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Six Chicken Freezer Crockpot Meals in 30 Minutes

By September 22, 2014Freezer Prep Session

My latest freezer cooking session included prepping six chicken freezer crockpot meals in 30 minutes (including clean-up!).  I’m especially excited about sharing these recipes because they’re healthy, delicious, and oh-so-easy to make.  Here’s my grocery list and best freezer meal tips…

Six Chicken Crockpot Freezer Meals in 30 Minutes

I prepped 20 freezer meals over the past month.  Guess how many were left in my freezer when I started working on this post?  Only one!  I just love having homemade meals waiting in my freezer for busy weeknights.

Here’s what I love about this latest freezer cooking session…

  • I focused on chicken crockpot recipes made with healthy ingredients.
  • I froze all of the ingredients raw so they won’t taste like leftovers at all.
  • I was able to prep all six meals in less than 30 minutes (including clean-up!).
  • The grocery list was short and sweet.

Six chicken crockpot freezer meals in 30 minutes

Here’s a list of the meals that I made…

  • Two freezer bags of red pepper chicken
  • Two freezer bags of lemon pepper chicken
  • Two freezer bags of orange ginger chicken

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE PRINTABLE RECIPES AND FULL GROCERY LIST

I made up all of the recipes, but I’ve never shared them on my blog before.  I’m working on a new eCookbook filled with healthy chicken crockpot recipes.

Freezer eCookbooks

I had most of the ingredients on-hand, so I only spent $19.94 at Aldi to pick up the chicken, peppers, onions, and lemons.

Unlike my last healthy freezer crockpot prep day, this freezer cooking session focused on marinated chicken recipes.  Now, you can certainly skip the freezer step and toss the ingredients raw right into your crockpot just like any other crockpot recipe.

However, I see three huge benefits for freezing these chicken recipes…

  1. You can buy all of the ingredients at once in bulk and save money.
  2. You only have to wash your knife and cutting board once. (Yay!)
  3. Dumping a freezer meal into your crockpot is the absolute quickest way of cooking dinner.  (Even ordering take-out takes more time!)

Chicken Freezer Crockpot Meals

Each of these recipes calls for one pound of chicken and will feed three adults.  If you want to feed six people instead, simply add two pounds of chicken to each freezer bag.

I use fresh chicken breasts in my recipes, but you can absolutely substitute frozen chicken breasts.  To use frozen chicken breasts in your meals, add them to the freezer bags frozen.  No need to thaw!

I know some people aren’t used to mixing raw meat with vegetables, so I did a lot of research when I was writing my No Cook Freezer Meals cookbook.  According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes present in food (such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds).  That means freezing raw meat with vegetables, sauces, and spices is perfectly safe. 

Chicken Freezer Crockpot Meals

Here’s what my freezer meal prep process looks like…

  1. I do all of my shopping ahead of time.  If possible, even a day or two in advance.
  2. When possible, I fill out my freezer meal labels ahead of time. (This saves time when prepping the meals and makes me focus on writing legibly.)
  3. I print my recipes so I don’t have search for them on my phone/computer/tablet.
  4. I prep all the veggies first.
  5. Then, I work in an assembly line to fill the bags with their vegetables, chicken, spices, and other ingredients.

Simply seal, freeze, and thaw before cooking.  Easy-peasy!  (If you’re new to freezer crockpot cooking, check out my three freezer cooking tips for beginners.)

Chicken Freezer Crockpot Meals

Thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.  Freezer cooking has helped my family so much and I’m happy to help however I can.

127 Comments

  • I can’t believe how easy this is! I’ve been putting off weekly meal prepping forever because I thought it would take an entire day, but these are so simple (and sound delicious). I’m going to dust off my crockpot and try these freezer meals out. Thanks, Kelly! 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      It’s so easy, Carly! You got this!

      • Jenny says:

        I can only find the recipe for the red pepper chicken. I’d love to try the orange ginger chicken too. Can you point me to the recipe? Thanks!

      • Slavina says:

        Carly,
        If I double the amount of chicken that I’m using should I double all of the other ingredients or will that be too strong of a flavor?

        • Kelly says:

          I would keep the other ingredients the same. The only ingredient I’d consider doubling would be the red pepper in the red pepper chicken. If everyone wants to eat some of the pepper there might not be enough.

