition, I am also wanting to help prepare some meals for a friends whose husband has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. What a fantastic way to help her! PLEASE… keep the photos and ideas coming. I am a visual person so I reeeeeallly love the photos!! :)

  274. Hi,

    My friend and I did this a month ago and our recipes are turning out a bit watery. Any tips or ideas?

    Thanks!

  275. Hi-I have a “please help now- I’m in the middle of doing this cooking, and am not sure what to do” question!!! The Lazy Day Stew… Do you really just put the dried lima beans in the freezer bag and you don’t have to soak and rinse them first?

  276. With your lasagna recipe, if you’re going to freeze one or both do you pre bake it orjust freeze itt right after you’ve put it together and bake right before you eat it?

  277. So glad you posted these! I prepped and froze 8 meals during naptime the other day! We had the beef fajitas yesterday and they made the house smell sooo good! Two adults, three kids, and we ate every bite! So good! Tomorrow, we’re having the Divine Chicken. Looking forward to it. Thanks again!

  278. Hi! I love these ideas but am wondering about freezing the raw veggies. Shouldn’t they be blanched first?

  279. Hi from Australia,

    I found your blog a few weeks ago and have done my big shop. It cost me about $50 extra but I’m hoping that in the long run it will be cheaper, because meals are prepared and there’s no wastage of food. Looking forward to preparation

  280. When pregnant with my second son in under 2 years, I prepared many freezer meals. I just knew that cooking was going to be the last thing I wanted to do after my second c section and chasing my 20 month old around. I made the savory chicken today and it was great! The broccoli came out perfect- I’m glad it was added in the last 30 minutes. Taste great and was a huge success even with my toddler! Thank you!

  281. This may be a “dumb” question, but I don’t cook with garlic a lot, but in the “Teriyaki Chicken” do you put the garlic through a garlic press or just put the cloves in whole?
    Thanks!

  282. Have my first “freezer meal” in the crock pot today while I’m at the office. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’m very excited at the fact that I chose 3 recipes from your blog, and ended up with 6 meals! Just so happens a friend went into early labor…she will be getting the extras once she returns home. WONDERFUL blog!

  283. Michelle McElduff says:

    I just wanted to say I prepared the Sausage and Peppers and Teriyaki chicken a few weeks ago and finally had the sausage and peppers last night. A-MAZ-ING!!! We had leftovers tonight. Thank you!

  284. I’ve been batch cooking for years! I love it! I take one day, every two weeks to shop & cook 14+ meals. I cook for my family & my parents! Works wonders for my family. Great recipes!

  285. I made the teriyaki chicken tonight. It was really watery, and not my cup o’ tea. Did you use white or red onions? Looks like white in the pic but red in the recipe. I think white or yellow would have been better. Also, my larger garlic pieces turned blue-green halfway thru cooking. I looked it up, it is due to the garlic being in contact with an acid. Which I’m sure is from the pineapple. I’m not giving up, I still have the savory chicken, lazy day stew, fajitas and lime chicken to go.

  286. Does anyone else’s potatoes turn black before cooking? During the thawing process, they all turned black and mushy. Any suggestions?

  287. thank you so much for sharing all these great recipes! we tried the sweet and tangy meatballs on monday, and were blown away. so delicious. tonight im doing the sausage and peppers. one of my husbands favorite meals.

  288. Finally! A crockpot series without a bunch of “cream of” recipes! Thank you! These also all look like meals hubby and I would actually like. Can’t wait to try this! Since I’m working again, I’ve been trying to utilize my crockpot more to save on evening meal prep stress. Now, if I can just get myself together to do the prep for this…. (and find some extra space in my small freezer).

  289. These are great recipes – but I am noticing that they all are very “watery”. Is anyone else having this issue? Any recommendations?

  290. Hi Jaima! Thanks for sharing these great recipes! I teach all day and run a direct sales business too, so having easy meals is key! Have you ever heard of Thirty-One Gifts? I am an organizational freak too and that’s why I started selling because I love their products! Let me know if you are interested in learning more!

