How to make 6 slow cooker freezer meals in 1 hour – February (and a video)

February slow cooker freezer meals

Every month, as part of the Slow Cooker plan for Weekly Meal Plans, we do a freezer meals week.  The goal is to be able to assemble all 6 meals in just about 1 hour.

I stock these away to use on our really busy days.  I love having them in the freezer!  In fact, as I write this I can smell the Chicken Cacciatore cooking for our dinner tonight.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a video showing how I assemble the meals.  I’m not great at video.  I haven’t taken time to learn to edit.  And the storage on my phone is almost out (yes, I’m super high tech and record with my iPhone), so the video cuts out near the end.  But you don’t miss out on too much.

I hope you find the video helpful.  And if not, just skip it :)

All of the slow cooker freezer meal plans have downloadable, color-coded grocery lists.  I love shopping with these.  It makes it so easy to pick up what you need.

The February plans are all available in the member area now.  Members have access to all three plans – Traditional, Whole Food and Slow Cooker.

The recipes I make in this video are all available on the site.  But to get the printable grocery list, recipes and assembly instructions, you’ll need to be a member of Weekly Meal Plans.

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup from scratch

 

I’ve been wanting to make Black Bean Soup forever.  I knew I wanted to make it in the slow cooker too.

So I went on a recipe search and found this Cuban Black Bean Soup from the Kitchn.  The recipe was a great excuse to use the ham bone I’d frozen from Christmas.

My recipe search also yielded Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Soup.  Hers doesn’t use a ham bone.  And it has no vinegar, like the other recipe does.  But she did add some cumin and chili powder.

And neither recipe was for the slow cooker.  Black beans cooked on top of the stove become creamy and smooth.  In the slow cooker, this texture has to be forced a bit by pureeing some of the soup in a blender.

I ended up combining the two recipes I found, with my own thoughts on making it work for the slow cooker.  The result was wonderful.  It was even better the next day.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes – Perfect for Super Bowl

ALDI Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes

Super Bowl is coming!  And with it, the most important part – the food, of course.

I’m not a huge football fan, but I do love food.  When ALDI asked me to create a recipe that would be perfect for Super Bowl parties, Buffalo Chicken popped into my mind.

I love using the slow cooker, and that works great for cooking the chicken and keeping it hot during the party.  Grab a second slow cooker for the baked potatoes, if you’ve got one handy.

ALDI Buffalo Chicken slow cooker

Using small sized potatoes keeps this dish appetizer sized.  That’s great for parties, because you’ll still have plenty of room to try all the other foods being served.

But this recipe also makes a great weeknight dinner.  Use large, baking potatoes. Serve it with a big green salad and roasted broccoli.  It’s a great twist on a plain Tuesday night.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes.  All of the ingredients can be found at ALDI, so you know you’ll get them for a good price too.   [Read more…]

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22 Slow Cooker Recipes That Can Handle Cooking All Day

22 Slow Cooker Recipes that can cook all day

A lot of times when we think of using the slow cooker, it’s because we’re leaving the house early and won’t be back until dinner. Slow cookers are great for those days, but not all recipes will work.

You need to use a recipe that can take the heat for that long and still hold up. Soups, stews, large pieces of meat (especially if it has a bone) all do well.

Another tip is to make sure you’re using a slow cooker size that’s right for the amount of food.  It should be about 3/4 full or more if you want to cook it all day.  Less than that, and the slow cooker will cook too hot, leading to overcooked food.

Here’s a list of recipes that you’ll have success with.

african pulled beef sandwich done

African Pulled Beef Sandwiches

beef stew done

All Day Beef Stew

bbq chicken sandwiches in slow cooker done

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

beef and bean topped potatoes done

Beef and Bean Topped Baked Potatoes

beef shwarma in the slow cooker

Beef Shwarma

Calico Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage (aka Mixed Bean Soup)

chicken enchilada soup in slow cooker done

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans

Honey Mustard Chicken

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Easy Shredded Taco Beef

Garlic Chicken with More Garlic

pumpkin black bean chicken chili

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Pulled Pork

BBQ Peach Pulled Pork

slow cooker beans for the freezer done

Beans for the Freezer

Chicken Cock-a-leekie Soup

Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Chicken Minestrone in the Slow Cooker

Chicken Minestrone Soup

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Ham and Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker

Ham and Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup

Sauerkraut and Smoked Sausage Soup

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

 

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How to Convert a Slow Cooker Recipe for Oven or Stove Top

how to convert slow cooker recipes to oven or stove top

One trick I use in the kitchen is to match my cooking appliance to the kind of day I’m having schedule-wise.

I’m talking about fitting the dinner cooking schedule with all the other daily activities.  If I have more time to prep a meal in the morning, I’ll choose the slow cooker.

If I find myself at 5 o’clock having done no dinner prep, then it’s too late for crock-potting.  But some of my favorite recipes are slow cooker recipes.

No worries.  Almost all slow cooker recipes can be converted for making in the oven or on the stove.  Most of them started out with these traditional cooking methods anyway.

I’ve already talked about how to convert recipes into slow cooker recipes.  Here are a few tips for going the other way and using the oven and stove top.

1.  Soups

If it’s a soup, it can be made on top of the stove.  It will take a fraction of the time that the slow cooker calls for.  You’ll still want to follow the order given in a slow cooker recipe.  Meats go in first.  Creams, milks and cheeses are often added at the end of cooking time because you don’t want those to boil.