      • Joan says:

        I was wondering if you could put the frozen meals directly into the slow cooker without thawing them first. I am typically away from home for 10-11 hours, so a recipe that only takes 3-4 hours on low doesn’t really help me. I don’t have a timer on my slow cooker.

        • Kelly says:

          The USDA recommends thawing meat first for safety reasons. I can tell you that I’ve added chicken to my crockpot frozen without a problem, but I’m not an expert and maybe I just got lucky. If you ever have the opportunity to buy a slow cooker with a timer, I highly highly recommend it. I got my first one this year and LOVE it. It was only about $40. I’ve also heard of some people using basic light timers to turn off their crockpot an hour or two early. Hope this helps.

        • Hannah says:

          You should be able to get a separate timer unit from a home improvement store for just a couple of dollars – a cheaper alternative than buying a whole new slow cooker 🙂

        • Marcia says:

          I bought timers for my plug ins from Home Depot called Eco plugs. They work through wifi and with an app I can set them to come on at a certain time and shut off. They are great! I’m also gone for the same amount of time.

    • Joani west says:

      Where do you find those labels?

  • Stephanie says:

    I am so bad at seasoning things. How gingery does the orange/ginger chicken taste? I really want to try it, but I hate the smell of ginger, so am a little afraid, haha. I guess I could try less at first and work my way up… Thanks for such a simple take on freezer meals and with all healthy and real ingredients too! I don’t have time for 6 hour freezer meal sessions, I have 5 kids. 😉

  • […] Kelly from New Leaf Wellness shows you how to make 6 Crockpot Chicken Freezer Meals in 30 Minutes. […]

  • Michelle says:

    Thank you! This plan is great and you are so generous to share it with us! Our kitchen remodel is completed and it is time for me to get to work filling the new freezer with meals. This chicken plan will be my early Saturday morning project 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for the recipes. I always get stuck on planning the sides. What do you eat with each of these? Thanks! (Found you through MSM)

  • Mel says:

    What do you service with your Red Pepper Chicken?

  • Mel says:

    Nevermind. Just found my answer. 😉

  • Robin says:

    Thank you! Found you linked from MSM!
    I throw my frozen chicken right into the crock pot without thawing first. Any reason NOT to do this?

    • Kelly says:

      Well, I’m not sure how long chicken can be thawing/raw before getting to an acceptable temperature. I think salmonella could be a risk, but if it works for you, why stop? The only other issue with frozen crockpot meals is that it’s hard to fit a solid, frozen square in an oval crockpot, but these recipes are small enough that I don’t think it will be a problem.

  • Kimberly says:

    Thank you–I’m inspired now! 🙂

  • Susan says:

    Thank you for including the link from USDA. I feel a lot better about freezing meat and veggies together!

  • […] Kelly from New Leaf Wellness shows you how to make 6 Crockpot Chicken Freezer Meals in 30 Minutes. […]

  • Dawn says:

    What is the benefit of using freezer labels? How come you don’t just write directly on the baggie. I generally label my baggies and have never had issues with it coming off or being illegible (well, unless I don’t write clearly to start with)

  • Robin says:

    Hello from PA, as well. My mobile device is not downloading the pdf. What are the seasonings in the red pepper chicken, if you don’t mind. Thanks!

  • Kathy says:

    Which is correct on the number of bags the recipes make? The recipe list says 2 bags per recipe and the recipe itself says one bag. I have used some of your recipe suggestions before and have across this problem. I am somewhat of a newbie so I went with the 1 bag as the recipe listed.

    • Kelly says:

      The recipe yields one bag. If you are going to make two batches, like I did, you need to make two. I write the recipes like that so it’s clear how much of each ingredient goes into each bag. Sorry for any confusion!!

  • Maggie says:

    I was under the impression you are not suppose to freeze raw vegetables because freezing raw does not stop enzymes that cause loss of flavor, texture ect…

    • Kelly says:

      Freezing doesn’t stop the enzymes, but it does slow the process. (The USDA link above has a lot of great info.) The only vegetable that I’ve had a problem with is broccoli. I think it needs to be blanched if it will be in the freezer for more than a few days.