  291. We just ate our first freezer meal – Lazy Day Stew and it was awesome! I added in a bit of cornstarch as many people complained of the meals being watery. There was plenty of gravy and it was stew-like but I wouldn’t say it was “watery” but not thick sauce-like either – if that makes sense. I added a little bit more salt during cooking. Other than that – it was amazing. Can’t wait to try the other meals. Thank you!!

  292. Thank you so much for these amazing recipes! I have 4 meals that I just finished. I am so excited to have 8 meals ready to go in the freezer. I am going to be sharing your link and 4 of your recipes on my blog.

    http://ouruscglife.blogspot.com/

  293. Clever! Thank you – I always made a double batch of whatever meal I was making to freeze, but never pre – prepared meals to have on hand. LOVE this idea. So wonderful and easy to be able to pull something out from the freezer, put in crock pot to cook while I am at work and being able to deliver a meal to my mom, brother, sick friend, etc. Awesome!

  294. Barbara Sprague says:

    I am wondering about the Lazy Day Stew – (1) about freezing uncooked potatoes – thinking about adding them when I put it in the pot instead. (2) Two pounds of stew meat in one recipe seems a bit much – that’s about a pound a person according to what you say. Tried the Teriyaki chicken – would use white or yellow onions and added some rough chopped red and yellow pepper at the end. Wish I would have cooked the rice in the sauce because there was plenty. Am sharing this idea with many friends.

  295. How do dried lima beans cook in 4 hours? Do you soak before freezing?

  296. I tried the teriyaki chicken and really liked it. I swear i got the recipe for the teriyaki sauce on here but now i can not find it. can i get that recipe from someone? thanks

  297. Sorry, but I am not seeing the recipe for the teriyaki sauce. Is this a ready-made item that you buy or do you mix it up yourself? If so, can you share the recipe?

  298. Do you purchase the teriyakisauce or make it?

  299. Jo Ann Bazar says:

    This old pro of 57 yrs. of marriage has learned a new trick from you! Thank you.

  300. Jennifer Pense says:

    I’m having trouble opening your “PRINTABLE RECIPES HERE” link.

  301. So glad I found you! My third child is about to have cleft lip surgery and I was just thinking I should figure out dinners ahead of time to alleviate stress after we come home from the hospital. He will demand so much of my time and attention but I have other children to feed too! I actually thought about doing freezer meals but didn’t know how to begin, and I just happened to come across you today. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us! This will be a HUGE help to me :-)

  302. This is an Awesome idea. I am trying to downsize my recipes since i am cooking for one again. I think if i divide these into smaller amounts then I can use my smaller crockpot with the same Yummy results.

  303. I prepared the sausage and peepers on Sunday, threw it in the crockpot today added orzo pasta and it is amazing!!! Thank you! I will be trying all of the recipes here and I also purchased the book you mentioned on your facebook site!

  304. Stacey Harleman says:

    Great recipes! A couple of questions regarding prep, and I appologize if you have already answered this. Do you blanch the veggies before freezing them? I always thought that fresh vegetables must be blanched before frozen. If you don’t, do the potatoes come out “mealy,” for a lack of other words?

  305. You seem pretty health wise!! Thank you for sharing! One thing I’d change is the use of baby carrots their high in chemicals and actually more expensive then just buying a big bulk bag of carrots and chopping them up! More time consuming but a bit healthier

  306. Loving your website! :-) Found you through Pinterest! :-) Cannot wait to make all of these meals for the new year!

  307. Love it! i have been wanting to do the freezer cooking bags for a long time now! I have a question about the frozen shredded chicken….how do you reheat it? It seems to always taste so weird, dry and rubbery whenever i have tried to reheat it in the past. Thanks so much!

  308. Good recipes! I was wondering how long these would last for in the freezer? Any idea?

    Thanks !

  309. I started freezer cooking about a year ago, using your recipes as some of my first to try. I was planning out my next batch of freezer meals when my husband requested the Sausage and Peppers meal, I hadn’t made it in months. You have to understand that my husband never asks/remembers any meals that I make. I have been hunting all over the place for the recipe….I am so happy to finally find it again! Thanks for posting!! Sausage and Peppers…AMAZING!!