2.  Try using a Dutch oven.

A Dutch oven is a cooking pot with a tight fitting lid.  Many pots and pans sets come with a dutch oven.  Cast iron Dutch ovens are popular, especially those with enamel interiors.

Assemble the slow cooker recipe just as it calls for, but put the ingredients in a Dutch oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for for an hour or 1 1/2 hours.  Add time if it’s a large piece of meat.

3.  Casserole type recipes

Most crockpot casserole recipes started out as oven recipes.  Generally, baking in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for about 1 hour will work.

4.  Determine what the cooking time is accomplishing.

Is the time in the crockpot meant to cook meat from raw?  Or is it just for bringing something to a near boil, such as a sauce?  Answers to these questions will help you determine how much time the recipe will need on the stove or in the oven.

 

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40 Whole Food Slow Cooker Recipes

40 Whole Food Slow Cooker Recipes

The slow cooker can be your best friend for getting healthy meals on the table.  These recipes avoid pre-packaged items and focus on meats and vegetables.

Even though these are from-scratch recipes, they can be assembled and cooking in just a few minutes.  There’s not a difficult one in the bunch.

What you will find is variety.  There’s everything from Thai Chicken Curry Soup to African Pulled Beef Sandwiches to Chicken and Beef Shwarma.  For tastes closer to home try All Day Beef Stew, Chicken Philly Sandwiches and Ham and Bean Soup.

african pulled beef sandwich done

African Pulled Beef Sandwiches

beef stew done

All Day Beef Stew

baked chicken with summer vegetables in slow cooker

Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables

beef and bean topped potatoes done

Beef and Bean Topped Baked Potatoes

beef shwarma in the slow cooker

Beef Shwarma

Calico Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage

Easy Chicken Curry

Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans

chicken philly sandwiches in the slow cooker

Chicken Philly Sandwiches

Chicken Posole

Chicken Posole Stew

chicken shwarma in the slow cooker done

Chicken Shwarma

Cantonese Sweet and Sour Chicken

Honey Mustard Chicken

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Thai Chicken Curry Soup

french dip sandwiches in the slow cooker done

French Dip Sandwiches

Garlic Chicken with More Garlic

garlic rosemary chicken and potatoes ingr

Garlic Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

honey dijon pork and apples in the slow cooker done

Honey Dijon Pork Chops and Apples

Italian chicken with tomatoes in the crockpot

Italian Chicken with Tomatoes

Italian herb chicken and potatoes slow cooker done

Italian Parmesan Herb Chicken and Potatoes

Italian seasoned salt chicken slow cooker ingr

Italian Seasoned Salt Chicken

Crockpot Lemon Chicken baked on a bed of Sauerkraut

Lemon Chicken Baked on a Bed of Sauerkraut

Mediterranean Chicken

pumpkin black bean chicken chili

Pumpkin Black Bean Chicken Chili

Salsa Verde Steak Slow Cooker Recipe

Salsa Verde Steak

brown sugar chicken and sweet potatoes done

Brown Sugar Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili

slow cooker chicken cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Slow Cooker Chicken Cock-A-Leekie Soup

Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup couldn't be easier!

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Minestrone

 

Chicken Minestrone

Slow Cooker Chicken Veggie Soup

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup

Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Tamale Sandwiches on Cornbread

turkey breast in slow cooker

Turkey Breast

turkey legs, italian sausage and potatoes in the slow cooker done

Turkey Legs, Italian Sausage and Potatoes

whole chicken in the slow cooker

Whole Chicken

 

Zesty Crockpot Chicken with Couscous

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Slow Cooker Chicken Minestrone Soup

Chicken Minestrone in the Slow Cooker

 

This soup is made for January.  It’s loaded with vegetables, chicken and beans.  It’s made from scratch.  And it cooks entirely in the slow cooker.  No pre-cooking meat required.

In fact, it fits in great with our Slow Cooker Soup Series from last year.

For a simple, complete meal add in cornbread or biscuits.  Or try these Rosemary Goat Cheese Muffins.

Here’s what you’ll need for the soup.   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Baked Beans

 

Pork Chops and Baked Beans is an easy recipe for a weeknight dinner.  The baked beans have a taste of molasses and the pork chops come out tender and juicy.

This recipe can actually be made in the oven or the slow cooker, so you can match it to your day and schedule.

The ingredients are all common, pantry ingredients.  And it won’t take longer than a few minutes to get it all assembled and ready to bake (or slow cook).

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Apricot Soy Ginger Chicken – in the oven or slow cooker

Apricot Soy Ginger Chicken

 

This recipe for Apricot Soy Ginger Chicken is so easy.  There are just 4 ingredients (plus salt and pepper).

You can fix it in the slow cooker or oven.

It’s great with sweet potatoes or butternut squash.  Or Hawaiian Cole Slaw.  Or Asian Broccoli Salad.  Or any salad with a poppy seed or honey mustard or berry vinaigrette dressing.

Use any cut of chicken you like.  Bone-in or boneless will work, just be sure to adjust the cook time for boneless.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Black Bean and Salsa Chicken with Cornbread Dressing

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken with Cornbread Dressing

4 ingredients.  The slow cooker does the work.  And my kids actually said “Wow!” when they tasted it!

This recipe for Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken with Cornbread Dressing is a definite winner!

The base recipes starts with something very familiar to you – chicken in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa.  I used black bean and corn salsa and started with frozen chicken tenders.

It gets interesting when you’re about ready to serve it.  Use the liquid in the slow cooker to add to a box of cornbread dressing mix.  This gives the dressing a big punch of flavor.

Top it all with shredded cheese and you have an easy winner for dinner!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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