  • […] Peas & Their Pod – pumpkin cinnamon cookies via Two Peas & Their Pod – 6 healthy crockpot chicken freezer meals via New Leaf Wellness & Money-Saving Mom – my own curried butternut squash & apple […]

  • Kristen Elliott says:

    If you double the chicken should you double the rest of the ingredients? I’ve got a family of 6 & can’t wait to try these!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kelly says:

      I’d probably keep them the same. You could double the peppers if you think your family will really like them.

      • Briana says:

        Kelly I’m literally prepping these now but do I cut up the chicken into pieces or throw the Breast in whole!?!?

        • Kelly says:

          Sorry I didn’t answer sooner, Briana! I add the breasts whole and serve them that way after cooking (or shred to eat on a tortilla). If you cut them, that won’t ruin anything though.

  • Danielle says:

    One of the last things you said was, “Simply seal, freeze, and thaw before cooking. Easy-peasy!” Does that mean you have to thaw the bags before you can put them in the crockpot? And I’m also wondering how you serve these 3 chicken dishes? The only things I ever make in my crockpot are pulled pork (for burritos or sandwiches) and whole meals like chili, soups, stews, etc. So how do you serve these 3? Thanks!!

    • Kelly says:

      I thaw them overnight in my refrigerator before cooking. They’re all great served with rice and a vegetable. We also love the red pepper chicken in wraps. Chicken is a little tricky to cook in the crockpot because it can dry out, but if you cook it right it’s delicious. Happy to answer any questions you have!

  • hope says:

    any suggestions on how to cook it without a slow cooker?

  • Jessica says:

    Thanks for posting! I’m going to try these out!

  • Cathy says:

    Is there enough liquid in the recipes that the chicken will not dry out in the crock pot for the cooking time ? I am sure that there is however I have been the typical meat is hard and dry crock pot cooker. If I double the meat there is no hurt in adding extra say 1.5 of the rest of the ingredients ? Thank you

    • Kelly says:

      That would work fine! It’s hard to cook chicken in the crockpot because it dries out easily. In my 6-qt crockpot, it only needs to cook 3 hours on “low”!

      You might want to try my crockpot soup and beef roast recipes too. They turn out great every time! 🙂

  • Rhona says:

    Saw this on my friends Pinterest, can’t wait to try this recipes. I am new to crockpot cooking and loving it!
    Thank you!

  • Stephanie says:

    You mentioned in the comments that chicken can dry out in the crockpot – that happens to me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Is the trick to only cook it on low for 3 hours? That will cook it all the way? I’ve given up on chicken in the crockpot because of this, and I’d love to use it again! These freezer meals look wonderful, and can easily be adapted for low carbers like me 🙂 Thank you!!

    • Kelly says:

      Yes, the trick is to serve it as soon as it’s cooked through. The exact time will vary by crockpot, but once you figure out how long it takes, don’t leave it in any longer than that. I’ve also found that thicker breasts work much better than thin ones.

  • Stephanie says:

    And where did you get those labels – they’re fantastic!

  • Debi says:

    I was wondering if using coconut oil in the orange ginger chicken is just for taste or for a more molecular reason. Can I use EVOO instead? I do coconut oil pulling and find it a chore, (but I happily keep up with it), therefore, I prefer my food not to remind me of it. LOL Thanks

  • Libby says:

    These are amazing. I am in college and these are perfect for me. I made up both these and the 12 costco meals this weekend…I was on a roll 🙂 There is a costco down the road from me. It was pricey to buy everything at once but will save me money and time in the long run!

    My anti-veggie boyfriend will love these as well! Thank you!

  • a brightwell says:

    How long do these meals last in freezer. Not just the chicken but others as well?

  • Shannon says:

    THANK YOU! My New Year’s Resolution was to start freezer cooking and I’m loving the easy recipes. The ones that my husband and I like I make however have a side or leftovers for our daughter. She has a hard time digesting ground meat. We made the meatball subs last week and the meatball/veggie soup YUM.