  310. Ashley Gibson says:

    Your receipes are great both me and my boyfriend work full time and take night classes. Theses are perfect to make for us so that when we get home from school at night we can have an easy dinner. I had to print your recipies to keep in my cookbook. Thank You for the amazing dinners

  311. so all these recipes look amazing, and i’m planning on trying them all this week, but i was curious with the teriyaki chicken, what sauce do i need to add? that’s the one i’m most excited about and i’m just stuck at that part! :)

  312. Gretchen Ervin says:

    Love this! I found you on Pinterest. I made the meals last night, and tried the first meal (Lazy Day Stew) tonight. When I dumped everything in the crockpot, instead of water, I added 1 cup of beef broth and a dash of Worchestershire. It was AWESOME! Thanks! Hopefully the rest of the recipes are as good!

  313. Thank you for posting these. I’m always looking for great crock pot recipes. Can’t wait to try these out.

  314. I was always under the impression that you had to cook your veggies first before you freeze them, at lease par boil. They turn mushy if you just freeze raw veggies. Am I wrong??

  315. Erin Johnson says:

    I made the teriyaki chicken. Chicken turned out great but not the veggies. The carrots were really tough. I might just use frozen mixed stir fry veges instead next time. Thanks for the jumping off point.

  316. This is a GREAT idea! Thanks so much for sharing these recipes! One question: do these need to be thawed before putting them in the crockpot?

  317. These recipes would be great to bring to a new mom – after all with a newborn a healthy convenient meal is so welcome.
    I too was concerned about freezing the fresh vegetables. I guess I will search the internet for an anwer or maybe just try a batch one as fresh frozen and another with veggies blanched.

  318. That would save me lots of time during the week! How long to put together/

  319. My mind is boggled by all the people asking if it’s really safe to freeze raw meat with veggies. People, you COOK raw meat with veggies all the time, unless you never do one-dish meals – and when you do, you are putting raw meat and veggies together. As long as you cook them to a sufficient temperature to kill bacteria (usually 185 for whole poultry and 160 for just about anything else), they should be totally fine. (And I am totally paranoid when it comes to food safety! lol)

    I’m curious about the potatoes in the stew, though. Do they not turn black on you in the freezer?

  320. Do you find with the sausage/peppers recipe that it comes out greasy? Any feedback on this recipe is appreciated.

  321. I’ve tried to freeze potatoes before and then cook them it doesn’t turn out so well. They turn colors and have a bad texture after cooked. Is there something special to do to them before freezing?

  322. Has anyone tried these freezer meals? Just trying to see if they are worth trying .

    • Not hers specifically but there’s a few books available on Amazon as well as tons of blogs and Pinterest pins with ideas. I’ve order the two books and done a few here and there and I must say I have made some yummy dinners and cut my cooking time down which is a blessing when I have such a long afternoon commute home. I say anyone and everyone should give it a try. Pick a recipe and go for it!

  323. Hi! I’m blogging about my adventures in freezer cooking, and I wanted to let you know that I’m plugging this post! I can’t wait to actually cook this meal, but I wanted to give you the credit and make sure that you knew about it. If that isn’t okay, please let me know and I will remove the recipe, my experience, and the link to your blog.
    http://menu-planningmama.blogspot.com/2013/02/adventures-in-freezer-cooking.html

  324. I want to get a crockpot so bad for the reason of planning all meals ahead of time. I just found this on pinterest just in time. I am preggers so lack energy but not appetite. Question, I thought pineapple is too acidic to be stored and cooked with meat. It turns the meat to mush in my experience its best to add it last just to warm it. I remember one day I made a ham and added canned pineapple to it in the oven and it turned to mush.

  325. My question is how long did they hold up in the fridge? I’ve always felt things get freezer burnt even in “freezer zip locs” and really need to be air locked/sealed. How did the bags do? Thanks

  326. I want to make the teriyaki chicken but with 5 chicken breast per 1 meal. Should I make the recipe and not split it. Or should I split it and just put more chicken in?

  327. This is such a fantastic idea, we are also trying to eliminate all added sugar, preservatives and chemicals. Not going to lie, its tough to beat the convenience factor of processed food, but now there is really not an excuse! Going to start following your blog Jaime, please keep up the good work!!

