If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love my freezer meal group. We work together to assemble a set of 10 meals every month for each of our families. It’s a pretty stellar system.
Today I had an exchange with a friend who shared she’s working on how to handle eating out frequently when they’re in a hurry. I thought to myself, well being a part of a huge freezer group may not work for EVERYONE, but having some “go-tos” in the freezer to throw in the crockpot when you *know* you’ll have a busy day can be a great solution.
Enter this post.
This is my Freezer Meal 101 post. I challenge you to make these four simple meals next time you go to the store and stash them in your freezer. Over the next month, as busy days emerge and you know you’ll be crunched for time, throw one of these in the crockpot on low (for 8ish hours) and voila… no cooking required and NO dining out in a hurry!
If you’re a family of four (like us!) and opt to eat these vs dining out over the course of a month, you can save upwards of $75 through this little experiment. PLUS you’ll be eating home cooked goodness you prepared in your own kitchen with real and nutritious ingredients. BOOM! (Bonus… all of this can be bought at your local Aldi! I LOVE Aldi!)
Black Bean Chicken – Turkey Sloppy Joes – Taco Chili – Honey Sesame Chicken
Our Shopping List
2 lbs ground turkey
1 lb ground beef (or another pound of ground turkey)
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approximately 2 pounds)
4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (approximately 2 pounds)
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can chili beans in sauce
1 bag frozen corn
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes w/ green chiles
3 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 block cream cheese
2 packets taco seasoning (or 6T of your own homemade!)
1 bag of onions
1 bunch of celery
2 green bell peppers
Items you’ll want to pickup if they’re not in your pantry
Bottle of ketchup
Bottle of honey
Bottle of reduced sodium soy sauce
Bottle of olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Gallon sized freezer meal bags
Rinse can of black beans and set aside.
Rinse can of pinto beans and set aside.
Chop up two onions.
Dice six stalks of celery.
Dice bell peppers into small pieces.
Label four freezer meal bags with each of our meal’s names.
Black Bean Chicken
Put chicken breasts in a bag. Add can of black beans, 1 cup of frozen corn, 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, 1 block of cream cheese and 1 packet of taco seasoning (or 3T homemade). Seal bag.
Turkey Sloppy Joes
Put 2 lbs of ground turkey in a bag. Add 1 diced onion, celery, green peppers, tomato sauce, 1 c of ketchup and 2T brown sugar. Seal bag.
Put 1 lb of ground beef (or turkey) in a bag. Add pinto beans, chili beans in sauce, 1 cup of frozen corn, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles and 1 packet of taco seasoning (or 3T homemade). Seal bag.
Honey Sesame Chicken
Put chicken thighs in a bag. Add 1/2 c of honey, 1/2 c of reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 diced onion, 1/4 c of ketchup, 2 T olive oil, 1 t minced garlic, and 1/4 t red pepper flakes. Seal bag.
That’s it! You’re all set! I prefer NOT to lay my bags flat, but rather have them standing up as they freeze, so they’re more “crock pot” shaped. You put them straight from the freezer into the crockpot and cook on low 8-10 hours. If you’re home, give them a stir halfway through – otherwise, don’t worry about it and just stir it up when you get home. These are four of my family’s favorites and I hope they are for you, too!