  • These recipes look so yummy! I mentioned your post in 7 ways to use old citrus

  • Darcy says:

    Just came across your blog on pinterest ton ight. My husband and I ordered 80 lbs. of Chicken from Zaycon foods and will be getting it next week. I can’t wait to try out some of your freezer meals!!!! I have never made them before.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi! Do you need to cut up the chicken? Thank you

  • Eve says:

    Hi! Just wondering if these are spicy? Thanks for the recipes and lists.

  • Jullie says:

    Hi, What does the EVOO stand for? Thanks

  • Cheryl says:

    How many servings do these recipes make?

  • Jennie says:

    I LOVE all your recipes and grocery lists! Can’t wait to try some out! Do you include nutritional info for your recipes?

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you, Jennie! 🙂 I calculate the nutrition info for all of the recipes in my cookbooks, but I’m not able to provide nutritional info for all of the free recipes on my blog at this time. Sorry about that.

  • Jennie says:

    Also, for any of your recipes on your website, if I doubled the meat (we are a family of 5) would I also double the other ingredients? Thanks!!

    • Kelly says:

      It depends on the recipe. Some of the soups/chilis won’t fit in the crockpot if you double everything. Personally, I would just double the meat.

  • Erica says:

    HI, I was curious about using already frozen chicken. I buy my chicken breasts from Costco and they are already frozen, can I just put them in the bag with the other ingredients and stick it in the freezer, will they be okay or do I need to use fresh chicken? Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Frozen chicken will work fine. Add it to the freezer bag frozen. (In other words, don’t thaw it and re-freeze it.)

  • Raydeen says:

    Hi Kelly, I know you posted this ages ago but I just found it. I’m wondering if you found anything in your research regarding cooking right from frozen? I work 10 hr days, so I’m actually gone about 12 hrs. Cooking thawed these would be overcooked. Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends thawing meat first (although I don’t know if anyone has actually gotten sick from using frozen meat). Have you considered buying a crockpot with a timer? I reviewed a bunch of them earlier this year and now I feel like I couldn’t live without my timer.

  • Kristen says:

    Thanks so much for the recipes!!! I’m going to try these this week. How long do these stay good in the freezer for?

  • Paula says:

    Kelly,
    I helped a friend make these meals to take to people as gifts to help out……they looked wonderful, now I’m ready to make some for my own use and gifts, too. Wondering what size crock pot you use for a single recipe (1 lb of chicken). My friend ended up grilling the bag of pepper chicken she had left and said it was very good.
    Thank you!
    Paula

    • Kelly says:

      How nice of you, Paula! I typically use my 6-qt slow cooker but sometimes I use my 4-qt for chicken because it isn’t as powerful. It’s very easy to dry out chicken.

  • Hope says:

    Hi! I love the idea of these freezer meals. However, I work eight hours a day and cannot come home during the work day. Would it be better for me to throw everything in still frozen to allow for a longer cooking time?

  • LindaB says:

    I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years. I love it. I don’t just do it for slow cooker meals though. I do all kinds of recipes including spice blends, and other homemade dry mixes from cakes to pancakes to bread; all that is needed is to add the wet ingredients. And I add marinade to meat and freeze it. Such a time saver.

  • Nancy says:

    I made the Red Pepper Chicken yesterday and there were a lot of little pieces of white…stuff in it when it was done. Maybe protein coming off of the chicken? I used boneless, skinless breasts that were fresh when I put them in. I ended up straining the sauce to get rid of them, but I also had to get rid of the peppers since it would have been too hard to pick out. So I just had chicken. 🙁 Anyone else experience this? I looked online and found this explanation:

    “Best Food Facts: Our reader mentioned “white goo” that surfaces on chicken while cooking it. We’ve noticed it too – what is it?
    Dr. Conner: “The white goo is primarily water and protein. Protein from poultry meat is easily digested, which means it’s denatured quickly through the cooking process, so it leaches out water, bringing out soluble protein. These are more noticeable with a larger breast, and white proteins tend to show these easier than dark proteins. Some processors will put some solution to add flavor or stability to the product, but this is always labeled, so consumers should pay attention if they don’t want a product that has an added solution.”

    • Kelly says:

      Sometimes I notice some white stuff when I cook chicken but I just assumed it was fat cooking off the breast. I don’t deliberately eat it, but I don’t go to extreme lengths to get rid of it either.