  328. Joleena says:

    Do I cook the sausage before I put them in the bags? Or only the ground beef ones?

  329. I am on Weight Watchers and I would love to get the nutritional info for these. Thank you.

  330. I just found your site yesterday and made from fresh produce the Sausage and Peppers meal, and my family just loved it. How amazingly simple! I cut up the chicken sausage to stretch the meat, and ended up with leftovers for 2-3 people! It tasted even better the next day! It sides well with mashed potatoes (going to try garlic ones next time) and also pasta. Today I plan to freeze 2 batches of this meal for another time.

  331. This is so awesome! I wish I could just print this entire page and make a binder book out of it and use it my cooking bible!

  332. Jen Adams says:

    Seriously, this website saved me this summer. I found this a few weeks before I had my second child, and it is BEYOND awesome to have supper ready to throw in the crockpot. I appreciate you posting your recipes, thanks a million!

  333. I made the Taco soup and actually added a lil cooked brown rice to my bowl and loved it! Made the teriyaki chicken today and used both freezer packs since I was having company! I thickened the juice right on the crockpot with cornstarch and cold water mixture! It was so good except the carrots. We did not like the textureat all. Might just add them fresh when I want to make it again! Thanks for such a great idea with the freezer meals! Cant wait to try the rest of them I have in freezer!

  334. Well I am posting again after trying my third freeezer meal! This time I tried the Lazy Day Beef Stew! Again I was so excited to have this all ready to toss in my crockpot and have ready for a busy days dinner. Wellllll. The potatoes are the same as the carrots a very weired texture. Not raw not overcooked just sort of rubbery. I dont know if yhis is from freezing fresh veggies or what! Any ideas? Thank you!

  335. I’m going to try your recipes. I need things like this because I am soon going to have hand reconstruction surgery which will leave me unable to cook for several months. I look forward to having these handy so my husband can pop some meals into the slow cooker in the morning and we can have a decent meal at night. What I can’t do is anything on Facebook. Like many others, I have discovered their dishonesty with people and our government, so they have to pay huge fines every day, and be subjected to government officials monitoring their actions. They have allowed child pornography, terrorists using their site to communicate, and engaged in human trafficking and the stalking and bullying of young women. I would ask you, urge you, to not ask people to use Facebook for anything at all.

  336. An extra-lazy tip from extra-lazy me: if a recipe requires a cup of water, I toss four full-size ice cubes into the bottom of the bag before the veggies go in. You can freeze cubes of prepped stock/broth that way, too. I keep the meats in the fridge until the last second before prepping and adding to the veggies.

  337. I am anxious to try your Sausage and Peppers recipe, but was curious about the preparation, as there are no directions in the preparation of the sausage or the veggies. Do you brown your sausage? Are the veggies cut in strips or chopped/diced? Please advise, as I am planning on making several of your meals for a young, new mom who just arrived home with a new baby. Thank you – love your recipes.

  338. I’m new to Pinterest and just found you. While I’m no longer a busy mom trying for quick weeknight meals, I am disabled. These recipes are a wonderful idea. I can fix these on a “good” day, then when I’m not up to cooking I can throw one of these in and not have to call the pizza guy again! Thanks so much for these. My family will love them and you. The pizza guy?, not so much!

  339. This. Is. Awesome!

  340. Home made recipe seem to be the best as you’ll devote your time and mix your ingredients at right proportion for perfect result. Enjoy and have fun at home with giving your family healthy meals.

  341. Really great post and series. I particular liked the broth in ice cube trays idea.

  342. Not a mother but these recipes are excellent for my elderly parents who can no longer cook for themselves but can put a meal in the Crockpot. I’ve made pre-portioned meals for them before, vacuum sealed and frozen that they could microwave. I like this so much more. I can do a month at a time and not worry that they are not eating when we are not around.

  343. Love your ideas.Thank you.

  344. I love freezer meals!! I’ve been using this technique since I read it on your blog. Thanks so much. It has been such a game changer in our house. So much less take out and last minute scramble after work!! – kristin

  345. Thank you for these great freezer/crock pot meals. They are delicious and very easy to make!!! What life savers after a long day at work. I did substitute Turkey sausage for Italian sausage and Frozen Turkey meatballs. They were great! Thanks for sharing.

