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Six Healthy “Comfort Food” Freezer Meals in 40 Minutes

By November 24, 2014Freezer Prep Session

Last weekend, I made six freezer meals in 40 minutes (including clean-up!).  I picked three of our favorite crockpot recipes and froze them in gallon-sized plastic bags.  Not only were they incredibly easy to make, but now my freezer is stocked with healthy meals that my whole family will love.

How to freeze six healthy "comfort foods" in 40 minutes

Here’s what I made…

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE RECIPES AND GROCERY LIST

These recipes are proof that “comfort foods” can be healthy too!

Freezer eCookbooks

All three recipes feature boneless beef chuck shoulder roasts.  It’s my absolute favorite meat to cook in the crockpot because it cooks down and melts in your mouth.  Comfort food at its finest!

Boneless beef chuck roasts were $1 off per pound at the grocery store last week, so I was able to save $10 on the meat needed for these recipes.  Yay!

How to freeze six healthy "comfort foods" in 40 minutes

I consider these recipes to be HEALTHY comfort foods because they include…

  • Vegetables
  • As few processed foods as possible
  • An absolutely amazing taste that is warm and comforting!

Bonus points awarded because they make my house smell like I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day.

How to freeze six healthy "comfort foods" in 40 minutes

I spent $50 on ingredients and froze all of my meals raw.  If you’re nervous about mixing raw meat and vegetables, check out this info from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.  I did a lot of research when I was writing my No Cook Freezer Meals cookbook and learned that 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.

How to freeze six healthy "comfort foods" in 40 minutes

If you’re new to freezer cooking, here’s how I prep my meals quickly and efficiently…

  1. I print my recipes and fill out my freezer meal labels.
  2. I do all of my shopping ahead of time.
  3. I prep all of the veggies first.  (I can’t wait for my family to eat all of this healthy food!)
  4. I work in an assembly line to fill all the freezer bags with their vegetables, spices, and meats.  (Adding the meat last so it’s the first ingredient poured into the crockpot.)
  5. Lastly, remove as much air as possible, seal, and stack in the freezer.

Most freezer meals will stay fresh in a regular freezer for three months.  When you’re ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in a bowl of water.  Cook, and enjoy!

How to freeze six healthy "comfort foods" in 40 minutes

Thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

31 Comments

  • Great idea for me, thank you

  • paula says:

    Excellent idea

  • Patti says:

    Wont the veggies turn to mush if you throw it all in the crockpot at the same time? Or are you starting the meat first? I am not sure how you do your sauces as well. My hubby and i drive truck and a crocpot meal is easy for us. When i am home i can buy and fix these and theow them in our freezer in the truck. Then take and put in crockpot when ready.
    Any help on understanding would be awesome.
    Patti

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Patti! I put everything in the crockpot at once. So easy! If you click on the pdf above, you will find my grocery list and recipes. The recipes should explain everything step-by-step. If you have any other questions, let me know.

  • Megan says:

    I’m new to freezer cooking and want to know why we need to thaw before cooking? I’ve only done 1 set of meals so far which listed thawing as well before cooking, yet I tried 1 meal without thawing first and the only difference I noticed was it took an hour longer. Can you explain the reason for thawing? Thank you.

    • Kelly says:

      From what I’ve read, it’s safer for meat to cook when it’s thawed. If frozen, it could take too long to reach a safe temperature and potentially grow bacteria. If you’re using a pre-cooked meat, like meatballs or ham, I think it should be OK to add them frozen.

  • Casey says:

    I like to add sweet potato and sometime white potato for the other half, to a stew… Can I freeze these in the bag as well? 🙂

  • Alyssa says:

    Hi! Any ideas on what could be subbed for the barley (we’re gluten free). Thanks so much!

    • Kelly says:

      I would use 1-2 potatoes. Peel and chop them right before you’re ready to seal the bag so they don’t sit out in the air too long. I also tend to add my freezer meals with potatoes to my crockpot frozen (or at least a little more frozen than thawed). I think that helps keep the potatoes from turning brown.

  • Tami says:

    What size crock pot do you use for your meals and how many servings are each?

    • Kelly says:

      I have a couple of different crocks. For these recipes, I would probably use my 6-qt one (which is pretty powerful) and cook for 7 hours on “low.” The roasts are 6 servings per bag and the stew is 4 per bag.

  • lisa says:

    Wonderful !!
    thank you..

  • Erika Whitney says:

    Your recipes don’t include adding any liquid (which I can see from your pictures of the freezer bags you’ve written on, you must do).

    • Kelly says:

      I make them exactly as written in the printable recipes. I don’t add any water to the beef and carrots – the meat and veggies release a lot of liquid while cooking and water will only dilute the flavor. I add one cup water to the pot roast and seven cups to the beef stew. Hope that clears up any confusion.

  • Maria says:

    Is there not a link for all the freezer recipes, do I have to purchase the cookbooks?

  • missy says:

    do you need to cook vegtables before freezing,

    • Kelly says:

      No. The only fresh vegetable I’ve had an issue with is broccoli, so I substitute frozen broccoli florets in those recipes instead.

  • Tracy says:

    Can you put what size crockpot you use onto your recipes as I have a 6 litre crockpot and have tried the recipes but they have ended up overcooked and the chicken tastes dry in some recipes.

  • Jody Thomason says:

    Do you use raw hamburger also? I didn’t notice a recipe for usin it. Thank you?

  • […] 6 Beef Crockpot Freezer Meals in 40 Minutes (beef chuck roast) […]

  • Tina says:

    Just curious, most slow cooker directions recommend putting vegetables in crock first, then other ingredients. Is there a reason you suggest the meat being put in first? •

    Here are instructions from a Rival Crockpot Manual:

    “• When cooking recipes with vegetables and meat, place vegetables
    in slow cooker before meat. Vegetables usually cook slower than
    meat in the slow cooker.
    • Place vegetables near the sides or bottom of the stoneware to
    facilitate cooking. “

    • Tina, Huh! That has not been my experience at all. I feel that vegetables cook much faster. I often put vegetables in at the last half hour just because I like my vegetables more al dente.

  • Eli says:

    Might you be able to help me get to the printables for this post? I have a 404 not found link when I click on your hyperlink. Thank you in advance!

  • Amanda says:

    Kelly…you truly are an amazing person..and godsend. You make everything so easy. I am so grateful. I did recently leave a comment on your other post “Things i learned”, and i am curious about the barley you put in the beef barley stew. it doesn’t get mushy from being in the crock pot for hours? And what about rice? Could that be used as well? And my other big question is…. dry beans. i make chili in my crock pot a lot, and i use dry beans, but i dont freeze them. To save a step, instead of cooking a batch of bean in the crock pot all day, can dry ones be used and put in with the other ingredients and freeze? thank you!

    PS: am also curious about the tater tots in the “cheesy chicken tater tot casserole….do those get mushy from being in the crock pot all day?

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