One of the best things our friends did for us after B was born was bringing us yummy homemade dinners. It was SO wonderful not to have to worry about cooking while we were getting used to this tiny new part of our family. So we like to pass that blessing on when we get the chance. And it turns out we have just that chance right now! One of our good friends unexpectedly had an early delivery so we've been putting our heads together with a few other friends to get their place ready for the return home, including stocking their deep freeze with lots of yummy, ready-to-go meals.
I wanted to do crockpot meals because of the easy prep and easy cooking later, but I don't know much about freezer meals or crockpot meals. So it was pinterest to the rescue! I pulled recipes from a few sites I had pinned and wound up with a list of 5 dinners (the recipes come from here, here, and here). And while I was at it, I made a second batch for our freezer for after baby #2 makes an appearance. So I made a total of 10 freezer meals, and spent just over an hour on all of them! All the recipes are below, and I even made a printable shopping list with everything you need to make all 5 dinners (just double it if you want a set for yourself).
I started by labeling all the bags with the name and cooking directions for each meal. I cut all the meat first and put it into the bags, and then added all the veggies and other ingredients (I was careful to choose recipes that didn't require any cooking ahead of time, it was all just chopping and tossing it in a bag). Then into the freezer they went!
It was actually really easy, and I made great time since I waited until B was asleep for all the cutting & bagging. Want to make a set of freezer dinners for yourself or a friend? Here are the recipes for the 5 meals I made:
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 zucchini, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion chopped
Throw all the ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag and give it a shake to mix them.
To cook: thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, then dump it in the crockpot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
Serve with spaghetti noodles.
1 lb. beef stew cubes
4 carrots, sliced
4 red potatoes, cubed
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. can tomato sauce
package frozen green peas
Toss ingredients in a a gallon size freezer bag and give it a shake to mix.
To cook: thaw in the fridge 24 hours, the cook in the crockpot on LOW for 7-10 hours or HIGH for 5-6 hours.
2 cans black beans, drained
2 cans corn, drained
1 package taco seasoning
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup water
Throw everything in a gallon size freezer bag and give it a shake to mix.
To cook: thaw in the fridge 24 hours, then cook in the crockpot on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or LOW for 7-8 hours.
Shred chicken and serve on tacos, nachos, or rice with your favorite toppings.
BBQ Cranberry Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can pineapple (slices or chunks) drained and juice reserved
1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Toss chicken, pineapple, and bell pepper in a gallon size ziploc freezer bag. In a bowl combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger, corn starch, salt, and pepper and mix until cornstarch and sugar dissolve. Pour into ziploc and shake to mix. Freeze.
To cook: Thaw in the fridge 24 hours, then cook in the crockpot on HIGH for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours. Serve with rice.
In no time you'll have a nice little freezer stash! Perfect for busy weekends or those crazy days with a new baby. I laid them as flat as I could in the freezer so they'll *hopefully* be a little easier to store/sort through. It seemed like a big job when I started, but a little over an hour for 10 meals ready to go in the crockpot?!? So worth it.
What is your favorite thing to make for a new mom? Do you have a favorite freezer recipe? Have you done a big freezer prep like this before? I'd love to hear any tips or suggestions! And don't forget, you can print a shopping list for all 5 meals here. And I've added some burritos to my freezer stash - check it out here!