  346. Hi Jaima,

    I’m a bit confused on the meatball recipe. I’m not sure if it calls for meatballs (uncooked) or cooked. If they are cooked, how would they be cooked prior to freezing?

  347. is there an expiration date for these meals? How long can you keep them in the freezer?

  348. I love the recipes,,,, Thank You. A way to make them Quick Cook is to put them in a pressure cooker. I just purchased the one Emeril endorses from T fal. I love it.. Not hard to figure your cook time, for most meals I cook takes about 15- 30 min. Hope this helps !!

  349. Hello! Love this article! This is my second time coming back to make your recipes. Wondering what happened to the delicious crusty garlic bread recipe that was here? Love that one!!!

  350. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!
    Thanks!

  351. Christine T. Guerrero says:

    Hi Jaima. :) I do not have a crock pot. Can I cook the recipes in a regular pot instead? And what would be a good substitute for the grape jelly in the meatballs recipe? And am I supposed to freeze the raw veggies or cook them first before freezing them?

    Thanks. :)

  352. This is a brilliant idea!!!! I cannot believe I hadn’t thought of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  353. thanks so much for sharing my link!!!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] found this great post over at Ring Around the Rosies. I love this idea and I’m planning on preparing some of these meals after my next shopping [...]

  2. [...] So time has flown by so fast that I haven’t had time to update my blog. So much on my plate, but in all honesty I love it. Right now I’m trying to prepare a weekly menu and also to make enough to have for leftovers for lunches or for meals while I’m out of town…I have 2 trips coming up and I’m stressing a little to get everything ready for everyone while I’m gone. I know I don’t have to stress like I am but I just want to make sure everyones taken care of while I’m gone. So I found this awesome website called Ring Around the Rosies that have these great frozen meals that you just throw in the crock-pot. If you have a chance to check it out I know you’ll get some great ideas…I know I found quite a few!!! Can’t wait to get home to get started!! http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/02/freezer-cooking.html [...]

  3. [...] 2 recipes I made… Teriyaki Chicken via Ring Around the Rosies. I failed and forgot to buy the pineapple so I am going to add that [...]

  4. [...] out this beautiful bounty! Here we have- Terryaki Chicken, Cheesy Chili Chicken, Beef and Broccoli, Chili, Sausage and White Bean Soup, and Pulled Pork! [...]

  5. [...] I’ve made up a bag of Orange Chicken (found here), two bags of Teriyaki Chicken (found here), and I currently have 4 small chicken breasts in the crock pot to shred up and make Chicken and [...]

  6. [...] This upcoming week, I’m going to prepare for four meals. I have a work trip at the end of the week and will probably have leftovers or eat out at least once. So four meals should feed me, with a couple of lunches as well. Look for a future post with more details, but right now I’m planning on making (remember this is all in the CrockPot): [...]

  7. [...] 1.5 million of you viewed my first ever freezer cooking post last year. That is INSANE to me! I never ever dreamed that so many people would love that [...]

  8. [...] my first attempt at freezer meals, I used the recipes and instructions from Ring Around the Rosies. Her site was very informative and her recipes used a lot of vegetables and seemed very [...]

  9. [...] lots of people have meals with very little prep. Here are two very easy ones you could start with: Ring Around the Rosies and Six Sisters. I have actually tried a lot of these recipes and they are good and fast to put [...]

  10. [...] Turkey Sausage with Red Beans and Rice Weight Watchers Chicken Fried Rice Spicy Sausage Pasta Beef Roast With vegetables Pork Loin (with Cilantro Lime Rice) Teriyaki Chicken with Rice [...]

  11. [...] assemble all the ingredients in a Ziploc to then later throw into your slow cooker .  I found the teriyaki chicken recipe from the Ring Around the Rosies blog.  The only change I made was substituting an orange bell [...]

  12. [...] are versions of it all over Pinterest and other Mommy Blogs). I chose to use the version from Ring Around the Rosies because it is simple and clear cut. We cut the pineapple in half for the second test. Both of my [...]

  13. [...] I think next time I’ll try Ring Around The Rosie’s Healthy Freezer Meals. [...]

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