  • Kathy says:

    I love your website and can really see me getting into a lot of freezing while I’m off on maternity leave. My question is this… If I am typically out of the house for 11 hours, how do you make a recipe that calls for 4-6 hours on low? I plan on purchasing a programmable crock pot that would have a keep warm setting. Can i put my meal I the crock pot and program it to start after I leave? I’m sure you don’t want it sitting too long though. Should I start it partially thawed. What would your suggestion be?

    • Kelly says:

      I would program the crockpot to switch to “warm” after 4-6 hours. I don’t think there’s any harm in letting it sit on warm for that long. My only other suggestion would be to focus on recipes with a longer cooking time, like roasts, soups, stews, and chilis. Oh, and you could also use a smaller crockpot! My 4-quart crockpot cooks much, much slower than my 6-quart one.

  • […] for the slow cooker. I found that certain meals, like ones for seasoned meat, like my favorite Lemon Pepper Chicken, putting them in the oven makes for juicier chicken. It was just as easy for me to stick them on a […]

  • Carola says:

    Hi, I’ve been following your blog and I find it interesting how to conserve and prepare these recipes are delicious and prepare hope soon.
    I have a question, to freeze the chicken with lemon or orange juice, would not change the taste of chicken cook ?, have to take extra care before cooking ?, more oil must be added before or lemon juice orange?
    I look forward to your reply. Thank you.

  • Jenny says:

    Hi Kelly – This has probably been asked/answered already, but… when your recipes call for a quantity of chicken (1 lb, 2 lbs etc), are you throwing whole breasts into the bag, or trimming them, or chopping them, or…? Thanks! My sister and I are about to fill our freezers thanks to your awesome site 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      If the recipe doesn’t say to cut them, then I add them whole. I normally only trim the fat if there is a lot of it. Otherwise it cooks off.

  • Deb Wright says:

    I like to Brown all my meats for extra flavoring and to help remove excess meat fats. Is it dangerous to freeze partially cooked meats? Especially chicken? Also my crackpot is a old real crock pot that frozen items cannot be used.. Thawing the night before will eork. Guess it’s time to invest in a modern metal slow cooker ; – )

    • Kelly says:

      I don’t think it’s dangerous, but chicken already cooks so quickly in a crockpot that I’m not sure you’d want to cut down the cooking time. It usually cooks in 3-4 hours in my 6-at crockpot.

  • Katie says:

    How long can the meals stay in the freezer?

  • […] today.  I found New Leaf Wellness’ post on easy, freezable crock pot dinners, and so I decided to try this one out.  It took me about an […]

  • catelin says:

    Hi Kelly – I am new to crockpot cooking. Do you think it would be safe to take a bag from the freezer in the morning and let it thaw in the crockpot until later in the afternoon when my timer goes on? It would be sitting for about 7 hours before the timer went on.

  • Lily says:

    Thanks for all of these recipes, Kelly! They’re great! I was going to start them for this week and I have two questions:
    – if we want to have the first meal tomorrow, do I have to freeze it? Or could I just put that one bag in the fridge?
    – I’m typically gone for work for about 9-10 hours. Can I cook it on low for 8 and it will switch to “warm” after that? Or will the chicken dry out?
    Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Lily! To answer your questions: 1)Yes, you can cook fresh or from the fridge. No need to freeze. 2) It will depend on the size strength of your crockpot. I would try 4 hours in a 4-qt or 8 hours in a 6-qt. It’s OK if it sits on warm for hours.

  • […] Two freezer bags of lemon pepper chicken […]

  • Adriana says:

    is there another to cook the meals if I don’t have a crockpot?

  • Jan says:

    I noticed that you said freezing to 0 F kills dangerous germs according to USDA but do you keep your freezer to that temperature? Seems I would be wasting money on electricity keeping it that low. Your recipes look delicious and the convenience would be very helpful.

  • Chris says:

    This system of meal preparation sounds really interesting, however, I have a couple of questions:
    – 3 to 6 hours on low is quite a large timespan. My slow cooker states 3-4 hours for high and 6 to 8 hours on low, and some vegetables would still be raw at 3 hours on low.
    – What is EV00, I have never come across this.
    Your ideas are certainly worth a try if the timing could be more accurate. Thank you for sharing.

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